Parkland Kids

SellwynThumbby Selwyn Duke3/1/18
The Return of the Grieving Activist  •  According to many gun-control advocates, 18-year-olds are too immature to handle guns — but are mature enough to advise us on gun policy. Thus we’re told we must “listen to the voices” of the young Parkland shooting survivors. Not only that, we’re not to question or oppose them because they’re young, they’re survivors and, by golly, because it’s absolutely devastating to the anti-gun agenda!

There’s something truly reprehensible about this situation, and it’s not conservatives criticizing the positions of activist Parkland students such as David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez. It’s that liberals are using the students as human props and human shields, letting them throw the punches and then condemning the assailed if they dare defend themselves.

Well, sorry, but as I wrote years ago in “The Grieving Activist,” if you want to grieve, grieve.  If you want to play politics, play politics.

But my sympathy for grieving ends when the use of grief as a political battering ram begins.

Now, putting minors on the front lines is not at all unprecedented. The youngest U.S. naval captain was 12-year-old David Farragut, and the British would often have upper-class, preteen boy officers aboard their warships, as accurately portrayed in the film Master and Commander. But could you imagine if, after firing some salvos at French vessels and receiving a proportionate response, a British captain bellowed, “What do you think you’re doing?! There are kids aboard this ship!” Ridiculous.

But no more ridiculous than doing likewise in our political campaigns — and, mind you, “campaign” is a military term, applied here because at issue is political warfare. So put kids on the front lines if you wish, as the Nazis did in WWII’s waning days, but know that they’re taking flak because you placed them in harm’s way.

Of course, this all is very calculated. We know that CNN staged a town-hall affair, cherry-picking the attendees and controlling the questions. We know that, as pro-Second Amendment Parkland survivor Brandon Minoff related, the media are ignoring the voices of the pro-gun Parkland kids (so much for “listening to the children”). Nonetheless, while this anti-gun operation may or may not have George Soros’ fingerprints all over it, as Sheriff David Clarke suggested, it’s also no doubt true that the student activists are “wildly motivated,” as CNN’s Alisyn Camerota put it in response to him.

Yet there’s an obvious question here: Is it wise to have recently traumatized people advising on policy? Would we let someone whose dog was just killed by a neighbor help determine punishment for cruelty to animals? “Passion governs, and she never governs wisely,” as Ben Franklin warned.

Additionally, we’re a pretty immature civilization if we look to kids for policy advice. There’s a reason why societies might traditionally have been governed by a council of (hopefully) wise elders: Teen boys may sometimes have utility in warfare, but adolescent angst doesn’t make for sober heads. Moreover, mainstream media love publishing articles about the impulsive “teen brain”; now they say we should bow before these brains’ latest impulses. (Note: I instinctively knew the “teen brain” thesis was nonsense, as this article explains, but immaturity is nonetheless a factor.)

Yet something else must be said about these “wildly motivated” teens. To paraphrase late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, “They really care — about what I have no idea!”

It’s fashionable to beatify survivors. Endure a tragedy, and you’re suddenly a sainted soul whose motives are beyond reproach. But while I’m sure many Parkland students are what we’d call, practically speaking, “good people,” I’m also sure about their character as a group.

They’re just people.

Their number includes the good, the bad and the ugly. Heck, we’re only talking about this issue right now because of a Parkland teen who attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSDHS) and who is not at all a good person (I won’t give him publicity by using his name).

Yet the mainstream media exalt Parkland students as fonts of wisdom — while simultaneously infantilizing them, saying they can condemn but not be criticized, offend but not be offended. I’m different: realistic. I’m thus going to exercise some logic here, even though it’s wholly out of fashion.

With approximately 3000 Parkland teen survivors, what’s the probability that they’re all “good people”? Oh, I’m sure a handful will go on to do great things and that most of the others will do good but average things. Then there are the rest. Whom might they include?

