Culturally Awkward

Today in my syntax class the teacher was trying to think of a sample sentence which involved a lot of verbs in a sequence. She started off with “I went to Beijing…” but was having trouble thinking of a sufficiently long sentence.

I piped up with, “I went to Beijing to meet a guy to buy a gun to kill a man.” Some people laughed.

The teacher responded, “No, that’s too violent.”

One of my classmates asked, “Are you making a reference to that news about the shooting in Virginia?”

“Huh?” I responded.

I didn’t know anything about it at the time, but I know about it now.

It’s weird… I’m not a violent person, and I’ve never had any interest in owning a gun, but I’m still American, and it came out in class in an unintentionally tasteless context. And just the other day I was explaining the Bill of Rights to a Chinese friend, and what the Second Amendment was, and how it’s really important in the USA.

I’m feeling really culturally awkward today.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. the weird thing is that for a couple of hours the reports were saying the shooter was a guy from Shanghai who got his visa in Aug. 2006

  2. There are never-end dabates on the gun control (or no control) in North America. I don’t see anyone who has any useful idea to change the current situation to make it better. The gun crazy USA is really crazy.

  3. The shooter is Cho Seng-Hui, from South Korea, has been in America since 1992 when he was 7 or 8 years old.

  4. yes, but the initial reports said it was someone from Shanghai. Maybe they confused ‘Shanghai’ and ‘Seoul’?

  5. My best guess of how Shanghai is related to this tragedy is a Shanghai gold-digger is the trigger of the shooting becasue the digger left Cho for another gold-holder. Now a rumor has been created and waiting for spreading.

  6. So we’ve got the “gun crazy USA” and “Shanghai gold-diggers” covered — always a deadly combo, for sure — but what about Japan? There has to be a “crazy Japanese imperialist” connection somehow, doesn’t there? Anyway, the shooter probably didn’t eat enough “cold” foods.

  7. Mark in Dunan Says: April 18, 2007 at 5:24 am

    It was just a very unfortunate coincidence. The shooting tragedy doesn’t diminish the importance of the second amendment, which is more about the right to take up arms against an oppressive government.

    I’m just wonderinghow the media got the wrong idea that the murderer was Chinese, and if they had wrongly suspected an innocent guy from Shanghai.

  8. Gun control advocates never seem to want to include government sponsored killings in their statistics. It’s obvious that an un-armed populace can be bullied (and slaughtered) by an oppressive government far more easily than an armed one can. Pick any one of several violent 20th century governments, and you’ll find more murders than those committed over the century by all private gun owners combined.

    That said, I think that the US will follow Canada’s example and continue to tighten its gun laws. As in Canada (where there are actually more guns per capita than in the US), it will probably be a long, long time before the American populace is disarmed.

  9. Mark,
    For clarification here is the second amendment of the american constitution:
    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
    Your interpretation is a sign of strong indoctrination.
    One day, maybe, this archaic 1789 idea of the armed Militia will be restrited to armed Police agents.

  10. well, that’s a good example for why Chinese people feel it’s difficult to relate the kid book with teaching kids violence at a young age.

  11. @kmk, I think you missed the point. In one sentence, you’ve described the situation the 2nd amendment was created to PREVENT. After all the checks and balances within the government fail, and the people have lost control of who we put in power, AND we’re unarmed, what then? Do we just roll over and let the “Police agents” walk all over us? Just something to think about…

  12. If political power comes from the barrel of a gun, I want a gun.

  13. It’s obvious that an un-armed populace can be bullied (and slaughtered) by an oppressive government far more easily than an armed one can.

    Strawman. Gun control does not equal unarmed. I’ve always thought this is one of the weakest arguments of the pro-gun side. Like the federal government is really scared of Joe Bob and his shotgun. If the feds decide to come after you, your 9mm will be insignificant.

    There’s certainly plenty of room for debate over what the 2nd Amendment actually means, as kmk points out.

  14. I love how the Chinese are up to date on all the tragedies that happen in America, yet blink like a lobotamized deer when asked about the Tianenmen Massacre, or the frequent land riots that happen throughout rural China year after year.

    Gotta love that State Run Media.

  15. The second amendment is antiquated.

    Just like Prince Roy said, if there ever is a popular uprising against the government, I really don’t think Joe America and his shotgun will have much of chance against the military and its TANKS, GUN SHIPS, and SMART BOMBS.

