A letter to the editor from a Boston teacher, regarding school shootings. He argues that speedy evacuation of an attacked school is just unfair, because it "unfairly rewards resourceful children who move to safety off-site more shrewdly and efficiently than others. Schools should level playing fields, not intrinsically reward those more resourceful. A level barrel is fair to all fish."
As far as self-defense, "I would sooner lay my child to rest than succumb to the belief that the use of a gun for self-defense is somehow not in itself a gun crime."
UPDATE: I am relieved to see, as illustrated by the comments, that this fellow's writings are probably satire. I must admit I wonder if the newspaper realized that!
Hat tip to reader David McCleary...
That "letter" is so blatantly wrong one has to wonder if it's satire. If it's not, that dude shouldn't be allowed anywhere near children - his or anyone else's.
Posted by: Hartley at December 28, 2009 09:59 AM
im pretty sure thats sarcasm. or parody. its awfully dry and straight-faced sarcasm at the expense of the "progressives" being parodied, which makes it both less obviously sarcastic and more effective as criticism. if it were *obviously* sarcastic, it would never have gotten printed, im sure.
either that, or it IS serious, in which case that *poit* sound you just heard was my head exploding.
Posted by: radio_babylon at December 28, 2009 10:05 AM
There's no way this guy really means it. I found this by him:
Posted by: Rob K at December 28, 2009 10:07 AM
Sure looks like sarcasm ... I just hope the writer realized it was sarcasm. I love it. He perfectly catches the way that some anti-gun groups seem to hate guns more than they love children.
Posted by: Stephen at December 28, 2009 10:11 AM
If a tree falls in the forest, etc.....
If the guy wrote it as sarcasm, but no one realized it was sarcasm, can it be put in the category of humor (of which sarcasm is a branch)?
I think not.
He's a jerk, regardless.
Posted by: Rivrdog at December 28, 2009 10:42 AM
I'm going to hold on to satire/parody - his other letter to the Patriot-Ledger was similarly over the top.
The only "Doug Van Gorder" I found in Mass. was an 8th-grade honors student - but maybe my google-fu is weak..:-)
Posted by: Hartley at December 28, 2009 11:53 AM
Weapons grade snark there.
The intelligent are laughing their asses off.
Everyone who takes this seriously either has a good strawman to set ablaze ... or a very indefensible hill to die on.
Posted by: Kristopher at December 28, 2009 12:19 PM
Hartley, your google-fu is OK. The Doug Van Gorder of the letter to the editor purports to be a high school math teacher living in Quincy and working in the Brockton school district at the high school. The kid that you found is actually a 6th grade honor student in Quincy, Ma. That said, if it's the same Doug Van Gorder (DVG), he's an utterly brilliant 6th grader, eh? It would be very suprising that a 6th grader could come up with some of the letters to the editor that are being attributed to DVG. David Codrea links to a letter in Stars and Stripes by DVG regarding the Ft. Hood shooter that's along the same lines.
Unfortunately, the Brockton public schools are currently closed for the Christmas holiday and they don't have a faculty list that I could find on their website, so I'm not able to confirm if DVG actually works there.
My take is that this guy is yanking everyone's chain, and he's giving it a mighty good yank, indeed. If, on the other hand, this guy is not messing with people, well...alright then...it takes all kinds, doesn't it?
Posted by: Greg in Allston at December 28, 2009 12:48 PM
Update; one of the folks at Northeast Shooters (there's an interesting thread going on there about DVG)found that there is, indeed, a DVG on the Brockton city payroll as a high school math teacher.
Posted by: Greg in Allston at December 28, 2009 01:22 PM
Satire and I'll wager large.
Another one, too funny.
Posted by: JackA at December 28, 2009 04:50 PM
See "A Modest Proposal."
True, well-wrought satire today is totally lost on those overburdened with PC-ness. And too many these days are not sufficiently equipped with what Carl Sagan termed a "Baloney Detection Kit" - just a rational dose of skepticism and critical thinking - to detect good satire. Instead, too many people go through the world shopping for something to become outraged at.
Posted by: Bill at December 29, 2009 09:09 AM
Earlier articles from Van Gorder, which seems to support the satire theory:
READER’S VIEWS: Gun editorial
Patriot Ledger, The (Quincy, MA) - Saturday, April 21, 2007
Author: DOUG VAN GORDER , Quincy
Eliminating handguns seems to be the solution to preventing incidents like that at Virginia Tech, especially in the minds of people who consider only the sensational ...a deranged gunman, a mass murder, a picture of a Glock.
