Perspectives: Poster children for gun control, the kids are not all right

Image of young people courtesy Pixabay. No gun image added to composite, St. George News

OPINION — In some ways it’s almost fitting that the new public face for increased gun control is a clique of emotion-driven, poorly informed kids making unreasonable demands.

If this observation strikes you as unnecessarily harsh, then perhaps it’s time to spell out exactly why their demands are unjust and therefore unreasonable.

The killings at a high school in Parkland, Florida, were not the fault of American gun owners or the availability of a particular type of firearm.

Numerous authorities, including the FBI, which allegedly failed to address dozens of clear warnings about the accused shooter, are not responsible for his rampage.

Neither should we blame the school resource officer or sheriff’s deputies who chose to wait outside the school as the attack took place.

The only person who bears direct responsibility for the death and destruction in that Florida high school is the person whose lethally aggressive behavior caused provable harm. This means that Nikolas Cruz is the only one who must face the demands of justice when he is tried for the crime.

Lysander Spooner said it best when he wrote:

To ban guns because criminals use them is to tell the law abiding that their rights and liberties depend not on their own conduct, but on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless.

Stripped of the emotional window dressing, this is why infringing on natural rights is a clear perversion of legitimate authority.

None of this matters to the opportunists who demand that we give them greater power over us by trying to leverage supposed victim status into ideological fetters for those who disagree.

They simply can’t resist trying to direct the force of the state against peaceful individuals who have violated no one’s rights. They’ll accuse, they’ll threaten, they’ll plead and wail about the insensitivity of those who refuse to submit to their shrieking ultimatums.

The only thing worse than weaponized guilt is when those wielding it use youngsters as field-expedient human shields in a craven attempt to deflect criticism of their methods.

Case in point: Now the poster children for the latest push for civilian disarmament under the guise of “common sense” gun control are a handful of high school students whose school was the scene of a mass murder.

Their demand for blanket punishment of an entire class of citizens who have never harmed a soul is a clear indicator that they do not comprehend the injustice of what they’re advocating.

Proximity to a tragic event does not automatically bestow wisdom or judgment.

This can be most clearly seen in how these activists appear to be unaware of how many of the types of laws they’re calling for are already on the books. Keep in mind that even with all these existing laws, the truly depraved somehow still manage to carry out their evil plans.

Simply having an opinion isn’t enough to justify the notion that everyone must concede the moral high ground without question. These youngsters and their media handlers are not entitled to a free pass from defending their viewpoints.

This is especially true when their zeal manifests itself as a call to control others, including those who have neither harmed anyone nor have any intention of doing so.

Dan Lattier, writing for Intellectual Takeout, notes:

The democratization of education and public discourse have given almost everyone a forum to offer their opinions on a variety of topics. As a result, we’re becoming increasingly subject to the tyranny of what Martin Luther King Jr. called “sincere ignorance.”

Bottom line, these young activists may speak freely, even when in error. However, they have zero moral authority to insist that others join them in their error, especially when their solutions involve using state force to limit the natural right to self-defense.

I understand that it can be hard to see and think clearly in the heat of emotion-driven issues such as this. I sympathize with those who sincerely wish to prevent random acts of violence.

The only authentically objective way to approach the limitation of a natural right is on a case-by-case basis. This means the only time the right to self-defense can be infringed is when a person is being held accountable for their own behavior that has resulted in measurable harm to another person or their property.

This requires due process be given and that the state prove the person’s wrongdoing beyond a reasonable doubt. Everyone else should be left alone.

That should be the default setting.

Laws that preemptively limit our freedom to defend ourselves tend to become a source of endless official mischief and injustice. As the Florida attack so painfully reminds us, the authorities cannot be counted on to guarantee our safety.

The primary responsibility to exercise our natural right of self-defense falls to each individual.

This is why gun control cannot be reasonable if it seeks to apply a blanket solution that limits the natural rights of people who’ve never been so much as accused of wrong doing, much less afforded due process.

Bryan Hyde is an opinion columnist specializing in current events viewed through what he calls the lens of common sense. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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44 Comments

  • DRT February 26, 2018 at 7:38 am

    Good column this morning, Bryan! Many people just don’t comprehend that they cannot expect someone else to take care of them. They think that government, in some form or another will step up and take care of them.

  • comments February 26, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Got to agree. Msm parading around all these overemotional teenies is a new low even for them. I guess its kind of a new angle they’re taking, because i don’t recall any such overemotional teeny parade happening before. It’s made me realize why teens should be seen and not heard–they aren’t very smart, yet they think they know everything; similar to adult-age hard leftists, i suppose. Teenies’ natural naivety and the hard leftist influence by the state school systems might be to blame, plus the toxic stew of pop culture and social media, and just the fact they are naturally dumb from lack of life experience.