    The second amendment was written at a time when the gun was the top military technology. A group of citizens with guns could level the playing field immensely against a totalitarian government. It’s not like that anymore. To make a militia at all effective, they’d have to be provided with things, like, say TANKS, GUN SHIPS, and SMART BOMBS.

    Also, I’m pretty sure the first repeating rifle was invented right before the Civil War. So, back when the constitution was written, all guns were single shot, and needed significant time to reload–the point being that the writers of the constitution probably had no idea that one day guns could be invented that, in the hands of just one person, could take out dozens of people at a time. A single gun is definitely much more powerful now that is used to be, and we should change our laws to reflect this.

  16. My dad’s an NRA nut (I say this positively), I love the second amendment and never plan on buying a gun. The debate will keep going on because it is hard to resolve the conflict between (A) the right of the private populace to bear arms specifically to protect themselves from the government and (B) empirical evidence that shows even legit, ethical, lawabiding gunowners are more likely to accidentally kill themselves or family members than to prevent a crime.

    I look at it like this: 1. Sure, it would be great if there were no guns, and the supply chain for the blackmarket cut down significantly(yes, there will ALWAYS be a black market for guns). We need only look at developed Europe and their strict gun control laws, along with statistics showing violent crime rates FAR lower than in the States.

    BUT 2. American already have guns. The guns are already out there!! What is to be done, tell everybody to turn them in? It won’t happen, criminals certainly wouldn’t foreit their arms, why should they? Hence, since the gun is out of the bag (or is that cat?), it’s not going back in. So people will still buy guns to protect themselves.

    I’m pissed that guy was able to buy a gun and destroy the lives of so many people, but I’m also pissed that nobody else there had a gun to stop him. Confused rant ended.

  17. In full agreement with Prince Roy @ Large. Owning a gun in the US is no deterrent to our government, with its most well funded military and police forces. I even recall people with lots of guns, David Karesh among others, becoming targets of our government because of the very fact they owned so many guns.

    The argument that having more people with guns will make things safer is a joke. Do the people making those comments have concealed weapons permits? In the US states with the highest legal gun ownership rate, are the gun crime rates lower?

  18. It was a pretty good sentence. Plenty of verbs. 🙂

  19. I really don’t think Joe America and his shotgun will have much of chance against the military and its TANKS, GUN SHIPS, and SMART BOMBS.

    Of course some random guy with a shot gun won’t have a chance if the “feds came after him”. However, if everybody has a gun, violently suppressing them is much more difficult and much more costly. Just look at how hard of a time the US is having in subduing Iraq. Do they still have “TANKS, GUN SHIPS, and SMART BOMBS”? No, they don’t.

    I seriously doubt the US military would have the heart to fight their own people if they encountered serious armed resistance, even if it were “just guys with shotguns”. However, with no armed resistance at all, armies can and have been pushed into doing terrible things to their own people, under many different authoritarian governments, in many different countries.

    Stalin slaughtered more of his unarmed countrymen in a single year than the total of all people killed by handgun-wielding Americans over the last century. The concentration of too much power in the hands of the state is no joke, Mike.

  20. Of course it’s a deterrent to a despotic government, just as the 2nd amendment intended. The US Army got its ass handed to it by Somali warlords of all things. It’s not a matter of a big battle between different forces, but of attrition and expense.

  21. Mark–to a certain extent you’ve got me, but let me try to respond.

    The Iraq war is a good example of a situation where one side is immensely superior to another in terms of technology, and yet regardless seems to have no significant advantage. But the purpose of that is more or less to stall the US army and cause as many casualties as possible, thereby affecting public opinion at home, and thereby forcing a withdrawal of the US troops. As far as I know (and I fully admit to being no expert on the matter) the insurgents in Iraq suffer far more casualties than the US military–the US has been winning most of the battles it fights, but it is losing the support of the public, much like in Vietnam. So this isn’t really “overthrowing” an unwanted government, it’s about making the troops leave so locals they can get on with their civil war without interference.

    To this extent, yes, resistance would be effective if the will of the politicians was malleable, as it if often is. But if we’re talking in terms of the US military and government getting sickened by turning on its own citizens, then why are guns necessary in the first place? Wouldn’t non-violent resistance be far more effective in this instance? (Also, would Americans really throw themselves at each other with the same religious zeal of the Jihadists?)

