HARBOR PIER, MINNESOTA — John Bonds is not a teacher, and since he graduated Minnesota University in 2004 with his civil engineering degree, he hasn’t set foot inside a classroom much since.
“I don’t spend a single minute in a classroom all year long,” Bonds tells us. “But I’ll go back into the classroom and brandish a pistol at the kids, if that’s what it’s going to take to end school shootings.”
Mr. Bonds recently made local headlines when he showed up at a town hall meeting for his congressional district earlier this week. He is represented by Rep. Tom Thompaulsen, a lifelong Republican who was among many gun ownership advocates on the right suggesting that Americans arm its teachers as one means to mitigate gun violence on school campuses nationwide. Bonds said he initially didn’t see much sense in that proposed solution.
“I mean, to me it sounds a lot like someone saying we can end house fires by arming every home with a flamethrower,” Bonds said. “But, I guess if we’re given the choice between doing absolutely nothing and arming teachers, putting more guns in schools than less, I’d rather do something than nothing.”
Upon further reflection, Bonds decided that arming teachers themselves was still not the solution he wanted to take part in. He said that he doesn’t understand how people think they can find money in their budgets to buy guns for teachers when they can’t fund schools well enough so teachers aren’t buying their own school supplies. Mr. Bonds also said he thinks that teachers already have a lot to do during the day, and they should be allowed to do that job as much as possible.
“It seems like they have enough on their plate already,” Bonds says.
John does think he’d be a good analogue for a teacher, however, and that’s why he says he’d like to volunteer to stand in a classroom and wave a gun at the kids in it. He says as a city employee, he is underpaid by about 15-18% from what he’d make as an engineer in the private sector due to budgetary concerns. But being underpaid doesn’t lessen the workload he has, and so he feels that between being underpaid and overworked, he has an “insane amount of stress” that still doesn’t rise to the level of stress that teachers feel, but is “close enough to get the point across.”
“I fit the part almost to a tee, so let me fill in,” Bonds says. “That way teachers can keep imparting kids with knowledge and shit.”
He hasn’t received a reply back from his town’s school district yet, but John hopes that’s a good sign.
“I’m hoping what this means is that they’re working on some less stupid suggestions than turning our schools into prisons with armed guns and lock down drills,” Bonds said. “But we’ll see. I’m ready, willing, and able to wave a gun at your kids faces so their teachers can keep teaching, though.”