Archive for the ‘#schoolshootings’ Tag

Teachers Are Already Concealed Carry   Leave a comment

Wow! You just never know when someone is going to blow your presuppositions right out of the water.

Image result for image of concealed carry teachersBrad and I asked a couple from church to allow us to introduce them to First Friday here in Fairbanks (that’s arts in various locations around the business district).and ended up amazed. Because of the controversy of what the husband told us, I’m going to change their names. They are Larry and Millie.

They are retired teachers from somewhere in the middle of the country (one of those blue states that swung red in 2016) and they have moved to Alaska to hangout with their grandchildren and the grandchildren’s mother, who is their daughter. I think they also like their son-in-law.

The subjects during the evening that included dinner, hanging out with the arty people of town, listening to some live music and then coffee and dessert. and a far-ranging conversation on a lot of topics. Poor Brad doesn’t read fiction, so some of the time he was completely left out until we started talking about Shakespeare, which he had read. But then the subject of the Parkland School shooting came up and the current suggestion by conservatives that the government arm the teachers, administrators and janitorial staff and Larry blew us out of the water.

He informed us that a lot of teachers are already armed. We know that to be true. Our friend Ray, a gym teacher, is always concealed carry in his personal life. Larry commended Ray for that, but said we were naive if we thought teachers weren’t already carrying in schools. He then admitted that he had been concealed carry for 15 years before his retirement. No, his school didn’t know about it and it was illegal, “But it was right and necessary.” He’d kept a gun in his car for a good 20 years before that, until he read a story about a woman who had been involved in a mass shooting who had left her gun in the car in order to obey a “no guns allowed” sign. By the time she got to her car and stopped the shooter, six people were dead and several more, including her husband, were wounded. Larry didn’t want to be her and so he prepared to start carrying concealed at work without telling anyone but Millie. Thank God he never needed to use his weapon. He says he’s talked with other teachers who have also hinted that they carry concealed. It’s against the law in most jurisdictions, but teachers have come to a point where they believe they are alone in a desire to protect their students, so most don’t come right out and say “I carry concealed at work” because they don’t want to lose their jobs or be jailed for taking self-defense into their own hands.

“I expect that if you stopped a mass shooter before he could kill more than two people, the school would overlook that you broke the rules,” Larry said.

Related imageLest you think Larry was playing fast and loose with kids’ safety, he already had a concealed carry license for the state he lived in. He took a concealed-carry course again even though he was not required to do so to renew his license. During the summer, he went to Front Sight to improve defensive handgun skills and active shooter confrontation training. He participated in live fire simulations exactly like what FBI and SWAT agents are put through. He did all that before he ever carried his gun into the school, but he points out that his instructors said he already knew everything he needed to know to protect his students before the extra training, which mainly taught him how not to make himself a target while defending his students.

During occasional re-ups, he encountered other trainees who were teachers. He didn’t ask and they didn’t tell. They just looked at each other with a special kind of respect. Some of them were men and some of them were women.

Conservatives want “us” (meaning the government” to arm and train those teachers who are willing to participate, but why? It’s really not a matter of arming teachers and administrators, but to cease disarming them when they report to work. I’ve got several coworkers who are concealed carry because the state agency I work for has chosen not to invade the private of their clothing. We’re safer for that. Being a small woman who can’t hide a gun successfully in office clothes, I have taken note of where those coworkers are located in the building and if an active shooter event comes about, I plan to run that way — because having a chance to live is better than being a victim.

Not every teacher carries firearms. Given how high the progressive liberal rhetoric is in our public schools, there is probably a lower pecentage of concealed carry teachers than concealed carriers in the general population. But there are over three million teachers in public schools and some percentage of them have concealed carry permits that they exercise in their private lives. It would be unlikely that there aren’t at least some members of every faculty in America that have a concealed carry permit … or if they live in Alaska, which does not require a permit, they have at least taken the concealed carry course. I know our friend Ray is not the only local teacher who carries concealed in their personal lives.

