After a summer of family vacation dramas, parents seem to be doing their annual Happy-Dance at the launch of yet another school year. For weeks, they swarmed online sales and malls, equipping The Kids with the latest must-have back-to-school outfits and accessories, such as: Stylish Louis Vuitton flak jackets, Parker Brothers’ new “Sheltering-In-Place” board game, or Nike’s Faster-Than-A-Speeding-Bullet sneakers. Also on trend: Smartwatches that autodial 911 at the sound of gunfire, and The “Classmate Collection” of Thoughts & Prayers.
Anyone who’s ever been a child – especially a teenager – knows how important it is never to be caught dead in school wearing the “wrong” outfit. And that was when being caught dead in school was just a figure of speech.Instead of Happy-Dancing, terrified parents are Hopping Mad – and rightly so – demanding that elected leaders repeal 2nd Amendment school massacres, once and for all.
One would think that the NRA, running short of cash to buy politicians, would be ready to mollify infuriated Americans whose sitcoms are constantly interrupted by looping videos of speeding police cars, jogging SWAT teams, and survivors marching from the killing venue du jour, hands raised, frightened but alive-for-the-time-being.
But do they care? No.
As a result, misinformed cable newsies often cite the 1999 Columbine school shooting (13 killed) as the school massacre Gold Standard. But NRA School-Shooting Specialists know that Columbine is dwarfed by other school massacres, here and abroad, e.g., 324 kids killed in a Russian school in 2004; 191 in a school massacre in Indonesia in 2000.
Those eye-popping stats suggest children may actually be safer in U.S. schools – e.g., Virginia Tech 2007 (“only” 32 dead); Sandy Hook 2012 (27); Stoneman Douglas 2018 (17). School massacre body counts can be found by Googling (what else?) “school massacre body counts.”
Of course, those numbers do not include massacres that occur elsewhere in the gun-infested U.S. – churches, nightclubs, malls, theaters, synagogues, festivals, concerts, and even military bases that train Good-Guys-With-Guns, e.g., Ft. Hood, TX, where in 2009 an Army major killed 13 and wounded 30. Nor do they include everyday domestic killings – “harvests,” as the hunters say – of women and children by gun-wielding husbands, fathers, and boyfriends. Or suicides-by-gun. Lots of those.
But for terrified Valley parents hunkered in bunkers, there’s Good News, too. First, in Chicken-In-Every-Pot/Gun-In-Every-Pocket America, stats show that kids are actually less likely to be shot at school than anyplace else they can get shot.
Second, as reported in Another Newspaper, Sonoma’s Police Chief “is adamant that the police force is prepared” to respond if/when gunfire rips through third period Algebra or the Farmers Market. Until police arrive, however, his advice is simple: Run. Hide. Fight.
Screaming helps, too. Ask any survivor of a roaring hail of bullets from a military-grade night-vision equipped high-capacity semi-automatic shoulder-fired assault weapon, readily available for about $395 no questions asked.
Actually, that’s not true. You’ll be asked if you have $395.