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This is Not the Future I Want for My Grandchildren

May 23, 2018

Watching our nation’s response to the horrific shootings that are taking place in our public schools today leads me to think we are training our children to accept restrictions to their liberty that anyone supporting a free and open democracy would find appalling.

If every school in the nation adopts the recommendations put forth by the politicians and pundits who are bowing to the NRA, our future citizens WILL retain the right to acquire and use any weapon they want to have. However, in exchange for this inalienable right, our uniformed school children will be required to spend 12 years in institutions where their entry to an enclosed compound requires airport-style security. Once inside the institution the children will be monitored by cameras, subjected to random searches, overseen by armed police and armed classroom teachers, and profiled by government officials for mental health issues. When they return home, the government would monitor their social media looking for evidence of mental instability that might warrant their exclusion from the institution.

All of these proposals to “improve school safety” are a consequence of how our political leaders frame the problem. Because our politicians see security and people as the problem, they are considering legislation to “harden” schools by securing entries and exits and providing surveillance cameras. They are considering legislation to arm more adults in the school. They are considering extensive mental health screening and monitoring of social media.

The result of our current thinking is that we are raising a generation of students who are comfortable with the government monitoring them 24/7, working in an environment where they are monitored by armed guards, and being protected from those who might pose a threat based on government screening for mental health.

But creating this “safe” environment is presumably worth it because when they are old enough, these same schoolchildren will be able to acquire any weapons they wish to purchase— that is, unless they “pose a threat”.

This is not the future I want for my grandchildren.

 

Wayne Gersen

Etna, NH

 

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