    So I still don’t see “overthrowing a tyrannical government” as much of a justification for private gun ownership. For me the real issue is individual rights (and, for this reason, I do support gun ownership to a limited extent–I just think it should be much more tightly controlled than at present).

  22. If you want a conspiracy, here’s one: The feds really want everyone to have guns so we can keep shooting each other and oppressing ourselves.

  23. I agree with kmm: look at the fall of the Soviet Union and its satellites. In every case, it was primarily massive, non-violent demonstrations that turned the tide. Same in India. Pockets of violence, yes, but the mechanism for success was not armed conflict.

    Iraq is a poor analogy, because the people there perceive the US as a foreign invader. They don’t view their own government as legitimate, but as the puppet of a foreign occupying power.

    Stalin is a poor analogy too. If the US had an authoritarian regime, the firepower of the state would be just as massive, if not more so, and it wouldn’t hesitate to use it on ‘enemies of the state’. And the 2nd Amendment wouldn’t make a lick of difference to the outcome.

  24. I also had an awkward moment in my chinese class today (here in shanghai). Teacher was discussing the meaning of “hexie shehui” “harmonious society” and started talking about how terrible the US Iraq policy was, then rounded it off with a sharp kick to the nuts by lamenting the fact that while some Americans die, dozens of Iraqis die every day. I was a bit upset, to say the least (next week would be fine, just not this week) Got to admit, some locals have a rather curious way of sympathizing…

  25. Does the right to bear arms in the US, include the right to privately owned nuclear weapons or biological weapons?
    Wannabe terrorists would be proud to know that they are protected by the 2nd Amendment.

  26. Mark, I gotta say, that chart you linked to is statistically meaningless. There is no causal relationship evident between the gun control laws and the civilian casualties listed. The Rwandan example is particularly bizarre–most of the violence there was done with machetes–neither side had guns. Were permits required for machetes in Rwanda? I doubt it.

    I’m sure could just as easily pull up a chart showing dozens of other countries in the world in those time periods that had strict gun control laws and also had no mass violence whatsoever.

    The more important connection between all of those incidents? None of the countries involved were liberal democracies.

  27. What’s the crime rate in Switzerland, where every male joins the army and brings their gun back home with them? Anyone?

  28. The Swiss analogy doesn’t work. In a sense they are the two sides of the US “fear” in one… soldier citizens… so if everyone with a gun at home is actually a solider, you don’t ever have to worry about the soldiers coming to your home to take your guns. However, that is not and could never be the case in the US.

  29. Mark,

    Are you seriously suggesting all of those genocides and mass killings were because of gun control?

    I did not suggest getting rid of guns alone will solve America’s gun problems. However, less guns will equal less gun crime and every developed country with tight gun control laws has less gun crime per capita than the states. Limiting access to weapons already exists in some form another and will even exist based on the most gunning-loving approach. Most people agree there should be limits on owning tanks, missles, grenades, etc. Most people also agree there should be limits on owning automatic weapons, certain kinds of ammon, etc. So why not limit how many handguns are produced? Why not limit the amount of ammo produced? Why not track the purchases better? Why not make it even harder for idiot criminals to get guns?

  30. I’m not saying those genocides were because of gun control, but implementing strict gun control was certainly one of the first steps in executing them.

    Making it harder for criminals to get guns is one thing, but making it harder for honest citizens to get them is another entirely. Interestingly, in the US, it’s the states with stricter gun control that have more gun killings. If you don’t believe me, just compare the statistics between California, Michigan, Texas and Oklahoma and see for yourself.

    Other developed countries have fewer gun killings, but other developed countries also have lower incarceration rates, more humane prison systems, less capital punishment, and a host of other cultural differences. The US is a very violent place, and it always has been. Canadians have more guns per capita than Americans do, but they aren’t slaughtering each other with them. I think the problem is largely cultural.

  31. Mark,
    There’s so much you can cover with this so called “US cultural exception”.

  32. … and part of that larger cultural problem is people hung up on a vague amendment and the inability to accept that controlling guns is one of the steps towards stopping gun violence.

