But they're not what people are promoting, especially those who are always looking for a way to shove you in the hole -- right after they remove your ability to resist.
And let's not kid ourselves -- that's exactly what happened in Connecticut. The teachers and staff in that school had no lawful means to resist, because they accepted (and probably even supported) the fallacious argument that laws (paper) stop bullets. They learned, too late, that this argument is and always has been false.
A murderous thug, enabled by foolish reliance on pieces of paper, shoved them in the hole.
If you believe that "gun control" (of any sort) will stop these events you're suffering from a severe case of logical fallacy -- or delusion. The worst mass-murder in a school wasn't committed by Adam Lanza. That distinction belongs to former school board treasurer Andrew Kehoe, who got*****ed off about a property tax levy and detonated three bombs in Bath Township, Michigan, killing 38 elementary school children, two teachers, a handful of other adults and himself. Nearly 60 were injured.
That murderer also killed his wife and set his farm buildings on fire just before he set off the bombs.
Believe it or not, Bath Township got off light. There were over 500lbs of additional explosives planted in the buildings that failed to go off; he intended to destroy the entire school and presumably kill everyone inside, but the second device failed to explode.
Nor do you need a gun to commit mass-murder in general. One of the worst mass-murder events in US history was committed in 1990 with a gallon of gasoline; Julio Gonzalez, who was later convicted of arson and murder, spread gasoline on the entrance to the club and set it ablaze. 87 people died. Not only did the gasoline cost far less than a gun, it is much easier to obtain. Do you recall any hue and cry for the banning of gasoline, or even for gasoline-powered weed-eaters and lawn-mowers (or, for that matter, portable generators) -- the predicate items that for sane people compel them to buy and use a portable gas can, and thus make portable gas cans available to homicidal maniacs?
Next, let's talk about the school once again, because here we see an over-reliance on half-measures and "feel good" ideation as well. The school locked the doors and required a buzzer to enter, which sounds reasonable. The problem is that they didn't armor the glass in the immediate vicinity of the door, making possible a trivial forced entry. A person intent on homicide doesn't care if he breaks a window (a petty crime) first. You can't reasonably replace all windows with shatter-proof panes (e.g. wired-mesh glass that can be shot through but will not break in a fashion that allows entry) but you can do so for that glass in an entry door or in its immediate vicinity, and you can for small windows in and immediately in the vicinity of classroom doors. You can also equip classroom doors with cylinder deadbolt locks that require a key from the outside to open, but can be operated without a key from the inside. These enhancements, which are pretty inexpensive, would have thwarted the shooter's forced entry into the school and if he gained entry to the building would have prevented his entry into the classrooms. There are reports that teachers had to use file cabinets and their bodies to barricade the doors; one was shot and injured doing so. That's outrageous when a quality deadbolt-equipped door and metal frame bolted to the structure of the building costs only a few hundred dollars.
I want to know who was behind the changes made to "secure" this school and what sort of analytical process was undertaken, whether it was debated in the open at a school board meeting, whether the public was involved, and whether the public was invited to think about and comment on the path undertaken and its expense. Again, while hindsight is always 20/20 if the fact that a plate window was in the immediate vicinity of a "locked" door was not looked at as a security problem then I question both the people and the process involved in "hardening" this installation.
Next, let's talk about the adults in the school. We already require training on sexual assault, child abuse and similar issues for school teachers and administrators. Why do we omit self-defense from this list, when our teachers and administrators claim the right of in loco parentis during school hours for our children?
That omission is asinine.
No, not all teachers will want or be comfortable with the responsibility for defense of the children in their care during class hours. So what? Not all parents are comfortable with that responsibility either! Witness the myriad parents who right here and now are screaming for symbolic acts that the above two events document will not insure their child's safety.
But there are also teachers who are comfortable with these duties and responsibility. Indeed, at least one teacher at this school died while covering her students with her body, the only means of defense she had available to her. There are also parents who believe in the same, and who take such a responsibility seriously. To those who don't or are on the fence, let me ask you a simple question:
Let us assume you are in the school when Adam Lanza enters and begins to shoot children. You see him murder a child in cold blood. He has his back turned to you and beyond him is a solid concrete-block wall -- no innocent children or adults. On the table next to you, within arms reach, appears a loaded gun. You have 2 seconds to decide before Adam kills another child: Will you shoot Adam Lanza and stop his assault or not?
I assume that every sane adult who has any sort of respect for and love of human life, whether a parent or not, would shoot Adam Lanza under these circumstances as many times as were necessary to terminate his assault.
