No one likes to read about school shootings. I was in high school when a student shot himself in the head, right in the hallway, Vinnie Garofalo, February 1998. I remember when a college classmate told our student body the reports from his former classmates at Columbine. "They're dead," she told him. "They're all dead." Now, the Editor needs to write about it and Americans need to read about it, yet again.
The Florida shooting is complicated, it always is. This one has a story behind the shooter that seems more personal than other times. No one claims his story is any alibi. Many heroes were made, both victim and living. One libriarian, Diana Haneski, was inspired by her friend's heroism from Sandy Hook and protected 55 students by locking them in a media room. An assistant coach, Aaron Feis, protected three girls by shielding them with his own body, he did not survive.
Tragedy strikes. We reflect and ask why. Then we second guess ourselves and wish that we would have loved each other more and sooner. We go home. We cry ourselves to sleep. Then we wake up the next day and prepare to march for action. So, let's talk action.
Emma Gonzales is right, in a sense even the minds of gun owners. To the gun owners, the NRA has been largely useless. They aren't effective at protecting gun owner rights, only at rallying people up. At Columbine and with Michael Moore, the NRA's reaction was generally useless. Rather than helping the nation navigate through the challenges, they just acted insensitive. The NRA's Twitter account hasn't posted since Valentine's Day, when the Florida shooting happened, not even sympathy to the families. This seems to have been a "silencer" for the NRA. Politicians who receive money from that over-spiced "nothing burger" organization should be ashamed.
As for action, since we act like we're ready for a candid conversation, let's take off the gloves. Before you decide to click "next", finish the following two paragraphs.
Why are we in deadlock about guns? As strong—and correct—of an argument as Emma Gonzales makes, there is another strong point that must be included in our united path forward. It's the "elephant" in the living room, the reason we can't finish the debate, which no one wants to so much as even mention. The dirty, politically incorrect, and inconclusive—mind you—little secret about why guns remain widely available on the market has three big beans: Russia, China, and ISIS. The wide-availability of guns in America is the only reason those countries—ISIS is a country—have not already invaded and killed millions of Americans—just as their governments have killed millions of their own people who aren't allowed to possess guns. That's our excuse that keeps us in deadlock over the gun debate—a deadlock that killed 17 people last Valentine's Day.
The problem is not the Second Amendment itself, but that we only enforce half of it. We need the rest of the Second Amendment—the Militia army of civilians—a high school class with accommodation for handicapped and learning disabled, different standards for different gender, and it would be a requirement for every student in order to graduate and in order to vote in elections. The high school Militia course would teach self-discipline, readiness, hand-to-gun combat, safety in every situation, gun handling and discharge, emergency response, teamwork, and, like all military training, self-respect and self-sacrifice for others. If Nikolas Cruz had been required to graduate high school before he could buy a gun, he wouldn't have been able to. If he had been required to get the mentoring a high school Militia class would have provided, he wouldn't have wanted to.
That idea has been presented before by many people before. But, we don't hear about it from the NRA. We didn't want to have such a candid discussion about applying the whole of the Constitution—which would keep us safe from enemies, both foreign and domestic, if we would simply obey it to the full. We were too distracted with other news. So, since those other news items that we bicker about were worth the lives of 17 students, let's take a review of the news items atop headlines in the days before the Valentine's Day Massacre...
The Obama portraits, while acceptable, are intended to draw attention. The Smithsonian has more expressive art of Ford and HW Bush, more radical than the Michelle interpretation. Contrary to folk wisdom, the woman in the painting does resemble Michelle in those rare moments when she drops that goofy, fake smile for her natural "serious" face. It's not that strange, as strange as it seems. But, the hue of the leaves in Obama's piece and the street-art worthy style of Michelle evince an intent to use the presidential portraits as an opportunity to make some kind of statement. Whether that is right or wrong is up for debate, but they are trying to make a statement.
As for the leaves, to claim that they are marijuana is to claim either that the artist is botanically inept or that oneself is. The leaf in the picture more resembles the Ohio State "buckeye leaf", which has been confused by the botanically inept in the past.
Michael Flynn was pursued by Obama's leftover administration as retribution for endorsing Trump. It is said one should never hire friends. Hiring Flynn was a mistake, not because Flynn wasn't up to the job of fighting in the wolf den—which he apparently wasn't—but because it promoted him from being a target to being an easy target. In the end, however, Michael Flynn will learn just as Sarah Palin did, after being tossed to the wolves. And, the hostile takeover of Flynn's life will be an alarm in itself to call out the folks to find out just what in the world was going on in the Obama administration that allowed this to happen. Flynn will come back to haunt the Democrats and bureaucrats.
George Soros has been dumping money into local DA elections that would normally elect Republicans. His candidates have been winning. Democrats and their voters who don't stand against Soros will lose all credibility when next time they complain about the Koch brothers. While many Republican voters will be alarmed—and probably roused to a wrath those DAs will not want to face—the more interesting effect will be their tendency to self-destruct. People artificially propped into power rarely last, especially when they come from different stock.
...But, there's nothing like a school shooting to put our priorities about the news in perspective.