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If stupidity were money, the writer of this LTE would be wealthy. Early in the LTE, the writer poses a hypothetical situation, saying “Say Matt, 23, dies from an IED in Afghanistan. His rising life is cut short. The anguish is felt by his grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, in-laws, nephews, nieces — and all their friends and relatives, and Matt’s uncles, aunts, cousins, acquaintances, friends, HS classmates, their parents, college classmates, friends, girlfriends, athletic mates, armed service mates, acquaintances — pain multiplied exponentially compared to an abortion. Pain that goes on forever.”

A few paragraphs later, the writer employs a guilt-trip strategy, writing “Then the same goes for the loved ones and friends of the wounded — physically, emotionally, psychologically. Not to mention the loss of productivity to society. Add massive costs for decades more that you and I foot to aid the wounded warriors. And the conservative reaction to all this carnage? Threats of more wars. And big yawns; hiding behind the skirts of the NRA and a lack of common sense about the second amendment. (Bazookas, grenades and howitzers have been outlawed without ‘taking all our guns.’) If conservatives truly cared about gun deaths, their abortion signs would add, ‘Save our young adults. Outlaw AR-15s.'”

The writer must be physically fit because that’s a hell of a leap. Seriously, outlawing AR-15s won’t come close to putting a dent in mass shooting deaths. Eliminating AR-15s wouldn’t even eliminate 1% of shooting deaths.

Let’s talk about the forever popular with progressives assault weapons ban while we’re at it. The progressives’ definition of an assault weapon is nothing more than a scary-looking semi-automatic rifle. If people want to be consistent, people that want to ban ‘assault weapons’ would have to eliminate all semi-automatic weapons.

Here’s a question that hasn’t been discussed. If these gun grabbers truly wanted to put a significant dent in gun deaths, why aren’t they calling for the elimination of handguns?

Instead of going the gun-grabbing route, we’d be better off if we implemented programs that already have a history of success. Sen. Marco Rubio, the politician accused of having blood on his hands because he’s accepted campaign contributions from the NRA, wrote this op-ed to highlight what Congress has already done:

Just five weeks after the tragedy in Parkland, Congress passed a spending bill that authorizes $1 billion over the next decade to improve the safety of our schools. The STOP School Violence Act is set to immediately provide resources to schools and their communities to prevent violence before it ever begins.

Being proactive is better than efficiently reacting.

The new money would be available to local governments and schools to implement programs like Los Angeles County’s successful School Threat Assessment Response Team, which coordinates the efforts of law enforcement, schools and mental health professionals to make sure nobody slips through the cracks. It will fund anonymous reporting systems like the Safe UT app, and help school districts create and train intervention teams to seek out the troubled students most likely to pose risks like what happened in Parkland.

Rather than listen to the mindless yapping of young activists like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, Congress has funded an effective program that seeks to expand from Los Angeles to the entire nation. Here’s why that’s important:

School safety programs that had previously been subject to budget cuts or staff turnover will have additional resources for operations and for investments in improvements. Local government officials, and the parents and families they represent, will be able to use the money for solutions that work best for their communities based on tried and true approaches.

It’s time for the activists to get off the stage. They’ve been discredited because improving school safety doesn’t require trampling people’s civil rights. Cameron Kasky, David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez are poorly-trained actors with a loser’s script:

Once the media hysteria died after the Parkland shooting and people had time to investigate what actually happened, people noticed that Parkland officials made quite a few mistakes. Investigators noticed that Deputy Scot Peterson didn’t rush into the building to save students, instead opting to establish a perimeter from the safety of his car.

Thanks to a timeline published in this article, we know quite a few things about what happened that tragic day. We know that, sometime after 2:23 pm, Deputy Peterson shouted “Get the school locked down, gentlemen!” Potentially, this is a huge point in light of information that we’re now learning about. According to this article, “a threat assessment [was] performed months ahead of the tragedy.”

