Article from 'Saturday Night Magazine' May 20, 2000
Any parent knows that the best way to defuse the curiosity of a child is to address it head on, to transform the mysterious inot the mundane. IF memory serves, there is no place more mundane than school. Adding a firearm component to the current curricula in regions where guns are prevalent would achieve two things: it would satisfy the inherent inquisitiveness that children have about guns; and it would allow educators to monitor the reactions children have to the weapons - something that might have been of inestimable value to the faculty of Columbine High School in Colorado.
IN canada, it my be argued that guns aren't prevalent enough - in homes or on the streets - to warrant a proactive approach to gun education. Tragedies such as the one last year in Taber, Alberta, and the recent spate of youth shootings in Toronto indicate otherwise.
Put a kid on a firing range under strict controls, oblige him to fire hundreds of rounds at a circular target over lengthy periods of time, and what happens? Dirty Harry becomes a junior biathlete, without the skis. THe kids who maintain an interest can be funnelled into gun cluds, where they can work through their attraction under the watchful eye of trainers adept at spotting pottential problems.
As long as guns have a mystique, they'll seem powerful. As long as kids feel there's power in guns, they'll be tempted to get their hands on them. And sooner or later someone who possesses a gun is going to want to use it. The solution is to address this desire early on and supply children with the rules of conduct. It's the same principle that lies behind sex education.
Think about it: sex education is taught so that kids will have a better understanding of how their bodies work, why they feel sexual desirees, and how to act (or not) on those desires. Basically, we equip our kids with sexual knowledge so that they'll have the confidence to act responsibly. The same argument holds true for gun education: that, armed with the knowledge and familiarity, kids will be better equiped to think about guns in a responsible manner. (In fact, the classic argument against sex education - that by providing kids with dangerous information they can't handle, we're encouraging them to run out and recklessly try it for themselves - is exactly the objection you're likely to hear raised against gun instruction.)
We accept the natural sexual curiousity of children and teenagers, and hae legislated protection for them in the form of education rather than pretending that the curiosity doesn't exist. Children are curious about guns. We should give them the same protection. We don't want our kids shooting first and aksing questions later.
Just when you think you are the only one out there expreincing something, something comes along that makes you realize you are not alone...
This rant was written because a nice girl finally snapped. She read the tribute to the nice guys; and this is her response :
An Ode to the Nice Girls by Anonymous
This is my tribute to the nice girls. To the nice girls who are overlooked, who become friends and nothing more, who spend hours fixating upon their looks and their personalities and their actions because it must be they that are doing something wrong. This is for the girls who don't give it up on the first date, who don't want to play mind games, who provide a comforting hug and a supportive audience for a story they've heard a thousand times. This is for the girls who understand that they aren't perfect and that the guys they're interested in aren't either, for the girls who flirt and laugh and worry and obsess over the slightest glance, whisper, touch, because somehow they are able to keep alive that hope that maybe... maybe this time he'll have understood. This is an homage to the girls who laugh loud and often, who are comfortable in skirts and sweats and combat boots, who care more than they should for guys who don't deserve their attention. This is for those girls who have been in the trenches, who have watched other girls time and time again fake up and make up and screw up the guys in their lives without saying a word. This is for the girls who have been there from the beginning and have heard the trite words of advice, from "there are plenty of fish in the sea," to "time heals all wounds." This is to honor those girls who know that guys are just as scared as they are, who know that they deserve better, who are seeking to find it.
This is for the girls who have never been in love, but know that it's an experience that they don't want to miss out on. For the girls who have sought a night with friends and been greeted by a night of catcalling, rude comments and explicit invitations that they'd rather not have experienced. This is for the girls who have spent their weekends sitting on the sidelines of a beer pong tournament or a case race, or playing Florence Nightingale for a vomiting guy friend or a comatose crush, who have received a drunk phone call just before dawn from someone who doesn't care enough to invite them over but is still willing to pass out in their bed. This is for the girls who have left sad song lyrics in their away messages, who have tried to make someone understand through a subliminally appealing profile, who have time and time again dropped their male friend hint after hint after hint only to watch him chase after the first blonde girl in a skirt. This is for the girls who have been told that they're too good or too smart or too pretty , who have been given compliments as a way of breaking off a relationship, who have ever been told they are only wanted as a friend.
