Helena does the right thing
A rumor’s floating around that the administration at Helena’s public school system is threatening to dock teachers a day’s pay if they join students in a walkout protesting gun violence. I’m pleased to report that the rumor is false and the administration supports the lives of students over the desires of the NRA. Assistant Superintendent Greg Upham got back to me with this response:
We are not docking pay of our teachers. We have informed our teachers that during the school day they should be apolitical but they will be assisting with the supervision and safety of our students as the students participate in the walkout on the 14th (of March). So, no, that is a false rumor.
Kudos to Helena school administrators, teachers and students.
Daines does the wrong thing
It’s a difficult maneuver: kissing Trump’s heinie while at the same time using the same mouth to call for “offensive firepower” in our Montana schools but Sen. Steve Daines was up to the task. “Offensive” is the key word here as the notion of an armed bunker behind the front door of my grandkids’ school certainly offends me.
“We need to secure our schools because parents want action now,” Daines said. “These shooters are typically males, they’re white and they’re suicidal, and they’re cowards. And cowards can be stopped with deadly force.”
Vox reports that there haven’t been any comprehensive studies on whether more guns in schools would reduce gun violence but that doesn’t keep Daines and Trump from pushing that theory:
There is no good research on the effect of arming teachers or the effect of putting more armed police or security in schools — which by itself should raise red flags, given that policy should be evidence-based. But based on the evidence we do have, there’s enough to suggest that putting more guns in schools could actually make gun violence worse.
Daines’ obsequious comments to Trump and his Rambo rhetoric can be found at the Missoula Current.
I thought that people who get there news from a mainstream daily paper were a notch smarter than those who get it from other sources, particularly TV. I also thought that Bozeman folks, at least in the urban area, were a little sharper than average, since it’s a college town and all.
Apparently, I’m wrong on both counts.
There’s an unscientific poll at the Bozeman Chronicle that asks, “Should teachers carry concealed firearms in their classrooms?”
I’ve been following the results closely over the past few days. It started out with the concealed weapons proponents ahead by a pretty good margin, then it tightened up, then a tie, and finally the concealed weapons opponents inched ahead. The last time I checked, the tally of those opposed to concealed weapons was at 2,168, while those in favor weighed in at 2,021. It could be worse, I suppose, but that’s only a 43 vote margin. This shouldn’t even be a contest. There are more knuckleheads in the Gallatin Valley than I realized (but then again, it is where Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte hail from).
You can check out the poll here. Then someone should really ask the teachers what they think.
You’re no doubt aware that there are (were) a few large corporations that gave folks a discount if they were NRA members. Most of those businesses — Delta and United Airlines; Avis, Enterprise and Hertz car rental agencies, for example — have stopped that practice.
One of the biggest businesses stands alone: FedEx. I’ve always preferred UPS and the USPS to FedEx anyway, but now I’ll make sure I won’t do any shipping with FedEx. It has a pretty bad record with organized labor, too.
Cabela’s is also still in the NRA’s pocket but not Dick’s Sporting Goods. I don’t need to tell you where to buy your sports equipment, online or off, or who to use when shipping those goods if you buy online.