Last week area students joined a nation-wide movement, walking out of class and gathering as a memorial to the 17 lives lost at a Parkland, Florida high school — 17 dead at the hands of a very disturbed individual. Like most movements, this one got the cogs in mind to twirl.
Twirl and spin. Grind and turn and, the bottom line thought which came to be was, “This movement of kids is a good thing.” Just like when I pondered on the movement of conservatives in the Tea Party age, it is a good thing Americans — whatever their political leanings and whether or not you agree with those leanings — get involved. Why?
For too long, in our cozy, safe and self-absorbed worlds, Americans have let the proverbial foxes run the hen houses. So long as we had food to eat, big cars to drive, cable TV and the latest smartphones to use, we were “okay.” Never mind government types and special interest money spent more and more time sleeping together and making policy affecting us all, while exempting them.
So, I swing back round to and stand by my statement, it’s a good thing the kids are getting involved. That said, we need to teach them critical thinking skills, how having civil discourse to work towards solutions is a positive, all the while steering them away from today’s “winner take all” debate mentality. We adults need to lead by example.
And, as an adult, I will start the leading.
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We all need to understand those who control the narrative, control the outcome and words are powerful. Don’t believe me? What do you call a group of people who are in this country illegally — brought here illegally by their families. You could call them illegal immigrants, and be 100 percent correct. Or, you can call them “Dreamers” and control the narrative. Come on, what person with any sort of a heart could even think, let alone talk about sending any person called a Dreamer to their country of origin? That would be super mean, and who wants to be seen as mean?
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Poor old Hilary Clinton is still trying control the narrative on why she lost the 2016 Presidential Election to Donald Trump. Just this past week, whilst pushing her book, she was reported as saying, Trump voters were “backwards” and people who don’t like “black people getting rights” or “women getting jobs.” And, she blamed married women for not standing up to their husbands and vote correctly. “We don’t do well with married, white women,” she said, because of “ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”
She is trying to control the narrative, however, she puts so little trust in Americans’ ability to see through her story. Interestingly, 30 percent of those who voted for President Obama, voted for Trump. Oops.
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So, children today are not feeling safe while in school, they fear for their lives and they want change and they want it now, dammit!
Is it any wonder they feel this way, the narrative from the major media and those who wish to disarm Americans has been set. “Mass” killing has come to mean a shooting with four or more victims. The word “mass” sounds bigger, and is more powerful than say, “multiple” killing. Narrative gained.
What about safety in American schools? I went online and tried to get some numbers to figure out how safe American schools are from mass shooters. First, area school districts have spent a ton of money on making area schools safer. To gain access to many of these schools, if you are not a student, you need to be buzzed in, then checked out. Okay, back to the numbers.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in America there are just over 98,000 public schools (another 33,619 private schools). In the fall of 2017, there were 50.7 million students in public schools and each year three million plus students graduate from public schools.
From what I was able to find, since 1999, Columbine, when two students fatally shot 15 people, there have been 25 fatal school shootings in American schools, 122 killed. Working some fast Don Rush math and rounding up the amount of dead to 1,000 and keeping the number of students who have gone to and through public schools in America static since 1991 to 50.7 million, if I divide 1,000 by 50.7 million students, I get the percentage of American students killed by school shootings as .0000197239 percent.
Based on that, it is equivalently true: If you are a student in America it is pretty much a given you will not be shot and killed. Which begs the question, why the movement to ban guns?
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Critical thinking. Asking questions and being open to answers to your questions are all a part of being an educated member 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.”
Send comments to: DontRushDon@gmail.com