Well, without naming names, is it inconceivable that a few of the 3000 might be Machiavellian enough to realize that the shooting’s aftermath is an opportunity for fame and possibly wealth and career-building? This doesn’t mean they don’t have genuine anti-gun passions — they may, as people’s actions are often driven by multiple motivations, some noble and some ignoble — only that the primary impetus may be a more self-serving one.

And, actually, out of 3000 students, it’s inconceivable that there wouldn’t be two or three of this mold. Teens ain’t potted plants — they can be manipulative as well as meritorious. Just ask “clock boy” Ahmed Mohamed about that.

The Left can huff and puff about these observations, but it draws distinctions among gun-crime survivors, too. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was seriously wounded by a left-wing activist in last year’s congressional baseball shooting, and Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, also a Republican, survived the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. But I don’t hear them trumpeted as voices “we must listen to.” Why? It could be what they have in common with the ignored Parkland pro-Second Amendment kids.

The latter, however, are just a few of the young voices about which leftists couldn’t care less. Other examples are the Boy Scouts booed at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, the six-year-old lad in a 2012 anti-Obama video whom liberals wanted dead, and the 650,000 babies they actually do manage to kill annually via prenatal infanticide. And this does reflect the culture-of-death mentality: Liberals want to hear young voices — until they become inconvenient. At that point their freedom of speech can be aborted.


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42 Responses to Parkland Kids

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I’m not trying to take away from Selwyn’s thoughts here, but it’s a good opportunity to point out Ann’s column on the subject: The School-to-Mass-Murder Pipeline

    When he took over in 2011, the district had “the highest number of school-related arrests in the state.” But today, he boasted, Broward has “one of the lowest rates of arrest in the state.” By the simple expedient of ignoring criminal behavior, student arrests had declined by a whopping 78 percent.

    FOOTBALL COACH: “When I took over this team a year ago, we were last in the league in pass defense. Today, we no longer keep that statistic!”

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      I am reminded of the play Evita, in the opening act:

      Oh what a circus, oh what a show
      Argentina has gone to town
      Over the death of an actress called Eva Peron
      We’ve all gone crazy
      Mourning all day and mourning all night
      Falling over ourselves to get all of the misery right

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        It is a circus and a show. The lunatics on the Left are so invested in their ideology, it is difficult to talk about the problems revolving around mass murderers. It’s particularly egregious that the policies of the Left aided and abetted this shooter while they deflect and focus on nothing but the hardware involved.

        That mass killings should follow mass idiocy is perhaps not surprising.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      My wife and I were chatting last night and she pointed out an interesting stat. Almost all school shootings occur at public schools. The only one I remember is the Amish school several years ago, and it was not an exclusively private school. There are several reasons; teachers are paid to be aware of what the students are doing, as is the administration and staff, parents are more involved, values are a part of the curriculum and although the schools tend to be gun free, its not a virtue signal signal.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, public schools are far more numerous than private and parochial schools, and usually larger as well (i.e., more targets). Since mass shootings at schools are actually rare (though also spectacularly horrifying when they do occur), this may just be coincidence. But it is possible that the factors you mention also help make them unlikely.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        values are a part of the curriculum

        One of the conservative beefs is with the choice of words “values” instead of “virtues.” The Left has plenty of “values.” Parkland had plenty of “values” including believing that not punishing students for lawless behavior was a favor to them.

        Not being a boring “gotcha” sort of guy, Steve, I know you mean that in private schools the following virtues are most likely reinforced:

        1) Punctuality (which is inherently about respect for the teacher and other students)

        2) Good grades

        3) Getting along with others

        4) Honesty

        5) Imparting real knowledge (as opposed to indoctrinating Social Justice Warrior pseudo-religious utopian beliefs)

        6) Obedience to and respect for teachers

        7) Respect for other people’s property

        8) Hard work

        That list is by no means all-inclusive. But any classroom in the proposed Kung & Nelson Private Educational System (there is room for other partners) will have such virtues front-and-center. There’s also room, especially in private schools, for a central authentic Jewish and/or Christian curriculum. After all, where do these virtues actually originate, in the mind of God or of Karl Marx?

