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Posts tagged ‘Education’

LGBT-Activist Official: Drag Queen Story Hour Protesters Hold ‘White Supremacist Beliefs’


Reported by Dr. Susan Berry | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/09/03/lgbt-activist-official-drag-queen-story-hour-protesters-hold-white-supremacist-beliefs/

Drag queen Scalene Onixxx (R) gestures seated beside Athena Kills while reading during Drag Queen Story Hour at Cellar Door Books in Riverside, California on June 22, 2019. – Athena and Scalene, their long blonde hair flowing down to their sequined leotards and rainbow dresses, are reading to around 15 …FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

A battle over a Drag Queen Story Hour event in Chula Vista, California, has intensified as an LGBT-activist member of the city council accused pro-family protesters of the events of holding “white supremacist beliefs.”

As CBS8 reported, Steve Padilla, an openly gay, LGBT-activist Chula Vista councilmember, posted to Facebook that Drag Queen Story Hour protesters, such as pro-family group MassResistance, hold “white supremacist beliefs.”

Padilla voiced his support for the events, one of which has been scheduled by the Chula Vista Public Library later in the month, with a statement on his Facebook page:

I am disappointed that some voices both from inside and outside our community have chosen to use the upcoming Drag Queen Storytime as an opportunity to perpetuate long discredited false and discriminatory narratives targeting the LGBTQ+ community in the name of protecting children. This is wrong and must be called out for what it is – the spreading of ignorance, fear, and hate. Much of this fearmongering is being organized by the local chapter of a nationally known hate-group which promotes not just anti-LGBTQ beliefs, but also anti-immigrant and white supremacist beliefs. These ideas and tactics do not reflect the community I love and serve.

Pro-family protesters rallied Thursday in front of the main branch of the public library in Chula Vista to condemn the Drag Queen Story Hour scheduled on September 10. The library advertised the event as one that would encourage “reading, learning & inclusivity” among young children and “celebrate our wonderfully diverse community with stories, crafts and dancing.”

“Drag Queen Story Hour is not innocent fun to celebrate play while teaching diversity and tolerance,” said Arthur Schaper of pro-family group MassResistance, reported CBS8. “If adult entertainers engage in those behaviors, they can do so freely in their nightclubs and cabarets but not around children.”

NBC7 reported many parents have been alerting others online, urging them to call upon the library to put an end to the event.

Amado Huizar, a father of four and pastor in Chula Vista, said he is concerned about how the drag queen reading event influences children, especially regarding “the sexual innuendo.”

NBC7 interviewed drag queen performer “Strawberry Corn Cakes” about whether the reading event is about sexuality.

“Not at all. Not all,” the drag queen replied. “Especially not with kids. Come on now.”

“It’s unfortunate that people aren’t agreeing with it in when it’s all about fun,” Strawberry Corn Cakes said.

However, last fall one drag queen admitted the story hours for young children are not just about fun. Dylan Pontiff, a gay man who uses the name Santana Pilar Andrews when dressed in drag, helped organize a story hour for Louisiana preschoolers. He said the event’s purpose is “the grooming of the next generation.”

“I’m here to let you know that this event is something that’s going to be very beautiful and for the children and the people that supported are going to realize that this is going to be the grooming of the next generation,” Pontiff told the Lafayette City-Parish Council. “We are trying to groom the next generation to not see the way that they just did.”

LGBTQ activists countered the protesters at the rally, with several officers from the Chula Vista Police Department on hand to keep the crowd in check.

“The Drag Queen Story Hour helps teach them about the acceptance of all,” said Dennis Nicely of LGBT-activist group PFLAG.

Other activists said the event promotes tolerance and diversity.

“We are here to represent community values, which are inclusiveness and acceptance, love and diversity,” said Irina Sagade. “These are values of a public space.”

An announcement by the library posted to Facebook said the scheduled Drag Queen Story Hour event was “in celebration of the city of Chula Vista’s proclamation of September 14, 2019 as LGBTQ Day.”

“We strongly believe that libraries are a clear reflection of the community they serve,” the public library continued. “We aim to foster an environment that encourages reading, learning & inclusivity, celebrate our wonderfully diverse community with stories, crafts and dancing on 09/10/2019.”

