I know delusions and feels are more "today" than facts, but there's a problem with pandering to them or worse, indulging in them: They are antithetical to professional and personal success over the intermediate and longer term.
So let's talk about facts when it comes to these "Enough" protests.
- No firearm has ever injured or killed someone since the dawn of time. A firearm is an inanimate object, as is a car or truck, an axe, a BIC lighter, a gallon of gasoline, a pool or a baseball bat. It is thus incapable of action, and "injure" or "kill" are actions.
- All intentional injuries and killings are committed by animate things. In the context in question we are dealing with humans, since nobody is talking about being mauled by bears or mountain lions, or otherwise taken by wildlife.
- Since we are talking about intentional and unjustified acts we also are inherently adding the aspect of animus to the discussion; for obvious reasons nobody intentionally kills or severely injures someone they like at the moment of the act.
- There are approximately 100 murders (dead people, not acts) committed each year while utilizing as an inanimate tool the entire class of "evil firearms" that are sought to be restricted or banned. For context there are approximately 13,000 intentional homicides in which the predominate tool used is a firearm (the rest of so-called "gun violence" are suicides) and virtually all of them involve tools in the category of handguns.
- Incidentally, since I did bring it up, there are about 200 fatal animal attacks on humans yearly in the United States and another 100 due to accidental events, usually from riding or being pulled by an animal (usually a horse.) That is, it's twice as likely you'll be intentionally killed (e.g. by bite, goring, etc) by an animal in the US as shot by someone with an "evil black rifle" and approximately the same odds due to accident with an animal you were riding or as a passenger in a thing being pulled by same.
- To put math to that every three days the number of people murdered in a year through the employment of the tool sought to be banned are murdered using a different, but related tool. In other words you are approximately one hundred thirty times more likely to be murdered by someone using the tool known collectively as a "handgun" rather than one known collectively as an "evil-looking black rifle."
- In virtually every such instance in which an "evil black rifle" was used in recent memory the person responsible was known to law enforcement at a federal, state or local level, and frequently at all of the above, to be dangerously unstable or to have committed felony criminal acts for which they had either served a sentence or were not prosecuted.
- It is a fact that a person who is in prison cannot kill someone who is not in said prison as that act would be a physical impossibility due to lack of concurrent location.
- It is also a fact that despite it being a severe felony involving life in prison as a punishment to run drugs into this nation and between its states in large quantities thousands of people do so every single day and we catch an inconsequential percentage of them despite spending billions every year in pursuit of same. We thus know, factually, that it is impossible to actually prevent the importation, movement and sale of dangerous narcotics -- which are also an inanimate object, as are firearms.
- We also know, factually, that a ridiculously large percentage of the violent crimes, including murder, committed while using the tools collectively known as "firearms" are committed by persons involved in said drug trade, many of whom are not citizens or legal immigrants.
- In addition the Bureau of Justice Statistics has run studies on so-called "assault rifles"; they found that a mere 1% of the criminal use of firearms involve these tools.
So here's what we have.
17 people were murdered by a nutjob in Florida. A couple of weeks later another nutjob murdered a young boy and tried to kill many others, severely injuring them.
The first used as his tool a firearm -- specifically, a black rifle.
The second used a knife.
In both cases the inanimate object used as a tool to commit the assaults was incapable of thought, animus or action because it is an inanimate object.
There are in fact thousands of inanimate objects that can be used to assault or murder other humans and many of them are at least as lethal as a firearm if not more-so.
Last year a religious nutjob rented a truck and intentionally ran over people in NY City, killing 8 and severely injuring nearly a dozen more. He stopped only because he was a poor driver and rammed a bus. This is not unique; in Europe there have been a spate of these attacks of late and some have been extraordinarily deadly -- in fact there were eight of them in 2017 alone. This is dramatically higher than the number of school mass-shootings in the United States over the same period of time.
