This is a syndicated post from Politics to Parenting and Everything in Between. [Read the original article...]
Yesterday marked a month since the deadly Newton, CT Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and while some like the Newtown police chief are calling for an assault weapons ban, it is not the solution that is needed but one based on emotions. While banning certain weapons and ammunition from law abiding citizens might make politicians and other anti-gun advocates feel good, it will do nothing to solve the problem when the problem is lack of security in our schools and lack of awareness of mental health issues.
Police Chief Michael Kehoe has a message for the White House: “Ban assault weapons, restrict those magazines that have so many bullets in them, shore up any loopholes in our criminal background checks,” he said in an exclusive interview with NBC News.But there is far from unanimity about what should be done about guns.Marie-Claude Duytschaever, the grandmother of 6-year-old Noah Pozner, the youngest victim that day, said she, too, wants a ban on assault rifles.“Noah had the right to go to school safely,” she said. “He had the right to live, to have a job and a normal life. I think that’s more important than to have a gun that can obliterate a whole room in seconds.”Sandy Hook Promise group will not call for specific gun control measures at Monday’s press conference and a few have expressed concerns that the White House is moving too rapidly with its proposals — and without seeking input from the families of the victims of Newtown.
This is why traffic slows when it sees a state trooper on the side of the road. In this scenario, the fear of penalty enforcement is heightened because enforcement is sitting in plain view on the side of the road and the penalty is still relevant. No police around? People speed. It’s the way we are wired.
In the same vein, it is the lack of a sufficient penalty, either because the penalty is too weak, or it is not sufficiently enforced, or it is not relevant to the one breaking the rule that can make rules totally ineffective. Take for example the problem of illegal entry to this country. Are there rules against this behavior? Yes there are. Is there illegal entry into this country despite the rules that state it is not allowed? Yes, obviously. Why is that? It is because the penalties for breaking the rule are insufficient in severity and enforcement to deter the behavior. Since the penalties are not sufficiently severe, nor sufficiently enforced, the bad behavior is not avoided. We have a rule. The rule has no meaningful penalty, and millions come here illegally as a result. So much for rules with little or no penalties.
Therefore, if you want to change behavior, you need to employ a penalty that is sufficient to deter that which you do not want to take place, and the rule and the penalty have to be enforceable, and the enforced penalty has to be relevant to the rule breaker for the penalty to have any chance of changing behavior. If you are an advanced reader, you have already realized that penalties then, are at best only partially effective and have no effect at all if they are no longer relevant to the rule breaker. So when is a penalty or enforcement of the penalty no longer relevant?
If you are going to fly an airplane into a building to kill people, any penalty man can apply for breaking the rule that says you should not hijack an airplane, or you should not kill people, or should not do any of the other things you are doing that have rules that say you should not be doing this are all no longer relevant to you the rule breaker because you will very soon be dead. So without a relevant penalty, even though there are rules and stiff written penalties, if the penalties are not relevant, the bad behavior simply cannot be deterred. So if the actions to be taken are suicidal, then what penalty can backstop the rule and make the rule relevant? Answer. None. Bottom line here is you can’t make a place safe with rules. Therefore a rules based safe place cannot exist. It is a myth. It is only the perception of security and as stated above, the perception of security is not real security.
These two myths, police protection and the rules based safe place are used over and over to create security for children. They are never used to create security for large amounts of money , politicians, judges, airports, members of congress, the president, very wealthy people, valuable corporate assets and employees, etc. It also makes no difference how many schools rely on these myths for security, these myths will never provide real security. Got it? In other words, doing something stupid over and over does not make what is being done any less stupid. It only reflects the stupidity of the people that are doing stupid things over and over. Relying on myths for security is just a stupid policy carried out by stupid people. I say stupid people because we have seemingly learned nothing from past events. We have to at some point face facts as they present themselves, not ignore them and stick our heads in the sand and hope for better outcomes. That will not get to the desired metric.
With over 30 students and faculty murdered in the Virginia Tech massacre, society evidently learned absolutely nothing. At Blacksburg, a murderer was allowed to just walk into the building unchallenged. He wasn’t even challenged when he chained the doors shut to prevent for a while anyone else coming in to oppose him. And since Virginia Tech had created a rules based safe place, the students and faculty, following the rules of the university, lacked any means of repelling or neutralizing the intruder. Bone headed thinking by those running the university had decided that responsible college students and faculty should not be allowed to possess guns on campus under penalty of expulsion (a very relevant penalty to a student). However, since there was no way to prevent non-students from coming onto the campus with a gun, the rules based safe place made no sense. It only protected students from being shot by another student, and then only if the shooter was not suicidal (that nagging relevance thing again).
The rules based safe place simply disarmed the students and faculty and since there was no allowance for paid guards nor aother means of dealing with an attacker, a killing field was unintentionally created by the rules employed to supposedly make the place safe. Once the shooting started, the shooting continued because of the reliance on myths. The enlightened academia running the university believed in the myths of a rules based safe place, and police protection. So much for both myths. The cost for proving these security measures to be just a myth was very high. So what was learned? Absolutely nothing!
