Thoughts on the Florida school shooting

I’ve waited a couple of days to say anything about the tragic high school shooting in Florida.  As usual, the media and self-appointed “experts” were all over the situation, exploiting it for their various purposes and agendas.  Few, if any, worried about what the families who’ve lost loved ones might think, or how they might react.  As in previous such tragedies, the media are dancing in the blood of the victims.

I’ve written about such situations in the past, particularly here and here.  My arguments then remain valid today, so I won’t repeat them.  I simply point out that gun control will not work.  It’s as simple as that.  H. L. Mencken made the point in 1925, and Kevin over at The Smallest Minority expanded on the logic a few years ago.  Both are correct.  I invite anyone who wishes to refute their reasoning, to try to do so.  If anyone can demonstrate a guaranteed, practical, logical, rational approach to gun control that will – not may, will – reduce mass casualty events such as this, and reduce “gun crime”, I’ll support it with my money and my vote.  However, no-one will, because no-one can.  It’s not humanly possible.

It’s human to demand that somebody in authority “do something”.  I can absolutely understand those who lost loved ones in this tragedy expecting that of their elected representatives.  The trouble is, “doing something” doesn’t necessarily equate to “doing something effective”.  The worst school massacre in US history did not involve firearms.  Neither did one of the worst nightclub massacres.  Gun control legislation would not have prevented either of those incidents, or many others like them in our troubled history.

Nevertheless, I must (and do) concede that the problem of access to dangerous articles and substances is one that must receive more attention.  If gun control legislation will not prevent such tragedies – and it won’t – then what can we do to improve the safety of our schools and other vulnerable places?  Is there any possible way to provide greater security against such attacks?  I think there is, starting with more armed, well-trained guards in schools – preferably the teachers themselves, who will be in the best place to respond to such incidents as soon as they arise.  Israel found that approach effective after the Ma’alot massacre.  However, that was in the context of a broad, society-wide anti-terrorism effort.  Ultimately, it’s that broader focus that has proven relatively effective, although even that has not prevented some terrorist attacks by “lone wolf” operators.

There’s also the issue of the widespread and deliberate doping of our children.  Karl Denninger has a well-informed perspective on that issue.  There’s been a lot of discussion about possible links between mood-altering prescription medication and mass shootings, including a very interesting list of perpetrators who were confirmed users of such drugs.  You can read more about it for yourself.  The upshot is, I think there’s enough anecdotal evidence to justify a formal study of the issue.  If the authorities want to to “do something” really effective, perhaps they should start there?  I doubt that they will, though . . . there’s an entire industry grown up around drugging our society as a whole with these medications, and an entrenched bureaucracy administering it that will fight tooth and nail to prevent any reduction in their authority, power or influence.  (For more information, see here, here and here.)

Ultimately, a large part of the problem boils down to individual versus community “rights”.  Our Constitution enshrines individual rights – they’re what the Bill of Rights is all about.  I’m certainly not advocating that any of them be reduced or constrained.  However, many of those arguing for greater gun control or other restrictions are not being fully honest, because what they want will necessarily involve restricting those individual rights.  Their objectives can’t be achieved without that.

Are we looking at a situation where, to maintain, uphold and defend our existing individual rights, we must accept periodic shootings such as that in Florida as an unavoidable “side effect”?  That would be tragic beyond words . . . but it’s a question that needs to be asked.  It’s easy to be glib and say, “Yes – my individual rights take precedence over everything and everyone else!”  However, it’s not so easy to say that when looking into the eyes of a mother who’s just lost her child in a school shooting.  Somewhere, we have to find common ground, or risk our society unraveling over this issue.

I don’t have any answers.  I suspect few of us do.  Nevertheless, we need to continue to look for them together.



  1. All the gun control schemes, the gun free zones, the 'the state is responsible for your safety' thought process… they're a Maginot Line to someone with evil in their hearts.

    Whatever the clever scheme is, as soon as it is in place, the determined attacker takes a careful look over your plans, procedures, your prohibitions… and then proverbially marches through Belgium.

