Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2018 President’s Day Edition:

Good Morning, George, Tom, Teddy, Abe!

I’m in a bad mood. Maybe it will pass.

1 No Presidents Day post this year.  I usually do a special Presidents Day post. I never thought I would ever feel this way, but I’m thoroughly sick of writing about the Presidents after the last year. I blame “the resistance” for this along with the news media, both of whom have created a related but separate ethics issue by relentlessly attacking, disrespecting, mocking and undermining President Trump. [Of course, for those who are interested, this epic post, from 2015, was about four years’ worth of Presidents Day material, and this one, also from that year, is my personal favorite of all the entries here about my favorite 45 Americans. Does President Trump have a Julia Sand out there somewhere? We can only hope…]

Yesterday Ann Althouse, strafing the news media’s obsession with the ridiculous publicity-mad porn star whom Trump either did or did not have an affair with and to whom his to slimy lawyer Michael Cohen paid hush money, was attacked on her own blog by commenters who accused her of  defending the indefensible—you know, the President of the United States, who was never allowed a single second when the entire country unified behind the winner of a hard-fought election, and as one wished him good fortune and success. Not a second.

Ann usually doesn’t get involved in her blog’s comment threads., but she responded this time:

You Trump haters made it so boring to hate Trump. I don’t even like Trump, but you people annoy me.

Above all, I believe Trump won the election, and he deserves support as he attempts to carry out the responsibilities America entrusted to him. We need to help him, not try to screw him up at every turn. I think it’s outrageous what has been done to him, and I regard it as an attack on democracy.

I have always found that once the President is elected, we should accept the result and support him when we can and look to the next election if we can’t. I think the “resistance” is a rejection of democracy…

That is about as perfect an expression of my feelings as anyone could compose, including me. It has been this blog’s position from November 9, 2017 on, and I have never wavered from it. I knew this was basically Althouse’s stance as well, since so many of her posts reflect it, but it is gratifying to have another serious blogger I respect express it so clearly.

2. And a child shall lead us…Wait, WHAT??? This morning the news shows were emphasizing protests and demands by students, especially in Florida, and especially the students from as they angrily and with that special certitude in deficiency of ignorance that only the young and Maxine Waters can master, “change,” “reform,” and “action.” Shame on the anti-gun Left for urging us to regard these demonstrations as legitimate factors in policy making. This is pure emotion, children themselves saying, “Think of the children!” as if we don’t. Presumably if the grade-schoolers in the Sandy Hook shooting had the rhetorical skills, Democrats would have told us that they also had moral authority to dictate complex policy regarding matters there is no possible way they could comprehend. Most adults don’t comprehend them, as a visit to Facebook will immediately demonstrate. On Fox News, we were treated to a young demagogue in training loudly shouting the irresponsible anti-gun talking point that students have a right to go to school without fearing violence.  There is no such right; there has never been such a right and there never can be such a right. We also don’t have a right to be hit by lightning or killed by a drunk driver. The only way to even approach the kind of guaranteed safety these traumatized children are demanding is to have the streets lined with armed soldiers and education taking place in giant steel boxes that open at 7 am and remain locked until 4 pm. Fox also had a Democratic Senate candidate from New Jersey who talked about balancing security with rights in a manner that would make any totalitarian proud.

The student protests are news, but they are not legitimate factors to be factored into responsible policy-making. To suggest otherwise is to accept the batty idea that children should dictate national policy. Quite simply, surviving a mass shooting does not confer wisdom, knowledge, perspective or moral authority.

I apologize to Glenn Logan for not giving his Comment of the Day-worthy post today its proper honors, but it fits too well here. Glenn wrote..

“The national media is now appropriating adolescent children to argue their case for them. That’s quite possibly as disgusting as anything I’ve seen, and these are young people who are about as aware of America in an absolute sense as a communist Chinese farmer living in a hut is aware of geopolitics. All these kids have ever been exposed to is one side of the argument, and the trash of the Internet.

Think about it — we’re actually seeing adults, especially in the media, applauding a young student using the words “fucking piece of shit” directed at the President of the United States. Applauding, and encouraging such rhetoric from callow young men and women is ethically intolerable and completely irresponsible.

Any sane parent would congratulate this young woman for taking a stand and then ground her for a month for having the poor judgment to tweet profanity at the President, and for lacking the ethics alarms to understand that even though her desire to protect her fellow students is laudable, her methods were intolerably rude, juvenile, unnecessarily profane and unworthy of anyone.

