From my mailbox

On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 1:11 PM, Cxxxxxx Cxxxx wrote (reproduced below without edit, remarkably):

Dear Mr. Suprynowicz,

I am a 13 year old boy who attends a school in Connecticut, fairly close to where the Newtown tragedy occured. I have also read your book, Send in the Waco Killers. My father and I happen to agree on your ideas of government tyranny and how the country should be run as we have for a long time, even before Obama was elected.

The reason I am emailing you today is in concern of one of my teachers at the school I attend. He says that assault rifles should be banned and the sacred 2nd Amendment is just “an excuse for modern day killers” to own own weapons. I have thought about challenging him on the topic during class, but I have failed to do this because of the fact that he would most likely give me a hard time about it and disgrace me in front of my peers. Moreover, this teacher is influencing students to become pro-gun controlists by reading articles of daily shootings to the class.

I was wondering if you could give me some advice on how to deal with this problem and persuade my classmates to oppose his ideas.

Sincerely,
Cxxxxx

Hi, Cxxxxx –

Thanks for your very articulate letter.

I have found it’s indeed true that as we grow older, we also grow more wise (not always in a straight line, but eventually.) :-)

When I was 25, I thought I knew everything, and I would probably have told you just what to do.

Now that I’m a lot older than that, I’ve come to realize I can’t possibly know enough about your circumstances to tell you “just what to do.”

For one thing, this is not the only issue where this problem is likely to crop up. The longer you spend in school, the more often you’re going to encounter people who abuse that position of trust and authority to promote their own political views (though they rarely look at it that way). If it’s not guns, it’ll soon be taxes, or “well-meaning” regulations that cause jobs to be lost by driving employers out of business.

You need to discuss this problem with your parents. Is the atmosphere at your current school such that you’ll prompt a healthy debate if you try to introduce a different perspective, or will you merely be treated as a troublemaker? No young person has an obligation to society to make his or her own life a misery, if it’s not going to actually accomplish much.

On the other hand, any honest teacher should welcome a balanced, thoughtful, and well-researched paper, even if it doesn’t exactly match his own views.

Your parents might be willing to speak to the school’s administrators to see if they’re aware of the way this employee is using his position to push his own political views. Of course, if his superiors agree with him, that might not accomplish much, either. And it wouldn’t be likely to make him any friendlier.

At the very least, you’re far ahead of the crowd if you realize not everything you hear from “authority figures” is necessarily true. But you don’t always have to tell people every time they’re wrong. They won’t thank you, and it’s exhausting to feel like you’re going to war every day.

Instead, it’s OK to hold your tongue and “pick your battles.” They can’t control what you read or who you discuss things with when you’re OUT of school. The best “revenge” can be getting yourself a good education in spite of them.

Dr. Miguel Faria just posted an interesting article on this topic. See

http://www.surgicalneurologyint.com/text.asp?2013/4/1/16/106578

or http://www.haciendapub.com/articles/shooting-rampages-mental-health-and-sensationalization-violence, the views of a medical doctor whose family fled here from Cuba in search of freedom.

Best Wishes, and thanks for writing,

– Vin Suprynowicz
vsuprynowicz@reviewjournal.com

6 Comments to “From my mailbox”

  1. Michael Says:

    HI Cxxxx!!!
    Public Schools are a major part of the problem, by many things taught, & not taught that should be taught. I wonder, but I think I know what the teacher will say if Cxxxx said to the “Teacher:” “Teacher, it’s not the thing that’s wrong, it’s the wrong use of the thing.” No matter how the “teacher” responds, it’s hard to get around, It’s not the thing that’s wrong, it’s the wrong use of the thing. The Courts are saying that an automobile is a dangerous weapon. Well, then, a fork you eat with is too,so, lets destroy all forks, not to mention Steak knives. It’s not the thing that’s wrong, it’s the, well, you know.

  2. Jerry A. Pipes Says:

    I think Cxxxxx would do better approaching his classmates (and not the teacher or the administrators) as a peer and convincing them that either a) the teacher doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and/or b) that they should question authority just like he does.

    The danger in this situation is not the rhetoric itself, but the class full of automatons that utterly fails to learn any critical thinking skills.

  3. MamaLiberty Says:

    This youngster should be rescued from the “school” as soon as possible. The chances of having any kind of meaningful discussion with this “teacher” – or probably 99% of the classmates – is nil to zero. Government “school” is a virulent, voracious anaerobic organism. No fresh air – or individual liberty ideas – can be tolerated.

    Bravo to him/her and the parents… I hope they can make rational arrangements for the balance of this young person’s education.

  4. Michael Says:

    Hello, MamaLiberty,
    @ >Bravo to him/her and the parents… I hope they can make rational arrangements for the balance of this young person’s education.

    I agree. I started to mention “Home Schooling” myself,but the thought occured that the parents had thought of this but were not able to do so. Maybe they both have to work, for one, of many possible reasons.

  5. liberranter Says:

    Dear Cxxxxx:

    You need to ask your father why he is sending you to a public school in the first place. If he believes in liberty as much as you claim he does, then he should be ashamed of himself for having exposed you to such a dangerous and destructive institution. Do not accept from him as an explanation something along the lines of “we can’t afford to send you to a private school.” That’s an inexcusable cop-out. You’re obviously a very bright young man, probably a self-starter who is hungry for knowledge. All that your parents need to do is shell out about $100.00 for a home school curriculum, one that covers K-12 in all the major core subjects, starting with the “three Rs,” which you obviously no longer need. Not meaning to make a plug here, but both the Robinson Curriculum and Accelerated Achievement (A2) come readily to mind (my wife and I used the latter on our grandchildren and the results were phenomenal). All you and your parents need is a computer with a CD-ROM drive and a printer and you’re all set. No more public school and no more of the “Three P’s,” as I call them (those being “Persecution, Propaganda, and Punishment”).

    As for the question of whether or not you should stand up to your teacher on the guns and Second Amendment issue, my own recommendation would be, by all means do so (although I wouldn’t dare presume to override you and your parents’ judgment on this), especially if your parents run with my suggestion to pull you out of that dehumanizing and destructive government juvenile prison in which you’re currently trapped. You have nothing to lose but the intellectual and emotional shackles that the State has placed upon you and everything to gain, including your own self-respect and renewed creativity and ambition, not to mention your already-evident critical thinking skills. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll influence some people (students or faculty) on your way out the door.

    Good luck and God speed to you. I sincerely hope your parents do the right thing by you.

  6. xxx Says:

    Wonderful blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused .. Any recommendations? Appreciate it!

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