Beyond the Cusp

March 5, 2018

The Gun Debate Reveals Exaggeration Extremes

 

The gun debate has reached the level of ludicrous. Any solution anybody suggests gets taken almost immediately into the theater of the absurd levels so exaggerated then ridicule begins. In this poisonous atmosphere, there is absolutely nothing which could ever pass the ridicule of the extremes of every solution. The most ridiculed solution has been the suggestion that teachers be armed. Now the initial suggestion was that teachers who chose to and either have police or military experience and pass a test or a teacher who desires to assist in such fashion and have taken a course and also passed a proficiency exam, then they be permitted to concealed carry. The most foolish ridicule we found was that arming teachers sends the message to students that arming themselves to the teeth is the best way to avoid violence and would lead to weekly school shootings by heavily armed paranoid kids. Where do we start at picking this apart? First and foremost, the teachers are to carry concealed as in the weapons are not in the open for general viewing, so as far as the students are concerned, they will not know and the teachers would be instructed not to reveal whether they carried a firearm or not. This should not lead to students ever knowing even if any of their teachers are armed and that is how it should stay. The main idea of this is not as much for the teachers to act as guards, despite in the situation of a shooter, an armed teacher would be far better situated in guarding his class and keeping the door secured, but for any shooter to be uncertain as to whether there are armed teachers or other workers in any school and this would work as a deterrent against choosing any school as a shooting target. There is a reason that police stations are never attacked by shooters except in the movies. But the ridiculing also claimed that arming every teacher would result in far more carnage than a shooter would cause as the teachers would be shooting one another and their multiple missed shots would likely find other bodies and lead to an unimaginable body count. Nobody has ever stated that every teacher be armed and only those teachers who proved to be proficient with firearms were to be permitted to carry concealed. Further, one would think that the teachers would recognize the other school personnel and the majority of the students. But ridicule always beats calm discussion.

 

Another suggestion was that those who show mental difficulties to the degree of the Florida shooter at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Nikolas Cruz, such that they pose to turn violent should be placed into an institution and given professional assistance by trained medical psychological staff and physicians. The immediate argument was that there are too few such institutions left to treat any number above a very small few plus such treatment costs far too much. There are some valid arguments here but they exist because of liberal programs from the 1960’s and 1970’s where the vast majority of the mentally disturbed in state institutions were placed in outpatient care of clinics and made to reside in the general population and this led to the states mostly closing their state run institutions. This has proven to be a failed experiment which a simple search will present the evidence or you can read this lengthy article. The time is far past that the governments at the local and state level recognize that there is a rising number of mentally challenged individuals within the prison system, the problem which led to the initial building of state institutions, and others adding to the homeless numbers and those in shelters and many who have fallen from their assigned outpatient treatment centers who simply drop these souls as they are challenged with governments cutting funds repeatedly year after year. At some point, it would make sense to return to the state institution system which proved to be the most efficient way of protecting the mentally challenged. As we recently reported, the mentally challenged problems more in depth in our article The Left Denies Mental Problems the mentally challenged commit ten percent of homicides and are being incarcerated which was the initial reason when the state institutions were first built to provide cost effective treatment for the mentally challenged. So, perhaps the protestations should be placed aside and the problem actually addressed instead of ridiculed.

 

Another solution is one which comes up virtually every time that there is a firearm horrific crime, which is really simple sounding, just enforce the existing laws. The immediate reaction to this is what are you talking about enforce the existing laws, there aren’t any actual laws against guns and that’s the problem. Well, the first step is actually enforcing laws instead of ignoring them. For a full coverage of this problem all but leading directly to the recent Florida school shooting one needs to read The School-To-Mass-Murder Pipeline by Ann Coulter, and please do not let the author set you off from reading the article as there is a wealth of actual documentable information contained within. There are laws in virtually every district against people with mental illness from possessing firearms as well as laws against people with a felony or spousal abuse and other such convictions from possessing firearms. The problem is that often these problems are not reported to the FBI and thus never get the names placed on the denial lists in the instant background check which is often the sole item between a person and owning a rifle. Fortunately, or not, depending on your viewpoint, purchasing a handgun is far more difficult and the background check is far more extensive. Further, mentally challenged individuals who have personality disorders with tendencies for violence and are being treated are often not reported as their physicians prefer not to place such warnings on their background as such might prevent them from getting employment despite the fact that such lists are presumed to be only checked for employment requiring a security clearance or to be armed as in guard positions. Do the psychologists really desire that their troubled patients actually receive a firearm as part of their employment? If so, their licenses should be pulled. Part of the problem is lack of proper enforcement and reporting of items which would make one unable to receive or purchase firearms are far too lax to be efficient and thus inoperable.