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          You will note most of the points on your list are related to discipline.

          I would occasionally sub in local schools and noted that discipline was too often lacking. It didn’t take more than a few days to understand that imposing rules a little more rigorously would solve something like 70-80% of a teacher’s classroom problems, and improve the learning atmosphere.

          Of course, to do this would require the administration to back teachers and would likely create some initial problems with some parents, but I think the overall gain for education would be great.

          In my opinion, many American public schools are simply baby-sitting services.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I think most people these days have grown up with Dr. Spock, whether first-hand or second-hand. And whatever his real doctrine was (I forget), the basic shtick is that authoritarianism (aka: maleness) must be avoided lest little Johnny be psychologically wounded for life.

            It goes without saying that authoritarianism can go too far. But no school shooting in Parkland would have occurred if real men were in charge (or real women, for that matter). That is, people who set clear and good standards and then meted out penalties swiftly and justly when those standards were not met.

            What we’ve been left with is this “Men without chests” factor. Men (and women) have been hollowed out, authority itself having been called a bad thing. Now little Johnny must be coddled. Instead of the idea that adults know more and it is their responsibility to teach, it’s now thought of more as a “consensus” thing. Just lead little Johnny to brightly-colored tools of learning and he’ll absorb it all by himself.

            Although I doubt most classrooms are that passive, this is increasingly the very legal text and mission statement written in to state education laws. Then add in the racist element whereby the color of your skin gets you an automatic pass from being disciplined.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            These discipline problems, and the necessity for a school to back up those teachers who try to deal with them, are part of a major chapter in the Destroyer novel Mugger Blood. Remo visits the school one troublesome kid attends (when he bothers), Malcolm-King-Lumumba High School, and talks to his teacher. She ignores the rowdiness in class (helped by wearing earplugs to keep out the noise) and gives everyone good grades regardless of performance. Remo isn’t pleased (he had gone to a parochial school in his day) until she explains that she started out trying to be a good teacher. But the parents complained and the school didn’t back her up, so she eventually gave up the effort.

            As for Brad’s concern below, there’s this from MAD Magazine about 50 years ago:

            Spock, Spock, the baby doc
            Leads a peace march down the block.
            Around him everywhere you look
            Are kids he messed up with his book.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              You must have one radically good supply of old MAD Magazines….or a very good memory.

              • David Ray says:

                Was this Dr. Spock some flaming liberal wise-ass? I gotta read up on him.
                (I really gotta get my PC internet restored. Cell phones suck.)

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Well, I used to have a great selection. Also, in theory I have a computer app that allows me to look up past issues and such, but it wouldn’t work on my then computer, and disappeared somewhere. I also have a good memory for what I really liked.

                As for David’s comments, assuming he meant them seriously, Dr. Spock wrote a very popular book on baby care in the early ’50s that apparently opposed discipline. Later he was a leftist peace activist and then People’s Party 1972 candidate for president.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    Yes, that was a very nice Ann Coulter article. It gives a good description of what went wrong in Broward County, though fortunately not in the Coral Garden PD.

    The problem isn’t the emotionalism of the kids; it’s the emotionalism of the voters who fall for this trick. It also works, at least somewhat, for women — Slick Hilly used it to good effect in 2000 against Rick Lazio. And these student activists do have the support, financial and organization, of anti-gun groups and other leftists. They really hit the jackpot when they discovered Hogg, who has proven adept at parroting their talking points. He even defended the failure of Scot Peterson and other deputies to intervene. He has forfeited his right to sympathy, as have many others by their mockery of the tale of a rape victim who wished she had a gun to defend herself with.

    The use of children as human shields goes back quite a way, and was no doubt adapted from the Muslim use of them.

  3. Rosalys says:

    https://bombardsbodylanguage.com/videos

    Scroll down 3 videos to “David Hogg, CNN”
    (Bombard’s was recently taken down from YouTube during its current purge.)

