Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, February 24, 2018 9:12 am

The kids are alright; or, finally getting some common-sense gun legislation

As I write, it’s been 10 days since the killing of 17 students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. And to judge from social media, we’re still talking about that massacre in particular and gun legislation in general. That’s remarkable.

It’s remarkable because, after nothing happened in the wake of the Newtown slaughter of innocents, a lot of people resigned themselves to the inevitability that nothing would EVER happen to put a stop to mass killings in the United States. Now? Companies including several rental-car firms, Symantec, and the bank that issued NRA credit cards have dropped their affiliation with the NRA. And in a midterm election year that already was shaping up to be potentially a wave year for Democrats, gun violence has emerged as an issue that might finally drive a lot of blue voters to the polls.

There are a lot of reasons, but the single most important has been the determination of the Stoneman Douglas students themselves. They believe, correctly, that the older generation has been derelict in its duty to protect the younger. And, either already able to vote or on the cusp of being able to do so, they’ve decided to take matters into their own hands. From die-ins outside the Capitol to humiliating Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio on CNN, these young men and women have made it clear that they have decided to be the change they want to see. And it isn’t just Stoneman Douglas students; it’s high-school students nationwide (students at my own son’s high school walked out this week to protest gun violence). Former president Barack Obama acknowledged their leadership role in a tweet, adding that the rest of us should get behind them.

One beneficial consequence has been that we’re finally starting to talk about solutions. At least, the sane among us are. Obviously, that excludes the National Rifle Association.

In a generation, the NRA has mutated from sportsmen’s organization to industry lobbyist to batshit insane fascist propaganda outlet. Executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre gave an unhinged speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week, insisting, despite the fact that exactly zero people in responsible positions are actually saying this, that there is a movement afoot to strip all guns from law-abiding citizens and warning of a “socialist agenda” intent on “eradicat[ing] all individual freedoms.”

The NRA’s solution to this is more guns: specifically, arming teachers. (If the NRA ever publicly agreed that global warming is a problem, its solution would be more guns. Its solution to global COOLING would be more guns.) But given the fact that well-trained, periodically retrained New York City police officers return fire accurately only 18% of the time (and open fire accurate only 30% of the time), it’s hard to picture teachers doing any better, to say nothing of the safety and liability issue of having a loaded gun in a classroom full of young kids.

(Also at CPAC, speaking of unhinged, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch insisted:

Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. I’m not saying that you love the tragedy, but I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many of the legacy media in the back [of the room].

(Here are the facts. Reporters cover mass shootings and other murders, as well as such other trauma as fires, wrecks, and industrial accidents, because people want to know about them and because, in many cases, it’s the only way the voiceless get a voice. Nobody loves it. In fact, quite a few public-safety reporters develop PTSD. But because the culture of most newsrooms is that it’s all part of the job and reporters just have to suck it up, most don’t get treatment for it and resort instead to self-treatment, often in unhealthy ways. For example, I dealt with mine for a long time just by drinking heavily. That Dana Loesch thinks reporters revel in this, or knows otherwise but is willing to lie about it, betrays a stunning depth of ignorance or depravity.)

Gun laws vs. gun deathsThe NRA’s protests to the contrary, the U.S. is alone among industrialized nations in its incidence of mass shootings. There are far more gun deaths in states without strong gun laws than in states with them (see chart at left). And getting military-grade weaponry out of the hands of civilians might be the single most important thing we can do to reduce the number of mass shootings.

Because here’s the thing: Well within the Second Amendment, we can absolutely have a rational conversation about what combination of objectively quantifiable qualities — caliber, muzzle velocity, magazine or clip capacity, reload rate, etc. — can provide sufficient stopping power for widespread gun ownership for self-defense or sport without putting military-grade hardware in the hands of crazy 19-year-olds like Nikolas Cruz, the Stoneman Douglas shooter. And if Democrats make big gains in this year’s elections, that conversation is going to start happening with or without the NRA at the table.

And it must. A lot of gun nuts (as opposed to sane gun-rights supporters) like to insist that AR-15s and similar assault rifles are a lot like other weapons. This account from a radiologist who helped treat some of the Stoneman Douglas victims gives the lie to that argument:

In a typical handgun injury that I diagnose almost daily, a bullet leaves a laceration through an organ like the liver. To a radiologist, it appears as a linear, thin, grey bullet track through the organ. There may be bleeding and some bullet fragments. …

The injury along the path of the bullet from an AR-15 is vastly different from a low-velocity handgun injury. The bullet from an AR-15 passes through the body like a cigarette boat travelling at maximum speed through a tiny canal. The tissue next to the bullet is elastic—moving away from the bullet like waves of water displaced by the boat—and then returns and settles back. This process is called cavitation; it leaves the displaced tissue damaged or killed. The high-velocity bullet causes a swath of tissue damage that extends several inches from its path. It does not have to actually hit an artery to damage it and cause catastrophic bleeding. Exit wounds can be the size of an orange. …

Handgun injuries to the liver are generally survivable unless the bullet hits the main blood supply to the liver. An AR-15 bullet wound to the middle of the liver would cause so much bleeding that the patient would likely never make it to a trauma center to receive our care.

After a mass killing in Australia in 1996, that country greatly restricted gun ownership. It has not had another mass killing since.

The Second Amendment would forbid measures as strict as Australia’s. But notwithstanding the lame protestations of NRA whores such as my own congresscritter, Ted Budd*, not only would a ban on military-style assault weapons be upheld as constitutional, we’ve already tried it and know that it works.

Congress enacted such a ban in 1994, with a 10-year sunset provision. It also banned magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. What happened?

Compared with the 10-year period before the ban, 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.

A ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines enjoys public support of 68 percent and 65 percent, respectively. Even among gun owners, almost half favor an assault-weapons ban.

We also could consider universal background checks for gun ownership (favored even by 87% of NRA members), excluding from ownership those with histories of domestic violence or mental illness as well as criminal records. We can raise the minimum age at which a civilian can buy certain kinds of weapons. We can require gun registration, gun training, and the purchase of liability insurance.

Those measures address gun violence more generally than they do mass shootings in particular. But with about 32,000 gun deaths (homicide, suicide and accident) per year, they’re worth pursuing anyway. It is true that most gun-owning Americans are law-abiding, but 32,000 deaths a year, many of them preventable, is unacceptable. And as any cops reporter can tell you, the American public is not, in any way, shape or form, a well-regulated militia.

We can’t continue to accept the status quo. And God willing, the kids are going to make sure we don’t.

*Ted Budd argues that the biggest problems with respect to gun violence are mental illness and radical Islamic terror, never mind the fact that mental illness exists in lots of countries without many mass shootings and never mind the fact that radical Islamism is implicated in passing few U.S. mass shootings. Budd must harbor an amazing contempt for his constituents’ intelligence to think these arguments persuasive.







  1. How Did the Parkland Shooter Slip Through the Cracks?

    Broward County’s effort to fight the “school-to-prison-pipeline” may have helped Nikolas Cruz stay under law enforcement’s radar.

    “In an effort to combat the “school to prison pipeline,” schools across the country have come under pressure from the federal government and civil rights activists to reduce suspensions, expulsions, and in-school arrests. The unintended consequences of pressuring schools to produce ever-lower discipline statistics deserve much more examination.
    Florida’s Broward County, home to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, was among the leaders in this nationwide policy shift. According to Washington Post reporting, Broward County schools once recorded more in-school arrests than any other Florida district. But in 2013, the school board and the sheriff’s office agreed on a new policy to discontinue police referrals for a dozen infractions ranging from drug use to assault. The number of school-based arrests plummeted by 63 percent from 2012 to 2016. The Obama administration lauded Broward’s reforms, and in 2015 invited the district’s superintendent to the White House for an event, “Rethink Discipline,” that would highlight the success of Broward and other localities’ success in “transforming policies and school climate.”
    Confessed killer Nikolas Cruz, a notorious and emotionally disturbed student, was suspended from Stoneman Douglas High. He was even expelled for bringing weapons to school. Yet he was never arrested before the shooting. In a county less devoted to undoing school disciplinary policies, perhaps Cruz would have been arrested for one of his many violent or threatening incidents. When Cruz got into a fight in September of 2016, he was referred to social workers rather than to the police. When he allegedly assaulted a student in January 2017, it triggered a school-based threat assessment—but no police involvement. The Washington Post notes that Cruz “was well-known to school and mental health authorities and was entrenched in the process for getting students help rather than referring them to law enforcement.”
    Would an arrest record have changed the judgment of the FBI agents who ignored the tip that Cruz wanted to kill his classmates? Certainly Cruz could not have legally purchased a gun if the 2016 social-services investigation determined that he was a threat to himself and others. That year, according to the Washington Post, the sheriff’s office was informed that Cruz “planned to shoot up the school.” The office determined that Cruz had knives and a BB gun and sent this information to the school resource officer (presumably the now-infamous Scot Peterson). It’s unclear whether Peterson investigated; if he did, neither he nor anyone else evidently filed a report. When social services approached Peterson in its investigation of Cruz, the officer “refused to share any information . . . regarding [an] incident that took place.” Peterson and his colleagues appear to have been under pressure to post lower statistics on school-safety problems. This climate of disengagement could have allowed Cruz to slip through the cracks in the system.
    CNN’s Jake Tapper pressed Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel about what role the new policies might have played in the county’s failure to respond to the many red flags that Cruz’s behavior had raised. “Were there not incidents committed by the shooter as a student,” Tapper asked, “had this new policy not been in place that otherwise he would have been arrested for and not able to legally buy a gun?” The sheriff praised the program. “It’s an excellent program,” he said. “It’s helping many, many people. What this program does is not put a person at 14, 15, 16 years old into the criminal justice system.” The police, he said, can’t be faulted here because “there’s no malfeasance or misfeasance if you don’t know about something.”
    Perhaps not. But the explicit aim of Broward’s new approach to school safety was to keep students like Cruz off the police’s radar. If the Sheriff’s department didn’t know about his deeply troubling behavior, perhaps it was because they were no longer supposed to know about it.
    Reporters should dig deeper into the implementation of a policy that prevented school officials from contacting the police, even when common sense would call for it, as it surely did in Cruz’s case. There remain more questions than answers at this point, but we owe the families of Cruz’s 17 victims better than another scripted culture war, with each side voicing the usual talking points. Hundreds of school districts, serving millions of students across the country, have followed Broward County’s dubious lead on school safety. Parents across the country need more answers about how this could happen, so let’s start asking the questions now.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, February 27, 2018 7:46 pm @ 7:46 pm | Reply

    • You and others have raised legitimate questions about law enforcement’s handling of Nikolas Cruz. Now I’d like you to engage with policy proposals to reduce mass shootings generally. Recall what I said: “Well within the Second Amendment, we can absolutely have a rational conversation about what combination of objectively quantifiable qualities — caliber, muzzle velocity, magazine or clip capacity, reload rate, etc. — can provide sufficient stopping power for widespread gun ownership for self-defense or sport without putting military-grade hardware in the hands of crazy 19-year-olds like Nikolas Cruz.” Now engage with that.

