Gun School

Even though it’s election season– and it’s a mid-term election that may well have dramatic consequences– and even though there have been several recent incidents of gun violence– the gun control debate seems to have completely disappeared. It’s another illustration of the sheer brutalizing stupidity of our current political culture. If we are not trying to stop the violence in our culture, what are we thinking as we prepare to vote?

There’s an apparently viable candidate for the Senate in Delaware who doesn’t “believe” in evolution, as if scientific fact were simply a mater of individual belief; a gunman shows up at my old university, swings an AK-40 around and then shoots himself; the most recent research indicates that we are now more deeply divided between rich and poor than ever before. How should these things shape our votes? Do they suggest an agenda?

I’d think that much of this suggests just how important it is to have an education system– from K-12 to graduate school– that actually teaches the importance of critical thinking. It’s the only defense against the sort of ignorance we see in O’Donnell and her ilk, as well as the absurd policies of the NRA that vilify any attempt to limit access to the most powerful weapons, and the historical short-sightedness that prevents us from really addressing inequity.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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