According to the source, the “threat assessment was done by a retired Secret Service agent, and it was known that he was going to do this assessment by the Safety Committee but that no one else at Stoneman Douglas would be aware of it, including administration except for that one administrator on the committee.” Further, it’s alleged that the “Secret Service agent came in. He parked in the front of the school for 20 minutes. He was never approached by anyone. He gained entry to the campus never being stopped by anyone at any time and put Post-Its on 21 random people.’ Each Post-It note represented a potential casualty.”

If this is verified as true, this is another bombshell. If true, it’s another instance of governmental incompetence. Allegedly, one of the recommendations from the former Secret Service agent was to keep the gates of the school locked. Another alleged recommendation was to not immediately evacuate the classroom in the event of a fire alarm. “Prior to the shooting, Cruz activated a fire alarm, sending students flooding into the hallway where he could target them.”

If I was the parent of one of the 14 students who lost their lives that day, I’d demand to know why these common sense precautions weren’t taken prior to the shooting. In one sense, in fact, it’s irrelevant whether a threat assessment was conducted. It’s irrelevant whether these recommendations were made, too.

These precautions have been implemented across the nation. Why didn’t the school board insist that these precautions be made? Cameron Kasky, David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez might be world-class activists but their credibility is definitely shrinking.

No matter how emphatically they say it, the NRA doesn’t have blood on their hands. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office, aka Broward’s Cowards, have blood on their hands. Ditto with the School Board. Ditto with the people who repeatedly questioned Nikolas Cruz but didn’t institutionalize him.

With all of this information, it’s difficult to picture how the NRA is even slightly to blame for the Parkland Massacre.

It’s difficult taking Parkland students David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez and Cameron Kasky seriously, especially since their targeting seems more guided by ideology than logic. Their targets have been Marco Rubio, who definitely isn’t part of the problem, and the NRA. They’d have a hint of credibility if they’d taken the FBI and the Broward County’s Sheriff to task for their failings. Since that didn’t happen, there’s nothing that they’ve said that suggests that they’re serious policymakers.

This discredited trio seems disinterested in the fact that Deputy Scot Peterson ignored sheriff office’s protocol when he told other deputies “Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away.” The sheriff’s protocol “calls for deputies to engage an active shooter until the threat is eliminated.”

By not engaging the shooter, Deputy Peterson didn’t do his job. The Parkland student activists haven’t criticized him or his wimpy sheriff boss. Why haven’t they taken aim at Dep. Peterson and Sheriff Israel? Is it because Sheriff is helping them criticize the NRA? If that’s the case, then these students aren’t principled problem solvers. They’re displaying the traits that do-nothing career politicians show.

Why haven’t these frauds gone after Sheriff Israel like this?

WPLG’s Bob Norman approached Sheriff Israel on Monday outside a Wings Plus restaurant where the Democrats club was scheduled to meet, asking the sheriff, “How do you have the time to politic when you got all these problems?”
“Your stories have never been balanced,” Sheriff Israel accused the reporter.

“This isn’t about me, sheriff,” Mr. Norman fired back. “There are 17 dead people. If you’re disappointed in me, I think there’s a lot of people disappointed in you.” “You know, I disagree with you,” Sheriff Israel said. “You haven’t heard? About the country being disappointed in you and the [Broward Sheriff’s Office]?” Mr. Norman asked. “No, not at all,” Sheriff Israel responded. “My job is to protect and serve the Broward County residents.” “Did you do that?” Mr. Norman asked. “Did you do that?”

“But when the report is in, we’ll have that conversation,” Sheriff Israel said. “Are you ever going to take responsibility for what happened at Stoneman Douglas?” Mr. Norman asked. “When the report’s in, we’ll have that conversation, Bob,” the sheriff repeated.

Gonzalez, Hogg and Kasky haven’t gone after these incompetents even though they stood by while their classmates died.

It’s impossible for me to take these students seriously because they haven’t proven that they’re interested in solving the problem. Thus far, they’re more interested in being media stars.

