Important headline(s) for March 20th
Bottom Line: These are stories you don't want to miss and my hot takes on them...
Stoneman Douglas survivors speak out on '60 Minutes' - Sun Sentinel
Excerpt: Five leaders of the #NeverAgain movement said Florida lawmakers get a C, or C-minus, grade for their response to the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The panel of student survivors appeared Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes" with correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi.
“We can’t praise them for doing what they’ve done because that wouldn’t have stopped what happened at our school,” student activist Jaclyn Corin
The students also criticized some of the reforms proposed by U.S. lawmakers including giving guns to school staff — that idea is “stupid,” Gonzalez said.
Hot Take: Alright. Once again, I find myself generally in agreement with the assessment of, in this case the students interviewed but with a need to challenge what's being stated and is generally going unchecked in the media.
As I've stated for a few weeks... I believe that the best reform path forward for Florida would have been to put Governor Scott's plan to paper and vote on it as proposed. The reason being that every key measure in his plan had broad-based support (anywhere from 57%-98%) based on all available data and this subject didn't need to be politicized any more than it already had and has been. But that didn't happen and instead a plan that essentially mirrored the governor's plan but with a provision that allowed for non-classroom teachers to potentially carry on campus was adopted. For that reason, I wouldn't grade the reform an A necessarily either. However, predictably that's been the focal point by those who are more focused on a political agenda of gun control than comprehensive solutions. Some of which are, yes, students themselves.
The students and the protests, rallies, etc. have largely gotten a free pass in the media. In part, because most in mainstream media outlets agree and are happy to advance the agenda and to a lesser degree because of fear of challenging anything said by them for fear of backlash. Here's the thing though. At any point when any group of people are attempting to exact political change that impacts the rights of all Americans there should always be a balanced and thoughtful approach rather than a train of PC thought that's left unchallenged.
Yes, gun control is a part of the conversation and as I've stated from the onset, the will of most is in favor of increased regs and I think there's room for meaningful reforms (we just saw meaningful gun control reforms pass in Florida). But there are all of the other issues left unaddressed and factual inaccuracies being advanced by many including both students in cited above.
To the student who cited that Florida's reforms wouldn't have stopped the shooting. If you're assertion is that gun control is the answer, you're incorrect. Florida won't sell rifles to anyone under 21. Cruz wouldn't be able to legally purchase the weapon used in the attack. If you're speaking to the broader issues of the failures by the FBI and potentially the school district and law enforcement - I'd agree with you but that's not the crux of the conversation or movement and no reform can guarantee that people do what they're supposed to do (though Florida's reform to create a state response system does have the potential to ward against future FBI failures).
To the student who states that that it's quote "stupid" to have any armed school staff... Do you even know that it's legal in 18 states? Do you know that there's never been an instance of a teacher murdering anyone with the weapon at school in any of these states? Did you know there's never been an instance of a student getting their hands on it and killing others with the gun? Did you know that many rural school districts rely on this ability because they lack local law enforcement nearby to deal with emergencies? Btw, I didn't either before I studied the topic but that's part of being thoughtful and informed rather than driven by agenda. Additionally, it's increasingly a moot point for those most concerned because the state law left it open to local decision making on the ability for non-classroom teachers to carry and already officials representing a majority of the students in schools across our state have opposed it.
I long for the day when pragmatism rather than agendas drive the conversation but I fear that I'm going to be left longing for that day. There are two sides to stories but just one side to facts. Can we please consider all of them before changing the rights of all Americans?