Epic Fail

 

I have to say something.

I listen to the mostly nonsense that I hear on social media and cable news and tell myself, Don’t, Elaine, just don’t. It’s not worth it. People think what they think, and nothing you say will make a difference.

But sometimes, it’s just, well, I admit, it’s just too hard to say nothing.

The kids, I don’t blame them. They’ve been traumatized. They need to lash out, at someone, at the system that let them down, at the adults who failed them. So they need to speak, and I say, let them speak. I don’t blame them for their ignorance, their naiveté, their idealism.

But I do blame those who are exploiting the kids. Those silly people who say, “Run for president!” (that’s what someone on Facebook said about one of the spokeskids), who thrust microphones in their faces, who cheer when they curse their senators, who celebrate their protests, who encourage them to cast blame for their pain on a single solution. Get rid of the guns. Problem solved.

But “too many guns” is not what failed these kids.

Adults failed them.

The school system failed them.

Local law enforcement failed them.

Sheriff Scott Israel failed them.

The FBI failed them.

Social services failed them.

Mental health professionals failed them.

At any point along the path leading to this massacre, this shooter–a kid himself–could and should have been pulled off the trajectory.

But he wasn’t. From start to finish, the system failed. I don’t use this word often, but in this case, it works: it was epic.

Yet now, as if on cue, we’re talking about gun control. Hunting’s OK, sure. But guns for self-protection? No. The average citizen doesn’t need a gun for protection, we’re lectured, because law enforcement will protect us.

Right.

How’d that work out for these kids in Florida?

Ironically, the failure of law enforcement in this tragedy actually underscores why the average citizen thinks he needs his gun for self-protection. Because now that the dust has settled, it’s quite clear, law enforcement isn’t always up to the task. It’s either inept, inefficient, incompetent, intimidated, or all of the above.

To repeat: From start to finish, I see this incident as an epic fail on the part of law enforcement. And I’m disgusted at the cynicism of gun-control advocates who are shamelessly exploiting the grief and anger and vulnerability, and yes, ignorance, of teenagers who should be left to themselves to grieve and to heal, who should not be thrust into the limelight of a manipulative media frenzy.

Published in Guns
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 20 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Go Elaine!  I hear you.  Yet I admire President Trump for listening.  For the first time, here is someone not afraid to listen, and then “do something.”  He is calling out everybody – the law enforcement community, those assigned to protect that school and all schools, the NRA, the current mental health crisis.  He’s willing to compromise, to find solutions, to correct flaws in the system, we need all of it.  Thanks for your post.

    • #1
  2. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    It’s the recurrence of the old saying, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

    • #2
  3. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    I think the Parkland episode will function as a useful object lesson in the failure of government to protect the citizens. I have already used it several times.

     

     

    • #3
  4. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    They can’t help it; when the only tool you’ve got is violation of the Constitution every problem looks like a gun-grab.

    • #4
  5. DavidBSable Inactive
    DavidBSable
    @DavidBSable

    The folks at Three Martini Lunch compared this with Cindy Sheehan.  She had an open platform for speech on all the news sources as long as she preached her anti-Bush anti-war message.  But when she decided to run against Nancy Peloski, the media lost interest in her.  I guess adolescents have a right to say what they wish and CNN has a right to cover what they want.   But it is frustrating to watch people attempt to push through simplistic and false narratives by force.

    Will the loudest shouter continue to always wins?  I hope not.

    • #5
  6. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    DavidBSable (View Comment):
    The folks at Three Martini Lunch compared this with Cindy Sheehan. She had an open platform for speech on all the news sources as long as she preached her anti-Bush anti-war message. But when she decided to run against Nancy Peloski, the media lost interest in her. I guess adolescents have a right to say what they wish and CNN has a right to cover what they want. But it is frustrating to watch people attempt to push through simplistic and false narratives by force.

    Will the loudest shouter continue to always wins? I hope not.

    Also, she was still protesting during the Obama administration; but of course, no one cared.

    • #6
  7. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    EEM:But “too many guns” is not what failed these kids.

    Adults failed them.

    The school system failed them.

    Local law enforcement failed them.

    Sheriff Scott Israel failed them.

    The FBI failed them.

    Social services failed them.

    Mental health professionals failed them.

    At any point along the path leading to this massacre, this shooter–a kid himself–could and should have been pulled off the trajectory.

    But he wasn’t. From start to finish, the system failed. I don’t use this word often, but in this case, it works: it was epic.

    And yet the students are being encouraged to seek relief by additional applications of the same system that already failed them.    We already have plenty of existing laws and regulations .   Here’s an idea.    Howz’about people in government and social services do their jobs!

