UnSafe Schools 

February/March/April 2018
Once again the NRA, along with the Republicans and the  POTUS (a president who accepts donations from this special interest group and whose own profound  ignorance  on school safety and assault weapons defies logic) have blood on their hands for failing to care about the connection between the mass shootings of children and firearms. Surely, the NRA, at least, can grasp by now  that it is not as powerful as it thinks it is when 70% of Americans disagree with its views on guns. And yet, with all of the talk about guns by the NRA as well as the Republicans who seem to be so sure that nothing will change: they must also shuld know that Americans will vote . They must know that the NRA is out of step with the majority of Americans who want comprehensive firearm safety legislation passedThis means  Americans want long overdue gun violence prevention goals discussed and  addressed  (including suicide prevention goals i.e., two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides --- and of those: "men carried out 80 percent of all suicides and 89 percent of those involved guns).  

The NRA and U.S. elected officials then must be blamed for creating a U.S. culture that promotes guns , a culture  the majority of Americans do not want. If they were listening to Americans (of all ages) they would know that Americans do not believe in a "Wild, Wild West" primitive gun culture, a notion that contradicts the very leadership status or  role of the  U.S. as the most advanced, "civilized" nation in the world." Under this spotlight, can the politicians who have produced this gun culture by creating the policies that reinforce it along with the" weapons effect " response also be the ones who are promoting a type of devolution of mankind, complete with cultural norms that rely on  greedy politicians who have received millions of dollars from the NRA in the form of donations? 

By normalizing this gun culture to receive money, politicians are proving that they are not interested in becoming effective leaders who represent and protect Americans, including children who have already learned that under adult leadership practices they must now contend with a survival of the fitness culture that erases the need for  critical safety standards. As a result, these polticians are proving that they are not capable of placing the lives of children above their own greed. They are proving that they do not care if parents send their children to school in the morning to learn --- but by day's end are slaughtered. In essence, they are telling American citizens by their actions that they are only capable of responding to the highest bidder and are only incentivized by money --- nothing less. They are proclaiming they are incapable of connecting the dots and/or analyzing the statistics on gun violence (overall) or recognizing that most Americans believe that " where there are more guns, there are more gun death s."  

If they did care about children they would give their donations back to the NRA as evidence that they are capable of grasping the fact that the majority of Americans want bans on assault weapo ns (Refer to the  polls, fact sheets  chart s, maps, etc.). Without the politicians responding to this need, should American citizens simply start researching the candidates who want to replace these politicians? Should Americans ask these politicians to do their own homework or, at least, to pretend that they are motivated enough to explain what they have already learned from the doctors or veterans who do know about the power of assault rifles  or what guns can do firsthand to the human body? 

For the sake of children, Americans then must distinguish between elected officials and school officials who hold grandiose meetings to simply meet to meet from those who actually have identifiable research-based solutions to implement. Sound bits, of course, are not fooling anyone. In fact, Trump uses ploys in the form of off-the cuff tweets to entertain his base into believing that he must think and speak for them as if they lack the ability to hold discussions. If elected officials and school officials are not serving as problem solvers who are required to understand the importance of evidence-based research findings tied to gun use (so that they can, at least, appear  knowledgeable, and informed for the purpose of contributing to the discussions on proven school safety solutions), they are wasting everyone's time and should be considered negligent in fulfilling their roles as public servants.  They are especially negligent if they have decided to pretend that they do not have to discuss any and all of the real-life problems associated with guns  --- including school massacres that keep endangering the lives of children --- on a regular basis.   Yet, this sentiment applies to Secretary DeVos and the Commission on Safe Safety members who  refuse to discuss and acknowledge school massacres and how to prevent them. 

In this light, DeVos has tried to reduce school massacres to a type of nothingness as if it is possible to do such a thing. It cannot be done. Her leadership direction not only lacks legitimacy but morality for it would be unethical to buy-in to an avoidance strategy that is meant to let her off the hook. School massacres, however, should be a critical, urgent topic worthy of immediate discussion, a fact she has ignored, which should cause her to become "a national agenda item" herself --- with a debate ensuing about her job status. Who needs a Secretary of Education who avoids the slaughter of children? 