This one's for the girls who you can take home to mom, but won't because it's easier to sleep with a whore than foster a relationship; this is for the girls who have been led on by words and kisses and touches, all of which were either only true for the moment, or never real to begin with. This is for the girls who have allowed a guy into their head and heart and bed, only to discover that he's just not ready, he's just not over her, he's just not looking to be tied down; this is for the girls who believe the excuses because it's easier to believe that it's not that they don't want you, it's that they don't want anyone. This is for the girls who have had their hearts broken and their hopes dashed by someone too cavalier to have cared in the first place; this is for the nights spent dissecting every word and syllable and inflection in his speech, for the nights when you've returned home alone, for the nights when you've seen from across the room him leaning a little too close, or standing a little too near, or talking a little too softly for the girl he's with to be a random hookup. This is for the girls who have endured party after party in his presence, finally having realized that it wasn't that he didn't want a relationship: it was that he didn't want you. I honor you for the night his dog died or his grandmother died or his little brother crashed his car and you held him, thinking that if you only comforted him just right, or said the right words, or rubbed his back in the right way then perhaps he'd realize what it was that he already had. This is for the night you realized that it would never happen, and the sunrise you saw the next morning after failing to sleep.
This is for the "I really like you, so let's still be friends" comment after you read more into a situation than he ever intended; this is for never realizing that when you choose friends, you seldom choose those which make you cry yourself to sleep . This is for the hugs you've received from your female friends, for the nights they've reassured you that you are beautiful and intelligent and amazing and loyal and truly worthy of a great guy ; this is for the despair you all felt as you sat in the aftermath of your tears, knowing that that night the only companionship you'd have was with a pillow and your teddy bear. This is for the girls who have been used and abused, who have endured what he was giving because at least he was giving something; this is for the stupidity of the nights we've believed that something was better than nothing, though his something was nothing we'd have ever wanted. This is for the girls who have been satisified with too little and who have learned never to expect anything more: for the girls who don't think that they deserve more, because they've been conditioned for so long to accept the scraps thrown to them by guys.
This is what I don't understand. Men sit and question and whine that girls are only attracted to the mean guys, the guys who berate them and belittle them and don't appreciate them and don't want them; who use them for sex and think of little else than where their next conquest will be made. Men complain that they never meet nice girls, girls who are genuinely interested and compelling, who are intelligent and sweet and smart and beautiful; men despair that no good women want to share in their lives, that girls play mindgames, that girls love to keep them hanging . Yet, men, I ask you: were you to meet one of these genuinely interested, thrillingly compelling, interesting and intelligent and sweet and beautiful and smart girls, were you to give her your number and wait for her to call... and if you were to receive a call from her the next day and she, in her truthful, loyal, intelligent and straightforward nice girl fashion, were to tell you that she finds you intriguing and attractive and interesting and worth her time and perhaps material from which she could fashion a boyfriend, would you or would you not immediately call your friends to tell them of the "stalker chick" you'd met the night prior, who called you and wore her heart on her sleeve and told the truth? And would you, or would you not, refuse to make plans with her, speak with her, see her again, and once again return to the bar or club or party scene and search once more for this "nice girl" who you just cannot seem to find? Because therein lies the truth, guys: we nice girls are everywhere. But you're not looking for a nice girl. You're not looking for someone genuinely interested in your intermural basketball game, or your anatomy midterm grade, or that argument you keep having with your father; you're looking for a quick fix, a night when you can pretend to have a connection with another human being which is just as disposable as the condom you were using during it.
So don't say you're on the lookout for nice girls, guys, when you pass us up on every step you take. Sometimes we go undercover; sometimes we go in disguise: sometimes when that girl in the low cut shirt or the too tight miniskirt won't answer your catcalls, sometimes you're looking at a nice girl in whore's clothing - - we might say we like the attention, we might blush and giggle and turn back to our friends, but we're all thinking the same thing: "This isn't me. Tomorrow morning, I'll be wearing a teeshirt and flannel shorts, I'll have slept alone and I'll be making my hungover best friend breakfast. See through the disguise. See me." You never do. Why? Because you only see the exterior, you only see the slutty girl who welcomes those advances. You don't want the nice girl.. so don't say you're looking for a relationship: relationships take time and energy and intent, three things we're willing to extend - - but in return, we're looking for compassion and loyalty and trust, three things you never seem willing to express. Maybe nice guys finish last, but in the race they're running they're chasing after the whores and the sluts and the easy-targets... the nice girls are waiting at the finish line with water and towels and a congradulatory hug (and yes, if she's a nice girl and she likes you, the sweatiness probably won't matter), hoping against hope that maybe you'll realize that they're the ones that you want at the end of that silly race .
