While on vacation last September in Ghent, Belgium, I took a wrong turn while coming back from a morning run. As luck would have it, I found myself in the University district outside of a nice bakery, where I was enticed by the smell of real butter croissants among other low-calorie substances. As I was sitting outside the bakery, a man and a woman who I learned through the course of our conversation were actually lecturers at the University. They noticed my Notre Dame cap and struck-up a conservation with me. Apparently, the woman professor attended Notre Dame some years earlier. Anyway, among the topics, they seemed most interested in were the epidemic of police shootings of Black men in America, and how as a Black man, I was dealing with the chaos.
Being a Black Conservative American, (emphasis on American), I gave them my take. Simply stated, that the greatest threat to black men in America on an everyday basis was not the police, but other black men. I asserted that Blacks are only 13% of the US population, but are responsible for over 52 % of all homicides and 90% of all black murders. In urban areas were they make-up 35% of the population, blacks commit over 75% of all murders. I also brought up the fact that in 2015 alone, over 5000 blacks were killed by their criminal brethren. This wasn’t the answer they expected. Quite frankly, having similar conversations over the years with various European friends and in-laws, I got the same polite, you must be crazy look from them. Our discussion was quickly followed by the obligatory change of topic.
But, there you go! Many people in the EU believe the nonsense emanating from well-placed YouTube videos showing police malfeasance. These videos and new stories are happily looped over and over again. They are sustained by the same “blacks- are-being-killed-indiscriminately-by-the-police-in-America-coverage” lavishly dispensed by ABC, NBC, CBS CNN, ESPN, MSNBC, the AP, Reuters, Der Spiegel, the French Press, the BBC, and NPR, just to name a few. It gives credence to the adage that a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
It is one of the most frustrating and tragic aspects of Progressive Liberalism and the poisoning of the news both here and in Europe. The Democrat Party and the MSM, (more or less the same entity) either from carelessness or calculated journalistic malpractice have made it impossible for the average citizen, to get a true picture of what is happening on a variety of pivotal social and political matters. Thirty years ago, I still clung to the belief that this wasn’t deliberate on the part of the media. Today, I give no such quarter.
The recent shooting at a Florida High School is an example of how many in the media would rather push a political agenda, than sticking with the facts. Last week, many news outlets conspicuously reported the lie, that there have been 18 school shootings in the United States since Jan 2018. What was not clear, is what they in the media considered a “school shooting.” More to the point, news giants like Lester Holt, Anderson Cooper, and others concocted this number to fit an anti-gun narrative consistent with the left of center media culture. The so-called school shootings that they were obviously trying to conflate with the mass murder in Florida, were such things as some gang bangers, shooting each other outside a school after dark. In another case, it was someone just randomly shooting near a schoolyard that was several blocks away. Also, an accidental discharge of a policeman’s service revolver near a schoolyard was counted as a “school shooting”. Still, another was a suicide by a man in a school parking lot after hours. In other words, the MSM along with the gun control lobby systemic in the Democratic constituency politicized the Florida tragedy for their own purpose. To paraphrase, a very famous Democrat politician, you should never let a good tragedy go to waste.
In this case, even if you have to obfuscate, lie, distort, blur, befog, muddle and confuse multifaceted issues like gun violence, gun ownership, and second amendment rights. With very few exceptions, most in the media will instinctively present a dysmorphic view when it comes to gun violence. Their manipulation of events such as the Florida shooting, neither serves to help the victims of such tragedies nor does it foster any useful ideas on how to make our schools safer. It also ignores a much larger issue pertaining to planned radical Islamists attacks on largely unprotected schools throughout the country. Let us not forget that a Belsan like mass killing of school children is in the plans of groups like ISIS. According to NSA and more reliable Israeli who depend less on high tech intel and more on-the-ground tools have been warning us for years of Islamic terrorists “patient” but a deadly strategy to strike multiple soft targets, especially schools. Liberal pushing gun control measures should keep this in mind. The lessons of Columbine, Sandy Hook, and the recent Florida shooting aren’t lost on those who wish in the name of the Caliphate to slaughter thousands of us if given the chance. So, while we narrowly focus on gun control, bump stocks, assault weapons and mass killings in our school as a domestic issue, there are religious fanatics waiting to take advantage of our increasingly Sept 10th thinking.