    Really seems like you are saying… the US is violent, has always been so, has always had guns and gun deaths, has a messed up justice and prison system, has crazy violent people that do bad things, let’s not try and control guns, it’s really just one of the problems, not the main one.

    Louisiana has the second most liberal gun ownership policy in the US, yet it has the 2nd highest percentage of deaths by guns and the 3rd highest per capita gun death rate.

    Finally, which US citizens or residents here actually own, have owned, and know how to use a gun?

  33. Mike,
    See comment #19.

  34. If you want to be really politically incorrect, look at FBI crime statistics based on race. European Americans have roughly the same murder rate as Europeans. Asian Americans have roughly the same murder rate as Asians in Asia. African Americans have similar murder rates with Africans in Africa. Since America is more diverse, the murder rate is higher. But Britain has banned guns, and they still have major gun violence, and now they are trying to restrict knives because knife violence is soaring. And American suffer far fewer physical attacks and “hot” robberies, where someone is home, because criminals have to fear physical harm. Yes, America has more gun crimes, but Honduras has more machete crime. Crime is crime.

    Also, almost no major media report how many crimes are averted because of a gun. There are stats showing that millions of crimes never even take place because someone produces a gun. Thanks to the right to self-defense, an American can tell an intruder “I have a gun!” and the criminal has to assess whether or not they want to risk death or serious injury.

    Along with that right will come situations like the one that happened this week. But taking one event done by one man and restricting the rights of every law abiding person is ridiculous. People have a right to defend themselves. In some cities, 911 is busy and it takes up to an hour for police to answer a call. A gun is really the only weapon that makes the weak equal to the strong, the small equal to the large, the people equal to the state.

  35. Mark Says:
    See comment #19.

    Well said… way to put me in my place without actually addressing anything I said.

  36. scrappenthal Says: April 20, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    I think kmm makes the strongest point: “I really don’t think Joe America and his shotgun will have much of chance against the military and its TANKS, GUN SHIPS, and SMART BOMBS… and we should change our laws to reflect this.”

    Sign me up as the first for a few Smart Bombs and 1 Tank.

  37. Mike, you didn’t exactly address what I said, either. I don’t really see this as a productive thread to continue, but since you insist, I will. First off, you were putting words into my mouth. I don’t see the lack of gun control in the US as “part of the problem”. As for Louisiana, it is one state, and one that’s had a very unique past couple of years.

    I’ve been interested in this topic for a couple of years and have done quite a bit of reading on the subject. I could cite hundreds of statistics, comparing gun ownership with homicide rates between state to state or between now and the 1950’s. I could talk about how the civil rights advances made in the 60’s were partially due to people worrying about oppressing a race of people that included a large number of well-armed and well-trained WWII vets. I could cite increases in Australia’s victimization rate, cite increases in violent crime in Canada after 1977 (before which there was little gun control at all), and basically give you all the information you could care to read about the subject. Would it really affect your opinion, though? I doubt it. With topics like these, more information tends to solidify views rather than stretch them.

    To answer your other question, pretty much all the men in my family from my grandfather’s generation back owned and knew how to use guns. I have limited training, and don’t own a gun.

    I have two questions for you for you, Mike. Why you are more worried about individual gun owners than the concentration of even more power in governments? It’s difficult for me to see how any rational person would be able to gloss over the sheer number of government-sponsored killings versus individual killings. Also, do you honestly think that the genocides in the chart linked to at the bottom of post #19 would have occurred if those countries had gun laws similar to those of the U.S. 90 years ago?

  38. Guns are to much of an easy way to kill, lets say your brother has been badly hurt by some bullys, in this day and age its not too much to find the bullys and use your dad’s 45. Guns give people the power to kill, murder. If it was really about protection all guns would have plastic bullets(almost as bad). The 2nd amendment is from a bygone era. Let the police carry them but thats all, or replace them with something safer, like say Swords(at least it would require some effort to kill someone). Guns kill period!

  39. do you honestly think that the genocides in the chart linked to at the bottom of post #19 would have occurred if those countries had gun laws similar to those of the U.S. 90 years ago?

    Yes, probably. It was the form of government that is responsible for those deaths, not gun control. Almost every European country, Japan, Taiwan, etc have gun control laws just as strict, if not stricter. Yet no massacres. And it’s not the threat of their populace arming themselves that keeps those governments honest. And in the case of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, it was not guns that brought those authoritarian regimes down, but non-violent mass demonstrations.

