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A tale of two meetings.

February 22, 2018

It was and is interesting and maddening to listen to the media spin concerning the two meetings that occurred yesterday concerning what to do about school shootings.

Yesterday, if you were able to watch and listen you heard a lot of anger, fear and disillusionment from the young people’s public demonstration in Tallahassee.

After all, many of them are just a week away from having their whole world turned upside down, and in their own way they are trying to get back to a place that will never exist for them again.

That demonstration was highly photogenic and there were a lot of angry and emotional people there, along with paid agitators and a few  politicians happy to prostitute themselves for a few more campaign contributions.  It’s likely that’s the gathering from whence the majority of the sound bites will come.

On the other end of the spectrum, the meeting at the White House, while still emotional and sometimes incredibly sad, pretty much embodied what’s been missing from all the media hype.

In a word, people communicated, largely without resorting to tribal rancor or political grandstanding.

Black inner city school administrators freely shared their common sense and effective solutions with grieving white fathers and mothers and siblings.

Perhaps Andrew Pollak said it best, when he implored the President and even those not in the room to handle the problem at hand, which is school safety, and leave all the political grandstanding over gun control for another time.

Many of the solutions needed were advanced in that White House meeting.

The one thing that came across strongly is that we, that is the collective we, don’t need and probably shouldn’t waste time waiting for Washington or some state legislature to act constructively.

Parents and educators that have already had time to move past the anger and deal with their grief as best they can offered solution after solution that has worked for them.

Things like closed campuses, like metal detectors and checkpoints and making kids and teachers relate to one another as human beings by barring cell phone use in the school and training staff to profile kids having a bad day and divert them from class.

And yes, having armed personnel on campus and finding more physical capacity to deal with the seriously disturbed people who commit these school shootings and not being afraid to label a kid as mentally ill, or even as a criminal was part of the conversation as well.

One lady who had to deal with the Columbine shooting said it perhaps as well as anyone, when she said it was the person behind the trigger and how we identify and protect ourselves from them that is the problem we have to solve.

There’s another side to this as well, one that is given absolutely no credence whatsoever by the fear mongers, race baiters and political prostitutes who seem to have carefully coached some of the students in Tallahassee.

Some statistics say that there are 300 million guns in the country.  99.9999% of the people that own those guns haven’t shot any kids and have no intention of ever doing so, and they are very tired of being painted as would-be murderers simply for political gain.

Most of them don’t even belong to the NRA, whose membership fluctuates around the 3 to 5 million mark or an estimated 7% of all legal gun owners.

They are hunters and target shooters and collectors and people that own one gun for self-protection.  They are the people who volunteer to teach other people about gun safety and responsible gun ownership.

They are black, white, red, and yellow and represent just about every ethnicity on earth. They are male and female, gay and straight, young and old, military veterans and people who have never served.

The so-called gun lobby consists of your friends and neighbors. They are just as pissed as Meadow Pollack’s father that we can’t seem to move this problem past political rhetoric to practical solutions. They are no more for bump stocks and 100-round magazines or selling guns to the criminally insane than is Mr. Pollack.

What they are NOT is murderers, and even considering the shock and outrage, the students who parroted that claim are doing their cause no good whatsoever.  Indeed, that might have had a lot to do with why the Florida legislators refused to consider their demands.

There were one hell of a lot of adult failures that led up to this shooting, and NONE of them have anything to do with any of the solutions  President Trump backs, or the gun control activists or even the NRA.

Politicians and Hollywood actors and MSM opinion readers won’t solve this problem.  If it gets solved, it’s going to be done by the people closest to the problem with solutions that come from hard-won experience, not from crackpot political partisanship.


From → op-ed

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