Risk Assessment and the Modern Liberal

Risk assessment is in the news. Most of it phony. Let me give you an example: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, opened in 1990. In the last 28 years, approximately 84,000 students have passed through its halls. Fourteen didn't make it. For all you statisticians out there, that's .0001666 of the entire student body. If you averaged in all of the rest of the schools in Miami-Dade, Florida or the entire South, that number would decrease. If you averaged in every school in the United States, Columbine and Sandy Hook included, the numbers would still go down. Way down.

Now before you decry me as being cold and heartless, let me say that I deplore each and every one of those shootings. Any reasonable thing that can be done to prevent such incidents in the future should be implemented. (And by "reasonable" I intend to remain the final arbiter on that. Wrapping every student in bubble wrap and only feeding them through a tube is too extreme. Unless I can buy a lot of stock in bubble wrap companies.)

Where was I? Oh, yes. Risk factors. I have noticed that a number of students (perhaps prompted) have publicly stated and carried signs that stated that they "No longer feel safe in their schools". I find that hard to believe, unless some adult was telling them that this was the case. Have seventeen people ever died in a school bus crash? Have you ever heard a child say, "I no longer feel safe in a school bus"? Fifty thousand people die in car crashes every year. When was the last time you heard a child say, "I no longer feel safe in an automobile"? I'm not sure what the statistics are for lightning strikes or falling space debris, but have you heard cries of "I no longer feel safe going outside"?

Whoever is promoting this fearmongering among children should cut it out. Now. Teens are in far more danger of being killed texting while driving, but even though it is illegal, it is a greater threat. Will children boycott getting drivers licenses out of fear, overhyped or not? I don't think so.

Liberals need the emotional tug on the heartstrings of little children quaking in their shoes, fearful of their lives if they return to their classrooms. Thus, it is being artificially induced and I wish they would cut it out. You'll have to excuse me now. I have to buy some "falling space debris insurance".

It's a thing!

I'm All For "Common Sense" Gun Control

...now if someone could just codify "common sense"!

People are very loosely and very passionate crying that we must pass "common sense" gun laws. They want them now! Anything less and you have "blood on your hands". Fine. Let's start with the aspect that has absolutely nothing with caliber, barrel length, barrel shrouds, pistol grips or bayonet mounts. Let's talk about...age.

The state of Florida recently raised the age of buying certain long guns to twenty-one, from eighteen. What does this mean? I remember back in the sixties when you could be drafted into the army at age eighteen, but couldn't vote until you were twenty-one. How is that "common sense"? So the voting age was lowered to eighteen. Common sense, right?

Maybe it's time to have a discussion on when someone becomes an adult? We want responsible adults voting, owning firearms, drinking responsibly, defending our country...shouldn't all those ages be the same? Obamacare in its infinite wisdom, allows children as old as twenty-three to stay on their parent's policy. Are twenty-three year olds not responsible adults?

What about the age for sexual consent? If the age at which someone becomes responsible enough to drink, vote and own a gun, wouldn't "common sense" say that that's the age when a child can both sign contracts and consent to sexual relations? You have to be eighteen to legally sign a binding contract. In the Netherlands and Great Britain, statutory rape takes place before twelve and thirteen respectively, but there are special circumstances for children above that age but under sixteen.

In the US, it varies by state between sixteen and eighteen. Should we raise that to twenty-one? Twenty-three? How is a sixteen year old mature enough to make possibly life changing decisions regarding their sexuality and procreation, but too immature to own certain types of firearms?

Michael Moore, who never met a doughnut he didn't like, recently came out in favor of lowering the voting age to sixteen. Really? Where's the "common sense" in that? You can get pregnant and start a family at sixteen, but you can't sign a contract to buy your own car or rent your own apartment, and even if you did, you couldn't have a gun in your house to protect your family, because it's against the law!

Winston Churchill is credited with saying, "If a man is not a liberal when he is eighteen, he has no heart. If he's not a conservative when he's thirty, he has no brain." Young people, with less experience in the real world, tend to be more liberal. They haven't yet discovered that the world is not the way they wish it was. A younger voting demographic would benefit the more liberal party, the Democrats. Certainly that would make filmmaker Moore happy as a pig in slop, to have a slew of new, idealistic voters, easily persuaded to embrace liberal tenets. But is that "common sense"?

There you have it, fellow babies, as Johnny Fever might say. What is the "common sense" age when a person becomes mature enough to have sex, drive a car, sign a mortgage, drink, vote or own a firearm? Is it "common sense" to expect them all to be the same? Shall we follow the example of Obamacare and require children to be twenty-three before engaging in these activities? We didn't even get into what age constitutes adulthood when a person is tried in a court of law. Some criminals are tried as adults when they are seventeen, if the crime is particularly heinous. Is there a "one size fits all" age for all of these activities? If not, how is this "common sense"? If so, are you sure that it's common sense?

Keeping firearms out of the hands of the immature, mentally ill and criminals is a goal everyone can endorse. So, let's set the age of maturity for all these events. Pick an age. Show your work. Gain a consensus in the electorate and we're home free!

Good luck with that!

All The News That Fits...Our Agenda

Are you old enough to remember when the news and reporting was impartial? Okay, me neither. But are you old enough to remember when at least you thought the press was impartial? I point you to a story from the venerable AP:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — About 800 “criminals” avoided immigration arrests because Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf alerted the public to the surprise operation, an extraordinarily high number of missed targets, according to a federal official.
Notice the "scare quotes" around "criminals"? University of Sussex has this to say abut that:
Quotation marks used in this way are informally called scare quotes. Scare quotes are quotation marks placed around a word or phrase from which you, the writer, wish to distance yourself because you consider that word or phrase to be odd or inappropriate for some reason.
According to the feds, via the AP, half the people they've arrested in the Bay Area, in addition to immigrations violations, had criminal convictions for "assault, weapons offenses and driving under the influence." In personalizing the story for my local dead tree paper, there was this:
ICE said agents detained at least one Stockton man, from Mexico, who had been convicted for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old.
Let's recap... the AP puts "scare quotes" around the word criminal, in describing illegal aliens, who are prima facie criminals, but in addition have been, not accused, but convicted of various criminal acts, including assault, weapons offenses, DUI and lewd lascivious acts with a minor, and yet the AP doesn't want to call them criminals without some sort of wiggle room? The use of scare quotes in describing illegal aliens as criminals is editorializing, which belongs on the editorial page, not the lede of what in the olden days, was envisioned to be impartial reporting. This is what you get when you have students at journalism schools telling you they want to change the world.