Some understand only horrific images and are blind to the subtle, far more significant side of gun ownership that occurs, the unspectacular, daily prevention of crime that occurs because law abiding citizens are allowed not only to own but to carry handguns for self-defense.
Thousands of little stories depicting thwarted crimes do not warrant the wall to wall coverage that Virginia Tech did. And how do we measure the amount of deterrence that effective self-defense creates in the minds of would-be assailants who learn of an attacker being shot?
Abolish, not handgun ownership, but bad policies like those at Virginia Tech prohibiting even licensed gun owners from carrying handguns on campus. Establish instead pro-active policies which encourage people to carry for self-defense ...in the mall, the work place, and, indeed, on campus.
READER'S VIEW: Bad Quincy gun policies
Patriot Ledger, The (Quincy, MA) - Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Author: DOUG VAN GORDER , Quincy
A recent Patriot Ledger article informed readers that Quincy residents are planning a rally across from the police station on Sept. 17. They do so to protest Chief Crowley's policy that Quincy residents should be denied the right to carry firearms in Massachusetts for what he terms generic self-defense.
Criminals must applaud the chief in his attempt to keep guns out of the hands of the general population. They find it hard enough to prey upon the innocent without having to worry that a potential victim might be capable of adequately defending herself.
Through his no-permits-for-self-defense policy, Crowley extends to criminals a professional courtesy ... one which proliferates crime.
Quincy needs a police chief who is one with law-abiding citizens, who will allow them to protect themselves, rather than strip them defenseless.
READER'S VIEW: Citizens have a right to carry guns
Patriot Ledger, The (Quincy, MA) - Wednesday, January 5, 2005
Author: DOUG VAN GORDER , Quincy
Picture a young woman walking late at night followed to her car in a parking garage by two men intent on committing your worst fears. Does anyone seriously believe that the police can protect her?
Police protect society at large by bringing to justice rapists, murderers, et al, only after they have committed their crimes.
In doing so, they provide deterrence, not protection. Save for the occasional chance appearance of ‘‘a cop when you need one,'' law enforcement is not designed to directly prevent crime against any given individual at any given moment in time.
The duty of protecting oneself, therefore, falls squarely on the individual. To hold the police accountable for injury from crime is to harbor unreasonable, even childlike, expectations of their responsibility and capacity. We must consider this when we separate their duties from ours.
But this is the last thing Quincy Police Chief Robert Crowley wants you to consider as he seeks to greatly curtail the number of gun permits he grants.
He is a member of the governmental elite, the upper decision-making echelons of authoritative governmental organizations.
The governmental elite enthrone themselves over a public overwhelmingly composed of unarmed, defenseless innocents reliant upon police protection (or believing in the myth thereof).
The myth of police protection propels the salaries and powers of the upper administrative levels of police departments in direct proportion to the increase in sizes of police forces that it generates.
And never are the elite themselves left unprotected. They grant themselves permission to carry guns while judging you, the little people, to be too rash, too unsophisticated and too unimportant to merit the same right.
Moreover, the governmental elite function as the ultimate lobby for criminal rights by ensuring that those on whom criminals prey remain defenseless. They tell us that in a society antiseptically cleansed of guns from everyone (or at least from those who obey laws, e.g. laws telling us we cannot carry guns), it is better that our young woman in the parking garage suffer whatever bodily harm, including death, may come to her in order to support the goal of minimizing handgun violence - even against assailants.
To Chief Crowley and his equals, we are but pawns to be sacrificed to the greater goal of attaining some utopian world that can never be, but which the pursuit of is a self-sustaining (and highly paid) endeavor for them.
Should criminals be welcomed to a Quincy largely free from guns in the hands of law abiding citizens who have no criminal or psychiatric record? Chief Crowley evidently believes the answer is ‘‘Absolutely!''
Posted by: Bill Mullins at December 29, 2009 09:36 AM
I note the earlier letters from Mr. Van Gorder, but everyone should take a moment to go to Congress.org (great little web-based way to contact your elected morons) and do a search on the term "progressive". You will see similar sentiments expressed in emails transmitted to members of Congress -- I doubt that those are satirical. As frightening as I find it that someone would look at the world this way, they are out there.
Posted by: Joey at January 7, 2010 07:17 AM