Tolerating this behavior is what is killing this country.”

3. See? Here I go, having to write about Trump again...NBA stars Kevin Durant and Lebron James issued a podcast on ESPN is which, among other things, James said “(President Trump) doesn’t give a fuck about people.”  Durant opined that he was a racist. Evidence? Analysis? Credentials? Nah. These are roundball superstars talking, and attention must be paid. Fox News host Laura Ingraham responded to their comments , saying they should both “shut up and dribble.” Immediately, since he apparently has no other response, Durant said that Ingraham was racist. During the Bush administration, Ingraham wrote a book called “Shut up and Sing” about celebrities and performers abusing their metaphorical super-microphones to beat juvenile and ill-considered political views into the unformed minds of their impressionable fans. She was right, of course, as so many example since have shown. “Shut up and dribble” was obviously—well, to anyone informed, that is, which neither Durant nor James are—a direct reference to that title, which applied to, among others, Cher and the Dixie Chicks. Was the book racist? “Singerist”?  Durant is the bigot here, not Ingraham. As for NBA, NFL and other athletes using their status as role models to broadcast half-baked opinions and vulgar insults to the President, they have a right to do it, and better informed, more serious commentators like Ingaham and me have a right to explain, as she did quite well, why they are being irresponsible and abusing their status. Uninformed opinions are irresponsible no matter who utters them. They are more unethical when they are published—I’m looking at YOU, Facebook friends!—and more irresponsible still when the opinionator’s views has out-sized influence because of the speaker’s prominence in field conferring no expertise in the complex topic at hand. James and Durant are barely educated: both spent their high school and college years concentrating on basketball.

Ingraham is right. Shut up and dribble…and stop calling everyone you disagree with a racist.

4. And here’s the OTHER thing I’m sick of writing about…How many of you saw any mention of this in the mainstream news media? From the London Times, five days ago:

UN staff have carried out thousands of rapes around the world, a former senior official has claimed. Andrew MacLeod, who was chief of operations at the UN’s Emergency Co-ordination Centre, said that “predatory” abusers used development jobs to get to vulnerable women and children. He estimated that 60,000 rapes had been carried out by UN staff in the past decade, with 3,300 paedophiles working in the organisation and its agencies. “There are tens of thousands of aid workers around the world with paedophile tendencies, but if you wear a Unicef T-shirt nobody will ask what you’re up to,” he told The Sun.

Funny: sounds like news to me. American sources barely touched the story. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I strongly suspect that our partisan biased news media doesn’t want to report anything that might suggest that President Trump’s  hostility to the U.N. and the competence of world government might be wiser than generally thought. “Think of the children!” is not consistently applied, apparently.

I’m still in a bad mood…

58 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Arts & Entertainment, Childhood and children, Citizenship, Comment of the Day, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, History, Journalism & Media, language, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Race, Rights, Sports, U.S. Society

58 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2018 President’s Day Edition:

  1. Chris

    1 No Presidents Day post this year. I usually do a special Presidents Day post. I never thought I would ever feel this way, but I’m thoroughly sick of writing about the Presidents after the last year. I blame “the resistance” for this along with the news media, both of whom have created a related but separate ethics issue by relentlessly attacking, disrespecting, mocking and undermining President Trump.

    But not, of course, the president himself, who has done nothing worthy of attack, disrespect, or mockery.

    What is his role in commanding respect, Jack? Getting elected can’t be the end-all, be-all.

    2. I am much more skeptical of gun control arguments than I used to be, in large part because of this blog. I don’t know if any gun control measures could have prevented this shooting, or any of the other mass shootings that have happened over the past couple of decades (which are increasing in deadliness, if not frequency). But to throw up one’s hands and say there is nothing we can do is downright irresponsible, and from our elected officials, a dereliction of duty. These shootings don’t just happen, they don’t happen everywhere, and they haven’t always happened in the United States to this degree of deadliness. You mock the “Do something!” argument, and when that argument is used to support specific restrictions that are unnecessary or useless, that’s fair. As a general stance, though, “We need to do something” is not inherently illogical. We do need to do something. We do have to think of the children when a bunch of them are murdered. I don’t know what we need to do yet, but I’m open to suggestions. I’d bet these kids are too. Telling them there is nothing we can do, or that this is just the price of freedom, is not going to change their minds. They watched their friends be murdered. “There’s nothing we can do” sounds callous and useless, and is sure to make you their enemy. If you want to change the minds of these kids, or the gun control crowd in general, you have to give them alternative solutions. I don’t even see a willingness to consider solutions on this blog.