    And it’s true, if the cops are disorganized cowards and the FBI are too lazy or apathetic to even do their jobs we can’t depend on Big Brother gov’t to look out for our personal safety. They’ve grabbed all the guns in europe already, so when one of those crazed, wild-eyed moslems slips a few ak-47s over the boarders and goes on a civilian-killing jihad those disarmed europeans are literally sheep to the slaughter.

  • mctrialsguy February 26, 2018 at 9:14 am

    We have security guards at our banks to guard people’s and the bank’s monies, but no security at schools for our children? Now, many want guns removed from the citizens so that they are also without security? All due to a few nut-jobs that have and will find a way to kill others if they wish, and by any means possible. The people should have the right to protect themselves and their families. Schools need more security!! Good article!

    • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 11:28 am

      Most schools have resource officers stationed at the schools, and they are normally armed. Many school districts require active shooter protocol and drills for accreditation. Do you know how traumatizing it can be to go through one of these drills? Seriously, they are educated and then practice things like not opening locked doors for peers while simulating cries for help in the hallways.
      Do we really think the best solution is increasingly arming our schools and turning into prisons? Do you know what affect that has on learning and maturation? These types of recommendations are at best short term triage not real solutions. I had friends who served as armed school escorts in Israel, ie fully automatic weapons on buses, and I can tell you that is not a healthy approach to this type of conflict for anyone involved. It has lasting impacts on everyone.

      • mctrialsguy February 26, 2018 at 2:54 pm

        Visit schools in Chicago, LA and New York City and you go through scanners and they have security guards. That is coming to your area some day, like it or not. It is inevitable, sad but true.

        • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 3:42 pm

          Many already do. Also see through back packs, etc.
          The reality is such measures are triage and don’t change the underlying fact that define these shooters. And its a hard pill to swallow for students to slowly become more like prisons while society and government at large do nothing.

  • Travis February 26, 2018 at 10:55 am

    “Over-emotional teenies”. I stand with these “over-emotional teenies”. Every single authority or adult figure failed these kids. They have every right to be angry and scared. It is their contemporaries who are being slaughtered. I think everyone in America should see pictures of the 20 children SHREDDED in Newtown CT. My young cousin was in the nursery school that day – less than 5 years old.

    • comments February 26, 2018 at 11:52 am

      Your partially right. Big Brother gov’t failed on all counts to protect those teenies from that psychotic degenerate. So the question is: why should we trust Big Brother to be the only ones with assault weapons, when they have proven to be such a failure at protecting young citizens? Is Big Brother gov’t really our salvation when it comes to the gun debate? FBI and police all failed miserably is this case. This is a case where one can say with confidence THERE WERE PLENTY OF WARNING SIGNS. Big Brother gov’t had been notified plenty of times but failed to act. Was it apathy or incompetence, who knows?

      • comments February 26, 2018 at 11:55 am

        And there was the mass shooting on that military base a few years ago. Can we even trust military personnel with assault rifles?

        You leftists are way too trusting of Big Brother gov’t.

        • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 1:31 pm

          On the same note it also exposes the flaws in the “good guy with a gun” rhetoric. You had an entire base full of trained shooters with access to higher powered automatic weapons and it still didn’t limit the amount of death a person could do in the first 5-10 minutes of an attempted massacre.

          • comments February 26, 2018 at 2:19 pm

            Exactly, Bike, military and police should be the first ones to have their assault weapons taken away. Probably more power hungry lunatics within those groups than within the general public. The rampaging lunatic that did the texas church massacre i believe was an ex-military. Fact is, you simply cannot trust Big Brother gov’t to have the citizens massively outgunned and helpless.

          • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 3:39 pm

            I am for demilitarizing most police forces but I think that’s a different conversation. Sadly, these mass shootings often require equal force and weaponry like assault weapons. Its a never-ending cat and mouse game.

          • desertgirl February 26, 2018 at 4:30 pm

            If you are referring to Ft Hood massacre, Major Hasan used a pistol. Key in this circumstance (addressing your ‘entire base full of trained shooters) that in accordance with military protocol the men and woman shot in that room were not armed. Had they been, Hasan would not have taken out 14 people; no doubt of that.

          • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 5:08 pm

            True but they, MPs and civilian officers, were on site and much closer than local and county police in most school shootings. And he still managed to kill 13 and wound 30 others. We are talking about military trained individuals with similar outcomes.
            And its my understanding that the DoD still hasn’t changed its position on individual soldiers being armed. That is telling.