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A liberal front group specializing in gun control bought a full page ad in the Star Tribune. Then the Strib published this article to make sure the organization got extra mileage for their ad buy.

In the article, the Strib wrote “A mysterious group operating under the name ‘Listen to the Children’ called out four members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation Monday on their positions on gun control measures and donations from the National Rifle Association. In a full-page ad in the Star Tribune a week ago, the group asked the entire Washington delegation if they would introduce, cosponsor or vote for legislation to ban the manufacture and sale of high-capacity magazines for firearms, and if they would return any donation from the NRA and its affiliates and refuse to accept future NRA donations.”

Later, Listen to the Children “the nonprofit placed another full-page ad, saying it received ‘yes’ responses from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Tina Smith, Rep. Tim Walz, Rep. Betty McCollum and Rep. Keith Ellison, all Democrats. The ad said that Rep. Erik Paulsen, a Republican, was the only one to respond ‘no’ to both of the group’s questions, but a spokesman for Paulsen’s office said their organization never responded to the ad. Rep. Jason Lewis and Rep. Tom Emmer, both Republicans, and Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat, also didn’t respond to the group, which stated in the ad that it considered a lack of response as “no” answers.”

Tim Walz and Tina Smith both essentially said that they don’t think that people should have the right to defend themselves. They also said that they’d reject any contributions from the NRA. With a significant portion of NRA members being blue collar people living in rural areas, Walz and Smith are essentially turning their backs on rural blue collar voters.

I hope rural blue collar voters remember that this November.

For the past 6 weeks, I’ve been inundated with moral-sounding drivel from high school students. While the left-leaning media swooned over these ill-informed activists’ activism, I kept wondering when a true journalist would ask them pertinent questions. After awhile, I stopped expecting the MSM to do something they clearly didn’t want to do. After awhile, I stopped expecting these children to stop acting like ill-informed spoiled brats.

While the MSM praises their activism, people in America’s heartland have moved on. Voters in America’s heartland have tuned these children out, knowing that they’re mostly a creation of the MSM and that the emotions are real. If the MSM won’t ask these children some tough questions, I will.

  1. Are you committed to making schools safer? If you are, why are you pushing the thing that doesn’t work?
  2. Why is your focus solely on the NRA? Sheriff Israel, Deputy Peterson, the Broward Cowards and the FBI were more to blame than the NRA.
  3. To David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez: did you know that an ‘assault weapon’ (as you define it) is nothing more than a scary-looking semi-automatic rifle?
  4. Why haven’t you advocated for banning handguns? They kill far more people than so-called assault weapons?
  5. Why haven’t you advocated for banning all semi-automatic rifles? They’re just as lethal as assault weapons as defined by you.
  6. Isn’t it time for you to admit that you’re just tools of the gun control lobby?
  7. Isn’t it time to admit that your ‘solutions’ haven’t worked and can’t work?
  8. Finally, isn’t it time you apologized for your ill-informed activism? Yes, you have the right to protest. It’s just that you’d have a better chance of being effective if you knew what you were talking about, which you clearly don’t, and if you were truly interested in solving problems rather than just checking another item off the gun grabbers’ ideological checklist?

Let’s see if anyone responds before the next march:

Student leaders who have organized, marched and pressed for government action to halt gun violence sound as if they’re just getting warmed up. Plans are taking shape for April 20 school walkouts tied to the anniversary of the Columbine High shootings, along with a rally that afternoon at the State Capitol. Next weekend, students in the south metro have called for a town hall meeting, with invites sent to elected officials, hitting again on themes that propelled them to rally and protest: the senselessness of gun violence and the hesitance of some lawmakers to take corrective action. “I think legislators who do nothing on this subject do so at their own peril,” said Joe Campbell, a communications consultant whose GoFundMe campaign sent dozens of Henry Sibley High School students to Washington, D.C., for last weekend’s March for Our Lives. He attended the event, too, and came away thinking, “If I were a politician, and I saw this, I’d be shaking in my boots.”