Truly, Trump's previous off the cuff, if not, cavalier ideas on keeping children safe --- compound the problems associated with school massacres. He compounds the problems when he wants teachers to engage in   gun battles  with active shooters as a way to appease the NRA --- but with their " customer-acquisition strategies " in view --- at the same time. He, of course, has no shame for everyone knows what he is doing behind closed doors with the NRA.  Is it time then to say that the feeble responses of Trump and the conservatives --- are not acceptable? Is it finally time to acknowledge that their inability to focus on the prevention of firearm deaths with any sense of urgency --- (or gun violence, overall) are the prime cause of even more massacres without any protection strategies in place that have not been tried before --- making them the root cause of the increase in school deaths in the U.S.? Is it time to tie this fact to the incompentence of the President of the United States of America?

( Note : "To get a gun in Japan, first, you have to attend an all-day class and pass a written test, which are held only once per month. You also must take and pass a shooting range class. Then, head over to a hospital for a mental test and drug test (Japan is unusual in that potential gun owners must affirmatively prove their mental fitness), which you’ll file with the police. Finally, pass a rigorous background check for any criminal record or association with criminal or extremist groups, and you will be the proud new owner of your shotgun or air rifle. Just don’t forget to provide police with documentation on the specific location of the gun in your home, as well as the ammo, both of which must be locked and stored separately. And remember to have the police inspect the gun once per year and to re-take the class and exam every three years.")

Given these facts, do conservative politicians: (1) lack the resolve to address gun control, a fact that can be proven based on their past records if not comments on this subject (2) lack the incentive to address gun control due to their feeble commitment to saving lives or protecting American citizens (a) based on their clear conflicts of interest or "competing personal interests that make it difficult for them to be trusted in fulfilling their duties with impartially--- especially since they have accepted millions of dollars from the NRA) and/or (3) lack the necessary aptitude (a) to address gun control based on their (feeble sense of morality) in which they continue to fail to sense, notice or analyze lessons learned and best practices and/or (b) to operate from a foundation leading to and stemming from the safety of children rather than the sabotaging of any and all efforts that promote laws and policies that do address safety, which includes utilizing prayers as their preferred  method for sabotage since the prayers can bear no fruit without any identifiable goals and actions that address gun control efforts (c) to focus on a clear recognizable need to act quickly in order to deliver to Americans the best plans and solutions with the best interests of vulnerable children in mind rather than stating, after each and every massacre, that it is too soon to address  prevention efforts even though the children are left in a persistently dangerous situation  if the adults charged with their safety do nothing to protect them. (Please refer to the:  History of the Assault Weapons Ban ). 

Clearly, it is not by accident that so few Americans trust Trump and the Republicans to do the right thing for they are politicians who can, if they wanted to "act" --- rather than talk, change things tomorrow--- if they took weapons of war out of the hands of Americans, overall.  Is this lack of trust  due to the disproportionate number of conservatives --- who keep overlooking the stats that shed light on " US  firearm deaths that outnumbered American combat deaths in World War II?   If so, is the public asking them why they  keep overlooking the cost of gun violence or the total societal costs of firearm injuries that were estimated to be $174.1 billion in 2010? Why do they keep overlooking the easy access to guns, a fact that is also causing the high suicide rate of white men? With these truths in mind, conservatives keep showing Americans, by their actions, that they do not care about any of these facts or  that gun deaths are a "huge U.S. public health concern, "

What then will cause the Republicans or Trump to address school safety concerns or improve the effectiveness of t he armed assailant response guidance or training  and/or even review best practices in   school safety research ? Do they understand that this training is useless if if it is not tied to comprehensive gun control legislation? Will "conservative elected officials" stop ignoring or underutilizing the data that they do have access to --- even though it could help prevent school massacres? Will they still remain detached, emotionally absent or dismissive when asked about the much-needed bans on weapons of war? If so, are they leaders who lack a “ faultless moral instinct " that would allow them to understand that American children are dying from weapons of war?

