Skip to comments.Another Tragedy, Another Round Of Politicization
Posted on 02/20/2018 5:14:42 AM PST by Kaslin
Another deadly school shooting brings about predictable political behavior, something we always see after these horrific incidents. We cant get through a reasonable grieving period after the recent shooting in a Florida high school before the event is politicized. The discussion we should have about empowering state law enforcement to handle persons who exhibit warning signs is suppressed by demagogues regurgitating calls for gun control. But first, we must allow grieving to take place.
Its not appropriate to have a discussion about solutions in the immediate aftermath of such incidents. When people are still in a high state of emotion, rational thought cannot take place. Emotionally driven public policy is always flawed because it never considers the law of unintended consequences. Take the 9-11 Commission, for example, which should have taught us about emotionally driven policy. It led to increased government authority to spy on American citizens without real oversight, and contributed to the abuses we are hearing about regarding the FBI spying of the Trump campaign and administration.
Unfortunately, this predictable political ritual quickly begins in the aftermath of tragedies and ignores the pain and suffering of the victims families. First, there are the usual calls for more gun control with support for the erosion of Americans Second Amendment rights. This includes calls for some nebulous idea of universal background checks, banning internet sales of firearms, and closing the so-called gun show loophole of purchases. Then there are calls for limits on ammunition purchases and banning certain types of firearms. Then, of course, there will be the exploitation of victims where the media will find some grief-stricken parent of one of the deceased to demand more gun control and demonize the National Rifle Association, its supporters, and Republican politicians.
On the other hand, there are calls for target hardening of schools, arming teachers, and hiring former law enforcement officers and military personnel as school security. These are quickly determined to be too costly, and gun control advocates shoot down any suggestion of ending gun-free school zones despite the obvious need to support self-defense in schools.
As the days pass and more is learned about the incident, we usually find out that the suspect had appeared on law enforcements radar only to have the investigation determine that the guy posed no substantial threat. More could have been done by the FBI after they were notified. It seems like a cursory investigation just enough to say they looked into it. The See Something, Say Something campaign played a role in the Florida school shooting and it failed miserably. Some did say something, yet nothing was done by the FBI. Others saw something and said nothing.
On the state level, mental health policies have tied the lands of law enforcement.
Mental health plays a role in mass shootings, and this relationship needs greater exploration beyond the standard calls for increased funding. The suggestions of gun control, background checks, and increased mental health funding are technical fixes that will do little to prevent mass killings. That is low hanging fruit for politicians and talking heads. Its easy to pick because it can be reached from relative safety at ground level. Suggesting bold, new solutions is politically and personally dangerous.
We need an adaptive fix which is a change in behavior. It requires us to reexamine policies about handling people who display a danger to society well before they commit a heinous act. Many potentially dangerous and mentally ill people currently roam the streets even after exhibiting violent tendencies. Its unconscionable that we allow it to continue.
This issue started with an aggressive campaign by mental health advocates going back to the 1950s. The deinstitutionalization model that led to community release of people who were involuntarily committed to asylums reached its watershed moment in the 1975 Supreme Court decision OConner v. Donaldson. The case that held, A State cannot constitutionally confine, without more, a nondangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by himself or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends.
That court decision restricts state authority from involuntarily confining anyone for mental illness, and it continues to haunt us today. Proving that someone is too dangerous to not be committed is a very high threshold. Today, states cannot incarcerate mentally ill people who are not exhibiting actual violence. That usually occurs after a mass shooting. And try as they might, but family and friends are not trained and often incapable of handling mentally ill people.
In other words, mentally ill people who come to the attention of law enforcement or mental health officials are allowed to drift until they do the unthinkable. Then the public and media ask why something wasnt done beforehand.
Numerous Presidential Commissions since the 1950s have been appointed to make recommendations to better serve the mentally ill. Despite some good recommendations, little action was taken to implement them. The same exercise will occur over the recent Florida school shooting and well feel good about ourselves as having done something when we havent done anything at all. And thus, the ritual completes it cycle and everybody goes home.
Lets stop blaming the guns, background checks, ammunition sales, the NRA, and law enforcement. Instead, lets get the courts to reexamine the flawed 1975 OConner v. Donaldson decision so states have greater flexibility in institutionalizing people before they kill.
Never let a crisis go to waste
Are those thoughts and prayers on the fence or political opinions?
On Expanded Background Checks For Firearms Purchases:
This effirt, like other proposed “common sense solutions” only applies to those who either are, or believe themselves to be law abiding citizens at the time and point of purchase. Violent criminals and non-citizens will continue to possess and use firearms that are either stolen outright by means of home invasions, car jackings, gun store robberies, etc., or purchase them on the street from other criminals who are fencing them. And, you can forget about the “straw-man purchase” myth because no criminal is going to pay full retail, when he can buy a hot firearm on the street for one-third the price.
This issue isn’t about whether background checks can be expanded, but rather to what extent, and who will be responsible for developing and enforcing the new exclusionary criteria for denials. The inherent danger doesn’t lie in the promulgation of a new law on expanded background checks, but rather the far less transparent rule-making under the new law by career liberal bureaucrats, which could include, for example, confiscatory provisions.
In Texas, the issuance of a “License To Carry A Handgun” (LTC) by the Department of Public Safety includes an expanded background check by the state that is exhaustive, when compared to the FBI’s NICS background check. It includes such things as juvenile and misdemeanor records, warrant histories, mental records, local reports of domestic violence, child support payment histories, restraining orders and protective custody records, delinquent state taxes, substance dependency records and more. In other words, you damn well better be June or Ward Cleaver before applying for a Texas LTC.
