LOS ANGELES, December 18, 2012 — In the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, some are already transitioning from mourning to impractical solutions.
The worst idea is the “national conversation,” as if yet another endless discussion will save anyone. The only less useful approach would be another blue-ribbon panel or commission of experts.
Liberals blame guns while conservatives blame popular culture: cartoons, movies and video games. Both avoid the real problem and neither is going away, but nobody wants to utter politically incorrect thoughts, much less make hard choices.
We need the opposite of a national conversation.
We should take these moments of silence we’ve been observing and make them permanent. We should all admit that we have no answers. Cramped thinking, politics and reality block any workable ideas, and everything else we’ve come up with in our interminable “national conversation” will only make matters worse.
Activists are always quick to propose restricting someone else’s freedom. After the Portland, Oregon shopping mall shooting, do-gooders recommended everything short of banning shopping malls.
That idea is so ludicrous that it entertains, but it has its merits. Nothing good comes from shopping malls. People die during Black Friday stampedes when they can buy everything online. Child predators hang out there, kids cut school there, and my frozen dinners are tastier and cheaper than the food court.
Parking is terrible and salespeople shoot people in the eye with fragrances, which is illegal anywhere else. Ban shopping malls and one problem ceases.
Enough irrational madness.
There are two real solutions to tragedies like Newtown that would cause short-term pain but long-term societal benefits.
Start with public schools. While putting armed guards outside every school sounds fantastic, it cannot be done.
The federal government cannot force local governments to do this without federal dollars. That violates the Tenth Amendment. Local governments would love to have Uncle Sam pick up the tab, which would enrage taxpayers.
Schools could pay for it themselves, meaning budget cuts elsewhere. Try firing one public schoolteacher anywhere to hire extra security and see how protecting children fades as a priority. Teachers’ unions have never been about children.
So what can we do about public schools?
We can give up and throw in the towel. We can get out of the public education business altogether.
Let’s stop kidding ourselves. While we all rightfully grieve over Newtown, nobody wants to say the truth: Public schools are where children go to die, literally and figuratively which gets attention when they are murdered in mass numbers, but the day to day? Not so much.
Yet right now schoolkids everywhere are dying every day and every hour from guns, drugs, indifference and bullies. The media are foremost among the indifferent. The slow, silent death of our youth is more destructive than quick ones, but not dramatic, not very interesting.
But go to any big-city school and you can see the life and light being drained out of America’s children. Every year brings worse results and lower standards. Meanwhile, other countries are raising standards and succeeding. Bad kids once faced parental threats of reform or boarding school. Now parents threaten to send them to public school.
Private schools, charter schools, and homeschooling are the only hope. If you can’t keep kids safe, admit uselessness, close the doors, and shut them down. Liberals want to ban guns and punish all law-abiding citizens. Well then the few functioning public schools will have to share blame for the worst ones. At least gun owners can escape tyranny through self-defense.
Try being a bullied public schoolchild.
For the child being daily harassed for what ever reason lables them different, option one is getting beaten up, physically and emotionally. We all know the emotional causes the most permanent and devestating harm.
Option two is telling an adult, which is “tattling”, which is useless.
The school has zero powers because the bully’s parents will sue if their child is punished. So nothing gets done and the child, now a tattle-tale gets beaten up anyway.
Option three is self-defense. Then both children are suspended because “moral equivalence” is easier than solving problems.
The gleeful bully wanted to get suspended anyway since bullies hate school.
For every child inspired by a good teacher, tons of public schoolchildren live lives of quiet desperation. Horror stories go unreported. Failed businesses close. Public schools have failed. Close them and give children a fighting chance.
Beyond schools, one other thing can be done that no politician will have the courage to propose. We need to deal with the mentally ill, but not in the warm, fuzzy way the psychobabble industry wants.
Some people care more about criminals and terrorists than victims. That same logic applies to the sensitivity movement coddling the mentally ill over their victims.
Some people are just, in very un-official terms “lunatics”, “basket-cases,” or “certifiable nutjobs.” The left’s “solution” is to give them emotional love, integrate them into society, and allow them to feel “normal.”
Dear touchy-feelys, Earth is calling. It is not their fault, but they cannot be normal. Abnormality has varying degrees, but the worst crazies should not be segregated, not integrated. It is harsh, but the alternative is more dead innocents.
Truly mentally ill people require quarantining for their protection and ours. Current laws make lockup difficult. Laws can be repealed, according to anti-Second Amendment zealots.
The Bill Murray movie “What About Bob,” a humerous romp through the ups and downs of the mentally ill, offers some truth. Those deemed “mentally ill” torture “non-mentally ill” people, driving them to being bats-crazy.
Many times after being subjected to a lunacy rampage by a familia, I was told “She can’t help the way she is.” The breaking point had me screaming “(Blanking) make her help it!”
There are laws preventing mentally ill people from being forced to take their medication. Maybe had somebody taken my relative and crammed medicine down her throat, the havoc and destruction she created would have been reduced.
Anyone lacking mental capacity or functional brain wiring without medicine cannot make an informed, logical decision as to their medication or mental health care treatment.
Banning Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, XBOX Madden Football, R-Rated movies, or guns won’t make a dent. Many people enjoy these things without incident. These industries have laws and regulations governing them. Accountability exists.
We have to go where there is zero accountability because powerful entrenched forces keep their clients beyond the law.
Mentally ill people commit a disproportionate share of violent crime. Public schools contain a disproportionate share of violent crime. Keeping kids from being victims of violence is done by keeping the sources of violence away from them.
Most everything else is as worthless as a “teachable moment,” also known as the “national conversation” so many are calling for.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter
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