The announcement that former Speaker of the House, Mark Eves, was slated to speak at an event arranged for children to speak out, irony aside, has reminded Maine residents what is most reprehensible about the agenda first politics of our day. The decency that once decried and prohibited the manipulation of minors as shameless leverage to achieve political victory is all but gone. Mark Eves has since announced that he will not speak at the student March Out, coming to the realization that the disinformation needed to convince the public that he is student may be more than even the ethically challenged former Speaker can muster.
Shamefully, Mainers along with their fellow Americans have come to expect this from our leadership. Our children are nothing more than pieces in a political game. Shuffled here and there, fed the proper terms and words to speak, and then relocated or discarded once the effect has been produced.
No, it’s nothing new. History is branded with it’s insidious pattern. One would think our leaders, so learned, could recognize the sear of it’s damage across the ages and guard against the scarring of our society.
But no, the exploitation of children is too easy and historically effective for those callous enough to utilize it’s darkness. For our society, which is replete with weak leadership, those who still have enough decency left to recoil from the manipulation of children are too feckless to hold to the tenets of this free society. Common Sense demands leaders evaluate these situations dispassionately before decisions and Freedom demands leaders defend the ideals of liberty above all, but Common Sense and Freedom is not so Common anymore.
It is a testament to the weakness of our political leaders that so many have succumbed to the emotions, cry, and hue of the moment to “do something” and, as decisions made in the passion of the moment usually are, these “do something” solutions are in the majority weak, poorly thought out, and outdated:
Universal Background Checks: This ambiguous legislation was implemented then repealed on the Federal level after research showed that it had no impact on the decline of violent crime. It’s very ambiguity has led many to believe it was just a gateway legislation for the eventual confiscation of all firearms.
Assault Weapons Ban: In the time of the outdated UBC, it was thought that handguns should be banned, as they were the weapon of choice for madmen of the day. Today the focus is the AR Rifle. Any weapon, including an Armalite Rifle (AR), is capable of assault in the hands of a human bent on assault. An AR rifle is a Semi-Automatic rifle. To ban Semi-Automatic weapons is to ban nearly all firearms which smacks of another gateway legislation and also unenforceable due to the staggering amount of Semi-Automatic weapons in the populace, without confiscation by force.
Change the Age of Purchase to 21: Not only is this a poorly thought out regulation, but it is the flaming epitome of weak and reactionary leadership. There are many reasons why this is true but most poignant are those that it leaves vulnerable. Studies show that a growing number of those taking gun training courses in this age bracket are single mothers and college age women. Guns are the great equalizer in an increasingly predatory culture, yet, shortsighted and reactionary “do something” politicians would deny young women of this protection, not to mention, that the provision in the Florida regulation grants a waiver for police and military, which flies directly in the face of the very ideal of the 2nd Amendment.
Strengthen Mental Health Laws: This would seem a good approach. It is, if done with dignity and focus. In a world where media personalities and political leaders flippantly call Christians and those that disagree with them “mentally ill”, an abundance of caution must be employed to make sure any regulation is limited to prevent the unscrupulous from using their interpretation of “mental illness” to disarm those whom they disagree with and despise.
But there is something we can do now: After the Columbine shooting, in the age of the UBC, experts admonished political leadership that schools were soft targets and vulnerable. They needed to be hardened. They were ignored and schools were made “gun-free” zones. After 9-11, we hardened our airports immediately, armed pilots, and implemented the Air Marshall system. In contrast, Gun-Free Zones have made our schools killing fields. It’s time to guard our greatest treasure, our children. Let’s implement a School Marshall system, allow teachers to arm themselves if they wish, and place guards at the doors.
Written by Andy Torbett