Let’s add 17 more names to the list of dead students after another school shooting, the 18th this year by some accounts, this time at a high school in South Florida.
As usual, we Americans struggle to understand. We’ll have this struggle until the next news cycle begins in about 48 hours.
So we offer our “thoughts and prayers.”
Social media provides the ability to give our “thoughts and prayers” quickly. It makes us feel like we’re supporting survivors and that makes us feel good inside. Then, after posting those three words on Twitter or Facebook most are on to other pressing issues to complain about on social media like having to wait too long for a latte at Starbucks.
I was trying to remember if anyone ever brought a gun into my high school. I went to a school that had some race riots back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. A number of times fellow students were caught with knives and the occasional switchblade, but in urban America in the 1970’s, most were street smart enough to know a gun was going to get you time in the penitentiary
On the night of the shootings at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, I was watching the opinion shows on the various news channels. One of the shows I watched was Hardball on MSNBC. Chris Matthews had done this show many times before. I wouldn’t be surprised if scripts were reused from previous “school shooting shows.” As expected, the zombies began appearing – the zombies that occupy the Washington swamp – the politicians.
There was zombie Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut. He couldn’t wait to pat his state on the back for having “among the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the county.” The problem with that, in his view, is other states have weak gun control laws and those guns come across the border into his state. He then offered up his “thoughts and prayers,” before adding that’s not enough.
It was back in December of 2012 when 20 children and 6 adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. About a month later in January 2013, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 bill was introduced to Congress. The bill set up new guidelines, using a “one-feature” test to determine if a firearm was an assault weapon or not. In April of that year, the bill was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 40-60.
Here’s something you may not know. After those 20 babies and a half dozen adults were senselessly slaughtered in Connecticut, the bill was introduced by – Senator Diane Feinstein, a Democrat from California. It had 24 co-sponsors and Blumenthal was one of those. Could it be Feinstein, in office since 1992, was willing to take the heat from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other pro-gun lobbyists and Blumenthal was not?
You’d think experiencing first hand the death and pain caused by the second worst school shooting in American history, occurring in his small state, he’d have his name in bold font at the top of that bill. The bill being defeated or not doesn’t matter. It’s about the perception of taking action.
Blumenthal has only been in office since 2011. It’s been over 5 years since Sandy Hook and these shooting are now more commonplace. You’re right senator, “thoughts and prayers” are not enough. What have you done; besides apparently hide behind the skirt of Diane Feinstein?
Next on Hardball came Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a zombie congresswoman from South Florida. She said she has children in another high school in Broward County. After offering her “thoughts and prayers” she said using the best hyperbole she could muster up, she was “actually nauseous.”
In June 2016, there was a horrific shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. 49 people were executed there. Add to that the other 17 in Parkland. She’s co-sponsored a few bills dealing with gun violence and 2nd Amendment issues – all introduced, none voted on. It may be time for a little more action and a little less Dramamine, congresswoman.
Senator Bill Nelson from Florida, the biggest zombie of them all, showed up next to give his “thoughts and prayers” to Chris Matthews. Nelson asked the rhetorical question in melancholy tone, “When is this going to stop?” Adding, “I don’t know when enough is going to be enough.”
Nelson has been a Democratic senator from Florida since 1991. What’s the body count on his watch? Senator, you’ve been in office for almost 30 years. If you don’t know when enough will be enough, why are you there?
The FBI received prior notifications about the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, due to his postings on YouTube. He bought an AR-15 for the purpose of killing. In Florida you have to be 21 to buy a handgun, but a rifle is just 18. Cruz is 19.
Is banning the weapon the answer? According to estimates there are as many as 10 million AR-15’s currently owned in the U.S., so no it’s not. Cruz also had a gas mask and smoke grenades. Those are used in war. Are we going to ban those items too?
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has an enrollment of 3,000 students and had just two – yes two – security guards on duty. How can two, probably retired, police officers guard all those students, teachers and staff on a “gun free” campus? They can’t.
It comes down to governments actually enforcing existing laws. It comes down to students speaking up and telling teachers there’s something wrong and that a person may be dangerous. It comes down to parents preparing their kids not for what can happen, but what will happen. It comes down to providing the needed funding for not only education needs, but for kid’s safety when at school.
Do I want a wall because I’m worried about an invasion of Mexicans? No. Am I worried about our children’s safety in schools? Yes. If Congress provides the billions in funding for that stupid border wall and again does nothing to protect our children in schools, there’s nothing more you need to know about those serving us in Washington.
It is our responsibility to elect politicians who will take the correct actions in our representative republic and focus on us – the people they serve – not the lobbyists they run in fear from.
“Thoughts and prayers” until the next school shooting.