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Guns and Crime

The root of the problem

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I saw the above meme the other day which seeks to point out the hypocrisy of liberals – which it does – but if you’re being intellectually honest, you’ll realize that the same logic can be used by their side to portray conservatives as hypocrites. They could just as easily put a photo of conservatives holding “Stop Killing Babies” signs above a photo of conservatives holding “Keep Guns Legal” signs. So both sides, using the same logic, believe the other is being hypocritical. I hope you can see how fruitless this is.

If we really want to stop mass murders, we need to stop the petty arguments and have real conversations that address the root of the problem, not the symptoms. Like any health problem, treating your symptoms doesn’t make you healthy. The killer carrying out his carnage with a gun is a symptom. You can take the guns away to make yourself feel better, but doing so won’t treat the source of the condition.

We are all feeling very emotional right now. Yes liberals, conservatives do care about the kids who were killed. It’s a hard reality for us to accept, especially when the act occurred using a tool we support. But don’t mistake our logical response as apathy and indifference. With all due respect, I think you’re asking the wrong questions. While most of the country has been focused on, “How can we prevent someone who wants to murder children from doing so”, what we should be asking is “How do we stop someone from wanting to murder children?” That is the root of the problem… Why do some people want to murder others?

Make no mistake, the only person responsible for killing those kids is Nikolas Cruz. But there are pertinent questions to be answered. Why has this person felt so alienated from people that he could carry out such a horrendous act? What could the people within his circle of influence have done to convince him that his peers were worthy of their lives?

If I were one of the students at Stoneman Douglas High School I would be asking myself “what if” questions. What if I’d gone further in kindness towards Nikolas Cruz? What if I’d greeted him with a warm hello, instead of just passing him in the hallways? Was I ever rude to him? If so, what if instead, I’d given him an unexpected kindness, or even just chatted with him? If I were a resident of Parkland, Florida, I’d be wondering if I’d inadvertently contributed to the depression of this kid with my aloof and insincere actions. What if one day in traffic I was rude to him? What if I’d let him merge instead? Did I contribute to his departure from the human connection? What if right now, in my own circle of influence, I’m contributing to the depression of the next killer?

Again, the only person responsible for killing those kids is Nikolas Cruz. Not the NRA, not video games, not Hollywood, not his peers. But we all have a part to play, don’t we? Our lives touch other lives at every moment of the day. It is unavoidable. So if you feel like you just can’t take it anymore, and you want change, then realize what you can control – you. Then challenge yourself to act with love, compassion, acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness in everything you do. Maybe, just maybe, treating each other better is all that is needed.

A full time engineer by trade, Dan is a conservative, Christian, father, and veteran. He considers himself a rebel against the dominant liberal culture.

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Guns and Crime

Will school shootings be the next step toward a nationalized police force?

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The recent shooting at Santa Fe High School outside Houston, TX, that resulted in ten dead and thirteen wounded is fueling another round of demands by liberals in Congress to pass more anti-gun laws “to protect our kids” with some blaming the NRA for preventing such laws from being passed.

While conservatives and those who claim to be conservative willingly point fingers at the Democrat side of the aisle, the sad fact is that many Republicans agree with Democrats on the issue of gun control.

For example, after blaming local police for the Parkland, FL. high school shooting in February, Trump held a bipartisan meeting with members of congress where he openly supported the idea of seizing guns from Americans who committed no crime, even if it violated their Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment right to due process.

Weeks later, Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos wrote an opinion piece praising Trump for signing the disastrous Omnibus bill because it contained over $700 million to fund the STOP School Violence Act to pay for so-called mental health services designed to prevent school shootings. DeVos’ rhetoric aside, Rep. Thomas Massey (R-KY) stated in an interview with Conservative Review at the time that the STOP SVA essentially nationalized public-school safety.

I think that nationalizing public-school safety is the ultimate goal of big-government progressives. It’s been building for quite some time now, and I think the hype over recent school shootings will be the thing that puts it over the top.

The desire to create a nationalized police force began gaining traction under the Obama administration. Consider the actions of the Congressional Black Caucus following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. In a letter to then-president Obama, the CBC demanded the appointment of a Police Czar to give the feds control over the local police. Not long afterward, Al Sharpton called for a march on Washington to demand the DOJ to take control of the police nationwide.

