My Latest Initiative

This is a discussion on My Latest Initiative within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Greetings CombatCarry.com! After a long absence due to mostly personal reasons, I have returned if only for a short time to share something with the ...

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Thread: My Latest Initiative

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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    My Latest Initiative

    Greetings CombatCarry.com!

    After a long absence due to mostly personal reasons, I have returned if only for a short time to share something with the membership of this forum.

    Oh and P95, you may disregard my PM, I figured out what the problem was.

    For those of you who do not know me, in a nutshell, I am a Texas based high school math teacher and the events which have led me to where I am now began with a loss of an immediate family member last November.

    In light of recent events and what I have read on other sites, I have created a new project for myself.

    It is a crude, unrefined, and very early effort. I have however thought deeply and often about the issue for the past three years. I've thought about it even more these past few months. I once was confused on the issue.

    But no more. I have had an epiphany and overcome my cognitive dissonance. I have learned more about myself, my profession, and reponsible and effective concealed carry. Knowledge, experience, and skill have replaced ignorance, uncertainty, and awkwardness.

    I do not reveal this lightly. I have decided to start it among a select group of people, people who I believe will be mostly sympathetic and able to contribute in their own way.

    It is time for concealed carry in America's classrooms. This must happen. On my own site I write:

    "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend."

    J.R.R. Tolkien

    Years ago I made a decision which has impacted my life in every possible way. I was younger, unrealistic, and more nave. May Time and Circumstance be so kind to me that I lose only the last characteristic.
    It began innocently enough, wishing to exercise the mathematics degree I was attempting to gain; I applied for a part time job tutoring at a local community center. I got it, because only four people applied and there were four positions open.


    Looking back on it, perhaps it is good that in life we are designed to be so nave when we are young, because today I would be very skeptical of anything which was so hard to fill.
    It changed my life. Mathematics is fascinating in and of itself, of that there is no doubt, but the human condition is much more so. I saw at once the apex and nadir of the human experience in those kids and in myself.
    Storytelling and Kindness are our species greatest traditions. We are a species who can learn the lives and experiences of those who came before us through what they created for us to have, and in turn we add our own experience to it and send it forward. It is simultaneously both an amazing and wonderful enterprise, and a mundane and taxing chore.
    Some may wonder, especially if they read on, how I can believe Kindness is such a great tradition. Dear Reader, it is Kindness which compels you to listen to my words despite my complete lack of rhetorical skill or brevity. It is Kindness which has enabled us to survive as a creature; humankind's behavior to take care of itself seems evident enough to me. If not for the consideration of others, I personally would not be here today.
    When I tutored, I saw this great tradition come to life. Where there was once ignorance, there was now understanding. Humans crave each other's experiences, even if we won't admit it sometimes. It is the best part of human nature.


    But I saw the harsh realities of the school system too. I prefer not to dwell on them, but they are there. I deal with them daily now and have for several years. It is honestly the greatest burden on my conscience and I dare say my mortal soul. But I accept this and the reason why is because I realize at that early juncture one simple truth:


    I knew I had to do something.

    I believe that the greatest abuses, the greatest injustices, and the worst mistakes made in our society, all occur in the public school system. I believe it with all my heart.


    I am not powerful, I am not rich, and I am not particularly accomplished, having never rebuilt a classic car, won a Nobel Prize, or painted a great masterpiece. I have two things however: I have my lifetime, and I have myself. Granted my lifetime is only as long as my creator sees fit for it to be, but whatever time I do have is my property by that same creator's divine will.


    Here years later I am in the belly of the beast, trying, fighting to see if I can at least make a small difference in at least one classroom. It's a popular fixation in current culture that one man or woman can come in and renovate the system from head to toe almost instantly. Miracles do happen in education every day, but they are worked by dedicated people who have spent many hard years making mistakes. Perhaps one day, I will make my contribution, until then I can only worry about one student at a time, one period at a time.


    As I've started on my personal journey however, I've realized that some sacrifices come with the job. I'm terminally single for instance. I watch my fellows my age rise to positions of power, prestige, and wealth while politicians deny me a salary which is considered close to average in my industry. I listen to people my age talk about retiring when they're fifty; at last figure I have realized I cannot realistically retire until I am well into my sixties. The public thinks I am a tax burden, not a public servant.


    But that is simply my lot in life. I do not pretend to honestly have it so bad in regards to those concerns, others fare worse. These things will all hold true for as long as I am part of this enterprise.
    However I believe sincerely that this life, whatever it holds for me, is mine. It is my property. It is mine to live.
    Towards that end, I concluded at a very early age that I must safeguard that life, but not at the expense of the quality of that life. There are reasonable measures one can take to help improve one's personal safety that are only rational. Most of these simply involve avoidance of unsafe or possibly volatile situations and people. Indeed, many situations and people which cause personal harm do not enhance the quality of your life. There are exceptions of course, else there would be no emergency rescue workers for instance, but most people can see that there is a rational reason for a carefully measured dose of caution. You simply cannot avoid everything. Society is full of predators.