I know I would do so.
So why, given that the school took what it thought were reasonable precautions but which turned out to be inadequate in the harsh 20/20 hindsight of the next morning, would anyone of similarly sane mind not demand that every employee of said school district, who already must pass a background check in order to be employed at the school since they are in close contact with children, should have the ability to acquire the training and then ability to carry the only device known to man capable of stopping a murderer like Adam Lanza?
That is, why do you insist that the only device known effective to terminate such an assault be available only to murderous thugs inside and around a school, and not to those who respect and revere both life itself but also the children inside?
There is no logical argument one can raise against this. Front Sight, a well-known firearms training company, is offering free training for up to three staff members from each school, college or university in the wake of this tragedy. They're right, and the detractors are wrong, purely and simply on the facts.
I understand full well that there are many "pretty snowflakes" who will recoil in horror at this suggestion. It is time for all of those "snowflakes" to wake the hell up for there is in fact evil in this world, and plenty of it. A murderous thug does not care about the law, he does not care if it's illegal to acquire one or more guns, and in the particular case at issue the assailant murdered his mother in order to get the guns he used after he was told he would have to wait 2 weeks to buy one at a store.
If you do not understand that the only deterrent that such a murderous bastard understands is the threat of deadly force used lawfully to defend the intended victims then you're not very bright. And if you do understand this and argue for removing the only tools that are effective from such defenders anyway then you're a sick and corrupt bastard that has no just role in public policy -- or anywhere else in the public square opining on this matter.
You are free to cower in the corner and die sniveling if you wish but I not only refuse I will support others defending your children even if you, who should, will not.
You can claim this change in the law and policy would be ineffective if you wish but in point of fact Israel, in the 1970s, faced a rash of terrorist attacks on their schools. Israel also heard people screaming for more gun control, as we do today. Their government analyzed the problem and decided to do the opposite and as I am advocating here -- they trained and armed their teachers instead.
School shootings ceased as schools were no longer "soft" targets full of people who could not shoot back.
Come to this debate armed with facts.
Never mind what I pointed out yesterday -- in Oregon the recent mall shooter had his "gun free mall zone" concept disrupted by a CCW holder -- and rather than continue his murderous rampage he elected to kill himself.
Therefore all school teachers, administrators and staff should be offered such training and CCW permits should they so choose, and this change in law and policy, including the formal revocation of "Gun Free School Zones" should be widely publicized so that criminal thugs become aware that the day of the "free fire" zone at schools across our land has ended.
Finally, on the subject of guns and violent crime you should look at the study out of Harvard (a notoriously liberal school which you would expect to support strong gun control) which recently was published, that found, among other things:
The results discussed earlier contradict those expectations. On the one hand, despite constant and substantially increasing gun ownership, the United States saw progressive and dramatic reductions in criminal violence in the 1990s. On the other hand, the same time period in the United Kingdom saw a constant and dramatic increase in violent crime to which England’s response was ever-more drastic gun control including, eventually, banning and confiscating all handguns and many types of long guns.22 Nevertheless, criminal violence rampantly increased so that by 2000 England surpassed the United States to become one of the developed world’s most violence-ridden nations.
A fact that should be of greater concern—but which the study fails to mention—is that per capita murder overall is only half as frequent in the United States as in several other nations where gun murder is rarer, but murder by strangling, stabbing, or beating is much more frequent. 47
Oh darn, those pesky facts intrude once again.
There is another side of this event, however, that we must address at the same time -- mental illness. Put simply, we deal with it in this nation very poorly and in far too many cases we do so by reaching for the pill bottle without due regard for what should come with that act.
There are plenty of kids who are*****ed off for damn good reason, just as there are many adults who are*****ed off for damn good cause. Anger is a useful emotion and not to be trifled with, simply dismissed, or worse, drugged away. Appropriately focused and used, it can drive one to change their surroundings and remove severe negative influences from one's life. In short it can lift one from failure to success. Inappropriately used, however, it can be extremely destructive.
But then there are those who are psychopaths -- or sociopaths, if you prefer. Many of these people are attracted to positions of power and are very good at acquiring it through beguilement of various forms; once in those positions of power they then abuse that power as they have no emotional connection to the world around them or the intentional damage they inflict on the people beneath them.
If you believe this is a crazy assertion you might want to look at the fact that this has actually been studied, and over-representation at higher levels of power is quite stunning.
