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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Want to get folks amped up, Republicans? Stick (literally) to your guns

One of many bits of irony in 21st century America concerns the police – when officers do their jobs properly hardly anyone notices and even when they fail to act they’re often given a pass by the liberal media if it furthers some anti-conservative purpose (such as ignoring law-breaking Antifa protesters).

But if one cop (out of hundreds of thousands nationwide) goes outside of procedures and commits a civil rights Steve Israel CNNviolation, just watch the fireworks explode overhead as the blame game media groups them all under one “racist” umbrella.

Mere police incompetence doesn’t usually draw ire, however. If you don’t believe it check out the near celebrity status Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel attained since last month’s school shooting in Florida. Recall that Israel quickly took charge of the post-tragedy PR operation and scapegoated everyone and everything but himself. A week after the incident he even “starred” on the CNN stage savaging those who defend gun rights.

Now liberal news outlets treat Israel as though being a failed law enforcement chief qualifies someone to speak authoritatively on important constitutional rights.

Kevin Kaminski of Lifestyle Media Group reported, “From the moment he first addressed reporters at Marjory Stoneman Douglas on Feb. 14, Scott Israel has been an integral and often-compelling figure in the continuing storyline connected to the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history.

“At a CNN-organized town hall meeting a week after the shooting, the Broward County sheriff drew several standing ovations, including one for his suggestion to ban assault rifles. A week later, questions about his department’s handling of red flags before the incident and protocol during it had some critics calling for his job…”

So…Scott Israel is “integral” and “often compelling”? Are we talking about the same guy here?

Lifestyle apparently felt it was vital to get Israel’s perspective on the continuing gun controversy created largely by his own department’s inaction (despite numerous warning signs) in detaining killer Nikolas Cruz before the 19 year-old’s Valentine’s Day rage. The publication submitted written questions and Israel (through his assistant) answered them all.

Israel’s responses read like a treatise in passing the buck (refusing to elaborate due to ongoing investigations of the episode, etc.) and self-promotion. As an example, the magazine queried, “Gov. Rick Scott signed a gun legislation bill into law. What’s your reaction to its provisions, including the idea of arming certain school personnel?

“Israel: Arming teachers is not a good idea. The overwhelming majority of teachers share this concern over this risky concept. Teachers should teach and not be asked to bear—and with much less training than police—the heavy responsibility for becoming the school’s first line of defense against threats. If schools want a greater armed presence, they should consider adding more school resource officers.”

No one disputes the wisdom of Israel’s advocacy of adding more armed school resource officers (more on this in a minute) -- the more defensive guns in proximity the less likely a murderer will get far in his mission. Perhaps the perpetrator would be deterred from trying it at all.

But liberals like Israel refuse to acknowledge that under the various proposals advanced by sane people who want to hold onto their constitutional right to bear arms and make schools safer no teacher would be required to arm himself or herself. But should a teacher or school administrator volunteer to carry a firearm – and use it when a situation arises – then by all means he or she should be allowed to step up.

Reasonable training and backgrounds checks for the volunteers would be compulsory. It’s not like we’re demanding all kindergarten instructors pack heat regardless of their feelings on the matter. Forcing someone to carry a weapon is as objectionable as insisting that law-abiding firearms owners surrender their ability to protect themselves and others in moments of crisis.

But liberals don’t care about such opportunities – where Second Amendment rights are concerned it’s hate on the guns first and ask questions later.

Which brings me back to the police. Last week an armed school resource officer in Maryland confronted a gun wielding student in mid-rampage and shot and killed that attacker after “only” two students were wounded (both expected to recover). Needless to say, if the armed good guy wasn’t in the vicinity of the scene that the carnage would’ve been much worse.

The lack of media attention devoted to the Maryland school story isn’t surprising considering the body count wasn’t impressive (by mass shooting standards) and people afterwards were actually praising law enforcement instead of wondering where the heck they were.

The old saying goes “Good (or nice) guys finish last.” This is one case where it didn’t happen. More school personnel could be hailed as heroes rather than mourned as victims if folks are only allowed to defend themselves. Katie Pavlich wrote at The Hill, “This [arming teacher volunteers] is also an idea supported by half of the country. According to a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll, 50 percent of voters are in favor of allowing trained teachers and school personnel to carry firearms on campus.

“’The survey, conducted Feb. 22-26 among a national sample of 1,992 registered voters, found 50 percent of those polled support equipping teachers and school staff with concealed firearms to respond in the event of a school shooting. Forty-two percent of voters said they do not support such a policy,’ the survey found.

“A good guy with a gun is a valid solution to fighting those who want to harm students, teachers and administrators in America’s schools. Protecting institutions of learning requires competent, courageous officers and staff who are willing to act. These individuals should be given the green light to engage when evil walks through the classroom door. Failing to fight back or engage a threat is not a viable or responsible option.”

