We have discussed this previously, and shall address the issue again, that is, the misguided attacks against the National Rifle Association, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, in the wake of the tragic Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
It was young David Hogg who made the assertion that the NRA had “blood on its hands.” Last week, at the 147th NRA Annual Meeting and Convention I looked at the hands of some 87,154 attendees to the NRAAM, saw no blood. I did see Stephen Willeford, you know, the NRA member and trained firearms instructor who returned fire and neutralized the Sutherland Springs shooter.
In short retrospect, what has David Hogg achieved? Well, NRA membership has increased by 600,000. The NRA has broken a 15-year fundraising record. The NRAAM, last week, here in Dallas, set a new attendance record of 87,154, and a new President was elected by the Board, Lt Col Oliver North (USMC, Ret). Yes, sure, there have been companies who have decided to take drastic measures, such as ending associations with the NRA, and they have received a public backlash. There have been politicians, such as Florida Governor Rick Scott, who caved to the insidious demands of the anti-gun left and instituted unconstitutional infringements of the Second Amendment rights of innocent, law-abiding, Americans.
But, ask yourselves: why has the furor and fervor of young Mr. Hogg and his compatriots died down? It’s simple: the truth — which many of us were already aware of — has now been fully revealed.
As reported by the South Florida (Ft. Lauderdale) Sun-Sentinel:
“Broward Schools have grown so tolerant of misbehavior that students like Nikolas Cruz are able to slide by for years without strict punishment for conduct that could be criminal. The culture of leniency allows children to engage in an endless loop of violations and second chances, creating a system where kids who commit the same offense for the 10th time may be treated like it’s the first, according to records and interviews with people familiar with the process. Cruz was suspended at least 67 days over less than a year and a half at Westglades Middle School, and his problems continued at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, until he finally was forced to leave. The South Florida Sun Sentinel obtained Cruz’s discipline records, reviewed discipline policies and found:
— Students can be considered first-time offenders even if they commit the same offenses year after year.
— The district’s claim of reforming bad behavior is exaggerated.
— Lenient discipline has an added PR benefit for the district: lower suspensions, expulsions and arrests along with rising graduation rates.
The forgiving attitude goes beyond the schools’ controversial Promise program, the target of considerable public scrutiny for enabling students to avoid criminal charges for misdemeanor offenses. The program, the pride of [Broward County School] Superintendent Robert Runcie, was designed to use counseling and mentoring to help students avoid the school-to-prison pipeline. Under former zero-tolerance policies, black students ended up suspended, expelled and arrested at rates that were widely disproportionate to their peers. Desmond Blackburn, then Broward’s chief school performance and accountability officer, specifically instructed teachers and staff in a video years ago to challenge and nurture students, while using suspensions, expulsions and arrests as “absolute last resorts. Now, many teachers and parents say Broward has created a culture in which teachers are expressly told or subtly pressured not to send students to the administration for punishment so a school’s image is not tarnished.”The proper response to the Stoneman Douglas HS shooting shouldn't have been to condemn the NRA, or punish law-abiding 18-20 year old gun owners, or demonize semi-automatic rifles. Click To Tweet
So, what do David Hogg and the anti-gun leftists do now? Once again we find out that it is not about the weapon used, but rather it is all about the person. We must also accept the very relevant fact that this entire episode could have been solved, and never allowed to happen.
In full disclosure, I taught high school in Broward County, for a year, after retiring from the US Army. I know what happens on those campuses. As well, I have several friends who are in law enforcement in Broward County, including one who is a School Resource Officer. The proper response to the Stoneman Douglas HS shooting should not have been to condemn the NRA, or punish law-abiding 18-20 year old gun owners, or demonize semi-automatic rifles. The proper — mature — response would have been to analyze and assess why there was such a breakdown that allowed a Nikolas Cruz to exist, given all of his known discipline issues, and violent behavior.
At no time did David Hogg, or his buddies, tackle the real issue. Never did CNN stop and do their due diligence as a news agency; nah, they rushed to do their abysmal town hall meeting. And, what shall happen to Robert Runcie, and Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, who both knew these details, but were not forthcoming? Hey, little Davie, you wanna know who has blood on their hands? You don’t have to look very far, and just think about it, you could have saved lots of travel money and just protested right there in your own backyard.
This is why the NRA has seen such an increase in support. True Americans, Old School Patriots, are smart enough to sense the fix, the ambush, and they responded by showing their strength, and commitment, to defending their right to keep, and bear, arms. A right that, as the Constitution states, shall not be infringed.
We, who have been doing the job the liberal, progressive, media refused to do, did not rush to judgement to support an ideological agenda. We were patient, and researched this incident to understand the real problems. Why did we do that? Because we believe in our children being safe, and we want to solve the problem, not exploit it. That’s why the NRA has a program called “School Shield.” Funny, never heard David Hogg, or his ilk, mention that program.
I reached out to local Dallas and Ft. Worth JROTC programs letting them know cadets, in uniform, could attend the NRAAM exhibition floor free of charge, and that I would welcome them — you know, an alumnus of JROTC. Well, the respective school district headquarters shot that idea down. However, there were some local schools that did participate in the NRA School Shield program safety assessment; and more should.
The problem is not the NRA, it’s folks like Robert Runcie, whose ideological agenda takes precedent over ensuring our children are attending safe schools. None of us should care about the race of a violent student when it comes to protecting our children. What lesson is being taught to these young, violent students when there is no consequence for their abhorrent behavior? Young David Hogg could redeem himself if he were to apologize, admit that he was wrong, and focus his efforts where they belong. Do I believe that will happen? Nope. And that is another lesson, the failure of certain parents in teaching their kids right from wrong. That, along with the failure of adults, progressive, socialist, anti-gun leftists, to be the grown ups, instead of emotionally exploiting students to advance their own agenda.
So, will David Hogg demand that Robert Runcie and Sheriff Scott Israel resign?
During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
West is a commissioned officer in the Texas State Guard. He’s Fox News Contributor, former Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, and the forthcoming We Can Overcome.