This likely speaks to much of our lack of policy response; after all, were you in charge of the levers of power in government would you advocate for a set of policy prescriptions, assuming you are highly intelligent, that has a decent probability of leading to the loss of your own power?
Of course not.
Now look at the people who are supposedly "well-respected" but arguing for strict gun control or outright bans, despite the fact that many of them enjoy either their own arms for protection or have armed guards at their disposal, including Mayor Bloomberg, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and many others. How many of those people display psychopathic traits such as not caring about the impact of their policies on the common man -- doubling of gasoline prices, rampant increases in the cost of medical care, bread, milk, cheese, meats. Unemployment. Outrageous levels of offshoring of production and monopoly-style protections for those industries that ladle the cost of their operations on Americans.
Oh, you say, this is an invalid comparison? The hell it is. The fact is that psychopathic behavior lies along a vector; that is, it is not a simple "yes" or "no" but rather extends at one extreme from someone willing to murder his own mother to acquire weapons and at the other end includes people willing to **** over the public to make a buck in one form or another, such as by knowingly selling them worthless mortgage bonds, or to do so for the purpose of accumulation of personal power and protection, such as Mayor Bloomberg who pontificates on gun control while employing armed guards himself.
As a nation we must confront all of this psychotic and psychopathic behavior and those who engage in it, including especially those in our organs of power who use beguilement to seduce us with promises that they know damn well cannot be kept. These people shove in the hole many times the number of bodies that a mass-murderer manages to dispatch before he meets his demise, as each of those deaths takes place much more slowly and in a more-diffuse way. In addition the lives destroyed and despair inflicted by such policies are not counted at all.
Finally, a not-insignificant part of the responsibility for these assaults rest in our pharmaceutical industry. Many of the drugs commonly prescribed for various psychiatric and psychological "disorders" are known and in fact labeled as having the potential to cause homicidal and suicidal ideation. The two are close cousins.
How is it that such a substance can be administered in a setting where only self-reporting by the person suffering the ideation is available as a flagging mechanism?
C'mon folks -- you're brighter than that.
This is not to say that such drugs don't have their place. They most-certainly do. But shouldn't we be talking about whether such a prescription should come only under close clinical scrutiny by licensed psychiatrists, not primary-care physicians without specialized training? And should we not insist on legal liability for those writing such scripts to perform clinically-validated supervision on the efficacy and side effects of such drugs?
And let's not kid ourselves -- Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, Cymbalta and many more carry a "black label" suicide warning. The correlation between mass-murdering bastards and their use of these drugs is striking -- and deeply troubling.
Yes, this means that there would be much more court-ordered supervision. People would be declared incompetent, temporarily or otherwise. And liability would come -- as it should -- for those pill-pushers who fail to monitor their patients in a proactive, competent and continual manner when and after prescribing these substances if and when those whom they take under their care undertake violent acts that are not only reasonably foreseeable they are warned about directly on the label of the bottle!
Given the clear record of correlation between the recent mass-murderers and these drugs I think we're long beyond the point where such a requirement should be imposed. We have turned ordinary grief and anger, useful emotions that all humans (other than psychotics who have no such emotions) undergo from time to time, into an excuse to hand out a pill -- but in many cases those pills are worse than the cause for their prescription!
At the same time this leads us to be ridiculously and culpably lax in the monitoring that must be applied to legitimate uses for these drugs.
The pharmaceutical industry will no doubt excoriate any such suggestion, since it is part and parcel of development of such drugs that many prescriptions must be written in order to make their development "worth it." That is, wide appeal and use, and therefore lax supervision, is essential to the existing pharmaceutical model.
But when it comes to psychotropic medication this is not only unacceptable it is grossly irresponsible and must end here and now.
Finally, we must accept that there is evil in the world. We can prevent some of these events and mitigate others, but we cannot stop them all. Removing the "soft target" attraction may not prevent every such assault but it will increase the odds that the attempt will be thwarted or the harm minimized, as occurred in Oregon. Imposing requirements for both proactive clinical monitoring of persons on psychotropic drugs and attaching liability to clinicians who do not appropriately monitor their patients will force an examination of whether the treatment modalities and claimed "disorders" we shove pills at are in fact justified or whether we're creating a cure that in many cases is worse than the disease.
And finally, we must confront the fact that many of those who hold the levers of power are in fact low-level functional psychopaths themselves, and it is their grasp for power, influence and control that at many levels is inhibiting the application of logical debate and fact-finding to incidents like this, as they choose instead to protect themselves and their power while increasing the harm done to society as a whole.
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