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We Hear You: Politics and School Safety After the Massacre in Parkland, Florida

by The Daily Signal | 3.27.18

Ken McIntyre / @KenMac55 / March 04, 2018

Ken McIntyre, a 30-year veteran of national and local newspapers, serves as senior editor at The Daily Signal and The Heritage Foundation’s Marilyn and Fred Guardabassi Fellow in Media and Public Policy Studies. Send an email to Ken.

Editor’s note: Like so many other Americans, The Daily Signal’s audience is trying to figure out the way forward after a 19-year-old with a rifle killed 17 and wounded 14 at a Florida high school. We begin today with an initial sampling of views. Send your take on school safety and other matters to—Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: The equation remains the same, as Jarrett Stepman’s commentary indicates; advocating more gun control will change nothing (“6 Common Media Myths About Gun Control”). In fact, every time there is a call for more gun control, the number of guns in circulation increases, sometimes dramatically.

The Second Amendment exists because the Founders understood that government might be necessary, but must be limited. They did not trust government. Neither do we—not ours nor anyone else’s.—James Helberg

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Commonsense actions could be taken on firearms: Prosecute and convict felons who use a gun, not release them with a slap on the wrist as is done in my city. Make it law that doctors list all mental patient confinements and release information.

Permit school districts to decide if teachers may be trained and armed, the firearm secured either in their car or in their classroom. Have students report any student with a gun or knife in school. Use buzz-in with a camera at school entrances.

All schools conduct active shooter drills. Do not let students prop open exit doors for classroom shortcuts. Make gun safety classes available.

Try to find constitutional, reasonable, and effective means to reduce gun violence. The usual bans and restrictions are not working.—John Sprinklebumj

The solution is to protect our children in the schools the same way we protect our politicians and valuables. Replicate the Israeli model on school security.—Jim Fuscaldo

Our own Declaration of Independence clearly states that “all men [and women] … have certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Note that the first of these is, indeed, life.

And yet we allow the proliferation of certain guns whose sole purpose is to kill other human beings. Time after time, tragic incident after tragic incident, we offer “thoughts and prayers” and do nothing else to stem this epidemic of senseless killings of innocent citizens.—Michael S. Ellegood, Prescott, Ariz.

I’ve owned a gun or guns since I was 12. I mostly hunted, but also was a police officer for a while and an airman in the Air Force. Lately I retired after working at a prison. In all of these occupations I was required to qualify to use weapons.

I’m somewhat mystified at persons who seemingly worship guns. A gun is not a toy to be played with. I can see no point in a civilian having a military-style weapon.—Rex Whitmer, Phoenix

The number of problems that local law enforcement had with this kid who confessed to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School should have kept him from passing a background check, as Amy Swearer’s commentary shows (“FBI Failed to Investigate Florida Shooter Despite Long History of Concerning Behavior”).

Any laws that are placed on the books to control firearms are going to be handled by the FBI. They have clearly demonstrated that they are not handling current laws well.—Wade Wingfield

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was warned at least eight times and failed to look into Nikolas Cruz. He needs to be removed from office.—Greg Jewell, Pomona, Calif.

The most difficult decisions adults must make often come in the face of impassioned pleas from uninformed juveniles who have undergone some emotional trauma. Unless you have ever been under fire, you cannot possibly begin to understand the trauma that sets in on most untrained, undisciplined people.

It takes years of training in the law enforcement and military fields to overcome the initial shock of being under fire, and even then some fail to use their discipline and training. It is nothing to be ashamed of; even the strongest wither when faced with their own mortality.—Derek Dubasik

We’ve been through all this, especially after the Sandy Hook school massacre of Dec. 14, 2012. What improved? Congress and Obama did what?

Schools did what? They told students to throw cans of soup or books at the shooter. Maybe it’s their fear of using guns for self-defense that led them to support gun-free zones, which enable the killer.—Tom Kay

Regarding Fred Lucas’ report, banning types of guns and parts is just more of the same old nonsense of “control” (“Trump Pushes ‘Bump Stock’ Ban Before Meeting With Florida Students, Teachers”). It doesn’t work, doesn’t make anyone safer, and protects no one from anything. It’s stupid, feel-good legislation that politicians use for cover.

We have armed security people at banks, shopping malls, airports, train stations, bus depots, federal buildings, state buildings, parks, wildlife refuges, and on and on, but we don’t have armed people protecting our children at school. It defies logic and reason, but liberals and Democrats really don’t want to solve this issue so they can continue to politicize tragedy. It’s disgusting.—Steve Fowler

Trump had better not cave to these whiny liberal crybabies. The “assault rifle,” bump stock, or whatever instrument used did not jump up and commit crimes all by themselves. That had to have help. And in most cases they were helped by a liberal Democrat.—Michael Moore

Americans have had enough from the gun lobby and the gun nuts. We will ban assault weapons quite soon.

