Uvalde, Ukraine, And The Second Amendment
400,000 children killed in Iraq in the 1990s, and the late Madelyn Albright said that that was somehow "worth it". Probably a thousand or two kids were killed in Mariupol, something like 70 in Bucha that are known of so far - and the ones shot down in Bucha were up close and personal, too. So there's that. In Uvalde, the cops hung around outside for an hour, waiting for the SWAT team to show up - and the cops prevented parents from going in to try to save their kids - to the point of physically restraining people - and so there's that, too. Finally, this: "A former classmate of the gunman said Ramos "would get severely bullied and made fun of a lot" and was taunted by others for the clothes he wore and his family's financial situation. "People would, like, actually call him school shooter and stuff like that," he said." - that's the story of damned near every school shooter since Columbine over 20 years ago. It's easy to blame the instrumentality, but that doesn't fix the problem.
“Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.” Brandeis, J, Dissent in Olmstead v US.
The reason we have our Second Amendment in the US - “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" should be apparent in light of what has happened in Ukraine. The people of Ukraine have received an object lesson in the truth of that Amendment, and in response have formed volunteer Territorial Defense Militias, often raising money to buy arms, ammunition, helmets, body armor, night vision equipment, first aid kits, drones, and other items, often through online crowdfunding campaigns. Those Territorial Defense Militias are precisely what the people who wrote the Second Amendment had in mind when they wrote about a “well-regulated militia” - to prevent tyranny by governments, either foreign or their own. If the Australian people had not agreed to let themselves be disarmed after the Dunblane Massacre, do you think the Australian government would have perpetrated the tyranny that it has done for the past two and a half years? I rather doubt it.
Every time something like this happens - usually at the same time powerful politicians are calling for new infringements on the right of the people to keep and bear arms or other essential liberties - there is a flood of outrage from media people, calling for more restrictions to be put in place. Russell Brand - coming from a country which is a Monarchy, and has no tradition of republican government, no written Bill of Rights intended to limit and constrain government - is much the same as the rest, he just couches his assault on this fundamental liberty in softer, easier, more palatable terms:
In British North America - which is what the United States were before the Revolution - there was not only a right to keep and bear arms - military arms - but also a duty to do so, and that duty existed for all free males between the ages of 16 and 60. Younger males, from ages 10 to 15 could, with their parents' permission, also be a part of the "training band", as the local territorial militias were known as, and adults, 61 and over, could retain their membership. The youngest Rebel at Lexington Green was Jonathan Harrington, 15 years old, the oldest, Samuel Whittemore, aged 79 years old, both of whom survived the day. These territorial militias elected their own officers, those who could not afford their own weapons were supplied with them by the local government, the cost of which was to be paid back in installments. Free training in the proper use and maintenance of weapons was provided, and target practice was mandated, up to three times a week until proficiency was attained, then once per month. Shootings were uncommon, murderers met their end at the end of a rope. And enforcement of the laws was the right and duty of the citizenry.
Go forward to the 20th century, a lot of US public schools had rifle ranges and rifle teams. Children as young as six years old - first graders - were taught how to shoot BB guns, transitioning in sixth grade to .22 rifles, then in 8th or 9th grade to .30 calibre rifles. And it was common in high school parking lots in suburbs close to rural areas, and in rural areas themselves, to see pickup trucks with gun racks holding shotguns and rifles. In those years, despite the easy availability of guns, school shootings were unheard of.
In 1999, with the Columbine Massacre, things changed, and there have been a wave of shootings ever since. And guns have been made less available, not more, and schools no longer teach shooting or have rifle teams, so most students are pretty unaware of firearms - their only exposure is from first-person “shooter” video games and the like, where shot targets disappear in a puff of smoke to be replaced by a number, floating momentarily in thin air.
And then there’s this: Police have no legal duty to protect individuals. “The US Supreme Court has made it clear that law enforcement agencies are not required to provide protection to the citizens who are forced to pay the police for their "services." In the cases DeShaney vs. Winnebago, 489 U.S. 189 (1989) and Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzales [see https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/04-278], the Supreme Court has ruled that police agencies are not obligated to provide protection of citizens. In other words, police are well within their rights to pick and choose when to intervene to protect the lives and property of others — even when a threat is apparent. In both of these court cases, clear and repeated threats were made against the safety of children — but government agencies chose to take no action.” https://mises.org/power-market/police-have-no-duty-protect-you-federal-court-affirms-yet-again. And this failure to act in a timely fashion - or at all - has been seen in this most recent shooting: “Cops waited outside while shooter killed students. Video and witness accounts from outside Uvalde's Robb Elementary School suggest local police officers not only failed to try and stop the shooter for an unconscionably long time but also actively prevented parents from trying to save their kids. The shooter—Salvador Ramos—was inside the school for 40 minutes or more while police stood around outside, the Associated Press reports. "Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school," but the officers reportedly waited outside until a SWAT team was ready. How many lives could have been saved if the cops had acted sooner? If they had bravely put their lives on the line instead of letting elementary school children and teachers fend for themselves against an armed madman for nearly an hour?
Instead, witnesses say the cops stood guard outside the school, preventing parents from rushing in to try and stop the shooter themselves: Javier Cazares, whose fourth grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police were still gathered outside the building. Upset that police were not moving in, he raised the idea of charging into the school with several other bystanders. "Let's just rush in because the cops aren't doing anything like they are supposed to," he said. "More could have been done." Video taken by Hugo Cervantes shows cops corralling parents outside the school, even pinning one man down.” https://reason.com/2022/05/26/witnesses-video-suggest-stunning-inaction-from-uvalde-cops-during-school-shooting/
Frankly, that community would be a lot better off having no police at all - with citizens taking on the full responsibility for their safety and that of their families and community - a responsibility which they already have by very settled case law - and a responsibility which law enforcement does not have and has never had. And Russell Brand - and others, including the Biden Administration and numerous Republican and Democratic politicians, seek to deny the people the most effective means of carrying out that duty, leaving them defenseless in the face of lethal threats, against which their governments and police forces have no duty to defend them - and that’s simply unconscionable.