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Posts Tagged ‘Parkland’

The Myth of Political Inaction on Gun Control | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on August 6, 2019

https://mises.org/power-market/myth-political-inaction-gun-control

Tho Bishop

One of the many unfortunate consequences of the politicization of America is the natural reaction for political factions to bunker down with dependable talking points in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy. There is perhaps no issue where this is more obvious than gun control, where the political discourse has effectively devolved into sharing mindless memes before even the most basic facts are known. Obviously, the repeated reading of political scripts lends itself to the perpetuation of false conclusions and faulty analysis.

One of the best writers out there correcting the record is our own Ryan McMaken. His work has highlighted there is plenty of evidence that shows that there is simply no correlation between gun ownership rates and gun violence, the misuse of international comparisons to America, and that it’s a general mistake to look at a collective rate of gun violence in the US.

Beyond the issue of gun policy itself, there is another basic fallacy whenever there is a discussion over political solutions to a particular problem — a narrow focus on federal action.

For example, in the aftermath of this weekend’s shootings, there has been a lot of noise regarding the lack of federal responses to past mass shootings. Ignoring the questions of whether any sort of legislative response would be either desirable or constitutional, there is a fundamental problem in viewing the federal government as the only legislative body that creates public policy.

If we consider state governments, for example, we have seen a dramatic rise in gun control measures since the Parkland High School shooting in 2018.

As Pew Research noted in August of last year, 50 different gun-focused bills were signed into law by both Democrat and Republican governors just five months after the tragedy. This trend continued in 2019, with numerous bills working their way across the country, particularly the “red flag” laws that have even won the support of the NRA.

GunControlLineGraph_0.png

Source: Pew Research

(For a handy chart of 2018 legislation passed, click here.)

As one would expect, states have taken dramatically different approaches to the issue, based on their population and ideological bent of the legislature. California, for example, has passed some of the most restrictive laws in the country, including background checks on ammo purchases and a ban on large-capacity magazines that has been the subject of a legal challenge. In contrast, Oklahoma’s governor signed a “Constitutional Carry” bill just this year.

The advantages of this decentralized approach are numerous.

One, there are clear differences in the needs and wishes of a state like California and a place like Wyoming or Montana.

Two, it helps defuse the high-stakes game of political domination that has helped erode American civil society. If half the country views the right to bear arms as a natural right that serves as a vital bulwark against government tyranny, and the other views it as an immoral defense of normalizing weapons of war, there is very little room for compromise. Instead, these political disagreements become a battle of the politically powerful vs. the politically vanquished, with the sides being determined every two years. Control over the senate or the judicial system becomes a matter of self-defense. The result is the saying of “politics as war through other means” taking on a very literal reading.

A third advantage arises when we look at the performance of these state-passed gun laws, allowing the opportunity for unexpected consequences of these policies to play out in real life.

For example, we have seen how red-light laws in Maryland have led to the death of a man never convicted of a crime. Similarly, we’ve seen county-level nullification of tighter gun control laws in Washington state, with rural county sheriffs refusing to enforce laws promoted by urban politicians that they see as unconstitutional infringements on the second amendment (and an example of political decentralization beyond the state level).

A less obvious consequence is that pushing for legislation at the federal level helps feed the political theater of the absurd.

For example, if Republican politicians know that gun control is extremely unpopular with their base, but don’t want to be seen as being indifferent to a national tragedy, their response is to find easier targets to hit. This has played out this weekend with many Republican leaders, including the president, returning to the tired old crusade of ranting about video games and social media as the true villains of this weekend’s tragedies.

Of course, we should not underestimate a politician’s ability to turn obvious absurdity into law. It is easy to foresee there being enough dolts in Congress willing to act on such desperate scapegoating.

In fact, as some forms of gun control manage to win bipartisan support, the best protection against federal infringement of American gun rights is the very political dysfunction often lamented by the press and other “Serious People.”

Any American that values their gun rights should hope some new twitter spat between Trump and “the Squad” can prevent bipartisan cooperation toward the president’s desire to “take the guns first, go through due process second.”