On Sunday, the library announced the location of the Drag Queen Story Hour would be changed from the Otay Ranch Library to the Chula Vista Civic Center:

“More space needed to accommodate expected attendance,” read a news release.

“The Chula Vista Public Library welcomes everyone, and programming at the City’s three libraries includes and reflects the diverse communities the libraries serve,” the release continued. “Hosting drag queens to read and relate with children promotes reading and literacy and sends a positive message of acceptance and tolerance.”

The library stated the drag queen event was “sponsored in partnership with San Diego Pride and South Bay Alliance.”

Caroline (Cara) Dessert, Esq., CEO of the San Diego LGBT Community Center, said in a statement the Drag Queen Story Hour promotes “literacy,” among other things:

Drag Queen Story Hour provides a fun and engaging way to promote literacy and to help young people understand the value of diversity and acceptance. These types of events also offer us a chance to appreciate individuality and combat harmful gender stereotypes. With that in mind, it [sic] easy to understand the reasons that American Library Association is supporting Drag Queen Story Hours as an effective way to add inclusive, diverse, and more equitable programming at public libraries.

The left-wing American Library Association (ALA) encourages Drag Queen Story Hour events and is supporting those libraries experiencing “pushback” from their communities.

“ALA, through its actions and those of its members, is instrumental in creating a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society,” the organization states. “This includes a commitment to combating marginalization and underrepresentation within the communities served by libraries through increased understanding of the effects of historical exclusion.”

Concerns about safety at the Drag Queen Story Hour events made headlines recently when Houston MassResistance discovered drag queen Alberto Garza, who uses the name Tatiana Mala-Nina when reading to young children, had been convicted in 2008 of sexually assaulting an eight-year-old boy. The Houston library system had failed to perform a background check on Garza or any of the other drag queens appearing in its programs.

Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon, also faced backlash when it was found the library system had quietly removed from social media photos of the Drag Queen Story Hour that took place at one of its libraries during which young children were lying on top of the drag queens and fondling their false breasts.

According to the Drag Queen Story Hour website, the aim of the event is to present gender fluidity as a positive quality children should accept and even emulate:

Drag Queen Story Hour captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity in childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, and where dress-up is real.

However, a special education teacher protesting the Chula Vista drag queen event carried a sign that read, “Stop perversion of children.”

“It’s horrible what’s happening to America,” she lamented, CBS8 reported. “It’s horrible what’s happening to San Diego.”

“Wake up, America, wake up!” she added tearfully.

Transgender Rights: Judge Warns Girls Have No Right to ‘Visual Bodily Privacy’


Reported by DR. SUSAN BERRY |

In Lebanon, Russia uses softer touch to win influence / AFP JOSEPH EID
 

A federal judge is allowing a lawsuit against transgender facilities in a school district to proceed, but warned the student-plaintiffs that, if the government allows boys who claim to be female to use the girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms, then the girls have no right to “visual bodily privacy.”

Judge Jorge Alonso of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division is allowing a lawsuit to proceed against the school district that adopted the Obama-era transgender policy permitting boys claiming to be female to use the girls’ bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms.

However, the judge informed the girls, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), that, “[s]o far, the right not to be seen unclothed by the opposite sex is not on the Supreme Court’s list.”

The judge wrote:

The crux of this suit is that defendants seek to affirm the claimed genders of students by allowing male students who claim female gender to use privacy facilities (i.e., bathrooms and locker rooms) designated for use by the female sex and female students who claim male gender to use privacy facilities designated for the male sex … District 211 adopted the policy solely to affirm the claimed genders of those students claiming a gender different from their sex at birth.

Alonso continued, saying the school district has adopted the policy of allowing all transgender students to use the restrooms, locker rooms, and showers of their choice, while it insists all other students “must use the restrooms and locker rooms designated for their sex.”

“Before adopting the policy, District 211 did not investigate the reliability of the science underlying gender-affirmation treatments,” the judge wrote. “Nor did it make any effort to understand the impacts such a policy would have on students exposed to opposite-sex, same-gendered students in locker rooms and restrooms.”

The judge acknowledged the school district’s enforcement of the transgender policy has caused the students “embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, fear, apprehension, stress, degradation and loss of dignity.”