      Comment by Lex — Tuesday, February 27, 2018 9:37 pm @ 9:37 pm | Reply

  2. I’ll try to engage.

    Announcing a policy that will epicically fail

    “Ensuring that our educational system is a doorway to opportunity – and not a point of entry to our criminal justice system – is a critical, and achievable, goal,” said Attorney General Holder. “By bringing together government, law enforcement, academic, and community leaders, I’m confident that we can make certain that school discipline policies are enforced fairly and do not become obstacles to future growth, progress, and achievement.”

    “Maintaining safe and supportive school climates is absolutely critical, and we are concerned about the rising rates and disparities in discipline in our nation’s schools,” said Secretary Duncan. “By teaming up with stakeholders on this issue and through the work of our offices throughout the department, we hope to promote strategies that will engage students in learning and keep them safe.”

    The goals of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative are to: build consensus for action among federal, state and local education and justice stakeholders; collaborate on research and data collection that may be needed to inform this work, such as evaluations of alternative disciplinary policies and interventions; develop guidance to ensure that school discipline policies and practices comply with the nation’s civil rights laws and to promote positive disciplinary options to both keep kids in school and improve the climate for learning; and promote awareness and knowledge about evidence-based and promising policies and practices among state judicial and education leadership.

    In order to implement the initiative, the two departments will coordinate with other organizations in the non-profit and philanthropic communities who are also working to help ensure students succeed by addressing inappropriate school discipline. These groups include the Council of State Governments and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The Supportive School Discipline Initiative will build upon the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ work to increase and enhance the school discipline data available through the Civil Rights Data Collection and the Departments’ proactive efforts to ensure disciplinary policies support students and are administered in a non-discriminatory manner.

    Attorney General Holder and Secretary Duncan announced this initiative during the quarterly meeting of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, whose membership includes representatives from 12 federal agencies and nine practitioners. The council coordinates federal juvenile justice and prevention programs to help better serve at-risk youth. A priority issue for the council is education and at-risk youth. More information on the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice is available at:”

    And the results:

    The School to Prison Pipeline and the Parkland Shooting

    Posted on February 26, 2018 by A.P. Dillon
    Coral Springs PD – Nikolas Cruz
    Image via REUTERS

    There are a lot of questions being asked in the wake of the school shooting in Florida. One question being asked about school district discipline policies is starting to gain traction.

    The so-called “school to prison pipeline” as it relates to changes in school discipline and how school resource officers (SROs) has garnered the attention of many.

    We’ve all heard by now. Not just the one Broward County Sheriff School Resource Officer sat outside and did nothing, but three others joined him.

    We also know that Nikolas Cruz, the shooter, had been on the radar of the Sheriff’s department and the FBI. There were at least 45 interactions with the Sheriff’s department and two tips to the FBI.

    Broward County sheriff’s officials said in a statement late Saturday that they responded only to 23 calls involving suspected Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz or his family over the years, but records obtained by BuzzFeed News show at least 45 responses since 2008.

    This has prompted outrage and a flood of questions.

    One could be an act of cowardice, but four? Were they told to stand down? Were they trained to wait for local police?

    Why didn’t any of them act? Maybe they were told not to.

    It’s also been learned that the SRO Marjory Stoneman High who did not engage Cruz, Scot Peterson, refused to share what he knew about Cruz in the year prior when the Department of Child and Family Services showed up to assess him. WHY?

    Cruz was expelled but it likely took a hell of a lot of incidents for that to take place given what we now know about an agreement between the Broward school district and the local sheriff department.

    On Twitter, the account ‘The Last Refuge’ highlighted the Broward district’s policies and an MOU (memorandum of understanding) signed between the Broward Sheriff department and the district.

    22 Feb

    Replying to @TheLastRefuge2
    4. What I stumbled upon was a Broward County law enforcement system in a state of conflict. The Broward County School Board and District Superintendent, entered into a political agreement with Broward County Law enforcement officials to stop arresting students for crimes.

    5. The motive was simple. The school system administrators wanted to “improve their statistics” and gain state and federal grant money for improvements therein.
    9:04 PM – Feb 22, 2018
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    The long and short of that thread is that there was an agreement put into place which had the effect of neutering actions that could be taken against problem students – all in the name of lowering suspension and arrest rates of students.

    This is not unique to Broward. Parents should be actively looking for this type of intervention in their own local districts – everywhere.

    The MOU references the “Eliminating the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Committee” and states that the Florida Legislature should seek alternative methods to dealing with violent or otherwise problem-related students.

    The Florida Legislature “encourage[s] schools to use alternatives to expulsion or referral to law enforcement agencies by addressing disruptive behavior through restitution, civil citation, teen court, neighborhood restorative justice, or similar programs” and has instructed school districts “that zero -tolerance policies are not intended to be rigorously applied to petty acts of misconduct and misdemeanors, including, but not limited to, minor fights or disturbances.”

    In short, kids were supposed to be let off the hook with a slap on the wrist.

    Also in the MOU, in section 2.05, actions by law enforcement are addressed. The MOU says that “Nothing in this agreement is intended to limit the discretion of law enforcement.”

    That section goes on to say “Officers responding to an incident or consulting with school officials are encouraged to use their discretion in determining the best course of action, especially when using alternatives to arrest.”

    The section concludes in a manner indicating that officer use discretion really isn’t theirs to use, stating that “While the option to use the criminal justice system is available for many incidents, the totality of the circumstances should be taken into consideration any less punitive alternatives that ensure the safety of the school community should be considered.”

    This agreement and the Broward school district’s policy changes began to change back in 2013.

    Activists in the state, like in many other states, began protesting at school board meetings and at their respective legislatures about the “school to prison pipeline.” The complaint was that black students were making up the majority of suspensions, arrests, and expulsions.