    3. more serious commentators like Ingaham and me have a right to explain

    It pains me to see you insult yourself by comparing yourself to Ingraham this way. She is not a “serious commentator.” She is a propagandist, a female Hannity.

    • 1. As you know, I have criticized Trump regularly here.

      2. Not allowing stark reality to change one’s mind is a bad life habit.

      3. Ingraham is too far right for me by miles, and often dismissive and callous. In this case, she is 100% right, and I was speaking of her in this case. She is, oh, only smarter and better informed than Hannity like a dolphin is smarter than a sea algae.

      I assume that you know nothing about her other than her opinions that you don’t like. She is a Dartmouth grad, and a UVA law school grad. She worked for the toughest law firm around, Skadden Arps, and clerked for Clarence Thomas. I have been especially impressed with her personal life: she was jilted by her fiance when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A breast cancer survivor, she has adopted three kids, one from Guatemala, and two from Russia. (I also have an adopted son from Russia.) Her many books are well reasoned, often funny, and worth reading.She could, and has, debate the typical liberal pundit to a pulp.

      • Chris

        1. Of course you have criticized Trump, and I didn’t imply otherwise. My comment was about you “blaming” the Resistance and the media for responding to Trump while not holding him equally responsible for creating this climate.

        2. I’m not sure what you mean here. I don’t accept that it has been proven as “stark reality” that there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop mass shooters. I’d imagine an analysis of mass shooting incidents would show plenty that could not have been prevented with legal, constitutional means, and plenty that could have been.

        3. I see what you mean now.

        By the way, I can’t find that Althouse comment or the thread it occurred in. Has she deleted it?

        • Chris

          Nevermind, found it.

          • Chris

            What I’m not seeing is this:

            Yesterday Ann Althouse, strafing the news media’s obsession with the ridiculous publicity-mad porn star whom Trump either did or did not have an affair with and to whom his to slimy lawyer Michael Cohen paid hush money, was attacked on her own blog by commenters who accused her of defending the indefensible—you know, the President of the United States, who was never allowed a single second when the entire country unified behind the winner of a hard-fought election, and as one wished him good fortune and success. Not a second.

            Ann usually doesn’t get involved in her blog’s comment threads., but she responded this time:

            Althouse’s comment is the 19th in the thread, and the majority of the first 18 were pro-Trump. Only two were anti-Trump, and only one could be characterized as an “attack” on Althouse (and a pretty mild one at that). Althouse’s comment doesn’t respond to the points brought up in that comment at all.

            It’s possible Althouse was attacked by more commenters than this, and simply deleted the offending comments. It’s also possible that even one comment critical of her and Trump was enough to set her off like this.I don’t read her often, but from what I’ve seen of her and her comments section, either option seems plausible to me.

    • A small comment from the Venezuelan Peanut Gallery. [Note that there is still no pay wall and all my comments are free and open to everyone! To those who ask for longer essays, patience. My fingers are gaining strength with each passing day.]
      ________________

      Because I read on a wide (WIDE) range of sites and on all sides of the political spectrum (because it is the only way to know a) what people are thinking and b) why they think that way, I am aware that, despite the obvious and even tragic blemishes on Pres Trump’s nose, many different people point to President Trump’s numerous successes.

      Here is one example: US News: https://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2017-12-21/donald-trump-is-the-most-successful-first-year-president-of-all-time

      Here’s another: The Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/year-one-list-81-major-trump-achievements-11-obama-legacy-items-repealed/article/2644159

      I am not sure if I would support some of the achievements listed, but it points in an interesting direction: the political Left can only see the demon that it projects.

      I am also aware that many sites that I check in on, religious, Christian, Catholic, while not particularly happy about some of Trump’s foibles and ‘concupiscences’, yet see him as enacting pollicies that they understand are more favorable to their positions, beliefs, ideals.. I think they see him as something like the average, fallen man who is yet trying to do ‘the right thing’.

    • philk57

      Chris, you said, in part: “But to throw up one’s hands and say there is nothing we can do is downright irresponsible, and from our elected officials, a dereliction of duty.”
      It has been my experience that the people in the gun control debate who are asking us to do something will only hear those suggestions that lead to more restrictions on the law abiding, but will do little or nothing to prevent these types of mass shootings in the future.