The students “are at continual risk of encountering (and sometimes do encounter), without their consent, members of the opposite sex while disrobing, showering, urinating, defecating and while changing tampons and feminine napkins,” he added.

Christiana Holcomb, ADF legal counsel, said, “a compassionate approach to protecting students’ privacy” is needed.

“We welcome the court’s decision to allow key claims to move forward,” she added in a statement. “The district officially authorizes opposite-sex use of school privacy facilities, and that violates Title IX. Letting boys into girls’ showers, restrooms, and locker rooms is sexual harassment. Students should be confident that their school will protect their privacy and dignity. So far, this school district has failed to do so.”

Alonso did not allow all the claims of the plaintiffs to move forward. He threw out the students’ argument made in the case that they have the right to “bodily privacy,” saying that right refers to physically being touched by others, “not visual bodily privacy.”

Additionally, the judge dismissed the students’ claim that parents’ right to direct their children’s education applies in this case. Alonso said that right refers only to parents’ choice of type of education or schooling.

As Breitbart News reported in 2016, the district opened its schools’ bathrooms to boys claiming to be female without informing parents. Later, it allowed a boy claiming to be transgender into the girls’ locker room after the Obama administration’s Department of Education threatened the district’s federal funding in the amount of $6 million. Initially, the school district arranged for a private dressing area in the girls’ locker room for the boy, but federal officials complained the arrangement stigmatized the student. Consequently, the district allowed the boy to use the girls’ locker room openly as if he were a biological girl.

The Trump administration has rescinded the Obama administration’s policy and restored Title IX to the understanding that “sex” means biological sex – male or female – rather than perceptions or beliefs about one’s gender.

Since Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, former President Barack Obama admitted his unpopular transgender policy helped to defeat Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.

As the College Fix reported, Tom Petersen, director of community relations for the school district, said, “The District will continue to defend our practices that affirm and support the identity of all our students.”

In a “backgrounder” on the case, ADF wrote, “If our government is powerful enough to command innocent school children to disrobe in the presence of opposite-sex classmates, then there will be little it will not be powerful enough to do.”

“The restroom policy and locker room agreement thus threaten our very liberty to live our lives in accordance with the most basic expectations of common decency, dignity, and privacy in our bodies,” the law firm added.

The case is Students and Parents for Privacy v. School Directors of Township High School District 211, No. 16 C 4945, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division.

Thought Police: Public University’s Rules Now Prohibit Offensive Facial Expressions


Reported By Benjamin Arie | December 12, 2018 at 5:53pm

When George Orwell famously wrote about a dystopian future where your every thought is monitored, he shouldn’t have set it in Great Britain. It would have been much more accurate had he instead written about American college campuses. We’ve known about the alarming trend of coddling and control at colleges for a while, but it may be getting worse. At the publicly-funded University of Montana Western, college administrators seem to be doing their best Big Brother impressions.

That university recently published a policy which threatens punitive action against students for making — wait for it — “mean facial expressions.”

Image result for What did you say gif

“While discussions may become heated and passionate, they should never become mean, nasty or vindictive in spoken or printed or emailed words, facial expressions, or gestures,” the official Civility Standards at Montana Western declare.

Who decides what a mean facial expression looks like? Nobody seems to know.

“The policy says students must promote an atmosphere of civility and that their discussions should never become ‘mean, nasty, or vindictive,’ but those are all entirely subjective terms that could be applied to punish constitutionally protected speech,” Laura Beltz of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education explained to Campus Reform.

She’s right: People use a variety of facial expressions when upset, flustered or merely just excited. If you roll your eyes or raise your eyebrows, is your academic career over?

“If it is the responsibility for students to uphold these standards, it follows that they may be punished for perceived violations of these standards, in this case, for failing to promote civility or for having a discussion that is deemed mean, nasty, or vindictive,” Beltz pointed out.

Image result for you cannot be serious gif

Being punished for making a face seems like something that belongs in kindergarten, not a major university attended by serious young adults. But that certainly seems to be how the policy is written.

“According to the policy, violations of the Student Code of Conduct can result in suspension of a student’s technology account, suspension, or in extreme cases, expulsion,” explained Campus Reform.

