I salute the opportunity given to the student survivors and the parents of those lost tragically to gun violence in Parkland, Florida to express their thoughts and concerns at the White House. I was particularly struck by Andrew Pollack the father who lost his daughter Meadow - who made points that no one can dispute.
"My daughter has no voice. She was murdered last week, shot nine times on the third floor," Pollack said. "This shouldn't happen. We go to the airport, I can't get on the plane with a bottle of water, but we leave some animal to walk into a classroom and shoot our children. One school shooting and we all should've fixed it. And I'm pissed! Because my daughter, I'm not going to see again. She's not here," he said, raising his voice. "We protect airports, we protect concerts, stadiums, embassies — the Department of Education that I walked in today that has a security guard in the elevator. How do you think that makes me feel?""
I often see posts that note that "guns don't kill people, people do." That's true but there is little question that guns amplify the problem. There is also a history of how America when it works together can solve a problem. Have there been any other airliners since 9-11 hijacked and directed as missiles of destruction at buildings containing thousands of Americans at work? The answer is "NO!" So let's ask, "WHY?"
It's simple. There are all sorts of check points and controls including in-depth screening of all and random screening of a select number that makes the likelihood even more difficult. You can't even get on a plane without up-to-date currently valid identification. Doors for the cabin area where the pilots sit are impenetrable. Plain clothes federal Marshals are flying that even some of the crew members might not be aware of. Items that we might deem harmless are BANNED such as bringing a bottle of water from the outside in our luggage. There's a reason for all of those controls and for BANNING items that could be premixed explosive material that looks as harmless as H2O. Those changes and "solution" are to the credit of Congress the creation of the TSA, and the American electorate who now can get on a plane and not feel anxious that it's going to be hijacked.
We're safe today because CONGRESS and the American people demanded that the hi-jacking of planes be addressed - that SOMETHING BE DONE. It was! So, for those who think they're going to lose their right to bear arms, they're not. No one lost their ability to fly unless there were ample reasons to put them on a NO FLY list. Those put on the list have the ability to appeal should they feel they have been unfairly deemed too dangerous to fly.
What Americans might need to expect is that certain types of weapons and ancillary items like bump stocks that can create the carnage of a Parkland in less than 180 seconds are going to have to be regulated and possibly BANNED much the same way Congress regulated the sale of Tommy Guns in the '30's. The Supreme Court upheld that legislation as within the confines of the U.S. Constitution. The legislation put a tariff that was so excessive for the day - $250 - about a third of the average person's income, that sales of Tommy Guns dropped to a dribble. That legislation was aimed at protecting average police officers whose departments frankly couldn't afford a weapon so accessible to mobsters who had the wherewithal to purchase them from their illicit gains. The average cop of the day didn't have access to that kind of fire power - only agents within the FBI and other national organizations serving the U.S. government had the monies to purchase what was a very expensive weapon.
I applaud the dad and the students for becoming activists and bringing this question to the forefront in a way we have never seen before. That is the power of youth and the power of a father's love. As someone who has a daughter who is a teacher, may they - the young student activists and the parents of the fallen continue to GO DO GOOD and force our leaders to get this problem FIXED!
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