To the extent conservatives acknowledge the option of tapping teachers and administrators who already carry in their private lives, they seem trapped in the same box as liberals in feeling the need to point out there are teachers who are also retired military, in the reserves, or former law enforcement officers. That’s probably true and I’m not denigrating those people, although they’ve been trained to shoot the bad guys, not to defend their students and there is a difference. There are also tens of millions of Americans, and likely tens of thousands of teachers, who both own firearms and never served in the military or police, and I suspect they are MUCH safer with their guns than the combat-trained folks.

Image result for image of concealed carry teachersAn armed civilian population constitutes that “well-regulated militia” the 2nd Amendment refers to. What makes a militia a militia is the members not being part of the regular army.

After I got red-pilled about how tyranny really works, I started to recognize the danger of the words “something must be done.” Those four words have been bandied about a lot by people who want to restrict gun ownership. “We can’t let another mass shooting happen again.” “We’ve got to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and the criminal.”  Yeah, there are already laws that propose to do that. How many times must they fail before we admit they don’t work. “If we just ban the guns or at least require everybody to keep them at home, the carnage will stop.”

Really? Hmm. That’s naive and shows a lack of understanding of the violence inherent in human nature. The first two nature-born human beings – Cain and Abel – one killed the other.

Instead of the government “doing something” about mass shootings, it should STOP doing something. Stop prohibiting teachers from carrying into school the same firearms they are licensed and trusted to carry in most other places. It is the path of least resistance to providing realistic protection for schoolchildren. It requires no one to do anything they aren’t already doing successfully out in the world.

No, it won’t stop mass shootings. Nothing will — coz, again, human nature. And not every teacher with a firearm, confronted with the pressure of an active shooter situation, will calmly dispatch the shooter. Some are going to choose to hide just as the trained police officer did in Parkland, Florida.

Broward County Sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson was assigned to the school as a resource officer. He was on the school grounds during the entire incident. He heard the shooting inside the school, but videos show he remained outside for four minutes during the six-minute mass shooting, which claimed 17 lives. Peterson wasn’t alone. Three other armed law enforcement officers were on the scene and failed to enter the school before backup arrived.

Thomas Paine began his pamphletCommon Sense, widely credited with convincing a critical mass of colonists to support American independence, by making a crucial distinction:

“SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins.” He went on to say, “Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.”

Local police had been called to this kid’s home 37 times over the past seven years, according to documents obtained by CNN. Members of the family he lived with after his mother’s death report he routinely introduced himself as “a school shooter.”

It wasn’t just local police who dropped the ball on this kid. The FBI was warned multiple times about him, including by “an unidentified woman close to the kid who called the FBI a month before the incident, warning of her fears he would “get into a school and just shooting the place up.” The FBI was also called in September 2017 by a video blogger who said a user using the shooter’s name had posted a comment on one of his videos, saying, “I”m going to be a professional school shooter.”

Image result for image of concealed carry teachersThis should inspire more than mere outrage at government incompetence. Americans should take a long, hard look at how much of what should be personal and private they have allowed government to become involved in and how badly it has failed them. Let’s be realistic. If government can’t effectively run education or health care, it certainly shouldn’t be trusted with something as important as the defense of ours or our children’s lives.

Let’s get government out of the way and let the people try something that hasn’t been tried before and has a potential for working because it worked about 500,000 times last year.

 

Society can come together to create miracles, but the institution of government is nothing more than consolidated brute force. We need to remember that . Mass shootings are horrible situations under any circumstances, but they may be rendered less horrible if the victims have options other than to call the government and wait.

States that haven’t already should repeal any laws necessary to give the right and the responsibility for self-defense back to teachers and other school employees. Allowing them the option to carry firearms will both act as a deterrent to future shooters and give teachers a reasonable chance to defend their students and themselves the next time the need arises. And, if shooters learn that they’re not going to get 15 minutes of fame because the vice-principal is likely to kill them while they’re just getting started, maybe … possibly … if we take away their incentive to shoot large numbers of people … they’ll decide to go out through suicide by cop or blowing their own brains out without killing anyone else, which btw, they usually do upon being confronted by an armed someone who has decided not to be a victim.

