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TGIF – February 16, 2018

February 16, 2018

The answers we aren’t getting.

In the wake of yet another school shooting, the Pavlovian response is Ban All Guns, but that’s far from being the answer to preventing school shootings.

Here’s a few other questions people are asking, but politicians and pundits aren’t answering.

Q1. Why do we not have a national Red Flag Threat Reporting  law on the books, or at the very least a state law of that type in every state?

The FBI is taking some hits because it doesn’t seem to have taken a warning from a citizen who did see something and say something very seriously.  The FBI’s defenders, including retired agents and directors, are saying over and over again that there was no prosecutable crime, therefore there wasn’t very much they could do to find the person under current  Bureau guidelines.

Those excuses are just crap. They had the guy’s name.  YouTube could have traced the device he posted from and if a nine-year old knows enough to run a search by name and keyword, surely the FBI’s cyber crimes unit does too. It isn’t the first time the FBI has dropped the ball either.

You can be absolutely sure that if the Florida shooter had said he wanted to shoot the President, he would have been off the streets in a New York minute, but then, that’s a prosecutable Federal crime.

To be fair to the FBI, that problem of not being able to prosecute for making a threat is also faced by local law enforcement too. The local law had made enough trips to see this shooter that they should have been charging by the mile for responding, but they say couldn’t lock him up for that.

So maybe we should put a law on the books that makes it a crime to repeatedly threaten anyone with violence online and stop enabling these predators under the guise of free speech.

Q2.   Why don’t we charge enablers, i.e. the people who know about aberrant behavior, including parents, spouses, teachers, clergy, and counselors as accessories to these shootings if they fail to report or actually cover up violent behavior they have witnessed?

It was striking to hear child after child say they weren’t a bit surprised that this person turned out to be the killer.

Some therapist knew this kid was more than a few bricks shy of a full load. Whoever referred him for counseling knew it too, as did the school authorities who expelled him. They are every bit as much to blame for this as the shooter himself.

You can do this, as proven by the Washington State grandmother who turned in her grandson for words and actions exactly like those of the Florida shooter, thereby absolutely stopping another school shooting from ever happening.

Q3. Why can’t we stop excusing people for their behavior and actions because you might stigmatize them, regardless of their age, gender or color?

If the kid next door is siccing his dog on your pet or your kids, or abusing animals, then it should be front page news. If they are stealing from you or vandalizing property, make it OK to publish their names. Juvenile criminals too often grow up to become adult criminals. It was striking how many kids who were interviewed said they weren’t a bit surprised that this 19-year old did this.

Any kid over 12 should know the difference between right and wrong, and if they don’t then the rest of us deserve to know that.

Those are just a few of the questions real people are asking.

Check tomorrow’s column for a few more questions that we are asking that aren’t so easily solved by enacting a new law.

Amazon bids to take over another industry.

Healthy competition or just another monopoly? That’s the question being asked as Amazon continues to invade every facet of American business.

It’s latest target?  The B2B medical supply industry, where it has already had a significant impact on the revenues of individual suppliers.

Amazon has offered consumer access to some medical equipment for some time.  Now it is going after the direct-to-provider B2B market as well and it has long been rumored to be eyeing the prescription drug industry as well.

Proponents note that Amazon can offer 10% to 20% discounts to hospitals and provider groups.

That’s perhaps better for the provider’s bottom line, but it is unclear whether that same level of savings would pass-through to the patient community.

Of somewhat more than passing concern is what happens as developers of medical equipment are increasingly funneled down to a single buyer for their products.

Amazon is well known to be notoriously hard to deal with from the supplier side.  You don’t tell them what price you want for your goods. They offer you a price and you can take it or leave it. There is little to no bargaining.

As long as that fosters healthy competition it can be regarded as a positive, but it appears that Jeff Bezos’ goal is to become the sole source for everything worth selling. If that means temporarily selling at a loss, Amazon  is big enough to absorb the downturn until it can achieve monopoly status

So far that hasn’t prompted any substantial government interference, and Amazon has recently become the largest lobbying group in Washington, according to this October 2017 story in the  New York Times.

Using the lure of thousands of jobs and more coming from yet-to-be-built distribution centers, Amazon has a disproportionately large footprint in the nation’s capital.

America has long since forgotten the impact of the steel and rail monopolies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Hopefully, it isn’t poised to be reminded how that works in the middle of the 21st century.

Is it open season on the police?

At one time even criminals had sense enough to know that shooting a police officer would bring the wrath of Khan down on them, not to mention probably getting a much longer sentence for the crime.

Then along came Ferguson, and the liberal chants of police brutality, police racism and all of the other garbage the left is promoting.

The result seems to be a rise in the willingness of criminals to shoot first and then protest because the police shoot back. In some cases it seems likely the officers were deliberately lured into an ambush.

Even the notoriously liberal CNN has taken note of the trend, which is now averaging nearly three  deaths a week (17 since January 1), not to mention the nonfatal shootings.

It’s beyond time to reverse the trend, before we have no one left to protect the rest of us.

From → op-ed

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