First, if I was the media director for gun rights advocates, I’d talk about how government failed to protect those students and teachers. I’d highlight that this wasn’t the first time that government failed in protecting its citizens. This article would be highlighted:

A federal database with the names of mentally ill people barred from buying guns still lacks millions of records it needs to be effective. A new report from Mayors Against Illegal Guns points to gaps in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The problem is that 14 years after NICS was put in place, states still aren’t submitting all the required mental health records.

“I think that those states are doing a disservice to their citizens,” says Lori Haas, whose daughter Emily was injured in the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting. “They’re not doing what they can to protect public safety and to keep firearms out of the hands of potentially dangerous people.”

That article was published in August, 2012. Democrats had a significant majority in the Senate and a Democrat was president. Shouldn’t Democrats take the blame for not fixing NICS?

Since the shooting, Virginia has become a model, submitting more than 170,000 records of people with mental illnesses. But the Mayors Against Illegal Guns report shows 21 other states have reported fewer than 100 records. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined why states aren’t submitting records in a July report. Some cited bureaucratic barriers, others technical ones, like switching from paper-based to computer systems. And some states contend it violates their laws to forward mental health records to the federal database. A few states are changing their laws.

“Texas enacted a law in 2009 and was then able to increase the number of records by about 190,000,” says Carol R. Cha, acting director in GAO’s Homeland Security and Justice division. But recent shootings, like the ones in Colorado and Texas, demonstrate that people with mental illnesses are still able to buy guns.

The last I checked, the NRA wasn’t responsible for submitting those records. Government was. Government failed to protect people.
Thank God for people like Ben Shapiro. In this video, Shapiro levels a devastating critique of David Hogg:

To David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez and Cameron Kasky: if you’re truly interested in protecting people from gun violence, which I question at this point, it’s time to get government to do its job. That includes insisting that deputies actually run towards danger instead of hiding behind their vehicles. That includes requiring states to update the NICS system in a timely fashion. That includes pointing the finger of blame at the people who are actually at fault.

Right now, that isn’t happening.

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This past Saturday, a bunch of liberal organizations sponsored the March for Our Lives in an attempt to start gutting the Second Amendment. That wasn’t the students’ intent. That’s the AstroTurf organizations’ intent. Organizations like “Everytown, Giffords, Move On, and Women’s March LA — told BuzzFeed News they are helping with logistics, strategy, and planning for next month’s March for Our Lives rally and beyond.”

While those organizations rally people to ban scary-looking weapons that won’t make the public safer, President Trump and the Republican Congress are taking concrete steps to make schools safer. One step they’ve taken is they’ve passed Sen. John Cornyn’s Fix NICS legislation “a provision aimed at improving the national background check system in order to prevent felons and domestic abusers from purchasing firearms. Cornyn has been pushing for that measure since two days after the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, when he went to the Senate floor to proclaim the need for the “Fix NICS Act.” NICS, the acronym for National Instant Criminal Background Check System, is where many believe part of the system failed in the Sutherland Springs incident. The shooter was an Air Force veteran with a record of domestic abuse convictions, meaning he should not have been allowed to purchase firearms.”

This is an important step in keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns. In Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ op-ed, we learn that “We are also taking steps to ensure that the information accessible during a background check is both complete and up to date.” Also, “we have already increased federal gun prosecutions to a 10-year high and violent crime prosecutions to a 25-year high – the highest level since records have been kept. But we are just getting started. With this new policy in place, and with our continued emphasis on federal prosecution of the most dangerous gun offenders, we intend to break these records again.”

These aren’t feel-good measures like the marchers want. These are things that will make a significant difference fairly quickly or that are already making a difference.

