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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Of Guns and (More) Dead Children

Another mass shooting, this time in Florida.  What I wrote in October is equally true now, and it will be equally true the next time more innocent children are gunned down in a school.

In the end, the sad fact is this: 

Dead Children Are The Price We Pay For Liberal Gun Laws In This Country  

How many children have to die before something is done?  I know, it's "too soon" to be asking serious questions about gun violence in this country.  We have to instead go through an obligatory period of "thoughts and prayers", which will be followed by precisely NOTHING. 

Lastly, the argument can be made that folks tend to react emotionally to events such as mass shootings, which provides a convenient discount to any opinions expressed.  My response?  If you DON'T react emotionally to the deaths of children then, well, I think you are a damaged human being.  My "thoughts and prayers" are with you.

School shooting in Florida

* * * * * *
(Originally posted on October 3, 2017)

On December 14, 2012, 20 children (and six adults) were slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary School(1).  That's an important date and fact to remember as we all process the most recent mass shooting in Las Vegas.  Why?

Well, I by no means wish to minimize the tragedy in Las Vegas, but the simple fact is this:  As a nation, we did BASICALLY NOTHING after 20 children were slaughtered.  Yes, we really did nothing.  What was done?  Well, among other things, the gun manufacturing industry, via its proxy the National Rifle Association, advocated for the purchase of more of its product through the arming of school personnel(2).  Yes, the solution to gun violence is more guns.  That's what we call in the business world "Marketing Genius" in action.  

By the way, I'm not advocating for any specific form of gun control.  I've simply stated two facts.

In the end, I firmly believe that NOTHING will be done in response to the Las Vegas shooting.  Nothing.  That decision was already made in the in the days, weeks, and months after December 14, 2012.  Sadly, it will have to get much worse...worse than the slaughter of 20 children...before anything is done.  As much as anything else in this nation's history, that will be a permanent stain on our collective morality.

(1) Citation HERE.
(2) Citation HERE.


Sean said...

My opinion ONLY: hold tight...stay vigilant and assess the facts of the situation as they become available. There is a problem, dead children. Solving that problem is NOT as easy as banning a type of gun, or all guns. Ban the AR-15 style weapons and the next nutjob will use a Glock. Gun control ALONE won't solve the problem.

The facts, so far, suggest this kid wouldn't have, or shouldn't have passed a background check. Adopted, didn't know some of his adopted family, both adopted parents are dead....he's 18/19, still in HS and on his own. And he was acting out, distancing himself from friends, posting awful stuff on social media. Something should have triggered an alert that this kid shouldn't have access to this (or any) weapon. But, did he get this legally? The Sandy Hook murderer stole the weapon and killed his mom....gun control and mental health screening were in play there, and failed.

Schools should be a place of safety and learning. I'm comfortable with armed protection there. Yeah it doesn't fit the pie in the sky narrative of some ideal garden of learning, but if schools are going to be targets, maybe it's time to get a little more comfortable with the types of protections targets need.

Sensible gun control, better screening and mental health help, and more protection at the school: no single one of these will stop all of these, but together I wager they can stop most.

Stephen Albert said...

Sean, I think we basically agree. Sadly, those in power do not. Case in point: The proposed Trump budget, which manages to cut money for BOTH background screening and mental health.


"Trump's latest budget would slash the major source of public funds for mental health treatment, the Medicaid program serving more than 70 million low-income and disabled people. The budget also calls for a 36 percent cut to an Education Department grant program that supports safer schools, reducing it by $25 million from the current level of $67.5 million."

Frequent gun violence in schools is a problem unique to the United States, which means there are solutions out there...we just need the political will to act. That won't happen. Sadly.