      I think that the cause of these shootings is largely cultural in nature, which means that a fundamental solution would take a couple of generations to accomplish – and only if everyone got on board to change the culture. That is an entirely different conversation, though, and one that I don’t intend to have right now.

      I have heard lots of suggestions of how to effectively reduce the tragic effects of school shootings. Back in 1990, there was a huge push to “do something” and it led to, among other things, the 1990 Act that was sponsored by Joe Biden to make schools gun free zones. It also made schools a “soft target zone” as long as nothing else was changed. In my opinion, the gun free zone legislation was a “something” that had an unintended negative effect. (It is interesting to note that one of the student survivors of the Columbine school shooting is now a politician in Colorado – he recently introduced legislation to make it legal for school personnel to carry arms in school with appropriate training)

      Until we can get to the cultural changes that would produce safe schools, like we had when I was young, we DO need to do something. I believe that we should protect the things that have value to us, which includes our children. There are ways to make our schools hard targets. These suggestions are generally rejected by the loudest voices asking for us to “do something.” These suggestions that are rejected are largely around those ideas that reflect the reality that the real solution to a bad guy with a gun, is the presence of a good guy with a gun.

      So, let’s all work on creating a culture that produces fewer boys that are disassociated with society – but in the meantime, let’s also provide the means to protect our kids from those boys until that culture change can take place.

      • “But to throw up one’s hands and say there is nothing we can do is downright irresponsible, and from our elected officials, a dereliction of duty.”

        Ah! The Do Something Fallacy!

        When there is in fact nothing to be done about a condition, accepting that condition is wise and responsible. Since all of the proposals being presented to deal with the problem not only don’t deal with the problem but create other ones or require eliminating civil rights, those who assert that the problem is fixable have the burden of proof to show why they conclude that. At this they have failed miserably: “It worked in Australia,” “How do you know if you don’t try?” “If it will save one life..” “baby steps”…these are not serious assertions.

        • philk57

          And to add insult to injury, they will reject out of hand proposals that have proven to be effective in other countries attempts to protect school children from assassins. See all the armed school teachers in Israel that have killed a number of terrorists who have entered school grounds with the intention of making a statement by killing kids.

  2. Cleophus

    But we do have to right to not be killed by a drunk driver or a school shooter. That’s why those things are illegal. If your child dies from violence we will arrest the person who did it, charge them, try them, convict them and at the very least imprison them. We may even execute them and invite you to watch. That is how our right to life is guaranteed. But it is not a guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen.

  3. The “shut up and x” rant is cheap and ad hominem. Yes it is annoying when uninformed singers, actors and athletes use their celebrity status to make political statements. But even uninformed, uneducated people stumble upon the truth sometimes. Ingraham should use her platform to explain why they are wrong.

  4. Re point #2:

    THIS (Open letter to David Hogg) is well worth reading. Don’t let the seeming tone of the initial sentences dissuade you from reading the piece.

    • dragin_dragon

      Will, I can answer one question posed by the letter…”Why are schools being targeted?” to paraphrase. Two reasons actually; they are a “target rich environment”. Just point the gun and shoot…you’re bound to hit somebody: second, school-shootings are so horrific to just about every one that they stay in the news for days thus granting a weeks worth or more of fame rather than the usual 15 minutes. Twisted fame, perhaps, but fame none-the-less

      • Other Bill

        Paranoid schizophrenic boys bloom in their late teens, just in time to take their revenge upon their grade school and high school antagonists.

        • dragin_dragon

          Yeah, but so few of them pick up guns and shoot up schools. Most shooters have learned violent responses from their so-called ‘care-givers’.

          • Other Bill

            But isn’t the correlation close to a hundred percent, d_d? Nikolas heard voices telling him how to pull off his attack.

            • Other Bill

              Nor am I saying every paranoid schizophrenic is a potential school shooter and needs to be institutionalized. It’s just pretty darned striking to me. I lost my best high school friend to paranoid schizophrenia. He was one violent son of a bitch when he didn’t take his meds. But he wasn’t armed with anything other than his fists.

            • dragin_dragon

              Two ways to see it, OB…probably close to 100% of the folks who shoot up schools (or churches) are off in some manner, but not necessarily paranoid schizophrenia. However, that does NOT mean that close to 100% of crazy folks are going to shoot up schools (or churches). Some, in fact, most, are relatively benign. You are right, in that the paranoid schizophrenic is probably the most dangerous because of the nature of his delusions.