    On the other hand, check out Afghanistan, Iraq, parts of Pakistan, etc. Everyone there is armed to the teeth. And it’s absolute mayhem.

    No simple answers here, and I just don’t buy your analogies.

    I could talk about how the civil rights advances made in the 60’s were partially due to people worrying about oppressing a race of people that included a large number of well-armed and well-trained WWII vets.

    Where are you getting this? The primary spur of civil rights was the propoganda beating we were taking in the Cold War at the hands of the Soviet Union over the race issue in the US. Southerners had been oppressing blacks ever since the end of the Civil War, and no one gave a damn how many guns the blacks had.

  40. “Also, do you honestly think that the genocides in the chart linked to at the bottom of post #19 would have occurred if those countries had gun laws similar to those of the U.S. 90 years ago?”

    As far as I know, many Native American tribes were quite well armed.

  41. John, thanks for that very sincere and thought-provoking post. Prince Roy, thanks for a perfect response to Mark’s flawed argument.

  42. The second amendment was important before the development of modern armies, but it’s become pretty obsolete. You can’t just hop off your farm and battle the British anymore. I wouldn’t call it important so much as a serious thorn in America’s side. My friend calculated that your chance of dying to a firearm in the USA is about 1%. Not an insignificant number; odds are, someone close to you is going to die to a bullet.

    Is that worth all these abstract & dated principles?

  43. Even though I was born in the States and lived her all my life, I have never for one minute ever believed I was American nor have I ever claimed to be American.

    Then a few months ago, I went to a shooting range, and shot handguns… and I said, “Only in America!” and then I thought, “This must how it feels to be American”

    good ol US and A!

  44. I’m glad there are people here more eloquent than me.

    I’m also afraid of bad government(s). A gun in my hand does nothing to quell that fear though.

    I must mention the irony. I’m a well trained previous owner of guns argueing against them. Mark, if I’m not mistaken, seems to be suggesting that the US’d be better with more guns, yet he doesn’t own one.

    Here’s an analogy, maybe silly but I like it…

    How to stop fires? Of course education, training, awareness, intervention, and reduction of the immediate sources of fire. Getting rid of the easiest, cheapest, most idiot-proof way of starting fires, lighters, would also probably help. Yes, there will still be matches, lightning, hot mufflers, crazy boy scouts, and Johnny Cash (rest his soul) but with fewer lighters, logic tells me there should at least be fewer fires.

  45. It is unfortunate that once again everyone if focusing on gun laws as the principal means of making us safer. As a school teacher, was struck me about the reports of the killer’s spree was the no one was able to lock the classroom door, and thus the killer was able to go from room to room. Since professors are not assigned their own classrooms like K-12 teachers, they are mostly like not equipped with keys.

    After Columbine, K-12 schools evaluated campus security. New measures did not include giving teachers guns and marksmanship lessons. Rather, schools have implemented procedures and where possible, redesigned buildings to increase security to the greatest extent possible.

    If I were to hear gunshots in my building or be alerted by code of an intruder, I would immediately pull my locked door shut. It is lockable only by key; there is no inside latch, so a shooter could not break the glass and let himself in. The glass in the door is long and thin. If broken, a large child or adult could not squeeze through without seriously risking dangerous glass cuts. There is a closet or bathroom next to every door, providing two layers of concrete brick between us lined up against the back wall and a shooter outside in the hallway.

    Redesigning schools costs money, and many poor urban districts at higher risk of gun violence simply do not have the funding to modify old buildings.

    Mike’s analogy is logical. If someone is determined to kill, we probably won’t be able to stop them before they strike, but we can minimize the casualties with proper emergency training and smart building design.

  46. Sonagi,
    In Europe in my experience, teachers always had the keys of their classrooms (not the big lecture hall of course).
    But at work most of the business got an open door and no-key policy.
    This practice comes from the US and avoids possible harassment accusation between employees.
    Are american teachers legally protected if they close the classroom and stay in it with some students ? I don’t think so.