Government control of our destiny has failed. It’s time to try a little freedom.

Misleading for Gun Control   Leave a comment

Within minutes of the Wednesday news that another young man with another semi-automatic rifle had rampaged through a school a stunning figure was broadcast. The bodies at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in South Florida weren’t even cold when Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit co-founded by Michael Bloomberg, announced, via tweet at 4:22 pm, “this is the 18th school shooting in the US in 2018.”

Image result for image of gun safetyEverybody loves the bandwagon at a parade, so Sen. Bernie Sanders’ tweet including the claim has been liked more than 45,000 times, and one from political analyst Jeff Greenfield has cracked 116,000. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted it, too, as did musicians Cher and Alexander William and actors Misha Collins and Albert Brooks. News organizations – including MSNBC, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, TIME, MSN, the BBC, the New York Daily News and the Huffington Post – also used the number in their coverage. By Wednesday night, the top suggested search after typing “18” into Google was “18 school shootings in 2018.”

It is a horrifying statistic. It’s also absolutely erroneous.

For the unfamiliar, Everytown has long inflated its total by including incidents of gunfire that are not really school shootings. They list the following as the first “school shooting” of 2018:

On the afternoon of January 3, a 31-year-old man who had parked outside a Michigan elementary school called police to say he was armed and suicidal. Several hours later, he killed himself. The school, however, had been closed for seven months. There were no teachers and no students.

 

Okay. Maybe they just misinterpreted that one. Or maybe not.

Also listed on the organization’s site is an incident from Jan. 20:

At 1 a.m, a man was shot at a sorority event on the campus of Wake Forest University. No one else was shot, that’s a pretty nebulous connection to a school, and it followed an argument in which alcohol was involved. Not quite the same thing as a mass shooting.

Related imageA week later, as a basketball game was being played at a Michigan high school, someone fired several rounds from a gun in the parking lot. The incident appeared to be gang-related, connected to an earlier altercation inside the building. It was well after classes had ended for the day (past 8 p.m.), but Everytown still labels it a school shooting.

Everytown explains on its website that it defines a school shooting as “any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds.”

Everytown’s research director Sarah Tofte calls the definition “crystal clear,” noting that “every time a gun is discharged on school grounds it shatters the sense of safety” for students, parents and the community.

She insists she and her colleagues work to reiterate those parameters in their public messaging, but their tweets and Facebook posts almost never include that nuance. On February 2, 2018 was the only time the organization clearly explained its definition on Twitter. Interestingly, Everytown doesn’t bring up its jarring totals on social media immediately after the more questionable shootings, probably because if anyone investigated, they’d come to the conclusion that Everytown’s administration are skewing the facts. It’s only following the high-profile and undeniable tragedies, such as the Florida massacre or one from last month in Kentucky that left two students dead and at least 18 people injured. Then, when everyone is really emotional, Everyday trusts that no one will check their facts and figures.

Yes, the figures matter. Gun-control activists use them as evidence in their fight for bans on assault weapons, stricter background checks and other legislation. Gun-rights groups seize on the faults in the data to undermine those arguments and, similarly, present skewed figures of their own.

Gun violence is a crisis in America, especially for children, and a huge number – one that needs no exaggeration – have been affected by school shootings. An ongoing Washington Post analysis has found that more than 150,000 students attending at least 170 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. That figure, which comes from a review of online archives, state and federal enrollment figures and news stories, is a conservative calculation and does not include dozens of suicides, accidents and after-school assaults that have also exposed kids to gunfire.

 

Just five of Everytown’s 18 school shootings listed for 2018 happened during school hours and resulted in any physical injury. Three others appeared to be intentional shootings but did not hurt anyone. Two more involved guns – one carried by a school police officer and the other by a licensed peace officer who ran a college club – that were unintentionally fired and, again, led to no injuries … although we ought to be asking why we’re not more up in arms about “professionals” who have “unintended” discharges. Any concealed carry citizen will tell you “There is no such thing as an accidental discharge.” They’re all negligent unless they’re deliberate.

