The recent tragedy in Parkland, Fl. has reopened the flood gates of dissatisfaction in the citizenry. It seems some people are either blaming the federal government for inaction or too much action. Meanwhile the good people of Parkland bury their dead and console each other in a spirit of community. There are no magic wands that will prevent another mass slaughter. Anyone with a soul cannot help being moved by the young faces on the media networks whose lives were cut short. Derision has been almost universal against the lone gunman. The hysteria that abounds in the Emerald City on the Potomac is par for the course. The last place anyone looking for answers should look is DC. Our elected officials won’t do anything accept spout out talking points. It’s not just sad but enlightening. Our government is broken. The citizenry will solve this problem by default and as a libertarian I’m good with that.
In Peekskill, NY the social media threads are burning up. People are talking in coffee shops and city parks. This massacre has touched people unlike other atrocities. I can’t explain it but Parkland may trigger some real answers to the nagging divisions on guns and safety in our schools. My own personal view; leave the 2A alone, hasn’t changed but something does need to be done about mass murder in our schools. Constitutional rights and safety are not mutually exclusive although you may get that impression if you listen to the fanatics on both sides of the issue. People however are not listening to the extremists on this one. Some real soul searching is going on in the Great Republic. And in the people lies the answer.
Peekskill is a river town 40 miles north of the great Metropolis NYC. We are a working class crowd of all back grounds. A hard tenacious bunch who are use to hard times. Good people. Family people. Our schools have been through the mill of every conceivable disappointment and challenge. Except one. We have not witnessed a mass shooting. The fear of one happening, with the frantic pontificating of the news media, is very real. The discussion has already started on what we, as a community, can do. It turns out there is plenty we can do.
Two gentlemen I know met me for coffee earlier today. The conversation eventually turned to Parkland. We are old friends and our views are well known to each other. Needless to say it got a little heated until a local high schooler walked in. We all got quiet. The talk continued. It started the way some conversation do with generalities and safe opinions on gun violence, than quickly accelerated into platitudes and talking points. Nothing any of us said was worth mentioning until one of us asked; Why are we expecting the government to do anything ? This is our city, our schools, our kids. We don’t need any by you leave from the feds, or the state or even the municipal government. We have a school board with a separate budget from the city. A Superintendent, board members elected by the people and a public forum for the community to weigh in once a month. None of us had an answer to the increase in school shootings, but we could do something here in Peekskill without all the interventions of the State. The conversation began to get real.
We talked about arming teachers, students, having the police patrol the hallways; we talked about banning the AR 15, banning all rifles, gun confiscation, data bases with lists of potential felons, mental health, say something do something, the NRA. We even talked about a vigilante committee. Safe zones, the Safe Act, calling in the National guard. The one solution that has me thinking is this: The citizenry needs to force a solution. We need to take over the schools.
We agreed also on what this is NOT. It’s not Trump’s fault or Obama’s or Hillary’s. It’s not PC culture or drugs. It’s not the me too movement or social unrest; The Black Panthers, the Aryan Nation, Muslims, Christians, transgenderism, or socialism are not to blame. We need to stop whining and get real. We need to take responsibility once again for what happens in our neighborhoods. Too many of us run to the police with the smallest problems. A kid drops a gum wrapper on someones sidewalk and the cops are called. When the cops or the Feds drop the ball as they did in Parkland we scream blue bloody hell. Many of us have become averse to straightening out those among us who cause trouble.
To begin the process of gaining some semblance of control over our communities we need to question the Superintendent and the school board and ask them; What’s the plan? I have a plan of my own, not shared by my friends. We protect our schools the same way a government building is protected. We have city police patrol the school campuses. We go into lock down, temporarily or permanently depending on the solution that oozes out of DC and Albany. Put up barriers, cameras, sensors, lights, go all in on all the latest technology. It’s very 1984. My libertarian friends may be thinking I’ve gone over to the Big Government types. I think not. Taking control of your local school board no matter how you run it is very libertarian in my view. Kick the mandates out. Ignore the prattle that comes out of the Swamp. Tell the feds to keep their money; Prince Andrew in Albany, our communist governor, can do the same. It’s an election year here in the Empire State. Force those fore-flushers in Albany to do something. My feeling is they won’t.
We’ll need money for this and we can get it by firing half the school administrators whose only function is to comply with government regulations. These mandates do nothing to promote safety. They also do nothing to enhance education. Use that money to physically secure the school buildings. Put up a real front door, with locks and a cop at the door. Make it one way in and another way out. Have cops patrol the campuses. Anyone on campus grounds gets at least an eye ball up to and including a search. The school district will pay their salaries.
The State will resist. They will fight any solutions offered by the community. They will say it’s unconstitutional, or against some manufactured law. The State can go to hell. If we are serious about safety in our schools we need to get involved.
Some in the liberty movement may be aghast at my suggestions. That’s ok. If you have a better idea I’m willing to listen. My plan applies to the Peekskill Central School District only. Right now we are frozen in inaction. If my neighbors agree we move forward. If not, I work harder to convince them I’m right. The FBI can’t help. They shouldn’t even be in the conversation. The only reason they are is because of a lame and ineffectual list of names in some federal data base that are considered ” Dangerous “. Another federal gun law won’t work. Another State mandate won’t work. More community policing might. The Safe Act is a joke. Any law can be over ridden by the rights of a community to protect it’s own.