ChrisMaverick dotcom

I’m a not so good guy…

I’m a teacher… and I think I’m pretty damn good at it. I know for a fact that at least a few of my former students read my blog, and I bet they’d say I’m pretty damn good too. But I wasn’t always a teacher. I’ve had a lot of other jobs. I’ve designed computer software. I’ve been a photographer. I’ve written comic books. I’ve worked in retail. I’ve worked in a restaurant. I worked at a TV station. I was a paperboy. Hell, I was even a professional wrestler for a little bit there. That’s a lot of jobs, and I’m not even Jamaican.

One job I’ve never had was being in the military. And it’s not that I couldn’t have been. I totally could have. I was a poor black kid in high school in the 90s. Military recruiters love poor black kids. So I was totally offered a chance to be all I could be and see the world or whatever the fuck the slogan was back then. I turned it down. I was offered a ROTC scholarship. Turned that down too. A recruiter from the Air Force Academy came to my school to try and get me to come there too. Once again, I said no. See, I just wasn’t interested in being a soldier. It didn’t excite me then. It doesn’t excite me now. And in all the years since, I have never regretted that decision. See, when I think of the idea of “risking your life to fight for the rights and safety of others.” My next thought is something along the lines of “well, that doesn’t sound like something I’d want to do.”

I have no particular ill-will against the military. I had a lot of friends who did enlist. Good for them. Good for cops too. These people provide a very important role to society. I am thankful that there are people out there willing to fulfill it.

I’m not that guy. Honestly…. I’m just not that good a person.

And see, this is important. In fact it’s very important. This is something that everyone who is ever one of my students, and ESPECIALLY everyone who is ever the parent of any one of my students needs to understand.

See, every time there’s a school shooting, the national conversation predictably turns to the question of gun control and school safety… and this becomes predictably political. You have a lot of politicians on the left saying “this is why we need gun control” and then the right retorts with “have some respect. This is not the time, these families are going through tragedy. Now is not the time for your political agenda.” (As a side note, whatever it is that ultimately kills me, I want the record to show that anyone who loves my has my permission… and in fact my INSISTENCE… that you immediately start petitioning Congress to ban whatever killed me. If I am crushed to death in a freak accident by two tons of cotton balls, I want a fucking bill trying to take down the cotton ball cartel on the floor of the House by the end of the week).

Anyway, nothing ever comes of these talks because it’s apparently never the time to talk about gun control, So regular everyday people start passing around memes. Some of them are really stupid. I had the pleasure refuting the ridiculousness of one that my wife’s cousin, William, posted earlier today, which pointed out that there were only 374 “rifle deaths” in 2016 and there were 478,000 cigarette deaths. Actually the meme cited a bunch of stuff that was “more deadly than rifles.” Including “fists.” Of course, it was bullshit… which was pretty easy to prove if you spent like 5 minutes reading the sources that the meme claimed to be citing… or if you gave it 10 seconds worth of intelligent thought on your own. But whatever… as I’ve said many times before all facts are alternative, some are more alternative than others. But whatever… the nice thing about dumb memes is that they’re pretty easy to refute and I can go make fun of people by being smart and this amuses me… because I’m just not that good a person. I’m a petty little man and I kind of delight at being smarter than other people and sometimes take pleasure in their misfortune.

Every time one of these big mass shootings comes around and kills white people (killing brown people is much smaller news) we get a different take on it. In the past we’ve blamed video games. We’ve blamed movies. We’ve blamed mental health. We’ve blamed bump stocks. But this particular go round, led by the “genius intellect” of the B-movie super villain that we’ve elected President we’re actually trying to have a serious discussion about whether or not the problem would be better if we armed teachers. Arming teachers… you know… like me.