    The state is INCAPABLE of providing security against the lone wolf attacker, whether they're nutjobs or ideologically motivated. Defense of borders, or deterring state-actors, OK, that's something they can do. But bureaucracy is a system designed to operate on processes and procedures and that requires there to be a 'normal' to define those policies and procedures. The problem here is that the attackers are looking at the 'normal' the bureaucrats define, and like most people on the outside of an organization, they see the gaping holes and consider those opportunities. The bureaucracies themselves are amplifying the opportunities.

    A diffused, unpredictable asymmetric threat is only going to be effectively countered by a diffused, unpredictable defense. We could also do a diffused, very predictable defense (cop on every corner), but that would be very expensive and absolutely destructive to liberty. If 1 out of 20 people could return fire within seconds of an attack starting, the attacker can no longer execute his plan unopposed. (If the twenty people you're among are children, then it'll have to be the teacher.) The attacker doesn't even have to be hit (although that's a good goal to shoot for) for him to get off his script and have to start improvising and reacting, or possibly skip ahead in the script to the 'commit suicide' part. The general welfare demands a general capability for Delay and Disruption.

  2. Let me see if I understand this:

    For generations, government schools have energetically taught:

    1. that humans exist due to a chance permutation of chemicals coalescing into a sentient organism, after going though uncountable iterations of subordinate existence.

    2. children should "follow their feelings to "empower their decisions"

    3. that sexual relations, based upon whatever anyone "feels" like, is endorsed and encouraged, and that "gender" and the fundamental makeup of each human is subject to how they "identify" on any given day.

    4. that there is no God, and the consequent reality of that premise is that the only controlling dynamic is whoever possesses the most force to enforce their particular will at any given moment. IOW, there is, and cannot be any immutable right or wrong; there is simply consensus enforced by a monopoly upon the use of force until another entrepreneur challenges that monopoly if even temporarily.

    And then we are supposed to experience surprise, shock and dismay when the end result of such absolute foolishness produces its inevitable result? And that in concert with it, I am supposed to be penalized for the idiocy of people who allow their children, for generations, to be indoctrinated with such schlock?

    Government is to schooling in the same sense that the government is to "healthcare". And yet, like those who fed their children to Moloch this year for a better yield next year, millions of christian parents continue to feed their children into the maws of a system that takes up where planned parenthood leaves off. Retrograde abortion.

  3. I understand the "feelings" involved, but you came dangerously close to arguing with yourself in those last two paragraphs.

  4. While I have sad empathy for those suffering terrible loss, I sure wish all those poor souls doing all the squawking and flapping for the "government" to "do something" – would remember that in this case the very same government that they wrongly assume can keep them safe was forewarned about this specific individual, with good evidence, several times in advance. As were the very same cabal of clowns warned several times, in advance, of the danger posed by the Tsarnaev brothers… as was the same government warned, in advance of the Florida night club shooter. As were they also aware of the couple in California… as were… One could be forgiven were one to start to compile a less than sparkling mental image of the capability of "government" to "do something".

  5. "I don't have any answers. I suspect few of us do. Nevertheless, we need to continue to look for them together."

    Where did Peter go? This has got to be an imposter posting on his blog!

  6. There are several instances, such as this one, where the .gov was warned well ahead of time, and did nothing. In this case, being provided with his actual name, and claiming afterward that they 'couldn't find' him. I have to wonder if they did nothing, hoping for just such an eventuality, knowing that there would be more pressure afterward to ban firearms. Wasn't the last administration's goal to disarm everybody?

  7. The "answers" to this type of an event is so obvious and simple that it calls attention to the [either] stupidity or lie that an answer would be very complex, or that "we need to continue to look for them together".

    First off, "we" do not have to do a thing. Those who intentionally place their children in harm's way, (physical, moral, and intellectual) need to do something. But, they always want to do something to me, instead of fixing their problems.

    Equine excrement.

  8. And isn't a major current problem the resistant holdovers of that regime in the FBI?
    Progressives have a long history of promoting "necessary violence " and "acceptable sacrifices" to try to ensure their utopian state.
    I hope that I am not called to be one of those sacrifices, but if I am, I intend to meet the challenge on my feet, face forward.

