Sunday, May 6, 2007


Masterman, where my son goes to school, is a tall and narrow building, five stories high. During the day, all traffic is funneled through one set of doors on the first floor. There are other exits, but they are all on the ground floor, and they could all be easily locked in a minute or so. The entire building is surrounded by concrete, so don’t even think about jumping out a second-story window.

The chief security officer is an elderly gentleman who mumbles. His only weapon is a nightstick he carries on his belt. At 150 pounds or so, he is smaller than some of the students.

His assistant is a middle-aged woman who moves a bit faster than he does, and weighs quite a bit more. A cursory glance at her physique reveals no hint of muscle tone. She appears to be completely unarmed.

For the past six years, every time I have walked through the doors at Masterman, the thought has struck me: this place is a potential slaughterhouse. A single armed maniac, with a little planning and determination, could easily lock down the entire building and, in the space of a few minutes, make us all forget Cho Seung-Hui.

Columbine, Trolley Square, Nickel Mines School, various post offices, and now Virginia Tech---every one of these places was a “gun-free zone.” Every mass killing in recent American history has occurred in a gun-free zone. Before 9-11, airplanes were gun-free zones. That, at least, has changed.

Masterman, of course, is a gun-free zone. On a typical school day, there are over a thousand children and adults in that building, and they would be completely helpless against a murderer. Such a person is not necessarily stupid, or irrational---to them, a gun-free zone is a victim-rich environment where they can go about their business undisturbed. In that sense, a gun-free zone like Masterman acts as a focal point for their fantasies. You never hear about a mass shooting at a gun show or an NRA convention, do you?

I am somewhat bitter about this.

On other occasions, I have written about some of the left-wing foolishness one must come to expect from a public school in Philadelphia. AIDS, we learn, was invented by the US government in order to kill people of color. The only thing white men ever did in America was enslave blacks, oppress women, intern the Japanese, abuse the disabled and beat up homosexuals. Students are taught to cherish their group identity and any attendant sense of victimhood. Etcetera.

That stuff annoys me because of its totalitarian nature. No dissenting voices are permitted. I am a distinct minority, but I am not the only parent who disapproves of their moral and political indoctrination, so the sheer unfairness of it bugs me.

Its effectiveness, however, is doubtful. For Tex, for example, all it does is sharpen his appreciation for how irrational and mean-spirited the extreme left can be. And he is not the only one. I know there are other students who react to the attempts to indoctrinate them by heading in the opposite direction. Teen rebellion being what it is, there will always be those who won’t knuckle under to the party line.

But though Tex and others will survive the indoctrination, keeping him for hours each day in a potential slaughterhouse is another matter. This particular manifestation of fluffy-headed left-wing bias makes me angry because it creates a real physical danger to my son and hundreds of other children. And for what? Because the school administrators think guns are icky? Because guns are “dangerous?” Well, maybe that’s why you need somebody who knows how to use one when a lunatic wants to kill children! No one is suggesting that 12-year-olds carry guns in their backpacks, but what possible reason can there be for the security guards to be helpless? What about the principal? What about the history teacher who was a marine for twenty years? Why can’t he keep a piece in a locked drawer?

Most people view political correctness as quaint, or silly. It’s not. It’s dangerous. Some of the students at Virginia Tech are dead because their campus was a gun-free zone.

Copyright 2007 Michael Kubacki