Sun, July 21

Letter: Don’t call them children


The Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shootings has certainly knocked over a set of active beehives, some of which have never been so much as jostled before -- but probably should have been.

Don’t continuously call teen-agers in high school children. They are teen-agers; they have earned that by surviving childhood with all its hard lessons, along with enjoying its privileges.

Calling the victims at Parkland High School children appeals to the emotionalism that surrounds such events, but inadvertently insults the victims, who surely did not think of themselves as children.

What actually happened at the Freshman Building of the high school? How much do we know? A scrambled-brained, apparently bullied-bully showed up in the halls, with the type of ammunition that would have brought down an African bull elephant, and targeted the students in two particular rooms.

A much-admired, much-loved coach jumped in front of some of the students and shielded them with his heavy, muscular body, dying as a result of his heroism. So did young ROTC students, Peter Wang of Chinese parenthood, age 15, who was headed for West Point, and two others, Alaina Petty. a girl of 14, and Martin Duque, 14, who was his family’s clown. All were imbued with a mature sense of responsibility. NOT children!

What about the AR-15? Here’s a personal gripe: The use of the word GUNS! to cover all weapons. Well, anybody who read the novel BATTLE CRY! will know to what I am referring: which is calling a rifle a gun.

In the Marine Corps, that is a No-No. What’s the difference? Well, a rifle has rifling in its barrel, for the purpose of the accuracy of the trajectory (bullet).

A gun is smooth-bored, like a shotgun It can shoot everything from rocksalt to heavy slugs, and is notorious for leaving black-and-blue marks on upper arms and shoulders.

Shotguns are much beloved by those of Duck Dynasty and other masochists, such as myself. And they’re just dandy when it comes to sending western diamondbacks to their eternal reward!

Where was the security guard? Where indeed? Certainly not where he should have been, which was running toward danger. Certainly he was outgunned by the shooter, but he was not using his most formidable weapon, which was his brain.

There are tactics which can be used in such a situation, that can be seen on any cop show you want to name; and they are actually used in situations such as this: Like Duck and Cover.

Obviously, the shooter had moved beyond the front door. Using stealth, the cop could have moved from one position of safety to another, until he would be willing to ascertain the shooter’s position. And acted accordingly.

Autopsy: One thing is fairly certain: FINALLY changes will very possibly be made for future incidents such as the Parkland High School shootings; for, as those who watched the Town Meeting at the White House saw, not just both, but all sides were finally brought together; and plans were presented that point to a future no longer stalemated by polemics.

The Parkland shooting was, in meteorological language, A Perfect Storm; in that so very many factors went wrong at the same time. Both the FBI and the local sheriff’s department dropped the ball when it came to reading the warning signs regarding the potential shooter.

The sole guard, Scott Peterson, decided not to enter the school; AND THEN the reinforcements made the same decision. Afterwards, at the CNN Town Hall, Sheriff Scott Israel (his uniform decorated with stars, bars, pips and squeaks) dumped all the blame on the NRA in general and Dana Loesch in particular with an unusually vicious torrent of abuse seldom heard against a beautiful and intelligent young woman, while lauding his own performance as flawless.

When pressed about his myriad of strange choices before, during and after, he mystified the commentator by saying in a singsong voice, “If ‘its’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts, then O.J. Simpson would still be in the record books! HUHHH??? And Dallas quarterback Don Meredith, who popularized the phrase -- and added, “Then we all would have a merry Christmas!” just rolled over in his grave.

Shades of Gov. Ev Mecham! He also believed that he had done nothing wrong, even when conservatives such as Barry Goldwater and anchorman Bill Close were appalled with his gubernatorial antics.

Judith (Judy) Helen Roberts