      • Zanshin

        And pro-gun advocates would mention the fact that schools are no-gun zones and therefore easy targets.

  5. “Above all, I believe Trump won the election, and he deserves support as he attempts to carry out the responsibilities America entrusted to him.”

    You and her both say things like this, and I have a lot of trouble with it. What exactly do you mean by this? If all you’re saying is that Trump opponents should not attempt an illegal coup, and shouldn’t offer dishonest arguments, then I agree, of course.

    But when you say Trump “was never allowed a single second when the entire country unified behind the winner of a hard-fought election, and as one wished him good fortune and success,” I don’t understand what you think the alternative is. It seems to me you are asking his opponents to abdicate their responsibilities.

    I hope that his presidency turns out good for this country, but I do not believe that is the same thing as Trump successfully getting what he wants. Trump has proposed or supported policies that I consider wrong-headed, bad for America, and/or downright evil. Do you expect me to support him in his attempt to enact those policies? Because I won’t. Supporting Trump would make me culpable for policies that I find abhorrent. It would make me an accomplice to evil.

    • Other Bill

      Then write to your Congressman. Oppose his legislation. Offer other legislation. But don’t try to have him removed simply because you disagree with his policies. Impeachment shouldn’t be a political tool. We’re not a parliamentary nation. The next election is three years away. A vote of no confidence isn’t an option. That’s all.

      • Chris

        When was Trump impeached?

        • Bill said this: “Then write to your Congressman. Oppose his legislation. Offer other legislation. But don’t try to have him removed simply because you disagree with his policies. Impeachment shouldn’t be a political tool. We’re not a parliamentary nation. The next election is three years away. A vote of no confidence isn’t an option. That’s all.”

          Now you have to admit, this isn’t even one of your better gotchas. Nothing in that paragraph suggests Trump HAS been impeached.

      • OK. So don’t try to impeach him for political reasons. I’ll grant that. But Jack was complaining that people weren’t wishing him good fortune and success. Heck, a year ago jack was complaining that comedian John Oliver was picking on him. That’s nowhere near impeachment.

        • You really think that it’s appropriate not to wish a new President success? I seem to recall Rush Limbaugh being pilloried for saying that he wanted newly elected President Obama to fail. Remember that? And I wrote an essay about why Rush was dead wrong.

          • It’s weird to me that you talk about “success,” or that you worry about Trump running a “failed presidency” without specifying success or failure at what. I wanted Obama to succeed at his promises to make the government more open and close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, but I wanted his healthcare plan to fail. (You can see how that turned out.) I want Trump’s immigration policy plans to fail, but I’d like it if his school choice plans succeeded. (If he ever actually does anything about it.) So while I have hopes and fears about each President, and I hope the end result is good for America, I don’t wish for any of them to succeed without limit.

    • Chris

      But when you say Trump “was never allowed a single second when the entire country unified behind the winner of a hard-fought election, and as one wished him good fortune and success,” I don’t understand what you think the alternative is. It seems to me you are asking his opponents to abdicate their responsibilities.

      Yes, this. What Jack describes in that quote is a benefit that has not been extended to *any* President. Ever. And it shouldn’t be.

      Has Trump been met with more opposition than most? Yes, and for good reason. Is all the opposition against him justified? Of course not. But what I’m not seeing is a recognition that the opposition is a natural and expected reaction to the most intentionally divisive figure in politics I’ve ever seen. Obama doesn’t come close.

      • …most intentionally divisive figure in politics I’ve ever seen. Obama doesn’t come close.

        Project much, Chris? California is an echo chamber. Obama was FAR more divisive from where I live than Trump.

        • I’d say it this way: Obama was responsible for the divisions that Trump both exploited and has been beset by. We have had many divisive Presidents, but Obama was the most cynical and damaging of them.

          • Could you further elaborate, or at least link to a previous blog post or comment explaining this?