 

United Nations Twisted Gun

Twisted Gun

 

There are also those who have simply stated that if concealed carry laws were such that anyone who could legally own a firearm, pass a full FBI background check, take a course in firearms safety, pass a proficiency test with their firearm, and pass a police department class and test on the applicable laws concerning the use by a private individual of a firearm in public, and make such relatively standardized across the states, then with more firearms in the possession of licensed concealed carry owners with the proper experience, then the chance for a shooter to be unopposed in an mass shooting would be less and thus they would be prevented from carrying out their mass killing sprees. Here we would like to add that one additional law need be passed which would permit these licensed concealed carry personnel to carry even in these “gun free zones” then all areas would present a potential shooter with the probability that there would be somebody armed to prevent their having a free fire spree. This is always referred to as the “Wild West” situation where there are shootings in the streets and outlaw gangs robbing the town bank and other really uneducated responses. Oddly enough, the “Wild West” was really quite tame. First thing was if you did not carry a gun, then you would not be shot even by the bad guys. The reason was simple, even if a bad guy shot an unarmed person, other equally bad guys would turn them over to that town’s sheriff simply because otherwise, there would be posses out all over the area seeking this lout and that would be bad for all the other bad guys. Further, most towns had their respectable areas and the less reputable areas with the saloons, houses of ill repute, and often the sheriff’s office as you place it where the business is. There would be a main street separating the residential area and the stores from the more restless area where the cowhands often let off their exuberance after a payday and the respectable people avoided for obvious reasons. Many of the smaller towns today have a similar divide, the two sides of the railroad tracks concept. This is especially true in towns where certain occupations such as running a gambling house or other such establishment or certain types of clubs are found which are all together in one area while the rest of the city or town is more respectable. If you wish to avoid trouble, you avoid these areas and if you are seeking trouble, you seek it in these areas. That ends our lesson on the so-called “Wild West” and the shootings every fifteen minutes myth.

 

There are more such flame wars going on on the Internet and probably between people at work and other places. The easiest thing to do is ridicule any solution by taking it to the farthest extreme and then poking holes in it. In logic, reductio ad absurdum (Latin for “reduction to absurdity”; or argumentum ad absurdum, “argument to absurdity”) is a form of argument which attempts either to disprove a statement by showing it inevitably leads to a ridiculous, absurd, or impractical conclusion, or to prove one by showing that if it were not true, the result would be absurd or impossible. It is traced back to classical Greek philosophy in Aristotle’s Prior Analytics (Greek: ἡ Εις άτοπον απαγωγή, ‘reduction to the impossible’). This may be a form of argument in debates in college or other school settings but it has no place in rational debate over legal and societal arguments. The simple truth is virtually any position can be ridiculed through this method and this system only functions if both sides are permitted the same polite and equal opportunity to destroy one another’s arguments and have it decided by scholarly judges. On the Internet and in social media we are completely lacking all of these items. There definitely are no scholarly judges, both sides are rarely given the freedom of rebuttal and using this tactic, and lastly it is usually not just one person who chooses to use this method for ridicule but more often a trolling attack with multiple people using often multiple sign-on identities all erupting to explode one person’s argument often after they have signed off and are not there to defend themselves or so outnumbered that their presence is useless. The Internet could be a place for sober and somber debate, but it really is nothing of the sort. It has become a place where people are dragged through the mud, torn apart and otherwise disregarded and treated as the worst pariahs. Perhaps, at some point in the future, when the world has attained a point currently only imaginable in fiction or futuristic idealized settings, the Internet will serve a debate format through which societies are able to rule themselves with some degree of decorum and dignity, but for the time being we will all face flaming at some point in our Internet experiences. Debating the gun laws and proper solutions is one of the fastest ways to get such treatment.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Advertisements

October 17, 2012

Honest Answer to Biden’s War in the Middle East Challenge

During last week’s Vice Presidential debate the Vice President challenged Paul Ryan with the accusation that he wanted to place the United States into yet another war in the Middle East. This was one of Biden’s snarky interruptions but was also an opportunity missed by Mr. Ryan. Romney’s Vice Presidential candidate should have grabbed that challenge and backed Biden off making him pay a price for such a bare faced insult. Paul Ryan could have started by saying the obvious, “Mr. Biden, nobody who is in their right mind ever desires war and will do anything within reason to avoid a war and nobody who is being honest would insult another human being by falsely accusing them of desiring a war where some of the best young men and women and the finest from among their fellow citizens may lose their lives.” From there he could then lay out what is the real pack of troubles that now exist in the Middle East and point to the actions and inactions of both the Obama and Bush Administrations which led to this situation where such an accusation actually has any foundation in reality.

