The March for Their Lies
History, it is said, is a lie agreed upon, and the so-called March for Our Lives celebrated the lie that easy access to guns and the NRA is placing our schoolchildren's lives in jeopardy. You did not hear from any speaker – the foul-mouthed activist David Hogg in particular – that neither the march nor the burial of 17 Parkland victims would have been necessary but for the failure of law enforcement agencies to do the jobs assigned to them.
One speaker, activist student Emma González, stood silent for the six minutes and 20 seconds it took the gunman to dispatch his victims at Parkland. She did not mention that during much of the time, four Broward officers stood outside doing less than nothing as her classmates were being slaughtered by a student well known to the school, to the cowards of Broward led by Sheriff Scott Israel, and to an FBI obsessed with Russian colluders under GOP beds. There was no march on the Broward County Sheriff's Office or the FBI building in Washington, D.C.
As this march was under way, a French hero, Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, was being laid to rest after sacrificing himself to save the life of a hostage held by a gunman in a French supermarket:
French President Emmanuel Macron said Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, 44, died after being seriously injured in the attack. Macron said Beltrame "fell as a hero" and "showed exceptional courage."
"Arnaud Beltrame died in the service of the nation to which he had already given so much," Macron said in a statement. "In giving his life to end the deadly plan of a jihadi terrorist, he fell as a hero."
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb wrote in a tweet early Saturday that Beltrame had "died for his country."
The officer had offered himself up unarmed to the 25-year-old attacker in exchange for a female hostage. He managed to surreptitiously leave his cellphone on so that police outside could hear what was going on inside the supermarket.
When it comes to Parkland, instead of a French police officer hero, we have the local version of Inspector Clouseau, Sherriff Scott Israel. Sheriff Israel appeared on CNN's gun control town hall in the full knowledge that his deputies had shown cowardice by not entering the Parkland high school where an armed killer would eventually leave 17 dead. He blamed the NRA and browbeat NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch for pointing out that gun ownership is a constitutional right and that it was law enforcement and not the NRA that failed to heed the scores of warning signs about what was to happen:
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, a big fan of gun control, sensed an opportunity to pile on and deflect a little attention from his own agency's failings. After survivor and student organizer Emma Gonzalez confronted Loesch with a nonsensical question about making it harder to obtain automatic weapons and Loesch shut it down, Israel stepped in:
"I understand you're standing up for the NRA and I understand that's what you're supposed to do. But you just told this group of people that you're standing up for them, you're not standing up for them until you say I want less weapons."
The well intentioned student survivors of the Parkland planned a march on Washington to protest the shooting galleries other well intentioned people have created:
Cameron Kasky, another Douglas High student who started the #NeverAgain movement, announced Sunday that on March 24, students are organizing rallies across the country to demand that lawmakers reject money from the NRA and say "never again."
"My message for people in office is: You're either with us or against us. We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around," Kasky said in an interview Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "We don't need you. On March 24, you are going to be seeing students in every single major city. We have our lives on the line here.
"This isn't about the GOP, this isn't about the Democrats, this is about us creating a badge of shame for any politicians accepting money from the NRA and using us as collateral," he said.
Shooter Nikolas Cruz was not a member of the NRA, an organization that supports enforcement of existing gun laws and safeguards designed to protect us from predators. Any nerd still living in his parents' basement could have tracked Cruz down. Blame the FBI, not the NRA.
At Parkland, there were warning signs, enough red flags to have a parade in Moscow. Many did see things and say things, as the mantra goes, but the FBI, which was notified of the killer's intention posted on social media, was busy chasing Russians and fighting Trump. The kids in the high school expected that one day, the killer who was expelled would return. Yet the doors were not secured. In a society awash with cameras and surveillance, no one saw him walking in with a gas mask, smoke grenades, and a weapon.
Your local convenience store has better security. The question to be asked is not how could this happen, but why is the killer still alive? Why was there no one in the building able to shoot back? Why are off-duty cops guarding junk food and soft drinks rather than in these schools, guarding children? We have enough retired cops and returning veterans to put more than a few in every school. Critics say that, like guns in the home, would be dangerous. More dangerous than what, exactly? The number of armed guards who have engaged in mass shootings remains stuck at zero.
Rush Limbaugh recently commented on the folly of schools not having armed security:
During the February 18 airing of Fox News Sunday Rush Limbaugh referenced the Florida shooting and observed that gun-free school zones mean that attackers are the only ones who are armed
Limbaugh noted how bewildering it is that "we have armed security at virtually every public entity in this country, except schools. For some reason, they are a gun-free zone and everybody that wants to shoot up a school knows that they are going to be the only one armed..."
This gun-free scenario led Limbaugh to observe that school shootings will not end until we "get serious" about stopping them, and he painted a distressing picture of what our future holds until we do get serious:
"The next shooter probably has the gun he is going to use. The next shooter is known by many people in his community who are concerned that this guy may do what everybody is afraid he's going to do...We can wish that it weren't this way. We can wish that Congress could legislate it away. But they can't." He observed that student marches and "prayers and condolences" are not going to prevent another shooting either."
No, they are not. But armed citizens can. Sheriff Israel may want fewer guns, but we want more guns in the hands of heroes like Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame and not the bloviating coward of Broward. The only adults playing around are our bumbling law enforcement, who can't follow existing procedures and laws. The only thing the March for Our Lives may have accomplished is to foster a naïve fear of inanimate objects; raise a cry to disarm law-abiding citizens; and, instead of protecting student lives, make it inevitable that there will be more gun-free zones full of unarmed victims.
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, Reason magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.