Readers comments 3-2-18
Substitute lesson plan for teacher Mrs. XYZ:
Period 1, 2, 3: Spanish 1. Continue with chapter on food and cooking: verbs and nouns for restaurant ordering and custom of who pays when a group of school friends eat out together.
Period 4: Prep period.
Period 5 and 6: Elective PE—volleyball in west gym. Equipment—bag of volleyballs in locker room storage. Roll call order inside gym—10 minutes after tardy bell. Team assignments in roll book in my desk.
Gun in holster in my locker, freshly cleaned and oiled, loaded and extra ammunition in desk drawer. Locked. Key on lanyard with whistle and other classroom keys.
I am a former teacher (31 years) at Claremont High School. These are lesson plans that I cannot imagine ever having to write.
A rational conversation
In last Friday’s COURIER, Dave Chamberlain wrote what was, to all appearances, a heartfelt and genuine letter concerning the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. In his letter he posed the question, “how can we navigate the polarizing rhetoric and instead focus on common sense policy?”
Yes, a focus on common sense policy would be a breath of fresh air in a debate which is presently at loggerheads. I do hope, however, that what is meant by “common sense” policy is that which would in fact have the real-world effect of preventing what one desires to prevent, in this case more mass murders of innocent people. At least to the extent that government laws, regulations and policies are able to influence such things.
Therefore, with the sole intent to be objective, and not polarizing, our nation will never be able to have the serious debate it so desperately needs until both sides are willing to consider all possible remedies.
At the moment, one side of the spectrum is open to discussing a broad range of options and actions that offer a realistic chance of actually preventing mass shootings, while still honoring and respecting our Second Amendment.
The other side of the spectrum continues to insist on only one sort of policy changes, those which will result in further infringements of our Second Amendment, whether or not they offer, or have ever offered any real-world likelihood of preventing such horrible events. (There exists an enormous amount of empirical evidence on this subject.)
Consider the attendees at CNN’s supposed “town hall” last week who chanted, “shame on you,” to the NRA’s representative, Dana Loesch. Or those who booed every time Senator Marco Rubio spoke. All of it egged on by CNN. Is it any surprise then, that we have been unable to have a reasoned, rational conversation and debate?
An open letter
To NRA members: the time has come for you to resign from the NRA and stop supporting their political activities.
I realize that the NRA offers its members a range of good programs: gun safety training, ranges, social opportunities, etc. But those programs are certainly not what the chief aim of the NRA is today. They are the come on to get members to support the political aims of the organization—they are the candy that the stranger offers the child if he or she gets into the car.
Research shows that an overwhelming majority of NRA members support such matters as a system of universal background checks. But the organization itself will not do what its members see as common sense.
So the members must lead the way to a safer society and that means abandoning NRA membership even if that costs the individual the goodies that it provides.
Wayne LaPierre said the other day “Evil walks among us.” It is highly unfortunate but characteristic that he fails to see that that includes the NRA.
A message of hope
For once, we as teenagers, we as students, we as the future of this nation
Finally are given a voice to speak
Finally, an ear to listen only because we have reached the peak
For once we have hope
We have to stop sealing this issue like an envelope
We have to stop accelerating down this downhill slope
We have to stop living on this tightrope
For all they have left us with is to mope
The answer to stop gun violence isn’t arming teachers with guns
Because for some reason
The one thing that’s killing us on school grounds
Is the one thing they want to add more around
We must not be afraid of that gun
For when we stand together
We stand as one
The power we have been given is incredible
We are almost invincible
With all this progress we have made
We can’t let this fade
A change must happen
A change to be made
A change will now happen only because we’ve stopped being afraid
For once we have hope
Claremont High School
I was quite moved by Dave Chamberlain’s letter (“Stand Up,” February 23) regarding the continuing gun violence epidemic in America.
Once again we have a mass shooting and the reactions are all over the map, including the NRA’s “damage control” at the CPAC convention and President Trump’s suggestion that some teachers should be armed in our schools and even receive a pay bonus for packing heat in the classroom.
If people being armed is the ultimate solution to all this, which translates to even more guns in circulation, then I have a suggestion for our president that both lives up to this idea and may help save a few bucks in the federal budget: Do away with all Secret Service protection for those who currently have it and simply arm each of those individuals with appropriate fire power. (I would toss in a one-time class in how to effectively handle a gun, of course.)
If our president believes arming teachers is the solution for schools, surely he could be the role model by arming himself in order to get the ball rolling.
And, lest we lose those competent Secret Service professionals, they could be reassigned to any open border patrol positions.
There. Problem solved.
Crash test dummies
I see in the news that the California Department of Motor Vehicles will allow driverless cars to be turned loose on California highways without a backup safety driver starting in April.
The state of California is turning us into a bunch of crash-test dummies.
If this is a good idea, it’s also a good idea for big pharma to skip all the burdensome drug trials and just go ahead and test their drugs on the open market. At least in that case we’d be taking the pills voluntarily.
This sort of thing has worked well in the past. Just ask the subjects of the Tuskegee experiment or the “downwinders” from Nevada atomic testing.
Ludd A. Trozpek
The prolonged power outage in the Village last week was a breach of trust. Southern California Edison failed to perform its scheduled maintenance in a timely manner. Interestingly, on the company website, it claimed that no customers were affected, which clearly isn’t the case as many Village businesses remain closed.
The absence of a public utility like power hinders businesses’ ability to operate, and is especially harmful to small and medium-sized businesses because unlike major corporations, they are liable for their own costs.
I am interested to read any follow-up pieces on whether Edison ever had any discussions with Village businesses on appropriate times for the outage and if there is any form of compensation being discussed between Edison and impacted customers for this extended outage.
I am glad to see that the Metrolink is becoming a more affordable option for users. As a student, it is nice to be able to take the train into LA and do some exploring.
Furthermore, many students have academic work or internships in the city so it is nice to see that this is becoming a more affordable option for them. Although the Metrolink takes a long time, it is often faster then waiting in work hour traffic to get into the city.
I believe that the Metrolink is vital for students at the Claremont Colleges to exploit all of the resources available to them in LA.