These are the adults taking action. They can’t be confused with the student activists who demand that we “do something.” These men shouldn’t be confused with children like David Hogg:

Hogg, who became the de facto spokesman for the youth gun control movement after surviving the Valentine’s Day mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., accused Rubio of prioritizing campaign contributions over the lives of students. “I’m going to start off by putting this price tag right here as a reminder for you guys to know how much Marco Rubio took for every student’s life in Florida,” Hogg said before a crowd of tens of thousands gathered in front of the Capitol building. If you listen real close, you can hear the people in power shaking. They’ve gotten used to being protective of their position, choosing the safety of inaction. Inaction is no longer safe, and to that we say no more,” he said.

If there’s going to be finger-pointing, it should be in Sheriff Scott Israel’s direction. That coward did nothing to protect the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS. Then he started pointing fingers at the NRA to take the spotlight off of his failures.

It’s painfully obvious that this LTE was written by a poorly-informed liberal. It’s painfully obvious because he states up front that “I have no answers for our debate on the 2nd Amendment, but I do have some questions.” The writer then writes “When our Constitution was drafted the deadliest weapon was a single shot musket. In 1934 machine guns were banned. How do they differ in purpose from assault-style rifles? With a handgun in your possession, would you confront an armed attacked with an AR-15? In the past year, what is the comparison of number of people killed or injured when a handgun is used or an assault-style rifle?”

Mr. Erickson’s ignorance is highly visible because he continues with the question, writing “Have you ever seen and experienced a responsible game hunter in the woods with an AR-15 in pursuit of big game? Have you ever seen a big game animal harvested with an assault-style rifle? How safe would our woods be if we had hunters shooting with them? Do you know any experienced big game hunters who usually requires more than two shots to bring down his or her quarry? Have you heard of any respectable or responsible organization advocate repeal of the 2nd Amendment?”

First, the Second Amendment wasn’t written to protect hunters. It was written right after we’d defeated an oppressive government who didn’t want to admit that a scrappy bunch of poorly-armed colonists had defeated the world’s military superpower in a war. Next, the answer to how “safe would our woods be if we had hunters shooting with” AR-15s is simple. While AR-15s wouldn’t be a practical choice for deer-hunting, they wouldn’t be any different than any other semi-automatic rifle. That’s assuming, of course, that Mr. Erickson didn’t pick an AR-15 handgun. Based on Mr. Erickson’s questions, it isn’t a stretch to think that he didn’t know AR-15s came in handguns.

The answer to Mr. Erickson’s final question is yes, though gun-grabbers cleverly phrase their question so it doesn’t sound like they’re advocating for the repeal of the Second Amendment. The truth is that many so-called ‘mainstream’ gun control organizations want to gut the Second Amendment.

As for the answer to “what is the comparison of number of people killed or injured when a handgun is used or an assault-style rifle?”, this should give him his answer:

According to my trusted calculator, the number of murders committed by rifles in all of 2009 was less than 3 weeks of murders by handguns. For all the complaining about AR-15s, they’re a proverbial drop in the bucket compared with handguns.

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Whatever you say about Tim Walz, the first truth about him is that he isn’t a principled politician. I’d argue that he’s a spineless career politician. This was never more evident than on Friday morning, when he tweeted “I want to thank the MN students who met w/ my DC staff this morning. I’m proud to stand w/ you to push for commonsense gun safety measures like universal background checks, a military-style assault weapons ban & CDC research into gun violence. Your leadership inspires us all.”

That’s world-class pandering. It’s impossible to tell that Walz had a lifetime A rating from the NRA. In that tweet, Walz sounded like a typical gun-grabbing DFL legislator. If I hadn’t identified who said that, a person might’ve thought I was quoting Ron Latz. But I digress.

This morning, it’s time to rip the mask off this march. Let’s start by saying that the students from Parkland experienced something horrific. Next, let’s stipulate that going through that experience doesn’t make them experts on gun control. In fact, I’d argue that they’ve exhibited their ignorance multiple times. Ben Shapiro exposed these students’ ignorance in this video:

These students are just as ignorant as the liberal organizations sponsoring today’s marches. I reject the need to put these students’ opinions on a pedestal. They’re worthy of no more consideration than any other liberal opinion.