“Even if the policy isn’t actually applied that way, students who read the policy and see how vague it is are likely to self-censor instead of taking the risk that something they say will be seen as mean, nasty, vindictive, or not civil,” Beltz added. “This sort of chilling effect on protected speech is unacceptable at a public university like Montana Western.”

If someone doesn’t think these kinds of policies could be used to infringe on free speech and inspire proverbial witch hunts, they probably haven’t been paying attention.

We’ve already seen hysterical reactions to imagined “hate crimes,” which more often than not turn out to be wildly exaggerated or blatant hoaxes. And as everyone from the Duke lacrosse team to Rolling Stone magazine found out, due process can be quickly tossed aside when there’s a social justice crusade.

There have also been countless cases of free speech infringement throughout American campuses, and students with conservative views are often the ones being silenced.

Everyone agrees that civility is important. But by trying to monitor and enforce every element of human interaction and speech, down to which facial expressions somebody uses during a debate, campus busy-bodies have lost the plot.

The real world is not a safe space free of triggering facial expressions and terrifying eye rolls, and it’s ridiculous to pretend that this is what increasingly irrelevant universities need. Let’s try more freedom of speech, not less.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan, before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico. Follow Benjamin on Facebook

School Board Fires Christian Teacher by 5-0 Vote for Refusing To Use Kid’s Preferred Pronoun


Reported By Benjamin Arie | December 9, 2018 at 5:22pm

A widely respected teacher in Virginia is out of a job and his family now has no income after he committed the gravest of politically-incorrect sins: He used the word “she” to refer to a girl.

On Thursday, Peter Vlaming was released from his teaching position at West Point High School after all five board members voted that his objection to using male pronouns for a female student was a fireable offense.

According to WRIC News, a girl at that school decided that she is transgender, and insisted that everyone call her by a new name. Vlaming had no problem with this, but drew the line at saying “him” and “his” to refer to a student who is biologically female. The teacher and students who know him explained that this wasn’t about purposely insulting the transgender person, but rather about being honest and true to his personal beliefs.

“My religious faith dictates that I am to love and respect everyone, whether I agree with them or not. Because we are all made in God’s image,” Vlaming said in an opening statement at the board meeting which decided his fate.

“I am also aware of, and agree, with speech limits that are placed on public school teachers, concerning matters of religious faith,” the teacher continued. “However, we are here today because a specific worldview is being imposed upon me.”

By all accounts, the teacher tried to accommodate the trans student in many ways but does not believe his faith or personal code permits him to pretend that a girl is now a boy.

“I won’t use male pronouns with a female student that now identifies as a male though I did agree to use the new masculine name but avoid female pronouns,” Vlaming said, according to an online petition that circulated to protect his job. Over 2,500 people sided with him.

“Administration is requiring that I use masculine pronouns in any and every context at school. I was informed that any further instances of using female pronouns would be grounds for termination,” the teacher continued.

For their part, the school is claiming that it’s an issue of tolerance … yet they seem to be demonstrating intolerance themselves.

“We do not and cannot tolerate discrimination in any form, or actions that create a hostile environment for any member of our school family,” declared the school board.

It apparently didn’t dawn on them that firing a member of their “school family” for his personal views was fairly hostile.

“What could be worse for your family than being fired from your job for not lying and violating conscience?” wondered Robert A. J. Gagnon, a Harvard-educated theology expert who is following the controversy.

A large number of students and parents apparently agree. “The public hearing was held in the Chorus Room, only allowing 38 members of the public to sit in on the meeting,” explained The Family Foundation.

“There were well over a hundred people who tried to attend the meeting in the middle of a Thursday afternoon. Students and parents sat in the hallway watching a live-stream of the hearing when they learned they could not get into the room,” the pro-family group continued.

Here’s the bottom line: Schools are supposed to be places where facts, reality, and critical thinking are held up as high standards. Young and often rebellious students should have a voice, but they are not the ones who run our schools.

The female student can still be treated with respect, as this teacher reportedly tried to do. She can still choose for herself how she wants to live outside of the school and make choices for herself when she’s an adult graduate.

But the reality is that this student is biologically a female, try as she might to pretend otherwise. Forcing the rest of the school and society as a whole to bend to her whims is not only contradicting scientific facts, it imposes her views onto other people. In a word, it’s dishonest.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Summary
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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan, before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico. Follow Benjamin on Facebook

VIDEO: Drag Queen Confesses To ‘GROOMING Next Generation’ During His ‘Story Hours’


Written by Wes Walker on December 3, 2018

That’s a direct quote from the Drag Queen, too. He said it on purpose, knowing what he was saying. We have raised the issue of Drag Queens offering story time in libraries before. If you’re interested in the background of the story, and some sense of just how much it has proliferated, you can get up to speed with any of these three related stories:
Major Texas Library Debuts ‘Drag Queen Storytime’ For The Kiddos
Dear Parents: Would You Allow Drag Queens To Read To Your Kiddies About Drag Queens?
Drag Queens: Feminine Appreciation Or Female ‘Minstrel Shows’?

Now that we’re all up to speed, here’s the problem. This guy (Dylan Pontiff) raised the notion of ‘grooming’ as a good thing. For most of us, grooming, in the context of children, is an outrageous concept. We’re not talking about personal hygiene. If you’re wondering why he complained that the room “reacted” to the words he used, there’s a very specific reason.

In the context of a public meeting where parents and other responsible adults were expressing their concerns that having men dressed as women visiting young children for Storytime to read to them, where the innocence of childhood was being challenged by having confusing and unnecessarily complex sexual concepts introduced at a very young and impressionable age, the speaker (who is also the cross-dresser who would be ‘performing’ at this story time) introduced the term ‘grooming’ quite willingly, and said it was something he was actively doing.

Why did people object?

Grooming is a term typically used in describing the efforts of an adult to prepare a vulnerable youth to be receptive to future sexual advances. It involves as the reducing of inhibitions, desensitizing the child to awkward and uncomfortable (sexualized) situations and normalizing abnormal sexual behavior so that it seems ok and safe. See the problem?

Now cue up to what he says from about the 2:20 mark and forward.

Besides citing the inappropriateness of introducing children to adult entertainers, some parents have voiced concerns about the pro-gay and transgender ideology behind the story times.

Pontiff then said that the event will be “the grooming of the next generation.”

“I’m here to let you know that this event is something that’s going to be very beautiful and for the children and the people that support it are going to realize that this is going to be the grooming of the next generation. We are trying to groom the next generation,” Pontiff said.
Source: WesternJournal

Remember, first he’s arguing that he isn’t doing some kind of ‘indoctrination’.

Then he turns around and says he was intentionally grooming young people. Intentionally trying to shape and change their views of men dressing up as women (Which, if you follow the logic of the ‘Minstrel Show’ article, cited above, is arguably derogatory and insulting to genuine women.)

And after that, he points his skinny finger at the ’50 or so’ people who gasped at the concept of their children being ‘groomed’, and proceeded to paint THEM as evil intolerant whackos.

Shocking Statistics on Teaching Islam in American Schools



disclaimerReported By Guest Contributor Tuesday, May 29, 2018

In this picture taken on October 13, 2017, a student takes notes from history book in a classroom at Tokyo Korean high school. (Photo: BEHROUZ MEHRI / AFP / Getty Images)
(Illustrative photo: BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

A retired Florida teacher contacted Clarion Project after we published the article “Why Is This Being Taught in Public Schools?” That piece told the story of a West Virginia parent who was upset after his daughter was asked to write the shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith, as part of “calligraphy practice” in her world religion class.

What follows is the response from the former teacher – one of several we received this week:

Speaking as a retired Florida educator, this has been going on for over 30 years. Not necessarily in writing the Islamic conversion verse and calling it practicing “calligraphy,” but in terms of elevating one religion over all others.

When I started teaching world history way back in the late 1990’s, I was leafing through my well-worn textbooks and formulating plans for the coming year. I noticed something that struck me as very odd, even then.

Let me break down the structure of secondary school social studies texts, at least in Florida.

Each chapter is broken down into lessons of about five to 10 pages each. The number of lessons per chapter averages four, with some going as long as five or as short as three depending on content.

As I flipped through my very first professional text to educate “my” new students, I was concerned.

In covering world religions, the textbook covered the Asian philosophies with their own lesson each. Hinduism, Shintoism, Buddhism and others got their own lesson. Judaism and Christianity? A section of a lesson each, not even rating their own individual lessons.