    At no time have I witnessed any board confronted with this information ask the question are these actions warranted? This observation includes districts in North Carolina like Wake County and Charlotte Mecklenburg.

    Nearly all of the groups I have looked at in over 12 states were either affiliated with or were tied to local chapters of the NAACP. Such was the case in Broward County and it was done so with the aid of “a local sheriff.”

    Broward announced broad changes designed to mitigate the use of harsh punishments for minor misbehavior at the beginning of this school year. While other districts have amended their discipline codes, prohibited arrests in some circumstances, and developed alternatives to suspension, Broward was able to do all these things at once with the cooperation of a group that included a member of the local NAACP, a school board member, a public defender, a local sheriff, a state prosecutor, and several others. (Source:

    One must also note that the NAACP was not alone. These campaigns worked in tandem with the Advancement Project, the Southern Poverty Law Center and later, the Department of Justice under Eric Holder.

    As a point of fact, Eric Holder and the DOJ often co-hosted “school to prison pipeline” events with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

    The SPLC used its education propaganda machine, Teaching Tolerance, to legitimize the issue and made the focus “the deep south” despite accounts that minority arrests and suspensions were worse in northern states.

    Teaching Tolerance also created materials for teachers to replace usual disciplinary actions using a fictitious student named Michael. Ironically, these materials call for the teacher to “Argue with Michael, call the school resource officer, bar him from class or press assault charges” if Michael gets physical.

    Yet, at the same time, activist groups, the SPLC, the Advancement Project, and the NAACP had been pushing or SROs to be removed from schools and encouraging school boards and sheriff departments not to arrest or charge students who act out violently.

    Black Lives Matter Chapters also got in on the act, pushing the “SRO’s have got to go” campaign and local state activist groups began campaigns in 2014 and 2015 to remove SRO’s from schools. This type of campaign happened in North Carolina’s largest district, Wake County Public Schools.

    The primary groups that were involved in the push in Wake County: The Education Justice Alliance, the NC NAACP, the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African-American Children (CCCAAC), Dignity in Schools, NC Heat, and the Youth Organizing Institute.

    Education Justice Alliance, NC Heat, and Youth Organizing Institute are overlapping groups affiliated with one another. NC Heat and Youth Organizing Institute are projects of the Southern Vision Alliance which in turn is an offshoot of Action for Community in Raleigh (ACRe). Members of these NC Heat and Youth Organizing Institute have been involved with Black Lives Matter in Durham and the destruction of a Confederate statue in Durham in 2017.

    Education Justice Alliance (EJA) also has ties to the NC Justice Center; EJA’s leader is Rukiya Dillahunt, spouse of self-described Socialist, Ajamu Dillahunt who is a former employee of the NC Justice Center – a far-left advocacy group and parent to the radical attack dog group Blueprint NC.

    Timeline of School To Prison Pipeline Nationally & In NC

    January 2014
    Multiple groups, including NC Heat, file a complaint with the Department of Justice complaining that Wake County Sheriff departments are being used to address “minor school discipline problems.” The complaint seems to want 16 and 17 year-olds to be treated as juveniles for criminal or violent offenses.

    Around that same time in January 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder had gotten in on the act and was openly making remarks about “zero tolerance policies” being the root cause of criminal charges made on students.

    The U.S. Department of Education, led by Arne Duncan, entered into a partnership with Holder’s DOJ to introduce a “School Discipline Guidance Package” based on joint issued Dear Colleague Letter issued by Catherine Lhamon ( head of USED Civil Rights) and Jocelyn Samuels (head of DOJ Civil Rights). This started the ball rolling in Education departments in the states.

    May 2014
    The Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African-American Children (CCCAAC) kicks things off by complaining to the Wake County School Board that giving students (specifically minority students) a zero for missed assignments was “too punitive.” The proposal to drop that practice is dismissed by the board.

    August 2014
    The Guilford County School district spends $357,448.60 on an “African-American Males Symposium” which deals mainly with African American male students are receiving a disproportionate number of out-of-school suspensions.

    October 2014
    NC Heat shows back up on the scene and begins protesting the “school to prison pipeline.”

    April 2015
    Wake County School Board enters the mix. School Board Member Jim Martin defends the high suspension rate in Wake County Schools on Facebook. “I encourage everyone who cares about this issue to recognize there is not a school-to-prison pipeline,” Martin wrote. “There is a POVERTY-TO-PRISON pipeline.

    August 2015
    The US DOJ begins disseminating the Smith/Harper report which conveniently aligns its conclusions with those of Arne Duncan and Eric Holder from the year prior by blaming Zero Tolerance policies for the “School to Prison Pipeline.” The report includes involvement by the US Dept. of Education, the NAACP and Teach for America.

    November 2015
    The Youth Organizing Institute (YOI) puts on a protest march, beginning at a Raleigh Elementary school and ending at Central Prison. The protesters specifically call for the removal of SRO’s from schools. The prior year, the group also protested at the Wake County School Board meeting wearing the orange prisoner jumpers below.

    The previous month, the owner of the YOI’s website, Angeline Echeverria, was one of six arrested for chaining themselves together using PVC pipe in the middle of a Raleigh intersection adjacent to the Governor’s mansion. The group was protesting for the ‘rights of illegal aliens’. Echeveria is also a staffer at El Pueblo.

    Also in November, there was a rash of fights in Wake County schools caught on video and spread on social media. These incidences were followed, ironically, by more calls to remove SRO’s from schools by the aforementioned activist groups. These reports of fights continued in a steady stream through February 2016.

    December 2015
    The Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA) is passed. President Obama would later sign it.
    ESSA codified the earlier discipline guidance by the Department of Education and the DOJ.

    24 Feb

    Laura Ingraham

    Yes, @realDonaldTrump shd tell DOJ to investigate the Parkland shooting.

