Sunday, February 25, 2018

On School Shootings; What's Happened Since

I'll be upfront with what I believe.

This "what shall we do" idea of everything but restricting guns is America's way of saying, "I give up."  Well, I don't give up.

This is NOT the new normal; it's not normal at all and I refuse to accept that. 

NO other first-world country has this issue.  Nobody.  

I am sorry it has taken mass shooting after mass shooting, especially of children, to strike a match but now it's a fire and it's unstoppable. 


The President is advocating that teachers be armed (and get a bonus in pay if they do).  His ignorance and hubris is laughable.  I have not seen a teachers group or law enforcement group yet endorse his idea and, in fact, they are against it. 

 Any adult can clearly see why this is a bad idea but:
In about two dozen states, including California, schools can allow staff to carry guns on campus, although some require concealed-carry licenses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Here are some reasons not to do this:

Deputy responding to school call accidentally shoots himself in the leg. 

Third-grader pulls trigger on Maplewood cop’s gun, firing a shot
The officer was sitting on a bench talking with some students about 1:45 p.m., when a third-grader pressed the trigger of the officer’s holstered weapon, according to a news release issued by the Maplewood Police Department.
The gun discharged through the bottom of the holster and a bullet struck the floor, the news release said.

The officer, who was unaware that the child was touching his gun, was wearing a department-approved, Level 3 security holster, the news release said. The holster is equipped with a trigger guard designed to prevent a gun from being fired while in it.
What health care professionals think, from ABC News:
In 2016, the American Medical Association (AMA) made a statement saying that “gun violence represents a public health crisis which requires a comprehensive public health response and solution.” The AMA also supports bans on the possession and use of firearms and ammunition by unsupervised youths under the age of 18 and the mandatory inclusion of safety devices on all firearms, whether manufactured or imported into the United States. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a policy statement on firearm-related injuries affecting children, which states that the “absence of guns from children’s homes and communities is the most reliable and effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents.” According to the AAP, the U.S. has the highest rates of firearm-related deaths among high-income countries, and 84.5 percent of all homicides of people ages 15 to 19 were firearm-related in 2009. The AAP also noted that for kids ages 10 to 17, guns are the method used for 40 percent of suicides. 

The AAP supports stronger gun laws, including stronger background checks, banning assaults weapons and addressing firearm trafficking. In their priorities for gun violence prevention, the AAP advocates for violence prevention programs, more funding for gun violence prevention research, physician counseling on the health hazards of firearms and mental health access for children and their families, particularly to address the effects of exposure to violence.
Oh and if you want to be the parent who cares:Bulletproof Blanket
 Now you can buy a bulletproof blanket specifically made for your kids to use during school shootings

Of course, this raises the inevitable question of equity as well as the question of "Couldn't the shooter just walk up and take it off?"  Yeah.

Decide that this matters to you if only because the thought of your child huddling in a classroom, scared to death, is something YOU don't accept.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Thanks Melissa.

At 330,000,000 guns and counting we have way too many guns in this country and that is THE reason we have this level of violence.

Ban the guns and 35,000 people a year will not be dying from them and hundreds of thousands won't be injured.

Canada just tightened their gun laws even more and the UK bans all guns.

No brainer

Anonymous said...

Please review those stats, 62% are from self inflicted guns shots or suicide. 13000 is still a lot, but still about about 80% lower than auto fatalities. It's not clear to researchers if the absence of handguns would have prevented suicides or not.

Care to guess what the cost of removing 330,000,000 million guns would be?

Real data

Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh Real Data, I could care less about your so-called correlation between auto and gun deaths. It’s just not valid.

And that old tired canard “ taking guns?” Not me.

But no more sales of AR-15s.

Tax bullets heavily.

Make gun owners have to take training and get insurance like... driving a car.

Most of all, make gun owners responsible for what happens with their (non) stolen guns. Financially responsible.

Nothing but nothing makes people snap to like money.

The NRA knows that. I see their own little financial row of dominos starting to fall.

Anonymous said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

Sorry, Just Facts - got my threads mixed up. My apologies.

Anonymous said...


Taxing bullets? How is that any different than a poll tax, which the Supreme Court has repeatedly declared unconstitutional. The government can't specifically tax civil rights in order to suppress them.

Civil Rights

Anonymous said...

Not sure why you deleted my comment. All I was doing was pointing out that the school shootings in Florida, Newtown and Columbine did not involve stolen or unsecured guns.

In Columbine there were no AR-15s involved and they did have bombs.

