Beyond the Cusp

November 29, 2018

Why the Left Hates Competitive Education

 

First, please allow us to define “Competitive Education.” All Competitive Education entails is allowing there to be competition in educating our most precious asset, our children. Whenever this is suggested, big money from the Teachers’ Unions and Labor Unions in general start claiming that if we go away from general public education, then there would be no schools operating in the inner cities, the children will all receive subpar education, only the wealthy children will be permitted into the best schools and a myriad of false accusations and strawman arguments which a casual investigation would reveal their complete vacuity. The accusation that only the wealthy would receive a decent education is so absurd simply because the wealthy already are not sending their children to the public schools and are instead using Competitive Education in choosing in which of the elite academies they will educate their children. They often make their determination after a serious assessment of their child’s particular needs. If their child is rebellious, they might decide that a strict academy where they children wear uniforms and rules are strictly applied and if their child has a learning disability, they choose a school which is suited to such challenges and lastly, if their child shows a particular proclivity towards some subject or ability, they would choose appropriately. But the omniscient overlords of the public school system wish to deny to everyone who is not wealthy the exact same system which the wealthy are able to afford. What if instead of forcing everyone into the one size fits all and often-subpar education system provided by the government, after all, name something the government provides which has proved superior to the same service provided privately. We often immediately hear that law enforcement, and we agree that the level of protection provided by those dedicated individuals who choose to train and provide law enforcement are above the average, but we will also point out that the wealthy often have private patrols and other applications of security which augments, and in some gated communities replaces, publically provided law enforcement.

 

Allow us to make a few other potential areas where the identical argument about public education would apply and we would like to see how many would prefer the government take over these other areas of products, after all, education is a product in which we are given limited and too often no choice beyond the location where we reside to determine the educational level our children will receive. The first and most obvious would be grocery stores. After all, without the government providing our groceries, how do we know that just because we live in a poor neighborhood that we are not going to receive second or third rate food choices or no food choices? Would we not desire that the government provide grocery stores with government distributed groceries and government employees stocking the shelves and as cashiers and every other position right down to government run farms to assure the right measure of fertilizer is used and only approved pesticides which will not harm the environment and water rationed to prevent runoff and on and on. This was how food was grown, harvested and distributed in Soviet Russia as well as a number of other socialist nations such as Zimbabwe which had been the highest food producing country in Africa and when a new governance took over the entire economy and placed their own people to raise their crops and tend their herds and they became the least productive food producing country within a matter of three or four years, the length of time it took to replace all the existing farmers, or at least most of them. We already have heard that people want healthcare provided from the government. In our studies of such systems, we have found one which performs adequately and it does so by allowing competitive healthcare facilities and private hospitals and physicians and with the competition for members in the separate plans offered by these companies, quality remains quite high and prices remain relatively low. In the purely one size fits all nations there are prolonged wait times for surgical procedures, cancer treatment, diagnostic tests (the one place the system in our preferred nation could use an upgrade), permission to see a specialist, for physical therapy and so many other items and unlike our preferred nations where private practice is permitted as long as you also provide a set amount of your services in one of the plans, most of the socialized medical systems forbid private practices. What about socialized, government clothing? Everybody gets the same styles from which to choose. China had this at the start of the Mao Zedong rule and it was wonderful seeing all the happy people dressed identically. Let’s face it, there is nothing that the government does better than private providers, with the grave exception of military power, something which any sane people would never entrust to private companies as then the wealthy would have too much power.