  9. "Yes – my individual rights take precedence over everything and everyone else!" However, it's not so easy to say that when looking into the eyes of a mother who's just lost her child in a school shooting. Somewhere, we have to find common ground, or risk our society unraveling over this issue."

    The Florida mass murderer was behaving bizarrely and was known to be hearing voices telling him to kill… and the police made nearly 40 visits to his home in the last year alone because of this.

    However, his individual right not to be involuntarily confined and treated took precedence over everything and everyone else. That was the intended result of a campaign run by the ACLU to expand the legal precedent on the rights of the mentally ill to the extent that it would be too expensive to institutionalize them. The theories of radical psychiatrists like Szasz and Lang on the nonexistence of mental illness were part of this, but the organizing principle was radical politics.

    This is why our parks and streets are filled with the mentally ill and there are no state hospitals. Were there abuses in the state hospitals? Of course. That's why genuine reformers were recruited as useful idiot smokescreens for the radical agenda.

    That is now being used as justification to interfere with

  10. I made a suggestion to some people that one possible solution is to decentralize education and take advantage of technology to create smaller classes and a different learning environment. Nearly everyone has a smart phone, tablet, or laptop, and children these days are comfortable using them. My granddaughter is 3 and can find her favorite videos on youtube without help.

    Let's use this to create smaller classes guided by a teacher out of a home, or any place which can be secured with little effort. Make classes small, say 10 students. Eliminate classes that move at the pace of the slowest student. Stop having classes controlled by troublemakers. And, just as important, break up the educational establishment control of education.

    I was assailed for wanting to contribute to the problem of socializing today's children and teaching them conflict resolution. " What about involving them in sports? " several asked. No one wanted to think outside the gun control box.

    But adults are already living more and more in an unsocializing world. It's a everyday comment: " Everybody in the waiting room was on the phone, playing a game or surfing the net. " People put their phones on the table when out for dinner.

    So no one wants an answer except gun control.

  11. "Yes – my individual rights take precedence over everything and everyone else!"

    We all know that's patently false….

    Anyhow, there's serious need for another Awakening, and we're probably not too far from having one–or the collapse of the Republic. Take your choice.

  12. @ Peter B.–

    And, you think this was somehow an accidental outcome?

    Couple the facts you outline with the other things that the ACLU has been a part of, like liberalizing the criminal justice system and attacking the other avenues of social control, and you start to see the outlines of a far larger set of "coincidental" facts, ones that make you begin to wonder if the conspiracy theorists aren't somehow right about the inimical plans these wonderful "progressives" have for the rest of us.

    Pull the control rods out of a reactor, and it goes critical; likewise, pull or damage the "control rods" in society, and what happens…? These people have been engaged in a steady process of attacking and eroding "social control rods" since the 1930s or earlier, and we live in the results of their work. I don't think any of this is accidental, and I honestly believe that the intent of their work is to create such chaos in society that they can put themselves into power once the level of created chaos is high enough to justify the extremes they'll say will be necessary to "fix" what they broke.

  13. As to the issues of "protecting the schools", my thoughts are pretty much that such a program is doomed to failure. And, the root cause isn't that the schools can't be protected, but that they're full of people who are basically domesticated animals.

    Walk into a sheep pen, among the flock, and you can likely kill to your heart's content. Walk into a herd of Cape Buffalo, inside that same pen…? Yeah. You're probably going to be very thin, red, and somewhat paste-like even if you're carrying the world's best hunting rifle.

    Why is that? Certainly, the size disparity makes the comparison laughable, but even if you were dealing with domestic cattle, the results are probably going to be very similar. The domestic animals are going to be bunched up, fleeing, and generally doing the same things we advocate for dealing with school shooters. The Cape Buffalo, however…? Even without opposing thumbs or firearms, they're going to go on the offense and turn their killer into a "former threat" by the simple expedient of stomping them into the ground.

    You breed domestic animals, you are obligated to protect them, and they will require 24/7 protection. That's what we've done with our children, and our schools. So long as we continue that, we're going to have this problem.