          • Brian February 26, 2018 at 10:45 pm

            You have zero knowledge of how things work on military bases. If you think everybody is armed on base you are sadly mistaken. In the 20 years I was in, the only people who have guns are the security forces, ie. police. So no. We weren’t all running around with high powered automatic weapons. just another liberal talking with no knowledge of the subject.

          • bikeandfish February 27, 2018 at 7:59 am

            Sorry if my wording was confusing, Brian, but I never said everyone was running around with high powered automatic rifles. What I did say was “You had an entire base full of trained shooters with access to higher powered automatic weapons”. Do the MPs not have access to their M4s on US bases? I clarified that in my follow up, which was posted before your comment. I’m willing to be corrected that MPs don’t have M4 rifles while on duty on base. I thought I remembered seeing that growing up while attending classes and events on bases but my memory could be wrong.

          • McMurphy February 28, 2018 at 1:34 pm

            Soldiers — other than MPs — have no access to weapons except when training with them. The weapons are otherwise locked in an armory. Access to privately owned weapons is very tightly controlled on a military base. No concealed carry.

      • Striker4 February 26, 2018 at 4:50 pm

        Oh golly gee whiz you’re only partially right…The Prophet Bob has spoken

  • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 11:20 am

    This is a new low for Bryan.
    The survivors clearly aren’t experts on gun law but their testimony and efforts are based on witnessing some of the worst civilian massacres of modern America. They have every right and privilege to use the legal means available to influence public dialog and legislation.
    Hyde is a vestige of a dying breed of political fundamentalist. There comes a point at which his unwillingness to listen to the content and spirit of other views needs to be named as the cancer it so clearly is.
    And make no mistake, gun control shouldn’t be executed with wanton zeal that lacks reference to SCOTUS rulings and legal precedent. In fact, any attempt to regulate assault weapons like the AR-15s has a difficult if not impossible Constitutional hurdle set forth by the Heller ruling. But that isn’t mutually exclusive with listening to these young adults with an open heart and being vulnerable to their experience and the broader implications to society. Year after year we see more and more of these children suffering death, injury and trauma and yet we seem content to allow extremist like Hyde (and that includes the equivalent on the left) to the narrative. Its a sad state of affairs.

    • No Filter February 26, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Our only hope is that our children will take to the voting booths and fix what the baby boomers have done to our country by electing these officials that allow such mass shootings to happen without doing anything because special interest pay them to do their bidding.

      • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 1:28 pm

        Changing demographics could help but their attempts at legislation will still have to deemed constitutional to be sustainable.

      • vintagehippie February 27, 2018 at 12:43 pm

        I am a “Baby Boomer”. When I was in high school probably 15-20% of the autos in the parking lot were pick-up trucks. And better than half of those had gun racks with long guns in the back window. At that time something like these school shootings was completely unheard of

        Since that time Dr. Spock came along and said it is wrong to discipline kids. Us Baby Boomers have raised the parents of the kids who shoot up our schools. The parents and the current school shooters have been taught that they are not responsible for their actions. Instead they have been spurred on by extremely violent movies and video games.

        There is another VERY BIG incentive for the NEXT school shooter. Up until two weeks ago I bet none of you ever heard of Nikolas Cruz, and probably didn’t have a clue what he looked like. Now everyone knows who he is. His name and picture are broadcast on TV every 15 minutes. He is now more famous than Brad Pitt or many other celebrities. Now some poor school kid knows how easy it is to get famous.

        • bikeandfish February 27, 2018 at 3:30 pm

          1). These young men have known how to gain attention for almost 20 years now. Studies show most of these guys idioloze Klebold and Harris. But they aren’t looking for traditional fame, more like infamy. And infamy is a natural consequence of society stigmatizing such behavior. Yeah, we could not publicize the names buy that’s inconsistent with democratic principles.

          Remember, these boys are societal outliers. Parents have raised millions of kids in the last few decades and only a handful have gone on these murder sprees. Indicting parenting choices of everyone for the individual choices of a few is problematic. Nonetheless to do so with such ridiculous stereotypes.

    • desertgirl February 26, 2018 at 4:43 pm

      Hyde is a dying breed? I suggest you do thorough research as to why Donald Trump is president. More people than you obviously realize are sick to death of diversity training (which actually divides people into fascist hate groups), anti-American rhetoric, and de-construction of the United States Constitution.

      Your opinion, yes, opinion, that Bryan is unwilling to listen to content and spirit of other views is you describing yourself.

