What Guns In Schools Can Tell Us About Urban/Rural Divide

The cities and the country have always been at odds. While we can be unified in times of crisis, there’s always been a certain disdain from urban dwellers toward their more rural neighbors. In fairness, this is a two-way street in a lot of ways. As someone who has straddled both communities at times, I’ve watched it.

However, on the topic of guns, that contention can get very ugly, and it’s not difficult to understand why.

After all, the city folks want to disarm the country folks–after all, they’re the ones most likely to have guns–because the city folks’ criminals are acting out.

We see this in crime rates all the time. While groups like Giffords love to lump all gun violence statistics in on a state, few anti-gunners ever really compare the rural areas with the cities.

The difference between the two groups was rammed home earlier today when I came across a story about guns being found in Tennessee schools.

Outside Wilson Central High School are warning signs alerting of the laws against weapons on campus.

“We have confiscated a gun out of a locker, we’ve had one report where someone had a gun at a school,” said Lt. Scott Moore of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Moore said those two incidents from 2013 and 2016 are the only ones of guns confiscated on campus in the past few years.

“We’ve got to do everything within our power to make sure that we prosecute those cases and make a point that if you do this, there’s going to be severe consequences you’ll have to pay,” said Lt. Moore.

Now, Wilson County, TN isn’t exactly an urban center. Their largest city, Mount Juliet, is around 35,000 people in total. That’s hardly a big city.

While any gun in schools is a problem, it’s clear that this is also a fairly isolated incident.

That’s not true of other counties in Tennessee, though.

Some Middle Tennessee districts show few to no guns found on campus in recent years, like Cheatham and Wilson counties.

But at Metro Nashville Public Schools, district data shows anywhere from five to nine guns found on campus each year since 2013.

That number soared to 13 for the 2018-2019 school year.

So what gives?

The truth is, there are very different cultures between the city and the country. While we may watch the same movies and play the same video games, there are still very fundamental differences. Hollywood likes to play these difference for laughs, and for good reason. We all tend to chuckle at those differences. The “fish out of water” story has always been popular.

But when we’re talking about the real world, we can see that those differences also represent a very level of violence that people are faced with. Most rural counties see few guns in school as well as little real violent crime, mostly the odd fist-fight. More urban districts, however, see more of both.  That’s not funny, it shows there’s a real problem in our cities.

It’s time the cities start understanding that their problems aren’t the entire state’s responsibility. Instead, they need to step up and get their own house in order first and foremost, something far too few of those cities seem willing to do.