            • Sure. Obama intentionally exploited fault lines between races, ethnicity (with his tacit encouragement of illegal immigration, law enforcement and blacks, men and women (with the mandatory coverage of birth control), LGBT and straights, religious and non-religious, young and old, and, of course, the parties via hyper-partisan rhetoric and governance, to pander to the core tribes in the Democratic Party and to turn up passion and anger. I have been pointing out for years that this will be his legacy. and Trump’s ascension is part of that legacy: groups that resented being demonized and bashed in their own country emotionally turned to a candidate whose sole appeal was that he didn’t take any crap, and intentionally trolled the very groups that Obama embraced. Trump doesn’t have to be divisive; he just had to refuse to pander, and that now appears divisive to groups that spent 8 years having the upper hand. Hillary was supposed to win because she was a woman—that was supposed to be enough. Clinton began the division process to save himself from impeachment. Bush-Gore-Florida prompted the Democrats to continue division and hyper-partisanship as a tactic. The extreme conservative leaders in Bush’s years, like Tom DeLay, pushed division along religious and ideological lines, and Obama ran on the need for unity—then promoted the opposite.

              • THIS is the reason I read AND comment here at EA. (only comment here)

                Jack, that is as even handed an answer as I have ever heard, showing both sides of the aisle are at fault. We no longer trust, because our own side has been untrustworthy.

                Thank you for what you do.

    • Windypundit: Have you ever heard of or seen the documentary ‘God’s Country’ by Louis Malle? The first part is right before or right at the beginning of the Reagan presidency and then 6 years into the Reagan presidency. It is a marvellous free-standing documentary in itself, but what I took away from it is how these Minnesotan republicans (and Reaganites) ended up being sort of sc*&^ed by the policy choices of that administration.

  6. Other Bill

    The NYT runs and article ranking Trump among the Presidents. From Althouse. Guess where Trump is ranked among all the presidents.

  7. Glenn Logan

    Thanks for highlighting my comment, omitted words, horrible proofreading and all.

    God I hate myself sometimes, especially when I make a hash of the occasional cogent thought that fights through to the surface of my decaying brain.

    But thank you for the kudos.

  8. Chrisw Marschner

    I really do not know what is meant by the term “common sense gun control”. Given that it is a relatively amorphous phrase it is difficult for me to reject or accept the argument that we need even more common sense gun control.

    I have no problem with background checks or even enhanced background checks but it seems to me that, given that school shootings are often committed by young people, that common sense would indicate that we eliminate the rules to seal a juvenile’s police records, their medical records, and school disciplinary actions. If we had common sense regulations that would allow government officials to ferret out socially aberrant behaviors and intervene beforehand many if not all of these shootings could have been avoided without having to infringe on the rights of law abiding gun owners.

    Furthermore, common sense would tell us that if we gave the government the power to review all online posts we might be able to also ferret out cyber bullies and their victims which leads to more deaths annually than school shooters. According to DoSomething.org :

    1.”Nearly 30,000 Americans commit suicide every year.
    2.In the U.S., suicide rates are highest during the spring.
    3.Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds and 2nd for 24 to 35-year-olds.
    4.On average, 1 person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes.
    5.Each suicide intimately affects at least 6 other people.
    6.About 2/3 of people who complete suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths. Depression that is untreated, undiagnosed, or ineffectively treated is the number 1 cause of suicide.
    7.There is 1 suicide for every 25 attempted suicides.
    8.Males make up 79% of all suicides, while women are more prone to having suicidal thoughts.
    9.1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 commit suicide each year.
    10.There are 2 times as many deaths due to suicide than HIV/AIDS.
    11.Over 50% of all suicides are completed with a firearm. ”

    Think of it, one person dies at their own hand every 16.2 minutes. We need legislation to stop this. We need legislation to stop the cyber bullies. We need legislation to stop the carnage. We must think of the children. We cannot simply focus on the firearm because nearly half do not use a firearm to kill themselves. We can do more than simply control firearms. We must stop the killing by any means.

    To do that we need to have the power to find out what these kids are thinking, what they are doing, who are they communicating with, and hold people accountable for creating the conditions that lead these innocent children into committing acts of violence upon themselves and affecting all those around them. We can no longer afford to maintain the idea that privacy is more important than children’s lives.

    According to bullyingstatistics.org, they recommend:

    “Keep weapons and medications away from anyone who is at risk for suicide. Get these items out of the house or at least securely locked up.
    Parents should encourage their teens to talk about bullying that takes place. It may be embarrassing for kids to admit they are the victims of bullying, and most kids don’t want to admit they have been involved in bullying. Tell victims that it’s not their fault that they are being bullied and show them love and support. Get them professional help if the bullying is serious.
    It is a good idea for parents to insist on being included in their children’s friends on social networking sites so they can see if someone has posted mean messages about them online. Text messages may be more difficult to know about, so parents should try to keep open communications with their children about bullying.”