    Great Post EEM.

    • #7
  8. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    Great Post EEM

    I agree. Of course they have to redirect the anger away from who had the most blame, which was themselves. It is what incompetents do best.

    The shooter was also failed by the system, and I am glad you brought that up.  Copious amounts of money and higher educated people did not catch what was pointed out to them.  I think Don Henley said once that you spend the rest of your life getting over high school.   This should be an indictment on the education system.  They know these things happen, they should practice what to do in those cases. The prospect of more than one person shooting should be a scenario.  Schools think they should be able to operate like it is Ozzy and Harriet land, while encouraging a culture that is confusing and angry making for youth.  They helped make a bed they don’t want to live in.

    As pointed out countless times, when a lot of us were young, some students took guns to school and it was not illegal.  Boys carried pocket knives.

    It really makes me angry too, when I hear the blather, but using kids is just wrong. I hate anyone that speaks from behind a kid and not for them.

    • #8
  9. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    Something that bothers me is that high school students are or should be on the cusp of adulthood. Many drive cars (which can be weapons). They will attend lectures about drunk driving especially around prom time.  The school might park a crashed car in the front yard to remind them what could happen if you drink and drive.  Isn’t it funny the school should address this when no one attending high school is old enough to legally drink?

    They should learn about the real world. It is full of dangers to navigate. If the lesson is to get rid of those who hold different views  is the lesson, the future is not bright or hopeful.   Bad things happen to good people and to innocent people. There are legitimate risks that have to be taken, but minimizing risk is a very good lesson for life.  Ignoring the moral hazard of lending money, for instance,  helped lead to the last recession.

    It would be great to perfect man, but if that is what schools are trying to do, they will fail. Not an opinion, but a fact.

    • #9
  10. dnewlander Coolidge
    dnewlander
    @dnewlander

    Ralphie (View Comment):
    Something that bothers me is that high school students are or should be on the cusp of adulthood. Many drive cars (which can be weapons). They will attend lectures about drunk driving especially around prom time. The school might park a crashed car in the front yard to remind them what could happen if you drink and drive. Isn’t it funny the school should address this when no one attending high school is old enough to legally drink?

    This reminds me of a short story by Harry Harrison, I Always Do What Teddy Says. It’s about a future in which children get their morals and ethics from “Teddy Ruxpin”-like toys, programmed to teach correct behavior. The plot centers around the assassination of the President in a world without violence. The perpetrators plan to get around this impediment by removing the portions of one child’s teddy’s programming regarding murder. The story ends like this:

    “Teddy,” he said, “I’m going to pull up flowers from the flower bed.”

    “No Davy… pulling up flowers is naughty… don’t pull up the flowers.”

    The little voice squeaked and the arms waved.

    “Teddy, I’m going to break a window.”

    “No, Davy… breaking windows is naughty… don’t break any windows…”

    “Teddy, I’m going to kill a man.”

    Silence, just silence. Even the eyes and the arms were still. The roar of the gun broke the silence and blew a ruin of gears, wires and bent metal from the back of the destroyed teddy bear.

    “Teddy… oh, teddy… you should have told me,” David said and dropped the gun and at last was crying.

    Between society’s rejection of faith and embrace of abortion, have we created a generation of kids who actually don’t know it’s wrong to kill? Do they even hear that lesson in between the many admonitions they get for slavery, colonialism, cultural appropriation, racism, destroying the environment, and not supporting “fair trade”?

    • #10
  11. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    I was sitting at the Airport in Burbank, CA watching the people, some in dark sunglasses, hats pulled low, trying to remain unrecognized.  They were safe with me; I can name perhaps two Hollywood stars born after 1970.  Sitting next to me was a tiny man in a suit.  He was talking to a younger man, his business partner I assumed.  They were headed to Phoenix to see “Hamilton;”  both had already seen it multiple times.  I asked what business they were in and the said they were talent managers.  I asked how that differed from talent agent and they decided to school me, as if everyone knew that a talent manager was far more interested in their clients’ “careers.”  For them, it wasn’t about the numbers.  Right, I replied, so you are just talent agents with fewer clients.  They laughed.  The subject of what to do after Parkland came up and they asked me what I thought about arming teachers.  They no doubt expected the usual Hollywood drivel about the NRA and guns, but I shocked them.  I said that teachers should have the right to arm themselves, preferably concealed.  They were aghast; how do we train them?  What will they do when confronted by violence?  I said, if they take the mandatory course required in CA, they learn the simplest lesson: confront deadly force with deadly force.  That is precisely the point.  If teachers are not stripped of their right to self defense, young men bent on violence will know that their targets may well be armed and ready to defend themselves.  The young men will not know who is armed and who is not.  The targets are hardened, immediately.