In President Trump’s latest policy statement, he suggests that defensive measures such as shelter in place, gun free zones, or chipping away at the second amendment, will not stop criminals and the mentally disturbed from going on one of their “cowardly gun free zone shooting sprees”. Crazies[i] and criminals, as well as Radicals Islamists, don’t obey or will never adhere to more gun regulations. Evil people with guns must be stopped by good people with guns. Of course, in our Post-Modern deconstructionist wisdom, prodigally dispensed within the education system for decades, we all know that good and evil are just meaningless social constructs. Yeah, right!
Of Sheep and Sheep Dogs
Given the second amendment which despite efforts by the cultural left and many well-meaning people to abrogate; this is not going to happen. At least not without some very real belligerency that would ensue if such a move was ever forced upon the millions of legal and responsible gun owners. Although, all of us can agree that there are no easy fixes. One thing that we can do for our own safety and that of our children is to behave less like sheep and more like sheepdogs. As it stands right now, many Americans and their children have been raised to react like sheep. We either graze or stampede. In the face of another mindless shooting or a calculated murderous rampage by wayward brethren of the Religion of Peace, the latter is, unfortunately, more likely.
To interject, I am not saying that I don’t have a measure of sheepish behavior in me. But I have tried to get across to my children and their families to be aware of their surroundings and be ready to take if called upon, some very different choices, other than the shelter or die in place behavior favored by many progressive policymakers. It is a hard choice. But like those individuals depicted in the movie the “15 -17 to Paris”, where they risked their lives rushing a shooter while many Europeans hid or sheltered in place. These guys did this while being unarmed. Once again, I don’t know if I could have done this. But taking a more offensive role must be fostered in responding to mass shootings.
Trump’s call to adopt an Air-marshal approach to making schools and other venues safer must be taken seriously, and not be written off as some crazed urban cowboy tactic. Arming some teachers as the first responders in either a domestic mass killer or a 2004 Chechen style slaughter of school children is more than prudent. It is an existential imperative. But true to form, the cultural left, Democrats and the MSM predictably are trying to label offensive measures as derange, if not non-compos mentis. However, the stark choice confronts us all. The faster good people with guns can respond, the fewer innocent people will be killed. Today, many of us along with our children have their heads stuck to an iPhone texting or playing Call of Duty while eating a panini, totally oblivious of what’s going on around them.
The founding fathers didn’t just “haphazardly” place the second amendment right after the first just to make it easier for us to hunt squirrels. They wanted to give future generations some protection against government overreach or outright tyranny. In addition, as made glaringly clear in the Federalist Papers, gun ownership is a requisite for our personal safety. But that is topic for another time.
The modus operandi of the left and Democrat Party to politicized, lie, equivocate and contort every issue is equally seen in the current debate over “illegal” immigration[ii]. Also, the entire Trump and Russian Collusion narrative orchestrated by the media is little more than a conviction in search of a crime. Juxtapose this with the ho-hum, less than dogged coverage by the MSM of Hillary Clinton breach of national security via “her fun with classified email game”. It is clear that freedom of the press, which is vital to the proper functioning of our Republic, has been replaced with an all the news that fits the views of the MSM. [iii] It is one that consistently paints Republicans, Conservatives and many independents as the problem. Whether we are Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Progressive, Black, White, Brown, a highly trained SWAT official, or even a Cheetos-fingered couch potato, we are all first responders. That is the harsh reality of the murderous world we have created. Enjoy your panini.
[i] This is an official DSM-5 classification. Just kidding folks.