In 1920 someone (the perpetrator was never caught) pulled a carriage full of dynamite and scrap iron to greatly enhance the shrapnel effect up in front of JP Morgan (the bank) in NY City and blew it up. That killed 38 people, but that wasn't anywhere near the worst attack in the last 100 years.
About 20 years ago a nutjob got 38 people drunk on spiked vodka (with phenobarabital) and then suffocated them with plastic bags. There is much debate over whether most of the dead killed themselves via that mechanism or "had help." Note that the tools used (booze, a severe sedative and plastic bags) did not involve any commonly associated with violent homicides.
Not long after the 1920 JP Morgan explosion an even worse mass murder occurred in Michigan. The perpetrator killed his wife, set his farm on fire and then blew up a school at which he worked as a volunteer. Most of the murdered were first and second graders and then as the coup-de-grace when the firemen showed up to try to put out what was left of the school he drove his truck into the middle of the rescuers and blew that up with him inside. The death toll was 44 and again, not one firearm or knife was used.
Of course there's also McVeigh who drove a rental truck full of hand-made explosive that killed over 150 and injured nearly 700 more.
Note however, that the above cited examples are, with the exception of the comet worshippers, used a tool of destruction normally thought of as illegal and ruinous (e.g. explosives.) This is intentionally deceptive however for these accounts easily found in the media and other references intentionally omit dozens of other mass-murder incidents that didn't use as a tool such things, including one of the worst ever recorded and not in the distant past either.
Specifically, one of the worst mass-murders ever recorded in US history occurred in 1990. The tool used was gasoline -- about a dollar's worth, to be precise, which the assailant placed at the base of a staircase that was the only way out of a nightclub and set it on fire.
Nearly everyone inside died; on a percentage-of-dead-people .vs. those present basis this was quite-arguably the worst incident of mass-killing in United States history. The total was 87 dead.
Nor is this the only time that has happened. In Montreal, in 1972 three people were ejected from a bar for being excessively intoxicated, returned and did essentially the same thing, killing 37 out of roughly 200 present.
Why have I gone through all of this in such excruciating detail?
First, because there are several million of the so-called "evil rifles" in civilian ownership in the United States today. About 100 people lose their lives to someone using one of them as the tool of their extinction a year, a rate of some 0.0033%. This is statistically indistinguishable from zero in terms of the rate of abuse.
Approximately 3,500 people drown in non-boating related accidents annually. To put a rate of risk on that it is more than 35 times more likely you will die by drowning than by being shot with a scary-looking black rifle and every one of those deaths is an accident. In ten days the total number of people killed a year using such tools die from drowning, most of them children. Yet nobody requires a license to build or erect and maintain a pool, which is where virtually all such deaths occur, and nobody is blaming pools as they are inanimate objects -- as are firearms. Instead we (correctly) blame the adults for their inattention and failure to supervise said children who are in and around pools and die as a result.
Further, the murder and non-negligent manslaughter (that is, intentional homicide) rate has fallen from 6.8 per 100,000 in 1997 to 5.3 in 2016, a drop of about 25%. Since the early 1990s, in short, it's down by roughly half. This occurred despite a skyrocketing number of firearms sold in the United States which includes a couple of million "scary black rifles."
The drop in rapes has also been sizable over the same period (about 18%) and there is exactly one tool known to mankind that makes a 120lb women the near-exact equal of a 300lb 6'2" brute of a man intent on rape. It is called a gun, and some part of that drop in violent rapes is likely due to all the guns that have been sold, many of whom are owned by said women.
The drop in robberies is even more-impressive -- close to 45%. There is again one tool that makes a potential robbery victim the equal of the thug attempting same. It is also called a gun.
