Well, with eyes wide open, I stepped into it last week! In my zeal to champion the cause for critical thinking and of the Enlightenment, I must have touched a sore nerve when I had the gall to tell folks to ask questions.
Before I get to your comments, thank you to everybody for reading and then caring enough to take the time to write me (regardless if you think me a pinhead). Keep it up. Keep reading and writing. Let’s have some civil discourse!
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For those of you who haven’t gotten around reading last week’s gem of a Don’t Rush Me column: 1. What the heck!? Read it already! and; 2. Here’s what I wrote in a nutshell.
“Kids getting up and getting involved in what is happening in this country is a good thing . . . just make sure you question movements, don’t just go with the flow. Asking questions and being open to answers to your questions are all a part of being educated members of society. Stay involved, question yourself, question authority and practice civil discourse when engaging someone with an opinion different than yours. Shy away from media outrage and those who believe in shaming or demeaning those they disagree with. Be kind and ‘trust, but verify.’”
I think that part didn’t ruffle any feathers, the part when I wrote that kids in American public schools are statistically safe from being shot at school, however, got some readers riled up.
From Richard L., of Lake Orion: “I read your column today and was particularly curious with your use of mathematics to justify your final question — why ban guns ? My answer is that if ONE student is murdered by a gun-toting idiot who is intent on destroying as many lives as possible then that’s too many. Please cancel my subscription.”
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Dear Mr. Rush, . . . I decided to verify the statistics you presented when you claimed that “since 1999, Columbine…there have been 25 fatal school shootings in American schools”. That statistic was given out by Fox News but, if one exercises critical thinking skills and attempts to verify that information, as you suggested, it is easy to see that the number is very, very wrong. Simply going to Wikipedia and counting the number of school shootings since Columbine that have resulted in fatalities will give you a total of 102 shootings in which students died.
According to ABC, FBI records state that there were 50 “mass shootings” at schools between Columbine and 2016 (a “mass shooting”, according to the FBI, is a shooting in which four or more people were killed). And Slate.com lists 70 fatal shootings at schools between Columbine and Sandy Hook in 2012. While these numbers do not agree with one another, the one point they do all agree upon is that the number of school shootings since 1999 has been much, much more than 25. If you want to control the narrative, sir, do the world a favor and check your statistics first. Sincerely, Jennifer M., Addison Township
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Dear Don Rush, Here’s an editorial submission:
God love the meek and pure of heart serving our schools. As such however, they cannot fathom why to harden our school’s defenses. They do not understand why cowardly kooks would want to kill our children. Regardless, they should consider putting volunteer old guys like myself in chairs in hallways, armed and ready deterrents. Tom B., Clarkston
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Big Don, Your ‘Nuance’ article was awesome….well done. Sad thing is I fear most won’t get it…. Pray for the Snowflakes. Mike W., Clarkston
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A more relevant calculation of students who experienced a shooting while in school…Run your calculation for students in England, Germany, Australia or other civilized country and report it in your column. Brian
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Dear Mr. Rush, Your column struck many chords of the same tune, as you put it, “controlling the narrative.”
. . . Your real telling blows, however, were on school safety and how in the 18 years since Columbine, 122 students and others have been killed in school shootings. Not to dismiss the tragedy of those deaths, and while you did not mention the NRA in your column, that organization gets roundly condemned whenever there is a “mass shooting.” (One exception, of course, was when the Democrat nut-case shot up the Republican congressmen practicing baseball. Then Trump was blamed, I guess for causing the shooter angst.) However, those screaming and marching in condemnation of the NRA need to be reminded that the NRA did not kill any of those victims, nor were any of the shooters members of the NRA. On the other hand, in those same 18 years, at the rate of over 900,000 babies a year, 16,200,000 babies have been killed by abortion. Planned Parenthood, at the rate of over 300,000 by its own count, was directly responsible for killing over 5,400,000. Where’s the outrage at that? Where’s the condemnation of Planned Parenthood? And to add insult to death, we taxpayers shell out close to a billion dollars a year to that odious organization. And, yes, I know Planned Parenthood is “prohibited” from using taxpayer dollars for abortion. But the abortion supporters have to understand money is fungible, so to the extent taxpayer dollars fund other “services,” which I understand are not much, it frees up organization resources for what it apparently really enjoys, killing babies.
Keep up the good work in encouraging critical thinking. Tom S., Independence Township
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It is interesting, I had not, nor have I since, provided my own opinion on gun legislation. I just ask questions. Again, thanks to everyone who took the time to write (Richard, I will cancel your subscription next week.)
Send your comments and questions to Don via e-mail, to DontRushDon@gmail.com