Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Shut Down Firing Ranges In U.S. Public Schools #Parkland #Enough

The Parkland shooter Nik Cruz was taught to fire an assault rifle at school.

Let me repeat that.

Nik Cruz, who murdered 17 people at the high school that expelled him, was taught at school to fire the weapon he used. That's because his Junior ROTC program had a firing range that he used at age 14 to learn to be an excellent murderer.

Most every state in the U.S. has JROTC infesting its schools, and many of these programs have firing ranges.

This is in schools that lack current textbooks, or enough staff to keep math class sizes below 40 students. This is in schools that offer academic credit for courses taught by uncertified instructors, courses that teach a warped view of war history (for example, that the Gulf of Tonkin incident actually occurred). In the U.S., our spending priorities indicate our moral priorities.

In Maine where I live there appear to be four schools with Army JROTC marksmanship programs: Bangor HS, Hermon HS, Old Town HS and Sacoppee Valley HS.

I need to do some research to find out the details, but these are the four schools listed in my state in the database maintained by the Civilian Marksmanship Program Tracker.

Pat Elder has worked for years opposing the militarization of youth. He wrote this month for Common Dreams:

Militarism is deeply entrenched in the American experience. The depth of military indoctrination in this country separates us from the rest of the world. Militarism is a powerful root cause behind America’s gun violence epidemic. It’s time to connect the dots.

His dream for a win in the wake of Parkland: close down JROTC programs everywhere.

Start with closing firing ranges in our public schools.

Thanks, Pat, for the communication tool and the information base I'm sharing in this blog post. Let's make this happen!

Please sign the petition to shut down firing ranges in our schools! Your message will be sent to your state legislators.

In case any right wingers want to Photoshop a picture of me shredding the Constitution

as they have targeted Emma Gonzalez with a fake photo based on a real one of her ripping up a paper target, I'll make it easy for you.

I'm a big fan of our Constitution. I'm  only interested in shredding the 2nd Amendment.

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