 

School House

School House

 

So, let us talk private schools and see what we can learn. First and foremost, there would be testing which would demand that students meet a minimal level of education in the necessities such as reading, writing, arithmetic, history, civics, sciences and even physical training for a level of fitness. The way these schools would be largely financed would be by having the monies currently spent on education divided by the numbers of students and the money would go to each school with each student. This would set a level of tuition which the most basic schools would charge with specialized schools potentially charging a higher tuition. Special needs education students would receive an additional amount divided from the current additional expenditures on a per student rate as the general education funds were divided. The general education schools could also provide specialization with the level required in the other subjects still requiring to be met. With private schools, the better schools would receive more students and be able to fill classroom sizes which could be regulated such that class sizes could not exceed a set figure, probably thirty or less as per regulations in each state. The states could be placed back as the primary sculptures of their school systems through their specific requirements. It would make sense for schools in central Nebraska to be more oriented to farming and such technologies while schools in the major cities would have less of an emphasis in these areas. Such decisions are best left to the individual states and counties, as they understand the requirements of their communities far better than would any bureaucrat in Washington D.C., where the current curriculums are mostly regulated. The testing regimens could be set at a level desired as minimal acceptable requirements from Washington D.C. but the specific requirements should be left to the individual states to determine any additional emphases. The better schools would survive and spread as their reputations spread and those whose level of proficiency was of a lesser quality would soon go out of business. Another advantage of such a system is that these schools would be answerable to the parents and far more approachable than the current public education systems which in many instances have virtually no means for parents to have any measurable influence. Teachers also would be rated individually and as such be more inclined to add to their education and become more qualified as well as staying up to date on the latest changes to their subject matter. We know that most of these reasons are an anathema to the teachers’ unions; who once a teacher gets tenure, they can coast along with no fear of being removed from their position. Further, the teachers’ unions in the majority of instances have become political influence peddlers and less education monitors. Their main interest is the continuation of schools as is and bigger salaries, less required class time, more specialized advisors, more counselors, administrative positions and a myriad of items with little if any influence on the level of education provided.

 

The argument is that schools would not be provided to remote regions such as low density farming communities or to many central areas in major cities where there are problematic reasons for low performance and other scare tactics. The city argument is ridiculous, as the students in these areas would take with them a premium fiscal incentive to provide education. This alone would be a great incentive as money talks. The arguments that in some areas the schools would choose not to admit troubled youths could be remediated by providing an additional scale for payment for schools taking any youth who had been expelled from another school. These children could be considered to be youths with special needs. Such schools should be given some additional leniency concerning their maintaining order in their classrooms. Further, an allowance might be made to have law enforcement officers stationed at these schools which would tend to blunt any precocious student deciding that they were permitted to have a violent outburst. Further, the schools would be responsible for student safety and in preventing the kind of incidents which have become all too common in schools. These incidents have occurred despite the availability of psychologists and other professionals placed in schools who are supposed to see such problems before they occur and not to provide the reasons why such events take place after the fact. With schools free to accept and expel, the environment in the classroom will become more conducive to learning, a major plus. One of the greatest problems in discipline was when because of costs, reform schools were dropped and new age approaches of placing discipline problem students into normal regimens in the claim that such an environment would prevent their acting out, and this was applied even to students who it was known had violent tendencies. Some schools may even provide special programs for just such students where a more regimented system where outbursts are not tolerated and other older tried and true methods applied to such students. Not everything is better just because it is a new approach; sometimes the old-school approach is more effective. Most difficulties would have applications which, as long as there is a need, there will be somebody to fill the niche, often at a price.

 

Schools could once more offer a series of hands-on job training giving student a skill which they could become licensed and qualified for apprenticeships or trade school certificate which would create graduates who could take any of the myriad of unfilled positions in what we derogatorily refer to as manual labor. There is nothing wrong with making a living using hands-on skills such as carpentry, plumbing, roofing, electronics repair or any of the many other skilled professions. We must refer to them as skilled professions and as an alternate route for those who choose to create actual physical objects which create the houses, malls and other structures or that repair medical equipment and other electronic items or even factory work with assembly, calibration and testing. Below is Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe in a suit speaking at the Independent Women’s Forum where he was awarded the Gentleman of Distinction award speaking about the growing gap of jobs which need filling which do not require a college education and the burdensome debt which comes with it. We also can bet that when they make education free for everyone, these free educational opportunities will exclude the menial positions, the way the elites in the ivory towers refer to those of us who perform the jobs which keep their worlds running smoothly with plenty of items produced by people without a college education. The stigma placed on these honorable professions is really doing our children a disservice as instead of running up a debt to gain a degree a youth could apprentice in a profession or even go to Caterpillar’s free school too become a heavy equipment operator and where they will place you in a job near whatever city you desire. For the professionals out there with the six-figure incomes, a heavy equipment operator after four years on the job which includes the first year with Caterpillar will match your six-figure salary working near New York or other major metropolis.