At least seven of Everytown’s 18 shootings took place outside normal school hours.

Shootings of any kind, of course, can be traumatic, regardless of whether they cause physical harm.

A month ago, for example, a group of college students were in a criminal justice club in Texas when a student accidentally fired a real gun, rather than a training weapon. The bullet went through a wall, then a window. Though no one was hurt, it left the student distraught … as well it should because the student showed himself to be an idiot who should never be allowed to handle a gun again.

 

But is that a school shooting? Everytown says “yes”. I would certainly say “no” as would the vast majority of the 200 million gun owners in this country who have never had a negligent discharge of one of their weapons.

 

“Since 2013,” the organization proclaims on its site, “there have been nearly 300 school shootings in America – an average of about one a week.”

But since Everytown began its tracking, it has included dubious examples:

  • In August 2013, a man fired a shot on a Tennessee high school’s property, but it was at 2 a.m when the building was empty
  • In December 2014, a man shot himself in his car late one night and was discovered the next day in a Pennsylvania elementary school parking lot
  • In August 2015, a man climbed atop the roof of an empty Texas school on a Sunday morning and sporadically fired a gun
  • In January 2016, a man in an Indiana high school parking lot had a gun negligently discharge in his glove compartment before any students had arrived on campus.
  • In December 2017, two teens in Washington State shot up a high school just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, when the building was empty.

By the way, I’m not the only one who questions Everytown’s figures. In 2015, The Washington Post’s fact checkers awarded the group’s figures four Pinocchios for misleading methodology, after those figures were lauded by Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.

Another database, the Gun Violence Archive, defines school shootings in much narrower terms, considering only those that take place during school hours or extra-curricular activities, so it’s not like saner figures aren’t available, but many journalists rely on Everytown’s data. Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple included the 18 figure in a column Wednesday night, and Michael Barbaro, host of the New York Times’s popular podcast “The Daily,” used the number to punctuate the end of his Thursday show.

Deciding what is or is not a school shooting or trying to define a mass shooting can be difficult. Some obviously fit the common-sense definition: Last month, a teen in Texas opened fire in a school cafeteria, injuring a 15-year-old girl. That’s definitely a school schooling. What happened in Florida on Wednesday was definitely a school shooting. Others that Everytown includes on its list are trickier to categorize:

On January 10, at about 6 p.m., a bullet likely fired from off-campus hit the window of a building on a college campus in southern California. No one was hurt, though I’m sure it, rightfully, scared the snot out of some students. Classes were cancelled, rooms were locked down and police searched campus for the gunman, who was never found.

On February 5, a police officer was sitting on a bench in a Minnesota school gym when a third-grader “accidentally” pulled the trigger of his holstered pistol, firing a round into the floor. None of the four students in the gym were injured. What makes this incident so frightening to me is that a cop was so negligent with his weapon that a third-grader was able to fire it, but I also have concerns with the negligence of this child’s parents for not teaching a 9-year-old that guns are never to be touched without express permission by a sober adult.

At some point we really need to have a discussion with parents about why gun safety training is essential for every child, even when their parents don’t own guns. Gun-owning parents definitely need to have that training with their children, but non-gunowners need to as well. To not have that discussion is negligent parenting.

Stine Writing

Poetry, Positivity, and Connecting!

Writer vs the World

In search of beauty, inspired by literature.

Inside My Mind

Words from my brain

Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

Tales + Books + Compassion + Culture + Wagging Tails

Fairfax and Glew

Vigilante Justice

The Wolf's Den

Overthink Everything

SaltandNovels

Sprinkling wonder into writing

Remmington Reads

A book enthusiast bringing you all things bookish

MiddleMe

Becoming Unstuck

Magical BookLush

A New Dimension to Explore!! A reason to Love and A promise to fight the wrong is hidden in Books. Come, Let's Explore it!!!

Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author

Read. Write. Love. 💕💕💕

Not Very Deep Thoughts

Short Fiction and Other Things

%d bloggers like this: