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Related Categories: U.S. | Education & Student Activism
Youth Reject a Lockdown Future
by Curt Wechsler
Tuesday Feb 27th, 2018 5:04 PM
Students are ‘fed up’ going to school scared for their lives and demand a ban on domestic military grade weapons. The AR-15 rifle used to spray bullets inside and outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in last week’s massacre has no legitimate use in any community, said junior Ashley Santoro: “There’s no real reason for anybody to own these.”

“Americans are being trained to be afraid,” blogged W.J. Astore at bracingviews.com. "We're told to ‘shelter in place,’ to huddle scared like so many rabbits, until the proper ‘locked and loaded’ authorities are deployed with their SWAT teams and armored cars."

Children are in the crosshairs. UNICEF identifies the most dangerous places for children—schools in war-torn areas of the globe—with stories of brutality incomprehensible to most Americans. In the scarce schools available, those students face exploitation as human shields and cannon fodder. And while US schools are relatively free of bloody confrontation, an appalling new threat is emerging: teachers trained to shoot students. 

“He was a very good shot,” said Aaron Diener, member of the same Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) marksmanship team as the gunman in the Parkland, Florida, shooting, supported by a grant from the National Rifle Association (NRA). “He had an AR-15 he talked about... He would tell us, ‘Oh, it was so fun to shoot this rifle’ or ‘It was so fun to shoot that.’ It seemed almost therapeutic to him, the way he spoke.” 

The Buckeye Firearms Foundation fund offers so-called “Faster” programs, three-day training sessions for teachers from around the country. In addition to target practice, one day of the training is devoted to "mindset development." Trainees are asked to "close their eyes and imagine the student entering the classroom with a gun" and then are taught how to find the necessary "grit" to kill that student.

“If this isn't the end of civilization, I don't know what is,” wrote The Nation columnist Patricia Williams. “Unless we wrap our bodies perpetually in Kevlar and travel in bomb-resistant tanks,” the problem remains: there are simply too many guns in circulation.