IN OTHER WORDS THE FACTS ARE THAT THE CRIME RATE HAS GONE DOWN DRAMATICALLY OVER THE LAST 20-ODD YEARS, CONTINUING A TREND FROM THE 1980s, EVEN AS GUN SALES AND THE NUMBER OF GUNS, INCLUDING BLACK RIFLES THAT LOOK SCARY AND HAVE BIG MAGAZINES HAS RISEN DRAMATICALLY. THE PERCENTAGE OF SUCH SCARY-LOOKING BLACK RIFLES EVER USED IN A CRIMINAL ACT IS STATISTICALLY INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM ZERO.
These are facts folks, not opinions.
Now let's add on to the facts.
- Most of the nutjobs who choose to shoot up schools -- or commit other acts of mass-murder -- are well known to authorities long before the act is committed. In the instant two cases -- Parkland the Stabby Muslim NutJob -- this was the case. It was also the case in the next-most-recent circumstance in Texas.
- In the cases where the nutjobs are known to authorities in most cases existing law has been violated at a felony level prior to the offense and the authorities intentionally or negligently did not arrest the perpetrator. This was the case with both Parkland and the recent Stabby Muslim Nutjob.
- A person in prison cannot commit murder against anyone other than another person in said prison. Therefore but for the negligence or intentional misconduct of the authorities the offense would not have taken place.
- A person who has been "Baker Acted" (involuntarily committed for psychiatric reasons) cannot commit murder either during the time of their involuntary confinement. Therefore to the extent that any such person had presented evidence of behavior justifying such an action and the authorities did not commit said individual we once again have an assault that took place only due to the negligent or intentional conduct of the authorities.
- The tools used to commit said acts, whether they be gasoline, knives or firearms, all have multiple legal uses and nearly everyone who acquires, owns or uses them do so legally. A tiny percentage, indistinguishable from zero, of people who buy gasoline legally use it to commit arson. A tiny percentage, indistinguishable from zero, of people who buy a knife legally use it to commit murder. And a tiny percentage, statistically indistinguishable from zero (less than 0.001%) of people who own a gun use it to commit murder as well.
On the clear weight of the evidence there is no reason whatsoever to ban or restrict any inanimate object on the basis of these assaults. In EVERY CASE virtually every owner of said devices, whether they be trucks, gasoline, baseball bats, pools or firearms uses them for a purpose other than committing murder. There is no evidence to suggest that even a single such incident would have been prevented by any form of firearm restriction other than complete confiscation from law-abiding citizens which would likely lead to far greater rates of both property and serious violent crime -- and that assumes you could actually pull it off.
They are, however, many reasons to go after alleged "law enforcement", "mental health" and "other government" persons (including but not limited to school superintendents, principals and others) that have knowingly and intentionally excused, hidden and refused to prosecute felony misconduct either known or suspected by the people who later go on to commit these offenses.
In fact the evidence is that you could have prevented half or more of ALL the documented mass-shooting incidents of the last 20 years, such as in Parkland, had these government officials done their jobs with the information they had in their possession.
In addition there is large body of evidence that many of these shooters were either on or withdrawing from SSRIs, a specific class of drugs known to potentiate violence in young people with bipolar or disassociative disorders. There is a specific warning in the prescribing information for these drugs related to this and what's worse is that these drugs are known by scientific study to be ineffective for their prescribed condition in persons under the age of 25. It is a fact that it is almost impossible for anyone other than a psychiatrist or close associate with near-constant and frequent contact with an individual to know they have such a disorder, since during the non-depressed phases they appear to be perfectly fine. While the risk of producing such an outcome is numerically small if you give these drugs to millions of people without adequate screening you will, statistically, produce some number of these attackers.
In short between the SSRI and government malfeasance connections you could have prevented nearly all of these attacks.
IF you are interested in actually preventing these attacks it is therefore clear that the only logical changes to make are to (1) hold government agencies and employees fully accountable, including criminally, when they fail to do their jobs through either negligence or intentional inaction and (2) stop prescribing all SSRIs and similar drugs to people under the age of 25 unless they are under institutional (and therefore continual) supervision and able to be segregated from innocent people if the risk of known bad outcomes materializes.