 

 

Many parents argument for why they are unable to place their children into a private educational facility is cost. For those who claim that their children are their most precious darlings of their lives, to them we simply ask, are such darlings not worth a small outlay of funds beyond what the government provides for worthwhile to provide the best for them? With the government outlays per student now given to the child to take with them, the cost of that private school may just have come within the reach of many such a parent, and would that not be worthwhile for them to finally be able to place their children in the schools they desire? The answer to both questions should be a resounding, “yes,” and is another reason privatizing education is something whose time has come. What will happen to all those educators currently in the public school system? Well, they will be able to find jobs with these private schools which will start to appear almost like weeds once they know that the money is there. Competition will keep the prices in check and competition will provide the best teachers receiving the higher salaries. Can you imagine teachers being given raises commensurate with the results of the education they provide the children and the decorum they manage in their classes? Schools will retain their best teachers and slowly weed out those whose methods and results prove to be less than expected. Those who are back to thinking that private schools would be a horrific idea, would you also desire government grocery stores and government clothing stores along with your government education system. Education is a lot like the weather, so many people complain about it but nobody does anything about it. Maybe the time has come to try something different. As Einstein was reputed to have said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” The reality is that the United States had private education for much of its history and the argument for public education was made to provide every student with an equal education which followed the prescribed curriculum such that the workforce would have a standard upon which they could depend. Many of the current results from the government run schools lays lie to such result, as many school systems no longer provide equal education in their schools or even an adequate level of education. Colleges at all levels are finding that they are required to provide remedial education in the most basic subjects without credit for incoming students often adding another year to their time required to graduate. What does this tell you about the level of education the average student are receiving in government schools; perhaps we should try something else and see how it turns out. We would love to see a state decide to try private education taking whatever Federal money they receive and taking the money they provide and dividing it into a per student amount. They could even sell off their school buildings to any system and making sure that different systems are provided with these facilities thus increasing competition. If any state were permitted to try this as a test case and the bureaucrats in Washington D.C. could permit their control freak tendencies to go into remission just for one state, then that could be the test case and any problems addressed as they are encountered. Imagine if such a test were permitted in, oh let’s pick someplace which would represent the nation as a whole, how about Illinois as it has Chicago plus a fair number of decent sized and small metropolitan regions as well as some rural farming communities thus it just might make a representative test case. Would it be simply unthinkable to Americans to accept private education where they would actually have to make decisions as to their children’s education? They choose the food their children eat, the clothes they wear and almost every other aspect of their life, but education which should be amongst the most important items just has to be trusted to the government. That simply does not make sense and is completely counterintuitive.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Advertisements

September 13, 2018

President Trump is Missing the Mark

 

President Trump made the theme of his campaign as MAGA, or Make America Great Again. Well, perhaps the first thing one need establish is exactly what made America great to begin with. Just for the record, it was not a booming economy or record high stock prices or any economic measure one could take and claim this was American greatness. What made and will make America great were, are and will be her people, but only if they get the right start at life and that requires the right attitudes and reliances to be ingrained in early life and reinforced throughout the education cycle. What the basic core element was that made America great was what has been referred to as that “can do” attitude, the idea that no challenge is too great and nothing can prevent the individual from success. Unfortunately, that work ethic and self-reliance is no longer the central concept in the public schools where now instead teachers are expected to find gimmicks and systemic concepts by which everybody succeeds. This is accomplished by the there is no individual effort and everything is a team effort where everyone succeeds if any one of the team succeeds. More about this as we go.