Now, I want to point out that this isn’t the first time this has come up from this administration. During her actual senate confirmation hearing the current Secretary of Education actually floated the need for armed teachers in order to defend students from possible bear attacks. She wasn’t joking. This was a serious concern of hers. Of course, then on her first day at work she also tweeted she couldn’t do anything because she was unable to find the pencils. So that’s the bar of intelligence we’re working with here. But now, the US President has piled on… and because he’s said it a couple times (and then in a brilliant tweet storm today, denied that he said it and then went on to reiterate it over the course of half a dozen tweets) it’s become news. And something that people are having to have a serious conversation about.

So let me make this clear. This is a dumb idea.

Earlier today, the Broward County sheriff’s department released a statement that apparently there was an armed deputy on duty at Stoneman Douglas high school during the shooting. He was a trained law enforcement official. He knew that there was a shooting going on. And he opted to do… nothing. He made a decision that there was gunfire happening in a building and even though he had a gun, the smartest thing for him to do… was not enter that building. Basically he was faced with the option of protecting his own life or the lives of others… a position that no one forced him into… he volunteered for that career. He swore and oath to serve and protect. But in the heat of the moment, when faced with the reality of the situation… he chose himself over others.

I get it…

My wife, Stephanie, linked to this story earlier. And of course, a right wing friend of hers, Jeffrey, immediately tried to refute it by saying “a single person lacking the courage to act does not mean that others in that situation may have saved lives.” I laughed at this. Jeff then tried to counter me by pointing out “Somebody took out the Texas church shooter with a gun. It happened to late to prevent the initial killings but someone did step up and we don’t know if that shooter would have attacked others. Its no guarantee but to say it won’t ever happen just doesn’t make sense.” And my friend Adam pointed out that just because it worked out once doesn’t mean it’s a particularly good idea.

I’m actually going to split the difference. It’s happened more than once. In fact, because I happened to do some research earlier to refute William’s ridiculous rifle’s are safer than fists or cigarettes meme (I bet you didn’t expect that to come back around), I just happen to know that in 2016, there were exactly 276 justifiable homicides using some type of firearm by a private citizen. Of course, from the same research I also happen to know that contrary to the meme there were 58,853 reported criminal shootings that year. So, that means 0.4% of shootings result in a justifiable defensive kill.

And sure… oh right wing reader… I know what you’re thinking: “But if more people had guns, there’d be more saves.” Well, it turns out at that from the same research, I also just happen to know that the 276 justifiable homicides were out of 1,980 attempts to defend oneself with a firearm. So it works about 14% of the time. Usually against someone with a similar class of weapon. And sure… better than nothing. Except… I also happen to know that there were 2,203 accidental shootings reported by registered gun owners that year. So while you are 14% likely to be able to kill an armed assailant if you have a gun… it turns out you’re 8x more likely to end up shooting some random other person during an attack or otherwise as you are to shoot a bad guy. So… to any parent who thinks this is a good idea… understand that the likelihood that I can defend your kid from an active shooter if one can happen is about 14%. And I’m 8x more likely to end up actually shooting them than I am defending them. Do you still want it? Math is fun!

And if your answer is yes… well, ok fine… I’ll take it.

See, because El Presidente also floated the great idea that hey, why don’t we give a bonus to the teachers willing to go through the training and carry a gun in the classroom. And… well, I like money.

But really.. understand who you’re asking and what you’re asking of me. I’m not a soldier. I’m not a hero. I don’t want to be. As I said at the beginning, I had that opportunity and I passed it up because I don’t want it. What I am, is a guy who reads funny books for a living. I’m the guy who gets paid to teach your kids to write. I’m the guy who gets paid to teach your kids about literature and it’s connection with feminism and sexuality and gender and race and marxism. Have you been reading this post? I’m an ultra-liberal, socialist, agnostic, feminist, pro-LGBTQ, pro-BLM, pro-union, pro-drug, pro-sex, pro-polyamory, pro-pornography, anti-religion, anti-establishment, damn-near anarchist SJW asshole. And you know… if you really want to pay ME to carry a gun around your kids… ok fine, I guess.

