Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Right Idea

Yes! Someone finally has the right idea.

Article summary: Some schools are now teaching students to fight back when an armed invader breaks into the school. I'm hoping that this is a sign that the lessons from Columbine and Virginia Tech are finally getting though: When you have an entire school pitted against one or few armed individuals, the odds are in the favor of the school. While some students may be hurt or killed in taking down the armed attackers, massacres will -and have, repeatedly- result if people simply comply with the wishes of crazed gunmen. No one can shoot onto a classroom full of targets at once, especially if those targets are in the act of attacking.

Of course, some people are objecting:

“You’re telling kids to do what a tactical officer is trained to do, and they have a lot of guns and ballistic shields ... If my school was teaching that, I’d be upset, frankly.”

"If kids are killed, people are going to wonder who’s to blame ... How much common sense will a student have in a time of panic?"

So what is the alternative? As stated in the atricle; “At Columbine, teachers told students to get down and get on the floors, and gunmen went around and shot people on the floors,”...“Getting under desks and praying for rescue from professionals is not a recipe for success”...

I also hope that this is a sign of a backlash against the whole trend of wimpish appeasement that the American school system seems to have been following of late. Throughout my elementary and middle school years I was taught to appease violent bullies verbally and never lift a finger in self defense during a physical attack, because defending yourself was evil; I was taught that all bullies are bullies because they themselves are maltreated and therefore deserve to get away with anything. Until I actually researched the topic, I fully believed the Columbine apologists who popularized the (completely false) tale that the two gunmen went on a killing spree because they were bullied and excluded by their peers.

So on that cheery note, have a happy New Year.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Obligatory Xmas Post

I guess I wouldn't be a proper wingnut if I didn't take a minute to say something in the defense of Christmas this holiday season. Although I can't really be a full blown wingnut because of my non-Christian-ness, I can still take advantage of my athieism to say that SENSIBLE ATHEISTS ARE NOT OFFENDED BY CHRISTMAS, dammit. I for one love the holiday, religious trappings and all (Christians worship Jesus, I worship evergreens. Nobody touches my Christmas tree). I would also like to take several minutes to address some rant-worthy issues that came up in one article on the anti-Christmas movement I read on Xmas eve:

From the comments:
“Christmas is a secular holiday and the Christian right needs to understand that...”

Christ's mass, secular? Christ as in the founder of Christianity (a religion)? Perfectly secular.

Next, a liberal takes aim at 'Christian wackos' -“Up until about 1985 a Christian couldn't marry another person unless both had a baptism certificate!”

That's... just not true.

From the article:
“...Brimelow’s writers dared to name the true anti-Christian Grinch: Jews. The winner of Brimelow’s 2001 War on Christmas competition, a “paleoconservative” writer named Tom Piatak, insisted that those behind the assault on Christmas “evidently prefer” Hanukkah, which he called the “Jewish Kwanzaa,”....”

For the record, I've never heard of Jew who was offended by Christmas. The only people I've seen actively participating in the “War on Christmas” have been Anglo liberals of Christian background. I'm sure there are examples of non-Christians participating in the effort to snuff out public Christmas celebrating, but I've yet to find them. Secondly, the 'assault on Christmas' certainly does not prefer Hanukkah - it just prefers anything that isn't based on Whitey's usual Christian beliefs. Plus, Hanukkah is in no way a Jewish Kwanzaa... the celebration is authentic and ancient, where as Kwanzaa is a 1950's invention that claims to be African despite the fact it was invented by an American dude.

Okay then...ranting time over, peppermint bark time is now.

And of course, Merry Christmas.