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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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‘Pandering Pete’ Buttigieg wants to pay teachers as much as doctors

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Pandering Pete Buttigieg wants to pay teachers as much as doctors

It was one of those debate moments that is taboo to decry. Teachers are treated with the same reverence in Democratic circles as law enforcement officers are treated in Republican circles. Both play major roles in how our country operates. Both deserve a ton of respect.

It’s not politically correct to say this, but I’m not very PC: Neither teachers nor law enforcement officers deserve to paid as much as doctors. It’s not that they’re less important. They’re simply less skilled. It’s hard to become a teacher, but by no means is it in the same league as the challenges that must be met to become a doctor.

Getting into medical school is more difficult. The degrees necessary to become a doctor are harder to acquire. The educational costs are much higher for doctors than teachers. Lastly, fewer people are capable of being good doctors than good teachers.

This is why Pete Buttigieg’s proud proclamation during last night’s Democratic debate is so asinine:

This is a very popular message to commit to during the Democratic primaries. Most teachers are Democrats and the various teachers’ unions offer endorsements that are highly sought by Democratic candidates. The South Bend Mayor is gunning for these endorsements as his campaign seems to have stalled in the last two months.

Teachers average somewhere around $60,000 per year. Doctors range widely depending on their specialty with salaries generally ranging from $80,000 to $250,000 per year. This is fair when considering all the factors in both professions. But Mayor Pete invoked how other counties treat doctors and teachers, noting how in some countries the salaries are more comparable. What he didn’t note is that healthcare in many of these countries is sorely lacking and the education systems often pay teachers more because they’re more difficult to find.

In America, we do not have a teacher shortage. We do, however, have a looming medical crisis when it comes to doctors and other medical professionals due in large part to Obamacare. Whatever healthcare plan is proposed by the eventual nominee, ranging from Joe Biden’s abysmal Obamacare 2.0 to Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-All, the result will be an exodus from the medical profession as salaries will invariably drop.

Pete Buttigieg desperately needs a rejuvenation in his floundering campaign. His pandering to teachers is disingenuous, but lying to teachers may be his only hope of making the impact he did at his campaign’s earlier stages.

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Education

Ryan Fournier points out reality of AOC’s loan gripe

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Ryan Fournier points out reality of AOC's loan gripe

Poor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Like many Americans, she has student debt. As a member of the House of Representatives, she also now has the power to do something about it. And if the Democrats get control of the White House and Senate in 2020, her debt-free dreams will come true at the expense of the American taxpayer.

There’s a funny thing about student loans. Nobody is forced to take them. Nobody is forced to go to a prestigious university with high costs. Nobody has to use their degree to become a low-wage bartender in a city with one of the highest costs of living in the world. But based on the cries of the left and the whining of the freshman Congresswoman from the Bronx, she and the rest of Americans with student debt are victims. This mentality is pervasive, especially with Democrats trumpeting their victimhood like a badge of honor.

When people willfully accept financial support in exchange for an education, and that financial support comes in the form of a loan, they are obligated to pay that loan back. It’s a fair trade-off; college students have prospects of higher-paying jobs and therefore should be considered safe investments in the form of loans. The jobs that come available to graduates as a result of these loans mean they should have the means to pay back the loans under the extremely loose terms of their agreement to accept the financial support. The system works. It has worked. It should always work.

But to people like AOC, student debt is unfair.

Students for Trump‘s Ryan Fournier has some thoughts on the ranting Representative:

We couldn’t agree more.

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Education

States adopting more computer science policies see increased gender diversity in computer science classrooms

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States adopting more computer science policies see increased gender diversity in computer science cl

New report provides comprehensive analysis of national progress in expanding access to computer science education

Today, Code.org, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance, released the 2019 State of Computer Science Education report. The report shows conclusively that as states adopt computer science policies not only are more computer science courses taught across those states, there is also an increase in the participation of female students taking Advanced Placement (AP) computer science exams.

Published annually, the report provides the most comprehensive analysis of national progress in computer science education, featuring national and state-level policy and implementation data with a focus on equity and diversity.

The report updates each state’s status toward adopting the nine policies recommended by the Code.org Advocacy Coalition and includes updated school-level data collected for the K-12 Computer Science Access Report on the availability of computer science in high schools.

“Just six years ago, not a single state considered K-12 computer science education a priority. Today, states are competing to see who can offer the best computer science education for their students. Policymakers, district leaders, and educators inherently understand that expanding access to this field unlocks opportunity for their students’ futures,” said Cameron Wilson, president of the Code.org Advocacy Coalition.

Key findings from the 2019 State of Computer Science Education report include:

  • States that have adopted more of the nine policies have a greater percentage of high schools teaching computer science, and also have an increase in the representation of female students taking AP computer science exams.
    • States that have adopted five to nine of the nine policies show a 56% implementation rate on average, while states that have adopted one to four of the policies show a 39% implementation rate on average.
    • States that have adopted all nine policies have a 65% implementation rate on average compared to 34% for states that have only adopted one of the policies.
  • Since the 2018 State of Computer Science Education report was published, 33 states passed 57 new laws and regulations promoting computer science.
    • When the Code.org Advocacy Coalition began its work in 2013, just 14 states plus D.C. had at least one of these nine policies in place; last year there were 44 states. Today, all 50 states have now adopted—or are in the process of adopting—one or more of the nine policies.
  • Across 39 states, only 45% of high schools teach computer science. Students receiving free and reduced lunch and students from rural areas are less likely to attend a school that provides opportunities to learn this critical subject.
    • Since the K-12 Computer Science Access Report was launched in 2017, the initiative has collected data on 55% of all public K–12 schools and 83% of all public high schools.

“Every young person, no matter where they live, deserves the opportunity to learn 21st century skills,” said Brad Smith, President of Microsoft. “While it is encouraging that the gender gap is narrowing, we need to ensure that more women and people of all backgrounds have greater access to computer science education. It is critical for state leaders to build on this progress to ensure every student is prepared for the digital economy.”

“We’re enormously proud to be part of this movement,” said Stefanie Sanford, Chief of Global Policy & External Relations at the College Board. “Changing the invitation to computer science has allowed us to welcome far more talent into the classroom, preparing more students to shape the future.”

“This report illustrates the positive effects of recent policies on increased access for CS education,” said CSTA Executive Director Jake Baskin. “As momentum continues to build nationwide, these examples will help guide states’ work in providing all students with a high-quality computer science education.”

“Maintaining a focus on broadening participation in computing in CS advocacy and policy efforts requires access to new data, both locally and nationally,” said ECEP Alliance Director Sarah Dunton. “This national report allows us to disseminate information that immediately sparks conversations, builds connections, and increases action at the state level.”

Editor’s Note: This non-partisan group may initially seem to go against our tenets of localized education and removing DC control over our schools. But these non-profits actually represent the type of private-funded advocacy that can and should replace the Department of Education’s authoritarian style. These groups use research and analysis to promote their recommendations rather than forcing compliance from DC. This is what conservative educational practices need from the private sector: More common sense advancement for the sake of our children and this nation’s future.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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