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

 

February 20, 2018

If Only the Media Showed Self-Control

 

There has been proof that these mass shootings cause more mass shootings. They are almost contagious as if it were a virus spreading throughout the population, particularly the youth. Another item we know is that there is the notoriety aspect. Perpetrate a mass shooting and instantly your name is shot around the entirety of the media, you are on every televisions screen and your name is in every newspaper and magazine. Sure, you might spend the next twenty-years or possibly less in prison, but you are now famous. That is the one side which the world can control. Where is my evidence of this? Well, how about what the Oregon shooter who we will not name wrote, “A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. … Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.” Then the Fort Hood shooter noted and posted on Facebook, from the same article, “These bastards have perfected their way of attacking by studying previous massacres to gain publicity and their minute of fame as a villain.” In the article, Mona Charen referred to a website which supports the same idea we will explore, it is called No Notoriety and puts forth the simple concept that if the media would leave these names out of their reports and the cases were tried with no media allowed and a closed courtroom, then the big name aspect would be gone, no notoriety, no motive, no fame thus one large reason taken away.

 

That would be one great way to take a bite out of these shootings. Will it end these mass shootings? Unfortunately, this only addresses one aspect and there are so many other reasons starting and not ending with but including mental illness, pure hatred, depression, drug abuse and all the other reasons which drives these shooters. Still, if these shooters are denied any notoriety, then we will likely and fortunately have less of these events. Removing one driving motivation is and always will be on the plus side of the equation. Whatever society can do to take away one reason driving the school and other mass shootings is to the benefit of society. The problem is the media would claim that it is the right of the people to be given news, all the news and any attempt to limit or silence the media from reporting every iota of any and every news story would be the start of the slippery slope to censorship of the news and an end to the First Amendment protections. Of course, this is the same media which shows absolutely no reservations to restrictions of the Second Amendment in order to presumably to bring an end to the same mass shootings. So, apparently, according to the media, it is just wonderful and cool to erase the entirety of the Second Amendment but the First Amendment is sacrosanct. Perhaps they are unaware that the entireties of the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments, are all protected by the Second Amendment. Further, nobody is trying to silence the media; there is simply a request for self-control when reporting on mass shootings. The other way of preventing the media from reporting these names, the authorities need to control their release to the media of these names and the trials should be kept under gag orders silencing the opportunity for the names to be made public. What would be the last resort would be for judges to intervene and impose a gag order silencing the media and everybody else from reporting the names even if they managed to become known. The problem with this idea is the foreign media would have a field day reporting the names and would work overtime to get the names of every shooter just to scoop the American media. Once the European media would release the names, there would be no way of continuing to prevent reporting of the names in the United States as they would just be quoting the foreign media claiming according to foreign reports, the shooter was identified as John Doe.

 

Various Firearms

Various Firearms

 

But there is another solution to the school shootings which the left will scream bloody murder rather than listen to reason. The NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre has repeatedly stated, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” Israel had a mass school shooting back in 1974 when terrorists attacked a school in Maalot. Israel took the novel approach and armed teachers, in particular, IDF reservists from the infantry teachers who were trained in firearms. They also offered those teachers who desired training the necessary classes and proficiencies before arming them as well. As reported in Arutz Sheva in an article titled, “Israel proves the NRA’s arguments,” they tell all about this and other means Israel has faced violence and defeated it through armed civilians including bring the Stabbing Intifada to an end by simply requesting that all Israelis with legal right to carry weapons, do so and protect the peace. Israel took the opposite route to eliminate violence perpetrated against its schools and as a threat on her streets, she decided to give the innocent protection by arming citizens who had military training or those who had received training in firearms and they became the arm of keeping order which could be places where the military or police were not. This added the fact that now a terrorist or other perpetrator could not tell simply by looking around for police or military personnel and seeing a clear coast know that they would be the only armed individual and thus in control as any civilian might be equally armed and there may even be multiple people armed to respond in preventing a terror attack or other crimes, particularly shootings and with armed teachers, especially in the Israeli schools. Terrorists have reported to police that they more often will attack Haredi Jews because of there being less of a chance for them to be carrying weapons. That is an example of how effective arming the populace can be and should be a warning to the Haredi that they might want to change the equation which makes them a greater target for crimes and terror attacks.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 10, 2017

Bad Day for Guns and Gun Control

 

