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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Post Texas, will reason prevail against the ‘Do Something!’ lynch mob?

“17?” Wow, that’s a lot. “10?” Tragic, but at least it wasn’t as bad as the others, right?

This sums up the attitude of today’s mass-shooting-obsessed media which appears to glorify in escalating body counts and the spectacular nature of each isolated school-related incident. The phenomenon applies to news reports of terrorist attacks as well. The degree of outrage was significantly magnified after well over a Texas School Shootinghundred were killed in Paris in 2015, for example, but barely registered when a Muslim perpetrator managed to extinguish “only” eight lives last Halloween in New York City.

Nikolas Cruz killed seventeen on Valentine’s Day in Parkland Florida but last Friday Dimitrios Pagourtzis snuffed out an even ten souls in Santa Fe, Texas before surrendering to police.

I wasn’t able to view reports of the episode until the six o’clock hour on Friday evening. By that time the news talkers had already moved on to mulling over Robert Mueller and the U.S. Justice Department’s ongoing shameful scandal. ‘Where’s the school shooting?’ I wondered, recalling that even the YouTube shooter (who only wounded a few people and killed herself early last month) was treated to several hours of special concentration by the sensation-obsessed media.

It was about fifteen minutes before the network circled back to the Texas shooting -- “old news” by then. It’s a sad commentary on our gossip-driven culture when ten people getting murdered somehow can’t hold anyone’s attention. Or maybe the world had just moved on by then. The more this happens the more desensitized we all become.

Naturally there were shrieks from the political elites for President Trump to take swift (and hasty) action to solve this issue. Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner reported, “[O]thers have said the onus is on Trump to ‘do something’ in order to prevent future gun violence on school campuses across the U.S. Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for example, penned an open letter to the president in which he asked, ‘How many more innocent people have to die before you act?’

“’You were elected to lead — do something. Your first responsibility is to the people of this country, not the NRA — do something. My heart breaks for the families who have to grieve from this needless violence — DO SOMETHING,’ Cuomo wrote.

“The White House did not return a request for comment about the president’s schedule next week, and whether he might reconvene the same group of bipartisan lawmakers to discuss potential actions that can be taken.”

Knowing Trump we’ll indeed see something from this, be it at the executive level or some sort of demand for Congress to throw together a bill that would at least demonstrate how our federal elected folks care about us citizens and also that they’d all-but leap in front of an oncoming train to prevent another shooting from occurring.

Never let a good crisis go to waste. It’s the mantra of the establishment of both parties.

Not to wander too far off topic, but would the same Democrat legislators (who are again so hot after gun restrictions) be willing to implement “extreme vetting” for Muslim immigrants trying to come to this country after the next terrorist attack? A discussion for another time…

Since Pagourtzis’s rampage was carried out with less “scary” weapons – a shotgun and a pistol – the usual hate-all-scary-looking-guns crowd was slightly more circumspect in their demands to ban firearms. Granted I only witnessed a small smattering of the post-crime pundit hysteria, but the leftists weren’t quite as animated as they were three months ago after the Parkland massacre (carried out with an AR-15). Instead, brave souls like Democrat Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told Trump and others to “spare us your thoughts and prayers and do your job.”

Maybe the gun grabbers acknowledge if they’re hoping to confiscate shotguns and pistols we’re looking at complete gun eradication here. Good luck selling that idea to the public – though I’m sure snot-nosed snowflake leader David Hogg is poring over interview requests right now.

Another somewhat unique aspect of the Texas shooting -- Pagourtzis was confronted mid-act by a school resource officer (who was wounded) who may have prevented the murderer from increasing his victim tally. At least it could be said there was one gun in defense of the kids – just imagine the deterrent value multiple guns would’ve represented. There’s a reason why shooters don’t attack police stations.

But the “do something!” folks could be going in a different direction in this case, more along the lines of insisting that authorities conduct thorough school-by-school safety assessments, perhaps limiting access to just one entrance and even throwing out the possibility of installing metal detectors in every school. Such a solution would certainly require manned checkpoints where students would be run-through airport-style before heading to class.

I wonder if it means we’ll soon have those TSA-like body scanners in school entranceways that basically see … everything.

Aside from the obvious privacy implications of the government checking every student (or visitor) for metal, what about the practical effects? Many urban high schools have several thousand students – how could it be worked out so they all could be run through metal detectors every morning (or even several times a day) and still maintain some semblance of schedule discipline?

While it’s true airports and public buildings have these kinds of security measures we all know it takes time and a great deal of patience to make them work properly (and even then, mistakes are common). And you’re talking about a specific minimum amount of time for each student. Multiply it times however many kids divided by the number of scanners and you get x number of minutes just for safety checks.

Will private schools be required to buy them too?