  47. Mike, you are mistaken about that. I’m actually not crazy about guns, and I don’t think the US particularly needs more. On the other hand, Canadians do have more guns per capita and much less violent crime. Whoever that guy who came up with the 1% rule is just flat out wrong. As Steven Levy pointed out in Freakanomics, it’s more dangerous to have a swimming pool than a gun at home.

    I don’t have that strong of a vested interest in guns, but I tried to present the strongest argument I could. I am really concerned about the way the government has become stronger and the people have become weaker over the past three generations. I like the entire bill of rights, not just the 2nd. Unfortunately, with the government’s “war on drugs”, and more recently, its “war on terror”, we’re seeing the other rights erode, too. Especially, the 4th and the 9th. I’m not an NRA member, though I am an ACLU and EFF member.

  48. The right to bear arms is our most un-civil liberty.

  49. Ms. Plum Says: April 25, 2007 at 8:39 am

    I think it’s important to talk about the grey areas. It’s not so simple to just say that guns should either be legal or illegal–Americans are not going to willingly disarm anytime soon, if ever. (And though it’s not relevant here, I don’t think they should.) What we should be talking about is what kinds of guns and ammunition should be legal, what kind of training and background checks should be required (doesn’t it seem logical that new gun owners should have to take a class/test as most new drivers do?), and where and how it should be legal to carry a gun (i.e., should guns be allowed on campuses–where for the most part they are not now, should people be allowed to carry concealed weapons, etc.). Talking about this requires a lot of actual knowledge about weapons and how and where they are used (knowledge I, along with most of the posters in this thread, lack), but these sorts of specific requests are things we can take to our government officials and push for implementation. It’s not as sexy as talking about an American culture of violence or whatever, but it’s more effective.

    As an aside, my grandfather taught me how to shoot and I don’t particularly enjoy it, but lots of people do enjoy shooting and hunting, and most of the folks I know who own guns do so for this reason.

  50. Mark,

    Your figures are simply wrong. Gun ownership is about half in Canada what it is in the United States. And the only reason it is that high is because once you get outside of the major cities you end up in rural areas where guns are common pest-control tools.

    The American and Canadian experiences are vastly different. Please get your facts correct next time.

  51. Please get your own facts correct before taking a swipe next time! I’ve seen very different figures. Maybe the reason is because your figures are from the Canadian Coalition for Gun Control? Other than little problems, such as undercutting the US population by 10%, their numbers are just a joke. US numbers are nearly impossible to estimate, but CGC’s numbers on Canada are nuts. Do you know anything about this, or did you just run with the first google result you saw?

    According to LUFA, which is also biased, but includes far more support for their numbers, there are 21,00,000 firearms in Canada. Garry Breitkreuz, M.P. estimated 16.5 Million firearms as of Dec 13, 2001.

    Here are some pretty incontestable facts:

    In 1974, there were 10 million firearms in Canada, according to Justice Minister, Ron Basford’s report on firearms proposals in Bill C-83 – Explanatory Notes, Gun Control – May 1976.

    Furthermore, Canada imported 4,974,028 firearms from 1970-1998, according to the, Department of Justice, March 2000.

    Even as of now, there are no penalties for not registering “long guns”. Many, many people who have guns avoid registering.

    BTW, I’m no stranger to the Canadian experience. I have family there.

  52. On a lighter note, John’s reference to the second amendment reminded me of this….

    which is a double – double entendre using ‘bear’ and ‘arms’.

  53. “Guns don’t kill people. I kill people.” First one to place that quote wins a prize.

  54. That’d be “UHF”, I believe!

  55. Andy wrote:

    Even though I was born in the States and lived her all my life, I have never for one minute ever believed I was American nor have I ever claimed to be American.

    Then a few months ago, I went to a shooting range, and shot handguns… and I said, “Only in America!” and then I thought, “This must how it feels to be American”

    good ol US and A!

    You were born and raised in the States and you refer to the country as the “US andA”? I am a 100% unhyphenated American who has never owned a gun. Most of my relatives and friends have never owned a gun. The only people I know who are gun owners are hunters who bag deer with their rifles every November. You fire a gun and you think “This is how it feels to be an American”? Wrong. You still don’t understand what it feels like to be an American.

    kmk wrote:

    “Are american teachers legally protected if they close the classroom and stay in it with some students ? I don’t think so.”

    I think so. To my knowledge, no teachers have been sued over school shootings.

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