The first question I’d ask young Mr. Kasky is straightforward. Why would students think that a man who’s broken the law before suddenly obey a new law banning weapons? For that matter, why think that these new laws are constitutional?

For instance, requiring people to be at least 21 to buy an AR-15 is unconstitutional as long as 18-year-olds are considered adults. Fortunately, the people who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had the wisdom to enshrine in the Bill of Rights the right of people to protect themselves. No amount of passionate activism will change that constitutional verdict.

Finally, it’s time to teach these children the Constitution rather than teaching them the A-B-Cs of activism. We don’t live in a democracy. Our Founding Fathers created a constitutional republic where rights were God-given, not granted by government. The difference between the 2 forms of government are dramatic. It’s time that these children learned why constitutional republics are dramatically better.

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Looking for the solution
By Rambling Rose

No one of sound mind wants students to be put at risk. Yet few of the suggested “answers” are real answers.

People march and protest to “do something.” Some would rather be “out of class.” Younger children appear to be the pawns of their leftist teachers. Some young people think that because they protest, adults will embrace their words and “fix” the situation…and all children will be safe (except the ones that they abort as inconvenient).

This week in Maryland, there was another school shooting where the shooter had an illegally obtained handgun. In Florida a young man used a knife to stab three people, one fatally, at a sleepover. Texans died at the hands of a bomber—a rampage that started on March 2nd and may have ended today if there are no more bombs yet to be delivered and if the bomber had no accomplices.

So, what do we ban? Guns? Knives? Bombs? Cars? Drugs? Alcohol? Nicotine? All of the above? Probably not. Since we do not seem to have the answer, maybe we should see what has reduced mass shootings…in Switzerland.

Some of the following data are from an article published by USA Today less than two weeks after the Florida shooting.

Only the USA and Yemen have more guns per capita than Switzerland, a nation of 8.5 million nestled in the Alps in southern Europe. But in the last 10 years, the Swiss have registered only 120 homicides and only one mass shooting in a legislative building in 2001.

Apparently, healthcare professionals report those they suspect to be dangerous and maintain a database of those denied gun licenses. While such referrals apparently were made regarding the more recent shooters in this country, officials did not follow protocols. Either that or they embraced the slap-on-the-hand discipline policy of the former Obama administration.

President Trump singled out the MS-13 gang in his State of the Union address. Since the street gang comes from Central America, does the open border permit their infiltration by members and ideology to increase? Switzerland has banned the entrance of immigrants from eight countries. Justices in this country have issued injunctions against such practices by the Trump administration.

Citizens in this country arm themselves for protection or to commit crimes. Fewer purchase guns for hunting or sport. The reverse occurs in Switzerland. “The Swiss Shooting Sports Association has about 3,000 clubs across the country, including a youth section where children as young as 12 learn to handle and shoot a gun safely. Last year, the Defense Ministry contributed about $860,000 for training, and the government donated 10,585 army assault rifles and 930,000 rounds of ammunition to gun clubs.”

Following the shooting of a champion skier by her estranged husband in 2007, the government ordered that the ammunition for rifles issued to military personnel be kept at arsenals. Anti-gun activists felt that the rule was not inclusive enough since it did not apply to weapons owned by civilians. 56% of the voters rejected the referendum in 2011 because they believed “that Swiss gun owners didn’t need any more restrictions because the existing laws regulating the sale and licensing of private guns were stringent enough.”

Before we augment the number of laws we need, we need to enforce the ones that we have. With another march programmed for April 20th, do the protestors and/or their organizers admitted that students have broken truancy laws in order to demand more laws for others?

How about RESPECT? For the “inalienable rights of all.”