    Please rescind #ESSA which replaced No Child Left Behind & created mandates allowing disruptive minors not to be arrested or disciplined. #prisontopipeline explained. Educators & law enforcement let us down.
    9:17 PM – Feb 24, 2018
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    March 2016
    A violent assault committed by a black female student on another in Wake County Schools makes national headlines. 18-year-old Amber Monay Romero bit off part of a large portion the earlobe of 16-year-old Emiyah Lane Brown.

    April 2016
    Wake County Public Schools ‘Director of Equity Affairs’ holds a joint “Discipline Forum” with federal officials from the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division.

    May 2016
    Wake County Public Schools alters its discipline and suspension policy. The policy is changed on how suspensions are to be handled for minor rule breaking and additional wording was put in encouraging the use of ‘alternatives’ to out-of-school suspensions. The changes are very similar to the Broward MOU.

    The stated goal is to “reduce the number of suspensions” and Wake Board member Jim Martin told media that “We want to minimize infractions and maximize education.”

    Brenda Elliott, the Wake assistant superintendent for student support, chimed in.

    “Research says that increasing lengths of suspension aren’t related to school safety at all,” said Elliott. “There are other things that schools do to help feel students feel safe. The key thing is to provide a nurturing classroom.”

    Changes were also made to the due process policy. Students would now be assigned to an ‘alternative placement’ instead of a long-term suspension. These students would be eligible to participate in SCORE, an online program.

    The biggest takeaway from the change to due process policy is that these kids would not be recorded by the district as having had a long-term suspension at all. In other words, kids that maybe should be suspended now are not and the district’s crime and suspension numbers look rosy.

    That same month, the Obama administration orders colleges and universities to stop checking criminal histories of applicants – because it’s allegedly discriminatory.”

    Judicial Watch 🔎

    Feds Order Colleges to Stop Checking Criminal/School Discipline History Because it Discriminates Against Minorities
    4:00 PM – May 21, 2016

    Feds Order Colleges to Stop Checking Criminal/School Discipline History Because it Discriminates…
    The Obama administration has ordered the nation’s colleges and universities to stop asking applicants about criminal and school disciplinary history because it discriminates against minorities….
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    The impact of various school districts altering discipline programs shows mixed results in the NC Department of Public Instruction’s annual School Crime Report.

    The districts with the highest reportable crime numbers were also the districts with the largest student populations. Charlotte-Mecklenburg had 624 crimes with a student population of 40,675Wake had 562 with a student population of 45,134.

    That report included two rather alarming statistics – 78 bomb threats and 86 reports of a firearm or “powerful explosive.” The majority of these reports were at the high school level.

    November 2016
    Activists continue to hammer Wake County School Board, this time with renewed focus: the removal of School Resource Officers. If you guessed Youth Organizing Institute, you would be correct.

    “Police are much more likely to be sexual and physical predators of youth in schools than are any young people that you might find in schools,” said YOI’s Qasima Wideman to the Wake County school board.

    “There are countless young people, young women, of color who can attest to the fact that, um, that police ” police attack us,” Wideman alleged.

    One of the other YOI members even claimed (falsely) that ‘military weapons‘ were in our schools.

    Watch Wideman’s whole set of remarks below. Transcript here.

    Juxtapose this video from this one taken just months earlier at a Black Lives Matter event in Durham.

    Flash Forward to 2018

    The lip service has begun: Wake school board talks school-safety changes after Parkland.

    After looking through proposed building plans for future schools in Wake County, as well as schematics of schools built in the last 5 years, it appeared that secured entries were missing from all of them.

    The Wake school board has spent tens of millions on new construction while ignoring schools already built. One would be hard-pressed to fund an elementary school in the county that does not have a significant number of students taking their classes in unsecured trailers.

    If the Wake school board is looking for a place to start – they should look at these trailers, which provide the ultimate example of a soft target.

    Other ideas:

    Armed local law enforcement officer assigned to each of the county’s K-12 schools
    Allow for teachers interested to complete a conceal carry course and allow for campus carry
    Reinforced front entry areas. The ability for someone in a vehicle to ram the front of our schools or enter a playground area of most elementary schools is largely unfettered.
    Campus security systems, including cameras and panic buttons in all classrooms and central hallways and gathering locations. If Wake can put cameras on all buses, they can put them in all schools.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, February 28, 2018 12:25 am @ 12:25 am | Reply

    • That’s not engaging, Fred. That’s trying, at “epicically” length, to change the subject.

      Comment by Lex — Wednesday, February 28, 2018 7:22 am @ 7:22 am | Reply

  3. Long , ? Yes. Engaging ? Yes. Perhaps you are too closed minded to read it in its entirety .

    Let me make it easy for you. The Obama/Holder program prevented Cruze from being stopped before he acted out his fantasy,

    Here is the short version:

    “The explicit aim of Broward’s new approach ( Obama/Holder ) to school safety was to keep students like Cruz off the police’s radar. If the Sheriff’s department didn’t know about his deeply troubling behavior, perhaps it was because they were no longer supposed to know about it.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, February 28, 2018 11:34 pm @ 11:34 pm | Reply

    • And again, you’re focusing on this particular killing, whereas I’m talking about reducing mass shootings in general. If you think my proposal would work, say so. If you don’t, say so and say why.

      Comment by Lex — Thursday, March 1, 2018 7:28 am @ 7:28 am | Reply

  4. I would support a universal background check and raising the age to buy particular types of firearms ( although we give 18 year old boys fully automatic rifles and send then into harms way in the Middle East ).

    Teachers with guns .. bad idea.

    Your assertion that the 10 year ban on assault weapons worked is flat wrong.

