Thoughts on Events the Week of February 19

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 27, 2018

Guns in Schools: I vowed not to discuss the gun control issue until something positive happens, but I can’t let this one pass. Besides, something positive may be happening. True, there has been not a centimeter of meaningful legislative movement, but a whole lot of articulate young people, at or nearing voting age, are seriously pissed about being shot at, and are challenging politicians and the NRA. This is a new and interesting development.

President Trump has glommed onto an NRA endorsed solution – arming teachers to shoot bad guys. Of course the NRA likes this idea. It means more gun sales, the only goal of the NRA, which is owned by the gun manufacturers. It is, however, an atrociously bad idea. Here’s a mathematical formula to explain why:

Guns in schools = gun shootings in schools

Every weekday, about 51 million school children K thru 12, go to 13,600 schools. If nobody brings a gun, there are no gun shots, let alone deaths. If somebody brings a gun, people get shot. No guns, no gun shots. Guns, gun shots. It’s that simple.

It is inevitable that if teachers have guns, students will find them eventually, and sooner than you think. Potential shooters won’t even have to sneak them into school. The guns are already there waiting for them.

If a shooter gets a gun into a school, or acquires one from a teacher’s desk drawer, there will be gun fire. If there are multiple armed teachers, there will also be crossfire, which is likely only to make matters worse. One can envision a teacher crouched behind the bodies of dead students shooting across a classroom at who knows who?

Especially in large schools, having a trained policeman on duty is not an abhorrent idea (though we saw how that worked out during the Florida high school killing spree). But patrolmen cost money, and I would hate to see it come out of the education budget. Here in Arizona, legislators are so parsimonious with education funding that we already 48th lowest of the 50 states in spending per student.

No, more guns is not the answer; fewer guns is the answer, starting with all assault rifles and military grade weapons of any kind. The assault weapons ban (AWB) enacted in 1994, with a number of loopholes, did not produce a statistically significant reduction in mass murders, it’s true. But data has shown large increases in the rate of mass shootings that began when the ban was lifted in 2004, thank you very much for not renewing it, President Bush. They have to go.

My lowest acceptable gun control measure would be a truly robust, universal background check system, which would prohibit unworthy people from being able to purchase any kind of gun legally, and prosecute anyone who sells them one, or gives them one knowing their status.

Those unworthy would include, but not be limited to: every convicted felon; anyone who has been institutionalized for issues of mental health; anyone found guilty of abuse; anyone brandishing a firearm in a public space; anyone making threats of physical violence on social media; anyone with a restraining order against them; every foreign visitor or non-citizen. By the time we get guns away from people who shouldn’t own them, there will be a lot fewer shootings.

CPAC: The annual convention of the truly crazies (no garden variety conservatives are allowed entry any more) was held this week. I only watch a little of it each year to get a reality check and a good laugh.

At least two high level representatives of the NRA were there the first day, ostensibly to give red meat speeches to the rabidly salivating attendees about the Second Amendment, but really to remind politicians who owns their base.

Oh, and Trump gave a speech there also. He began reading lines written by someone else, but spit the bit and began his typical rant. He shouted “Crooked Hillary,” and the audience shouted “Lock her up.” This is a year and a quarter after the election. I told you they are crazy.

Trump can only see backward; he can’t look forward. Like actual conservatives, he is afraid of the future. He has reason to be: Robert Mueller.

Sudden Thought: The Trump Administration wants to dismantle our institutions. I want them back. Does that make me a backward-longing conservative now?

Status of the States: Texas gets the cup this week, based on the stated positions on gun control of its two U.S. Senators, since the Parkland, FL high school shooting. Ted Cruz continues to stand firm against any measures. John Cornyn, Senate Majority Whip, has started saying we need to act, but his record thwarting gun control legislation of any kind, even as he talks the talk now, is unparalleled.

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