Paul Ryan could have pointed out the increased terrorism and suicide bombings that have spread throughout Iraq mostly due to President Obama’s inability to negotiate a withdrawal policy which allowed for the remaining American forces to be free to continue to assist in the fight against the terrorists instead of being isolated in one base in the middle of the dessert where their only function is as targets. He could have pointed to the fact that al-Qaeda has been resurgent within Iraq and that Iraqi President Hamid Karzai has not only been allowed but very likely pressured into the awaiting arms of Iran and is now working with Iran in supplying Bashir Assad in Syria with the weapons and munitions with which Syrians are being slaughtered. Mr. Ryan could press the fact that the majority of the arms, munitions, and other military hardware that President Obama’s Administration has sent either directly or through intermediary allies to both Libya and Syria have ended up in the hands of Salafists, Islamists and even al-Qaeda. He could have referred to the disaster that has swept across the Muslim World centered mostly in North Africa would be better called the Arab Winter as the results have definitely not been an Arab Spring. Mr. Ryan could point out the exodus from Egypt that has occurred by those Coptic Christian Egyptians who were fortunate enough to afford leaving and the riots aided by government forces of Egypt that have burned down Coptic communities, churches, schools, homes and businesses.

Ryan could also point to the new demands that have become front and center of the Palestinian demands as preconditions that Israel must be required to meet before Palestinian authority President will allow negotiations to continue. The first being President Obama calling for a building freeze in the settlements and Jerusalem which came out of nowhere and had never even been broached as an idea, let alone a demand on Israel. And his statement that the 1967 Lines, which were the 1949 Armistice Lines, be used as the starting point for borders with only land swaps which are approved by the Palestinian Authority would be allowed to redraw these lines. These are the lines of the front at the end of fighting as per United Nations agreement and which the Arabs themselves demanded never be utilized as borders during their negotiations in 1948-9. Now, every time Mahmoud Abbas speaks his first two demands out of his mouth are for a building freeze in all of the West Bank and Jerusalem and a return to the 1967 borders, he does not even use the milder terminology of Lines. He could then have asked Biden if this was how he and the President defined being the greatest friends Israel has ever had in the White House.

There is a laundry list of other missteps and outright disasters that preceded this past week’s explosion throughout the Middle East. Included in this explosion was an attack by al-Qaeda on our Consulate and the Safe House located miles away that took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three Americans attached to our Embassy staff. This is the same al-Qaeda that the President and Joe Biden have been touting died with Osama bin Laden who the President ordered assassinated in the boldest move by any President. Then there was the rioting that broke through the perimeter of our Embassy in Cairo, Egypt in which the American Flag was torn down and replaced with the Black Flag of the Salafists and al-Qaeda. Why not ask Mr. Biden to explain whether we are fighting against the Taliban or seeking to return the Taliban to power in Afghanistan. If we are fighting the Taliban, then why are we negotiating with the Taliban about including them in the Afghan government? Ryan should impress before allowing Biden to sputter an answer, “And do not tell me about the existence of a peaceful branch of the Taliban. There is no such entity any more than there is a peaceful Muslim Brotherhood which we are finding out to our dismay ever since President Obama threw our somewhat less than perfect ally Mubarak to the Islamist wolves.”

Time permitting, which this obviously might have gone a tad long on Mr. Ryan’s two minute limit, Mr. Ryan could have pointed out that it was the President’s call not to aid the students and large sector of the Iranian people when they rose up to protest what they saw as fraudulent reelection of President Ahmadinejad and instead to back the Ayatollahs and the madman masquerading as the Iranian President. Paul Ryan could have pointed to the leaks from the Administration which undermined Israeli efforts to make available assets which would be vital if Iran were to cause a war with Israel either through their terror proxies in Lebanon, Gaza or the Sinai Peninsula or by making a direct strike with WMDs or conventional weapons tipping their ballistic missiles. Mr. Ryan could state the obvious truth that the sole reason that Vice President Biden could even make such an accusation that the Republican candidates might get the United States in a war in the Middle East was directly due to the complete inadequacy of the Obama Administration’s muddled, addled and utterly failed policies in the Middle East, which are reflective of their entire foreign policy, if one can call the directionless policies of comprehensive responsibility avoidance a foreign policy. Then again, perhaps being the more intellectual, even tempered, mild speaking, but familial rather than aloof, and rational candidate was the best path and the one with which Paul Ryan is obviously far more comfortable.

