John Oliver knows the problem is guns

That’s the other side of the American Exceptionalism they’re talking about above.

Americans keep talking about how special and different they are, and never make the next step to realise that many of the things they do are bizarre and weird. Because they think it’s all normal.

It’s not normal. But it only ever seems to be people who don’t realise it’s not normal talking about it. So America, as a global culture hegemon, gaslights the rest of the world that this is just normal stuff that happens everywhere, because it isn’t, America, it’s just you.


It’s not usually a written permission slip. It’s usually a physical object that’s labeled with the teacher’s or classroom’s info, that’s difficult to lose but not so bulky that it’s difficult to take to the restroom.


I would “yes, and” this by saying that it feels like a triage situation to many of us. The focus on getting less guns out there is the “stopping the bleeding” part.
It’s not that we don’t know or care about those other things, or at least, from where I stand.
But, yes, the conversations about and actions to cure our overall culture are muchly needed.


Or embarrassing. My asshole algebra teacher in junior high had a lid from a baby’s “potty”, thinking it would deter students from interrupting class to go to the bathroom. In defiance, one kid wore it like a crown. :rofl:


Listen. America isn’t just normal.

It’s the most normal.

SUPER normal.

We’ll normal your country right into the stone age.


Okay, but, still…… what? Why can’t kids just go? We asked when we needed to go and they let us go. No ritualistic objects or gas station key-on-a-stick required.


The flip side of American exceptionalism is that a lot of us have a habit of believing everyone else is a vile, manipulative, dangerous criminal just waiting to unleash hell. This includes children, hence the need to monitor, control, and contain right from the start. Therefore we need hall passes to keep the little bastards in line and guns to keep us safe from the big bastards. It’s possible we’re broken down here. I’d ask you to send us some Tim Horton’s by way of comfort but now I understand they’re owned by Burger King so I’m not even sure what might help.


Apparently their app spies on you though, so maybe the warm, familiar surveillance state would bring back comforting memories of childhood? :wink::grimacing:


That’s all the bathroom pass is. “Can I go to the bathroom?” —> “Sure, here’s the pass.”

I think the main thing is to keep kids from going to the bathroom en masse. It’s one at a time, so that they don’t just spend the whole class time with their bestie. That was my (teacher) parents’ main reason.


i don’t know that my comment is really going to be helpful, because i think we probably share the same end goals and even agree on all the means to get there… so take this for what it’s worth, or ignore it, whatever.

my understanding is, a lot of crime in the world isn’t based on criminals and good guys. instead, a lot of crime is contingent on circumstance

and when violence involved in a situation, guns can transform aggression into murder. that means in a very real way i think that the gun caused the murder

same for suicide. the presence of a gun doesn’t necessarily increase the initial passing thought, but it can increase the ideation about suicide, and it can and does increase attempts.

we want to think of ourselves maybe as being complete independent individuals inside our own skin. but i think the reality is that we are connected to and influenced by the people and things around us.

people who are violent and people in crisis can make other decisions but they won’t if they feel they have an “easier” option.

so i think we have to hold people accountable and work on root causes of violence, we also have to hold guns accountable and get rid of the guns because it will actually help make people less violent.

( and of course the easy point i think we agree on. it will help protect people from becoming victims of gun crime )


i keep bringing this up in different threads because it was so eye opening to me…

looking at when school police became a thing in the us, it seems to have to do with the end of segregation

white people were forced to allow black kids into white schools, and poof suddenly kids were so “problematic”* that white school boards started hiring police and creating school police departments

it’s just out and out racism basically. and unique to us because of how white america handled ( and tried to suppress ) civil rights

( * where problematic of course often means having the wrong clothes, or slang, or hair styles, or any other paper thin justification. :confused: )


But that’s the whole thing @Anselm, @catsidhe and @VeronicaConnor were talking about:

This doesn’t happen in the entire rest of the world where hall passes aren’t a thing! Kids just go to the toilet when…they need to go to the toilet. It’s not a trick to stick it to teach.

ETA: in case it isn’t clear. The bolded anger is not directed at you but at the system


That’s it really. I somehow managed to get through 13 years of school education by going to the toilet during break times or asking to be excused during class if waiting for the next break really wasn’t on. There was no requirement to be able to prove to the janitorial staff that one’s being outside the classroom was officially allowed, especially when – as would usually be the case – one was obviously making the most direct beeline to the facilities.

It was clear to everybody that (a) you were supposed to return ASAP, (b) except in truly catastrophic circumstances, if one person was off to the toilet already you would wait for them to come back before asking to be allowed to go, and (c) it was mildly embarrassing to have to go during class at all (in German, the expression eine Sextanerblase haben – “to have a fifth-grader’s bladder” – means to have to go to the toilet very often; the Sexta, or fifth grade, used to be the first year of Gymnasium, or high school, so the Sextaner were the youngest, and by extension most immature, students around).

Generally, anyone wanting to play hooky wouldn’t turn up for class in the first place. Oh, and hall monitors aren’t a thing here, either.


Here in the UK we would call that a narc.


The comparison of the US to other countries is an excellent point, John Oliver has made that point in previous work when he was on the Daily Show.

FYi more suicide discussion

A gun is so quick- no planning required. And very importantly, the gun increases the success of attempts. Other methods allow time for second thoughts and help.

An awful lot of people die from sheer accidents with guns too. Mainly kids dying or accidentally killing someone

CW More suicide discussion, methods

The other part of it is something that I’ve referred to as the “window of regret”, but I don’t know if there’s a widely used technical term in public health: with pills, carbon monoxide poisoning, even hanging, and many other methods, there’s a window of time where, even after acting, the suicidal person can change their mind and either stop or get help, or where a loved one can intervene, and have a chance of life being saved. The window of regret when attempting suicide with a gun is, generally speaking, basically nonexistent.

TW sucide

Exactly what I meant by second thoughts, though “window of regret” is far more poetic. With other methods there is the prep- getting to the correct place, obtaining the means, or setup. But with guns it’s as fast as picking it up and loading it. Then it’s done, no time to decide to call for help and no time for intervention. It’s why guns in a home with a person who is having suicidal ideation is so dangerous. Too easy to act in that time period where everything is despair but the person still has enough energy to do something.

And other resources for anyone who needs help


This is why I got rid of my guns when I came out and went through a pretty bad mental health episode. Didn’t want to have the option if things got really bad (which they did).


I (USian) went to Gymnasium in Berlin for a few months and was totally amazed by how much agency the kids there had. The feeling was kind of like, “if you don’t want to be here, don’t.”
I wonder how much of that has to do with the different pathways for kids. In the US, if an authority figure sees a school aged kid out and about, they pretty much know they’re skipping school. But in Germany, they might be going to their trade/internship type thing, right? It’s nice that there are (or we’re, I’m not up to date) other educational tracks for kids who weren’t interested in the Uni track.
I also wonder about teacher compensation comparisons btwn US high school and German Gymnasium, but am too lazy to look it up just now.