Though neither of these efforts came to fruition, Obama succeeded in laying the groundwork for a nationalized police force by leveraging a series of tragedies into policies giving the DOJ control over local police forces in several communities across America.

Trump has bought into the idea of federal control of local police since becoming president, threatening to “send in the feds” in January, 2017 to clean up Chicago after a FOX News report about gun violence in the Windy City.

Shortly after the Santa Fe tragedy, Trump demanded action “at every level of government” which is exactly what he said following the FL shooting. This led to the creation of a host of anti-Second Amendment proposals by Republicans and Democrats designed to disarm Americans and place armed security in every public school.

Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with working to make schools safer, but with Washington working 24/7 to limit our Constitutional rights, should we give the federal government and the Department of Homeland Security that power?

Before you answer, do you remember how George Bush and a fully compliant Congress federalized airport security and created The Transportation Security Administration in the name of “safety” following 9/11? Besides creating tens of thousands of lifetime unionized government jobs, and the likely violation of our Fourth Amendment rights, these “transportation security officers” have been an abysmal failure.

Federal control of school security essentially creates a type of nationalized police force. Doing it “for the children” doesn’t change that.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Education

A Tale of Two Shootings

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It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Charles Dickens probably never thought of a shooting as the best of times, nor would anyone else. However, if you HAVE to have a shooting, then the obvious “best of times” is one where only the gunman dies. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case.

Today we had yet another, preventable shooting at a soft-target school, where the best defense the government can come up with is making the school a gun-free zone, and occasionally a couple of cops.

The facts will continue to play out, but while two police officers acted heroically today (take note, Broward County Sheriff’s Office) what we do know is that there were still far too many innocents killed. The first officer was shot before he knew what was happening, and the second seems to have moved as fast as he could, though no one can be everywhere at once.

This will obviously be a story that is played out in the press for days, while the talking heads on Fox News and CNN spout various “solutions” to the problems of mass shootings. Most of these talking heads won’t have the first clue what they are talking about.

I am a former military and civilian firearms instructor. I still teach friends and family who want to learn, but I don’t charge anymore. I was a Texas Concealed Handgun Instructor. I know the law in Texas. A 17 year-old having access to his father’s weapons like what happened today is a felony for the father. Yes, there is a DEFENSE to this charge if the gun was used in self-defense, but this was not the case here, and so the father can not use this defense in court, though I’m sure his lawyers will try if they’re paid enough. The father of today’s shooter (I won’t use his name and give him the fame so many of these killers desire) WILL see time in prison, if Attorney General Ken Paxton has anything to say about it. The father may have obtained his guns legally, but in no way was a 17 year-old legally using them.

Obviously, today’s shooting was the worst of times.

The best of times happened just yesterday in Dixon, Illinois, when a school resource officer shot a would-be school shooter. There were snippets about this in the NY Times and other major news outlets, but that story has already gone away, while this one will not. It SHOULD be talked about just as much as today’s shooting. We need to talk about successes in stopping school shootings just as much as we talk about failures. We need to have an honest conversation about what DOES and what DOES NOT work.

I’m not going to use this piece to go into a great detail on the gun-control debate, though I’m sure that’s where the Left will continue to take us, even though they admit there are no additional laws they want that would stop these horrific tragedies. I DO want us all to come to some common ground on this issue of school shootings though.

1. ALL of us (we, the common people) want these to stop. I say we the common people because there are a great number of politicians on both sides of the debate, but particularly on the Left, who make a great deal of hay when these incidents happen.

2. We have to have an honest conversation about what does and does not work. An HONEST conversation, by the way, Lefties, does not mean what levels of gun control we’re willing to accept.  And for those on the Right, yes, we need to talk about gun control. It’s our job to demonstrate to those who are ill-informed why gun control has not and never will work.

3. We need to approach this with logic and facts, not emotion.

This honest conversation has to begin with certain undeniable facts:

1. The shootings with the lowest body counts are those stopped by a good guy with a gun. It’s not ALWAYS a cop. Arming responsible teachers who both desire to carry and have demonstrated that they can handle a gun is something we need to talk about. I’ve heard good arguments for this, and one or two reasonable concerns against.