If our federal government were to adopt background checks like Texas’ for the purchase of firearms, it would require an active and leviathan database. It would also likely require a new presidential cabinet position and federal agency ... the “US Department of Firearm Purchase Background Checks.” Remember that the expansion of background checks for firearms purchases will have no effect whatsoever on criminal’s access to, or possession of firearms. Our politicians have a proud and unblemished record of strict avoidance when it comes to disarming murdering criminals who are roaming the streets of America.
Spot on, Sheriff Clarke!
Why does it say the page ha s disappeared?
The next time some wacko drives 90 mph down the wrong way of a street crashing into cars and killing people, lets ignore the crazy and demand stronger traffic laws.
The stuff I’ve seen on Facebook and elsewhere reminds me of what happened a few years ago concerning the Memories Pizza episode, in terms of the online lynch mob and celebrity/media involvement. Some of the anger and vitriol directed at the NRA and Republicans and law abiding firearms owners really takes you aback, even if it might not be surprising.
The other day, I debated with people, making the point that why weren’t teenage boys shooting up schools back in the days of gun and rifle clubs being quite common in public high schools as well as their participation in hunting seasons. I got a lot of shrieks and yells about “Well, they didn’t have Rambo style guns or assault rifles back then” and “why do you need an assault rifle since Bambi is not going to shoot back at you”. Yet no one seemed to want to acknowledge that back then it was simply about these abhorrent incidents not taking place back then, regardless of what firearms were present.
Balloons, flowers and flags are fine. The problem comes in when people write their messages.
Y’know, to Democrats, “Many potentially dangerous and mentally ill people currently roam the streets even after exhibiting violent tendencies. Its unconscionable that we allow it to continue.” describes us - Freepers, gun owners, Constitutionalists.
Much as I’d like to see dangerous mentally ill people institutionalized, you have to remember who decides who is mentally ill, and which ones are dangerous.
Of course the Gub’mint would never use this for political ends. /sarc
“...to Democrats, Many potentially dangerous and mentally ill people currently roam the streets.”...........
The pot calling the kettle black? Demodummies ARE describing themselves.
“Of course the Gubmint would never use this for political ends.”......
I saw the “sarc” but don’t give the demodummies any extra ideas, they are already planning.
I won’t even go on FakeBook. All the virtue signalling and specious arguing. Liberals I know on Fakebook are taking a new tack with this, “We need stronger gun laws and a new president who will enforce them and nobody better argue with me and politicize this..OUR kids are in danger, it’s very important you listen to me Mrs Upper Middle Class Liberal House Frau, shut up right wingers!” I am off there, it’s really a wasteland of stupid kids dressed up in Cabbage Patch kid outfits, dogs eating their own poop videos and people pontificating on issues they feign concern on.
This kids foster parents allowed him to have an AR-15 even after the police were called out 39 times on him. They reportedly had the gun locked in a safe, but didn’t realize he had a second key to the safe.
There are two issues I think could help stop this:
1) Security. Schools need cameras and armed security. Entrances should be locked during class hours. (Push bar release inside of course.) Armed guards watching cameras and patrolling grounds. There are also robotic guards now as well.
2) The drugs. What do we do with the behavior drugs? All of these guys are taking this crap. Should taking this medication make one a prohibited possessor?
These people care very little for these kids as human beings in much the same way they don’t care about black people being slaughtered in Chicago or Baltimore. (this is not directed at the “Good Hearted” liberals, which are not the ideologues or power brokers in the American Left. Those “Good Hearted” liberals I am certain feel very deeply about these murdered kids. They are simply useful idiots to the Leftist ideologues and power brokers, as tools to be harnessed and used.)
However, they care very much about them as symbols.
In their Leftist racist minds (to which race is a template they overlay on everything under the sun) young white students being killed in multiples on a single day is far more useful to them as a tool to harness (as a way to achieve their political goals) than to point at the overwhelming disparity in numbers of young black teenagers being killed singly each day.
Overall, the difference is striking for a group that is 12% of the US population being killed outright in far in greater numbers than the majority population. For example, for all men in 2016, black males had 6,749 murder deaths, while whites had 4,665 deaths. This is for all homicides, not just gun deaths, but I suspect the VAST majority are gunshot deaths, and that won’t even be close.
I couldn’t easily get the underlying data to break down by age, but I have no doubt that male deaths by homicide between the ages of 13-18 by race will be very similar.
The point is, the liberals understand the power of presentation and racial circumstances, and they cynically know full well that the majority of white Americans are going to identify with a picture of a murdered red headed 14 year old white girl with green eyes than they will with a 14 year old black male.
So, from a political party in which the two most powerful figures in it from the last decade have been Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have both been vocal acolytes and admirers of the despicable Saul Alinsky, who preached that no crisis should be allowed to go to waste, this is not in the least surprising.
I am certain the howls of protest at this assessment would be forthcoming from any leftist, which is fully expected. Getting flack over the target and all.
I can’t give them this idea. They have had it for decades and got it from the Soviet Union.
Where do think Homophobia and Islamophobia came from?
No. It a technique from Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” - “Accuse your opponent of what only you are doing as you are doing it to create confusion.”
Does no one else see the potential for abuse is ripe by letting the gov’t involuntarily confine anyone they choose to??
Involuntary confinement seems like a simple answer to this horrific problem, but will only cause more problems.
Yep. Mental health incarcerations have always been a favorite technique of totalitarian regimes.
Who defines “mentally ill”?
Who watches the Watchmen?
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