Friday, August 24, 2018

Let's Put Schools in Guns

Betsy DeVos has it backwards.

DeVos, President Trump's Secretary of Education, has signaled that her department is considering allocating grant money for schools to purchase guns so they can arm teachers and other school employees.

Rather, she should consider the opposite: we should be putting schools in guns.

That’s right: a mini-curriculum with every firearm. Collect them all: Berettas will come with American and European History handbooks. Smith & Wesson will tutor French and Spanish. Sturm, Ruger and SIG Sauer will handle the STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. And you can pick up all these self-improvement courses at your friendly local firearm dealer, reseller, or gun show.

This is a proposal that could unite the congress in bipartisan action and bring the NRA and teachers’ unions across America closer together.

Creation of these mini-courses would, of course, be out-sourced to experienced educators – like the appropriately named mercenary outfit Academi (once called Blackwater, it was – NO COLLUSION – founded by DeVos’s brother, Erik Prince.) The big defense contractors – Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and the others – will undoubtedly line up for some money (to be honest, they've already written the book on this practice). Rudy Giuliani will pen a crash-course on the philosophy of law (strange factoid: try saying “Truth isn’t truth” ten times fast. I guarantee that by the time you’re done you’ll sound as addled as the former New York City Mayor.) American Media head David Pecker will write an instructional manual on the ins and outs of Catch-and-Kill, immunity deals, and other stormy issues of journalistic ethics.

And hey, it'd be great if Ryan Zinke’s old high school football buddy, who’s reviewing scientific papers about climate change for the Department of the Interior though he has no expertise in the subject, would be willing to moonlight for the Department of Education, too.

Of course the gun companies would want a piece of the educational action as well. Instead of being known for mass casualties, Bushmaster could become famous for its texts on Mass Media. Colt would be better known for foreign language learning than for its infamous .45. And the Brownells, owners of a major Iowa gun supplies store, could sleep more peacefully at night knowing that they are funding fine arts education as well as dealing firearms and their accoutrements.

Heck, Bernie Sanders could join the party, too. He's been running around the country since before the 2016 election promoting his plan for free tuition for American colleges. With the Schools-In-Guns Initiative for National Training (SIGINT), this would be a natural, as the Education Department could set aside funds so a full set of college course handguns, rifles, and semi-automatics would be given FREE to every American who hits the age of 18 (those over 18 can enroll in the SIGINT continuing education package.)

Already, $1 billion's been allocated through the Every Student Succeeds Act. Now, this program will be renamed the Guns and Rifles Impress as Fine Teachers act (GRIFT). Imagine how much money the tea-party and anti-deep-state conservatives in Congress will ante up when the National Rifle Association starts pushing for GRIFT, to bring more money to schools. Surely, that's a public option everyone can get behind.

SIGINT and GRIFT funding would also guarantee that all schools that want them (this would be a prerequisite for receiving SIGINT or GRIFT monies) would install a firing range.

This would create an opportunity for a new progressive moment in education because SIGINT/GRIFT funding would bring an end to stigmatizing realities like detention and study hall. In SIGINT/GRIFT schools, students who misbehave or are antisocial would be sentenced to hours at home on the range -- the shooting range -- with drill sergeants organized along principles of instruction and mentoring designed by famed NYU professor Avital Ronell. Upon graduation, in addition to a diploma, all students would receive an official SIGINT I Attended School in the U.S. and Avoided Getting Shot T-shirt and a GRIFT lapel pin -- all ABSOLUTELY FREE.

The Schools-in-Guns Initiative for National Training can guarantee one thing for sure: it will provide a better education than Trump University ever did. 

So whaddaya say, America? Every firearm a mini-school! Every box of ammo a lesson plan! Every assault weapon an advanced degree! Every bump-stock a teaching moment! The future of our children depends on it.

This program is absolutely imperative for restoring America's competitiveness in the world. After all, in the factories, fields and farms that some politicians and many newspapers seem to think are the only places that make up real America, schooling has long been less important than shooting. SIGINT and GRIFT will restore the link between these two American values.

And remember our catchy new slogan: Guns don't kill people. Schools do.