I would say that since the gun owners are dead or in prison they have been held accountable for their actions and weapons.

Just Facts

Melissa Westbrook said...

We tax a lot of goods. Having bullets is not a civil rights.

Just Facts, I am charmed that you think me or anyone else is going to be thrown off by what happens to the murderers. I could give a rat’s ass about them; I want gun restrictions so the murders don’t happen in the first place.

That you don’t is something I find chilling.

Anonymous said...

You're jumping to conclusions. I'm simply pointing out a problem with your logic. When you break down the Florida shooting for example, it appears the killer could have been arrested on 7 separate occasions for threats and domestic violence. The local,state and federal law enforcement knew of Cruz, but chose not to enforce existing laws. Why?, I'm sure we will find out after all the CYA.

You might hate guns and guns owners, but the root cause of this shooting was not an AR15 or gun ownership.

When you have a methodical sick killer like Cruz it's hard to stop them. He knew the security gates opened 20 min before the end of day and slipped in during that window. He knew the doors would be locked, so he pulled the fire alarm knowing the students would come out into the halls.

Before attacking all guns and all gun owners, we should all agree on the facts and acknowledge the gross failures by authorities in the Florida shooting then move forward in preventing another Cruz.

Just Facts

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, it was the fault of an AR-15 owned by a 19-year old. He couldn't buy a handgun but he could buy an AR-15. Yes, that makes sense.

Are there people to blame for not doing something sooner? Probably but that's not the point. If he did not have that gun, it would have been very hard to inflict that kind of damage in so short a time.

I'm not attacking anyone (but you seem to be).

I'm saying I want common sense gun laws and I want gun owners to be responsible for what happens with their guns.

SusanH said...

I cannot understand how many gun nuts are completely incapable of having a reasonable discussion, incapable of listening and thinking, and GIVING one tiny inch. No one is attacking "ALL guns and ALL gun owners." No one is coming for your guns. But there is simply no need for guns like the AR-15: it's not needed for home protection, not needed for hunting, its only reason-for-being is to kill as many people as quickly as possible. It is a weapon of war. It should not be easy to pick up at a Wal-Mart.

Absolutely, when you have "a methodical sick killer like Cruz, it's hard to stop them". Agreed. He could have gone in with a knife or a machete or even a non-automatic gun and he certainly could have killed people, but he wouldn't have been able to do that much damage in such a short amount of time. Yes, the Florida authorities let this guy slip through the cracks. But you really think law enforcement nationwide is going to be able to 100% catch every bad guy BEFORE they do anything?

Just Facts: do you own an AR-15? What do you use it for?

Anonymous said...


I call BS. Having bullets (and guns) IS a civil right. Read the recent Supreme Court Heller decision. Where does the government tax other civil rights in order to limit the ability of citizens to exercise them? Do we have religion taxes? Speech taxes? Assembly taxes?

You're wrong on this one.

Civil Rights

Melissa Westbrook said...

Did Heller say owning a gun was a civil right? I'll have to go back and reread that.

There are many things that are civil rights that are inequitable; that doesn't make them illegal.

Anyway, if not a tax on bullets, fines for gun owners who do not properly secure their guns.

My point is the way to get change - sadly but the NRA is finding this out - is in the pocketbook. Companies are starting to run from the NRA because it will affect their bottom line to be associated with them.

Anonymous said...

No, I do not own an Armor lite Rifle (AR) 15. I do not own any hi capacity capable guns. I do own a 1916 Winchester and a .50cal black power rifle. Many of my family do own .223 semi autos and all the people are law abiding and trained to use various firearms.

The Winchester will hold 6 rounds and it's very easy to reload. Watch the rifle man to see a 30 30 in action. People are falsely claiming if the shooter didn't use a AR-15 variant then the carnage would have been less. You are speculating, but I will concede that the shooter wasn't highly skilled (thank god) with his weapon. It's estimated the shooter ran 100-154 rounds killing 17. That type of shooting wouldn't qualify you to carry a weapon in the military.

The killer was very methodical in planning and execution, but a poor shot, also the
the AR15 type weapons are not designed for CQC since it's designed to be effective at 100 - 500 yards.

An assault weapon is vastly different than a civilian rifle. An assault weapon has select fire 1 or 3 burst with older weapons having full mode or suppression fire mode.
An assault rifle weapon is design to cycle at a much higher rate of fire than cheaply built AR 15s variants. Cheaper weapons are quickly damaged or destroyed by over cycling.