    “It turns out that various independent studies came to the same conclusion: the ban had no measurable impact on the number of shootings or the number of shooting deaths while it was in effect.

    A 2005 report from the National Research Council, for example, noted that “A recent evaluation of the short-term effects of the 1994 federal assault weapons ban did not reveal any clear impacts on gun violence outcomes.”

    A 2004 study sponsored by the National Institute of Justice found that while the ban appeared to have reduced the number of crimes committed with “assault weapons,” any benefits were “likely to have been outweighed by steady or rising use of non-banned semiautomatics.”

    As a result, the Justice study found “there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence, based on indicators like the percentage of gun crimes resulting in death or the share of gunfire incidents resulting in injury.”

    The main reason the failure of the ban to make a difference: “assault weapons” account for a tiny share of gun crimes — less than 6%. Even among mass shootings, most didn’t involve an “assault weapon” in the decade before the ban went into effect.

    Mass shootings didn’t stop during the ban, either — there were 16 while the ban was in effect, which resulted in 237 deaths or injuries. In fact, it was while the ban was in effect that the Columbine High School massacre happened, in which 13 students were killed and 24 injured ”

    No to gun registration:

    “Theoretically, a gun registry makes perfect sense. In practice, it does not.

    There are an estimated 300 million firearms in private hands in the United States. Very few jurisdictions require firearm or even gun owner registration, so no one except the current owners know where the overwhelming majority of these guns are or who they belong to. Guns are durable items. The oldest one I personally own was made in 1918. It still works fine. I doubt the record of its manufacture still exists – that is, I don’t think anyone knows to even look for it.

    So, for one thing, the sheer size of the task is overwhelming.

    O Canada!

    Canada recently attempted a “long gun registry” – a registry of all rifles and shotguns in the country. (They already had a handgun registry.) They estimated that there were about 8 million long guns in private hands. Legislators were told that the registry would cost something like $119 million to implement, with $117 million of the cost covered by registration fees – so for $2 million, they’d be able to register all 8 million guns, and it would go quickly.

    The law passed in 1995, with licensing starting in 1998 and all long guns were to be registered by January 1, 2003. By 2000, it was obviously not going according to theory. Registrations were backlogged and riddled with errors, and costs were WAY over estimates. An audit in December of 2002 showed that costs were going to exceed $1 billion by 2005, with an income from registration fees of only $145 million.

    And then there was the lack of compliance. By January 1, 2003, only about 65% of the estimated 8 million firearms were registered, and there was no reason to believe that the other 35% were going to be.

    Finally in 2012 Canada scrapped its long-gun registry, after dumping an estimated $2 billion into it. It solved no crimes, it apparently prevented no crimes, and it took vast quantities of money and manpower away from law enforcement with its implementation.

    This is not an isolated incident. Something very similar occurred in New Zealand. They abandoned their long-gun registry in 1983.

    Extrapolate that to the U.S, where the overwhelming majority of gun owners believe the Second Amendment’s “shall not be infringed” clause actually means something. Our firearm pool is 37 times larger than Canada’s. Our population is far more likely to disobey such a law, or creatively mess with it.

    There’s a thing they teach in Officer Candidate School in the military – “Never give an order you know will not be obeyed.” Trying to implement a national registry in the U.S. is a non-starter. There are no “pros” for this idea. ”


    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, March 1, 2018 7:06 pm @ 7:06 pm | Reply

    • Your “study” of the assault-weapons ban talks about all gun deaths, which I addressed. With respect to mass shootings, it merely says they “didn’t stop.” No, but a 37% reduction in them, and a 43% reduction in deaths from them, is nothing to sneeze at, either. Moreover, you don’t address the 187% increase in mass shootings, and the 243% increase in deaths from mass shootings, that occurred in the decade after the assault-weapons ban ended. No one has ever claimed such a ban would end gun deaths, or even mass shootings. What we’ve said is that it’d make mass shootings, particularly in schools, a lot less likely, and that is exactly what it did. What it also would do is render any other mass shootings easier to stop, a factor that law enforcement and civilians alike should appreciate.

      Comment by Lex — Saturday, March 3, 2018 9:45 am @ 9:45 am | Reply

  5. The assault weapons ban didn’t work. A new version won’t, either

    But we can’t find common ground with gun safety advocates as long as they use shoddy arguments and manipulated statistics to cloud the debate. A case in point is the widely cited work of Louis Klarevas, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Boston whose 2016 book, “Rampage Nation: Security America From Mass Shootings,” has lately bolstered calls for a renewal of the 1994 assault weapons ban, which lapsed in 2004. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) gave President Trump a bar chart attributed to Klarevas at Wednesday’s guns roundtable.

    Until Klarevas came along, virtually all researchers had concluded that it was impossible to discern what, if any, positive effect the ban’s prohibition of rifles with “military-style features” had on crime or mass shooting incidents. This is why many gun-control advocacy groups, including Sandy Hook Promise, do not include a ban on their list of legislative priorities. The last ban was politically costly for Democrats and, as a ProPublica investigation reported in 2014, gun control experts said there was no evidence it saved lives.

    “Rampage Nation” has energized proponents of a new ban by making the spectacular claim that, contrary to the consensus, the original was responsible for a remarkable 37% decline in mass shooting fatalities.

    But there’s a serious flaw in Klarevas’ result: There are few actual “assault weapons” of any type in his dataset, either pre- or post-ban. Klarevas and his allies are taking an apparent drop in fatalities from what are mostly handgun shootings (again, pre-ban as well as post) and attributing this lowered body count to the 1994 legislation.
    If a new ban passes and it’s anything like the old one, millions of Americans will be able to legally obtain substantially the same guns we can buy today.