These are facts, not suppositions or guesses.
Now let's tie it together.
When you are hired to work for someone one of the key elements in your success if there is any cognitive process required in your job (that is, you're doing more than sweeping floors) is that you are capable and willing to take in information, evaluate it on a dispassionate, factual basis and from that draw conclusions without concealment, deceit or personal political animus.
This process is utterly essential to the operation of any commercial enterprise.
When I ran MCSNet it was an essential element of every single person's job that worked for me. Even someone who was hired for the most-base position -- answering the front-desk phone and directing calls -- had as part of their job the utter necessity to take the call, discern what the caller was inquiring about or reporting and processing that information without pre-conceived notion, political animus or deceit and upon that analysis routing the call to the appropriate person or department.
This was, arguably, the least-skilled job description in the company.
The people who were in the customer service department had a higher level of discernment required of them. Their job involved taking said calls passed to them in a call queue, speaking to the customer, determining exactly what they required in order to either assist them or sell to them a specific product or service and then acting on same. Again, it was utterly essential that they be both willing and able to process the information they received from said person on the other end of the line without political animus, deceit or pre-conceived notion, acting only within the boundaries of the facts they were able to discern. If the customer's service was off because they did not pay their bill whether they were Democrat or Republican, believed in gun rights or gay rights was utterly immaterial and to the extent that any non-factual matters intruded into their processing of information they were unemployable.
Those in technical support had an even higher level of discernment, in that they had to understand not just the complaint but also the technology behind it. A small percentage of our customer base at the time (about 10%, more or less) preferred Macintosh computers, while nearly all of the rest had PCs running Windows (95 and later 98 at the time.) You were unemployable if your personal or political animus drove you toward being unhappy when a PC user called because you liked Macs, or vice-versa as any expression of that to a customer was likely to result in the customer leaving. I in fact had to fire someone over exactly this issue.
Those in sales or management positions, which were of course fewer in number, had even less room for such garbage. For those in sales the accurate assessment of the customer's needs and what products and services we had that fit those needs, along with how to package and sell that combination of products and services, was the only determinant. If you had a problem with gay people, black people, yellow people, green people (Martians) or gun-owning people then you had no place in my company in a management or sales role because your actions would directly damage either sales or the retention of valuable employees and possibly both. Even worse, if in management, you might advocate for, bias reviews of, and seek to promote for political or other animated reasons rather than predicated on facts, which did double damage because not only would a less-competent (or incompetent) person get promoted the person passed over would likely quit in response!
Now you snowflakes may not understand any of this, or you may think that if you go work for some big company like Google or Amazon, where their entire culture has some sort of animus or bias, that you'll be immune to this because you're on the right side of it.
I will remind you that this is an extremely stupid position to take, for the simple reason that such firms always eventually get hosed. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but they always do. IBM had this point of view for a long time and got away with it. Then they paid for it as others ate their lunch and they nearly went out of business. Microsoft was severely damaged by the same crap. Apple nearly went under too. NEXT, a very-promising firm with a whole bunch of this sort of crap inside it, did fail. So have literally thousands of other such firms.
While it's certainly possible to win the bet and make enough bank before the destruction happens in your corporate or personal life the odds are against you and in an entrepreneurial environment -- that is, a smaller business where every sale counts the idea that you can inform your decisions in your personal or professional life by completely ignoring facts in favor of political animus is, and ought to be, an absolute and permanent bar on your employment.
If you walked out of school for your "17 minutes", marched on DC or participate in any such act whether physically or on social media whether now or in the future you have indelibly marked yourself as someone who cannot process facts and from them reach conclusions.
You thus have marked yourself as someone who is unemployable in any job that requires any amount of discernment or factual processing of information in order to be successful and that is virtually every job beyond sweeping floors.
Govern yourself accordingly.