Welcome to my blog, a place to explore and learn about the experience of running a psychiatric practice. I post about things that I find useful to know or think about. So, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal

For the prevention of mass shootings in schools and other vulnerable locations.

It is a melancholy object to those who live in this great country when they watch or read the news, only to be confronted with the repeated slaying of children in schools by deranged killers who have been failed by the mental health system.

I think it is agreed by all parties that this prodigious number of murdered children is, in the present deplorable state of the union, a very great grievance. And therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of keeping these children safe, would deserve so well of the public, as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation.

As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many weeks upon this important subject and maturely weighted the several schemes of our projectors, I have found them grossly mistaken in their computation. It is true, a child may attend school, from ages four through eighteen, without violent incident, and it is exactly at this latter age that I propose to provide for them in such a manner, as instead of being a charge upon their schools or communities, or wanting protection from their teachers or security personel, they shall, on the contrary, contribute to the protection and safety of their fellow students, and ultimately, of their country.

The number of souls in a US high school being reckoned, on average, 750, of these I calculate that there may be 180 in each senior class, of which a few begin the school year having attained the age of majority, perhaps ninety by mid year, and virtually all as the year concludes.The question therefore is, How this number shall be gainfully utilized to the betterment of all? which, as I have already said, under the present situation of affairs, is utterly impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed. For they can neither be adequately protected by armed guards or teachers, their numbers being insufficient to the task. Nor by the mental health system, which has failed to identify those creatures likely to embark on nefarious endeavors. Nor can this proud nation violate the rights of its people to bear arms, those rights having been attained through great struggle, by preventing access to firearms.

I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection. That each student be presented with a weapon on his or her eighteenth birhday, either handgun or shotgun, semiautomatic, or automatic, according to preference, each having pursued and concluded a course of study in preparation for the receipt of the chosen fierarm, and the assumption of responsibility for pretecting the school from those who may try to perpetrate violence upon its pupils.

I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance.

For first, our government has already made provision for the purchase and use of firearms by those citizens eighteen and older, so that no new statutes need be passed to allow for such a process.

Secondly, by the time of their receipt, students will have been well trained in the use of these weapons, as such training will begin in early childhood, and continue throughout the course of standard education.

Thirdly, the usual requirements of Physical Education will be replaced by classes in martial arts and weaponry, so no additional strain need be placed on school budgets, while still maintaining fitness standards for all children.

Fourthly, this training will yield other educational advantages, such as study of the history of warfare, and understanding of tactical approaches in battle, and strategy for outwitting the enemy. In fact, most of the knoweldge and skills ordinarily sought via a traditional education can readily be obtained by a shift of educational focus to that of military training.

Fifthly, weapons maufacturers and overseeing organizations such as the NRA will be eager to invest in this system, and to contribute materials and skilled military teachers, as children raised in this envoronment will naturally develop a love of guns and weaponry, along with a reverence for the country they serve, and will go on to become large scale purchasers of such commodities, supporting the industry that so generously contirbuted to their enriched childhoods.

Sixthly, the mastery of skills needed for protection of the school environment will instill in each child a sense of pride in his or her achievements. Furthermore, incentives can be created for those who show special aptitude in fighting or sharpshooting, such as advanced training, early receipt of their weapons, and participation in reconnaissance missions to seek out those with the potential to do violence to others, and thereby prevent killing sprees at their points of origin.

I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our trade and protecting our children.