    This is a little weird; David sitting next to his silent, former FBI dad/coach. I’ll say it again. This whole situation is suspicious. It conveniently plays right into the hands of the gun confiscationists.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I’m not sure of the validity of the kind of find-grained body-language reading. But the kid sure seems a little weak on testosterone. They found the perfect Spokesflake, it seems.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    This makes for almost humorous reading: Young Adults Spend More Than Six Hours Per Day Feeling ‘Stressed Out’

    The statistics emerged in a study by charity, UK Youth, to launch its #KeepMeSafe campaign, which calls on all organisations working with young people to “look” at their safeguarding policies, “listen” to young people and take action during National Safeguarding Month.

    “It’s concerning to see just how long young people spend feeling worried or stressed and how many of them have to go through these issues alone, without anyone to turn to for advice and guidance,” a spokesperson for the charity said. “Despite living in our ever-connected world, young people need safe spaces more than ever.

    Safe spaces like Parkland?

    Tracking with personal relativism, I found it amusing that Weight Watchers is Shifting from Weight Loss to Wellness as ‘healthy is the new skinny”

    I think it’s an objective fact that being overweight is unhealthy. But the Snowflakes and Snowprincesses must have their Twinkies and feel good about it.

    Good news from South Africa: We Are Not Calling for the Slaughter of White People – at Least for Now. Obama and his minions must see this as the kind of policies they would like to implement in America. And given that our system in some places is already adjusted so that “people of color” can kill white people (or any people) with impunity, much of the ground has been laid. For now, whites in South Africa can keep their lives but perhaps not their land. But this eradication of “white privilege” must be seen by the Left as something to applaud — even as blacks in South Africa continue to tear apart that nation.

    The Oscars (please tell me no one watches this crap anymore) will have a special Moment regarding sexual harassment. Brent Bozell notes:

    If the Academy Awards people wanted to recall how Hollywood has behaved, they would take a “moment” to replay the standing ovation for child-raping director Roman Polanski when he won best director in 2003. The audience could see Meryl Streep standing and applauding, and then there’s director Martin Scorsese doing the same, being a good sport about losing to Polanski, and standing up and clapping behind him is … Harvey Weinstein.

    Last but not least on this trip around America’s spreading Parkland: In milestone, all songs on Twenty One Pilots album go gold:

    The Ohio musicians, who blend hip-hop with light rock, scored their biggest success yet with the 2015 album, especially “Stressed Out,” a nostalgic song about yearning for childhood stability.

    I just had to look up the lyrics to that song:

    I wish I found some better sounds no one’s ever heard
    I wish I had a better voice that sang some better words
    I wish I found some chords in an order that is new
    I wish I didn’t have to rhyme every time I sang

    I was told when I get older all my fears would shrink
    But now I’m insecure and I care what people think

    My name’s Blurryface and I care what you think
    My name’s Blurryface and I care what you think

    Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days
    When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out
    Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days
    When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out

    Maybe instead of banning “assault rifles” they should ban this Snowflake-inducing stuff. This is infantile. But I do admit, the stress of needing to rhyme can certainly get to you.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      “Despite living in our ever-connected world, young people need safe spaces more than ever.

      Maybe the dumb-asses should turn off the connections more often. Talk to someone, go for a walk, read a classic novel, whatever.

      These idiots are stressed out because they have been primed for stressing from the time they went to school where they learned about anything but reality. And when one is continually taught nonsense and lies contradicting human nature, history and common sense, then of course reality is going to be a bit stressful. This is simply amplified by modern social media.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Mr. Kung, I think you and Rush Limbaugh are right about these kids being “primed for stressing.” If you’re white, you have “white privilege” and are inherently suspect. If you’re a “person of color,” you can’t catch a fair break no matter what. And for all there is the catastrophe of global warming. More precisely and more relevant, this is about how bad it is just to be a human being. Our very lives are a plague upon Mother Gaia.

