A Blatant Misuse Of Authority

The Parkland School anti-gun children have been off the front pages for a few days, so I guess it is logical that they would want their school back in the headlines again. However, I do question their approach.

The Daily Wire posted an article today about Kyle Kashuv, a pro-Second Amendment student at Parkland School. Kyle Kashuv posted some tweets and a video of himself at a shooting range learning about gun safety and how to use a gun properly. Because of this, he was called to the school office.

In an article posted yesterday, Twitchy describes what happened next:

Near the end of third period, my teacher got a call from the office saying I need to go down and see a Mr. Greenleaf. I didn’t know Mr. Greenleaf, but it turned out that he was an armed school resource officer. I went down and found him, and he escorted me to his office. Then a second security officer walked in and sat behind me. Both began questioning me intensely. First, they began berating my tweet, although neither of them had read it; then they began aggressively asking questions about who I went to the range with, whose gun we used, about my father, etc. They were incredibly condescending and rude.

Then a third officer from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office walked in, and began asking me the same questions again. At that point, I asked whether I could record the interview. They said no. I asked if I had done anything wrong. Again, they answered no. I asked why I was there. One said, “Don’t get snappy with me, do you not remember what happened here a few months ago?”

They continued to question me aggressively, though they could cite nothing I had done wrong. They kept calling me “the pro-Second Amendment kid.” I was shocked and honestly, scared. It definitely felt like they were attempting to intimidate me.

This student went to the gun range with his father to learn about gun safety and the proper use of firearms. There is nothing there that is the slightest bit illegal. Contrast that with the Parkland shooter who had threatened people with a gun and had a record of negative behavior. The school resource office and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office were way out of line here. Students who go to a gun range to learn about gun safety are not the ones who shoot up schools. This is as ridiculous as taking guns away from law-abiding citizens and believing that criminals will not find a way to obtain guns.

School Policies Have Consequences

In 2013, the Obama Administration instituted the Promise Program (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education). The purpose of the program was to slow down the rate of students going directly from high school to prison. If essence, the Promise Program simply looked the other way if the students committed crimes. Broward County Florida schools adopted the program.

An article at a website called Matter of Cause posted the following:

Broward’s Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline was announced in early November. Instead of suspensions, students can now be referred to the PROMISE program, where they receive counseling for several days and then return to school. A host of non-violent misdemeanors no longer require an arrest, though officers can sometimes override that if they feel it is necessary (“I wanted to make sure deputies always had discretion,” says Scott Israel, Broward County’s sheriff). The school district’s Office of Minority Male Achievement reviews data to ensure that punishments for minor infractions and racial disparities are on the decline.

“There’s been success with other districts working to address parts of the problem,” says Alana Greer, an attorney with the Advancement Project who consulted on the agreement. In recent years, Los Angeles and Denver have limited the range of minor behavior infractions that can be punished by a suspension. “But what Broward did that really set it apart is they put together this incredible breadth of stakeholders. They have been able to not only address one piece of it, but create a set of policies that work together to hopefully eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline in Broward.”

Broward is unusual because representatives from law enforcement, the district, and the community were able to agree on reform, and the superintendent approved it. “In dealing with the previous administration, people were afraid to look at disparate impact issues,” says Weekes. “[Runcie] was not backing away from it.” The new superintendent released the data and acknowledged that the problem had a racial dynamic. “It’s a problem all over the country,” Runcie says, “and Broward is no exception.”

The article was very optimistic, but Hot Air posted an article today with the results of the program:

Broward County’s PROMISE program (which stands for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education) coincides with higher levels of violent crime among juveniles, even as levels of such crime have been falling statewide.

…Broward County now has the highest percentage of “the most serious, violent [and] chronic”juvenile offenders in Florida, according to the county’s chief juvenile probation officer…

Within two years of adopting the discipline reforms, Broward’s juvenile recidivism rate surged higher than the Florida state average.

The negative trends continued through last year, the most recent juvenile crime data show.

