Perhaps there was a better way for Betsy DeVos to express how the educational needs of a community are unique in her Senate hearing, or maybe not. After Sen. Chis Murphy (D-CT) asked her, “Do you think guns have any place in or around schools?” DeVos’s response soon created a “grizzly” firestorm on social media with ridicule and pious attitude from thousands of people. Now named “the Grizzly Defense,” reading social backlash it seems DeVos stated the only reason you need guns in schools are because of Grizzly Bears. What her real comments brought to light is the outright disdain or perhaps disregard most of the elites in America have for a minority population and the absolute distraction of the true point: local communities can do a far better job of education than can a Washington bureaucrat at the DOE or Sen. Chris Murphy for that matter.
The grizzly firestorm has been taken out of context, an easy feat in a twitter driven news cycle. DeVos was citing Mike Enzi, Republican Senator of Wyoming, who expressed schools in Wapiti, WY have grizzly bear fences for protection. DeVos, then took a logical next step to showcases her original point that the decision for firearms to be inside schools are “best left to local communities and states to decide,” She then followed up this comment with an example stating “I think probably there, I would imagine, that there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.”
A quick google maps inquiry yielded the knowledge this community is 2 miles away from the border of Yellow Stone National Park, which if Yogi Bear cartoons are any indication of the wildlife in the area, there are numerous grizzly bears inside the park. Additionally, these grizzly bears are probably unaware exactly where this Yellowstone border is, hence the Wapiti’s school fence. (I am unaware if the Federal Government has attempted border education programs with the Grizzly Bears instead of resorting to this fence)
It looks like DeVos was expressing each state/community is unique, which in this scenario really got the point across far better than any other example. It is probably safe to assume 99.98% of the United States believes worrying about grizzly bear attacks is ridiculous (as it should be if you live in Connecticut) but to those few schools in this region of Wyoming some 2000 miles away from Connecticut, it is reality every day.
For the thousands of people ridiculing this remark I would assume they are going to enroll their children in a gun free zone, as for communities who see no harm or actually see benefit in a firearm used as protection they are now connected with an out of context grizzly bear remark. This is a prime example of shutting down debate by using out of context ridicule and shaming.
This firestorm reveals there are segments of every population who are the forgotten, a massive reason why Trump is now about to be president. A one size fits all mandate could potentially endanger these children in Wapiti, no matter how small in numbers they are. All because people in a far off city that has political authority and ability to coerce, think this is ridiculous and know better. We are so caught up in these cabinet appointments we forget these monstrous bureaucracies are so massive there is no way a cabinet appointment can know the needs of real people in each community such as the Wapiti, WY families.
This destruction of debate also overshadowed a brilliant point; Connecticut has no idea what Wapiti, WY needs, and Wapiti, WY has no idea what Connecticut needs.
The next few days DeVos will be receiving a huge backlash from social media, public opinion and the mainstream media for thinking there could possibly be an exception to a gun free zone. But it goes beyond guns, this is also an attack against those who don’t agree with a one size fits all education. Having choices in education whether it’s what school your child goes to, what they are taught, or how they are protected; these choices are all affronts against central planning at the Department of Education.
DeVos looked to be expressing there is no one size fits all decision Perhaps when given a choice 99% of schools will decide to stay gun free but this is about the possible 1% who do not agree. The 1 % who believe a gun at their school is for safety purposes for any number of reasons, the 1% who want their child to be educated in a different manner, the 1 % who know their child does not learn like everyone else.
Careful jumping on the band wagon of ridicule. In this case a valuable point and lesson was overshadowed by an example to prove how unique our nation is, in that a school still worries about grizzly bear attack. Time will tell if DeVos actually promotes choice in schools, but her point was valid, no one at the DOE, in Washington, or the world for that matter has the knowledge or love of a child more than their parent does. That parent will have the most control and ability to effect the child’s education if those decisions are kept in the local community or school. Whether the danger is a grizzly bear, a bully, or a bad teacher only a parent has the ability and knowledge to help their child succeed in this crazy grizzly infested world.