But understand something… I’m not going out of my way to take a bullet for your kid. I’m not going out of my way to shoot someone to protect your kid. I’m just not. Much like the deputy from Stoneman Douglas, if I see a gun, I’m probably running in the opposite direction. I’m just not that good a person. The only difference is, I’m telling you this right now upfront.

And I don’t think any of my students would expect any differently. As I said, I know for a fact that some of them read these. And they all know me very well. So, Ayana, Brooklin, Elysse and any of the other couple hundred students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching these last few years and might be reading this, I say to you… you are all wonderful, lovely, bright and intelligent people. I love and care for you all. And just to be clear, should you ever find yourself in a classroom with me again, and someone comes in with an automatic weapon, then RUN! FUCKING RUN!!! RUN AND HIDE!!! DO NOT WAIT FOR ME TO SHOOT THAT PERSON!!!

And see… because all of my students have been bright and intelligent. I’m pretty sure they know that. To their parents… I mean, don’t get me wrong… if I have a gun and I’m cornered, I’ll probably take the shot. But given the choice between trying to hunt down a guy with an assault rifle and well…. not doing that… I’m going to choose not… EVERY SINGLE TIME. Because that’s who I am. I’m a guy who’s pretty damn good at my job — reading funny books and talking about how they reflect culture — and I chose that job because I didn’t want to deal with bullets! I’m just not that good a person.

And the thing is, a lot of my friends are also teachers. I’m sure a lot of them are reading this and laughing… And honestly, most of them are far nicer and better people than I am. But I’m pretty sure you’re going to have a hard time finding a single one of us who is looking to take a bullet for your kid. Sorry.

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51 comments for “I’m a not so good guy…

  1. avatar
    February 22, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Fabulously expressed, stated, written, and reasoned

  2. avatar
    February 22, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Is there a tenure track for marksmanship?

  3. avatar
    February 22, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Honestly, as smart as I claim to be, if I am faced with a gun, I am either panicking and running or getting scared and freezing. I am as little help to you as you are to me.

  4. avatar
    February 22, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Maybe all teachers and students should wear full bullet proof body armor, every day, all day – just in case. It is just the price we are going to have to pay to let folks enjoy their second amendment rights.

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 4:51 am

      it’s such a non starter. No one is going to do this. Teachers across this country are fighting to earn a living wage. The Dept of Education under this administration must changed their policy to weaken investigation on sexual assault….. no one is giving us guns or body armor… that shit is expensive.

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 5:29 am

      I think Dana was being facetious (and/or sarcastic).

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 5:29 am

      Oh, I know she was.

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 6:13 am

      yeah. I was trying to exaggerate to prove a point.

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 6:15 am

      and it’s a good one… I was just saying on someone’s reshare of this:

      They don’t buy teacher’s school supplies. We have to fight for funding to attend academic conferences that would actually make us better at our jobs. They’re not going to buy us the weapons or the training to make us effective at being effective law-enforcement agents. School districts all over this country are fighting to be able to afford to install metal detectors. This isn’t going to happen. It’s just not even remotely a viable financial decision.

  5. avatar
    February 22, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    Can I share this Mav?

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 4:44 am

      Of course you can! All of my blog entries are public, so you can reshare any of them. Thanks

  6. avatar
    February 23, 2018 at 12:18 am

    While we’re at it… why does not the right to bear arms extend to my right to own a tactical nuke?

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 1:22 am

      It does actually extend to higher end weaponry like mines, grenades, and likely nukes would be there too.

      It requires a special (and expensive) license that needs renewed every few years

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 4:55 am

      uhh… no, there is no permit you can get to legally carry a tactical nuke. We won’t even let other countries have tactical nukes. Like this is literally a major part of our current struggle against N.Korea.

      There are special permits one can get for some military weapons that are not typically available to civilians. But it does not extend to all of them.