Prosecutors and probation officers complain that while overall juvenile arrests are down, serious violent crimes involving school-aged Broward youths – including armed robbery, kidnapping and even murder – have spiked, even as such violent crimes across the state have dropped.

Juvenile arrests for murder and manslaughter increased 150 percent between 2013 and 2016. They increased by another 50 percent in 2017. County juveniles were responsible for a total of 16 murders or manslaughters in the past two years alone, according to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice…

After Broward schools began emphasizing rehabilitation over incarceration, fights broke out virtually every day in classrooms, hallways, cafeterias and campuses across the district. Last year, more than 3,000 fights erupted in the district’s 300-plus schools, including the altercations involving Cruz. No brawlers were arrested, even after their third fight, and even if they sent other children to the hospital.

Federal data show almost half of Broward middle school students have been involved in fights, with many suffering injuries requiring medical treatment.

Because the students involved in the fights are considered “mutual combatants,” administrators tell parents they cannot be referred to police under the new discipline code.

The Promise Program may have sounded really good on paper, but it lacked a knowledge of human nature and teenagers–teenagers generally like to push boundaries. If they can get away with something, they will. That’s human nature. It was unrealistic to expect that undisciplined students would discipline themselves.

The Irony Of Students Marching Asking The Government To Take Away Their Rights

The Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

That Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights–the document that protected the rights of the people from government overreach. It was there in response to the experiences the Americans had had with the overreach of the British government. The American people wanted to protect themselves from random searches, limits on speech, limits on the ability to assemble, and property seizure without proper legal procedure. That is the context of the Second Amendment. There was a feeling that without the Second Amendment, none of the other Amendments could be defended. Unfortunately, this is not something American students are currently being taught.

There was a student protest in Washington, D.C. (and other places) today to challenge gun ownership in America. The Gateway Pundit posted a speech by Delaney Tarr, who survived the Florida school shooting.

The is her speech:

My name is Delaney Tarr, and I’m here today because I’m a Marjory Stoneman Douglas student. However, I’m not here today for the media. I’m not here for the crowds, as great as you all are, for the fame, for the fun. I’m here on this stage today and I’ve been working everyday for my 17 fellow Eagles who were pronounced dead because of gunfire.

I am here for every person that has died at the hands of gun violence and for the many more whose lives were irreparably changed because of it.

I think, I hope that that is why we are all here. Because this is more than just a march. This is more than just one day, one event, then moving on. This is not a mere publicity stunt, a single day in the span of history. This is a movement.

This is a movement reliant on the persistence and passion of its people. We cannot move on. If we move on, the NRA and those against us will win. They want us to forget.

They want our voices to be silenced. And they want to retreat into the shadows where they can remain unnoticed. They want to be back on top, unquestioned in their corruption, but we cannot and we will not let that happen.

Today, and every day, we will continue to fight for those things that are right. We will continue to fight for common sense. We will continue to fight for our lives. We will continue to fight for our dead friends. There will be no faltering, no pauses in our cause.

Every moment will be dedicated to those pieces of legislation ― every march, every meeting, every moment. All for that assault weapons ban to keep these weapons of war out of the hands of civilians who do not need them. All for the prohibition of high-capacity magazines.

Because no hunter will ever need access to a magazine that can kill 17 in mere minutes. All for the reinforcement of background checks and closing of loopholes, because there must be more of a requirement for a person to access a gun than just a wad of cash.

There are so very many things, so many steps to take. Like right now, sign our petition. It takes two seconds and it matters. We will take the big and we will take the small, but we will keep fighting. When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile. We are not here for bread crumbs. We are here for real change. We are here to lead.

We are here to call out every single politician, to force them into enacting this legislation, to addressing this legislation, to doing more than a simple Band-Aid on a broken bone. The pressure is on for every person in power, and it will stay that way. Because they know what is coming.

They know that if there is no assault weapons ban passed, then we will vote them out. They know that if there is no tightening of the background checks, we will vote them out. They know that if there is no shrinking of magazine capacity, then we will vote them out.

