Guns Aren’t Going Anywhere, So Here’s What Needs to Happen

On this episode of the Smart Girl Politics podcast, RedState contributors Kira Davis and Teri Christoph, along with their co-host April Gregory, tackle the tough issues surrounding the school shooting in Parkland, discussing why we didn’t used to have such violent acts on school campuses and what needs to happen to put a stop to them (hint: it doesn’t involve fewer guns). Also, Omarosa disses Mike Pence’s Christianity, the media weirdly makes Kim Jong Un’s sister a thing, and the Olympics are in full swing.

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Jeff Sessions Orders Investigation of the FBI

FILE – In this March 6, 2017 file photo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions waits to make a statement at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Washington. Sessions is seeking the resignations of 46 United States attorneys who were appointed during the prior presidential administration, the Justice Department said Friday, March 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Friday afternoon, Florida Governor Rick Scott called for FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign over the way the FBI totally screwed the pooch in their handling of a report that the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, might have been dangerous.

The FBI has admitted it failed to follow its own procedures…and the FBI admitting anything is a fairly seismic event.

On January 5, 2018, a person close to Nikolas Cruz contacted the FBI’s Public Access Line (PAL) tipline to report concerns about him. The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.

Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life. The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken.

We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received by the PAL on January 5. The information was not provided to the Miami Field Office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time.

Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions has weighed in:

I hope Sessions is serious and gets rid of some senior people pour encourager les autres.

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The Florida School Shooting and Think Progress’ Vile Smear of JROTC

Think Progress is being obscenely dishonest to score political points against the NRA and conservatives who support gun rights.

The sad reality of our modern era is that we now expect tragedies to be politicized. We’ve gone beyond Rahm Emanuel’s mantra to “never let a serious crisis go to waste” to watching the dead bodies of children be used in vile, disingenuous attempts to smear political opponents.

The latest round of this was sparked after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida. Democrats and sympathetic media allies have been working overtime to demonize the NRA and any Republican politician who dared to accept a penny from them. Never mind that the Washington Post — certainly no bastion of conservative propaganda — did a detailed analysis of mass shootings and gun laws and found that new laws would not have prevented these killings.

Facts be damned when there is a narrative to push! Think Progress tweeted this yesterday, accusing the NRA of funding the training for the shooter.

When you click on the link, you see the source of Think Progress’ outrage: a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) marksmanship program, in which students participated in target practice using air rifles, and the NRA had donated $10,000 to Stoneman Douglas’ JROTC in 2016.

JROTC is sponsored by the United States Armed Forces at middle and high schools across the country, along with schools operated at American military bases around the world. JROTC’s goals are to instill in students “the values of citizenship, service to the United States, and personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.” Marksmanship contests using air rifles are included in competitions in the Olympics and NCAA.

Media reports, including a Sun Sentinel article and this RedState post by Streiff yesterday, include detailed accounts of how members of Stoneman Douglas’ JROTC responded during the shooting: with heroism and care for their fellow students, describing how they worked together to direct students into a classroom to hide and barricade themselves from the shooter.

The Sun Sentinel article includes a specific mention that the students used “several backdrops used for marksmanship practice that are made of Kevlar, a similar material used in bullet-proof vests” as a barrier. Oh, could that be something the JROTC purchased with the NRA donation?

“Honestly, I wish I could have saved more people,” JROTC student Colton Haab told the Sun Sentinel. “I wish we could have gotten more people in the classroom.”

That’s the type of leadership that JROTC instills: a desire to help others, even if it puts yourself at risk.

One of these JROTC members sacrificed his life to this cause. Peter Wang, a 15-year-old freshman, was holding open the door to allow other students to escape before him when he was shot and killed.

That’s the true nature of JROTC: building the next generation of leaders who will serve our country and put others before themselves.

The shooter taking advantage of a JROTC program for his own twisted needs impugns the honor of JROTC no more than the terrorists and other killers who use automobiles as their weapon of choice implicate the DMV. Think Progress’ attempt to smear this program dishonors the legacy of Peter Wang and his fellow JROTC members, who acted with true bravery.

Sadly, Think Progress is far from alone in using this extreme, divisive rhetoric. The New York Daily News touted their cover page with a similarly ugly attack:

Funny how there are plenty on the left willing to hold the NRA responsible for sponsoring the program that trained the shooter, but they don’t credit the NRA for sponsoring the program that trained the other JROTC members who acted with courage and sacrifice.

The 2018 midterms are rapidly approaching, so unfortunately we are likely to see this kind of dishonest smear continue, if not increase.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker

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ESPN College GameDay heads to Lubbock

ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm is headed to United Supermarkets Arena on Saturday, Feb. 24, for the first time in program history ahead of Texas Tech’s matchup against No. 13 Kansas.
Source: KCBD News


#HotTake: People Only Care About the Parkland High School Shooting Because the Kids Are White


A tragedy like the Parkland shooting brings out a lot of pathological personalities. One of those is former GOP political consultant Nicole Wallace was on MSNBC. AFter pushing the baldfaced lie that Trump and the GOP made it easier for the shooter to get a weapon, she has this to say.