It's good common sense. What are the odds CNN will now hold a nationally televised town hall meeting to reveal this latest development in the gun control debate? Here’s thinking the “show” value wouldn’t be quite the same without a hall full of stone-faced sullen teenagers complaining about the lack of gun control legislative action or with the network’s spotlighting parents who are grateful to the school resource officer for his (or her) lifesaving action instead of cowering outside while their kids were shot down.

In liberals’ minds happy parents and relieved students don’t make for good TV news drama. Where’s Scott Israel on this? To his credit Israel did indicate (above) he would favor more armed security on school campuses. But Israel is only “famous” today because massive errors were made by his department.

Good policing isn’t “sexy”; the nation should feel satisfied the system worked in Maryland last Tuesday and Republican politicians should highlight the heroism at every given opportunity.

Republicans need good news because they’re finding that harping on Nancy Pelosi and pounding the tax cut issue alone aren’t likely to hold the House this year. Al Weaver reported in the Washington Examiner, “Republicans are worried that touting this year's tax cut bill and tying Democrats to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., won't be enough to hold the House and Senate in the November midterms.

“While GOP lawmakers maintain that both are important campaign issues, some believe the party is leaning too heavily on them, particularly in light of some predictions that they are about to lose upwards of 45 House seats. Rep. Conor Lamb's, D-Pa., likely victory over Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania last Tuesday also showed both arguments can be neutralized.

“’I think the bigger challenge for members is defining themselves,’ said Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa. ‘Members must develop their own brand for their district, if they haven't already, and then go out and sell it. Tax reform might be part of that brand, but boy, you better have a brand this year. If your brand is just generic Republican, that's going to be a problem.’”

It’s curious the always wishy-washy Dent is dishing out advice to Republican candidates because he’s retiring this year. Besides, telling GOPers to get their own “brand” is a bad recommendation. While it’s true Republicans need a lot more to motivate voters than threatening them with Nancy Pelosi or touting the tax cut bill, candidates ought to look to the unfinished portions of Donald Trump’s MAGA agenda for guidance on how to impress people.

Needless to say the awful sellout on the spending deal last week isn’t going to help matters. Republicans aren’t giving folks many reasons to vote for them these days.

Or how about helping Americans recollect it was the Democrats who shutdown the government over protecting illegal aliens? Or reminding people how Democrats constantly seek to take citizens’ firearms away? And what about Obamacare? There’s still much left to do in terms of eradicating the harmful effects of the Democrats’ healthcare monstrosity.

These are all issues that get conservatives amped up and running to the polls. It’s not rocket science; talking about the tax law is great but by the time Election Day rolls around it will have been almost a year since it was passed. People are always looking for distinctions between the parties and the candidates. Republicans need a national agenda to offer, not to get dragged into a cage match with goodies-promising local Democrats who only want to punish small business owners or promote class warfare through union protections.

One of the best things about President Trump is he’s provided a wealth of issue successes to run on (such as cutting damaging regulations, appointing Constitution-revering judges or reducing the number or refugee admissions by 77% since Obama left office, not to mention getting tough on sanctuary cities and demanding a border wall be built). There’s plenty of fodder there for a first-rate campaign. But again, after last week, it’s going to be an even tougher sell.

In contrast, what do Democrats offer? Support for the groundless Mueller investigation, backing the corrupt FBI leadership, perpetual stonewalling of the Trump agenda and non-stop resistance to the duly elected president (among other useless things).

They also want to take your firearms (or prevent you from buying an AR-15 if you so choose).

Report after report’s intimated Democrats have a big enthusiasm advantage this year. But is that really true? Paul Bedard wrote at the Washington Examiner last week, “Despite recent evidence that Republican voters feel bummed out by Washington inaction and chaos, a second consecutive poll shows that they are more motivated and enthusiastic than Democrats heading into the 2018 election season.

“The latest Morning Consult/Politico poll found that voters are getting revved up in advance of the midterm elections and that Republicans have the motivation edge...”

Bedard also conveyed the poll’s findings, “Motivation high across party lines: 89% of Republicans, 83% of Democrats, and 68% of Independents said they were motivated to vote in the upcoming midterms. In late December, 80% of Republicans, 75% of Democrats, and 62% said the same.”

This survey contradicts recent elections results in places like Pennsylvania that showed Democrat jurisdictions with higher turnout than Republican ones. Experts will pore over the statistics and there will certainly be disagreements but hopefully the Morning Consult/Politico surveys are indicative of Republicans showing signs of life.

It should not be underestimated how important it is for congressional Republicans to give credence to promises made during the last election cycle. By and large GOP candidates ran on a law and order platform, including immigration enforcement; they’d be wise to stick to their guns in 2018.

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