    • avatar
      February 26, 2018 at 10:14 pm

      IMO the Court messed up by not essentially allowing this in the 1930s. If in, say, US v. Miller[1] the courts had absolutely protected the right to own Tommy guns and grenades and sawed offs and the like, it would’ve been tumultuous in the short term. But it would’ve been obviously untenable to the public, and IMO we would’ve fairly quickly seen the 2nd Amendment altered by amendment, in a way that might have shown some clarity for where we as a country want to draw the line, or at least established some procedure for how to draw (and move) the line.

      By interpreting things more flexibly, they had a better short-term policy result (no full autos in casual hands), but at the expense of an ongoing mess. And in the post-A-bomb era, the option of allowing that short-term tumult for long-term gain has become too dangerous to be viable.

      [1]Of course, Miller has a fascinating case history of its own that made such an outcome almost impossible in practice; as Wiki summarizes, the lower court had ruled that the National Firearms Act (banning fully automatic weapons) was an unconstitutional violation of the 2nd Amendment solely as a tactical maneuver:

      “In reality, [Judge] Ragon was in favor of the gun control law and ruled the law unconstitutional because he knew that Miller, who was a known bank robber and had just testified against the rest of his gang in court, would have to go into hiding as soon as he was released. He knew that Miller would not pay a lawyer to argue the case at the Supreme Court and would simply disappear. Therefore, the government’s appeal to the Supreme Court would be a sure win because Miller and his attorney would not even be present at the argument.”

    • avatar
      February 27, 2018 at 3:59 am

      G. Sumner Hayes but did that lower court ruling not set a legal precedent with negative consequences? Or is it only the scotus that is the basis for legal precedents?

    • avatar
      February 27, 2018 at 5:18 am

      Lower court rulings are only considered precedent within that court’s jurisdiction, and are not considered such by higher courts.

      So if the 9th District court issues a verdict, then it’s considered precedent in California but not in New York. If the case comes before the Supreme Court it’s not precedent there, and ceases to be in California if the higher Court overturns.

      Courts can consider the logic and reasoning of other districts (or countries) but they don’t carry the weight of precedent.

      Nowadays it’s unusual for the Court to grant cert unless there is a split between two lower courts (in which case odds are usually against the 9th if they’re involved; they tend to be an outlier).

    • avatar
      February 27, 2018 at 5:24 am

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precedent discusses some other facets under Categories and Classifications.

  7. avatar
    February 23, 2018 at 3:08 am

    Not going to disagree with you. Most people won’t take a bullet for someone else’s kids. But if I was outside the school and my kids were there Is go in with or without a gun. And most parents would. Because I couldn’t imagine a life after losing my children. I may not be able to do anything but I would have to know I at least tried.

    But despite the danger to my kids, I do not support gun control. I do support reasonable gun limitations. But I would fear a world more where the government decided who gets to have a gun or the people who have no regard for laws obtain them. Because you will stop people from getting illegal guns about as well as you stop people from getting illegal drugs. Which means any kid in high school will be able to obtain one anyway. Its a lousy choice but the second amendment is important.

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 5:14 am

      I totally believe you might shoot someone to save your own kids. Sure…. but you’re not at the school because you’re not a teacher. So that doesn’t matter. More importantly they’re not my kids. And seriously… if you’re counting on me to do this… DON’T… I’m not going to… I’m telling you that.

      But more importantly you probably won’t actually shoot anyone either. As I pointed out… statistically you are far more likely to shoot your own kid than you are a bad guy or intruder. Like 8x more likely. I’ not trying to say you don’t have the right to do it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try. I’m saying you’re going to fucking suck at it and you’re probably going to kill your own kid. Statistically accuracy In a live firefight for professional law enforcement officers and soldiers drops by about 60-80% under their gun range scores. Because its way harder to shoot when people are shooting back at you. And this gets worse the more bullets are flying. So it’s actually more likely that in a case where 20% of the teachers are armed with say glocks vs the one kid with an AR-15 and body armor, MORE innocent casualties would have occurred, not less.