If they continue to ignore us, to only pretend to listen, then we will take action where it counts. We will take action every day, in every way, until they simply cannot ignore us anymore.

Today we march, we fight, we roar. We prepare our signs, we raise them high. We know what we want, we know how to get it, and we are not waiting any longer.

There is a problem with what she is saying (other than not understanding the Second Amendment).

Let’s talk about the ban on assault weapons.

In June 2016 The Federalist posted an article about the banning of assault weapons. The article stated:

But before we dive into whether the assault weapons ban was merely dumb, or if it was monumentally stupid and counterproductive, it’s important to define what the previous federal ban covered and how it defined an “assault weapon.” The 1994 assault weapons law banned semi-automatic rifles only if they had any two of the following five features in addition to a detachable magazine: a collapsible stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor, or a grenade launcher.

That’s it. Not one of those cosmetic features has anything whatsoever to do with how or what a gun fires. Note that under the 1994 law, the mere existence of a bayonet lug, not even the bayonet itself, somehow turned a garden-variety rifle into a bloodthirsty killing machine. Guns with fixed stocks? Very safe. But guns where a stock has more than one position? Obviously they’re murder factories. A rifle with both a bayonet lug and a collapsible stock? Perish the thought.

A collapsible stock does not make a rifle more deadly. Nor does a pistol grip. Nor does a bayonet mount. Nor does a flash suppressor. And for heaven’s sake, good luck finding, let alone purchasing, 40mm explosive grenades for your rifle-mounted grenade launcher (and remember: the grenade launcher itself is fine, just as long as you don’t put the ultra-deadly bayonet lug anywhere near it).

So what was the impact of the assault weapons ban?

The law expired in September of 2004, making 2003 the last full calendar year in which the law was in effect. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime statistics, 390 people were murdered with rifles in 2003, making rifles the weapon of choice in 2.7 percent of murders that year. But in 2014, more than a decade after these vile weapons of war flooded American streets, the number of rifle murders surely skyrocketed, right?

Not so much. Quite the opposite. In 2014, the most recent year for which detailed FBI data are available, rifles were used in 248 murders. And not only are rifles used in far fewer murders over a decade following the expiration of the 1994 gun ban, they’re also used in a smaller percentage of homicides. In 2003, when the gun ban was in full effect, rifles were used in nearly 3 percent of murders. In 2014, they were used in barely 2 percent.

I think it is wonderful that students want to get involved in politics, but it is a shame that our schools are not teaching them the facts about what they are protesting.

We need good background checks for gun owners, but let’s remember that the school shooter in Florida would not have been able to purchase a gun but for the changes in law enforcement policies in the school made by the Obama administration. The problem was not the background check–it was that the student’s history was not reported to the authorities so it could be included in his background check.

The irony here is that there was a person on the campus of the school whose job it was to protect the students who was armed. That person chose not to enter the building and confront the shooter. A good guy with a gun could have stopped a bad guy with a gun had he chosen to act. The gun was never the problem–the problem was the morality of the person holding the gun.

 

Priorities Matter–Even With Private Money

Obviously anyone making a donation to an organization might put strings on that donation. Sometimes those strings make sense; sometimes they don’t. The students march on Washington to promote infringing on the Second Amendment is not really a student-led movement–there is a lot of money coming in from private sources.

A website called Constitution.com posted an article on March 1st that goes into some of the history of the funding of the students.

The article reports:

On February 28, BuzzFeed came out with the actual story: Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz aiding in the lobbying in Tallahassee, a teacher’s union organizing the buses that got the kids there, Michael Bloomberg’s groups and the Women’s March working on the upcoming March For Our Lives, MoveOn.org doing social media promotion and (potentially) march logistics, and training for student activists provided by federally funded Planned Parenthood.

The president of the American Federation of Teachers told BuzzFeed they’re also behind the national school walkout, which journalists had previously assured the public was the sole work of a teenager. (I’d thought teachers were supposed to get kids into school, but maybe that’s just me.)

In other words, the response was professionalized.

