Nationwide Student Walkout Planned in Protest Over Gun Violence

 

On March 14th, public school teachers and students nationwide will be  participating in a  walkout.  Organized by the national political activist movement known as, “Women’s March/Youth Empower,” the primary goal of this protest is to incite youth political activism during school hours. In Orwellian fashion,  sympathetic schWomen's+March+Youth+EMPOWER (2)ool administrators are calling this event a “memorial” rather than a protest to disguise the obvious: students and teachers will be participating in political activism during school hours.

In the last few generations we have shifted in our collective thinking to where a majority of voters believe using government to force citizens to pay for the public education of other people’s children is a social contract, where older generations are obligated to pay for the education of younger generations. However, like most contracts, public education places duties and responsibilities on other parties besides taxpayers. Under the prevailing social contract, public school employees are obligated to teach, and students are obligated to learn, and both are obligated to avoid disrupting other teachers from educating and other students from learning. By all measures, the planned March 14th walkout is a violation of the current social contract between older and younger generations.

If taxpayer subsidized teachers and students are going to willfully violate their social contract obligations, then it is becomes reasonable for taxpayers to question their future obligations to the social contract. As a form of counter-protest, it doesn’t seem unreasonable for older generations to withhold their future financing of public education if teachers protest in lieu of teaching, and students walk out instead of learning.gun protest photo

In essence, protesting during taxpayer financed school hours is a form of theft of services, where teachers and students are the perpetrators, and taxpayers are the victims. If teacher and student activists wish to obtain the moral high ground in political debates, they might consider protesting on their own dimes rather than during periods when they are expected to be fulfilling their duties and responsibilities as beneficiaries of a public charity. A more persuasive form of protest might be to boycott football or volleyball games, skip speech and debate meets, or refuse scholarship money from local businesses who support  2nd Amendment rights. It is the epitome of hubris for teachers and students to spend other people’s resources in pursuit of their own personal political objectives.  Disrespectful and arrogant political overtures such as this planned walkout ought not surprise anyone  when  public school benefactors increasingly become less enthusiastic about paying taxes to support what they previously thought was public education.

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Don’t Expect the Feds to Solve Local School Gun Violence Problems

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With the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day, we once again find ourselves in the middle of a heated national debate over gun violence. On one side, there is strong demand for a national policy that makes owning military-style rifles more difficult, particularly for those citizens with a history of mental illness or criminal records. Another side is calling for hardening our schools into fortresses, with armed teachers, metal detectors, and controlled entry points.  The views people already hold about gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment principally inform their opinions about solutions to gun violence in schools, and America is deeply divided on this issue. As a result,  whatever policies are implemented at the national level, we can expect at least half of Americans will be extremely upset; and if the solution is like many national policies,  it is possible a supermajority of Americans are going to be dissatisfied, leaving more Americans agitated than placated.

In the age of social media activism, we find ourselves in the nasty  habit of demanding federal solutions for many of our local community problems. Gun violence is a local issue, just like texting and driving ordinances  and leash laws for dogs. Publication1What is ironic is the same people who celebrate diversity are often the same people arguing to inflict one-size-fits-all solutions onto thousands of dramatically different communities. In the case of school safety, it is ridiculous to expect bureaucrats in Washington D.C. to have the information necessary to concoct a workable solution that will prevent more problems than it creates. What a national solution for gun violence in local schools will certainly do is create higher taxes, higher costs, more paperwork, increased regulatory complexity, and distractions away from the chief aim of education, which is to teach children.

GunViolence11The people in Washington D.C. are no more intelligent or virtuous than local leaders.  In fact, history has proven out of state politicians to be less capable and more harmful when they attempt to solve local problems, like gun violence.  As citizens, we need to stop expecting federal politicians and bureaucrats to solve our local problems, and we need to start rolling up our sleeves and doing the hard work of finding solutions for ourselves.   Any school safety policy imposed upon us from outside our own communities can be expected to hurt more people than it protects.