~ Where the Sun Will Never Set on Our liberty ~
I posted this column in another thread. I can’t get it out of my mind.
We must act on the facts but of the world in which we live, not the world as we wish it to be.
Americans own somewhere between 270 million and 300 million guns. The vast majority are owned by responsible people who would never point a gun at another person, let alone kill multiple people with it. We need to look at something else here.
Mental health, say all people who ‘know.’ Well, there too, according to WHO, one in four people worldwide suffer from some sort of mental health or neurological issue. I think it’s safe to assume the numbers might be something like that just in the US.
Those two pieces of information do not quite add up, do they? We here on FR know that ‘assault weapon’ is a liberal term for...whatever they’re afraid of at the moment. We also know chicks put the clips in their hair, and anyone can put the magazine in its weapon.
I think that we can agree that discussions affecting our glorious 2nd Amendment would be most beneficial if both sides exhibited some intellectual honesty and an understanding of the issue. Given the number of guns in proportion to the population, anything less is an incredible disservice to us all.
That term ‘mental health’ is being thrown around as though somehow all who exhibit mental health issues (1 in 4 people!!) will now be flagged in some way should they attempt to purchase a weapon. This is absurd. The vast majority of people with mental health issues, diagnosed or not, medicated or not, do not commit murder with guns or anything else, and would never think of it.
My point here, one of them anyway, is that conservatives allowed liberals to define scary guns as assault weapons. We are about to allow the same thing with mental illness. Who gets to define that, in terms of violent behavior with a weapon (gun, knife, file folder, whatever)?
We need to look honestly at a person’s heart, whenever people see something, then say something. It must be part of the process. Please read the column I posted below.
It’s time to believe tipsters when they warn us about maniacs
The conversation eight years ago was with a man I didn’t know and haven’t seen since. Yet at times like these, I remember what he said as if it were yesterday.
The man is Avi Dichter, a member of the Israeli Knesset and former head of Shin Bet, Israel’s version of the FBI. We were seated beside each other at a dinner in Tel Aviv, and the talk turned to security, especially at airports.
“The problem with you Americans,” I recall Dichter saying, “is that you worry about what people are carrying in their luggage. In Israel, we worry about who the people are.”
Bingo. “Who the people are” is the essence of Israeli security — and what is missing from America’s.
The slaughter in a South Florida school last week is the latest example of how our approach is failing and leading to senseless deaths.
I was familiar with the Jewish state’s tough airport security, where passengers are sometimes pulled aside for interrogation. My son Scott got such a grilling as a teenager 20 years ago, with questions focused on his parents’ religions and whether both approved of his trip.
Most Americans call such questions invasions of privacy. They point to our airports, which generally treat and screen all flyers equally, and reject what Israel does as profiling.
All this is true — and helps explain why we seem powerless to stop mass violence. It’s long past time that America chart a course similar to Israel’s and focus on “who the people are” so we can zero in on dangerous individuals.
Even before the bodies were removed from the high school in Parkland, Fla., reports emerged that the admitted gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was flagged as extremely dangerous. We now learn that police were called to his home scores of times, the school barred him from carrying a backpack after finding bullets in his bag and later expelled him.
Most chilling, the FBI failed to investigate a credible tip about him last month. A caller warned of “Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” the FBI said in a statement.
The admission led director Christopher Wray to apologize to victims’ families and pledge to find out what went wrong.
If he’s serious, Wray won’t limit his inquiry to this case and won’t limit the examination to insiders alone. Too many times on too many issues, the bureau has been unwilling to come clean about its mistakes and even misbehavior.
Recall that agents got a tip from Russia about the Boston Marathon bombers being terrorists, did a quick check, but never even informed Boston police or urged them to keep an eye on the Tsarnaev brothers. Boom.
After examining its actions, the FBI said it did nothing wrong. How could that be?
The father of convicted Chelsea bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi claims he warned the FBI about him long before the 2016 attacks that wounded 31 people, but agents cleared him. Boom.
Calling his son a “terrorist,” the father told an interviewer, “You have to go to the government as to why they did not stop this child.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that a school shooting in New Mexico last December that left two students dead came after the FBI investigated — and cleared — the shooter for comments he made online about violence.
In fairness, there are gray areas in these cases about what constitutes public danger as well as laws about privacy and mental health, not to mention the First and Second Amendments.
Yet the demands sweeping the nation for Washington to “do something” about gun control mostly miss the mark in cases like those cited above. Until America is ready to focus on “who the people are” and take preventive measures against a relative handful of individuals known to be dangerous, nothing will change except the carnage will continue to grow.
For example, President Trump should reverse himself and reinstate an executive order President Barack Obama signed late in his tenure. It added 75,000 people who receive disability benefits because of mental handicaps to the federal background check database, meaning they probably could not legally buy a gun.
Due process concerns are valid, but they should be resolved through an adjudication system on a case-by-case basis, not by a wholesale neglect of public safety.
Similarly, technology companies must stop focusing on political speech and pay more attention to threats of violence made by users. And mental health officials have to stop hiding behind confidentiality claims when their patients represent a clear danger.
Adam Lanza, who murdered 26 students and faculty members at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook elementary school, had known mental health problems and was obsessed with violence, yet nobody tried to remove the guns his mother kept in their home and taught him to use. Lanza killed her before going to the school, where he killed himself as police closed in.
That’s not to say that sensible, incremental gun restrictions wouldn’t be helpful in some cases. But demands for sweeping restrictions are doomed to fail politically and legally.
Scrape away the veneer of some demands and the logical conclusion is that confiscation of millions of existing weapons kept by law-abiding people would be involved. That would be like confiscating all cars to stop drunk driving.
It’s individuals who carry out these heinous acts and it’s individuals who must be stopped. That’s the point of focusing on “who the people are.’’
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel put the balance best. While conceding there were failures to stop Nikolas Cruz, he also rejected attempts to shift the blame to society at large.
“Make no mistake about it, America,” he said. “The only one responsible for this incident is the killer himself.”
It really bothers me that the NRA crated the NICS system years ago for the input of those mentally ill, felons, etc., and, something like 38 states DO NOT input the information! The background check system is only as good as the info put in it! We have GOT to get very loud on this issue. Trump and the DOJ have to make it mandatory for every state.
If the liberal left-coast states do not input to the NICS system, it is an indicator that they are genuine hypocrites and simply want more power by eviscerating the 2d Amendment.
ISRAEL -- “Make no mistake about it, America,” he said. “The only one responsible for this incident is the killer himself.”
That is true, sheriff. Now we are examining the behavior of those who enabled the shooter. After all, they are responsible for their actions. And leaders are responsible for the actions of each subordinate.
It's time to knock off all this PC crap, get down to the real problem which is all these wussey feel good democrats. All they are looking for are votes, so they can try and take away our rights. Who was the moron that coined the phrase "assualt weapon"? There is no such thing. They just want to scare the folks that are afraid of guns and have no knowledge of them. Just because an AR-15 is black and and it looks military they get their panties in a bunch. Semi-auto rifles have been around for a hundred years, why aren't these folks screaming about the gun problem in Detroit and other major cities. Hypocrites...all of them.
Start putting these mentally disturbed people in places that can help them. Get these basement boys out and start teaching them how to become men instead of some metrosexual idiot. I've said this before, this country turned to crap after John Wayne died...but that's just me. Duke