 

During World War II, there was an interesting thing which the Germans instructed their soldiers to target. They were told to target the Russian officers, target the French officers, target the British officers, and whatever you do, never target the American officers. There was logic and reasoning behind these commands. The Russian, French and British soldiers were completely reliant on their officers to order them in battle and without an officer to lead them; they were simply a bumbling bunch with no real direction. This is not to put these soldiers down, as they were just as brave and strong and daring and often heroic as any but they also were more reliant on their officers. The Americans, on the other hand, were orderly and predictable when there was an officer giving the orders; but should the soldiers be left to their own devices, well, the Americans continued to advance and tried to take any objective but would do so in often the most unthinkable and definitively unpredictable manner. The American soldiers were far more of a danger to the Germans when they did not have an officer in charge, so the Germans attempted to make sure not to shoot the American officers. That is that “can do” individualist attitude for which the Americans are famous, as well as their less delicate manners which often are found rather insulting by those raised in a more traditional society such as Europe.

 

Even when we were in school, we were instructed as individuals and everything was a form of competition where some would succeed and some would fail. Seldom outside of sports were there such things as teams. Assignments were given to everybody and we all did what we could to be amongst the best because we knew our grades would reflect exactly our efforts and their success level. There was no leaning on somebody else’s efforts to gain your grade because you always stood alone and your work spoke for you. Further, teachers recognized each child’s style of writing and reasoning; so if you had some means of getting somebody else to do your composition or report or any assignment, the teacher would not only know you did not produce the work and fail you, but knew whose work you were passing off and they also were given a failing mark. But, from everything we have seen with our children and their schooling, the days where every individual succeeded directly according to their own work achievements and everything was an individual effort, which forced one to be self-reliant, are gone. Individuality was encouraged and self-reliance was taught as well as practiced and teamwork was left for the physical education department, and even there, individual effort was still the measure in the end.

 

In the parts of the education we have been exposed through our children, all of whom now have children and they have seen the identical system still being stressed, even more so, is that everything is a team effort. I was also fortunate in taking a few math and education courses back a couple of decades past, probably even longer, but whom wishes to admit to how long ago things were. What I was horrified to learn was that as a teacher, my rating was commensurate to the number of children receiving above average grading. We were told that the idea of modern education was to assure that every student learned how to utilize cooperational work to their advantage. Teachers were instructed to use advantageous teamwork schemes to maximize the individual team’s efforts by proportionally implementing sufficient abilities for each team while not overloading any teams with unproductive students. We were taught that as long as there is a standard bell curve to the abilities where such a curve could be skewed towards the lesser productive end if a team had at least one outstanding individual to make it still average out. Further, by using the correct balance of teamwork, every student would benefit from those who had the abilities and dedication and through working alongside of such productive members, the less productive students could learn how to best advance through belonging to a good team. So, the lesson for the best students is be prepared to be leached off of while the lesson for those who used to be the failing students is simply attach yourself to a winner and allow them to drag your sorry and worthless body over the finish line. Just so you understand, this is how many, if not most or all, public education now functions, they use teamwork so that more students are passing each grade and graduating often with impressive yet unearned grade point averages. This is also why colleges are now offering courses without credit or with one credit teaching rudimentary reading, writing and arithmetic, you know, the three R’s (reading, riting and rithmetic; they were a little lenient in their descriptions but we had to spell them correctly).

 

What made America great was that those who could were easily recognized by their exceptional grades and often the recommendations of their teachers. The best performers were not utilized to drag four or five classmates to the next grade off of their work. Luckily, teachers were also told that they should change the team assignments on a regular basis such that everybody would “get their chance to be productive.” This was also done such that the least productive students would receive a lesser grade as they would be placed in teams with all the productive students who themselves were on different levels. This way the few students who were exemplary would continue to shine above the rest. The problem comes with the rest who would almost all receive at the worst a passing grade and more often than not a ‘B’ but not higher. About the sole way of receiving a ‘D’ or failing outright any longer would be to not bother to show up to class. But, mind you, if you came to class on the day teams were assigned and then next came to class on the day your team made their presentation and just stood in the back and maybe were given a three-word sentence to say where perhaps there were four-syllables, then you would very likely pass the course. For all too many classes in public schools, not all but the majority, the requirement for a passing grade is attendance, if you show up for class every day, you will pass and potentially receive a ‘B’ for your exemplary efforts. What is worse, some jobs have gotten to the point that if an employee can be relied upon to be there every day and even on-time, they are considered a great employee. There actually is a condition called Chronic Lateness which if you are late to work on a regular basis at least two or three days on average per week, then you cannot be fired for being late, you have a disease, Chronically Late Insane People (CLIP). There is one for the books as in our day, also called back in the day, this disease got you fired, not understood and coddled.