Do they understand that pretending that they are protecting their so-called privilege to hunt, etc. . . while real safety concerns are disregarded is a barbaric choice for the NRA & the POTUS  to hand over to those who are tired of their lies and who really need shelter from their lies? Nonetheless, the NRA and the POTUS whose superficial speeches and inactions amount to an overall "out of sight, out of mind" reaction to the slaughter of children are now, to many, actually responsible for the deaths of the children, especially with their profound downplaying of the human costs stemming from their right --- to hunt. But who are they fooling when everyone knows that it is the NRA, in and of itself, that is creating the conditions for a U.S. gun culture to thrive so it can benefit from it? Who then really believes that the NRA needs weapons of war to hunt animals?  In fact, the Republicans, who control both houses, cannot convince anyone that they are acting on behalf of hunters. It is, therefore, the hunters themselves who will have to expose their evil ways. If children can. . .the hunters can, too  --- for the children have already exposed them for what they represent:  greedy politicians whose purpose as kleptocrats grows clearer with each passing day. The POTUS, therefore, stands alone with other kleptocrats as the only POTUS who has ever wanted and needed  the NRA and an unregulated citizen militia to turn the United States of America into a subpar culture.

Clearly, the NRA's uncivilized notions do not represent America except to Trump and Co. Their uncivilized goals, instead, represent a gun culture that would even place guns in the hands of small children whose brains are not fully developed .  And, let us never forget that armed toddlers have killed more Americans than terrorists --- due to lax gun laws.  Does this mean that Trump will soon start grabbing toddlers out of the arms of their mothers, promoting deportation proceedings against them and then banning them from reentering the U.S. to ensure that Americans are safe? For the sake of consistency when it comes to his current reasoning abilities or decision-making skills will the POTUS say that all toddlers are mentally ill who fatally shoot their family members or other children? Will he continue to endorse the NRA's statements in which gun deaths are carelessly and irresponsibly reduced to a marketing opportunity that suppresses key data, on purpose, about the horrific nature of gun violence? Will he continue to agree with the NRA when they state that " to prevent kids from shooting kids is simply to teach children how to shoot, and by marketing weapons for children?

Why then do Republicans promote and defend the NRA's so-called gun prevention statements (alongside the POTUS --- as if the POTUS can distinguish between tweets and facts) --- statements that make no sense for they endanger Americans and redefine U.S. capitalism by turning it into greed --- statements that promote the use of AR-15 rifles in the U.S. without considering landmark studies? Why do they, in the aftermath of one massacre after another massacre, only offer Americans band aid type solutions that lack substance or identifiable actions that can be implemented? More to the point: why do they cower or avoid questions  in the face of their own decisions by failing to take ownership of their own weak gun legislation when Americans are slaughtered? Why do they try to place the blame elsewhere or try to ask someone else to step down when they should step down for lacking the competence and know-how or the ability to even discuss the data tied to U.S gun massacres? Why are they surprised when the majority of Americans criticize their modern-day Republican styled gun culture that continues t o produce and cause at its root  gun violence?

But alas, Trump and Company rarely do their homework. Placing bans on immigrants of color, promoting racist policies tied to food or housing for  people of color (that end up hurting poor whites the most) --- or telling whites to arm themselves (based on a wide range of conspiracy theories or a belief that people of color want to imitate white racists and cause violence against whites is not true. Nobody wants to imitate racist whites. Nobody wants to live in their neighborhoods where white nationalists and guns proliferate.