    It seems to me that theses recommendations would be appropriate for all children and young adults. We should be as concerned for the children that direct their violent tendencies inwardly, as in suicide, or outwardly, as in shooting others. Does it matter if the child dies at the hand of another or by taking his/her own life if outside forces precipitated the event? We must hold the outside forces accountable. That includes the purveyors of mindless warfare video games, movies that depict massive amounts of graphic violence such as Halo 3 that tend to dull the child’s ability to empathize, TV programs such as Snapped or Killer Couples that depict killers and their crimes, and we should not forget violent sporting events such as MMA that teach kids to cheer for the warrior who can beat the pulp out of his/her opponent. All this should be banned if we want a safer, more harmonious society. I am not suggesting that all video games, TV, and movies should be banned just the ones that show people being hurt as a form of entertainment. Finally, we must hold the parents, teachers and school administrators who are in a position to know which children are the problem and who do nothing to turn them into the authorities.

    Let’s bring these kids into the conversation and tell them why it is necessary for them to give up their privacy and other rights so that others can be protected. Parents and authorities need to make these kids understand that we cannot guarantee their safety without having the ability to monitor all of their online and offline activities without question. They need to understand that it is the price they must pay to ensure their safety.

    I’d be happy to discuss my ideas with any of the kids now being paraded before the public on this subject.

  9. The only way to even approach the kind of guaranteed safety these traumatized children are demanding is to have the streets lined with armed soldiers and education taking place in giant steel boxes that open at 7 am and remain locked until 4 pm.

    You just stumbled upon the solution.

  10. Re: #4- I always thought that was the implication of Professor Plum’s post scandal career with WHO in the old Clue movie of the 80s…. How much better to sweep any bad behavior under the rug and keep an offender moving?

  11. 3- IMHO, Ingraham also handled the terminally unhinged Ed Schultz “Talk-Slut” episode with more than reasonable calm.

    4- Even after those bang-up jobs handling the ethnic cleansing/genocide in Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia, et al, appointing Saudi Arabia to its Human Rights Council, and raising critical…um…awareness of the Global Warming that’s here and worse than the models predicted, the poor put upon U.N. still can’t catch break?

    The humanity!

  12. MSM is out of control abusing this David Hogg kid, and so are his handlers who have been feeding him talking points.

  13. Pennagain

    Glenn said (and I couldn’t agree more) …and these are young people who are about as aware of America in an absolute sense as a communist Chinese farmer living in a hut is aware of geopolitics. All these kids have ever been exposed to is one side of the argument, and the trash of the Internet..

    I would add to Glenn’s point that teenagers rehearsing civil disobedience – which is what this leads to if it continues to be uncontained — is a bad idea. Public demonstrations for political partiality are not to be taken on lightly, nor children enticed or encouraged to enhance the drama in public. In the case of the Parkland shootings, that safety-in-numbers feeling has the same result as joining a gang, especially for the majority of students who weren’t already part of the few who felt themselves secure in a clique. Inevitably there will be more, and bigger, demonstrations – the Washington D.C. permit was a mix-up, but the planners were already looking for 500,000 visitors. Rallies of this kind carry with them a branding of loyalty and groupthink that are the building blocks of an echo chamber. The students were handed a focus and sent out with it to, supposedly, join with the right-thinking adult world, though in actuality they are as Glenn pointed out, pawns for the big folks to play with. — [Full disclosure: I voted against giving 18 year olds the voting right and privilege of adults who had at least a bit of first-hand experience out in the world and whose brains and hormones had had a chance to settle into stable grown-up patterns.]

    That such youngsters become pawns, if they are not so already, is inevitable. For these students were handed (with deliberation if not malice) a focus for their extreme emotional conditions. And they grabbed it as children do. Just as the 2016 election results, unexpected and disbelieved by those who had voted otherwise, sparked frenzied reactions leading to pointless parading about carrying posters and shouting slogans until they invented the loose and loony “resistance,” so it is for the student survivors of Parkland. Whether spouting online without limitations or feeling the power of “taking the street” this kind of concerted action toward an “important” goal is an easy exit from taking the (necessarily) long road of dealing with the confusions of shock and grief and fear and anger, and the plain awfulness of being a survivor.

    Unfortunately, for many, it will be a permanent exit from getting the help they need, privately, with family, peers, fellow survivors, a return to school routine and structure, and as much professional counseling and/or therapy as they can get. And maybe an ethical civics class . . . .

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