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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Volunteers As Young As 21 "Protecting" Osseo Schools

Category: Guns
Posted: 02/23/18 21:54

by Dave Mindeman

A lot of people are fed up with school shootings and want something done. Well, the Osseo School District School Board Chair, Robert Gerhart, has a plan.

Gerhart proposed that volunteers 21 and older who have a permit to carry a weapon be allowed to patrol the district's buildings. The volunteers would provide their own firearms. They would have to pass a background check and complete a firearms safety course and show proficiency on a shooting range with a certified instructor.

Wow. Here is an action guy. Volunteers patrolling the schools...with weapons and as young as 21.

What could possibly go wrong with that?

Well, pretty much everything. The people who are going to volunteer for this without pay, are going to be just about every trigger happy Rambo in the general vicinity. With delusions of blowing the bad guys away it is only a matter of time before someone makes a mistake and draws their weapon for just about any mundane reason imaginable.

Students need protection, but students also do some stupid things. And seeing guys (and I am betting heavily that this will be a guy thing) walking around with weapons (kind of concealed) is a ripe scenario for trouble.

This kind of job is going to be a boring one. There is a small chance that any school is targeted, but if it is, you need people who are experienced...are ready....and can stay calm in the worst situation.

A 21 year old with a gun in a security situation is just begging for an opportunity to be a "hero" and when actually confronted in a real scenario will more than likely fail.

If you want to protect a school, limit entrance to one door and establish a metal detector there with trained professionals.

And good luck getting the funding, because when it comes to ponying up for REAL protection, those in power are the real cowards.
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And The Children Shall Lead

Category: Guns
Posted: 02/19/18 23:36

by Roxanne Mindeman

Lefties like me who've been in the gun safety battle for ...forever... have spent more than our share of time feeling defeated and exhausted. But the kids at Parkland are giving me hope. They're taking on a monumental battle that has confounded many of us for decades. Their voice, empowered by unspeakable loss, is uniquely poised to challenge hearts and opinions across the political spectrum. I say, "Let them lead!"

As they do, the rest of us need to attend every demonstration, join every march, sign every petition, go to every school safety meeting, support every anti-bullying program, fight for mental health parity in all health insurance, and confront every spineless, rudderless politician who trades our children's safety for NRA campaign contributions. And when we're exhausted, and in fear that the NRA will just win again - and they might - we need to remind ourselves that every kid at Parkland and Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech and a dozen other schools, was somebody's baby. It's only by happenstance of geography and the Grace of God that it's never been your child's school or mine. So far.

The kids at Parkland, and all of the rest of us in this battle, face a long hard road. But a critical mass is building. The long time unreachable are stopping to think. The exhausted are getting a second wind. The tone-deaf are getting nervous. There's hope in the air. We all need to do our part to keep it alive.
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More Non-Action Is A Violation Of Public Safety

Category: Guns
Posted: 02/14/18 20:28

by Dave Mindeman

This happens nowhere else on earth.

Another school shooting, a really bad one, in Florida. And the above phrase is what keeps getting repeated in my brain.

Why is that?

We don't have a higher number of mentally ill than most countries. Our society is open, but not more than other western democracies. We have law enforcement that is just as aware of the problem as any other country. We probably have better law enforcement techniques than most places. Yet, we are uniquely plagued with this type of mass violence.

The one and only difference between us and the rest of the world is that we have a Second Amendment. And it is not the Amendment itself that is the key to our problem, it is how it is used to proliferate guns.

There is no excuse for this. We mourn the victims. We offer prayers and empathy. We investigate the why and the how and the who. But in the end, we continue to do nothing to even make an attempt to stop this carnage.

American carnage. I remember Trump using that phrase in his inaugural address - but it wasn't about guns. No way. It was about his perceived view of American economics.

But you know what? The REAL American carnage was demonstrated today. Too many mothers and fathers are feeling incredible loss today. Too many others have felt it in the recent past. And unless something is done, too many will feel it in the future.

Imagine your child in school. Imagine the sound of gunfire in a hallway. Imagine the fear and panic they must feel - and you can do nothing to help. Nothing. Is this how we are going to deal with this national problem? Doing nothing?

I know we cannot fix this entirely. There are too many variables that we cannot control. But, for heaven's sake, we DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE IT EASIER for this to happen.

The Second Amendment is sacred. I get it. I am not arguing with that. But that amendment was written when we had single shot rifles that took 10 to 15 minutes to reload. Now we are dealing with automatic weapons that can kill dozens in minutes. We can and must compensate for this.

Do hunters head down to their local Walmart and request AR-15s for deer hunting season? If they do, then it is hard to describe them as a sports person. Guns for recreational use get no argument from anybody. That is the common sense aspect of the 2nd Amendment.

But common sense is sorely lacking in virtually every other area when it comes to the topic of guns.

The first thing that always comes to mind is background checks. We don't want people who have serious problems to get these types of weapons. So let us have a credible data base and keep it up to date and correct. We are not supposed to allow domestic abusers to have guns - but they get them. The mentally ill are supposed to be flagged - but they also get them.

We have too many loopholes. Let's be clear -EVERY SINGLE SALE OF A GUN MUST HAVE A BACKGROUND CHECK. Every one. Family. Gun shows. Everything. Yeah, sure, I know. Criminals will still get guns. They will get around a background check. But is it hardcore criminals that are doing these mass shootings? Too often, it is a kid. Too often, a disgruntled employee. Too often, someone with family problems. Too often, someone who is bullied.

They aren't criminals, but they become one when they pick up a gun in anger.

Do not let this pass once again, without action. First thing to do is to not let conceal and carry reciprocity pass in your state. If my state doesn't want to recognize the permits in another state, let's respect that. And secondly, pass legislation wherever we can to make it a certainty that every gun sale has a credible background check - and then let's enforce that requirement.

There are too many hearts broken here. Too many. And we have allowed too many hearts to be broken in the past with no action. Our future does not have to continue this violent chain of events.

Common sense gun laws are not a violation of the rights of gun owners. But not acting is a violation of public safety.

Action is needed.
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