The assumption that blacks do want to live around racist whites could only be promoted in white racist insular communities where white racists can tell lies to themselves about people of color --- without being challenged. But their lies will not make Trump's America Great Again. He should study civil war facts for a more indepth understanding of this assumption. (Again, people of color do not want to imitate or become white racists who need to buy guns so they can oppress people. . . Another insight built from this last fact or to shed light on it, especially for those who study the "Bible," is: God increases the  oppressed so that they will soon outnumber their oppressors. This biblical detail happens time and time again. It is a point worth studying to understand why . In other words, people of color are not Trump's enemy: perhaps God is since Trump has been accused of everything from obstruction of justice to rape.)  Yet, in TrumpSpeak (or Totalitarianism) --- this appears to mean that he wants whites to buy guns so that they can take back their country --- but the question is:  from whom? 

This includes suggesting that African American athletes should leave the country for protesting against police brutality. In the process, Trump has, once again, overlooked democratic principles or how the athletes  are contributing to "direct and indirect" change. . . e.g. consider the "Police Accountability and Community Protection Act" ). Try as he might Trump cannot enter the world and the territory of civil rights activism  without first understanding it.  Trump, therefore, misses the point when he thinks he has the power to make "kneeling" the issue when it has always been about athletes becoming " international symbols of protest against racial injustice . As Peniel Joseph states:  " If history is any guide, the marginalization of outspoken and high-profile black athletes will not stay a win forever." 

But, unlike the athletes, Trump is not an analytical thinker or problem solver so he has yet to offer any solutions for police brutality. He has never even called attention to the need for better police training on gun use. Trump, instead, feeds U.S. racism as if his presidency depends on it to survive, a telltale sign that his legacy will be marred or explained by it. If the surface is scratched on his presidency it will always be undergirded by his sense of greed including why he can undermine gun legislation even if it can prevent the slaughter of Americans, including children).

For this purpose, he has called black athletes "sons of bitches" or tried to brand certain nations as "s_ _ _ hole nations". . . etc. with the intention of   dividing  the races  without focusing on the root causes of his one-dimensional statements that reach beyond his supporters (as if he can downplay everything from racism, gun deaths,  his love of porn stars or his need to  rape as  new subpar standards  and norms acceptable to Ameicans) that require him to box with God . Boxing with God, however, has already caused him to fail at building a wall. It has caused him to fight white extinction anxiety, which might disappear if he repents and tries to prevent the masscres of children, the separation of children from their parents or the futile racism he tries to use to prevent brown and black people from being recognized as God's creations. 

In this light, the NRA and Trump can stir up conspiracy theories or the need for guns that influence so-called weak minded individuals (or he can lie to those who do not do their homework, including those who have missed the lessons on white racist homegrown terrorists) but no one is buying his over 10, 000 lies, at this point. No one is buying his misinterpretation of the U.S. Constitution or  the Second Amendment --- (which is not about hunting but abject greed in order to profit from firearm use by any means necessary).    Trump's  supporters must, therefore, track the ways that Trump uses racism  as well as other theories that he uses to distract from the real reasons that America is changing. 

T his phenomenon  includes " natural causes," including the opioid epidemic, suicides, alcoholism and  the infertility crisis.  ---  facts that have nothing to do with immigrants. They must recognize that the white population is aging and are not being replaced by white babies. White women do not have babies when they they think the economy is bad or it is not improving their lives, which is telltale sign that the economy is failing to impact the lives of Trump's supporters, in particular. They must stop blaming people of color for everything since gun deaths impact the lives of whites more than any other demographic. They must stop hanging out with the Republicans if they want companies to move to their areas for, as it stands, companies do not move to racist "red" areas, they move to diverse "blue" areas. Most importantly, t hey must review the false narratives (among whites) that stir up a belief in white male entitlement , a highly destructive profile that leads back to conservatives who feed and push this profile.  

After all, children like Cruz take their cues from white American leaders who continue to make it possible for weapons of war to be placed in the hands of an eighteen-year-old, a legally bought A-R 15 rifle that was not created for hunting animals but for killing humans.   But do the Republicans  (who only seem to be able to act in partisan ways to the detriment of the masses) understand the critical nature of this fact if they are hellbent on ignoring the facts for the sake of profiteering?  If they were truly interested in preventing school massacres or saving the lives of children who depend on adults to protect them they would remember (rather than conveniently forgetting the true meaning of the Second Amendment) that “ to bear arms was most commonly used in the 18th century to describe participation in the military " not for ordinary citizens to  be placed in a position to buy deadly weapons used in wars.  

