Primary Arms

On Parkland

We need to stand firm on our rights - they don't take a break just because it gets inconvenient.

This past February 14th, the city of Parkland, Florida was beset by a devastating tragedy in the form of a deranged young man attacking his school, and ultimately murdering 17 innocents.

I choose not to address this person by name, since it only adds to what he desired, which is infamy. He knows his name. I know his name. Unfortunately so does everyone else. Our media glorifies these monsters, and they figure, regardless if they live or die, their names will be immortalized in the media.

The brass had barely touched the floor, and already the calls for gun control were lighting up

I won’t bore you with the usual defenses of firearms in this article. Because, again, yes, it isn’t the gun. Nor is it a specific type of gun. Had this maniac not had access to an AR, he would have switched to another type of gun.

What really surprised me was how quickly the gun control sociopaths, especially the ones at Everytown, the Brady Bunch, and the other phalanx of Bloomberg-funded anti-civil rights groups, ramped up their rhetoric. I casually timed it. It was less than an hour. No condolences for the victims and their families - they went straight to the agenda.

My rule with things of this nature is to wait. I prefer to let things cool down, and for authorities and everyone in general to take stock in what happened. In this case, it proved to be the correct course.

The government failed - and yet people want the government to ‘step in’

None of these maniacs operate in a vacuum. This specific person had been visited and “pinged” by authorities over 30 times. The FBI had been notified of his specific desire to shoot up a school. But yet, by their own admission, they failed to act.

Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life. The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken. We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received by the PAL on January 5. The information was not provided to the Miami Field Office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time.

I won’t delve into the usual trope about the FBI at this point, but I do believe that the chaos within the agency caused them to drop the ball on this case. I also feel that the persons responsible for this within the FBI need to be charged with criminal negligence.

OK, so the government failed to act on credible data on this guy. But yet people are calling for ‘more government’ with regards to firearms? If a doctor misdiagnoses my illness, and I suffer as a result of it, I’m going to a different doctor. I’m not going to keep badgering the same one for help, when he’s proven he cannot help me.

This isn’t the first time, either. The Orlando shooter was a person of interest, and due to PC culture, the investigation was dropped. The Vegas shooter, though a ‘private man’ by most accounts, had exhibited signs of instability to those around him.

We have to police ourselves and only involve authorities in an emergency

I’ve spoken on this before. We have to police ourselves.

If someone with mental issues has ready access to firearms or any other potentially-lethal implement, an intervention of sorts should be staged where family and friends confront the person about their issues, and disarm them if needed. I know in some jurisdictions this would be an illegal “transfer” but in my mind this issue supersedes any law. The biggest part is taking that first step. Nip it in the bud, as it were. Often, just the thought that someone cares enough to be concerned is sufficient motivation to talk the affected person out of the tree. And, if it’s a false alarm, better that than something truly bad happening.

If authoritative intervention is needed, then so be it. Existing protocols for handling mentally unstable people from a law enforcement perspective already exist. In a lot of jurisdictions, a restraining order calls for the defendant to surrender his or her firearms. Also, full-blown detainment and incarceration can be done if the police do their jobs properly. In my opinion, all these shooters could have been handled via existing police procedures, had the authorities followed up on the tips presented to them.

Regardless, we have to be vigilant.

Secure our schools

It’s time to repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990.

Sounds crazy at first, but the reason most of these monsters target schools is for shock value and they know that effective resistance is many minutes away. While I am in no way suggesting a veritable free-fire zone in the halls of the local high school, I fully support a multifaceted armed approach to school security.

  • During hours when students are present, each public school should have an armed law enforcement agent, or more than one for a huge facility, on the premises at all times, conducting patrols. Said officer should be trained in CQB (close-quarters battle) tactics. Most of the trainers I know will provide instruction for free, if the officer is to be stationed at a school. If manpower is an issue, schools can retain a properly trained and insured private security contractor.

  • Teachers should have the option of carrying a firearm on their person while on school property. I’ll make a concession that the teachers should have to take a similar CQB course as to the police officers mentioned above. I suspect if a teacher is willing to carry a weapon while on duty, then they will have no problems training up.

  • An option should exist for community members to volunteer for this duty, of course after being vetted and trained to the same standard as the hypothetical armed teacher and police officer. I would gladly do this if I had the level of training necessary.

Mental illness shouldn’t be a death sentence

Mental illness has an unfortunate stigma in our society. Whether it’s related to a concept of ‘masculinity’ or one’s worth as a human, it seems no one wants to talk about their problems anymore. Furthermore, people are afraid to do so. If someone is “outed” as having mental problems, they could have far-reaching issues, even after they work their way through it. It gets worse if the person with the illness “hits” the judicial system. They are forever branded as an outcast.

We need to de-stigmatize and reform our systems. Also, our culture of “pop a pill and deal with it” is hugely responsible. Doctors routinely drug up children for a quick fix rather than an involved diagnosis. Ritalin, you name it - better living through chemistry. And unfortunately, the children suffer, and some even crack and do unspeakable things.

It’s definitely not the guns.

We’ve had relative firearms freedom for hundreds of years in this country. And yes, realistically when compared to the overall homicide rate, school shootings are rare. They are crimes of notoriety because of the victims and the motives of the killers. However, we can minimize them from happening if we follow the simple suggestions above. Secure our schools, help those of us with mental issues in our community, and hold our government agents individually accountable for their actions.

A reminder

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