Re: Smart Guns

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sun Apr 09 2000 - 14:13:16 MDT

Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> "Michael S. Lorrey" <> wrote on Sunday, April 09, 2000
> 3:20 AM,
> > Teachers are hardly low paid. The median teacher salary for a job that
> > only takes 3/4 of the year (and provides over a month of vacation during
> > the school year), is above $30,000, for an annualized salary of
> > $40,000.00. Not bad at all.
> For a person with a Bachelor's degree, certification and a requirement to
> update their eduction every three years? I was planning on being a science
> education teacher specializing in computer science. I put myself through
> college doing programming on the side. By the end of my freshman year, I
> was making more than the starting salary for teachers in Florida. By the
> time I finished my sophmore year, I was offered a job paying twice what a
> teacher makes here. I wrapped up my two years into an Associate's Degree
> and switched my major to Business Administration. By the time I got my B.A,
> I was making triple what a teacher makes here. A job is low-pay when it
> can't compete with other industries seeking the same skills. Schools here
> get the worst students or the ones that are anti-money and take the low pay
> for altruistic reasons.

Considering that the average non science/engineering/business/law major
makes a distinctly small fraction of the income of the more
'professional', its not bad at all, especially considering that most
education majors have little trouble getting most if not all of their
educations subsidized.

> > The only problem with the plan is letting
> > the NEA get to meddle in the curriculum. I would not accept a plain old
> > teacher for such an important job. Anyone who teaches such a course must
> > have training in constitutional law, be a veteran, etc.
> Ahhh.... I thought there was more to it. I couldn't believe that you
> really would let a regular school teacher from the Liberal NEA rate students
> on their right to vote and bear arms. This makes more sense.
> > The civics courses in this country have been gutted by the NEA et al
> > over the past 40 years in order to make the population ignorant,
> > pliable, and easy to program with propaganda.
> This is the real problem. You want the state to have this sort of control,
> as long as you get to define what sort of teacher exists. As soon as
> someone else replaces your teacher with their teacher, the system is no
> longer appealling.

As I say below, so long as the curriculum is set by a panel of
constitutional scholars, and classes can be audited by anyone who wants
to make sure the curriculum is being adhered to, I have no problem,
ultimately, with who teaches it, because setting up the system properly
ensures that individuals who are detrimental will not wind up in, or
last very long in, such a position.

> > Since the Constitution is not a matter of partisan politics (anyone who
> > attempts to subvert it is, in fact, committing treason), then there
> > would be no such thing as 'buting the party line' by the kids. If they
> > want to be enfranchised, they pass the course, just as if they want to
> > drive a car, they pass a course. Don't like it? Why not? You folks are
> > arguing the same thing for carrying a gun. Majority rule has killed more
> > people in the last century than anything else.
> I agree. Majority rule is scary. That's why I cringe at the idea that the
> right to vote or bear arms could be based on an education system that is
> controlled by majority rule (the state). But where did you get the idea
> that the Constitution is not a matter of partisan politics. Certainly the
> gun debate should have shown that there is not general agreement on what the
> Constitution says or means. You are sure that your interpretation is
> correct and that the others are deliberately dishonest. What you don't
> realize is that the others have the same opinion as you. In such a
> situation, how could anyone agree on whose interpretation of the
> Constitution should be taught?

Constitutional issues are left to the courts, except in the case of
Constitutional Amendment. Contra-constitutional legislation and
administrative/executive ignorance or contravention (which is what most
of the population thinks is ok if the slim majority agrees to it) has no
place in manipulating the constitution. The bar for Amendments to pass
is set as high as it is for the expressed purpose of mandating that any
amendment be accepted on a bipartisan basis. Thus, the Constitution is
not a matter of partisan politics (no matter how much some people would
like it to be).
> Your plan doesn't sound bad. I just don't see how you can implement it
> using the state or its education system as a tool. Such tools always
> degenerate down to the lowest common denominator. Given our two-party
> system, we will never have agreement about what should be taught in schools.

I would implement a curriculum written by a panel of the top
constitutional scholars. Heck, I'd even include Lawrence Tribe on the
panel, as liberal as he is.

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