    I specify that a carefully measured dose of caution is desireable because it's possible to be too reckless, yet it's also possible to be so afraid of living that your life is miserable. My comfort level may be different from yours, and as far as I'm concerned that's okay, we can learn to respect those differences.


    And there, we get to the crux of the matter.


    I believe my life is my property. I believe it is valuable, and I believe it is worth defending.


    At the same time, I am in a unique position to see the lives of others unfold before me every day. Small snippets of the lives of people whom I wonder about when it's 3 AM and I can't sleep, and all I can do is stare at the ceiling, fill my head. Their lives are worth defending too, especially since they cannot yet be held responsible for their own self preservation.


    These lives which are mine and theirs, they are our property, we each have our own life, and we should not be denied that.

    In this schema however I accept that their lives are inherently of greater importance than mine. It is not that I value myself less, I value them more. Their experiences complete mine, and I have had chances they have not. Should the situation ever arise one or some of us might have to lose their lives unfairly, I will step up and be first.
    I've no desire for this to happen, but at the same time I don't think I can ethically conclude anything else. These students, every time I see them, I am taking some small part of their life experience and molding it to my own arbitrary standards and whims. I take so much from them, and I expect, nay demand compliance as I do so.
    I'd be completely at odds with myself if I did not value their lives so highly to place it above my own. It's simple greed; my life is incomplete without theirs. Should their life terminate, the significance of my own life is thereafter incomplete at best and inconsequential at worst.

    I am at peace with that decision. I do not blame anyone who chooses differently nor do I expect your approval with that stance. It is my decision and mine alone, and in exchange I can't help but acknowledge you have similar powers.

    However I find myself unable to protect my own life a significant portion of the time. I have made it my business to spend some significant portion of my resources to acquire a modicum of skill in protecting my own life.
    There are those who spend their whole existence mastering these arts, and I do not presume to have their mastery or skill. However I do presume that I have my own comfort level about what is a rational safety precaution, and what is being so paranoid about my safety I cannot enjoy my own experiences. I always seek to improve my abilities of course, but ultimately I choose how to safeguard myself. I believe that is inalienable. Even though I am often denied the ability to protect my own life legally, I could just as easily choose to protect it illegally. You can't separate my existence from my rights no matter how hard you try. If I want to exercise my rights, I will.

    At the same time, I am charged with the well being and safety of others who cannot claim that right, for they are not ready yet. Thus, it is up to me to preserve them for the present time until such time that right is theirs to have.
    And yet at every turn, I am denied sanction to exercise this most basic right. It is not that I cannot exercise this right, I am physically capable of it, it's that I am forced to choose between having my rights or having my job, not to mention my freedom from prison. The simple rational truth is they need not be mutually exclusive propositions.
    That I must choose is an arbitrary condition imposed by outside forces.


    This is nothing short of an atrocity in the education system. If it was just my life which was thought of as being so lowly and disposable, I would be upset. However when I consider my circumstances in that I am responsible for lives more important than mine, I am absolutely livid.


    You can sugar coat it and disguise it with pretty sentiments all you want to, but the simple fact of the matter is that our legal and educational system holds the opinion my life is utterly worthless and I have no right to safeguard it. They make that decision for me. That is wrong. It is simply wrong. It is a denial of very basic human dignity.
    Too long have I accepted this as part of my lot in life. Yes my profession requires sacrifices, but this is not one of them.


    Every time a law is passed on the books which tries to guarantee I cannot protect my life or the life of another by denying me the physical means to do so, that is another voice in the chorus telling me my life is worth nothing, as are the lives of my charges.


    To that infinite chorus, I say, nay shout, NO! I reject your assumptions that my life is not my property to safeguard. I reject your assumptions the lives of these students are worthless. I reject your assumption that you can make my decisions for me.

    I am a mathematician.
    I am an educator.
    I am a professional.
    More than all of that, I am a rational human being.
    More than even that, I am a rational human being charged with the physical protection of children, an authority figure who acts en loco parentis with a very real position and a very real responsibility.

    I demand to be treated like a human being, not some animal whose life you can decide to place a value on. I am not a slave. I am not your property. I am my own property.

    And I demand the chance to act my conscience with sanction.

    But for now I will only speak my conscience, for I cannot act my conscience without imprisonment and other severe punishments.

    This is not about politics, this is not about guns, and this is really not even about education. This is about one voice crying out for the most basic of human compassion, a voice which demands only that which it is entitled to.
    This is about human dignity. Please acknowledge it exists.

    I choose to decide my life is worth protecting. I choose to decide the lives of those students are even more important. That is my prerogative, and I would see it enforced.

    Hopefully Storytelling and Kindness will avail me.
    This is an idea whose time has come. I have no idea how to make it happen, but I know that it must.