    I say “apparent” drop in fatalities because, as Klarevas admits in a footnote, if you use the most widely accepted threshold for categorizing a shooting as a “mass shooting” — four fatalities, as opposed to Klarevas’ higher threshold of six — the 1994 to 2004 drop in fatalities disappears entirely. Had Klarevas chosen a “mass shooting” threshold of five fatalities instead of six, then the dramatic pause he notes in mass shootings between 1994 to 1999 would disappear too.
    Klarevas doesn’t disaggregate his list of mass shootings by weapon type, so I had to do that myself by cross-referencing his dataset with Mother Jones’ list of U.S. mass shootings and with news reports.

    What I found was that for the decade prior to the ban, only two of the 19 mass shootings in Klarevas’ dataset involved civilian versions of military rifles. Another three involved pistols banned by name under the 1994 legislation (two Uzis and one Tec-9), but these small guns use a popular handgun round, 9mm, and not the much larger 5.56 NATO rifle round that features so prominently in current arguments for why the government should ban the AR-15.
    As for the decade during which the ban was in place, Klarevas concedes in a footnote that of the 12 shootings in his dataset, only three actually involved assault weapons.

    All told, that’s five mass shootings that took place with “assault weapons” in the decade before the ban, and three that took place during its tenure. These numbers are far too small for any sort of statistical inference, especially if you’re trying to build a case for banning tens of millions of legally owned rifles.

    Ultimately, the same technological innovations that have made the AR-15 so popular with hobbyists and so lethally effective have also rendered functionally unenforceable the original ban’s feature-based approach. In fact, I can say with confidence, based on the modularity of the AR-15’s design, that if a new ban passes and it’s anything like the old one, millions of Americans will be able to legally obtain substantially the same guns we can buy today, but we’ll just have to buy them in pieces.

    The ban’s backers will have once again succeeded in frustrating gun owners with pointless, feel-good regulations, while saving no lives.

    Jon Stokes is the co-founder of Ars Technica, a contributing editor to and founding editor of

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, March 3, 2018 7:56 pm @ 7:56 pm | Reply

    • So explain why bans that work in other countries wouldn’t work here.

      Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 4, 2018 12:41 pm @ 12:41 pm | Reply

  6. They tried gun registration in Canada and that didn’t even work. ( explained in previous comment )

    So you want to ban guns in the US. Good luck with that,

    My Marlin .22 LR Model 60. Tubular magazine , 18 cartridge capacity, muzzle velocity 1200 ft per second, rate of fire less than 2 seconds per shot. ( and it can be fitted with an AR looking plastic stock which changes nothing as to how it works ) With hollow points ammo can be very lethal to varmints and humans. So you want to ban it ?

    Now I will try, repeat try, to answer your question.

    Australia’s 1996 Gun Confiscation Didn’t Work – And it Wouldn’t Work in America

    “Would an American version of the “Australian model” perform any better?

    #related#In all likelihood it would fare worse. The Federalist’s Varad Mehta set down the facts in June:

    Gun confiscation is not happening in the United States any time soon. But let’s suppose it did. How would it work? Australia’s program netted, at the low end, 650,000 guns, and at the high end, a million. That was approximately a fifth to a third of Australian firearms. There are about as many guns in America as there are people: 310 million of both in 2009. A fifth to a third would be between 60 and 105 million guns. To achieve in America what was done in Australia, in other words, the government would have to confiscate as many as 105 million firearms.

    And an American mandatory gun-confiscation program — in addition to being unconstitutional — would be extraordinarily coercive, and perhaps even violent.

    There is no other way around it: The mandatory confiscation of the American citizenry’s guns would involve tens of thousands of heavily armed federal agents going door-to-door to demand of millions of Americans that they surrender their guns.

    That. Is. Not. Going. To. Happen.

    If the president and gun-control activists want to keep saying “Australia” in response to every shooting in America, they should at least be honest about what exactly they are proposing.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Sunday, March 4, 2018 6:20 pm @ 6:20 pm | Reply

    • Show me where I said, in the post or the comments, that I want to ban all guns. Go on; I’ll wait. Straw men are the stock-in-trade of gun nuts, Fred. You’re better than that.

      Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 4, 2018 6:46 pm @ 6:46 pm | Reply

  7. “So explain why bans that work in other countries wouldn’t work here”.

    Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 4, 2018 12:41 pm @ 12:41 pm | Reply

    “We can require gun registration, gun ” by Lex ( why stop there or that’s the first step )

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, March 5, 2018 1:04 am @ 1:04 am | Reply

    • I was referring only to military-grade hardware. And even most gun owners think we need better registration and background checks.

      Comment by Lex — Monday, March 5, 2018 4:27 pm @ 4:27 pm | Reply

  8. I said early on in this discussion that I favored an improved universal background check and raising the age to buy a gun.
    Also I expressed the opinion that pistol packing teachers was a bad idea

    You have ignored and failed to respond to the sound arguments against gun registration and against gun confiscation.

    Please answer, if you can, why strong gun laws don’t work:

    The Nation’s Toughest Gun Control Law Made Massachusetts Less Safe.

    ” In 1998, Massachusetts passed what was hailed as the toughest gun-control legislation in the country. Among other stringencies, it banned semiautomatic “assault” weapons, imposed strict new licensing rules, prohibited anyone convicted of a violent crime or drug trafficking from ever carrying or owning a gun, and enacted severe penalties for storing guns unlocked.

    “Today, Massachusetts leads the way in cracking down on gun violence,” said Republican Governor Paul Cellucci as he signed the bill into law. “It will save lives and help fight crime in our communities.” Scott Harshbarger, the state’s Democratic attorney general, agreed: “This vote is a victory for common sense and for the protection of our children and our neighborhoods.” One of the state’s leading anti-gun activists, John Rosenthal of Stop Handgun Violence, joined the applause. “The new gun law,” he predicted, “will certainly prevent future gun violence and countless grief.”