The article continues with some of the other groups involved in funding other protests:

…major players and organizations — including Everytown, Giffords, Move On, Planned Parenthood, and the Women’s March LA — told BuzzFeed News they are helping the students with logistics, strategy, and planning for next month’s March for Our Lives rally and beyond. Much of the specific resources the groups are providing to the Parkland students remains unclear — as is the full list of supporting organizations — but there are broad outlines.

Giffords, an organization started by former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that fights gun violence, is working with Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to plan the main march on Washington — as well as sister rallies across the country…

Everytown for Gun Safety — bankrolled mostly by Michael Bloomberg — recently secured a $1 million donation from entrepreneur and philanthropist Eli Broad.

MoveOn said it will encourage its millions of members to follow and promote the March for Our Lives movement on social media and attend the rally next month. The group said it had offered support in organizing logistics such as security and portable toilets, but it is unclear if the students have taken them up on their offer.

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood said the group is “teaching and hosting trainings” for young activists across the US “to keep momentum going so they don’t get burned out.”

…In addition to the millions of dollars raised by A-list celebrities including Oprah, George and Amal Clooney, Steven Spielberg, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, the March for Our Lives GoFundMe page has raised an additional $2.7 million as of Tuesday.

Now contrast that with what is going on in Baltimore. On January 9th, The Baltimore Sun reported:

Hundreds of students, parents and teachers poured into the Baltimore school system’s headquarters Tuesday night to question officials about plumbing and heating problems that left students shivering in class — or out of school altogether — since returning from winter break.

Families stood outside the North Avenue headquarters with signs that read “Don’t be cold-hearted” and “40 degrees is inhumane” as the city school board met inside. Parents urged accountability from school board members and accused them of ignoring problems facing city children.

On March 7th a website called bluntforcetruth reported:

The Baltimore city school system could not heat the schools this past winter.

Parents stormed the school system headquarters in January to demand the schools raise the temperature in the classrooms.

But that didn’t stop Baltimore Mayor from offering to send 60 busloads of kids to an anti-gun rally in Washington DC later this month.

Mayor Catherine Pugh announced at the Tuesday rally that the city will send 60 buses to the march against guns in Washington DC. later this month. The broke city will also provide food and free T-shirts.

The Mayor has stated that the expenses involved were paid by private donors and therefore are not related to the financial problems that the schools are currently having. I would like to suggest that if private donors are willing to pay for the students to go to Washington to protest the Second Amendment, shouldn’t we ask the private donors to help with the expenses of making the schools a reasonable place for the students to learn?

I guess indoctrinating our students is more important that providing enough heat in the classroom for them to learn–particularly to leftist activist groups.

Americans Tend To Think For Themselves–They Are Becoming Wary Of The Media Trying To Manipulate Them

Today The Washington Examiner posted the results of two polls regarding the National Rifle Association (NRA) and arming teachers in their classrooms. The results are somewhat surprising considering how the media has covered the recent school shooting in Florida.

The results of the first poll are shown below:

The next poll deals with the idea of arming teachers:

Gun-free zones are simply a message to those wanting to harm others that there will be no opposition to them in that zone. It creates an area where our children and their teachers are sitting ducks to a shooter. We have armed security guards in banks, at airports, and other public places where valuable things are. Shouldn’t we provide the same protection for our children? We should also make sure that any armed guards know to run toward the gunfire–not simply let it happen.

Actions Have Consequences

The shooting in Parkland, Florida, was horrendous. There have been a lot of people placing blame all over the place for that shooting. I am not interested in getting into a blame game, but I think we need to look at a series of decisions over the past five years that created the environment for the shooting to take place.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about some decisions made during the past five years that explain some of the mistakes made in assessing the threat this student posed and dealing with that threat.

The article reports a conversation that took place on the Laura Ingraham show:

Within the conversation Mr. Bell (Broward County Sheriff Union President Jeff Bell) points to the 2013 Broward County School Board policy known as the “Promise Program“.  The Promise Program is the collaborative policy between all county officials the school superintendent, school board and law enforcement that instructs officers to not arrest high school students.