Wrap up- An assault rifle was not used in Florida.
A skilled shooter could amass a large body count using a low capacity bolt action rifle.

The good news is that every single person I know who are skilled have zero interest in shooting anyone, even home intruders and I'm very confident they will never relinquish their weapons without a fight and I sure they can hold their own against the best.

There is noway the government is going to pay out the 2500 to 15000 dollars people have paid for hi end weapons and buy back programs usually just snag junk guns or stolen guns. I would recommend the anti guns crowd to setup a go fund me to by back and destroy guns. It would be interesting to see what happens and would also donate a few bucks.

So will you gun haters put your money where your mouth is?

Just Facts

Anonymous said...

Buy back?

What for?

Just turn them in or go to prison.

In fact, gun owners should be charged for the cost of destroying their weapons!


Anonymous said...

It has been reported in the news that authorities failed to act on the warning signs and arrest Cruz months earlier. It also has been reported on CNN that 4-5 police officers just stood outside the school building as students were being killed.

So I see people are claiming we should give up guns because the police will protect us, how is ignoring threats and waiting outside protecting students?

This horrific event makes me want to own a firearm because it's clear you can not rely on the police to protect you, even with advance warning they failed.

Just think of all the creeps that would have no problems breaking in and robbing if they knew no one would have a gun.

As for Australia, guns are not illegal just more restricted with an estimated 150,000+ unregistered.

One disturbing Australia statistic, suicide deaths using firearms more than halved in ten years, from 389 deaths in 1995, to 147 deaths in 2005.[41] This is equal to 7% of all suicides in 2005. Over the same period, suicides by hanging increased by over 52% from 699 in 1995 to 1068 in 2005.[42]

Hanging is a very slow agonizing way to die.

Tipping point

Anonymous said...

darn hard to kill 17 high schoolers with a rope!!!

and what's with the citation numbers? is this a NRA propaganda reprint?

you sure know your pro-gun

talking points

Seattle Citizen said...

Just Facts' comment about their black powder rifle reminds me of yet another loophole:
Black powder weapons are not regulated. They're considered hobbies.
Yet JF's 50 caliber rifle will blow a big hole in whatever it hits.

Lots of loopholes in out regulations.....

Anonymous said...


"Buy back?

What for?

Just turn them in or go to prison.

In fact, gun owners should be charged for the cost of destroying their weapons!"

Very impressive. In 26 words, you're proposing to violate two of our most basic civil rights, our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms and our 5th Amendment protection from government seizure of private property without compensation.

The self righteous lefties on this blog seem to be living proof of the old saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions

Civil Rights

Anonymous said...

Seattle Citizen,

Please tell us more about the enormous "loophole" concerning black powder firearms. Can you provide any statistics about their use in crimes that would indicate there is a problem? Have ANY been used in crimes? You do realize that they are replicas of antique firearms from the 1700 and 1800's. Were the criminals taking advantage of this "loophole" also wearing coonskin caps? Good grief.

Civil Rights

Anonymous said...

I'm no leftist, sorry, registered Republican(who despises Trump) but the SCOTUS will someday reinterpret the 2nd Amendment to its actual intent, a well-regulated militia; not anybody who wants a deadly weapon of which the framers couldn't imagine in terms of ability to kill en masse.

As far as compensation, I don't think the Feds had to buy back liquor when it was made illegal in the 20's or cocaine when it was outlawed.

They sure didn't require compensating black folk for all the years of slave labor they were forced to provide.

Or Japanese folk for lost property and incarceration in WWII.

Back to work inventing more reasons to allow the NRA and its corporate sponsors to keep killing Americans so they can be rich.

Learn history, not NRA talking points.


Anonymous said...


Nice try. Government agents did not force anyone to turn in their alcohol or cocaine. Nothing was taken, so no compensation was owed.

In 1988, the government did compensate former Japanese-American internees for their incarceration and loss of property(https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/08/09/210138278/japanese-internment-redress), although (obviously) no cash payment could ever be considered fair.

Please take your own advice about reading history.

Good luck with your dreams of a new interpretation of the second Amendment. The Supreme Court seems pretty happy with the current one.

Civil Rights

Anonymous said...


You must read beyond NRA agit-prop my friend.

To quote from the following article fro The Office of Legislative Research Sate of Connecticut

"We did not find any Connecticut state or federal cases addressing whether a state law banning assault weapons, without grandfathering in current owners, would be considered a taking requiring just compensation."


I will keep dreaming of a sane, gun free country.


Anonymous said...