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The truth about Parkland – spiked

Posted by M. C. on August 4, 2019

He vandalised the school, tossed furniture across classrooms, brought knives and bullets to school, and threatened to kill teachers. Eighteen months before his massacre, staff were so concerned about his violent tendencies and fascination with guns that they banned him from practicing shooting skills with the junior officer corps, and prohibited him from carrying a backpack – yet they still let him attend classes, until he was expelled in 2017…

In January 2018, just one month before the attack, the FBI’s national tipline received a warning from a woman who was concerned Cruz would ‘get into a school and just shoot the place up’. The FBI acknowledged that Cruz had made a death threat, but that tip was never forwarded to the local FBI office to act on. The FBI offered regrets to the families, but has not explained why this happened. It looks like sheer incompetence.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/01/22/the-truth-about-parkland/

…In one sense, the answer to what happened is no mystery at all: the Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz, is responsible for the killings. But, as the latest reports reveal, the police, school officials and other authorities had numerous opportunities to intervene to try to stop Cruz, but didn’t. While there were many acts of heroism on the day itself, there were also police and other officials who refused to act, out of cowardice. And even before the fateful day, too many adults looked the other way rather than address the problems with Cruz. Those who were supposed to be in authority have to bear some responsibility, too.

The cowardice of police officers and school staff

We knew from reports emerging after the 14 February attack that armed police had failed to confront Cruz, but the full details of their incompetence and cowardice are worse than first thought.

On that afternoon, Cruz was dropped off by an Uber at the school, and walked into the school with a rifle bag and a backpack. Outside, a campus monitor, Andrew Medina, spotted Cruz, knew he was carrying a gun bag, and knew Cruz as ‘Crazy Boy’. Medina radioed to tell another monitor in the building, but he did not pursue Cruz himself. He later said ‘something inside told me not to approach him’. The second monitor, David Taylor, started to follow Cruz in the school, recognising him as ‘someone they had previously discussed as being a potential school shooter’, but then walked away from him (later claiming that he was going to intercept him). Hearing gunshots, Taylor hid in a janitor’s closet, and did not notify others or set off a ‘Code Red’ alarm. Other monitors – Andrew Feis and Chris Hixon – acted more courageously than Medina and Taylor, and charged Cruz, but it cost them their lives.

While these two campus monitors were unarmed, the school also had an armed policeman (known as a school resource officer) on the site, Deputy Scot Peterson. Once in the building, Cruz pulled a fire alarm, and, as students spilled into the hallways thinking it was a fire drill, he started shooting them indiscriminately. Hearing gunfire, Peterson radioed to say ‘possible shots fired’ in the building, but he did not enter. Instead, he took cover, and called for an intersection to be cordoned off and a school lockdown. Four more Broward County deputies arrived on the scene, and heard gunshots, but remained in their cars. It was later revealed that Cruz used a relatively small magazine (six shots), and paused often to reload; it’s possible that during those pauses he could have been stopped – if police were there.

Six minutes after he began his deadly assault, Cruz dropped his rifle, left the school and ran across campus. The police thought he was still inside. Peterson told other deputies over the radio to stay out of the school. Police from another force, Coral Springs, arrived, and a Broward cop told them: ‘Don’t go in.’ They rightly ignored this advice, but it was too late. It was not until five minutes after Cruz had left that the first officer went into the building.

Prior training instructed police to rush towards gunshots, but that did not happen in Parkland on that day. No command post was immediately established – again, in contravention of training. It was not clear who was in charge, just chaos. After scrambling around and discovering Cruz had escaped, the police finally apprehended Cruz in town, over an hour after he started his rampage…

School officials knew well that Cruz had serious problems and was potentially dangerous. He was held back twice, and was frequently transferred between schools. He vandalised the school, tossed furniture across classrooms, brought knives and bullets to school, and threatened to kill teachers. Eighteen months before his massacre, staff were so concerned about his violent tendencies and fascination with guns that they banned him from practicing shooting skills with the junior officer corps, and prohibited him from carrying a backpack – yet they still let him attend classes, until he was expelled in 2017…

In 2013, following Obama administration pressure to reduce racial disparities in suspensions and expulsions, the district adopted a new policy to limit police arrests at school. The Broward programme, called PROMISE (Preventing Recidivism though Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Support and Education), meant that even felonies such as weapons possession and assault could be kept from the police. Cruz’s lack of criminal record meant he could pass a background check and legally purchase the AR-15 rifle he used to kill…

 

As early as 2016, the police and FBI received tips that Cruz had threatened to shoot up a school, yet took no action. In September 2016, the sheriff’s office received a report that a teenager ‘planned to shoot up the school’. Police identified that person as Cruz, but did nothing more than inform the school. Maybe Cruz should not have been arrested as a result, but it is hard to explain why he wasn’t placed under greater supervision, given his background.

A year later, in September 2017, Cruz posted a comment on YouTube: ‘Im [sic] going to be a professional school shooter.’ The FBI learned of this, and despite Cruz listing his username as ‘nikolas cruz’, they said they could not identify the person who posted the comment.