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Students: Leaders or Pawns?
By Rambling Rose

A month after the massacre of more students in another ‘gun-free zone,’ thousands of students of all ages left their classrooms to protest gun violence. No one doubts their need for a sense of security in the classroom. However, are the students themselves organizing this movement from the grassroots or are they being manipulated by teachers, administrators, liberal parents or other organized groups with progressive, leftist ideologies and funding?

How many truly believe that the walkouts were completely voluntary? Teachers may not leave students unsupervised in classrooms. Hence, entire classes marched at the behest of the organizers of the school/district. Nor do teachers ignore mandates from building or district supervisors if they hope to continue employment in that school district.

How many believe that elementary, or even middle school students, even understand the gun-control debate? Did the children make the posters and memorize the chants as directed by their teachers, or did they in their own yet-developing minds eagerly organize the march for their school, replete with posters? Is this PC indoctrination of the most eager and receptive learners? Even preschoolers echo a need for peace and a belief that they can (currently) change the world.

How many believe that the protests are really about gun control? It appears more about a power struggle to control the discussion of a left-wing agenda. No one would oppose a chance to protect innocent lives, would they? Since school massacres occurred by someone entering schools with guns to commit the heinous crime, why not ban guns? Schools are gun-free zones filled with many potential victims with no means to defend against the perpetrator. And if it’s harder to obtain a gun (legally) and only by older persons, there would not be any more shootings, right? It’s a tug of war, and to the victor go the spoils—power.

A post on Facebook stated that the USA is #3 in the world for murders but drops to 189 of 193 countries if Chicago, Detroit, Washington, DC, St. Louis and New Orleans, all with strict gun control laws, are removed from the list. Does gun control work, or does it effectively invite criminals to do their dastardly deeds?

How many believe there is a need to encourage students to exercise their First Amendment rights to destroy their Second Amendment rights? Another post on social media, apparently from a student, called his fellow students “pawns” and challenged them to return to class and learn from history the rationale for the Second Amendment.

One might argue that the students at Rocori High School could have chosen this event to honor their fellow classmates who lost their lives in a school shooting in 2003. One could also contend that such a ceremony could have occurred before or after school.

When one considers the walkout at St. John’s Prep, Sartell and Sauk-Rapids, they fall under the questions above. As reported today in the Times, the principal at St. John’s Prep stated “students were responsible for anything they missed in class, but there would be no punishments for students who walked out.” By contrast, the superintendents of the other two districts reported “students from Sartell and Sauk-Rapids Rice high schools who decided to participate in the walkout will face the standard penalty of an unexcused absence.”

Across the nation, the divide continues. In Baltimore, where there is not enough money to heat the classrooms, the mayor provided $100,000 to bus students to Washington, D.C. to participate in the protests at the Capitol. A parent in Chicago pointed to the political indoctrination on public property stating students “not old enough really to have formed an informed political opinion on this and they’re going to do what their teachers tell them in this case, what their peers are saying they should do.”

What did other students do who chose, probably with the help of adults in their lives, not to be truant? Students at Arbor Preparatory High School (Ypsilanti, MI—likely location determined from a Google search) received 17 sticky notes with instructions to leave 14 messages for fellow students and 3 for adults with an encouraging message. No locker in the school was without notes. Others honored a Walk Up challenge and invited other students to join them or just be nice to someone else. One of those promoting this alternative was Ryan Petty whose 14-year-old daughter was murdered a month ago in Florida.

Those acts will probably impact more lives than the noisy protests and assaults. In Minneapolis, a student was attacked and beaten for carrying a Trump poster. No one was arrested in that assault. In New Prague, the principal walked a student off campus and threatened to place him in a patrol car for carrying a sign that claimed people, not guns, kill. That incident was captured on tape and has gone viral. Who gained from those actions?

Yesterday, March 14th, Dr. Andzenge’s column “Obsession with violence, crime has created major crime industry” on the opinion page of the St. Cloud Times was on target. We have created a society that honors violence. This may be the reason for the increased number of violent acts in this country. We can decide if we choose to perpetuate violence by responding with more violence, or if we opt to make a change in life by kindness.