Years later, in Newtown, CT, an armed intruder walked into the school carrying a long gun. This time the intruder was challenged at the door by brave individuals, but to what end since they had no means to repel the attacker? Having no means of repelling the attacker because once again, the perception of security was the rule of the day, brave adults lost their lives and the attacker was not stopped. The same two myths were once again being relied upon, and once again proven by events as they unfolded, to be nothing more than myths and only the perception of security, not real security.
Another very high price was paid in Newton, CT for relying on myths for security. What was learned? If you listen to Dianne Feinstein and others of her ilk, you would have to admit that nothing was learned. Ms. Feinstein is trying to make hay with this tragedy as she has done in the past, but her comments on how to actually make a school more secure are few and far between to the point that she has ridiculed the only rational measures as presented by the NRA, instead of offering anything “real” herself.
The same politicians that have long been anti-gun are using yet another tragic event that was allowed to happen by reliance on myths to further their political agenda to ban guns. To them, it seems to not make any difference that banning the gun will not make schools more secure. That is not their worry. They live and work in a cocoon of non-myth security and their agenda seems to be simply that banning guns will make schools more secure.
I don’t care what political persuasion you happen to be, this is really sick behavior on the part of politicians to leave schools unprotected to further a political agenda. Yet this is what they seem to be doing. You don’t see them relying on myths for their own protection do you ?. Yet this is what they force onto our schools.
Politicians that want to ban guns just can’t admit publicly that most public schools are relying on myths for protection, because that would undermine their argument that we need to ban something. Unless we actually learn from these horrible incidents, unless we begin to face reality, unless we move away from the perception of security based in myth and move instead towards real security in our schools, we will most likely continue to suffer more of the same atrocities. It takes an evil person to kill children in a school, but it also takes a willing political power to continue to allow it to happen. Maybe if a few politicians were forced to have their security removed they would think and act differently. Or maybe if all members of Congress were forced to send their kids to public schools without exception, maybe then the myths would be put to rest and real security options would be explored.
In my consulting practice, I find it useful to get to the root of a problem and solve it before wasting energies and resources trying to solve the many derivative problems growing on the problem tree as a result of the root problem being allowed to flourish. Well, the root problem here is simply this. There are really evil people in this world, that’s it. We need to protect our children from these people. This is the definition of the problem we need to solve and you can’t do that with a myth. Focusing on anything else other than this root problem is denying real protection to our schools and kids. This is an intentional act of denying real security, not an accident. So why are politicians doing this? What is it that makes their agenda more important than protecting our kids and teachers in our schools? The shortest answer is narcissism and greed.
The reality is we can provide our kids with the myth based perception of security while trying to ban guns, or we can actually protect our kids with real security and severely damage the argument for banning guns. It is as simple as that. Here is another thing to consider. The gun ban discussion actually requires the myths of police protection and a rules based safe place for the gun ban argument to seem logical (which it isn’t). This is because the gun ban approach when boiled down is simply this. If we ban assault rifles, then schools will then be safe. Obviously that isn’t true, but that is what their argument is. Silly isn’t it? Yet this is the argument being used boiled down to its essential elements and exposing their argument and its total lack of logic.
The gun ban argument ignores the fact that rules don’t work. It ignores the logic that penalties have no meaning in a suicidal attack. The argument ignores the fact that police response times at Columbine, Lancaster, VA Tech, and Newton, CT all prove police protection is just a myth. The argument also carefully ignores the fact that even if you ban a gun, the school is still relying on myths for security. The big question to me is why is society so stupid to swallow this drivel in the first place? To admit that our current security is based in myth, is to abandon the reasoning behind why we need to ban certain guns. Therefore, we will not be allowed as a society to have the real discussion we need to have about how to make schools more secure so long as the false argument of banning something is the darling of the media and political circles. Who loses because of this? The next round of kids that die as a result of relying on myths for protection. Their grieving parents. Their teachers. Kids everywhere that hear of these tragedies and now live and go to school in added fear. A shocked and saddened society as a whole.
But the gun ban politicians never lose because every time something like this occurs, they once again seize upon it to further their careers and their political agenda. They never actually make a single effort to actually make our schools more secure. They never provide schools with a means of limiting access, nor a means of repelling an intruder, even though they themselves are working and living in a cocoon of protection that does exactly for them what they refuse over and over again to provide for our kids.
Think I am being too hard on politicians? Then ask yourself this question. What have you heard to date that translates into real protection in our schools from any politician that is discussing banning guns? The only entity that has offered a real world solution to the root problem is the NRA and they were shouted down during the press conference, ridiculed in the biased press, called Nazis and other vulgar names, and mocked by the very politicians in office that have the power to do what the NRA wants to do, but these politicians have chosen instead to rely on myths and protect their gun ban agenda at all costs. Go ahead. Prove me wrong by citing a name and a public recommendation that amounted to providing real security in our schools.