 

That is another item which modern society suffers from, everything is not your faultiness. Rather than have people face their bad habits and work to improve themselves, now it becomes a disease, a symptomatic illness, a societal disability or whatever theoretical problematic symptomatic illness or pathology to which they can attach a label. Once it has earned a name, then come the self-help groups with group therapy where you learn of more and different ways you can get over on the system due to your illness. And now that you are in a group, you have more power and you may even have a web presence, then you have really made it. It is all part of the nobody need take responsibility for anything even their own action and mistakes because nothing is actually any individual’s fault as everything is done in groups and societal evolution has decided that society is always inevitably to blame for everything. Really, take sleeping on the job, it could be SWD which means Shift Work Sleep Disorder. But what if you are not a shift work employee? Well, at least there is a group you might join and see how they might help by telling your boss that you are not alone in this problem. Imagine your boss who has warned you and is threatening to fire you for sleeping on the job and they get a call from Sleeping at Work Policy Group. Yes, that will put them straight that you are not alone and have a group behind you, or at least an imaginative friend who is willing to make such a call, but there is such a discussion group so it may be worth a try. But just about everything one can imagine can be described as some form of disorder and thus requiring that one be given that little extra space that us normal people do not have. There was one condition we were unable to find any sympathy for as no help group was available for people who leave work early, though it was considered a sign of dementia for which there is a whole heap of groups which will help, if you can remember their name and meeting place and time. What was that condition about again?

 

Apparently, individuality now comes with a self-help-group and if you are one of those nose to the grindstone types, expect to have every dullard placed in your group at the start of each semester and to never have another exceptional person partnered with you until you reach the real world. What we need to Make America Great Again is a return to individual efforts and actually allowing for failure. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes failure is exactly what a person needs to make them serious about their efforts and to focus them on what is real and required of them. Many, if not most, but at least many of these disorders are simply the result of lack of discipline. We have often read the symptoms of the disorders they are medicating elementary school children and through to graduation and into adult life and we look at the symptoms and basically go check, check, check , yeo, had that one, that one in spades, oh heck yea, that too and that and that on and on and we learned to control ourselves. We blame many of our peers, the parents for much of this. The, my Johnny has a sleep disorder and has to take frequent naps and here is a note from his therapist. Or at the other end of the scale, what do you mean he failed the test, he did not fail, you failed to teach him correctly and you had better fix this problem right here or else I will call my friend on the School Board of Education. Or the parent who demands that their child always be teamed with another child so that both will pass and it happens both ways, where a deficient student’s parents demand with the other parent’s support that their child be teamed with a high performing child and the other way around as well. It is all part of if one child fails, then we have all failed. That is crap because if one child failed, either they did not try or they actually are not capable of doing the work and need to be trained for some form of work, which does not require academic skills, they will obviously not make a Harvard Physics Professor.

