A stand-up routine from a few years ago has been doing the social media rounds again this week, partly because it’s very funny but mostly due to the routine’s heightened relevance after America’s latest school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Of course, there is absolutely nothing funny about the events in Florida, or any of the school shootings which continue in the United States on an almost unbelievably frequent basis.
Jim Jefferies is an Australian comedian, author and political commentator who has forged a successful and lucrative career, living in America and telling Americans en masse just how stupid he thinks they are. Among Jefferies’ favourite targets are Christians and gun enthusiasts, whom he savages mercilessly with frequent and effortless deployment of the word ‘cunt’, a word which, as the final linguistic taboo fails to rest easily on American ears. The man is clearly fearless… or suicidally insane.
Anyway, I’d seen this particular clip before, but after this week’s reportage of the Parkland shooting, and subsequent, shockingly absurd ideas to combat the epidemic of American spree killings, it was sobering to be reminded that such ideas aren’t new.
Here is Jim Jefferies performing in Boston in 2014, with a typically Australian take on America’s love of guns, including mention of the NRA’s brilliant idea to give teachers guns after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.
Now, I’m a teacher myself. I know exactly how stressful the job can be, and as Jefferies points out, the idea to fight gun violence with more guns is ridiculous enough, but to supply teachers with guns?? Just ask any teacher if they don’t know another teacher who has had a breakdown.
Here’s the rest of the routine from Boston.
This guy, if perhaps you missed it, is not greatly enamoured with the American right, nor they him. The comedian makes some salient points though. Fearless? It would appear so, but Jefferies, who now has his own show on Comedy Central, is not insane.
After reading about some of the ideas proposed recently to curb the endless American school shootings, including sound bites from Donald Trump (reality TV star, President of the United States and overlord of the Oompa-Loompa race)… I did a bit of Googling.
Give teachers guns? Again… just, no.
Enhance school security? Well, that sounds reasonable. Bullet proof windows was one idea. After all, banks and gas stations have bullet proof windows, like many places that hold volumes of cash. So, all that would be required to retro-fit America’s 100,000 government schools would be, at a very rough estimate (quoting conservatively at about $100 per square foot of glass), well… at least several hundred billion dollars. That’s much less of course than the government paid to bail out the Wall St bankers whose greed almost crippled the entire world economy, but then, the American education budget is already under considerable strain, what with all those teachers constantly whining about the need for books, stationary and whatnot. And besides, schools don’t house reserves of cash… just children.
There were other ideas, each just as fucking ridiculous as the last. It seems however, according to the National Rifle Association (from whom Donald Trump alone received over 20 million dollars during his presidential campaign, and if ever there was a person in need of another 20 mil, it’s him) that sadly, these senseless killings will continue… unless of course there are more guns.
To the victims and families of those killed in the eighteen school shootings in the first six weeks of 2018, thoughts and prayers.
Thoughts and prayers… what else can be done?