Three months before the massacre, the sheriff’s office received a call warning that Cruz was collecting guns and knives, and would ‘kill himself one day and believe he could be a school shooter in the making’. In January 2018, just one month before the attack, the FBI’s national tipline received a warning from a woman who was concerned Cruz would ‘get into a school and just shoot the place up’. The FBI acknowledged that Cruz had made a death threat, but that tip was never forwarded to the local FBI office to act on. The FBI offered regrets to the families, but has not explained why this happened. It looks like sheer incompetence.

Aftermath: blaming guns…

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Homeschooling Protects Children from Violence and Marxism

Posted by M. C. on June 5, 2018

For example, how many government schools teach the Austrian economics explanation for the Great Depression — much less question the wisdom of central banking — or critically examine the justifications for America’s hyper-interventionist foreign policy?

My government school would not touch Austrian economics nor interventionism with a ten foot barge pole. We did learn about the 200 mpg carburetor the oil companies were keeping secret.

I knew back then that if there really was a 200 mpg anything, Smokey Yunick would be using it.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/june/04/homeschooling-protects-children-from-violence-and-marxism/

written by ron paul

The February mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida prompted many parents to consider homeschooling. This is hardly surprising, as the misnamed federal “Gun-Free Schools” law leaves schoolchildren defenseless against mass shooters. Removing one’s children from government schools seems a rational response to school shootings…

The spread of cultural Marxism has contributed to the dumbing down of public education. Too many government schools are more concerned with promoting political correctness than ensuring that students receive a good education. Even if cultural Marxism did not dumb down education, concerns that government schools are indoctrinating children with beliefs that conflict with parents’ political, social, and even religious beliefs would motivate many families to homeschool. Read the rest of this entry »

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Op-Ed: Want To Stop Mass Killings? Start Punishing Those Who Failed To Stop Them

Posted by M. C. on April 12, 2018

That government is incompetent and not our friend should be obvious. But we mustn’t lose track of the real reason why we are where we are.

Moral degradation, particularly since the early 60’s. Promotion of the welfare state. Fatherless families. A government education system that graduates illiterates  from prison-like schools (no, armed guards and teachers is not the answer), failed drug war, failed war on poverty, failed war against terror, media violence, militarized police, wholesale loss of liberty.

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https://bearingarms.com/tom-k/2018/04/10/op-ed-want-stop-mass-killings-start-punishing-failure/

…As Glenn Reynolds (better known to some as Instapundit) notes, if we want to be serious about stopping mass shootings, law enforcement failures need to start being punished [shooters’ names redacted]. Read the rest of this entry »

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Soy Boy Politics – EPautos – Libertarian Car Talk

Posted by M. C. on April 9, 2018

https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2018/04/07/soy-boy-politics-2/

Your child is far more likely to be shot by an armed government worker than by a freelancer school shooter.

Fact.

Objectively, armed government workers are much more dangerous than the freelancer – who labors under the burden of being freelance – and of knowing his victim may legally fight back.

Assuming he is not in a “gun free” zone, such as a government school.

Armed government workers, on the other hand, are armed – and armored – by the government. They have the juggernaut of the government’s limitless resources (taken from us) behind them and in addition, they have been endowed with what amount to god-like powers over us.

Or rather, god-like authority. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : More Gun Violence: Let’s Look Beyond Politics

Posted by M. C. on February 21, 2018

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/19/more-gun-violence-let-s-look-beyond-politics/

…It’s unfortunate that while many are quick to demand that guns be taken away from peaceful Americans, they don’t seem to have much to say about guns when they’re in the hands of government authorities shooting innocent people. If we need any gun control, it is to get control of the guns in the hands of thousands of government employees who use them against innocent people with impunity.

For example, why do those calling for more gun control remain silent when armed federal agents raid Amish farms to stop them from selling raw milk? This shows the hypocrisy of those who call for restrictions on private firearms ownership while supporting the use of government violence as a means of controlling our lives. Read the rest of this entry »

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Public School Control Now!

Posted by M. C. on February 16, 2018

What will the students do? They can stay home and sign up for the Khan Academy. It’s online. It’s free. There would soon be a market for similar programs. Churches can create them. Retired teachers can create them. Service organizations can create them. If Salman Khan can do it, others can do it. There is a working model. This isn’t rocket science.

https://www.garynorth.com/public/17737.cfm

Gary North

The murder of 17 innocent high school students in Parkland, Florida reminds us that public schools are dangerous. Too dangerous for children.

Yet there are pro-public school ideologues who refuse to face the facts. They shut their eyes to reality. They spout their slogan: “Public schools don’t kill public school students. Killers kill public school students.” We have heard this for 50 years. Yet the killers are always one of these: (1) enrolled public school students, (2) public school graduates, or (3) expelled public school students. It’s time to turn a deaf ear on the refrain about public schools not killing public school students… Read the rest of this entry »

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