Can Americans, in all honesty, say that the Republicans are informed, moral leaders who are willing to address community and school-based life and death concerns when it comes to gun violence? Can anyone count the number of Republican town halls that they have held to address school massacres?  Clearly, no one has stood up against the NRA as the teenagers continue to do  (e.g. with the promotion of the March For Our Lives and their town halls across the nation). In other words, teenagers have done more than so-called U.S. politicians who call themselves leaders but, for years, have done nothing to save the lives of children. Teenagers then are addressing what the politicians will not do. They are leading the fight for gun control, including gun control research. They are the ones who have boldly brought to light the needed pressure that must be placed on politicians who must also fight against the priorities of the NRA lobbyists and gun manufacturers who have no shame in promoting gun use. 

What are Americans then to make of the cavalier, if not feeble, lackadaisical ways of the Republicans who are, in essence, fighting against children   --- children who are fighting for their lives since American leaders, including the POTUS, are not protecting them against gun violence? How will history record the feeble acts of these same politicians who will be remembered for choosing multi-million dollar donations from the NRA over the safety of American children -- if they do not change this fact?

If this was not so, do they really believe that the public will soon forget that children in schools across the nation were allowed to remain vulnerable to school massacres and/or horrific slaughters on a daily basis (as if they are still sitting ducks) --- based on the decisions, preferences, and priorities of the Republicans? Do conservatives really think that this time, the public will ever forget how their own elected officials took on such nonchalant positions on weapons of war used against children without trying to ban them?  Will they ever forget how passive these politicians continue to be who use the same stock answers ( here here , and here , etc.) again and again and again after one school massacre after another school massacre? Furthermore, will the public ever forget that they allowed a small U.S. special interest group such as NRA members to dictate the gun laws (at the expense of school children) in spite of the majority of Americans ("currently at 70%") who are against high powered guns?

If the Republicans are not motivated enough to care about the deaths of children, they should step aside or resign. As it stands their silence or their inability to act --- or their refusal to answer questions about the urgent need for gun control legislation means that they,  along with the NRA, their lobbyists or any and all politicians  should be blamed for promoting the use of guns rather than trying to prevent firearm deaths. Their inertia also demonstrates that they are willing to support the lies of  NRA profiteers and feed a gun culture complete with the proliferation of semi-automatic rifles and programming that is responsible for endangering the lives of Americans on purpose, which can be backed up with plenty of sound data to prove this point.

If not, can Ryan, McConnell, Rubio, etc., to date, discuss what they are doing to stop these school massacres besides voting against policies belonging to the Obama Administration that did try to stop school massacres?  They should know that no one wants another Republican to simply report on a mass murder after the fact. Citizens need politicians to tell them what they are doing (now) to prevent the use of weapons of war ---  by ordinary citizens. But, have any of the Republicans, including the POTUS, even read the prevention studies on gun violence such as  this study , and this one , this one , this one , this one, this one , this one , and this one --- or prevention efforts  that the U.S. has never really tried to implement? While a wide range of active shooter response guidance and programming is, of course,  needed (i.e. from the Alice Training Program and the Safe and Sound Program with Sandy Hook Promise ) the real need is for school massacres to stop. This means leaders must act like leaders rather than mere  supporters of greed.

That Republicans, however, need to hang on to mental illness as the cause of the massacres or have tried hard to prevent  federal agencies from "researching gun violence since the 1990's" is, surely, a telltale sign that they do not want the public to know that the critical connection to mass murders continues to be or has always been the easy availability of assault weapons.  And yet, it does not take a brain surgeon to figure out that mental illness was not the cause of mass murders when stronger gun laws were in place or  when " easy-to-obtain assault weapons were once banned under U.S. law , a common thread connecting many of the deadliest mass shootings." 