Beyond the Cusp

October 5, 2012

My Big Surprise from Presidential Debate One

I watched the first Presidential Debate of the 2012 Election Cycle with low expectations and not expecting anything that might actually change my despair of the coming day I had felt I had little choice. Where I will not jump to any conclusions or dance with joy, but I now have found a glimmer of hope. It just might be that those who had tried to dispel my exasperations about Mitt Romney winning the Republican nomination may have had a valid point, though they likely did not state it as well as Candidate Romney did during the debate. This was after an even earlier piece of discouragement when John Bolton, our once recess appointed United Nations Ambassador, announced that he had no interest in running for the Republican nomination race for President. After that I had some lesser amounts of hope of which none was ever placed in Mitt Romney. Much of Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts did not inspire any evidence of a great conservative constitutionally guided leader. What it had shown me was a pragmatist who would lead only as far as the possible and not take on the big challenges of pushing monumental change. The one thing I believe we need right now in the United States is a monumental transformation returning us to the original intentions expressed in our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights respectively and in that order of importance.

What I expected from the debates was Mitt Romney touting an economic plan to make an environment where businesses could flourish and people would be rewarded for choosing to invest and risk their time, treasure, and efforts in order to pursue their dreams and establish new ventures, businesses and opportunities. Well, I definitely got that performance from Mitt Romney. As far as President Barack Obama was concerned, I fully expected a better showing despite his previous problems when having to speak without his little friend the teleprompter and answer questions off the cuff or defend his positions when challenged. What I saw instead was a wondrous destruction and dismantlement of the President who appeared unprepared for any confrontation. President Obama almost appeared as if he had expected assistance from the moderator to cripple any thrusts by Romney and permit the President to give his typical long winded, delusional answers which leave people impressed despite having garnered no information or knowledge from another extensive, tendentious, overly-long, vacuous oration relatively devoid of substance. We did not even get a performance worthy of this description. Instead President Obama came across disconnected, distracted, distant, and unable to connect with the audience, the questions, or the conversation. The debate was between a prepared and on his game Mitt Romney against an unprepared, distraught and off his game President Obama. It was not a fair representation of the best of both candidates, but this too was not the surprise which rocked my view of Mitt Romney.

Those who have read Beyond the Cusp likely know the Tenth Amendment almost by heart as it is one of our favorites among all the integral documents which were written by inspired men during the events at the beginnings of the United States. We have even claimed at one point that simply by a dedicated review of every piece of legislation, every law, and every regulation with regard to the Tenth Amendment would restore the intended balance of powers between the over-bloated Federal Government and the disempowered individual State Governments and the People of the United States. When Mitt Romney mentioned the Tenth Amendment in its proper context I almost fell off my chair. He followed this up by mentioning the importance of State rights and empowerment. And then came his stating the Founding Fathers reasoning for empowering the States over the central government, that each State would be better able to serve the individual and distinct needs of their residents than any program fashioned by a distant Federal government in Washington DC. He also hit the point that by empowering the individual States to address problems we set forth fifty separate experiments with each one taking a potentially different tact to address and fill the needs and problems on any issue. Romney pointed out that through this method the individual States which were most effective, efficient, cost-efficient and versatile means of serving the public could then be copied and even refined further as other States adopted the items from all of the State efforts which proved to be the most suited and promising. This grasp and apparent affection, dare I say love, with the Tenth Amendment and his display of his full and complete understanding of all the intricacies spawned by the Tenth Amendment was close to inspiring. The remaining debates just got more interesting and likely very important. I can only hope that Mitt Romney can incorporate more of the intricacies and implications from the original intentions of those geniuses who crafted the Declarations of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and especially the Tenth Amendment. The one last particular I would like to hear out of Mitt Romney would be his dismissing Romney Care as something he did as a Governor and something allowed by the Constitution and something he would be prohibited from retaining as Obama Care as that is an offense and contradiction to the Constitution. No more repeal and replace, simply applying the Constitution and relevant limitations to remove this onerous conglomeration of obscene and illegal amassing of power by the Federal Government.

Beyond the Cusp

Blog at WordPress.com.