This policy sits at the center of understanding why Nikolas Cruz was not intercepted by law enforcement. 

A Broward County School Police Officer must: carry a political hat and be able to intercept anti-social behavior (ie. filter through “The Promise Program“); modify his/her action based on the specific policy need (no arrests); falsify documents (as needed), hide evidence (as needed), manipulate records (as needed); and engage inside the system with an understanding of the unwritten goals and school board/LEO objectives (improve stats).

As such, Broward County school law enforcement are given political instructions, and carrying out political objectives.  The 30 minute CCTV tape-delay is one unofficial consequence of that objective. School police are not given law-enforcement instructions.

This is political correctness run amok. If the statistics are kept under control, the school looks good. Meanwhile, the safety of the students is not a consideration.

Before we totally dismiss those responsible for The Promise Program as idiots, we need to look at what was reported by the media in the early days of the program.

On November 2, 2013, The Sun Sentinel reported:

Just two years ago, Broward County schools funneled the state’s highest number of students into the juvenile justice system, often hauling them away in handcuffs for minor infractions.

But the district this year dramatically altered its discipline policies and launched an intervention program to reduce the number of arrests for non-violent offenses. It’s already seeing results.

The number of students arrested for misdemeanor incidents from August to September dropped to 22 students from 54 in the same period last year, district figures show.

“We need to give students an opportunity if they make mistakes,” Superintendent Robert Runcie said.

On Tuesday, members of law enforcement, the public defender’s office, the NAACP, the state Department of Juvenile Justice and the State Attorney’s Office will join the School Board to sign an agreement to reduce school-based arrests.

It’ll be the first such agreement in the state.

“Unless we put in appropriate interventions to help these students address their behavior and get back on track, then as an institution, we fail,” Runcie said.

Essentially they didn’t stop the crimes–they just stopped arresting the students who broke the law and avoided letting them face the consequences of their actions. That’s not a great way to prepare students for a successful life. The media thought the program was wonderful and published a glowing report of it. So much for the wisdom of the media.

This is the place where common sense seems to have left our educational system. We need to go back to the days of winning and losing and facing the consequences of your choices. It’s time to put sensible people on our school boards to bring about the necessary changes that will make our schools safer.

Something To Consider

On February 18th, Kevin McCullough posted an article at Townhall suggesting seven ways to end school shootings.

Here is his list:

1. Metal Detectors In Every School

2. Enforce Everything

3. Perform Active Shooter Drills

4. Reinforce Doors, Windows, Buses, Locks

5. Recruit Retired Military & Law Enforcement

6. Arm All Appropriate Personnel

7. Publicize Consequence

Had the appropriate authorities followed up on the warnings about the shooter in Florida, things would have been very different. Had the armed police at the scene been willing to enter the building, things would have been very different. Had random teachers had training and weapons, things would have been very different. Any one of these things might have reduced the number of people shot. To me the most important item on the list is the enforcing of current laws. We don’t need more gun laws–criminals won’t follow them anyway. We need to enforce the laws we have, and our law enforcement agencies need to act on the leads they are given.

Watching The Media Use The Shiny Object

The current media shiny object is the parents and children impacted by the school shooting in Florida. These people are truly traumatized, I understand that, but they are being used to push a gun-control agenda which has no relationship to the horrific event in Florida.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about some of the facts about the shooting in Parkland that are not getting the consideration that they should.

The article reports some comments made to the FBI by a tipstir:

“I don’t know how he got the debit card, but he did,” she said. “And he took it, and he bought all these rifles and ammunition and he posted pictures of them on the Instagram.”

Another of the woman’s stunning revelations: Cruz was obsessed with ISIS.

“He’s so into ISIS and, um, I’m afraid this is so something’s gonna happen,” she said, describing how Cruz would post pictures of himself dressed up as an Islamic terrorist. She also recounted how Cruz would frequently post pictures of himself donning a “Make America Great Again” cap.

The caller provided the agent with usernames for two of Cruz’s social media accounts, encouraging the FBI to comb through the pages.

