My apologies to our dear readers for the lack of content. Life tends to interfere with blogging, and when life speaks louder, you have to listen or get left behind.
My thoughts are not yet collected on the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Every time I turn on the news, it seems, the narrative has changed again, the "authorities" appear even more amateurish, and the "children" are even more exploited by the media.
It's painful to watch, really.
So instead, today we'll visit our old friend and resident Oregon anti-gunner, Jason Kilgore, a.k.a. "Baldr Odinson". He's had quite a lot to say about the Parkland shooting, little of it accurate or true (he IS an anti-gunner, after all). One recent post in particular, however, needs some
Let's get started below the fold. As always, his words will be in block-quoted italics, and most of his links will be omitted.
New Trajectory: A List Of Incidents Caused By Legal Gun Owners On School Grounds
Every time there's a school shooting, the NRA and pro-gun forces come out of the woodwork again to say that schools, as "gun free zones," are targets for shooters, and that arming teachers and school staff is the only way to insure safety. It's the myth of the "conceal carry hero" made into a school drama.
Actually, it's usually the anti-gun forces that shamelessly "come out of the woodwork again" to say "ZOMGTOOMANYGUNZ!!!!". The NRA and pro-gun forces usually keep a respectful silence until facts are known. You remember facts, right? The inconvenient little things reality is made of, and which we need a lot of to make good policy?
Also, "gun free zones" are targets for shooters. If they weren't, why do 98% of mass shootings take place in "gun free zones"? The only way it's not statistically relevant is if 98% of everywhere was a "gun free zone", but that's not the case; "gun free zones" are a small, legally-specific minority of public places. But the overwhelming majority of mass shootings happen there. What is your explanation, if "gun free zones" are not viewed by potential mass killers as easy targets?
And nobody with any credibility is saying that "arming teachers and school staff is the only way to insure [sic] safety" (emphasis added). We're saying it should be an option, one part of a comprehensive, multi-layered security plan. A last resort, if you will, but one that should be available if needed.
Besides which, none of your side's ideas have worked. Isn't it time for a "new trajectory"? (See what I did there?)
Two different studies [links omitted] have shown that armed guards in schools make students feel less secure, possibly affecting their academic performance. Not that student perceptions really matter to the pro-gun forces trying to make these decisions.
There's those feelings again. Why focus on feelings? Why not focus on facts? The FACT is, students in public schools are NOT safe if a mass killer comes to call. Locks are easily overcome (where they're even allowed by the fire marshal), windows easily broken, and there's always the option (utilized in Parkland) of pulling a fire alarm and taking advantage of a voluntary exodus. Even metal detectors at the doors will only make noise; they are not a physical barrier. There's literally nothing to stop madmen from gaining entry to a school.
So again, why focus on feelings? (Don't answer that; we already know.)
But could they be right? An analysis by Everytown found that there was an average of two school shootings at K-12 schools every month between 2013-2015. A more recent examination for 2018 by Everytown found an average of one school shooting every 63 hours. With all those school shootings, shouldn't there, by now, have been some good examples where armed civilians other than police have stopped a school shooting?
Disregarding that any "analysis" or "examination" by Everytown is directly intended to conclude what Shannon Watts and Michael Bloomberg want it to conclude — namely, that there are too many scary guns and we need to forcibly reduce that number — let's examine the question. Why haven't there been more good examples where armed civilians other than police have stopped a school shooting?
Well, for one, there have been. Pearl High School, Mississippi. Appalachian School of Law, Virginia. I'm sure there are others, and some enterprising individuals have probably compiled lists. But even one shows the lie.
Second, well ... how to put this gently.... SCHOOLS ARE "GUN FREE ZONES". Additionally, schools don't exactly smile upon parents or other adults loitering around the place during school hours — something about disrupting the educations of the other students. Ergo, you're not going to find a whole lot of non-school-staff adults even at the best of times, and almost none will be armed.
This is the first big lie. "Why haven't more 'law-abiding' gun owners intervened in school shootings?" Because among other things, law-abiding gun owners don't go onto school campuses armed. It's ILLEGAL, don't you know? Why, if they did, they wouldn't be "law-abiding", now, would they?
My God, you're seriously asking why law-abiding gun owners aren't breaking more laws! And then ridiculing and shaming them for abiding by those laws that YOU say keep kids safe! That's a new low, even by your side's standards.
