Sunday, January 6, 2013

When It Gets Close to Home

I can get outraged over hearing that Arizona, always first in fearmongering, keeps trying to make more guns legal in more places, including schools, but when I heard that North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey had plans to put police in all the city's elementary schools, I realized that it was not just about guns.

Here in South Carolina we love our guns.  I'm hearing now that banning semi-automatics would cause harm to hunters. I imagine before semi-automatics all those deer and wild turkeys just about thumbed their noses at their stalkers.  And when it comes to our government spending money on its citizens, you can forget about it unless we're talking weaponry.

Because this is the situation:

We have schools where we are unwilling to spend tax dollars to improve curricula, to pay teachers a living wage, to repair buildings.  We have a state that cuts services to residents and cuts taxes to the point where its public employees are unable to earn a living wage and care for their families.  We are at the top of the list of states for unemployment, teen pregnancies, school dropouts.  We gift corporations with tax breaks and cut mental health services to the bone.  Parents work two jobs, fearsome hours, and still struggle to make ends meet, while often unavailable for their children.

Yet our leaders jump at the chance of arming our schools.  Guns is good.  Cost is no problem.

The priorities of our leaders here in South Carolina have led us to where tax dollars go to prisons over schools, and now to school patrols rather than education.

Our elected officials value their weapons over our children, and their futures will reflect that in increased fear and danger.

If you haven't ever lived a life where you felt secure, it's harder to believe in yourself, to take risks, to go out into the world and live a happy, successful life.

And here in South Carolina we're not going to pay for a good school in a safe community where parents are confident they can take care of their children.

But we will pay our police to patrol the halls of your children's schools.

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