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


December 15, 2012

Observations on the School Shooting in Connecticut

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was the scene of a horrific and senseless slaughter of twenty innocent children whose wonder and amazement of the world came crashing to a violent end. All their and their friends, parents, siblings and all who knew them hopes and dreams of what could be will now be unanswered and unfulfilled. My condolences go out to everybody affected by this vile, heinous and senseless violence wherever they may be found. The facts at the time of this writing are still woefully incomplete and still I feel I know all that is necessary to come to the realization that Newtown, Connecticut, the entire nation, and many around the world will never be quite the same after gaining knowledge of this wanton waste of innocent and precious lives. The news story is still in flux with the information changing with every update and unanswered questions still being added proving that at times the more information you get, the more questions there are to answer. Before this story will thankfully fade with time, though its effects will never completely dissipate, we will hear every possible reason and excuse for what happened. The young man, I am tempted to call him a monster and not a man, will likely be a troubled person on medications and this will be given as the mitigating factor. This will be used to place the blame on society, medical science, our lack of programs for those with mental difficulties, lack of sufficient supervision for people suffering from whatever ills drove this person’s actions and other such justifications, as if there can be any justification for such evil. This may be the sole use of the word “evil” you are likely to see as evil has become more of a four letter word than those that pepper so much of the entertainment mediums of today’s society. There will be numerous demands for restrictions of our freedoms and rights going forward all claiming to be reasonable demands if it saves a single life, and it is this direction I wish to explore.


Right up front I want to make clear that with almost universal application, none of the expert reasons and explanations are worth a thin dime and will be mostly long on educated language and terms that have important sound but mean little to most of us. The hosts interviewing the people who will be coming out of the woodwork will all nod and shake their heads knowingly as if they actually understand the theories and ‘eduspeak’ spouted by the experts. Some will blame the culture of guns in the United States, others the violence in the video games and entertainment of American society, still others the lack of sufficient numbers of people who deal with those with troubled lives and unhealthy mental states. There will be recommendations for gun control, more spending on social services for troubled people, placing police in every school or even every classroom, arming teachers after a training course, and anything from a catalog of subjects that can be imagined. All the solutions will require either the need for the surrender of rights by the population or a great additional expenditure by government making them inappropriate or ill-advised. Few will come up with suggestions which are workable in today’s world.


My suggestion is that perhaps we should look to what has been utilized in places where such threats have existed. The place I am thinking of went through a period of years where the main targets for violent attacks were the schools, the elementary schools being the preferred target. This was the situation in Israel for decades starting in the early 1960s. The Israelis found an affordable and innovative solution that eventually made such attacks so difficult that targeting moved on to other targets where people congregated. This eventually led to every business and institution becoming security conscious and employing armed guards who searched all containers including purses, bags, or any object that might contain a bomb or firearm. But initially, when the full extent of the problem was the targeting of the schools and the children attending classes, the Israelis applied an innovative solution. The Israeli solution was to have a special IDF unit provide special and targeted training for volunteers who were then allowed to guard the school of their preference. The people who made up this cadre of school armed guards were grandparents who volunteered to stand guard at the schools where their grandchildren were attending. This prevented numerous attempted terror attempts and soon ended the threat because those guarding the schools were highly motivated and well trained. Before anybody claims that such is insane let me explain that the IDF also screened the volunteers for mental and physical fitness to provide intelligent and proper security. What makes this use of retired and concerned people was not the idea of any government bureaucrat, no, not at all; it was initiated at the insistence of the grandparents who demanded the government allow them to guard and provide the safety that they did not expect the government to provide in a manner anywhere near as adequate as what these concerned volunteers knew they could provide. Perhaps the time will come in the United States when the people demand to be given the tools and training to make their schools and even the malls and movie theaters and all other public places susceptible to such attacks safe from the random violence from some disturbed person who managed to arm themselves. It is our society and our responsibility to safeguard the places from all evils, both carefully plotted in a sane and meticulous manner and the acts of an insane lunatic who goes off the deep end. If we the people are unwilling to take measures to assure our own safety, please do not depend on the government to provide such, just look at the past few weeks and realize this is the level the governments are willing to provide and we can do better.


Beyond the Cusp


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