Teacher shot and killed by student in Florida.
May 26, 2000 2:42 PM   Subscribe

Teacher shot and killed by student in Florida. Details are still sketchy, but he was a student of the middle school. A truly sad event.
posted by hijinx (14 comments total)
That is sad. Always this time of year, ever notice?
Columbine, that kid who blew away half his class on prom night the year before that....
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 4:15 PM on May 26, 2000

And I'll bet Finals are next week at that school...
posted by wendell at 4:19 PM on May 26, 2000

Nope, the kid did it during the last period of the last day of classes.
posted by delfuego at 6:19 PM on May 26, 2000

The school spokesman, Nat Harrington, tells CNN that the shooting took place at dismissal time on the last day of school. "It's a very sad day", he said.

Yeah, especially for Barry Grunow. Man, I am so glad I got that Master's Degree...I find myself at a loss for words. Doesn't happen all that often. The worst part is, how do you prevent something like this? It isn't like a sixteen year old doesn't know he's doing something wrong...it's just a purely evil action. I keep coming back to a point I made in a post on my own blog a lifetime ago (okay, last month) that we've raised whole generations with whitewashed, unreal violence that makes it look fun in an attempt to protect them.

This is why Three Kings, which was a frank portrait of war, death and suffering (and how darkly comic they can be at times) didn't stand a chance last year. People don't want verismillitude. They want choreography.

Man, I don't know what I'm typing, I'm so pissed off. He shot him in the face. What else is there to say?

posted by Ezrael at 10:48 PM on May 26, 2000

Kurt Vonnegut once described handguns as "a tool whose only purpose was to make holes in human beings." It's as simple as that. Normally I am for preserving rights, freedoms, anything guaranteed by the Constitution, but its getting to the point where killing people is just too damn easy and too detached.

What I don't get is double standards. There are responsible, productive, well-adjusted users of marijuana, but that's illegal. So why can't the manufacture, sale, or possession of a handgun be illegal? Really, there is no practical use for a handgun, other than "protection," which boils down to murder in self-defense if ever used. The Constitution was built to be amended. If the phrase "the right to bear arms" is directly tied to x deaths a year, then don't we as a country have a responsibility to change that?

I don't know, it's late, and I have a tendency to simplify things to my version of common sense, but it seems to me that if we already assert the right to limit the types of guns purchasable (i.e. automatic weapons are illegal), then why can't we make the decision to outlaw, phase out, and reduce the devastating effect of handguns?

You'll all receive a check in the mail soon for exactly $.02.
posted by Awol at 2:15 AM on May 27, 2000

Wendell's MetaFilter Rule #1: Go to the link and read the whole story before commenting.
My Double-Duh comment above was based on what I heard (and didn't hear) on a radio news report before I saw it on MeFi. Sorry.
posted by wendell at 8:58 AM on May 27, 2000

"Damn that asshole teacher. I'm gonna kill him for being such a prick."

Don't hear anything in that thought that requires a gun.

He could have used a knife, acid, a home made bomb, or any of a dozen other things to do it.

Why doesn't *anyone* ever ask "gee... what was so fucked up about the way he was brought up that he'd murder someone just because they annoyed him?"

No one *ever* seems to get to that, until *after* they're done using it as evidence for the prosecution...

(Sorry; my comments in the other thread tried hard to be well-reasoned. *This*, OTOH, is a patent rant.)
posted by baylink at 8:42 PM on May 27, 2000

Well, Bay, he didn't use a knife, or a bomb. Now I know you aren't ranting about what I said, because I was bemoaning something other than guns. I was bemoaning the fact that some kid finds it perfectly justifiable to shoot his teacher in the face. I assume he'd have had no qualms about stabbing him, or driving a pickax through his head, or running him over with his car.

However, he used a gun, so that's how I'm reacting. He didn't do any of the other possibilities, he shot his teacher in the face. My mother was a teacher, as are a preponderance of her brothers and sisters. I don't want them to be stabbed, or shot, or blown up, or run over for doing their vain part in attempting to keep this mess of a world from getting any worse.

I don't care what kind of weapon he used. I care about the act, and the act was foul beyond measure. It helps convince me that my Masters' Degree would do better service lining the bottom of a cat box.
posted by Ezrael at 10:16 PM on May 27, 2000

[deadpan ON]
Well, naturally, the students would all have been much safer had the teachers and principal been armed. That way there could have been a massive firefight in the school hallway, with no risk whatsoever to bystanders.
posted by dhartung at 11:44 PM on May 27, 2000

The gun folks routinely claim that were guns banned, crimes usually comitted with guns would be comitted with some other weapon.

As Baylink suggests, the student could have used acid, a club or a banana on a stick (a la Monty Python).

I couldn't agree more. The Eric and Dylan would have killed just as many students with pointed sticks - the executioners of 5 people at a New York Wendy's could have done the same with pots of boiling oil, etc.

Really, banning guns won't accomplish anything. Thank goodness we have intelligent people like Baylink to point this out for us.
posted by aladfar at 9:46 AM on May 28, 2000

Reductio ad absurdum works only if a) the person whose argument you're poking at doesn't notice, and b) the audience doesn't notice, either.

But, since that's the order for the day, let's ban cars, too; they kill at least 2 orders of magnitude more people every year than guns do.

Let's not restart this one, shall we; the horse will need artificial resuscitation...

And no, Ez; I was replying to Awol.
posted by baylink at 10:27 AM on May 28, 2000

That's what I thought. Still, I am touchy about this, inasmuch as for a brief while, I actually was teaching and I hated it. The arrogance of the students, the demands of the tenured faculty...and this was at a college. High School is a meatgrinder, and it scares the piss out of me. I don't know what we should do about it, honestly, but something must be done, or we'll have a generation untaught because no one is brave enough to do it.

It scares me deeply. We have to learn how to teach our children not to kill, and that's frightening to contemplate.
posted by Ezrael at 7:45 PM on May 28, 2000

We have to teach our *parents* how to exercise discipline, and by extension, to Raise Their Damn Kids.

We're a generation and a half deep mired in the lack, and it's starting to show. Very Badly.
posted by baylink at 11:07 AM on May 29, 2000

"let's ban cars, too"

This isn't so silly. Cars not only kill more people than guns, they also are bad for the environment, wasteful of endless amounts of resources not only to build them but to support them in the form of highways, parking lots, gas stations, and more. They encourage people to move far away from others and to avoid social interaction. They have destroyed cities. The social requirement that every family owns two or more cars has crippled many lower-class families' ability to pay for decent housing. I'm all for banning cars right away. Then we can start working on getting rid of guns, too. :)
posted by daveadams at 9:50 PM on May 29, 2000

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