No possible solution should be dismissed outright so close to the tragedy though it always seems we’re a step behind in addressing the real issues. Just like a military general may devise new strategies that would’ve won the last battle or war, school safety seems to be in the eye of the beholder – because there simply is no way to prevent them all.

Our 21st century society has gotten too used to tuning into the media whenever news leaks out about another school shooting. Unfortunately “Oh no, not again,” soon morphs into, “what caused this kid to snap” and “what can we do to ensure the next Nikolas Cruz or Dimitrios Pagourtzis doesn’t reach the point where he kills innocents.”

And while we’re at it, how do we keep the next Stephen Paddock (Las Vegas shooter) from assaulting a crowd full of concert goers? Is merely being introverted, a loner or a would-be outcast enough to call in the police to investigate?

If we put in metal detectors in schools, what’s next? How far will the police state go?

It’s impossible to answer. But when you have a collection of politicians determined to “do something” to combat an unsolvable dilemma, the medicine is often more harmful than the disease. Contrary to the media’s depiction of him, President Trump is proving to be a very compassionate president; it’s in his nature to want to solve problems, so expect action – and soon. Will the voices of reason prevail against the “do something” lynch mob?

Can the real issues even be addressed? David French wrote at National Review last Friday, “Indeed, it’s the pattern of elaborate preparation and obsession with the subculture of mass shooters that has led in part to my own advocacy of the gun-violence restraining order. While we don’t have sufficient details about today’s shooter in Texas to know if it would have made a difference, it’s a fact that large numbers of mass shooters broadcast warning signals of their intent to do harm, and it’s also a fact that family members and other relevant people close to the shooter have few tools at their disposal to prevent violence.

“A gun-violence restraining order can allow a family member (or school principal) to quickly get in front of a local judge for a hearing (with full due-process protections) that can result in the temporary confiscation of weapons from a proven dangerous person.

“While early reports are often wrong, there are indications that the Texas shooter engaged in behavior that sounds eerily like the Columbine shooting. We’ve seen reports of a trench coat, of the use of similar weapons, and of explosives — all hallmarks of the Colorado massacre. When I think of Columbine, I think of Gladwell’s essay. There are young men in the grip of a terrible contagion, and there is no cure coming.”

The Gladwell essay French referred to includes the author’s theory that post-Columbine would-be school shooters have used the incident as a model that basically speaks to and tells these disturbed individuals that it’s okay to contemplate carrying out such horrific attacks. It’s like crowd theory – one guy throwing rocks makes it easier for the second and so on…

Ever since Columbine most of the mass killings have shared certain Columbine-like characteristics, perhaps suggesting the tortuously planned and carried out Colorado mass-murder served as a dis-inhibitor for subsequent would-be perpetrators. This theory may be a question for the mental health industry to address, but it definitely seems plausible.

Then there is the near-complete breakdown of American cultural norms and values. Liberals mocked Republicans in the 90’s for promoting “family values,” but there’s nothing wrong with suggesting individuals should recognize that everyone shares a responsibility to obey the law and comport to the rules of greater society. These killers trade notorious fame for such standards. It’s sad.

Logic dictates nothing can stop them entirely -- but there are ways to approach the problem, including additional security, arming teachers, metal detectors, supplemental mental health evaluations and, as French offered above, the possible creation of gun-violence restraining orders.

It doesn’t mean we now have to devolve into a police state. We don’t need a cop or bureaucrat snooping into all of our business without due process protections.

Would social media “screeners” qualify as police? Diana Stancy Correll reported in the Washington Examiner, “Fox News host Sean Hannity suggested that school districts should hire at least one person to monitor ‘every kid’s social media postings,’ following the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, on Friday.

“’It’s not a gun issue. Every time it happens, the worse — it’s always a different gun,’ Hannity said during ‘The Sean Hannity Show’ on the radio. Hannity also said mentally ill people should not have guns.

“’Criminals don’t obey the laws by their very nature,’ Hannity said. ‘We also have to have, every school district needs to have some person that monitors every kid’s social media postings. Maybe they need two people. This is a reality now that they’re telegraphing what they’re going to do. Terrorists do it. These school shooters do it.’”

Hannity’s is an interesting thought but common sense says it would take a lot more than one or two people (per school district) to keep track of every kid’s social media postings. If there were warning signs about a particular individual, however, such scrutiny might be warranted – otherwise the job would be too large to handle. Imagine trying to keep tabs on tens of thousands of high schoolers’ social media posts. It would be impossible – and to some extent, creepy. Big brother, anyone?

Friday’s tragic school shooting in Texas won’t bring us any closer to solving what appears to be a growing societal quandary. There are too many issues at play to throw together a hasty “solution” that effects millions simply because the political class deems it necessary. Will common sense prevail?

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School Shlooters

These Aholes should be burned at the stake-no more school shootings.