AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
I’ve talked about the stigmatization of gun ownership in this country a lot. It’s the idea that the anti-gunners work to make it not just illegal to own guns, but socially unpalatable. They want to make it so gun rights supporters can’t admit to owning guns outside of groups of fellow gun owners because it reminds non-owners that people with firearms are their neighbors, co-workers, pastors, doctors, lawyers, bankers, and so on. We’re everywhere, but if people know that and recognize that people they know and trust are gun people, they might not be so willing to support gun control.
It’s imperative for anti-gunners that they make it so socially unacceptable that we have to hide it.
Part of that effort is to punish people who acknowledge their support for the Second Amendment, and a case could be made that it has to start at the schools. That means punishing pro-gun teachers and principals for standing by their beliefs and opposing anti-gun voices like what happened to a Missouri high school principal recently.
A Missouri school principal is on paid leave after replying to a tweet from a gun control activist.
The tweet was a reply to David Hogg, one of the students who survived the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School last year in Parkland, Florida.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) June 11, 2019
Hogg tweeted support for research on gun violence urging people to contact their congressmen and ask them to support funding.
A school principal with the Platte County School District replied to Hogg’s tweet with pictures of himself and his children holding guns. The text of the tweet simply said #merica.
It’s a personal Twitter account.
In other words, he wasn’t speaking as a school official but as a private citizen. The news agency wisely declined to share the principal’s name, but the edited screenshot of the tweet–edited to remove identifying information–clearly illustrates that it wasn’t threatening.
In a statement, the school system recounts what happened, but even they fail to claim the principal said anything threatening or dangerous.
Basically, he admitted to having guns.
The school suspended him, citing “student safety” concerns, though he is on paid administrative leave versus unpaid. That’s something, I suppose.
Unfortunately, the problem is that he was suspended at all. He did nothing wrong. Owning guns is both legal and moral. Someone owning guns doesn’t make them a bad person or a bad role model for children. It damn sure doesn’t make someone a bad educator. There’s nothing about this that would justify his suspension.
That is, of course, unless you somehow subscribe to the idea that gun owners should be neither seen nor heard.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the stigmatization of gun owners. This, in part, is what it looks like. They’ve sent a message, not just to this principal but to every teacher and administrator in the school system. The message is to keep your support for the Second Amendment silent. If you don’t, you risk your job.
Now, bear in mind that teachers can express support for Planned Parenthood, feminism, illegal immigration, communism, socialism, or any number of other things without censure. If they were punished, they’d scream to high heavens on First Amendment grounds and the media would trip all over themselves to make sure everyone knew about it.
This time we have almost nothing. A man’s career hangs in the balance because of a tweet, one that wasn’t threatening or demeaning in any way.
They want us silent. They want us invisible. They want no one to know we even exist.
They will be disappointed.