        I believe the above to be true and you could add some more elements on top of that, such as the demonization of simply being a man, along with the expectation of every woman to ignore her feminine impulses and to act like a man. I believe all this junk and more contributes to a state of pessimism and the feeling of being put upon.

        But above and beyond all that is the bedrock material for this angst. It is the expectation of Utopia as the norm. My favorite Hans Christian Andersen story is The Princess and the Pea:

        Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess; but she would have to be a real princess. He travelled all over the world to find one, but nowhere could he get what he wanted. There were princesses enough, but it was difficult to find out whether they were real ones. There was always something about them that was not as it should be. So he came home again and was sad, for he would have liked very much to have a real princess.

        One evening a terrible storm came on; there was thunder and lightning, and the rain poured down in torrents. Suddenly a knocking was heard at the city gate, and the old king went to open it.

        It was a princess standing out there in front of the gate. But, good gracious! what a sight the rain and the wind had made her look. The water ran down from her hair and clothes; it ran down into the toes of her shoes and out again at the heels. And yet she said that she was a real princess.

        “Well, we’ll soon find that out,” thought the old queen. But she said nothing, went into the bed-room, took all the bedding off the bedstead, and laid a pea on the bottom; then she took twenty mattresses and laid them on the pea, and then twenty eider-down beds on top of the mattresses.

        On this the princess had to lie all night. In the morning she was asked how she had slept.

        “Oh, very badly!” said she. “I have scarcely closed my eyes all night. Heaven only knows what was in the bed, but I was lying on something hard, so that I am black and blue all over my body. It’s horrible!”

        Now they knew that she was a real princess because she had felt the pea right through the twenty mattresses and the twenty eider-down beds.

        Nobody but a real princess could be as sensitive as that.

        So the prince took her for his wife, for now he knew that he had a real princess; and the pea was put in the museum, where it may still be seen, if no one has stolen it.

        There, that is a true story.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I’ve heard of the story, but never read it exactly. Something tells me Andersen wasn’t complimenting royalty. My favorite would be “The Emperor’s Clothes”. My 6th grade teacher had a play version of it, and I got to play one of the swindlers. That was a fun role. I still remember scattered lines from the play.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I sure hope HCA was parodying the royalty. Whatever the case may be, substitute “Snowflake” for “princess” at you update it for the 21st century.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Come to think of it, you can probably do something similar with “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. The Emperor doesn’t come off well, but in this case no one does but the child (and maybe the swindlers, if only for cleverness).

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Obama’s New Clothes with the David-Brooks-approved perfectly creased pants.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Well, it’s easy for them to be approved if he can’t see them (because they aren’t really there). These would be visible to anyone who was a perfect social justice warrior. Of course, none of them would admit that they see nothing — and when some conservative tells the truth, they’d ignore it and thus never learn otherwise. The swindlers would have no trouble escaping. Having played one, I rather like that under the circumstances.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Our music class in high school put on musicals every year. One of those was “Once Upon a Mattress”, which is based on “The Princess and the Pea.” I was an understudy and also in various scenes.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I always knew you had a little ham in you, Mr. Kung, although “Once Upon a Mattress” sounds more like a porn film. But then we all have a past. 😀

    • Rosalys says:

      “I wish I found some chords in an order that is new
      I wish I didn’t have to rhyme every time I sang”

      He wishes he didn’t have to rhyme? He didn’t want to rhyme, and I noticed he didn’t. So-o-o, what’s his problem? He’s stressing out about “having to do” something, which he clearly didn’t have to do, because he didn’t do it – and he lived! Wow!

      I’m so glad I don’t understand this. If I did it would cause me so much stress!

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Perhaps he should have listened to Tom Lehrer’s “Folk Song Army”, which notes that one advantage of the “folk song of protest” is that you no longer have to one good scansion and rhyme. (“The tune don’t have to be clever, and it doesn’t matter if you put a couple of extra syllables in a line. It sounds more ethnic if it ain’t good English, and it don’t even gotta rhyme. Excuse me, rhyne.”) I did a parody of it (“Vote Fraud Army”) which may be somewhere in the Poetry section.