    This left them speechless and our conversation turned to lighter matters, but for a moment, their eyes were opened.

    • #11
  12. dnewlander Coolidge
    dnewlander
    @dnewlander

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):
    I was sitting at the Airport in Burbank, CA watching the people, some in dark sunglasses, hats pulled low, trying to remain unrecognized. They were safe with me; I can name perhaps two Hollywood stars born after 1970. Sitting next to me was a tiny man in a suit. He was talking to a younger man, his business partner I assumed. They were headed to Phoenix to see “Hamilton;” both had already seen it multiple times. I asked what business they were in and the said they were talent managers. I asked how that differed from talent agent and they decided to school me, as if everyone knew that a talent manager was far more interested in their clients’ “careers.” For them, it wasn’t about the numbers. Right, I replied, so you are just talent agents with fewer clients. They laughed. The subject of what to do after Parkland came up and they asked me what I thought about arming teachers. They no doubt expected the usual Hollywood drivel about the NRA and guns, but I shocked them. I said that teachers should have the right to arm themselves, preferably concealed. They were aghast; how do we train them? What will they do when confronted by violence? I said, if they take the mandatory course required in CA, they learn the simplest lesson: confront deadly force with deadly force. That is precisely the point. If teachers are not stripped of their right to self defense, young men bent on violence will know that their targets may well be armed and ready to defend themselves. The young men will not know who is armed and who is not. The targets are hardened, immediately.

    This left them speechless and our conversation turned to lighter matters, but for a moment, their eyes were opened.

    You meet the most interesting people at Bob Hope Airport. (I refuse to accept the name change.)

    • #12
  13. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    TBA (View Comment):
    They can’t help it; when the only tool you’ve got is violation of the Constitution every problem looks like a gun-grab.

    I steal this.

    • #13
  14. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    They can’t help it; when the only tool you’ve got is violation of the Constitution every problem looks like a gun-grab.

    I steal this.

    Interesting. When I posted this on Twitter Tweetdeck, it shadowbanned me from myself.  It showed my Tweet for a few seconds, then when I refreshed it said, “No recent Tweets. New Tweets will appear here.”

    Fact is, I did have recent tweets and retweets. Some from yesterday, and this one from today. I had changed it just slightly:  “They can’t help it; when the only tool you’ve got is violation of the Constitution, every problem looks like it needs a gun-grab.”

    • #14
  15. TheSockMonkey Inactive
    TheSockMonkey
    @TheSockMonkey

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    Go Elaine! I hear you. Yet I admire President Trump for listening. For the first time, here is someone not afraid to listen, and then “do something.” He is calling out everybody – the law enforcement community, those assigned to protect that school and all schools, the NRA, the current mental health crisis. He’s willing to compromise, to find solutions, to correct flaws in the system, we need all of it. Thanks for your post.

    Why on earth should Trump call out the NRA over the Parkland massacre? The NRA has for years been pushing the solutions that might have prevented this horror. That is, proper enforcement of existing laws, and a focus on mental health, rather than guns, as the problem. The events in Parkland, tragic as they may be, tend to vindicate the NRA.

    • #15
  16. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):This left them speechless and our conversation turned to lighter matters, but for a moment, their eyes were opened.

    I’m quite sure they’ll recover.

    • #16
  17. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    They can’t help it; when the only tool you’ve got is violation of the Constitution every problem looks like a gun-grab.

    I steal this.

    Interesting. When I posted this on Twitter Tweetdeck, it shadowbanned me from myself. It showed my Tweet for a few seconds, then when I refreshed it said, “No recent Tweets. New Tweets will appear here.”

    Fact is, I did have recent tweets and retweets. Some from yesterday, and this one from today. I had changed it just slightly: “They can’t help it; when the only tool you’ve got is violation of the Constitution, every problem looks like it needs a gun-grab.”

    Such is the power of my ™.

    Kidding; steal away.