2. In nearly every incidence, mental health has played a factor, and could be seen BEFORE the shooting.

3. In MOST (not all) incidences, there were already mechanisms in place within current law that COULD have and SHOULD have stopped the gunman from obtaining firearms. Take today for example. Daddy is going to go to jail, and he should, for not having his firearms secured where his son could get them. I’m speculating here, but I’m willing to bet a lot of money as the investigation goes on, that the father of the gunman knew his son was disturbed, and should not only have kept his firearms secure from his son, as is the law in Texas, but also should have been seeking mental health for his son.

4. The Left is going to hate this one, but it’s an undeniable fact. Almost every one of these mass shootings, and ALL of them in schools, are in gun free zones. Those who know little to nothing about guns may think this irrelevant, but it is one of the most important points. They are soft targets that are chosen because most if not everyone there is completely defenseless.

There is more we could talk about on today’s shooting. We could talk about the explosives, the fact that neither of the guns used are ones the Left (currently) claims it wants to ban, or the instant calls for gun control. I did see something just yesterday that I found interesting from the Left. They were complaining that Parkland was disappearing from the news and it wasn’t getting any attention anymore, a month later. They wanted to push for gun control and nothing else.

Well, I have a solution for this. Adhere to the above rules for a conversation, and accept the undeniable facts above, and then engage us with logic and reason, instead of pure emotion. The kids from the Parkland shooting got famous not for their calm reason, but for their rage.

And before you think I’m not emotional ENOUGH about all this, just keep in mind I have two little boys in public school here in Texas. Yes, I’d love for the teachers and administrators in their schools (those who want to be) armed and willing to protect my kids. I’ll donate the time on the range to help them become proficient. I’ll even pay for the ammo and range time.

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Federalists

Hazel picks up key endorsement

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With just a couple of weeks to go before the Georgia primaries, insurgent candidate Shane Hazel has picked up a  key endorsement in his bid to unseat liberal Republican Rob Woodall in the Georgia 7th Congressional District.

Hazel, the former Marine Force Reconnaissance member and proven businessman, has picked up the endorsement of the Republican Liberty Caucus. The RLC, also known as “the conscience of the party” endorsed Hazel should come as little surprise. The RLC has a long history of focusing on endorsing liberty-minded candidates, rather than establishment members who have proven themselves to be unreliable when it comes to conservative issues.

The RLC earlier this year likewise endorsed MO Senate Candidate Austin Petersen.

The outpouring of support for insurgent candidates is clear as supporters take to social media to voice their displeasure at the lack of follow through from lawmakers like Woodall during their time in control of both houses of Congress and with Donald Trump in the Oval Office. The failure to repeal Obamacare as well as passage of a massive $1.3 Trillion omnibus bill have angered most voters on the right, resulting in the realization that giving the GOP control of Washington is not enough, they must, in fact, cull the GOP Congressional roster of those who make conservative promises, but vote like leftists.

As my readers have noted I’ve followed several insurgent races across the country. Hazel’s may be the best example of a truly grassroots movement of ordinary citizens fed up with “business as usual” in Washington, and instead want to see real change with a return to Constitutional principles.

In a past article I noted that Hazel and others were not garnering any support from many of the major lobbying groups. In the latest of their disappointing moves, the National Rifle Association chose to endorse Woodall, telling Hazel they preferred to stick with “the devil we know.” Well, the problem with dealing with a devil is sooner or later he’ll betray you. Woodall had bragged previously that he has the lowest score from the NRA of all Republicans in Georgia, and that he was proud of it.

Always a class act, instead of complaining about the NRA’s rather typical move in endorsing establishment candidates, he told me “I will never vote for any legislation that puts people, especially veterans, on a no-buy list without due process. Woodall has voted repeatedly for Feinstein gun control, Fix NICS, against national reciprocity, and for Obama’a 4660 that has put 200,000 veteran on a list denying them their right to bear arms, without due process. Shall not be infringed means exactly that.”

The NRA’s hierarchy can say what they like, but we rank-and-file gun 2nd Amendment advocates don’t vote the NRA line, and I think we’re smart enough to vote for a man who truly cares about liberty, not a man who has proven he doesn’t.

You can learn more about Shane at www.shanehazel.com

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