We don't need any gun control. We need more heroes like the President who would run into gunfire like he did in Vietnam and kill the shooter with his bare hands.


Anonymous said...

@SusanH " Absolutely, when you have "a methodical sick killer like Cruz, it's hard to stop them". Agreed. He could have gone in with a knife or a machete or even a non-automatic gun and he certainly could have killed people, but he wouldn't have been able to do that much damage in such a short amount of time."

Yes, I agree and as an analogy would add it is not easy for anyone (in this case a 19 year old) to go and buy a bomb. That is the same type of weapon of war IMO as an AR-15. Same difference in my opinion. Can do alot of damage in a short period of time before anyone can stop them. I don't believe in banning all guns. Regarding banning AR-15's, I lean toward a ban. However, we must also understand that there will continue to be issues in the US because there are just so many in circulation. Will it have an impact? That is the likelihood. Work together to implement things we can, raising gun ownership age, more background checks etc.

Seattle Citizen said...

Civil Rights, I didn't say anything about an "enormous" loophole. I merely pointed out that black powder guns, these "replicas of antiques," are completely unregulated.

No need for you to have a conniption.

I just find it interesting that the very weapons that were available when the 2nd Amendment was enacted aren't even considered guns, even though they'll put a large hole in anything in front of them.

You need to drink less coffee and not put words in my mouth.

Anonymous said...

From The Times of Israel:

Israel dismisses NRA’s claims about guns laws

Israel’s policy on issuing guns is restrictive, and armed guards at its schools are meant to stop terrorists, not crazed or disgruntled gunmen, experts said Monday, rejecting claims by America’s top gun lobby that Israel serves as proof for its philosophy that the US needs more weapons, not fewer.

Far from the image of a heavily armed population where ordinary people have their own arsenals to repel attackers, Israel allows its people to acquire firearms only if they can prove their professions or places of residence put them in danger. The country relies on its security services, not armed citizens, to prevent terror attacks.

Though military service in Israel is compulsory, routine familiarity with weapons does not carry over into civilian life. Israel has far fewer private weapons per capita than the US, and while there have been gangster shootouts on the streets from time to time, gun rampages outside the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are unheard of....


Melissa Westbrook said...

"The killer was very methodical in planning and execution, but a poor shot, also the
the AR15 type weapons are not designed for CQC since it's designed to be effective at 100 - 500 yards."

One, he was in JROTC and kids there said he was a good shot. Two, he shot 17 people. Not a poor shot.

Again, just like cars, we want to know who owns guns, have them registered, have insurance and be held responsible for what happens with those guns.

That's not asking that much.

Anonymous said...

The truth is, most people run away from attackers and when the armed law enforcement refuses to address the threat and stand around while people are being killed the perp could use a bow and arrow and still kill people.

Go ahead and ban Armor lite 15s (AR15) there are 135 variants, so the impact would do little to the availability of weapons. Ban assault weapons, ok I don't know a single person that owns an assault weapon. They are restricted to law enforcement and military expect in certain states under a special license and the cost is north of $15,000.

Ban semi-automatics rifles, did you know that revolving cylinder hand guns are not semi-automatic? Well if semi-autos were to be banned there are several designs that could effectively do the same thing and would not technically be semi-automatic.

Since there are 50 states why not pick a state and all you anti-guns persons can pick one and make it into a gun free state. In the mean time don't tread on me.

Just Facts

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to get into the gore, but based on the details in the news the killer would not qualify in the military to carry a rifle. The ROTC shoots AIR RIFLES at round targets the size of can tops.

Just Facts

Anonymous said...

Oh, for goodness sakes. Can we stop with the semantic deflecting? I don't know the exact names of these weapons, but explaining that pro-gun-control people are wrong BECAUSE we are using the wrong terminology is just deflecting the discussion. Are there some number of variants on the AR-15? Great, I'm talking about them all, and you know it. Just because I don't list them all, correctly, with all of their names and numbers and designations and categories. It just means I haven't googled them. Because I don't care what they are called -- guns that are easy to use, shoot many bullets very quickly, and are readily available should not be available to kids. Or, frankly, anyone.

(And I think that there shouldn't be ANY type of gun in civilian hands, period. Because unless you are in the military, you are not in a well-regulated militia.)


Anonymous said...

Taking the position of banning all guns is a non starter. End of conversation. I pick ending all organized religions. So I will give up all my guns when every religion and their infrastructures are gone. Lets make a deal!

Not happening

Anonymous said...