I'll tell you what, Baldr/Jason. You've studied kung fu. I've seen your weapons form with that Chinese broadsword. Why don't you stand guard outside your local elementary school with that big-ass sword, since guns aren't allowed? Oh, right. Because it's still a weapon and you'd be arrested. And it'd be disruptive. And students wouldn't feel safe with an unknown adult with a weapon outside their door. And you probably have a day job. And, and, and....
Guess what: that's why we law-abiding gun owners don't do it unless invited, either. And we haven't been invited.
But just for the sake of argument, let me present this fact: Utah does not prohibit school employees with concealed carry permits from carrying on campus. They never have. They've also never had any mass shootings in a school. Coincidence?
Well, no, actually. There has never been a school shooting stopped by an armed teacher or a citizen conceal-carry owner. The closest case I ever found was of a school staff member (and Army reservist commander) who went out to their car and got a gun, but the shooting was over by that point, the shooter was out of ammo and was driving out of the parking lot (the only reason he was stopped was that the shooter crashed his car, allowing the staff member to get to him and hold him under arrest).
Again, that's largely because armed teachers and concealed-carriers aren't allowed, and don't go where they're not allowed. And again, that's due to law-abiding people abiding by laws that YOU support.
Also, that's an overly-simple retelling of Pearl High School. The fact is, the assistant principal retrieved his handgun from his car ... parked a half-mile away, off-campus — else he'd be violating that "gun free zone" by having a gun stored on-campus. (And the "Army reservist commander" part doesn't factor in much, other than imply he knows how to use his handgun.)
What's your average mile-run time, Baldr/Jason? How fast could you make that round-trip? Eight minutes? Ten? More, over uneven ground? That's a lot of time for mass killers to do their thing against mandated-defenseless victims.
Even so, the assistant principle held the shooter at gunpoint until police arrived. So I wouldn't call it a worthless gesture.
However, there HAVE been plenty of cases where gun owners, legally carrying guns on school grounds, have CAUSED incidents on campus, including incidents that wound children, other adults, or themselves.
This should be rich.
I won't bore you, dear readers, with the details. Click through if you like. However, I will say this: Out of seventeen (17) "incidents", nine — fully half — involved police officers, school resource officers, or hired armed security guards. As in, NOT "armed citizens".
As in, the "Only Ones" Baldr/Jason would trust to be armed on school grounds or respond to a mass killing incident.
You're not making a very effective argument, Baldr/Jason.
I urge you to save this list. The next time you hear a pro-gun supporter suggest that guns in school is a good idea, whether it is from a legislator, school board, or some gun guy off the street, please show them this list and challenge them to show you a comparable list of incidents that support their side. They'll come up with crickets.
Or, we'll remind you, as I did here, that half of those "incidents" were police or armed (presumably trained) security that we expect to behave professionally. We'll remind you, as I did here, that law-abiding armed citizens, by definition, abide by laws, including "gun free zone" laws. And we'll remind you that expecting law-abiding citizens to break laws to make a political point is disingenuous and dishonest at best. Breaking laws to score political points is the kind of thing "Antifa" does.
In short, we'll remind you that you're being deliberately deceptive and logically inconsistent. Again. As always.
The idea of arming school teachers and staff is wrongheaded and flies in the face of the facts and common sense.
See Utah above. And I'll say again, your side's ideas so far have not worked. It's time to try something new.
Instead of turning our classrooms into guardrooms and our schools into fortresses, let's work to keep guns out of the wrong hands in the first place with better, common sense gun regulations.
Oh, you had to go there, didn't you? Let me remind you also, that we don't need "better, common sense gun regulations"; the Parkland shooter should have been a "prohibited person" under our current "common sense gun regulations" (which are no such thing, being neither "common sense" nor "regulations"). He should not have been allowed to buy his guns. All the legal tools were there to keep guns away from him, but none of your vaunted and blameless law enforcement officers chose to enforce them, at any level. You can make all the laws you want, but if they don't get enforced them when they should be, will that change anything?
Only for us law-abiding gun owners. Your laws won't affect criminals or mass killers, but they will make our lives harder and more legally onerous. You won't prevent a single crime, but you will make it harder and riskier for us to react to crime as it happens.
But that's the idea, isn't it, Baldr/Jason?
Stay safe, all of you.