Ben Carson – Please stop talking

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Today was a sad day.  Nothing happened, exactly. The coffee maker didn’t die, My jeans fit when I put them on. It was a relatively pain-free day (for me, anyway). The sun came up, the air conditioner was working, and my dog greeted me after work with a sloppy wet kiss.

No, nothing bad happened.  It’s just that I had to do something that makes me sad…and a little angry. Teachers at my school were instructed to prepare our classrooms and our students for a “Code Red” lockdown drill.  You know, lockdown – when a deranged shooter carrying a dozen or so guns or maybe a few bombs made in their basement storms the school, and school employees secure their classrooms and shelter the youngsters entrusted in their care.

My job, once a lockdown is announced is to step out into the hallway and grab any and all students, staff, or visitors near my classroom.  I lock the door, cover the window, and herd my students to a corner where I am to instruct them to remain silent and to turn off their electronic devices. I turn off the lights. I e-mail administration to let them know if any students are missing or if I have picked up other students from the hallway.  Everyone must be accounted for.  I need to keep them calm.  I wait for the all clear.  I open the door for no one. I know what to do.

It’s a drill (this time).  I get the need to be prepared.  As I am instructing my students today I kept thinking about what an incredible responsibility that is.  And how politicians haven’t a clue.

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Tuesday (Oct 6) said he would have confronted the shooter at Umpqua Community College, had he been present at the time of the attack.

“Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say ‘Hey, guys, everybody attack him! He may shoot me but he can’t get us all,’ ” the retired neurosurgeon said on “Fox and Friends.”

Really?  With what should I attack?  I teach nursing.  Throw a bedpan at them?  Stab them with an insulin syringe? Blind  them with my laser pointer?  Wrap Ace bandages all around them?  Threaten him with a catheter or an enema? Charge him and get killed so that my students will be left unprotected?  They are my responsibility.  As I scanned their faces today realized that every one of them would look to me for protection, for guidance, for safety – as much as it is possible for me to provide.  I wouldn’t be able to face a parent if I didn’t do everything in my power to protect their child.  And I don’t protect them by charging an armed killer.  I have about the same chance of stopping someone intent on murder as I would have mastering that new math crap.

I’ve worked with neurosurgeons and every last one of them thought they were God.  Maybe being up to your wrists in a person’s skull does give you superpowers, I don’t know.  But don’t try to make school administrators, teachers, janitors – even the lunch lady – feel guilty for not charging the shooter.

Just stop talking.

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Ben Carson – Please stop talking

  1. So nice to see you, Katy — and can I second your message to Dr. Carson? I keep hearing that he is a brilliant doctor, but I’m thinking that something must have fallen on his head because there are many screws loose in that man’s noggin. Either that, or he had some sort of anatomy mixup in the transporter, and his butthole was switched with his pie hole.

    • Some of his comments have been spectacularly…well…stupid. But then, so many stupid things have been said this go-round. I like the anatomy mix-up.

      • His comment about the “war on what’s in women’s bodies hit a nerve with me as well…maybe I’m getting old and crotchety. YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN…

  2. I’ve only known one neurosurgeon who could actually communicate with “normal” folks. Sounds like Dr. Ben is perfectly suited to be a politician.

    • Except for the requirement for all that medical training, the qualifications are probably quite similar for the two positions.

      • As for the idea of making such a comment, I would like to go on the record that if I were alive and living in Germany during WWll, I would have killed Hitler and saved countless lives. The difference between theory and reality is a lot bigger than another presidential wannabe flapping his gums. I’ve been in school “active shooter” drills enough times to know that we’re all dead if the guy has enough ammo. Shaddup, doctor!

  3. Well, duh! Of course! These acts of senseless violence will stop happening once we all start rushing that shooter! Why didn’t I think of that?! Problem solved. Man, I wish I was a doctor with a God complex. Their world must be filled with puppy dogs and rainbows.

    • Puppy dogs and rainbows!!! I don’t know what the answer is, but there has to be some way to stop the craziness. If we kept guns out of crazed killers’ hands and stopped saturating the airwaves/interwebs with sensationalized reports…
      Hope you are well, DJ. What are you up to these days? Besides your brilliant writing?

  4. Great to see you around, Katie. I’m so sorry that you, that any of us have to go through this kind of drill. And your points are spot-on about your responsibilities and your capabilities.

    However, I don’t think he was saying that any teacher or student should have rushed the shooter. I think he’s saying that’s what HE would have done. Or what he likes to think he would have done. That’s what some of the passengers on Flight 93 did. Was that foolish? They saved countless lives. That’s what 3 young Americans did on a train in France 2 months ago. They were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, and their courage was contagious – a couple of middle-aged guys joined in to help after seeing their action. They saved countless lives.

    Would I have the courage to tackle a bomber or gunman? I don’t know. But a younger man, perhaps with some military training might be able to save people. I think it’s a legitimate option and a question for each of us to ask ourselves.

    • Hi, Peg. I sincerely hope that Dr. Carson never has to make that choice either. If a school were laid out and operated like a plane, or a bus, or a train…I’m leading the charge. But the nature of the beast is that down any hallway there is one adult….a bunch of kids….one adult…a bunch of kids…isolated from each other in classrooms. I honestly think that is one of the reasons that schools are chosen as the setting for so many of these senseless acts – the scattering of the adults throughout the buildings. In the auditorium or lunchroom where there are multiple adults present, I’m all for taking action of some kind. Those examples you gave were on my mind, as well – and their actions were heroic.

      The drill went off today without a hitch and I was immensely proud of my students. Let’s hope that’s as serious as it ever gets.

  5. I’m sorry we live in a world where we even have to have this conversation. There are so many ways we can make the world safer for us and our children. Bringing sanity to the issue of guns and gun control is one.

  6. I agree with Peg’s comment. I live on the other side of the world where thankfully we don’t have to deal with these happenings. It’s awful that you have to have such drills and that the responsibility for keeping the students safe is yours. I can’t imagine how I would feel with that responsibility.

    I don’t know of this neurosurgeon and didn’t hear his comments but there are many instances of somebody, anybody standing up to a tyrant a making a difference. I wonder what I would do in that situation.

    Thanks for giving me something real to think about as I woke up to a lovely Spring day.

    • Judith – I guess the feelings of overwhelming responsibility and complete powerlessness washed over me…and this politician’s comments didn’t set well with me. I dream of a world where shootings aren’t a common thing.

  7. Hi, Katy! I’m with you all the way. It shouldn’t be hard to get him to stop talking. I mean, he sounds as if he’s losing battery power every time he speaks. Can he be that mellow and AND that clueless AND not be in rehab?

    I’m sure you know that when he was faced with personal assault with a gun, he told the gunman to shoot someone else. That’s the kind of man I want as my leader…NOT! Could Donald Trump be looking like the saner choice here?

    I’m voting for Trudeau! No wait, I have to move to Canada first and I missed the election. Oh well…

  8. I’m surprised Ben Carson’s crazy comments seemed to sap his momentum while Donald Trump’s crazy comments have had little effect. My theory is that Ben Carson experienced a brief moment of popularity as an alternative to crazy Donald Trump, but then the public learned Carson was also irrational.

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