This was originally meant to be a reply comment to this post at According to Hoyt, but as it has multiple links, it’s easier to write the comment here, and link only ONE thing in a comment.
A common accusatory meme about gun control that usually pops up after a school shooting is ‘you love guns more than you love children.’
The meme is wrong. It is because I love children that I believe they should be defended with every resource possible – and if that requires guns, then so be it. I would rather the ones wanting them dead to make a name for himself or herself be the one dying of bullet wounds, than the children.
Having been taught by my father – yes, I know, cis-patriarchal and all that noise – to gasp value my own life over that of my attacker, I consider self defence one of my most basic rights. Since I live in Australia, I’m fairly sure that people will disregard my opinions on this – which is a mistake, since my perspective is that of someone who is more vulnerable as a result. I cannot carry anything specifically for self defense – not a gun, not a knife, no pepper spray. Maybe a rape whistle?
Folks at ATH know me as someone who is teeny tiny – I’m 4’7, and am likely to shrink with age. I also brawled a lot as a kid and well into my teens – y’know, because there were people who thought I was ‘less’ than they were -racism being the usual reason, because an English speaking Asian always stands out in places like Germany and France; basic bullying being the rest of it – and I frankly disagreed with the idea that I was less than anyone else, and refused to bow down to physical attempts at pushing me into the box of ‘less.’
I ignored words – I entered High School and warned the teachers and principal that I would never start a fight, and no matter what insults were hurled my way, I would ignore them… but as soon as someone tried to hurt me, all bets were off and I was going to ensure that person was in no position to hurt me again. I was fortunate to be blessed with teachers who had working brains – they knew I was right; and that if I were to ignore taunts, bullying would inevitably escalate to physical confrontation. This happened a few times – but each time I proved true to my word.
Eventually someone tried the ‘have her have an accident’ happen, and because it was rather obvious from the giggling of that boy’s companions, it was clear they didn’t understand they’d crossed a very strict line. Since the fucker wanted that chair so bad he was willing to hurt me over it, I chased him with it across campus as he tried, screaming for help, to escape. I flung the chair at him, hit him square in the back with the heavy metal and wood thing, watched him go down, crying, to a shocked audience of the whole damn school, said “You wanted that chair, you have it.”
Then I walked back to the canteen and ate my lunch. A teacher came and asked me what happened. I told her, calmly, what had occurred.
His friends, of course, tried to claim that it was an accident and that I had over-reacted; but several cafeteria workers had seen what he’d done, seen them laughing, and said that I could have gotten severely burned – the food was all freshly cooked and if it’d had spilled on me, I’d have gotten at least second degree burns. The teachers all knew my reputation, and what I said matched what the cafeteria workers said, and the boy was suspended. The parents tried to complain, and the principal told them “You can take the suspension, or I press charges AND expel him. Your son thought it’d be funny to hurt a girl, and that is not acceptable.”
Message was clear: it is not acceptable for anyone to hurt another student but self-defence is allowed, and the one who starts the fight is the one who gets in trouble. Which is how it should be.
The right to self defence is the defence of the person – the right to be able to say “NO I AM NOT LESS THAN YOU – even if you try to beat me down I WILL NOT SUBMIT!”
It isn’t just with guns, despite the common idea that this is the case – it’s also the right to fight back. It is the right to defend those under your care, and to take the responsibility that you have been entrusted – especially true for teachers. Parents entrust their children to schools, with the reasonable expectation that the adults will look after them.
You cannot defend those under your care if you have less capacity to do so than an attacker. And contrary to common belief, disarmament only results in more vulnerable victims. I’m small and tough, but I am also small and easily overpowered; especially if facing more than one opponent. I am only intact because my response to the violence I’ve been given is to become even more violent and terrifying far out of proportion to my size. Because I valued me more than valuing the other person who thought it’s acceptable to attack me.
I am not alone in that belief. I am not LESS than my attacker – that person does not have the right to beat on me unopposed and without resistance. And it is especially telling that a survivor of the Columbine Shooting thinks this too – that the children in schools shouldn’t be sitting targets. Guns are not the only weapon available, make no mistake – a car is just as deadly, if not worse, a weapon – just look at how often that common item is used in terrorist attacks. Yet no calls for ‘car control’ are made. But preventative measures that rely on people present at places where the vulnerable are do work – it’s just not as reported in the media because it doesn’t serve their agenda. They choose to ignore that multiple laws in place that should have prevented shootings were not properly followed, which resulted in the criminals getting weapons. if we cannot expect the law to be followed despite so many warnings, reports and red flags, (and we do not reasonably expect criminals to follow laws, we have working brains) then the only people who the people can count on are themselves, and those willing to protect others.
More schools are following the Israeli Method of protecting their students, that gun free zones only protect the criminals looking for unprotected targets. Standing your ground to fight and protect is not a wrong, it is the correct thing to do when faced with someone or something that wishes to end your life or those around you.
You deserve to live. You deserve to survive. There is nothing wrong with fighting for your life. There is nothing wrong in protecting yourself, your loved ones, and those around you.
Don’t let someone else declare you are less worthy of life. Beware those who think they deserve more protection than you do, with things they don’t believe you should have. They want you unprotected for a reason, and that reason is never good for you.