American Elephants

And Just What Will Actually Prevent Another Tragedy? by The Elephant's Child

Disgusting.  Prominent Lefties are preying on traumatized kids. What could be more useful than a crusade by the children who survived a massacre to see their friends shot down, to further the Leftist goal of gun control? George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfree (of course), Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg have each pledged  $500,000 to the student gun control “March for Our Lives.”

Two million dollars can certainly pay for a lot of school buses and hotel accommodations. It probably could have paid for a significant number of metal detectors, or a fund for school guards, but the emotional weight of traumatized kids is more valuable to push for “gun control.” And just what sort of personal protection do each of these fat cats have? Body guards? Guards for their residences? Electronic devices? Of course.

What lefties fail to understand is that ordinary Americans oppose gun control, not out of a passion for the NRA, but because gun control simply does not work. It has been tried over and over in many cities,and  many countries, and the shootings go on.  A new favorite weapon is a truck. You can mow down a lot of people with a truck. Google the Nice attack.

Most of our public buildings are protected.  The capitol in Washington D.C. is thoroughly guarded. Every Federal building is guarded. Our State houses have metal detectors and guards. Courthouses have metal detectors and guards. Schools often have Gun Free Zones.

CNN has been urging the kids on, putting them on camera as often as possible. That is not only not healthy for the children, it is exploitative.  What is that doing to these kids lives? These teenagers were from 14 to 18 years-old.  Two years ago the 14 year-old was 12. Six years ago the 18 year-old was 12. They are still children and can contribute nothing useful to the conversation. We know that what they have been through will have a life-changing effect. Exhibiting them is a typical Leftist response—they want to use the emotion for their own purposes without a single thought or care for the welfare of the kids. That is what exploitation is.

It takes some time to study up, to familiarize oneself with guns, to study the statistics and see what is really happening. Much easier to start blathering about “assault weapons” and “AK 47s” without having any idea what they are and what their uses are.

Chicago has the strictest gun control regulations in the country, and the highest rate of murders and gun violence.The Chicago Police Department released statistics in January that show the number of homicides fell from 771  in 2016 to 650 last year. The number of shootings dropped from 3,550 to 2,785 during the same period. Baltimore has blamed their record high (more than 300) murder rate on lower Police presence. Lower police presence? The media made a great deal of the high-profile cases of police brutality, and police consequently backed off in neighborhoods.

The Left has gone into “overdrive” as John Hinderaker said at Powerline, demanding gun control, any gun control, same old proposals, none new and none that would have prevented the Parkland murders. The potential reforms lie in the areas of law enforcement and mental health, not banning firearms.

Leah Libresco is a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site.  She was a gun-control advocate until she and her colleagues at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year.

We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.

The Washington Post Editorial Board, very left, is a proponent of gun control, but deserves some credit for considering both sides of the debate. The goal of the Left does not seem to be in saving lives, but in banning guns, eliminating the Second Amendment, banning the NRA which donates to the GOP. They want to decriminalize crimes and reduce the prison population. That’s supposed to appeal to blacks in high-crime areas who may have family members in prison. When crime statistics go down, it is usually because more criminals are incarcerated. Repeat offenders are not unusual. The Left does not do statistics, they do feelings. And that is a problem.

(Michael Rameriz cartoon is not this year, but pertinent)


“Kill Chic” by Victor Davis Hanson by The Elephant's Child

Kalashnikov AK47

If you read anything today, read this outstanding piece by Victor Davis Hanson, and share it with friends.

In movies, novels, music, and art, progressives murder their enemies, including presidents, in myriad ways.

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom.

We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping flesh, as if it is some sort of macabre ballet. Rap music has institutionalized violence against women and the police — to the tune of billions in profits, largely as a way for suburban kids to find vicarious street authenticity. And this idea of metaphorically cutting, bleeding, or shooting those whom you don’t like without real consequences has seeped into the national political dialogue.

For example, why does popular culture wink and nod at the widespread metaphorical killing of Republican presidents? Liberals used to believe that words mattered and images had consequences; the casual glorification of carnage trivialized violence and only made it more acceptable — and likely.


If Banning Guns Won’t Work, What Should We Do? by The Elephant's Child

To reach a point where people can begin to talk sensibly about the problem of violence in our schools, you have to wait a while. Probably longer than this. All the people who have never held a gun, nor fired one, have time to insist that banning all guns is the answer. Unfortunately, it’s often the less they know, the more they sound off.

