I was wandering through a retail store yesterday when I happened through the baby section. There was what the folks in manufacturing call a bottleneck–where things being what they are create a pinch point that slows or stops progress. In this instance the “things” were people, with carriages (sleighs?) loaded down with goodies, placed at angles in the aisle to optimize the stoppage of movement in both directions, while they chatted with animated voices and nonthreatening hand gestures.
No threatening hand gestures from the other shoppers who were being inconvenienced but that may have come later. I had no “sleigh” so I scooted around through children’s where I happened upon the cribs and baby monitors and that was when it occurred to me.
When I was a child our parents monitored us with these things called ears. My kids were similarly “observed” with the aid of an audio monitor that sometimes picked up activity from the neighbors monitor. Let me just say that the baby was asleep but we could tell how they came to have a child. These days they’ve got high-tech video surveillance and that was what got me thinking.
Are we training ourselves to be surveilled?
Most everyone has a device capable of recording us. We even use them on our children. And it is reasonable to assume that whenever you are in public anything you do, particularly if it might be funny or embarrassing, can or will be captured on video (except for union members being harassed and encouraged to behave violently, or tea Party members spitting on congressman). Businesses use cameras, municipalities have been erecting them for “monitoring traffic,” and every episode of every television cop show has t least one line where they ask someone to check for any cameras in the area to see if they caught the perp on video.
And then there’s this.
Putting armed officers in every single public school.
There is a temptation on my part to suggest that this is like training wheels for casual acceptance of a jack-booted police state. “Oh yeah, when I was young that’s how we were raised. There was uniformed, armed officer in every public building.” (We have something of a bureaucratic police state already, yes–for those who are planning to bring that up.)
So how about we just start telling everyone that from now on there will be at least a half dozen staff in the school, janitors, administrators, even teachers or support staff, who are trained and carrying concealed at all times. More for larger schools. It would not even technically have to be true, but let’s just assume it is and people know it but have no idea who. After the initial curiosity or obsession/speculation with discovering who was packing heat, no one would think that much about it. But they’d know, and come to accept it as ‘normal.’
I’d rather live in an America where people know that there are law aiding citizens who are personally armed and trained, who have no interest in the use of weapons except in the defense of life and property from those who would use weapons to deny others of either, than to grow up thinking that without government troops stationed in every federally funded bivouac they can’t expect to live out the day.
Steve has been recognized as the Americans For Prosperity Blogger of the month for December 2012