Islam? Four total chapters. Not lessons. Chapters. Each chapter having three to four lessons! I wish I’d kept one of those old books.

All history classes in Florida are divided in half. Makes sense. History is the only subject that keeps extending by the year. When I first started teaching, I covered everything in one year. But now, middle school takes care of the foundations and senior high gets into the details and inferences.

The emphasis on Islam far predates 9/11. It’s scary. In Florida, world history is mandated for the eighth and ninth grades. A very impressionable age. Very little in the way of critical thinking skills.

Written anonymously by a retired educator in Florida.

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Anti-Gunner Students Allowed To Edit US Paper, End Up Humiliating Themselves


Authored By Cillian Zeal | March 26, 2018 at 2:19pm

URL of the original posting site: https://conservativetribune.com/anti-gunner-students-paper/

Publications have editors. Real ones. As in, those whose experience is commensurate with the paper, magazine or website they’re working for. They’re not just there to make sure their staff don’t “wreite like” th1s. Their function is edit for style, to check facts, to see if arguments cohere. For this, they’re paid handsomely. (Well, by the standards of the industry, anyhow.)

I mention this all because on Friday, the U.S. edition of The Guardian allowed the staff of the Eagle Eye — the official newspaper of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, site of one of the most horrific acts of evil we’ve witnessed on school grounds in many a year — essentially to write and edit their own piece detailing their recommendations to “halt mass shootings.” 

It’s worth noting that the paper’s parent publication, the London Guardian, is easily the most liberal mainstream publication in Great Britain. That certainly explains why they would engage in an experiment like this.

And, common sense unfortunately dictated exactly how the experiment went. The piece — which I’m sure did very well in terms of readership, given the quasi-celebrity nature of the authors and the fact that it was published a day before the March for Our Lives — is a farrago of unresearched errors, logical fallacies and appeals to emotion so threadbare and maudlin you wish that a real editor would have saved them from themselves.

Here are a few “highlights” from the piece, titled “Our manifesto to fix America’s gun laws.”

“We have a unique platform not only as student journalists, but also as survivors of a mass shooting. We are firsthand witnesses to the kind of devastation that gross incompetence and political inaction can produce.” 

This is in the introduction and it sets the tone for what’s to come. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: neither surviving a mass shooting nor being a student journalist makes you an expert on either firearms or public policy.

In the latter department, it shows in this very sentence: the movement they are supporting (and the manifesto they wrote) wishes to place more — not less — power in the hands of those whose gross incompetence and political inaction caused the Parkland shooting in the first place.

“Ban semi-automatic weapons that fire high-velocity rounds: Civilians shouldn’t have access to the same weapons that soldiers do. That’s a gross misuse of the second amendment. (sic) These weapons were designed for dealing death: not to animals or targets, but to other human beings. The fact that they can be bought by the public does not promote domestic tranquility. Rather, their availability puts us into the kind of danger faced by men and women trapped in war zones.

“This situation reflects a failure of our government. It must be corrected to ensure the safety of those guaranteed the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” 

This is the kind of misinformation from which an actual editor — one who works for The Guardian as opposed to the Eagle Eye — would have saved these individuals. Hunting rounds available to the general public already fire at higher velocity than some ammunition used in military rifles, because hunters often shoot at moving targets.

So, in fact, they were mostly designed for “dealing death” to animals. They’re often for varmint control. However, in a mass shooting situation, they would actually have little practical advantage over most other guns (but more about this later).

While there may be the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence, there is also the right to bear arms (which “shall not be infringed upon”) in the Constitution. Nowhere in these documents, it must be noted, is the promotion of “domestic tranquility” (again: this kind of clubfooted phraseology is why you let professionals edit your work) guaranteed.

The most sadly laughable line, however, is the part about “a failure of our government.” The government has failed in so many ways in Parkland, but in ways where handing more power over to them would only exacerbate the problem. I know these students write and edit a newspaper; perhaps they should read a few, as well.

“Ban accessories that simulate automatic weapons: High-capacity magazines played a huge role in the shooting at our school. In only 10 minutes, 17 people were killed, and 17 others were injured. This is unacceptable.

“That’s why we believe that bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories that simulate the effect of military-grade automatic weapons should be banned.