      Its a sad state of affairs. It is indeed. We teach our kids (actually teach) to be disrespectful, immoral, and selfish (again, that diversity, which is nothing more than ‘agree with me and support me or else’. You can earn respect if you haven’t learned it yourself; it starts in childhood. We are teaching children with tax dollars to support one side. Yeah, it’s true, whether you agree doesn’t matter, it is a fact and be proven with greatase.

      Life has always been filled with violence, war, murder, greed, apathy, immorality, led by the power hungry and their sheep. That is the sad state of affairs of the human condition; being a dimwit lover of Democrats or Republicans as nothing to do with it. It has to do with you, me, and all of us with an IQ over 100.

      • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 5:26 pm

        Sorry, but Hyde writes inflammatory polemics that disparage large swaths of society. You the same. However, that is not the same as highlighting that reality and calling it out for the BS it is.
        Its funny that you assume I don’t listen to others. My stance is defined by the vulnerability that requires. I would love fir their to be a swift, easy fix but that does not exist with our Constitution. That knowledge comes from listening to constitutional conservatives.
        You assume too much and spread ridiculous nonsense.
        Most Trump voters I know, and respect, didn’t vote for him for the reasons you posit. Nor do they agree with your extreme partisanship. Remember, many were Obama voters.

        There is nothing factual about your odd statements about education and raising kids. You constantly conflate your personal hatred for fact. You and John are just two different types of conservative trolls with a ironic sense of self-importance and worth.

        I’ll continue to be vulnerable to facts when presented with evidence no matter how inconvenient they are to previously held beliefs. Even when it means finding solutions to gun violence is extremely difficult.

        And yes, Hyde is a dying breed. Why else do you think everything and everyone is an enemy to his narrow worldview? Why else does he fear monger so much? His entire premise is based on reclaiming ground he wants us to believe is being lost because of ill gotten gains. Its a defensive posture of a losing regime.

        Real shame, as he could write about liberty in a compelling way that does require such fallacious, malicious logic. He could actually listen to the spirit of these teenagers without casting them aside as enemies. But his persistent style and content exposes his motives all too well. Lens of common sense my arse. The guy is an extremist through and through. Might be why he goes through jobs like babies do diapers.

      • Lee Sanders March 6, 2018 at 2:00 am

        Maybe the Moeller investigation will reveal why T rump is president. Or if you don’t want to wait that long, ask Putin.

  • No Filter February 26, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    You don’t need an assault rifle or an AR-15 to protect yourself and your home, a shotgun or a Louisville slugger works just fine. Also owning a weapon is not a natural right, it is a privilege much liking driving which should also require a license. You don’t get to have a gun just because you have a right to protect your home and family. Lastly you may think these kids don’t know what they are saying, but they are the future and you better listen to them or your retirement days are going to suck if you are far right conservative.

    • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      Ugh, its protected by the 2nd Amendment and justified in founding documents through arguments about natural rights. Its definitely not a privilege, like owning a car. The 2nd Amendment is a limitation on government control.

      And yes, DC v Heller explicitly deals in an individual’s right to bear arms for self-defense. Its mentioned almost 50 times in the majority opinion.

      Your vocalizing a flawed strategy that will nit pass Constitutional muster. Please educate yourself before starting such patently false claims.

    • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      Heller ruling:

      “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home”

      The new test, ie Heller happened after previous assault weapons ban expired, is if weapon is in “common use”, which an AR-15 clearly is given 2.5 million are in circulation, and for “lawful purpose”, ie the aforementioned enumerated “self-defense within the home.”

      • McMurphy February 28, 2018 at 1:45 pm

        Several Federal courts have decided that the AR-15 and clones are not protected under Heller.

        • bikeandfish February 28, 2018 at 3:43 pm

          Several federal appeals courts, a critical nuance, have ruled on state laws from what I understand. And the SCOTUS has denied hearings to appeal those rulings so they currently stand. SCOTUS seems to be following historic protocol and waiting time before taking another gun case. They also tend to wait on divergent rulings in the appellate court system before taking a case. Their ruling on assault weapons will ultimately decide the situation but that is anyone’s guess for now.

          So, yes, 3 states have effectively defended their bans from appeals. That said, multiple other states have backed off from bans because of the uncertainty and fear of a successful appeal and what that sets in motion.

    • Blemonds February 26, 2018 at 1:59 pm

      Several points here. Assault rifles are all but banned for civilian use because assault rifles are fully automatic weapons. The AR-15 is an assault weapon which is a made up (by liberals of course) description of weapons that to some people look “shootier” ( a neologism coined by Dana Loesch) than other weapons. Having a natural right to own a weapon is a debatable concept but it is not debatable that owning one is a Constitutional right. That right is not afforded us for the purpose of hunting or even personal self defense. It’s there to give us the ability to fight against an abusive government. To fight an abusive government one needs weapons up to that task. That’s what supports Hyde’s comments about the students being ill informed. That’s a euphemism. Ignorance is more accurate. That ignorance demonstrates the failure of the education system. The grief driven emotion we’re seeing from the students has to be forgiven. The ignorance has to be addressed sooner or later.

