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Dear North Carolina: Arming teachers with guns is a spectacularly bad idea.

North Carolina is proposing a law to allow teachers to carry guns in school. Here's why that's a horrible idea.

Two bills have been filed in the North Carolina state legislature that would loosen gun restrictions in schools, allow teachers to carry guns, and even pay some teachers more for doing so.

Both of the proposed laws would require training for those who want to carry guns. In the house bill, participating teachers and staff would have to complete 16 hours of active shooter training. The senate bill proposes having select teachers serve as secret "teacher resource officers" who carry firearms. The position would require Basic Law Enforcement Training, after which the teachers would be sworn in as law enforcement officers. It also includes a 5% pay increase.


If teachers were to be armed, they should definitely be trained. But no amount of training makes up for the fact that a loaded gun in a classroom full of children is a recipe for disaster.

Even police officers don't fire accurately in shoot-out situations. What makes us think civilian teachers would fare better?

Police officers and soldiers are trained extensively not only in how to handle firearms, but also in the mental and emotional realities of their jobs. And even then, trained law enforcement only have an 18% accuracy rate in high stress shoot-out situations.

So, the people who are rigorously trained and actively prepared to engage dangerous criminals as their full-time job hit their target in active shooting situations less than one in five times—and they sometimes shoot innocent bystanders. Now imagine the chaotic scene of a school shooting, with terrified children everywhere. Do we really think a teacher with a gun, who just a moment ago was teaching fractions, is going to miraculously turn into a sharpshooting hero?  

Expecting a teacher to be able to shift mental gears from teaching arithmetic to employing tactical active shooter training in a matter of seconds, while also managing a classroom of freaked out children, is expecting too much. How could we possibly think that a teacher—even one trained to fire a gun—could respond accurately and wisely in a shooting situation with a million different variables, and do so without putting students' lives in greater danger?

"Good guys with guns" create confusion for law enforcement in actual shooting situations.

Despite some individual anecdotes, the "good guy with a gun" argument has been debunked many times. According to a 2014 FBI report, active shooters that were stopped by civilians were stopped more often by good guys without guns than with them, and evidence shown that more guns does not equal fewer crimes.  

But aside from that, a "good guy with a gun" in a shooting scenario with a "bad guy with a gun" can cause confusion for law enforcement who show up to stop the bad guy. How do they know which guy-with-a-gun they're looking at?

A school shooting situation is a chaotic, highly intense scene where officers have to make split second decisions. Teachers would not only be putting themselves at greater risk by wielding a gun, but also their students. Kids tend to gravitate toward their trusted adult teacher for protection, which would mean the armed good guy, whom police might mistake for the bad guy, would likely have children around him or her.

Shooting a bad guy is traumatic enough. An officer shooting a child they're trying to save because an armed teacher created more confusion than necessary would be devastating for all involved.

Guns in schools put everyone at greater risk.

I'm a 5'5" woman. An average high schooler could overpower me if they really wanted to, and I wouldn't stand a chance against more than one. If I'm carrying a gun, what's to stop some enraged or deranged students from sneaking up and taking my firearm while I'm writing on the board? Theoretically, they wouldn't know if I was carrying, but young people aren't stupid. If teachers are allowed to carry guns, kids are going to figure out who has them. Guaranteed.

And as a parent, I for damn sure would want to know if my child's teacher was carrying a loaded gun in their classroom. I think it should be every parent's right to know if their child's teacher is armed. How is that information going to be kept secret?

And that's not even getting into the potential for accidents. What if a teacher accidentally leaves their loaded gun in the bathroom, like happened in Pennsylvania and at Stoneman Douglass in Parkland, Florida (of all places, seriously)? What about when an armed teacher or staffer accidentally shoot their guns inside the school, like happened in California and in Virginia last year?

Or what about the gun-carrying teacher who gets pushed to the brink? The teacher who feels threatened by a student, a la "stand your ground" laws, and shoots them in a fit of fear or anger? Students-teacher altercations are not terribly uncommon. Adding loaded guns to the mix? No thank you.

Teachers should be focused on teaching, not doing the job of SWAT teams and police officers.

I taught in middle schools and high schools, and it was the hardest job I've ever had. Teaching requires a level of constant focus and care that people don't realize unless they've done it. A teacher's job is to teach—to be a mentor, to share knowledge, to inspire and guide young people—and those skills requires immense dedication and attention. That's what teachers should be focused on, not on making sure they're armed and trained and ready to kill.

Some may believe that simply knowing some teachers may be armed might serve as deterrent. But having actual armed guards at Columbine and Stoneman Douglass high schools didn't deter those shooters. If someone decides to go on a killing rampage, they're not usually worried about dying themselves. It's a suicide mission, and the idea of a teacher with a gun isn't going to stop them.

There are many avenues to explore for keeping our schools safer, but putting loaded guns into our classrooms and training teachers to kill is not one we should be entertaining. The potential risks far outweigh any potential benefits to make it a reasonable option.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

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