    It didn’t !

    But the law that was so tough on law-abiding gun owners had quite a different impact on criminals.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for gun-control activists to admit they were wrong. The treatment they prescribed may have yielded the opposite of the results they promised, but they’re quite sure the prescription wasn’t to blame. Crime didn’t rise in Massachusetts because the state made it harder for honest citizens to lawfully carry a gun; it rose because other states didn’t do the same thing.Since 1998, gun crime in Massachusetts has gotten worse, not better. In 2011, Massachusetts recorded 122 murders committed with firearms, the Globe reported this month — “a striking increase from the 65 in 1998.” Other crimes rose too. Between 1998 and 2011, robbery with firearms climbed 20.7 percent. Aggravated assaults jumped 26.7 percent.

    “Massachusetts probably has the toughest laws on the books, but what happens is people go across borders and buy guns and bring them into our state,” rationalizes Boston Mayor Tom Menino. “Guns have no borders.”

    This has become a popular argument in gun-control circles. It may even be convincing to someone emotionally committed to the belief that ever-stricter gun control is a plausible path to safety. But it doesn’t hold water.

    For starters, why didn’t the gun-control lobby warn legislators in 1998 that adopting the toughest gun law in America would do Massachusetts no good unless every surrounding state did the same thing? Far from explaining why the new law would do nothing to curb violent crime, they were positive it would make Massachusetts even safer. It was gun-rights advocates, such as state Senator Richard Moore, who correctly predicted the future. “Much of what has been said in support of this bill will not come to pass,” said Moore during the 1998 debate. “The amount of crime we have now will at least continue.”

    But crime in Massachusetts didn’t just continue, it began climbing. As in the rest of the country, violent crime had been declining in Massachusetts since the early 1990s. Beginning in 1998, that decline reversed — unlike in the rest of the country. For example, the state’s murder rate (murders per 100,000 inhabitants) bottomed out at 1.9 in 1997 and had risen to 2.8 by 2011. The national murder rate, on the other hand, kept falling; it reached a new low of 4.7 in 2011. Guns-across-borders might have explained homicide levels in Massachusetts continuing unchanged. But how can other states’ policies be responsible for an increase in Massachusetts homicides?

    Relative to the rest of the country, or to just the states on its borders, Massachusetts since 1998 has become a more dangerous state. Economist John Lott, using FBI crime data since 1980, shows how dramatic the contrast has been. In 1998, Massachusetts’s murder rate equaled about 70 percent of the rate for Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York. Now it equals 125 percent of that rate.

    Clearly something bad happened to Massachusetts 15 years ago. Blaming the neighbors may be ideologically comforting. But those aren’t the states whose crime rates are up.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, March 6, 2018 1:16 am @ 1:16 am | Reply

  9. Just for good measure :

    In Defense of ‘Gunsplaining’

    “Pointing out inaccuracies in your opponent’s arguments is a cynical ploy to stop discussion. Or so I gather from Adam Weinstein, who just published a Washington Post op-ed taking gun control critics to task for “gunsplaining”—Weinstein’s name for when one is “harangued with the pedantry of the more-credible-than-thou firearms owner” after one makes some incidental factual error about guns, such as calling AR-15s “high-powered” or confusing clips with magazines.

    “Gunsplaining,” Weinstein declares, “is always done in bad faith. Like mansplaining, it’s less about adding to the discourse than smothering it.” Were it not for those condescending gun snobs picking apart every rhetorical misstep, we would spend less time arguing over little details and more time having reasoned discussions over just which firearms restrictions we should implement next.

    Weinstein does mention that gun control advocates sometimes get their facts wrong, and that they’ll even exploit their supporters’ lack of knowledge to build support for gun control legislation. Yet this phenomenon seems almost incidental to him; he saves his real fire for Second Amendment fans on Facebook and for inflammatory quotes from Joe the Plumber (remember him?).

    But sloppy language doesn’t just turn up in Facebook debates. It exercises a heavy influence on actual gun control proposals. In that context, pushing back on sloppy terminology isn’t just legitimate; it’s essential to the wider debate about gun ownership.

    Take the 1994 assault weapons ban—the last major federal gun control measure, which banned all manner of weaponry because of their style, not their lethality. Modern-day opponents of gun control probably wouldn’t spend so much time railing against invocations of “assault weapons” if such a hazy term were not currently being used as the basis for state and federal legislation.

    More recently, there’s the bump stock ban introduced by Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R–Fla.) and Seth Moulton (D– Mass.) after the Las Vegas massacre of October 2017. Their bill was written so hastily, and so vaguely, that it not only retroactively criminalized the possession of bump stocks; it banned “any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle”—which could include anything from binary triggers to heavier recoil springs.

    Something similar happened after the Sandy Hook shooting of 2012, when the New York state legislature passed a bill banning non-existent “muzzle breaks” (as opposed to muzzle brakes), semiautomatic pistols that are “semiautomatic version[s] of an automatic rifle, shotgun or firearm” (it was unclear what this was supposed to mean), and loading more than seven rounds in a ten-round capacity magazine. These provisions were later struck down by a U.S. District Court Judge for their incoherence. The difference between “brakes” and “breaks” may be a mere typo on Facebook; in legislation, it’s enough to undo a segment of a law.

    Weinstein acknowledges that actual laws need to be “written with precision.” He doesn’t acknowledge that too many politicians are willing to sacrifice accuracy for speed. That seems a rather bigger problem than the presence of pedants on social media.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, March 8, 2018 2:28 am @ 2:28 am | Reply

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