“It’s alarming to see these pictures and to know what he’s capable of doing and what could happen,” she said. “He’s [been] thrown out of all these schools because he would pick up a chair and just throw it at somebody, a teacher or a student, because he didn’t like the way they were talking to him.”

The woman said she phoned in because she “wanted a clear conscience if he takes off and, and just starts shooting places up.”

Somehow the FBI did not sufficiently follow up on this lead.

It gets worse.

The article further notes:

In addition to the armed school resource officer, three other Broward County sheriff’s deputies were outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the shooting crisis and didn’t enter.

What????

Obviously neither the NRA, nor gun control was the problem in the Parkland shooting.

Lying With False Statistics

When I heard the mainstream media claim that there had been eighteen school shootings this year, I wondered where I had been. It’s only February, and I just don’t remember anywhere near eighteen incidents of school shootings in the last month or so. Well, maybe my memory isn’t as bad as I thought–there haven’t been eighteen school shootings this year.

Investor’s Business Daily is one of many alternative news sources that debunked the claim.

The article explains what the real facts are:

One of the “school shootings” on the list, for example, involved a Greyson College, Tex., student who accidentally discharged a weapon at the school’s Criminal Justice Center during a class supervised by a police officer on how to use handguns.

Another on the list involved a third grader who accidentally pulled the trigger of a police officer’s holstered weapon.

Two were suicides that happened to take place on school grounds. One of them was a 31-year-old man who shot himself while parked in his car, which happened to be on a school lot— at a school that had been closed for seven months. Another was a student who shot himself in the head in the school’s bathroom.

Three “school shootings” involved fights that broke out between either adults or students in school parking lots — one of them at a college in North Carolina — in which one of the people arguing pulled a gun on the other.

Another student was shot by a robber, during a robbery that happened to take place in a school parking lot.

One involved a gun that a 12-year-old brought to school, which accidentally went off inside her backpack.

In fact, of the 18 “school shootings,” only five occurred during school hours, and only four — including the latest — are what most people would consider a school shooting; in which someone brings a gun to school with the intent of shooting students.

Of those three previous shootings, only one resulted in deaths, when a 15-year-old boy armed with a handgun opened fire inside a Kentucky high school and killed two fellow students while injuring 14 others. The two others resulted in two injuries.

Obviously one school shooting is too many, but it would be nice if the mainstream media at least tried to get the facts straight.

I would like to mention at this time some history about guns in school. I have friends from Ohio that tell me that their senior parking lot was filled with pick-up trucks with guns in the gun racks during hunting season. This was during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The parking lot was filled with guns and no one used them to shoot at students. My husband tells me that during the early 1950’s when he was in elementary school right outside of New York City, the school provided gun safety classes. The junior high had a shooting range and the high school shop allowed students to work on their guns. Obviously guns were brought into the schools and no one was shot.

So maybe the problem goes deeper than guns. What has happened to our society since the 1950’s? We took prayer out of schools in the 1960’s. At some point we removed the Ten Commandments from our schools. The value of both prayer and the Ten Commandments in the schools was that these two things promoted the idea that there would eventually be a higher authority that students would have to answer to. We have lost that idea–our current children believe that they are a law unto themselves. We taught children (and adults) that it was okay to kill a baby if it was inconvenient. We devalued the family and particularly the role of husbands through media and through government policies (See Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan‘s comments on the War on Poverty programs). Our media has mocked Christianity, one of the things that historically provided unity in our nation and provided moral clarity. Maybe we need to look at restoring some of the things we have lost since the 1950’s.

We can’t change our culture overnight. It is also obvious that there are many people who do not want to bring back the Christian culture of the 1950’s. Because of that, it may be necessary to harden the security in our schools. There needs to be absolute control as to who enters our schools–the shooter in Florida had no reason to be inside the building. There also should be random (unidentified) teachers with concealed carry permits scattered throughout our schools. That way if an unfortunate incident unfolds, it can be dealt with quickly. Making schools ‘gun-free zones’ simply means that the targets of a shooter will be unarmed. That policy needs to end quickly.