There are no reliable statistics that I could find on gun shootings in schools. Everytown for Gun Safety is an activist gun-banning group, and has listed every incidence when a gun has been discharged in or near a school in their statistics, including on school property when schools are not in session, which includes a suicide in his own car, that sort of thing, which has contaminated most lists.

There are some few sensible suggestions emerging. Most courthouses and state buildings have  metal detectors at their doors, and a guard inside to do something if a metal detector sounds off.  Interesting that government officials are ready to insure protection for themselves, but not for vulnerable students. So the first need is for some proper statistics enumerating the people who have attempted to attack school children as the most vulnerable and precious victims. This is not as easy as it should be. The United States is a big open country with all sorts of news outlets, some of them even reliable. Our news is reported as headlines in most other countries. Because we let it all hang out, so to speak, countries that are more sparing in what they tell the public are shocked by us.

Banning guns is everyone’s first choice, but will not change anything. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. The kid who was turned in by his grandmother this week because she read his journal, was not only talking about guns, but about making bombs at home.  If metal detectors at every entrance to a school are a good idea, then it detects as someone enters—and who responds to that and what do they do? Is it an armed guard? For every door? Or are all other doors but the main door locked, and checked to make sure they are locked? It gets complicated right off the bat, and needs to be thought through carefully.

The grandmother who called 911 after reading her grandson’s journal here in Snohomish County (Everett) just had to trust that the responders from 911 would know what to do. It would seem that adults in such a situation would be more apt to take action if they knew what and who to reach, and what would result.

It’s agreed that the FBI fouled up very badly by not following up on warnings they received about Nikolas Cruz. They had a definite warning call from someone who knew him and took his threats seriously. His father had died earlier, and his mother had died suddenly and recently from pneumonia. He was expelled from school. Police were reportedly called to the home some 39 times. That’s a remarkable number of red flags and call for help, to FBI and city police, but nothing happened, no one took him in for help. That suggests missing training in when red flags should go up, and in what avenues to follow. Is a jail cell the only answer? Taxpayers are supporting a vast array of agencies that are supposedly trained to deal with situations like these. School shootings are not as common as the gun-control advocates assume, but there have been others. Some of the attacks have been by adults which are a different situation.

Junior high and high school are difficult times for kids. They are dealing with  puberty, and sex education, that currently seems to tell them they they can be any sex they choose, when they are trying to figure out how to be popular like some other kids seem to be, having crushes, wanting to be good at sports or acting or singing or anything like other kids seem to be. Everybody remembers traumatic things from their own high school career. It’s a very emotional time, taking the first steps toward adulthood.

It has been widely, if quietly, reported that teachers are being attacked in their own classrooms, in many cases by unruly students. School districts do not want that to be reported so it is not frequently mentioned, but it happens, perhaps more frequently where there is gang activity. What is being done about that?

When a kid has acted up enough to be expelled from school, had the police called to his home 39 times, and  just lost his mother, that would seem to be a powerful call for help. You would have one very angry kid. What all of this suggests is that all those administrators that the taxpayers are supporting besides the teachers in the classroom, should be planning and working with other agencies to think through the possibilities and come up  with plans so people know what to do and who to call.

What about the kid who uses the internet to learn how to build a bomb? Or learns how to make Molotov cocktails?  Do we still have reform schools? There are a lot of quiet agencies who take on troubled kids in rural settings to straighten them out and set them on a better path. Very expensive. Military schools. Also very expensive. Can states and communities learn from them and put new programs for troubled kids in place? Some used to be encouraged to enlist in the military, and drill sergeants know a thing or two.

Banning assault weapons (aren’t those the scary looking guns with scopes and a military profile) and AK-47s sounds important, and accomplishes nothing at all. Countries that have really gone for banning guns have learned that it does not work. Our cities with the most restrictive gun laws are some of the most violent.

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday by The Elephant's Child

Today is  “President’s Day.” As a long time crank, I disapprove of moving days of remembrance to Mondays to make a  3-day weekend. I would prefer that we stuck with Lincoln’s Birthday, and when we get there, to Washington’s Birthday on the 22nd.

Both men deserve special honor. In elementary school, kids used to make log cabins with construction paper or crayon, and Washington got axes and cherry trees. Classrooms had portraits of the two men, and an American flag standing in the corner for the flag salute. I assume I am badly dating myself, but I’m not sure just when these formalities ended.

