By Genesis Rose, Senior
Dear Senator Marco Rubio,
As an African American and Transgender student who has over a decade of experience with the current public education system, I am deeply concerned for the future of education. The act of voluntarily arming educators in an attempt to appease the public by providing an inadequate solution that distracts from the only real solution: A ban on assault rifles.
A ban on assault rifles would likely require a contingency plan, that, given the United States’ handling of The War on Drugs, would result in the hyper-criminalization of men of color. However, being aware of this possibility and being able to cite prior errors in the criminalization of men of color should motivate those in power to prevent a repeat in history. I say this to say that the ban on assault rifles would not be easy or perfect or a 100% solution; however, the need to take these weapons of mass execution out of the reach of the general public is not only necessary, but also mandatory if we wish to create a safer America.
If the argument of self-defense is the scapegoat used by those who prefer power over protection, it can be effortlessly refuted. A semi-automatic weapon, or an automatic weapon, or any weapon capable of mass murder greatly exceeds the standard for self-protection. At the time of its composition, the Constitution used the Second Amendment as a way to control slaves and arm the American people against any potential foreign invasion, in a time where it took five minutes to reload a weapon. Today, it takes less that thirty seconds to reload a firearm, and the threat of institutionalized slavery and wide scale foreign invasion are no longer a threat. For a citizen to protect themselves from an intruder or attacker, they simply need a weapon with enough power to take out one person-- not massacre fifty people in a nightclub.
Arming teachers is a poor decision, especially in today’s political and racial climate. The increase of police brutality proves this. Men and women who have been trained and dedicate their entire life to their badge are committing dishonorable acts of violence and hyper-aggression. Men and women who have dedicated their life to educating others being armed with weapons open the door for fatal error. These are individuals who are often tested to their limits on a daily basis by the people they encounter; they are civilians who are impulsive, and bringing guns into a place of learning only gives opportunity to a new wave of errors: a student gaining access to the gun, a teacher going on a rampage, or a number of other equally gloomy scenarios.
I know that I would have been a clear target for the vengeance of a number of my teachers given my challenging and opinionated nature paired with my predisposition to prefer female pronouns and my deeply pigmented skin. The passing of this law would put me and students like me and student unlike me in grave danger.We will become targets. The solution is and has been clear. It deeply saddens me that despite the countless lives ended at the pull of a trigger our government acts with the swiftness of a tortoise in their enactment of meaningful and effective legislature.