With the popularity of the interview with Shirley Katz, I wanted to use this post to refocus on some of the more interesting issues that came up during the interview – and things that I may not have mentioned in yesterday’s post.
Easily one of the most prominent issues discussed was the fact that Shirley’s school district is in a budget crisis. While on the surface that itself doesn’t appear to be a significant issue, when you take into account the safety concerns expressed by multiple teachers at Shirley’s school, the ties between the budget and her case become more apparent. The school has said, in court, that they believe that the safety measures they’ve provided are adequate for the teachers and students. Those safety measures consist of some cameras which may or may not work, and two security officers who are responsible for multiple schools. Now, a school district that’s in a budget crunch is probably going to cut corners on the safety issue, so that makes sense.
But if they are in such a crunch, why are they spending money to fight Shirley in court? Shirley believes (and I agree) that one of the primary reasons they’re fighting is to smokescreen their budgetary issues. If everyone is focused on this court case, no one is going to be going to the school board and saying “where is all this money going, or coming from?” That’s a question that needs to be asked of the school board – if you don’t have the funding to improve campus safety, why do you have the funding to fight this court case?
On a more positive note, I wanted to actually throw a link out to Good Guy’s Guns, in Medford. That’s where Shirley went to pick her carry gun; and according to her she received nothing but help and valuable assistance from the staff there. This is actually something that I’ve always talked about – gun shops being ambassadors of the shooting sports and self-defense world to people who may not otherwise be interested. The example set by Good Guy’s Guns of welcoming and assisting people should be followed by a lot more gun stores in the country.
The last thing I want to address is the issue of winning this fight – not just Shirley’s case in particular, but the fight for the right to keep and bear arms on a large scale. The most important people we can win over are the people who don’t know a damn thing about guns, the people in the middle. We need to win over the moms who watch Oprah, we need to win over the dads who watch SportsCenter every morning. That’s where I believe that the Shirley Katz case holds its true value; specifically because Shirley doesn’t conform to the negative stereotype of “gun nut”. That’s what carries the most valuable – visual, indisputable proof that the people who carry guns and own firearms are just the same as the rest of us.