It’s understandable that people of good will lose their minds, perspective and good judgment over the emotion-packed problem of school shootings, but someone has to stay rational and ethical. It might as well be me.
There are three major public affairs sagas currently occupying the media’s efforts and the public’s mayfly-like attention: Donald Trump’s indictment, Clarence Thomas’s betrayal of his sacred obligation as a Supreme Court justice, and the messy aftermath of the latest school shooting, this one by a transsexual with a history of mental health issues. The first is the culmination of one of our most long and continually-running ethics train wrecks. The second is a dangerous, Titanic-leval gash in the side of an American institution crucial to the survival of our democracy. The third is arguably more noise and angst than substance, but a more spectacular example of the ethics train wreck phenomenon that either of the other two. As the genre requires, everyone boarding the thing is acting unethically, including the journalists covering it.
I am going to, for once, only lightly touch on the mainstream media’s unethical handling of the shooting and the reactions to it by pointing out this: The New York Post’s Alexandra Steigrad reported last week that CBS News ordered its staffers to avoid “any mention” that Tennessee school shooter Audrey Hale was a transgender individual. The apparent theory is that doing so will undermine the cause of transgender activists, so the news must be scrubbed to advance the greater good, or something.
Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!
After the tragedy, the mindless took over. There has been a powerful, passionate anti-gun movement in the U.S. for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, it was handguns that the activists wanted to ban. Now it is semi-automatic weapons. The immovable object then and now was the Second Amendment; it just isn’t going anywhere, and that increasingly drives gun-haters crazy with frustration, as banging one’s head against a steel wall will do. This became a full-fledged ethics train wreck in 2012, when a mentally-ill 20 year-old man, Adam Lanza, stole his mother’s guns and attacked the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, murdering 26 people, twenty of them children between six and seven years old. It was a previously unimaginable act of pure evil, and it propelled the anti-gun crusade into hyperdrive by adding the pure emotion of the “Think of the children!” rationalization (#58) to what was already a witches brew of propaganda, bad facts, bad civic literacy, historical and cultural ignorance, hysteria, incompetent ethical analysis and cynical partisan exploitation. In the intervening 20 years, every active shooter on a college campus or in a school has set off another intense outburst of the vile “Second amendment supporters care more about guns than the lives of our children!” mantra. (more about that shortly.)
On March 30, Democratic state representatives Justin Jones, Justin Pearson and Gloria Johnson joined demonstrators in the statehouse who disrupted the legislature with a boisterous protest to demand “stricter gun control laws,” despite there being no evidence at all that any such measures would have prevented Hale’s rampage. The three House members assisted in the disruption in the chamber, even leading chants of the ever-popular “No Justice, No Peace!” through a bullhorn. Jones held up fatuous a sign that read “Protect kids, not guns.”
Ethics Check #1: The behavior of the three (Democratic, of course) state reps was indefensible. No one has explained why Republican members of Congress who supported the January 6 protest against what many believed was a rigged election were threatened by Democrats with a Constitutional ban from running for office as punishment, but the Tennessee legislators who actually participated in disrupting the government were pronounced by the same news media and party that condemned the Republicans as heroes. This is because it can’t be explained: it’s mind-blowing hypocrisy and a flaming double standard. What the Tennessee Democrats did was clearly worse: no Republicans too part in the January 6 attack on the Capital? No riot in Nashville, you say? That’s because, and only because, of moral luck. Police did not try to force the Nashville demonstrators to leave and didn’t have the numbers to even try. The anti-gun protesters, as you might expect, did not have a contingent of wackos prone to violence, though they might have. The news media’s near unanimous position is that people disrupting a Republican-run legislature in the midst of doing government business is admirable, but disrupting a Democratic-run Congress is an “insurrection.”
***The Republican leadership stripped Jones and Johnson of their committee assignments after the disruption. Pearson avoided their fate by not serving on a committee. Republicans then filed a resolution to expel the three Democrats from their seats in the state legislature for “disorderly behavior” and bringing “disorder and dishonor to the House of Representatives through their individual and collective actions.” Jones and Pearson, both black and now being lionized as “The Justins” were expelled by House Republicans, who hold a super-majority. Johnson, who is white, avoided their fate by a single vote.
