Friday, March 23, 2018

The Massacres We've Avoided

On February 14, Nikolas Cruz massacred 17 persons by shooting them to death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  But have you heard about the more recent murders at the same school?

Because no such thing occurred, you have not imagined them unless you have a vivid, macabre imagination- or are Ryan Cleckner, described by The Federalist (where he is a contributor) as "a former special operations sniper and a current firearms attorney, university lecturer, entrepeneur, and best selling author..."

Below (video from Crooks and Liars) Cleckner is seen telling fellow righty Tucker Carlson

Abandoning an inanimate object will not solve the problem. The tool is not the problem. I mean, you want to talk about the tools, look at the Austin bombing, which we just solved today.  Bombs are already illegal.  It didn't stop the bombs from happening.

Bringing a dangerous knife to school also is illegal. Before a boy on Tuesday was arrested at Douglas High School for having posted a threat on social media, the

school day began with the arrest of Jordan Salter, 18, after a conflict in the cafeteria. She poured cereal on another student’s head after he asked Salter’s friend a sexually offensive question. When the boy leaned in close to Salter’s face, she pulled a 2-inch black knife from her bra, opened it and displayed it, according to a report from the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

The next arrest came in the afternoon when school authorities learned that Gavin Stricker, 16, had brandished a knife on a bus Monday. He was called into the school’s office and a 9-inch knife was found in his backpack, according to a juvenile arrest report.

It was a bad day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But it was not a catastrophic day- because these individuals did not possess a firearm.  If Nikolas Cruz had gone on a rampage with a two-inch or nine-inch knife, lives probably would have been lost, and families would be grieving. But there would not have been 17 lives lost and 17 families grieving.

It's that way everywhere. On January 4, 2017 a man

stabbed at least 11 children after "sneaking into" a kindergarten in southern China, according to the Chinese media. The police arrested the 41-year-old alleged attacker, but his motives remained unclear.

Five of the children suffered serious injuries but none of them was in life-threatening condition, officials in the city of Pingxiang said on Wednesday.

And this concept, which a firearms instructor should be able to understand, applies also to bombs. Noting bombs are illegal, Cleckner cited the bombing attacks- plural- in Austin, Texas. He did not mention that aside from the bomb which killed himself, Mark Anthony Conditt evidently set off five bombs in four separate incidents, killing two individuals and wounding five people, one of them seriously. That is a great tragedy for two families and a somewhat lesser tragedy for the other families. But it's not 17.

Reminding us that "Chicago" is still a profanity for many conservatives, Cleckner claimed "it is the worst place  we have going on in this country for shootings, the worst place we have going on right now in our country for shootings. We have not only shootings but violent crime..." Inconveniently, Chicago has nowhere near the highest murder, or death by shooting, rate in the country- but Chicago. (Republicans- so in love with the "heartland," they'll lie about it.)

Other arguments made by Cleckner, with Carlson's encouragement, were invalid. However, this notion that all weapons are the same appears to be one gun apologists are particularly enthralled by. Hopefully, this and other shibboleths will take a serious blow when millions of gun safety advocates hit the streets of Washington, D.C. and elsewhere on March 24.

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