“I think you are making a different point, you’re making a racial point as well, that people in urban settings — We’re talking about this because, let’s be honest, 17 white kids were [killed]- I think you’re making a good point, Eddie,”

Let the record show that Parkland, FL, is a moderately affluent town and the high school is 60% white.

Let the record also show that not all the victims were white:

When an expelled former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, Peter Wang used the last minutes of his life to help save his fellow students.

According to witnesses, the 15-year-old freshman member of the school’s JROTC program “was holding a door to let other students out before him” as suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz prowled the halls of his former alma mater, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

Wang was among the 17 people shot and killed by Cruz. His cousin, Lin Chen, told the Sun-Sentinel that Wang was wearing his standard grey JROTC shirt when he left for school that fateful morning.

(See my colleague, Sarah Rumpf’s post on the disgraceful hit on the JROTC program at Parkland.)

Wallace is a particularly detestable dingleberry around the sphincter of politics. She was one of the consultants who was supposed to help Sarah Palin in 2008 and, in reality, fed damaging information on her to the press. She’s no longer a consultant thanks to Erick Erickson, RedState, and Operation Leper. (This was back when we still backed GOP candidates in elections.)

[H/T to Newsbusters]

But she’s not alone. On Thursday, the New York Times’s Eric Lipton sent out this, now deleted, pair of tweets:

Basically the same point.

I think this kind of commentary says more about the people making it than it does about any national feeling. I seem to remember that lots of people were upset when a South Carolina church was shot up than they were about another church shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX. There is definitely less concern there than there was when garden variety thugs Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown were killed while being thugs. I’d go a step further and predict that if a white kid, mentally ill or not, walked into a 60% black high school and opened fire, there would be riots. For weeks.

This is just race baiting. It is a cheap virtue signaling that is based on a lie. It is a way of calling any Republican who expresses sympathy a racist by implying they are only saying it because the kids are white. It is shameful and disreputable. But it is MSNBC.

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What do we do about Sinners and Shooters?

“Stay in your lane,” says yet another self righteous young internet user, probably on Tumblr, schooling someone she disagrees with on whatever subject she’s become an expert: Russian hackers, feminist theology, “automatic weapons,” Shelby Mustangs, or the sexuality of various actors. The subject doesn’t matter. The idea is that people who don’t know or don’t agree ought to go Over There.

Away.

Facebook has made an entire industry of this now, accidentally on purpose (probably). We are finding ourselves exposed to whatever its algorithm thinks is “our lane.” We don’t have to look at icky Other Things. If you wrote and posted an article on dating four months ago, Zuckerberg’s monster now thinks that you want to read articles on dating 24/7, to the exclusion of all else. If you Liked your Aunt Susan’s babka recipe, you receive nothing but dessert bread links for weeks. You’re not only stuck in your lane; you’re on a train track.

We do this in real life, too, which in moderation is an evolutionary advantage meant to help us not be killed. If you see somebody running at you with a knife, you get out of their way. But we’ve hyper developed this fear of the unknown into an avoidance of everything that doesn’t sit well with us, which Jesus admonishes against in today’s Lenten Gospel reading, Luke 5:27-32:

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. 

He said to him, “Follow me.”

And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.

Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,

and a large crowd of tax collectors

and others were at table with them.

The Pharisees and their scribes

complained to his disciples, saying,

“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

Jesus said to them in reply,

“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.

I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”

Look, I don’t want to spend time with tax collectors, either. I don’t want to talk politics with Lefties because they tend to get really emotional. I don’t want to come off like a crazy Jesus lady by talking to everybody about salvation because I want people to like me. I also don’t want to talk to quiet, creepy people because I’d rather be having fun with my friends (who are obviously all super cool people with great senses of humour).

I wonder what would happen if we all started talking to “creepy” people, especially when they are young, before they decide to act out their rage on their classmates and coworkers. I know that won’t always help. I know that some people are walking tornados, human forces of nature, and no amount of intervention or government regulation can prevent acts of nature at our present level of scientific knowledge.

But for a lot of kids deemed sinners or pariahs, eating and drinking (or just talking) with them could be life changing. The black stain on our modern world is not weaponry (that’s always existed) or mental illness (also with us since the dawn of time). It’s isolation. We are the most connected humans have ever been, which means when we choose to disconnect from others, it has a far greater impact on them.

Imagine if Jesus had never reached out to that tax collector. What would Levi’s life have been like? How many more people would he have exploited on behalf of Rome? What influence did Levi’s change of heart have on all the other tax collectors he invited to the banquet?

Our small kindnesses have consequences far greater than we imagine. All Christ said was “Follow me.” Maybe all we need to do is say “Hi, there!” to someone we would normally rush past.

 

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