Ethics Check #2: What the three Democrats did would lead to being summarily fired in any other organizational context. If, just to pick a hypothetical out of the air, Clarence Thomas joined a protest in the Supreme Court during oral argument of the same sex marriage case, using a bullhorn to join protesters who had stormed the chamber, impeachment would not be an excessive consequence. The expulsion is being reported as “an attack on democracy,” which is Bizarro World logic: it was the three legislators who actually disrupted democracy, “demanding” action that in government that functions by voting, negotiation, and due process.
Ethics Check #3: However, using the most severe punishment, while justifiable, was spectacularly incompetent, and thus unethical. Not only that, letting the white, female legislator escape with a lesser penalty neatly handed the race card to the party most fond of playing it. Of course, they did play it immediately. The Tennessee Republicans are morons.
Meanwhile, as has happened with every mass shooting over the last 20 years, the empty cries to “do something” echo across thee land. My favorite so far is the New York Times op-ed yesterday by Country music musician Keith Secor titled, “Country Music Can Lead America Out of Its Obsession With Guns.”
Ethics Check #4: Read it if you want your brain to fall out of your skull. The headline itself disqualified the column: America has no “obsession”‘ with guns: anti-gun zealots have the obsession with guns. America’s “obsession,” as in “recognizing a cornerstone of our national experiment in democracy,” is with individual liberty, in which the right to self-protection is crucial and indispensable.
Secor says he “now believes that country music has a unique opportunity to shepherd conservative Southerners, a demographic essential to the passage of any meaningful legislation, to the table to negotiate gun reform.” (Sure.) Typically, he shows no sense of what “meaningful legislation” or “gun reform” would be; these are just place-holders for “do something.” More highlights:
“Earlier that day at Episcopal School, both of my kids had experienced their first active shooter-training drill. My daughter complained to me that she’d gotten an unlucky position at the desk her teacher instructed them to crawl behind. “If there had been a shooter, I probably would have gotten shot,” she said with a nervous laugh.”
The anti-gun propagandists along with the mainstream media are 100% responsible for scaring our children into clinical depression. The chances that a kid will get terminal cancer, drown in a community pool or be killed by his parents are far more likely than than the risk of being killed by a mass school shooter, but the “Our kids don’t feel safe!” trope is standard equipment in the anti-gun disinformation campaign.
Now that the tragedy of school gun violence has come to Nashville, our city is poised to help lead the nation toward effective regulations such as red-flag and safe-storage laws, a ban on military-grade weapons, stricter background checks and the repeal of permitless carry laws.
None of which would have prevented the Nashville shooting. Red flag laws are unconstitutional, and should be: they are pre-crime measures that remove an individual’s constitutional rights through speculation and discrimination. Criminals and madmen are not going to be deterred by the repeal of permitless carry laws, and Secor marks himself as a deceitful messenger by using the term “military-grade weapons.” Safe-storage laws are a good idea, as are strict penalties for parents who let their children get a hold of their guns. If the anti-gun lobby would restrict itself to that, I doubt even the NRA would object too strongly. But those measures wouldn’t have stopped the Nashville shooter, or the massacre in Uvalde either.
The Sandy Hook Ethics Train Wreck will apparently roll on forever.
3 thoughts on “The Sandy Hook Ethics Train Wreck Jumps The Rails In Tennessee”
Is this true when the kid in question lives in a high-crime, inner city neighborhood?
I remember hearing, during the 1990’s, how kids from these neighborhoods talked about what kind of funerals they would have.
Of course, the following needs to be said and written.
The same side that has said, for over two years, that the police are racist sociopaths who habitually hunt down and gun down unarmed Black men, that the criminal justice system is irredeemably systemically racist…
…is the same suide that wants stricter gun control laws whioch would be enforced by these very same police in this very same system.m
Should not more people in the netowkr broadcast and print meduia point this out?