If you really feel that you need to own them in order to have self-esteem, then better bury yours in your back yard. And then if you ever feel like the liberals are tormenting you too much, you can always dig them up and remain peaceful, but still feel better about yourself.—John Levin, New York

The problem is that we are discussing the wrong subject. We’re concentrating on so-called gun safety at a time when we should be discussing school safety.

There are thousands of cases every year where some good person with a gun stops one or more bad guys using guns to try to commit a crime. Unfortunately, these cases get precious little media coverage, probably because they don’t fit the media’s agenda.

There is one proven way to shut down criminal gun use: Have somebody on hand with a gun available to stop them. One of the stupidest ideas I can think of is to designate a school, a church, or any other public facility as a “gun-free zone.” Worse is to post signs that say so. That is an open invitation for somebody with bad intentions to attend to mayhem.

We have a school district near us that started arming school faculty after the Sandy Hook shooting. So far, they haven’t had to use those arms. A good bet is that they never will. Let’s get smart and start to really protect our young people everywhere.—Ken Marx

What North Korea Is Really Like

Dear Daily Signal: The mainstream liberal media would have you believe that Kim Jong Un’s sister represents the best of North Korea, as Jarrett Stepman writes (“Media Fawning Over North Korean Envoy Does No Favor for an Oppressed People”). In fact, she is at least one of the heads of the regime’s propaganda ministry.

In North Korea, the evils of the administration have reduced a vast number of its citizens to eat dirt. And if you’re not in the military, you’re probably starving. You’d have to be a true marxist to find any good in this type of regime.—Juan L. Bassett, Germantown, Md.

This is why most commonsense Americans don’t trust the news media. If you compare North Korea’s brutal regime (where people are born into slavery, starved to death, and made to submit to it) with South Korean (a vibrant capitalistic society), you would know the difference. I served two tours in South Korea in the 1960s and ’70s, and they do appreciate freedom.—Chuck Faraci Sr.

This is as bad as it would have been had the American press covering the 1936 Olympics celebrated Adolf Hitler and his Gestapo and how handsome their uniforms were, or how lovely Eva Braun looked.—Barbara Sbrogna, Rutland, Mass.

Media and academia fawned over Russia in the 1930s. Same story, different cast of characters.—Dave Maxwell

North Korea has to be the worst country in the world to be born (“What Is Life Really Like in North Korea? One Woman’s Story”). I have heard that North Koreans regularly try to escape directly across the border. It is generally not reported, but should be.

About 85 percent of the population is starving. If a person is in the army, he gets fed more. I read that it was better after the wall came down in Europe, when the U.S. was not providing aid. That forced North Korea to allow some trade across the border into China.—Dee Hodges, Parkville, Md.

This woman lived the horrors of that country, horrors that our mainstream media leave out when they praise the propaganda minister of North Korea at the Olympics.—Juan L. Bassett, Germantown, Md.

America’s Transgender Moment

Dear Daily Signal: It is so sad that we are destroying our kids’ lives with this transgender crap described in Ryan T. Anderson’s commentary (“Transgender Ideology Is Ridden with Contradictions. Here Are the Big Ones”). Children are being told that it is OK to choose your sex and get your bodies maimed by surgery and altered by hormones before your brains are developed.

Is it soon going to be wrong for girls to want to play with dolls and boys to want to play with trucks? Transgenders are not necessarily happy after the transition. Suicide rates are higher. The underlying mental problems were never addressed.—Sharon Melvin

It’s science, but they have to use a mythical animal (a unicorn) front and center to get their point across. Thus perfectly summarizing the reasons why we need to question transgender dogma.

I am perfectly sympathetic to those struggling with gender identity disorder, but indoctrinating schoolkids to accept it isn’t the way forward.—Jeremy Legg, Bournemouth, U.K.

Hopefully, no one will be fired from a job or receive death threats or obscene phone calls for sharing Ryan T. Anderson’s “politically incorrect” post (“Understanding Our Transgender Moment”). In any event, I advocate courage.—Boyd Richardson, Barbourville, Ky.

America is in decline, so long as the majority remains silent.—Tedd Kunkel

The Integrity of the FBI

Dear Daily Signal: Regarding John Malcolm’s commentary, my reading of the Grassley memo suggests that not only did the FBI fail to inform the court that former British spy Christopher Steele had lied, but that they continued to affirmatively assert Steele’s credibility even after they learned he lied to them (“The Plot Thickens: Grassley-Graham Letter Sheds New Light on Steele Dossier, Nunes Memo”) .