There was another mass shooting, this time in the small Texas town of Sutherland Springs. A known lunatic invaded the First Baptist Church with an AR-15 Semi-automatic rifle, which is modeled after the M-16 Military rifle, which acts the same as a modern hunting rifle, one pull of the trigger fires exactly one bullet. He murdered twenty-six and wounding another twenty all aging from five to seventy-two. Immediately after the shooting and before clear facts had been ascertained, the anti-Second Amendment and anti-Firearms ownership groups which want everybody disarmed and disarmed immediately as the sole way to prevent the next mass killing. Then the news started to come about the entire episode and we learned that two men in a pick-up truck chased after the killer and he lost control or somehow ran off the road and had died of a gunshot wound initially reported as self-inflicted. Then again, maybe not self-inflicted, there were conflicting reports that maybe he had been shot by somebody with a firearm, one of the men from the pick-up truck. He may have shot the fatal bullet. That became verified, the screams to disarm everybody ceased, and coverage waned from that point forward. Remarkable how the interesting fact that a citizen with their own firearm interrupted this shooting by engaging the murderer forcing him to turn tail and run and probably responsible for the police capture and eventual death of the shooter, and soon the media tires of coverage and those conducting the investigation quickly tie-up the loose-ends and put a bow on the closed box. Story is declared dead and dropped. Well, not quite yet, we have a hero, Stephen Willeford, to celebrate and if there is one thing our society needs, it is heroes (see below).

 

 

The day was actually full of heroes that day. There were the emergency responders who made their way to the Church to assist those needing medical care and taking care of the deceased. Then there was the local man who was stopped at the intersection and upon watching two men exchange shots and when one fled, the other ran towards his truck, breathlessly explained the situation and they then chased down the murderer and held him at gunpoint until and even after police arrived assisting them. The pick-up truck driver, Johnnie Langendorf, also was interviewed (see below). The attacker was pronounced dead soon afterward. Two heroes, one willing to drive and face danger and another with their personal firearm risking everything engaging the attacker and probably firing the fatal shot, were both engaging and gave media interviews. What a day.

 

 

The editorials were different this time because the knee-jerk response initially after the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church, they grabbed the attention of the people from the anti-gun side of the argument to sit up and prepare for their normal attempts to destroy the final restriction to invoking total control and establishing an iron fisted dictatorship. Whatever the real reason that people desire complete firearms bans, such will never be the case as unless the entire world is disarmed, there will always be firearms available to those determined to have them. That is simple to verify, as the terrorists always seem to have all the weapons they require, why every other person willing to illegally obtain them simply just would pay the price. That is human nature, to get that which they desire when they feel they need something. There are some unexpected by too many results when gun ownership rises (see graphs below). Accidental Child Firearm Deaths have dropped as gun ownership rose. The likely reason was more people became familiar with firearms and thus took the necessary care added to much publicity of warnings through Public Service Announcements (PSA’s). As gun ownership dropped in the United Kingdom violent crime and firearm deaths increased likely because the muggers and violent crime perpetrators knew that their victims would be unarmed and thus little to no threat to them. In the United States property crimes dropped once gun ownership passed a critical point, as now there was a better than average chance that the person being armed and able to protect their property. Finally, gun homicides dropped precipitously as gun ownership rose once again as people could now protect themselves and one another from the criminal elements. Guns prevent more crime than they are responsible for but the media does not desire you to know such. That is why they will harp upon a crime committed with a firearm for weeks on end but seldom speak of the crimes prevented by firearms, and the numbers are considered lower than actual as many people will not report prevention of a crime with a firearm as they fear the police attempting to disarm them and take their firearm as evidence never to be returned.

 

Unexpected Gun Statistics Gun Grabbers Rather You Not Know

Unexpected Gun Statistics Gun Grabbers Rather You Not Know

 

There is one final nail in the coffin for those wishing this crime would fit their cause and the need for evil use of guns and not heroes who utilize a private firearm in the hands of its owner preventing a crime from becoming even worse. The person who shot up the church, Devin Patrick Kelley, should never have been permitted to purchase a firearm as he had been convicted of spousal abuse. The problem arose as the United States Air Force never bothered to report his criminal conviction to the FBI as required by law. This failure to report his criminal past prevented the system from functioning as it is presumably set up to work. The federal database of people who are not to be permitted to purchase a firearm can only be as complete as the reports filed with the FBI and added to the computer logs. Devin Patrick Kelley being listed on the federal firearm database where the stores check to verify if one may legally purchase a weapon was prevented by not filing his conviction to the FBI. One can only wonder how many felons guilty of crimes which should prevent their ever owning a firearm are not listed for similar reasons. Maybe this event will make officers of the law and courts to be more dedicated in following procedures and make every required and necessary filing to prevent any such mistake in the future. Human error is a terrible reason for this tragedy, but that it may have come down to a United States Air Force Prosecutor or other officer of those courts not filing with the FBI a conviction to the FBI for inclusion on the Federal Firearm Ban Database; that is what the most regrettable revelation of this entire catastrophe is.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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