So maybe it won't last forever. Maybe some of those guys in that race will turn in their running shoes and make their way to the concession stand where we're waiting; however, until that happens, we still have each other, that silly race to watch, and all the chocolate we can eat (because what's a concession stand at a race without some chocolate?)
Am sure many of you are wondering why I often have some long essays on my blog. I'll Keep it short. In my almost 4 years at university I have spent my time writing and re-writing different types of papers: research papers, critical summaries, philosophy papers etc etc... the only people who have ever read them were my professors! and a lot of times I didn't always get them back. So seeing as I couldn't find any other inspiration for my blog, I chose to share these often boring and long papers with you...maybe some day it might help someone... (because am certainly starting to wonder how they have helped me??? :) I can see the grimace on my dad's face - thinking to himself where did all that money go?)
P.S: Don't worry soon I will have some sort of divine intervention or motivation to discuss those issues am sure you are all dying to read about; race and discrimination, love and hatred, life's up and downs, the dynamic of opposites, blah blah blah...blah
Time: 9.00 pm Date: July 8th 2003 Location: somewhere in Kenya
There we were driving back home from a dinner party, my family and I. Laughing and enjoying those precious moments shared amongst loved ones. It was a particularly dark and ominous night, maybe because the lights weren't on in the yard (Lord knows I had heard my dad repeat time after time that it was important to always turn the garden lights on). We drove in and dad meticulously packed his car - am pretty sure he was going to make another comment about the garden lights. Nonetheless, it felt good to be finally home, it had been such a long day. As daddy got out from the car, a man suddenly emerged behind him and in less than an instant he (dad) was facing me with his arms up in the air, it all seemed bizare, I was trying to digest the scene when on my side the same stroke of shock hit my mum and I... it took me a few minutes to realize what was happening.
We were in the middle of an armed robbery. That feeling of joy that we had just all shared had been stripped from us.
Quietly, they asked me to give them my cell phone, as they jabbed a knife in my direction. They grabbed it together with my brand new camera and fastened my hands tightly behind me. Simultaneously, two of them were doing the same to my mother, brother and father; L, only 7, had just gotten out of the car and was bewildered...
And so there we were; all tied up, except the little one, and the robbers were armed with a mission, they needed to get in there, they needed to do it quietly and they needed to do it fast. They grabbed the keys from my brother and attempted to open the door... unable to find the right key, they called upon me. I was trembling, I was scared and all I could think of was telling my family how much I loved them. I took the keys, which was no easy task and I attempted to find the right one. I handed the set of keys back to them and they led us all in.
They had an aura about them, they were robbers yes, but they did not seem professional in what they were doing, it seemed as if they were playing the game as it came along. Even the gun seemed like a toy, but at the time there was no point and no need to risk being a hero. So quietly, with hushed voices, they asked the family to lead them to the my parents' bedroom. As we were heading up, one of them uttered the words:
"We were sent to kill you!"
It seemed unrealistic and we were slowly tensing. Up the stairs we went, all the while they made the least possible noise; they wouldn't want to alarm anyone. We reached the room and there they flicked the lights on... this was the first time either of us was taking a good look at them, but the moment didn't last for long. One of them began to shout as he pointed his gun at us:
"Keep your heads down! Don't look! I said down! Don't look!"
It was too late; at least one of their faces was engraved in my memory forever. Yet, obediently like young children we kept down. Not knowing what to expect the hormones started to rush up and down our veins, I was getting nervous by the minute and I imagined everyone else to be too. The taller, skinnier one, the leader i presumed, led us to the bed. He asked us to sit along the side of the bed. In a very menacing yet hushed voice, the leader addressed my father:
"There are two things! The first is; if you have any guns in your procession or any where in this room please surrender them to us now!"
Mum and Dad instinctively responded:
"We have no guns sir. No guns."
"You can check there are no guns here....please..."
Jack (the name I have come to designate to the leader) then continued not allowing them to finish,
"Secondly, sir", he said addressing my father ever so calmly, with his gun in hand; "I want you to say your last words to your family, because I am going to kill you."