5 Feet of Fury

“At my [black majority] high school, our head of security was a suave, middle-aged black gentleman who was packing…”

David Cole writes:

…and he made sure we knew it. I saw him draw his weapon only once. My fellow theater geeks and I were rehearsing a production of A Soldier’s Play (plays with black majority casts did well at my school), and one of the white actors, a blond-haired, redneck hillbilly type with the last name of Rocheford (which I always found humorous, as I tend to associate a surname like that with someone of class and breeding), thought it would be hilarious to take the toy gun he was using in the play and “draw” on our security guy (there’s them hillbilly smarts for ya!). Rocheford crept up behind the dude, pulled out the gun, and yelled, “Reach for it.” And within a split second Rocheford found himself staring down the barrel of the kind of gun that makes black men mull just how lucky they feel. But Rocheford, being white, merely pissed himself. And, far from being “scarred” by having witnessed a gun drawn on campus, the rest of us found the episode quite funny.

So how can I possibly relate to the howling harridans of white suburbia who bemoan turning schools into “armed compounds”? For six years that was my life, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Just the opposite; the “gates ’n’ guns” policy made perfect sense to me, my friends, and our parents.

Cole equates hardening targets like schools to what some of us call “diversity barriers”: Those hideous bollards now commonplace in Europe, and, increasingly, in North America. He approves of both, albeit very reluctantly, and his argument is nuanced.

Mark Steyn has already dealt with those bollards more eloquently than I could, but here is my (one-coffee) email to David:

It’s basically airport “security theatre”, but in the streets.

I have to disagree with you on this one, but I realize I’m being hypocritical and have a skewed perspective — I’m frankly way more concerned about Islamic stuff than school shootings, maybe just because that’s what I’ve immersed myself in since 9/11.

Canada has actually had MORE school shootings than Muslim attacks, but the Muslim thing is about more than just the attacks (note the upswing in Muslims demanding the legalization of FGM — they’re not even trying to hide it anymore). They are wearing us down via violence so that the alternatives (“Oh, just let them do their crazy customs—what could it hurt us?”) seem attractive.

Whereas school shootings begin and end with the incident itself, aren’t indicative of a broad social movement to undermine Western society.

Schools shootings are the Symbionese Liberation Army. Whereas Muslim attacks are more… “world historical,” like early 20th century anarchism.

I should have added, for example, that while the Charlie Hebdo massacre was “more important” than any school shooting (in the larger scheme of things, not to any of the victims’ friends and family obviously) because it was more than an attack on a specific, personal target, but an attack on what that target represented.

UPDATE: “Mass Shootings Are Local Problems”

And that what irks me is the mendacity. (Sorry, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was on yesterday…)

Increasing school security to prevent mass shootings is about… increasing school security to prevent mass shootings.

Street barriers and airport theatre are, in contrast, sleight of hand:

Never mind all the Muslims, here’s the bollards!!

Oh, and, er…