@Not happening,

I have a gun, but I'm so sick of these massacres, the daily shootings we have here in Seattle and the gun suicides - I'm ready to cut mine up like people have been doing on YouTube since the Parkland school shooting.

Banning guns seems the only way to make us safe, what with 300 million guns in circulation.

I'm also a Zen Buddhist so no deal.


Anonymous said...

I see ideologies as far more dangerous than an inanimate object such as guns or bullets.

Cruz and Lanza were/are suffering from a combination of autism and mental illness both boys were ticking time bombs and all the adults ignored the warnings and cries for help. Why would you shape a gun policy based on those two events. We have existing laws that both shooters ignored so laws will never prevent shootings.

I can think of several adults who should be serving long prison sentences for allowing those two monsters loose in public.

Let's break down the events and punish those who failed to stop it before going crazy and trying to void the second.

Not happening

Anonymous said...

"Laws will never prevent shootings" is another trope that I am done with. I call B.S. (Thanks, Emma.)

Laws will absolutely prevent shootings. Not all of them. But making gun ownership more difficult, more expensive, and more well-regulated will absolutely lower both the number of shootings and the death toll in mass shootings.


Anonymous said...

The boy had $28,000 from his mothers life insurance. He would have spent it all if needed, so trope on that. Please explain what law would have prevented Cruz from killing.

Here are few,

people with mental illness are not allowed to own guns...check
People who threaten to harm themselves or others are not allowed to possess guns...check
People taking psychotropic medications are not allowed to possess guns...check

You see Cruz could have been stopped, but people chose to ignore the laws that would have prevented him from possessing a gun.

The more expensive you make it to own guns means only the wealthy will own guns.

Not happening

Anonymous said...

"Laws will absolutely prevent shootings. Not all of them. But making gun ownership more difficult, more expensive, and more well-regulated will absolutely lower both the number of shootings and the death toll in mass shootings."

Come on Krab, how are you going to have a law that lowers the death toll in mass shooting?...hey mass killer you are now limited to X victims. It's the law!

I think you should slow down a little and think things through before typing.

Not happening

Anonymous said...

There are some interesting items of news out of Florida regarding eye witness reports.

1. A student reported she walked out of the building next to Cruz while gun shots were still heard. She said Cruz did not seem as though he was the shooter.

2. A teacher witnessed a person dressed in "metal" military outfit shooting students.

3. A student wore a bullet proof vest to school. The vest was given to the student by his father an officer with the sheriff's office.

4. It was reported that Cruz arrived at the school in a Uber ride, yet Uber has no record of the trip.

I think before we convict this boy we should at least look at all the evidence. Things don't add up and it's especially troubling that the family that took in Cruz is involved with military intelligence.

Just Facts

Melissa Westbrook said...

The fact is that there are people in this country for whom school gun violence seems to be acceptable in order to have the Second Amendment - in their mind - fulfilled. Many of us do not accept what is happening and will not accept arming teachers, etc. to protect kids.

Lanza's issues were really only known to his parents and particularly, his mother. To this day, no one knows why he went to the school.

And it's not just these two events and we all know it.

"But making gun ownership more difficult, more expensive, and more well-regulated will absolutely lower both the number of shootings and the death toll in mass shootings."

Yup. I always wonder why law-abiding gun owners fear "well-regulated" when it's in the Second Amendment.

"People who threaten to harm themselves or others are not allowed to possess guns...check"

Tell that to the Services which have NOT enforced that for those who serve, particularly around domestic abuse.

Also, there are many things that people have the right to do but money is always a factor in if/how they can do it. Sorry but that's life.

Just Facts, you'll need to cite where you read all that or else it's going to be deleted. I have heard/read none of it.

Anonymous said...

Research shows that the ban on assault-style weapons and large capacity clips reduced the number of shootings AND the number of deaths during shootings, by Louis Klarevas of the University of Massachusetts at Boston. His book is "Rampage Nation."

"Compared with the 10-year period before the ban [on assault-style weapons], the number of gun massacres during the ban period fell by 37 percent, and the number of people dying from gun massacres fell by 43 percent. But after the ban lapsed in 2004, the numbers shot up again — an astonishing 183 percent increase in massacres and a 239 percent increase in massacre deaths."



Anonymous said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

Sorry Just Facts, those are not credible news sources.

Anonymous said...

Those are video interviews with students and teachers. Those were quotes from students and teachers. I'm not sure who you think is credible, CNN?

Just Facts

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, I do find CNN more credible than random interviews.