    My late father told me three things that have weighed on me heavily:

    If you always do the right thing, you will be accountable to no man.
    Every tub sits on its own bottom.
    Use the right tool for the job.
    The right thing to do is to stop being happy to sit around while innocent people are endangered and die as a consequence.

    I must do something. Anything. Doing nothing is no longer acceptable.

    The right tool for the job is available. I must employ it. It is my fundamental right to do so.

    I have created a very crude proto site here.

    http://thearmededucator.yuku.com/

    The message must be heard. This is a crude, new effort, not truly ready for much exposure, but I need information on the subject. This will not be a fast and easy pursuit. It will not have any immediate payoff or byproduct.

    But it must happen. Federal legislation must be passed guaranteeing all educators the right to keep and bear arms in the course of their duties.

    For now, all I really want is your attention. This has got to become a talking point among those who practice and advocate the carry of concealed handguns with such expertise and zeal.

    Thank you for reading.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    I have read some of your long-past posts. You seem to be a pretty smart guy, sir. But this is probably the most well thought-out argument I have heard for your cause. My mother teaches and I constantly wonder about the "what-ifs."

    Is this site dedicated to teachers alone or can the rest of us weigh-in? The cause is rightous enough, IMO, that I'd like to respect your wishes on how you want to run it.

    Bravo, Euclidean.
    The Gunsite Blog
    ITFT / Quick Kill Review
    "It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008

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    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Good to hear from you EUC, and may I say that your post/article was extremely well written. I salute you for your commitment to this issue.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    I applaud you efforts and wish you success in you endeavor. May God open the ears of the deaf and the eyes of the blind. May you be amazed at the effectiveness of one dedicated person!
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array madmike's Avatar
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    You face an up-hill battle, and I wish you the best of luck with it. Your cause is RIGHT.

    mm
    Political Correctness has now "evolved" into Political Cowardice.

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    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    I'm glad you started your site.

    My parents were educators for 35+ years and now are retired. My father was an elementry priciple for St Paul and is darn glad to be retired. Why? How about not having gang members threating him multiple times a year and him suspending 40 kids a year. (My high school I went to did not suspend that many kids in one year) My sister is an elementry teacher and I know she can't wait to retire but has a way to go.

    Keep it up!
    MNBurl

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

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    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    Congrats, and good luck in your quest.

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    I was just wondering where you were, yesterday, Euc. Glad to hear you again!

    Have you talked to Paul Gomez or Gabe Suarez? If not, do so. They are inculcating the mindset, across the country, and could be extremely beneficial contact points. You aren't the only "Bagheera" out there.....

  10. #9
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    Good work Euc - and welcome back.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Welcome back, Euc. I am fortunate that in Alabama on public K-12 is restricted territory. I work in a private college and am able - currently - to carry unfettered. My wife works across campus and also carries everyday. I know there are several others who may be carrying as well. I never make an attempt to determine if they are.

    I wish you the best in your battle. I think this is an idea whose time has come. After the events of the last few weeks I have for the first time in my memory seen major news outlets asking the question if it is not time for teachers to be armed. I comment your position on the matter and thank you for sharing it with us. In the state of Alabama that is the kind of issue that would probably require a constitutional amendment. Should one be proposed I will give it my full support.

    Thanks for stepping up on this issue.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

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    Member Array tnoisaw's Avatar
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    Excellent!

    Every cause has a beginning, but not usually an end. In your case you have taken on a heavy load but you must persevere for the sake of other educators and society in general. I applaud your initiative and dedication to something that needs to be addressed.
    Don't be a fool and die for your country. Let the other sonofabitch die for his.

    George S. Patton

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    A big welcome back euc , we have missed your posts . Might i say that is a most powerfull missive you penned , may i cross post it ( with credit and links ) and send it email ? It is a cause worth what meager support i can garner for you .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  14. #13
    Member Array Pickpocket's Avatar
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    That is a great post. Like all good writings, I understood what you were trying to say without you having to spell it out for me - as in, nowhere in that essay did you even mention guns, CCW, training, etc...

    I like it in that your essay was approached in a much different manner than most arguments on this subject. Good luck with this - it is a just cause.


  15. #14
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    The site is for everyone who cares about human rights. It will not happen without everyone.

    You may or may not support the idea of public education. I ask you not to even consider that stance for a moment however, and instead consider the reality is that we have public education now and probably will for the immediately conceivable future.

    Is this situation right just because you do or don't care for the idea of public education? No, it's not right at all, is it?

    It's not just for teachers, or about teachers, it's not really even about guns, it's not about the politics of education, but rather it's about a voice for some kind of reason, some kind of recognition that no matter how bad the educational system may seem to you or anyone else, we are recklessly endangering the lives of children and adults needlessly. It has to stop.

    I am not out to "convert" anyone. I expect many people to disagree with me. I do not expect to change the world. However there is too little advocacy for anything other than the failed model already in place. I have no idea how to effectively fight this monster, but I can't sit around and wait for someone else to start it.

  16. #15
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    Good to see ya again Euc. Good luck!
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

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