We may be dealing not only with a material omission (that Steele lied) but with false statements attesting to his credibility— statements continuing to assert his credibility on the basis of the FBI’s previous work with Steele, when in fact he lied and the FBI knew it.—Matthew J. Harris, New York

You would think that eventually the media would finally have to grudgingly admit there was something rotten at the upper reaches of the FBI.—George Fowler, Belton, Texas

Then-FBI Director James Comey’s rough drafts of his “Hillary’s not guilty” speech prior to Hillary’s even being investigated allow most sane and competent individuals to draw the conclusion that Hillary was not going to be found guilty of anything. Her innocence was preconceived by Comey and company.—Rick L. Bonath

Shouldn’t we all be less concerned with the provenance of information and more with the information itself? The FBI and CIA should be trying to verify or debunk all of Steele’s information. If he knowingly lied, charge him. But he may have believed his sources, just like the FBI believed him.—Caleigh Fisher

All I can say is, let’s get to the bottom of this and let the light of day shine on the facts.—Wes Potts

Questioning Those FBI Texts and Emails

Dear Daily Signal: Politicians have turned the FBI into a sad joke, Kevin Mooney’s story indicates (“2 Anti-Trump FBI Officials Also Used Private Email, Their Texts Indicate”). A once honorable and great crime-fighting organization is now just a underground political organization.—Ron Puckett, Alabaster, Ala.

It’s important to remember that the people involved know exactly what went on and could, would, and should tell us. The fact that they won’t and that their government employers don’t insist on their cooperation tells us all how deep and wide is the corruption in the federal government.—Mark Simmons, San Jose

When are they going to clean up this mess? If any government employees are using private emails for classified business, then they are out. And folks wonder how Russia is getting information? Why not look at their own email servers?—Tonie Lesia Dalton

The indictment of Russians, as reported by Fred Lucas, was nothing more than a public relations move by special counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI (“4 Things to Know About Mueller’s Indictment of 13 Russians”).

They’re trying to repair their highly damaged image and distract people from the pile of evidence. That evidence shows that the assignment of a special counsel to investigate Trump campaign collusion with Russia is a total sham being conducted by partisan hacks whose objective is to unseat a duly elected president.—Dave Coats, Santa Ana, Calif.

Nice of Mueller’s team to have uncovered all that, but not exactly what they were set up to do.—Ken Marx

Congress and a Big-Spending Budget Deal

Dear Daily Signal: Regarding Rachel del Guidice’s report on Republicans’ making a budget deal, the only answer is for us to vote for people who demonstrate fiscal constraint, and not vote for people who don’t have that discipline (“Conservatives Sound the Alarm on Budget Deal”). Unfortunately, many voters don’t place enough value on their own finances to see that D.C.’s spending is a problem.—Tom Antoine

Just what we need, more social programs! Billions of dollars for “grants, programs, and law enforcement” to combat the opioid crisis? And whose pockets do these billions of dollars go into?—Sandy Brown

We’re already running a trillion-dollar-a-year deficit, thanks to the tax cuts. This spending deal will add to it.—Edward Buatois, Cleveland

“Balanced budget” is not in the congressional dictionary.—Jurgis Meister

President Trump is right. The only way we can stop budget-busting is to elect more conservative Republicans (“See How Your Lawmakers Voted on the Budget Bill”). I am saddened to see that all of North Dakota’s congressional delegation voted for it, even though ours is one of the most conservative states in the country.—Kenneth Hall, Jamestown, N.D.

The U.N.’s Ammo Grab

Dear Daily Signal: Regarding Ted Bromund’s commentary, “Beware: The United Nations Is Taking Aim at Ammo,” a clear majority of Americans do not want the United Nations in the U.S. Let’s get them out and then get the U.S. out of the dues-paying obligation.—Jack Roth, Niota, Tenn.

The United Nations doesn’t represent our values. If we allow them to take away our guns, you can bet our freedoms will go with it.—Wes Potts

Actually, this is good. It means our guns and ammo will be produced here in the U.S. More jobs here, fewer in these other countries.—Lewis Williams

It is way past time to shut down the U.N. on our shores and let them find somebody else to pay for them.—Doris Gray

It’s way past time to withdraw from the U.N. and send them packing to become somebody else’s headache. We don’t need that corrupt organization.—Ken Marx

Leave our Second Amendment rights and ammo alone, that’s the bottom line.—Greg Scruggs

How Are We Doing?

Dear Daily Signal: Thank you for the hard work you do in presenting the truth. Here in Australia, we get news from the States that has been interpreted by journalists here who are heavily influenced by the leftist media there. Most people truly believe the fake news that is the “mainstream” media.

We have only one guy who stands strong against it, Andrew Bolt on Sky News. And most people think he is a nut. He seems to be a lone voice here with so much opposition. How do we turn this tide that is brainwashing our world? Thanks for keeping us updated on true news.—John Pirrotta, Queensland, Australia

It’s nice to have a source of news that’s not loaded with left-wing propaganda. Thank you for your efforts. Your emails are always a part of my day.—John K.

I’d appreciate it if you included the author’s name in Morning Bell, your summary email. I’m more likely to click on an article that is, say, written by Walter Williams if I have more than just the title.—Bill Goodberlet

Good job. Keep at it. Reliable, trustworthy, and conservative, which suits me just fine.—Bill Parker Headland

Excellent. Keep up the good work of telling the truth.—John Aslin, Iowa

You’re doing very well. I applaud you.—Erik Heste

Fantastic! Keep up the great job. I am praying for you.—Kathryn Winson

Chrissy Clark helped to compile this column.

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