4.a. A compartment in some types of firearms, often a small detachable box, in which cartridges are held to be fed into the firing chamber.
I am a systems analyst. I am not against firearms. I am not against hunting with firearms or shooting at targets or old dead logs back in the swamp (as long as people warn me that they’re gonna do that so I can go down on the beach or block my ears or whatever). I am not against arming our police (within reason) and I know that we need to arm our soldiers although I hate that we keep getting into wars. If I lived in a place where there was a high likelihood that I would be regularly assaulted by raving mad drug crazies or herds of marauding polar bears, I might even decide to obtain my own gun and learn to shoot it.
I am a systems analyst. I get paid to sort through complicated “stuff” and sort it out. I cannot sort out these “semi-automatic” weapons or whatever. I have *tried* to read articles on them thar tubes and I have even willingly (sort of) subjected myself to a certain amount of mansplaining on the whole subject. I get lost in all of the details: caliber and flash suppressors and big clips and, yes, magazines. (Actually, the answer “magazine” was clued in a gun sort of way in a recent NYT xword puzzle and I actually *got* it but that’s because I *read*, not because I know about guns.) If you ask me (and nobody did), if a gun’s magazine can hold 30 or 40 or even 5 or 10 bullets, we need to be very careful about who is able to buy one. I am in favor of stricter laws about these kinds of guns (whatever you call them). I *know* that these guns (and all guns) will still fall into the wrong hands. But we have to try.
I am also trying to sort out a lot of general rhetoric about guns. Mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut by a young man with emotional/psychological problems not fully understood, who raided his mom’s gun stash to do the deed. The lame duck session of legislators in the brave new state of Michissippi passing a law allowing concealed weapons in places where they are currently outlawed, like churches and day care centers and… schools… Rhetoric all over the place about how if only those teachers had been armed, this could never have happened.
I can’t sort all of this stuff out. But I do have to wonder a couple things. One is why the Michissippi GOP *wants* to allow guns in schools (etc.). Is there a positive reason for (random?) people to be able to pack weapons into a school? If so, I haven’t heard what it is. At least in relation to the bill that the Michissippi GOP just passed. And then there’s all the crap about arming teachers and principals…
The media seems to be conflating all of these somewhat separate issues but I’d like to unpack the last one a bit. I wonder if any of these politicians have set foot in an elementary school since they attended one themselves. Arm the teachers? Where are you going to put the gun? Is the teacher going to wear a holster? Or keep it in a special locked drawer in her desk. What happens if that teacher has had one of “those” mornings and forgets to lock the drawer and a *kid* gets hold of that gun and accidentally shoots someone? And how would arming the principal (or anyone else) at the shooter school guarantee that she could have killed the shooter before he killed her (and all those other human beings).
I spent a good chunk of my adult life hanging about an elementary school. It was a *busy* place. Kids going here and there, parent volunteers going in and out and sometimes *hanging* out in the hallways whooping it up talking about our kids, etc., until the teachers kicked us out because we were making too much noise.
I know that if a guy with a 30-bullet magazine (if I have that right) had ever shot his way through the front door, we would have been totally dazed and probably the teachers and principal would have been too (and we would probably all be dead). Teaching professionals are certainly responsible for our childrens’ safety but they are primarily hired to TEACH! Even if a teacher or principal had a gun and was trained to use it, I doubt that she could have reached it (and loaded it) in time to stop a guy who had shot his way through the damn front door!!!
I have to wonder what those who want to arm teaching professionals think about the cost of buying the firearms and the training that would be required. It seems to me that the only way to truly ensure the safety of every school every day, would be to hire a trained professional security guard to hang out at every damn school so that they could watch for and “take out” the [extremely rare] guy who comes to shoot the door out. And most schools have multiple doors… Aren’t the people who are advocating this somewhat equivalent to those who want to shrink government? I don’t think this will shrink government.
Sigh… … …