  14. The real solution is to take the precise opposite approach, and harden the students, not the schools. Were you to tell me, in a military context of some sort, that I was to take a rifle or a pistol and go into some building somewhere out in the less-civilized parts of the world, by myself, and kill as many people as I could… Yeah; even if I was up for that sort of barbarism, my response to you would be to tell you to f**k right the hell off, because I'm not up for a suicide mission. And, that's exactly what that enterprise would be, even if I was fully kitted-out as a modern soldier–The reaction to some fool trying that in the more tribal areas of the world, where people are a lot closer to "feral"? LOL–Yeah, I can tell you what the idiot following those orders is going to look like, after. And, that he likely won't be available to testify against the idiots who gave the orders, either, as he'll be dead, dead, dead, and probably in a very unpleasant manner.

    These mass shooters all ought to be dying horribly at the hands, feet, and improvised clubs of their intended victims. But, instead of laying in wait to ambush the dipshit-with-a-gun the moment he walks through a door, using a metal table leg or other improvised weapon…? We run from him like sheep, clustering in corners, waiting for death.

    If everyone in that huddled mass of "humanity" were to instead turn on him and attack, not like sheep, but like Cape Buffalo…? He'd be unable to prevail, even armed with the finest weapon. You can't deal with a zerg rush of enraged mob-psychotic real humans with anything less than an artillery strike coupled with machine guns, and you're sure as hell not going to manage it with a pistol, a rifle, or even something short of a Claymore mine. That mob is going to get you, and then do really nasty things to you. That's how actual human beings respond, just like they did to the James gang during the Northfield Raid. You don't defend yourself by huddling in masses of victims, making your killer's job that much easier, you do it by attacking them as hard and as quickly as you can. Thirty students watch him pull out a rifle, thirty students should be mobbing his stupid ass before he can get off more than a few shots. Sure, some will die, but they'd die on their feet, and save a bunch of other lives in the process.

    Live as sheep, die as sheep. Live like the Cape Buffalo, and even when the occasional lion does get through the herd, you'll know that the lion is probably going to leave with a hell of a lot less enthusiasm for eating Cape Buffalo than it had starting out.

    We created this problem in the first place by creating deracinated human beings, putting them into large victim clusters, and then failing to properly secure them. You want to keep domestic animals? Then, you're responsible for ensuring their health and security; which is what we've done with the majority of the people in our society.

    If the killers could rely on the fact that they'd be mobbed, disarmed, and then likely lynched by their victims in the immediate aftermath of their crimes…? Yeah; enthusiasm for this shit would cease, as it would for a lot of terrorism. First time some asshole goes up on the nearest tree, dangling and kicking as the last moments of their lives are choked away, filmed by someone's cell phone…? That will likely be the last "school shooting" we see, for a long damn time.

  15. I am in charge of training staff in how to respond to an active killer in a small (3500 students)school system in the bayou country. I teach our teachers to run if they can, and fight if they have to! I started to say train them, but it's not the kind of training the folks who would be reading this blog might envision.

    I have been using a quote from Josey Wales about how when things get bad you have to get mean, plumb mad dog mean, because if you give up you neither live nor win. But I love that cape buffalo vs. sheep comparison. I'm going to steal…er,use it next time. I remember seeing a video on YouTube about a pack of lions attacking a mature cape buffalo bull and getting the worst end of the deal. I think paring that video with one like we have all seen where a gazelle just lays down to die after the cheetah catches it would illustrate the point rather nicely.

    I also teach them to use, and give some ideas for, improvised weapons. And–you know, concealed is concealed.

    Oh, I had not seen the word deracinated before. It's not very often that I come upon a completely unfamiliar word. I had to look it up. Thanks for that. So, yeah, good word for what's happening.


  16. I'm remined, once again, of the impetus behing Sir Bob Geldof's "LIVE AID" concerts. He said, "We have to do something! Even if it doesn't work we have to do SOMETHING!"

    And that's what the anti-gun types think and feel, whether they say it or not. As long as they appear to themselves and their ilk to be doing SOMETHING – whether it does any good or has any practical effect – their consciences are assuaged.

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