The prime evidence that the gun control cult has been astoundingly ineffective is the fact that their efforts over the past thirty years have resulted in more, rather than fewer, guns being manufactured and sold in this country. Every time they start a major anti-gun campaign or get some new gun regulation passed, gun sales get a boost. When anti-gun Senator William Hughes of New Jersey pushed through a voice vote on his amendment to the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986, during the final thirty minutes of debate before the final vote, banning the U.S. manufacture of fully automatic weapons except for law enforcement or government sales, his actions had the unintended consequence of more than doubling the number of legal, transferrable fully automatic weapons in circulation (from about 90,000 to nearly 200,000) during the month between the law’s passage and its implementation. This law not only put a whole group of manufacturers and many dealers out of business, (including a couple of my friends) but also virtually stopped military small arms development by independent designers and engineers not employed by a major arms manufacturing firm. (Think of a modern-day John Moses Browning, John Thompson or John Garand, all of whom designed phenomenal firearms for the government as individuals with no public compensation until after their designs were adopted by the military.)
When the “assault weapons ban” (with the Orwellian title of “The Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act”) was passed in 1994, there were about 8.5 million AR-15s in circulation. After the ban expired in 2004, sales took off. It is estimated that at least 20 million of the rifles are now in private hands. (I did not own an AR-15 until 2000 when my agency standardized duty rifles to that platform. I’m a .30 caliber fan: “Never shoot a large caliber man with a small caliber weapon.” Since the ban did not apply to law enforcement officers, I was able to purchase an AR-15 even though private citizens were not.)
Every time Obama, Beto, Biden or some member of Congress opines about banning guns, the gun stores have a run on their inventory and popular ammunition becomes harder to find. The anti-gun politicians are the best salesmen the firearms industry could ask for. This is almost a joke among gun shop owners, who never have to advertise locally anymore. (High volume shooters like me are rankled by the high ammunition prices, but we adjust -buy in bulk and scour the internet for bargains.)
So, it seems to me that the “obsession with guns” stems to a great extent from legitimate fears created by the anti-gunners that they will succeed in doing exactly what many of them say they want to do. If the government can decide that there are already enough fully automatic weapons in circulation, like they did in 1986, they can just as easily decide that there are already enough shotguns or handguns. Remington has made over four million Model 870 shotguns alone, more than twenty times the number of transferrable fully automatic weapons in circulation. And that’s just one model from one manufacturer.
The delusional Gen-X commies in Nashville can opine, emote, sing and strum all they want, but people in Tennessee are not about to willingly part with their firearms -any of them. They can go sell that crap in LA, we aren’t buying it here.
To me, it seems that the modern era of dosomethingism gun control efforts began with the 1963 JFK assassination, when efforts to pass national control laws (that focused on mail-order purchases, as if someone couldn’t walk into a Sears, Western Auto, or Army surplus store and buy a rifle) didn’t succeed until1968, after the RFK and MLK killings. It’s unlikely that anything in that bill would have stopped those.
It wasn’t until the 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that background checks were sometimes required. We all know how well that has worked, especially when violations were often selectively applied, pled away by the feds, or ignored (see Ruby Ridge; Biden, Hunter). The “assault weapon” ban was similarly useless against criminals. The ex-director of one of Michael Bloomberg’s Astroturf anti-gun groups recently opined that it was a “messaging challenge” that none of the solutions they had to offer would have affected recent criminal use of firearms.
The “elites” are not interested in stopping crime with firearms; they never were. They just didn’t want the wrong sort, like Italians, Negroes, Irish…, to have them. A pistol in the topcoat of a Rockefeller (who could afford the originally hefty $200 NFA fee) on the way to the opera was fine (short-barreled arms got accidentally left in the NFA after pistols were removed…intended to be a precaution against the riff-raff just cutting down a rifle). Many of the same sort, and their leftist hangers-on still think that way, but only if the undesirables are the Kyle Rittenhouses. It is easily statistically indicated that most murders, including those using firearms are committed by demographics beholden to the democrats. There’s a shortage of violent white nationalists to blame. (Most school shooters, if they have any political indications, seem to be on the crazy left side).