    • #17
  18. Pugshot Member
    Pugshot
    @Pugshot

    This post made me think more about the mental health aspect of this case (and others). The shooter basically grew up without a father, and he lost his mother last year. He was clearly having great difficulty dealing with this. Who knows what other mental issues he may have had that were exacerbated by losing his parents. Everyone’s focus has been about how a young man with obvious mental issues was able to get a gun, and how the system broke down because (1) it didn’t stop him from getting a gun, and (2) it didn’t stop him from using it. But let’s take the gun out of the equation. This kid still had serious mental health issues – whether he had the gun or not. We’re concerned about the mental health issues now because he used a gun. But what if no gun was involved, and the poor, pathetic kid was just dealing with the problems caused by the lack of adequate parenting? What was the “system” going to do? Did anyone care? Was there some means of getting this kid help? Did anyone bother to try? He was the subject of police intervention somewhere between 23 and 45 times. Apparently no one stopped to say, “Geez, this kid has real mental problems – let’s get him some treatment and counseling.” And if no gun was involved, if he didn’t shoot up a school and kill 17 people, would anyone give a rip about him? And finally, what message does this send to other troubled youths: “Nobody cared about this kid or his issues until he shot up a school and killed people; nobody cares about my problems – maybe if I get a gun and shoot up a school, someone will care?” Just wondering.

    • #18
  19. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Pugshot (View Comment):
    This post made me think more about the mental health aspect of this case (and others). The shooter basically grew up without a father, and he lost his mother last year. He was clearly having great difficulty dealing with this. Who knows what other mental issues he may have had that were exacerbated by losing his parents. Everyone’s focus has been about how a young man with obvious mental issues was able to get a gun, and how the system broke down because (1) it didn’t stop him from getting a gun, and (2) it didn’t stop him from using it. But let’s take the gun out of the equation. This kid still had serious mental health issues – whether he had the gun or not. We’re concerned about the mental health issues now because he used a gun. But what if no gun was involved, and the poor, pathetic kid was just dealing with the problems caused by the lack of adequate parenting? What was the “system” going to do? Did anyone care? Was there some means of getting this kid help? Did anyone bother to try? He was the subject of police intervention somewhere between 23 and 45 times. Apparently no one stopped to say, “Geez, this kid has real mental problems – let’s get him some treatment and counseling.” And if no gun was involved, if he didn’t shoot up a school and kill 17 people, would anyone give a rip about him? And finally, what message does this send to other troubled youths: “Nobody cared about this kid or his issues until he shot up a school and killed people; nobody cares about my problems – maybe if I get a gun and shoot up a school, someone will care?” Just wondering.

    From what I’ve been reading he had been in treatment.    The Florida Dept of Children and Families had a case file.   Their conclusion was that while he had obvious problems and wanted to get a firearm, he was stable and not dangerous as he was in school, was with his Mom and was in treatment.   It isn’t clear if there was any follow up after he left school, his Mom died and he refused additional treatment.

    • #19
  20. Pugshot Member
    Pugshot
    @Pugshot

    Ekosj

    Pugshot (View Comment):
    This post made me think more about the mental health aspect of this case (and others). The shooter basically grew up without a father, and he lost his mother last year. He was clearly having great difficulty dealing with this. Who knows what other mental issues he may have had that were exacerbated by losing his parents. Everyone’s focus has been about how a young man with obvious mental issues was able to get a gun, and how the system broke down because (1) it didn’t stop him from getting a gun, and (2) it didn’t stop him from using it. But let’s take the gun out of the equation. This kid still had serious mental health issues – whether he had the gun or not. We’re concerned about the mental health issues now because he used a gun. But what if no gun was involved, and the poor, pathetic kid was just dealing with the problems caused by the lack of adequate parenting? What was the “system” going to do? Did anyone care? Was there some means of getting this kid help? Did anyone bother to try? He was the subject of police intervention somewhere between 23 and 45 times. Apparently no one stopped to say, “Geez, this kid has real mental problems – let’s get him some treatment and counseling.” And if no gun was involved, if he didn’t shoot up a school and kill 17 people, would anyone give a rip about him? And finally, what message does this send to other troubled youths: “Nobody cared about this kid or his issues until he shot up a school and killed people; nobody cares about my problems – maybe if I get a gun and shoot up a school, someone will care?” Just wondering.

    From what I’ve been reading he had been in treatment. The Florida Dept of Children and Families had a case file. Their conclusion was that while he had obvious problems and wanted to get a firearm, he was stable and not dangerous as he was in school, was with his Mom and was in treatment. It isn’t clear if there was any follow up after he left school, his Mom died and he refused additional treatment.

    Thanks for the info. My point, though it focused on the Parkland shooter, was actually meant to sweep a little broader. We, as a society, become really concerned with the mental issues of a kid after he shoots up a school. But if there’s no school shooting, we don’t seem to be as concerned. The reaction may be natural and understandable, but the kids with untreated mental issues grow up to be adults with untreated mental issues. It would just be nice if the media showed as much concern over the lack of proper mental health treatment in our society as they show over the availability of “assault weapons.”

    • #20
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.