On Valentine’s Day we had a big decorated box in which to put the valentines for our classmates. The drugstore sold sheets of punch-out valentines in numbers suited to average class size. It was considered tacky not to be completely equal in favoring everyone with a card — even the ones you hated. I don’t think I have seen a picture of a classroom lately that has pictures of either president. I wonder if they still do Valentine’s Day?

Most kids have probably never seen a log cabin, and are unfamiliar with a split rail fence.  The tale about cherry tree and never told a lie is undoubtedly specious, and I don’t remember actually learning much of anything about either man.

Even little kids should learn something about history, but most colleges are dropping any Western Civilization or  American history requirement. The protests we hear on our campuses display a vast ignorance of U.S. History, and world history as well. Troubling.

Jordan Peterson: A Speech for Every College Student by The Elephant's Child

Here’s a speech every college student should hear. I wish someone had made that speech when I was in college. It seems like much of the world has slipped a cog. Minds are in disarray. Obvious signs are ignored. The unimportant and minor takes center stage and important things rouse no interest.

I think Jordan Peterson is one of our most interesting intellectuals trying to get people to pay attention. He’s pushing basic common sense and that is so rare in today’s world that people don’t know what to do with it.

Alienating Young Men: Jordan Peterson by The Elephant's Child

This one is important, and short. All this gender nonsense has been growing and is purely evil. It’s all trying to tear our society apart in the name of politics: feminism, white supremacy, race, diversity, and so on. I don’t understand what they are trying to do. We’ve had a celebration of gender dysphoria, which is a mental illness related to other kinds of dysphorias. They are teaching little children that changing genders is normal and real. There are even people who have come to believe that one of their limbs is bad and must be removed. Some few attempt the removal themselves, with unfortunate results.

The American people come in a wide variety of colors. The majority are more or less white, but that does not become “white supremacy.” Feminism had some reality when women wanted to be recognized as individuals and to have the right to vote. Congress passed the law in 1919 and it became a reality in 1920. Do we have to have some kind of young men’s liberation movement to get the trendy people to stop beating up on them?

There is something deeply, oddly, wrong in our country at present. In universities we have young people demanding that they should not have to hear ideas with which they do not agree—and what is a university and why are you there? Women are marching around with vulgar signs in vagina costumes. A teacher in public school announces that any young men who go into the military are dummies, lacking in intelligence and ability. Female teachers are having sex with their young male students, and getting sent to prison for it. Think about the protests and demonstrations you can remember from the past year or so. They make no sense. Where does this come from?

Improper Conduct and Abuse of Power? by The Elephant's Child

The Washington Examiner reports that: “The House Intelligence Committee has voted to release the four page memo that allegedly details that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sought the renewal of a federal court-authorized surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.” Also named in the memo, were outgoing FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (who has resigned and been put on permanent leave until the end of the year, to save his pension?), and former FBI Director James Comey.

The vote apparently involved invoking an “obscure” congressional rule to force the release of a classified memo written by Republicans that outlines what they say are federal surveillance authority abuse. The Republican majority, while voting to make the four-page GOP memo public, also voted against releasing a “counter memo” written by the Democrat minority. They voted to release the Democrat memo for viewing by House members. According to the rule, the memo can be made public as long as President Trump does not object within the next five days.

Ranking minority member Adam Schiff D-CA, said “We have crossed a deeply regrettable line in this committee.” The memo reportedly accuses the top FBI leadership of abusing the surveillance warrant process known as FISA, which involves presenting legal evidence to a FISA Court before taking any action. Congressman Schiff was referred to by Liz Shield of Instapundit as the current chairman of  of the Congressional Leak Everything Department, which I thought was funny, and presumably accurate.

So far, all we have had is a lot of rumors that executives at the FBI collaborated in attempting to influence the election, compromise the incoming Trump administration, and that a couple of FBI employees were engaging in an extramarital affair and texting each other about secret plans to work against the Trump administration. That the FBI used the “Steele Dossier” paid for by the Clinton Campaign to get FISA Court approval to investigate the Trump campaign, including wiretapping Trump tower? That and more is what is floating around, but all rumor and insinuation. If true in any part, it is extraordinarily damaging to the government. These “public servants” are supposed to be working for the benefit of the American people, not playing politics.

Corruption is always not only tempting, but always present in governments. Our Founders were well aware of that, and attempted in the U.S. Constitution to include safeguards. Why is it not surprising that a Democrat reporter for the Week is demanding that we do away with the Constitution entirely.

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