      It’s a bad idea… it doesn’t become a good idea just because “oh, this sounds neat… and the president said so.” It’s a bad idea on many many many levels.

      I actually agree with you that making guns illegal won’t stop crime in this country. The thing is, no one is saying it will. That’s not the issue at hand. Your entire logic about illegality could literally be made about any law we have on the books in this country and any law we want to propose. There are people who use illegal drugs. There are people who drive illegally. There are people steal things… None of that matters when we are decided whether something SHOULD be legal or not. So what you’re doing is searching for a distraction issue. It’s not a good one.

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 8:50 am

      I’m not advocating arming teachers. The risks outweigh the benefits. It could be done in such a way that the risks do not outweigh the benefits(like training one or two and using a gun safe) but then admittedly the costs outweigh the benefits. Its not workable.

      I wouldn’t expect to succeed. First off, I don’t even own a gun. Second, schools are locked. I would have to convince someone to let me in or break through the door. Third, I would likely be mistaken for the bad guy. But despite all of that I would still try.

      You’re wrong when considering if something SHOULD be illegal. Many states have ended pot prohibition because many people believe, myself included, while pot may not be desirable, illegal pot is even worse. We should have learned with alcohol prohibition. Trashing the second amendment is a bad idea on so many levels. And I’m not saying our current laws can’t be improved, but many on the left and right these days have an all or nothing approach.

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      The problem is pretty much that any solution of arming teachers is mostly about “we really want to arm teachers” and not about any reasonable reason why. Even in your scenario where there are two super highly trained marine special forces teachers on staff… say Mrs. Jenkins in PhysEd and Mr. Johnson in Chemisty… not you are hoping that when the incident happens, the two of them are rushing to try and get to the gun safe before getting shot while everyone else is running around trying to get away. It’s too chaotic…

      most people want Jenkins and Johnson armed all the time with a concealed carry permit… so now you have to hope that they are close enough to wherever the incident is… or they’re still running around through the chaos, trying to hunt a guy with an AR-15 and shooting into a mass chaos situation while bullets are flying… War is not fun.

      What are you talking about with me saying something should be illegal and talking about pot and prohibition and what not… I’m not making fun… I seriously have no idea what you are talking about or how it relates to anything being discussed here.

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      It was a reply to what you said about gun laws. Just curious: do you support a total repeal of second amendment?

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      I don’t understand how it’s a reply to what I said about gun laws at all. I’m not sure what you’re referring to. I’m not sure what thing you’re saying I said about gun laws. (Seriously. I’m totally confused what you’re getting at)

      And no I don’t. I never said that.

    • avatar
      February 24, 2018 at 3:19 am

      You seemed to imply that you supported a total ban on guns with your one comment I replied to. I misinterpreted it then. I think your estimate of what a trained person with a gun could do to help in a shooting situation is somewhat pessimistic, but overall I agree with you on this.

    • avatar
      February 24, 2018 at 5:45 am

      I have no idea what made you think that. This isn’t a post about gun restriction one way or the other. It’s about arming teachers.

      And I didn’t estimate. I looked it up.

  8. avatar
    February 23, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Chris Maverick I am your uncle your godfather and a great supporter of your efforts. This is one of the best responses you have ever written and I am very proud of you for. Honesty is always the best policy. I am also a US Army and Vietnam veteran and the only way I will face and active shooter is to save my life. Love you dearly but the best that I could do for you if that situation is go get help. All of you that think you are a superhero you need to get a grip on reality. A bullet go straight it does not have ice and if you get in front of one it is your ass period. When I went to Vietnam one of my best friends told me do not be afraid to run you could always come back and fight another day. Don’t be a hero if you want to have a life!!!!