 

MAGA

MAGA

 

So, President Trump, you want to Make America Great Again, then start with the public education system. We have some suggestions. First, teachers must be required to pass a college level test on the subject they will teach every five years and if they fail, they will be made to take classes which will bring them up to speed and then they can take the test again. Teachers will receive their pay scale from the grade they get on the test and each five years they are requalifying and will receive an increase or decrease in pay resulting from their proficiency. Teacher’s pay scales will be raised considerably as will the expectation placed upon them. Any teacher whose students regularly fail to achieve when tested in the subject taught by the teacher will be placed on probation and if their students do not achieve higher proficiencies, they will be let go as teaching may not be their forté and perhaps they should try something else. As for where to get the funds for paying teachers far higher salaries, that is an easy one. First, get rid of three-quarters of the counselors, three-quarters of the vice-principles (no school need more than two); reduce all schools to a single principal; no weapons in school means no weapons in school; allow for expulsion as otherwise you are endangering the learning atmosphere; offer alternate education where one can learn a skill such as an apprentice learning how to drive a rig or use a bulldozer or grader and other skills because not everybody is college material or even desires to be a lawyer or doctor; fire most of the administrative staff leaving a secretary for the principal and a general office worker; slim down the kitchen staff and allow parents to volunteer to assist in the kitchen; any student caught with a weapon or drugs will be suspended the first time and expelled the second no deviations; return the reform school system with special teachers who have the training with the desire to educate the most difficult kids and finally; return to it being the PTA and not the PTSA or even worse the STA with no P at all, as parents need to be included in their children’s education but the children are not to be responsible for how they are educated, just on getting educated. The current system is a failure because it is attempting to make every student fit the exact same mold and that means taking too many square pegs and shoving them into round holes and it just does not work. Further, by excluding expulsions of the most disruptive and dangerous students, you are robbing those who actually desire an education of receiving what your system was presumed to provide. Some people are simply failures at life and no amount of teamwork will alter that in any way. It would be a better service to the community and to the country to allow those children who honestly want to learn a place which is safe and secured with an atmosphere conducive to learning. A school in the inner city and a school out in farm country should be just as well staffed, well provided, having competent quality teachers, clean, safe, quiet and well run as one in the most affluent suburban school system. This should be the effort, make all the schools almost indistinguishable from one another such that every child willing to work hard and live cleanly within the rules of the schools, which should be the same in every school, will receive a top of the line education from competent teachers and staff who really care and know their subject.

 

What is astonishing is the price per student in each state where we found at the top were District of Columbia: $19,396; Alaska: $20,172; New York: $21,206 and New Jersey: $18,235 while at the other end there were Oklahoma: $8,082; North Carolina: $8,687; Mississippi: $8,456; Nevada: $8,615; Florida: $8,881; Arizona: $7,489; Idaho: $6,923; and Utah: $6,575. There would be another item which would save all of these school systems radically in the price per student; do away with the Department of Education and strike from the books every single regulation which this agency had even an advisory opinion in the writing and implementing. Return control of the school systems, universally across the United States to the individual cities, counties and whatever is the smallest jurisdiction possible. We would not mind if every individual school were run by the actual area from where their students originate. Further, permit any parent to place their child in any regular normative school whether in their district or not or even in another state provided that the parent takes responsibility for all transportation to and from school and activities. The Federal government and in principle state government should not be paying a single penny for the school systems which should be financed entirely locally. Government should trust the parents will demand and provide the best possible learning institution for their children and history had much proof of this. Way back before the Civil Rights movement, the schools were run on a principle of separate but equal and while they were separate, they were far from equal. But what was also apparent was that despite the lack of funding for the schools in the black areas, there were some students who came from these schools who proved to be of unparalleled excellence and who have written on the education system and its failures with far more poignant truths than I dare to write about. We will just include a small sample of articles by Thomas Sowell, after whom little else is left to be said, “The Education of Minority Children,” “Black Students Thrive at Charter Schools,” “Teachers’ Union Lies,” “The Illusion of Education Reform,” “The Moral Dry Rot in Academia,” and much more including “Education at a Crossroads Parts I & II, The ‘Diversity’ Fraud,” “The Left and the Masses parts I, II & III” plus “A public black prep school no more: What racial equality in education has wrought” along with numerous other articles all timeless can be found here. And as stated, there is little if anything else to add after Thomas Sowell, who is the product of the educations system of a bygone era who proved with effort you can overcome any and all obstacles, especially if there are caring parents or mentors to push you.

 

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

 

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.