Personally, I would not trade the life of one child for the entirety of congress. That is how much respect I have remaining for the legislative branch of our government. I have long said to Fire Them All, for cause, for gross negligence, for spending us into oblivion, for mismanaging our nations affairs, for laundering what amounts to bribes through PACs, and now for once again leaving our kids unprotected while attacking the second amendment. All of this is done to further their own careers and pad their pockets because they have no choice. It boils down to who they have sold themselves to and that is not something they can change and remain in office. We really do need to fire them all.
Factually, the only thing standing in the way of protecting our children is the very government that controls the debate, blocks the real discussion on how to make schools more secure, and sets the priorities that says politicians and judges and government officials and offices are so valuable that their working environment deserves to be protected with real protective measures, but our children are not deserving of any such protective measures. Translation? Our children to them are simply subordinate to their agenda.
Politicians appropriate and fund protection for themselves, but nothing for our kids is inexcusable behavior. Why do we allow it? Are politicians more valuable? We can afford to bail out banks and car companies but not protect our kids? We provide grant money to private businesses in exchange for political contributions but we can’t find the funding to protect our kids? We can fight wars in foreign lands that have little to do with our own security but we can’t protect our kids? Department after department in our government gives out billions of dollars in grants, but we cannot find the funds to protect our kids? We can build schools, roads, and public works in foreign lands, but can’t find the funding to protect our own kids in our own country? Why do we allow this behavior from those that work for us?
The painful and inescapable truth to all of this is simply incidents like Newton, CT happen because they are allowed to happen. When was the last time you heard of a mass shooting on the floor of congress? When was the last time there was a mass shooting in the Whitehouse? How about in an airport? Can’t remember? Well, you probably can’t remember any of those things happening because those things were not allowed to happen. Incidents like Newton, CT happen because they are allowed to happen. They happen because up to this point in our history, our children have not been important enough for the most politically powerful among us to see the necessity of providing protection for our children. I am trying to change this. Please help by passing this on to as many as you can. I submit to you that we have elected and appointed the wrong people to serve us and this is another root problem we need to deal with and soon.
I don’t know who “Glenn” is but his post was one of the most articulate, honest and common sense responses to the entire issue. It’s too bad those in political power don’t want to think rationally, but rather react emotionally and politically to such a horrific tragedy. As statistics have shown and evidence has proven, bans on ‘assault weapons’ didn’t help when they tried it in 1994,[the Columbine massacre happened under the Assault Weapons Ban] and it wouldn’t have helped in the worst mass shooting in the history of the US at VA Tech in 2007, when 32 people were killed by a mentally ill gunman who used two handguns and not an ‘assault rifle’. Therefore, this attack on ‘assault weapons’ and limiting the number of ammo clips a gun can hold or a user can carry or purchase will NOT stop a criminal set on breaking the law, nor will it prevent gun trafficking and the theft of guns.
Adam Lanza stole his guns from his mother after refusing a background check. Background checks can help, but they do NOT stop someone from stealing their weapons and finding another means of committing the same crime.
Tomorrow President Obama will issue 19 executive orders after meeting with Vice President Biden to discuss the issue of gun control and share the proposals his ‘task force’ has come up with after meeting with various parents from Newtown, with gun rights groups, and anti-gun groups, along with the video game and the movie/entertainment industry. It is likely the proposals will call for more restrictions on law abiding citizens from purchasing certain types of weapons and ammo, but will not address the real issues as mentioned above, school security and mental illness awareness.
It’s too bad the federal government doesn’t just stay out of the issue and let schools and parents decide what is best for their children and let schools provide the type of security their parents and the community feel is best for their students. Passing more restrictions on law abiding citizens from securing themselves is not going to save any students or keep anyone safe, especially in these ‘gun free zones’.
This video is a great example of how absurd ‘Gun Free Zones’ are:
Since the Newtown tragedy, at least three other shootings have occurred in gun free zones. One at Taft High School in CA, where they have some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, and one in St Louis, MO today and another in Kentucky today, which left two dead. Each of these left few wounded and only two dead, but at least one is in serious condition. The media reports have been limited because they were not MASS shootings and therefore they tend to ignore the issue of gun free zones posing a greater threat to innocent victims than not. It’s only when there is a mass shooting of at least four or more that the media goes on for weeks about it and gets people’s emotions up prodding the government to pass more legislation rather than consider the problem is lack of security.
The only thing the federal government needs to do is provide the necessary funding to provide proper training and security to our schools, which can be done through the COPS program, as well as a productive learning environment. While some teachers may feel comfortable with carrying a concealed weapon others may not and this is understandable and a reason why it should be voluntary. However, all schools should have at least two armed security officers in each school to prevent and deter the type of criminal behavior that occurs during these school shootings. I’m sure once something like this is in place we will see a lot less incidents of school shootings, if not completely end them.
FBI data:the average American is more likely to be killed by “hands, fists” or “feet” than “assault” riflehttp://sco.lt/6UCJdJ ;
Gun-ban Chicago: Nearly 15,000 murders since 1990–446/489 children killed this year alone! http://sco.lt/5kfaT3 ; ;
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