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      yeah, I’ve been in quite a few arguments about this today on the various re-shares people have done… and it’s kind of amazing the level to which people are like “oh no, but don’t you see, this would be better”

      and its kind of hilarious because “hey, I’m sure I could do this” is really easy to say when you’re sitting there on a computer… ignoring the cop who was literally there with a gun and said “nope”

  9. avatar
    February 23, 2018 at 7:06 am

    I definitely appreciate your honesty. Lol, I would opt to run for sure! Running would at least give me the chance to make it out alive. Also, you trying to save us could end up getting us all killed. If you hid us, they could find us and shoot us all. If we disperse then the likelihood of us all dying is lower than if we were all in the same place. My mom is a teacher and I can’t even imagine her carrying a gun to school like that. Insane!

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      yep… It’s amazing the lack of logic people are showing with the “no, this is the obvious solution” pro-gun argument… all the more reason I don’t want them.

  10. avatar
    February 23, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Sharing with my sister in law Amanda Schilling Spottek

  11. avatar
    February 23, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    So, I think, by listening to people like my mom, who is very much on the opposite side of this issue and has said things like shooters choose these targets because they are gun free zones, that their logic isn’t actually at all about the ability and willingness of armed school employees to take down a shooter, but about their guns serving as a deterent. Potential shooters won’t see a school as an easy target because someone *could* have a gun and *might* take them down. I don’t think this argument holds much more water. I mean, why wasn’t the armed guard not a deterrant, then? This school wasn’t a gun free zone. But, I think that aspect of deterrant should be addressed when we’re trying to make these arguments with real people who might say these things. Because I think their faith in the deterrance is a part of it.

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      it doesn’t. The actual profile for most of these people is that they’re essentially looking for a sucide by cop situation. They don’t intend to make it out alive. So there’s not really deterred by the idea of being shot back at.

      The key counterexample here being the Fort Hood shooting… or for another example the OTHER Fort Hood shooting… two occasions where disgruntled assailants actually decided to terrorize a US Army base… where lots of people were armed.

      And it happened TWICE. At the same place.

    • avatar
      February 23, 2018 at 4:21 pm

      The fact that the shooter was wearing bullet proof clothing makes me believe that he didn’t consider the school a “gun-free” zone.

  12. avatar
    February 24, 2018 at 4:07 am

    Very well put, I love all of my students, but I’m not the one to carry and use a handgun in the classroom! I probably be so nervous I shoot my pinky toe off.
    All the money is not good money! There has to be a better way to solve this deadly problem!

    • avatar
      February 24, 2018 at 7:02 am

      What amazes me is the logic people use to get here. We now know there were 4 cops who opted to not risk their lives and enter the school because there were bullets flying… and yet, somehow people are interpreting this as “even more reason we need to arm teachers.”

  13. avatar
    February 24, 2018 at 10:15 am

    I have been quite sad that the pro-gun side hasn’t come to the logical conclusion of combining guns and technology to properly defend our schools. The clear solution is to put armed drones in every school with AI’s trained to immediately shoot anything entering the school with a gun.

  14. avatar
    February 25, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Truly enjoyed this blog, as far as I’m concerned you are right on the money. When I first heard arm the teachers it scared me because children have become more disrespectful to authority and I can see a student spouting off at a teacher and the teacher going for a gun.

    • avatar
      February 26, 2018 at 6:52 am

      that’s another issue. I mean, my students are in college. They’re adults and for the most part behave like it. I would totally worry about anyone who had to teach like 6th grade or so though…. because sooner or later, someone is going to shoot someone for being a smart ass.

  15. avatar
    February 26, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Hey Mav! I linked to your blog on an academic moms’ group I am a part of, when they were discussing the idea to arm teachers. So far people are loving it (and your writing!) so if you have more traffic from college towns and/or get some speaker invites regarding your work, it might be my fault!

    • avatar
      February 26, 2018 at 6:48 am

      thank you! I love when people forward things around. And hey, speaking gigs are fun. Especially if they pay. 🙂

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