“In America,” observed Oscar Wilde, “the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.”
So it is with the activist kids who’ve emerged from the Parkland, Florida, school massacre of Feb. 14, in which 17 of their own were murdered.
Each one sounds like the proverbial teacher’s pet, groomed to take a monolithic message to the media.
Like their educators, these one-track minds “don’t impress me much.” The National Rifle Association (NRA) they invariably frame as big, bad and greedy; government as not big enough, generally good and certainly benign.
There are, indubitably, good arguments to be made against the NRA. The kids – who managed to be, for the most, rude, ungrammatical, sanctimonious and smarmy – failed to muster them.
Trained pets that they are, the dogged media kids of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High seemed capable of focusing only on the one causal factor to the exclusion of all others: guns, their legal purveyors and their law-abiding owners.
The students who were front-and-center were unwilling to hold the shyster sheriff, Scott Israel, and his notoriously iffy Broward County department, responsible for – there is no way to finesse it – enabling, indulging, even grooming killer Nikolas Cruz over years. To students, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO) was blameless. Lackluster logic led them to the NRA alone.
One young media darling told of his love of Civics classes. This, while refusing to consider the state’s role in what were systemic and systematic failures.
Reliably derelict and criminally negligent, Sheriff Israel and his Broward County law enforcement didn’t “slip up.” As a matter of progressive policies and philosophy, sheriff and officers had decided against protecting the people they had sworn to protect.
The BSO has been practicing the progressive penal abolition and restorative justice models of crime “prevention.” Yet our auditioning activists have refused to do their basic civic duty: hold this branch of government accountable for its end of the civic compact.
Out of the mouths of babes we hear that officer Scot Peterson and his compadres – they milled about outside Douglas High, while inside children were being riddled by bullets – were mere NRA scapegoats.
Almost unanimously unmoved were the kids by the fact the BSO had received 45 desperate calls over years, detailing homicidal threats made by the killer and violent, deviant altercations in which he was embroiled. Thirty-nine times had the Broward Sheriff’s officers visited the Cruz home in seven years. A critical mass of criminality and pathology was discounted by law enforcement in ways at once callous, stupid and depravedly indifferent.
The one civic-minded kid could recite the purpose of a bicameral legislature, but cared not a bit about the imperative of government to protect life, liberty and property. Or, about the role of the Second Amendment in mitigating the effects of such a dangerous government. Likewise was the FBI given a pass for being every bit as criminally culpable as the Broward County sheriff and his lawful crime syndicate.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is a repeat offender.
Coined by Patrick Poole, a national security and terrorism correspondent, the term “Known Wolf” denotes the relationship between the FBI and the dangerous criminals it’s supposed to neutralize. In almost all of America’s major terrorist attacks – and in the Parkland school shooting, too – the FBI failed to stop well-known wolves. As far as I can tell, Parkland is the first time this rogue agency has admitted wrongdoing.
The good news for those of us who view government as the greater evil: The NRA has now been pitted against the FBI, and that’s an extra check on power.
Back to the kids: To top it all off, when asked what would make him feel safe enough to return to school, teacher’s pet du jour replied: “legislation.” He’s not going back to school until anti-gun legislation has been drafted.
Here’s a quick verbal drill for children whose minds have been turned into mush by menopausal, hippie teachers (those with the Y chromosome, included): There’s an active shooter in school. What do you do? Reach for legislation? Remind the frenetically active shooter that he is flouting the legislation? Not quite.
You shelter in place, hunker down, look for an escape, run to a designated panic room or shelter. All the while, you hope the officers who took an oath to protect you don’t take a hiatus, as did Sheriff Scott Israel’s officers.
Another mantra kids keep regurgitating is that “authentic” learning requires complete freedom of access, open spaces and indiscriminate inclusivity. All cardinal lies and illogic.
To that effect, teachers have already been waxing fat:”Security makes us feel sad.” [Isn’t feeling sad better than being dead?] “We’re here to learn and to teach.” [Since when are safety and scholarship mutually exclusive?] Ultimately, the strength of ideas rests on their relationship to reality. Contrary to the teachers who’re force-feeding students their uniform and uninformed ideas, the schools must be fortified.
Fortresses are facts of history. If young ignoramuses learned more history and less “social studies” and the imperative of activism, they’d know that since antiquity, fortification has protected and facilitated civilization.
Learning requires peace of mind. If fortress conditions are a prerequisite for survival – if fortification keeps the barbarians at bay – then the rational mind will find tranquility in security.
As a traditional libertarian, never a libertine, this writer agrees with the activist students of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High on one matter. If anything has been affirmed by the heartbreaking murder of 17 people, it is that teens should not own guns. Even a cerebrally compromised biology teacher at a progressive school would surely second that, in individuals so young, the capacity for higher-level abstraction and advanced reasoning is not fully developed.
An effort by retailers, not by regulators, to limit gun purchases by teens (practice and proficiency can still be pursued under adult supervision), should, ideally, be accompanied by efforts to repeal the 26th Amendment, smuggled into the Constitution by statute to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 and artificially swell the ranks of Democratic voters. Kids are Democrats by default.
And, if 18 is too young to vote, or to purchase firearms, 18 is also too young to enlist!
“We are going to outlive these old men in Congress,” declared a Douglas High School activist defiantly. Ageism is apparently quite fine when leveled at older white men. Well, then, let us agree that the wily “old men” in power should not be allowed to entice the young and the gullible to serve as cannon fodder in the recreational wars they routinely prosecute.