Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Definition of Crazy

Ben Shapiro at the National Review Online has it mostly right when he says that The Left Ignores Law Enforcement Failures in Parkland. Instead, what the Left is saying is that the NRA and its 5 million or so dues paying members, such as myself, and the many more people who respond to the NRA's alerts are responsible. That is a slander against a lot of people who did not shoot anyone. Indeed, I have not heard of a single member of the NRA who shot anybody. In fact the only person "responsible" for the shooting of students and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was Nicholas Cruz.

However, certain government agencies receive tax money for the purpose of policing the community, among whose duties are to investigate and take appropriate action to prevent people like Cruz from harming himself and others.  Those agencies in this case would be the FBI and the Broward County Sheriff's office.
We now know what happened in Parkland, Fla.: the failure of law enforcement on every level. The FBI received two specific, credible warnings about the Parkland shooter. It did nothing. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office received dozens of warnings — including one from the shooter himself. It did nothing to stop him from obtaining weapons. At least one and perhaps as many as four deputies were armed and present during the shooting. No deputy entered the school to confront the gunman.
No, neither agency has blood on its hands, but the certainly failed to do the jobs they were paid to do. Whoever is responsible for letting Cruz go so far as to be able to buy a gun and storm into the high school that day should be severely disciplined.

So much for who bears actual responsibility in the case.  Now for those who do not.
Then there’s the immoral. Some of the students who lived through the shooting have been spewing pure hatred toward those who refuse to share their enthusiasm for gun control. In CNN’s modernization of Orwell’s Two Minutes Hate, student after student tore into Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), to the screaming approval of a pro-gun-control Broward County audience. Cameron Kasky told Rubio, “It’s hard to look at you and not look down the barrel of an AR-15 and not look at [the shooter].” That statement went utterly unchallenged by moderator Jake Tapper, and was applauded by the crowd. Emma Gonzalez told Loesch, a mother of two, “I want you to know that we will support your two children in the way that you will not.” Again, the crowd cheered its approval.
These statements are utterly unmoored from decency. Rubio hasn’t shot anyone. Loesch hasn’t either. Both of them want to defend children. They’re in the limelight, at least in part, to do just that. But because these students have rightly been granted the full measure of sympathy, they’ve been wrongly granted a pass on disgusting behavior by the media.
Unfortunately, such behavior tends to lead to counteraccusations of a similar sort. Loesch said at CPAC that those in the media “love mass shootings.” This quite properly drew the ire of CNN’s Alyson Camerota, who said that Loesch was “wrong on every single level.” But Camerota’s indignation was strangely absent when, days earlier, Gonzalez told her directly, “If [politicians like Rubio] accept this blood money, they are against the children. They are against the people who are dying,” and Hogg added, “If you can’t get elected without taking money from child murderers, why are you running?”
I have been guilty of the same thing here, lashing out when insulted. When an insult or an accusation is made, if it is not immediately and vehemently denied, most people hearing it will assume it is true. While it may be civil to meekly accept such talk from people who, frankly, don't really know you, the New York way may be better at winning a debate. Donald Trump has stumped the media time and again by giving as good as he has gotten. Maybe we all need to learn that this unfortunately for us, is the new norm.

The reason I became a concealed carrier, and sought out training, got my permit, and go to the range regularly is because I know that the police and the authorities are not in fact the "first responders" in any situation.  If I am there, the first responder would be me.  But I have never been at the seen of a shooting, and I truly hope never to be.  However, I think that others who are like me, who are willing, who teach or work at schools as staff or volunteers should be allowed to carry their weapons at school, and should train to deal with school shooters and indeed with other situations that arise.  Shooters have shown a remarkable propensity to avoid places where their targets may shoot back.  Big surprise.  Will this change in policy stop all school shootings?  No, but it will reduce them considerably.  Will the teachers be able to stop them before the kill more students?  Hard to say, but at least the teachers will have a fighting chance to save lives.

We know what doesn't work: banning certain weapons and background checks.  Both have failed over and over.  We have evidence for what might work:  allowing teachers and staff to be armed, along with giving them some extra training.  Let's not continue to do the same thing over and over expecting different results.  That's the definition of crazy.

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