      • mctrialsguy February 26, 2018 at 2:52 pm

        The Vegas shooter was a liberal set to do damage onto the evil conservatives and country western folk. Liberals make almost all of the violent, hitman, zombie, apocalyptic movies and TV series. They act like they stand for one thing and then do just the opposite. Hypocrates.

        • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 3:34 pm

          What a load of crap. After every event like these such unsubstantiated claims circulate and result in misinformation. The fact is authorities have found no evidence to explain why he chose this venue given he researched multiple, including ones that would have largely been populated with socially liberal folks.
          Stop circulating such BS trash.

      • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 3:37 pm

        The Heller ruling explicitly states self-defense as a rational for an individuals right to bear arms. Tyrannical government is a possibly implied, historic rational but explicitly enumerated.

        • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 4:49 pm

          *not explicitly named

        • Blemonds February 27, 2018 at 9:10 pm

          You don’t need a well regulated militia for personal self defense. A well regulated militia is the “why” of the 2nd Amendment

          • bikeandfish February 28, 2018 at 12:30 pm

            I understand you and many others believe that but in a constitutional democracy our beliefs aren’t as deterministic as Supreme Court rulings. DC vs Heller put the question of individual right to bear arms for self defense to bed. The right is not unlimited but the majority ruling made it clear that individual citizens are allowed weapons in “common use” for “lawful purpose” and “self defense” in the home was explicitly named as one of those lawful purposes. And the end of the day that is now the legal standard whether we like it or not and any attempt at a ban will have to jump that hurdle. And that will likely remain the hurdle unless an amendment is passed, which seems highly unlikely.

  • KarenS February 26, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Bryan Hyde has reached a new low with his dismissive attitude towards these young people who were hunted down in their own school on Valentine’s Day. One father who was at the meeting in the White House described his dead daughter as being shot in the back three times as she ran down the hall trying to escape the gunman.

    Bryan Hyde’s appalling statement that “Proximity to a tragic event does not automatically bestow wisdom or judgment” shows how tone-deaf he is about the young people who lived through this nightmare.

    Bryan Hyde, apparently, is oblivious to the fact that these “youngsters” as he calls them, will be voting in several years and will make their voices heard at the ballot box. We have reached a tipping point here. We should have reached it with Sandy Hook. New gun safety laws will happen, incrementally, but they will happen.

    • desertgirl February 26, 2018 at 4:47 pm

      These young people, as you put it, are shamefully being used as shields by adults with political agendas. That is what is disgusting.

      Let them vent, but I for one don’t want teenagers whose brains haven’t even developed making law or regulations. Again, disgusting that emotions are being used for agendas rather than logic and reasoning. Congratulations for nothing to the progressive sheep for nothing.

      • bikeandfish February 26, 2018 at 6:02 pm

        Except these teenagers are creating their own movement and agenda. They aren’t puppets, these are young adults with ideas and personal education.
        Its not just about venting. They are channeling their experience into political action. And they will continue to do so until the adults citizens of our country actually work to create solutions, ie not your claim this is the normal we should accept (from your other post).

      • KarenS February 26, 2018 at 6:19 pm

        May I suggest that you watch the interviews with the young people from Parkland, Florida and others affected by school shootings. I have found them to be extremely articulate, well-spoken, and thoughtful. All of the young people that I have heard recognize that their goal is not to take away guns from anyone, just improve the regulation of firearms and address mental health issues as they affect gun ownership and purchase. I interact with young people here in Utah and found them to be very level-headed as they grapple with issues where their very lives are at stake.

        • Blemonds March 1, 2018 at 7:05 am

          They may be extremely articulate, well-spoken, and thoughtful, but that doesn’t make them right. In fact, much of their argument is based on ignorance. As I said earlier, the ignorance has to be addressed sooner or later. Their tragedy is not cause for denying other people their Constitutional rights. In fact their attitude is the very reason we have a 2nd Amendment, to protect ourselves from the type of tyranny they propose

  • Striker4 February 26, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    this will fade away from the news like every other shooting does. and then another shooting takes place and all the ‘ we’re coming to get your guns ‘ advocates come out screaming and protesting and nothing happens. and then another shooting takes place and here we go again on and on we go

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