16 April, 2009

If I Only Had a Gun

I'm off to the state capitol today to protest HB 1893, authored by Rep. Joe Driver (R- Garland), which would allow students and faculty with the proper concealed carry permits to carry their weapons on campus. My favorite part of the bill, perhaps showing where our priorities are, would bar concealed weapons from campus sporting events. But not our classrooms?

The idea put forward by some supporters is that just one person with a gun in a classroom could prevent a Columbine or Virginia Tech-type massacre. Last week ABC News all but refuted that claim on 20/20. Watch "If I Only Had a Gun" here; it's well worth it. I hope a copy makes it to the Texas Lege.

Campuses and classrooms should be places of diverse, open, supportive discourse. Several professors, though prevented as state employees from commenting officially for or against the bill, have admitted it would likely change the way they grade and teach. Fellow students have talked about how they simply would be as comfortable engaging in debate or speaking out in class. I hope enough students take part in today's walk out to send the message that guns and fear have no place on campus.


Vocabulary Lesson

Favorite new word, courtesy of yesterday's silly, muddled riff on tea and taxes by the right-wing:
Astroturf (adj): Used to describe a sociopolitical movement that is top-down organized by media, corporate or other large interests; the opposite of a Grassroots Movement.

Only it's not a movement, but rather a bunch of manipulated and confused folks wielding tea bags. Yes, these working class heroes are protesting taxes right after the largest middle class tax cut in U.S. history. Brilliant. And they are protesting taxes in general. So, I guess they don't much like roads, police, schools, and parks (which Anna Marie Cox pointed out last night is where many of these protests took place), to name just a few tax-funded extravagances.
And, most enjoyably, it's a bunch of conservatives who who have no idea that calling themselves "Teabaggers" has given many of us something to laugh heartily about this week.

Here in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry joined the teabaggers at a few tea parties in the state yesterday. Who knew Rick's a teabagger? Here's yet another reason he should be booted in next year's election. Yes, Rick, you stick it to The Man! Viva El Coif! Oh, wait...The Man is sending you billions to deal with wildfires and hurricanes and such? Well, down with him after the check clears! Wait...The Man sends more back to our state from taxes than most? Eighty eight cents on the dollar? Um....

And yes, my household hearts Rachel Maddow big time.