It is only February, yet already there have been 11 US school shootings this year.
The most recent shooting, in Kentucky, led the Republican State Senator Steve West to file a bill allowing schools to have armed school marshals patrol the site.
The bill joins other legislation aimed at increasing guns in schools. The Michigan State Senate recently passed a bill allowing teachers at primary, middle, and high schools to carry a concealed handgun to class. Similar bills have been filed this year in Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, South Carolina and West Virginia.
It needs to be understood; this issue is not taking place in a third world regime over-run by militias or drug cartels with no rule of law. This is America. Something is seriously wrong.
The ongoing debates on whether to arm teachers or have ‘gun-free zone’ signs have missed the fundamental issue that needs to be addressed–why has this issue arisen in the first place? Putting the focus and blame on the influential pro-gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA), and/or the Second Amendment is still missing the point.
The core issue is the very ideology that America runs on, i.e. capitalism, and the culture and values that arise from it and shape society. The dollar is king. Combining this with the so-called ‘freedoms’ has resulted in the toxic culture where exploitation, discrimination, and immorality is rife–all of which have been glamorized and legitimized through appealing platforms, e.g., the movie and music industry, video-gaming, social media and entertainment in general–where sexualization and violence are normalized.
The notion that there is a water-shed for entertainment through parental guidance ratings to protect the young is meaningless in every sense, given the ease of availability and the lowering tolerance of what is deemed acceptable.
As capitalists make their millions, parents increasingly worry over the welfare and safety of their children–both physically and mentally. Gun culture is not the cause but the product of the degeneration of the moral and ethical compass, courtesy of capitalism. It is not possible to isolate gun violence from racism, sexualization, discrimination, greed, domestic abuse, mental health, and exploitation. They are all intertwined and systemic of the capitalist way of life.
The discussion needs to move beyond whether teachers should be armed and move towards focussing on the suitability of capitalism to manage and protect society, as American society spirals towards social meltdown. Until this happens and there is an ideological change parent, teachers and communities will continue to live nervously, fearing the next school shooting incident.