And so, it is sad to say that if the NRA, their lobbyists, their donors and these politicians who are against gun control laws truly cared about the lives of children they would have felt compelled, a long time ago,  to act in ways showing and proving that ---  now --- is the time to make common sense decisions about U.S. ownership of weapons of war or semi-automatic rifles. But, when Americans hear Ryan, McConnell, Rubio say it is too soon to talk about gun control (--- if ever, they say) should Americans also recognize that they are really witnessing the views of politicians who are unfit to lead or too lazy to be called public servants?  How can their uncivilized priorities be interpreted in any other way except that they are "bought" politicians who are controlled by "gun lobby money or corporate interests" even if means that in all probability the cost will be human lives,  including the lives of children?

If not, where are the policies and laws pertaining to gun violence that can guarantee that the public will not experience another school massacre based on "weapons of war or the "unrestricted ownership of firearms?" Given their laziness, when will the "do nothing" Republicans start passing comprehensive gun control legislation for the whole nation based on the number of deaths due to gun violence? When will they study the facts and make the connections and links that are tied to gun violence? When will they stop 
fighting against young high students  --- who are calling for stronger gun control laws since the leaders who are, currently, in control will not? When will they challenge the NRA's positions on gun ownership,  a group so pathetic that they have to make up stories on gun violence, prevent research on gun use and even refuse to debate the issues with anti-gun activists or experts? When will Republicans stop making ridiculous decisions or what they did recently: declare porn dangerous but refuse "a single debate, vote, or hearing on anything related to assault weapons ?” When will they stop fighting against any and all bans on assault weapons? When will they stop trying to prevent banks and credit card issurers from allowing would-be gun owners from buying guns on their platforms? When will Republicans stop threatening the companies that cut ties with the NRA?

What will they say when donors withhold money from politicians who support the ownership of assault weapons? What will they do when "the financial resources of Bloomberg, and other multimillionaires emulate one of the most successful public service advertising campaigns in history: the anti-tobacco “truth” campaign ---and, in turn,   keep the gun control majority engaged on a daily basis, and in the long run, reduce the demand for guns in areas where the NRA exerts political influence ?" Will they still fight against any and all regulations on   bump stocks ? Will they fight against Americans who do not support gun lobbyists who try to " obstruct federal gun safety regulations and/or infringe upon sensible gun violence prevention policies"

Will they shamelessly fight against the repeal of the Dickey Amendment, "which prevents the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching deadly gun violence, a cowardly act or pathetic immoral stance on their part that proves that the Republicans are afraid of what the research will uncover about U.S. mass murders?"  Will they fight against the push for  proficiency tests for all would-be gun owners in much the same way that car owners must pass a test? Will they even hide the fact that concealed handgun permit holders have killed hundreds of innocent victims ? Will  Ryan, McConnell, Rubio, etc. shamelessly ignore the contradictions or the  gaps in the information that the NRA promotes about gun use, particularly AR-15 semi-automatic weapons or the protective factors that must be in place when it comes to the research data that's tied to the safety of humans --- or the safety of American children?  Will they continue to ignore the  high school students  who say they want them voted out of office ---- or the very politicians who control both chambers of Congress and the White House who have done nothing to promote more effective gun control laws? 

As young as they are they have already figured out that the speeches offered by these Republicans and some Democrats are meaningless (or complete and utter pretense) if all they really want to do is to protect and support the special interests of gun lobbyists and gun manufacturers. Most importantly, they already seem to know that when politicians fail to respond to common sense gun control efforts, it also means they simply do not care about the lives of Americans or the mass murder of children based on their inability to act or --- to recognize the urgent need for change. This urgent call for politicians to act must be repeated often. The NRA can say anything that they want to say or even try to make Americans  believe that their donations have tripled as a direct response to the March For Our Lives --- (or the 800, 000 Americans in D.C. --- or over a million participants around the nation --- who took part in the marches and support strong gun control legislation --- a movement led by teenagers) but the NRA does not operate in truths .  This point is also the main reason that t hese politicians  (who are owned by the gun lobbyists)  must be voted out of office .