        • Steve Lancaster says:

          I remember That was the Week That Was, on CBS if I remember correctly. Good biting satire is one of the things that somehow has gone out of fashion. TWTTW of course did not last long but Lehrer had a successful career in clubs for a number of years and he always had his fall back position as a professor of math at Harvard. Still relevant today is So Long Mom I’m off to drop the bomb, MLF lullaby, and It makes a fellow Proud to be a soldier.

          Our current PC culture has taken much of the humor away and replaced it with the stony stare.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            It was on NBC, not CBS; I remember it well. Another good Lehrer song from the show was “Pollution”. The bomb song came from a retrospective on World War III. The album That Was the Year That Was had his songs from that show, and a bunch of others.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Don’t forget “The Vatican Rag.” That and “Pollution” were the songs I liked best.

              I felt a “cha, cha, cha” would have be nice in “Pollution.”

              • Timothy Lane says:

                There’s also Lehrer’s tribute, “Wernher von Braun”. “Some have harsh words for this man of renown, but some say our attitude should be one of gratitude. Like the widows and cripples of old London town, who owe their large pensions to Wernher von Braun.”

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        He wishes he didn’t have to rhyme? He didn’t want to rhyme, and I noticed he didn’t. So-o-o, what’s his problem?

        Rosalys, how should I put this? Hmm. Here’s a way.

        Stressed Out
        a Sinatra-Style tune arranged by Nelson Riddle
        Music and Lyrics by Brad Nelson (no relation to the above)

        When the sun comes up
        That big red ball of fire
        It starts me on my way
        Thinking that all is dire

        It’s either much too warm
        Or not cold enough
        But I know for sure
        The earth I’m using up

        I can’t get a girl
        Such talk is now futile
        The game of his and her
        Has gone gender neutral

        And even my Facebook self
        Is all full of doubt
        Life has defriended me
        And I’m all stressed out

        Now I’ve just got to put that to music and work on the chorus and maybe put out a million-view YouTube video.

        • Rosalys says:

          Brad, you are a great lyricist! By all means, write a chorus and get it out on YouTube. You brother’s a musician, isn’t he? Maybe he can perform it for you.

          Of course, with the current purge going on at YouTube and other social (justice warrior) media sites, there is a possibility you’ll be banished to the internet gulag.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Yes, Brother Ron can certainly help with that. I may indeed finish it (by writing a chorus) and maybe consult him on the music.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              How about “Double, double, toil, and trouble” from MacBeth? You’d need a second line, and the original (“Fire burn and cauldron bubble”) wouldn’t work, but it would fit well with the mood.

  5. David Ray says:

    Gotta love how CNN helped stage that townhall circus act.
    I’ve been to two townhalls held by Pete Sessions where aroud 80% of us there where right wing scumbags. (Liberals about 20%)
    Because Pete allowed only random/voluntary questions, he got many difficult questions . . . most asked by the same rabid leftests that pushed their way past to ask 55 to 60% of ’em.

  6. David Ray says:

    WOW! I knew so little about this Dr. Ben Spock. It appears he and Saul Alinsky played tag-team in screwing up a generation.
    I’ve read Saul’s pile of horse crap “Rules for Hillary”. That book & D’nesh gave me insight that the MSM never would.
    I’ll check out Spock’s book for the source material angle (I never buy these bozo’s books). Any here have any suggested readings? All I’ve found so far is sappy suck-up articles & excuses.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I don’t know if Spock had anything comparable to Rules for Radicals. Still, he probably did some sort of campaign biography. I doubt his book on baby care would be very informative about his much later activist career.

      • David Ray says:

        Reading his book is only to see what the fuss was about. The other material I’m looking for is to see what the fuss caused.

        Needless to say, what liberals professors & journalists write would be predictable so I’m seeking anything grounded (i.e. not full of shit.)

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