Gun control … again?
“Never let a crisis go to waste.” So says Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago and former Obama adviser. That is apparently what the liberal left and its mainstream media cohorts think in the wake of the recent Parkland school shooting.
They have launched a full frontal attack on gun ownership because of this event, despite the fact no gun restriction would have prevented it.
The shooting was a direct result of a failure of government. The warning signs were blatant. Law enforcement was notified 44 times at last count about the shooter. He was visited by law enforcement 39 times but was never arrested. Had he been, there might have been a flag on a background check. The FBI visited twice but never followed up. Likewise, the Florida Department of Children and Families ruled him stable although he had attempted suicide.
But it goes deeper. There is an Obama program called the Promise Program. This is a collective agreement between law enforcement and school districts to limit student arrests. Crimes normally handled by law enforcement, including assault, are to be handled by the school so no public record of the issue.
Then there is the issue of the school security policeman not entering the building when the shooting was reported. He is apparently maintaining that he was directed to stand down. True or not? If so, why?
Then there is the underreported issue of bullying. The shooter maintains that he was bullied in school. True or false? If true, then the school district is culpable, as are the students that participated in the bullying.
But according to the left and the media, it was only guns that were responsible for the shooting. Oh, and don’t forget the NRA. CNN held a town hall with NRA’s spokeswoman Dana Loesch and Sen. Marco Rubio. This turned into nothing more than a hate attack on the NRA. It turns out that several students claim the questions were scripted by CNN. Any surprise there? After the town hall, Loesch scolded the media by saying that they capitalize on the sorrow and anger after such an event.
It is no surprise to me that the liberal left and the media are comfortable with a certain level of school violence. After all, we hear the same things over and over after any shooting. Oddly, there is never any suggestion for solutions except more gun restrictions. And some people seem to buy into that. It is strange to me that when government failure causes a problem the response is to turn to that same government for a solution. That, of course, never happens. Things are the same now as they were after the Columbine shooting.
Those same media folks and liberals who espouse their agenda while ensconced in buildings with secure entrances and armed guards vehemently oppose weapons in responsible hands in schools. Why? You have to go through security checkpoints to go to court, board an airplane, or enter most federal buildings. Why not schools?
Here is my suggestion. It is twofold. First, schools need to have an armed presence. The form that presence takes is open for discussion, whether it be school personnel, volunteers, or police. There are hundreds of school districts nationwide. Let them experiment depending on budgets, temperament and will to act.
Unpopular? Not really. Several Texas schools have signage pronouncing an armed presence on campus. A Kentucky school district just voted to allow concealed carry on campus. An Ohio sheriff offered free concealed carry courses to teachers, expecting 20 or so to sign up. They had to temporarily stop at 300.
The second part is more difficult. Laws need to be changed so that law enforcement can access medical records of and actually arrest someone with a provable history of threats toward schools or other facilities. The same people who are willing to trample the Second Amendment will fight tooth and nail against this as a civil right violation.
I agree that this is a touchy issue. If not property structured, it can be prone to abuse (FISA Court, anyone?) The law would need to be a carefully crafted to allow for due process if someone is falsely accused. I don’t have the total answer, but there is a solution to the mental illness aspect.
In closing, locally the Navy base is a good neighbor but heightens risk of a terrorist attack. Ask yourself, ”What is the softest target in the community?” Does it need to stay that way?
Tom Riggins’ column appears every other Friday. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.