“In the 2017 shooting in Las Vegas, 58 people were killed and 851 others were injured. The gunman’s use of bump stocks enabled vast numbers of people to be hurt while gathered in one of the most iconic cities in America. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. That’s why action must be taken to take these accessories off the market.”

Let’s start here with the idea that bump stocks “simulate automatic weapons.” They allow weapons to fire more rapidly — and very inaccurately. In the case of Las Vegas, it was a unique situation where accuracy didn’t matter to the gunman because of the press of the crowd into which he was firing. In most mass shootings, bump stocks would be useless. They also do not “simulate the effect of military-grade automatic weapons.” 

As for the high-capacity magazines, this is again something that anyone familiar with guns would know to be useless. In a soft-target situation like a school where security either cannot or refuses to engage a shooter, a handgun with a regular magazine would be more than enough to inflict the kind of damage the shooter did, irrespective of the size of the magazine. And, if targets were hardened, the size of the magazine wouldn’t matter; a student would likely be either stopped or deterred before it made a significant difference.

Nowhere is evidence provided for any of their claims in this department, likely because none exists.

Oh, and speaking of security:

“Increase funding for school security: We believe that schools should be given sufficient funds for school security and resource officers to protect and secure the entire campus. As a school of over 3,000 students, teachers and faculty, Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school (sic) was only supplied funds to hire one on-campus armed resource officer by the state. 

“Without backup, this officer’s hesitation proved to be disastrous and allowed for the senseless deaths of people who were killed on the third floor of the 1200 building. Though this idea has been proposed in the past, these funds should not be appropriated from the already scarce funding for public education. Governments should find resources to secure the millions of children that attend public schools without taking away from the quality of education that is offered at these institutions.”

Given the scarce resources, you mean a plan like, I don’t know, training and arming already-extant faculty members at your institution to back up armed resource officers? Like the president proposed? Probably not, given that one of the soi disant leaders of Stoneman Douglas gun control posse (who, in fairness, is not an editorial member of the Eagle Eye) has called that idea stupid.”

“Allow the CDC to make recommendations for gun reform: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should be allowed to conduct research on the dangers of gun violence. The fact that they are currently prohibited from doing so undermines the first amendment.(sic) It also violates the rights of the American people.

“It is hypocritical to rally people to protect the second amendment, (sic) while remaining silent on the ways that blocking research violates one of our most basic constitutional freedoms.” 

At least someone from The Guardian should have had the basic kindness to explain how incoherent this would sound. The Centers for Disease Control is a government organization. If it is commissioned by the government to provide gun death research — and the omnibus bill authorizes that — it can conduct said research. It would then present its findings.

Nowhere is a taxpayer-funded organization granted the right to officially opine on any issue without legislation or regulations that prompt it, under the First Amendment. This would be patently absurd — and, by the way, since the CDC is currently headed up by an appointee of the Trump administration, I seriously doubt the editorial members of the Eagle Eye would exactly be in favor of the CDC somehow utilizing the First Amendment to remark on how they feel about the Second Amendment.

Other arguments that you may have heard before that are included in the piece are the proposal to raise the minimum age for firearm purchases from 18 to 21, greater sharing of mental health information between mental health care providers and law enforcement, the “gun show loophole” argument and calls for more stringent background checks.

No particularly new points were contributed to the discussion and none of the arguments were rendered more astutely than they have heretofore been.  There is no unique perspective brought to anything (aside from the idea that government agencies ought to have autonomous First Amendment rights to speak however they want), and certainly no particular view expressed in the article is unique to an individual who has survived a mass shooting.

Instead, it is an exploitative document (on the part of The Guardian) riddled with poor reasoning and nonexistent research (on the part of the students) which only exists in mass media circulation because of who wrote it.

You may feel that I am being inordinately cruel and unjust by attacking what these students have written. They are, after all, survivors of an unspeakable tragedy. They are also public figures and have made themselves so by their decision to lecture Americans on what constitutional and legal rights they should and should not have. The expectation that those they have chosen to lecture ought to sit down and stay silent ignore the fact that the media is using these teenagers as cultural satraps to weave a proxy narrative of their own. 

If the media is going to engage in such puppetry, the very least they could do is give these kids a decent editor.

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