The New Educational Technology – NRA Creates New Markets!

Just sell more guns and and school security equipment! Do you think our kids will be any safer in school, or even in their homes? I don’t. Please see below for some recent reporting on the surge in sales of school security equipment that is going to make a lot of Americans (outside investors?) richer at the expense of common sense vigilance. And you thought it was inconvenient going through airport security screening. This is the new educational technology. Judge for yourself!

“Security options are manifold: Palm scanners, mobile barricades, heat detectors, walkie-talkies, trauma kits, active shooter resistance training and more. In the fall, Florida Christian School in Miami began selling $120 ballistic panels for students to put in their backpacks. At a gun show in Tampa, Florida, last weekend, administrators and parents swarmed a booth offering similar panels for nearly $200 each. . . . Some campuses are starring to rely on outside help, taking donations from families, neighborhood businesses and local Rotary clubs. One company pledged to donate proceeds from its bulletproof backpacks to Parkland victims and families (NY Times, 3/5/2018).”

How about school bake sales for school security? Just like the old days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

Ray Myers

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Procedural Failures May Kill You, Seriously!

Sorry for the late posting today.  Things got busy at home.  Here goes.  The Air Force says it failed to follow policies for alerting federal law enforcement about Devin P. Kelley’s  violent past, enabling the former service member, who killed at least 26 churchgoers Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Tex., to obtain firearms before the shooting rampage.

“Initial information indicates that Kelley’s domestic violence offense was not entered onto the National Criminal Information Center database.”  Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff General David Goldfein have directed an investigation of Kelly’s case and relevant policies and procedures.  Somehow this National Criminal Center database did not have all the information about Kelley that was supposed to be in it.  Otherwise he would never have been able to buy the massive amounts of weapons he possessed.  A “data entry” problem you say?  U.S. Senators Gillibrand and Blumenthal suspect more than that. Discussions around “Big Data” repositories are all the rage in our increasingly data-driven world.  But all this data is only as good as the competence of those persons overseeing and managing its thoroughness and accuracy.   Relevant data can not be allowed to slip through the cracks, resulting in deadly consequences for innocent Americans.  

Whatever “procedural missteps” that occurred here will certainly be identified and corrected in time, but I believe that the larger issue still remains with our obsession over the right to bear arms.  For anyone?

Ray Myers

P.S.  I will be back next Monday, November 13.  Observing Veterans’ Day on Friday.

Looking for a Gun? ¬†Facebook Can Help.

Social media strikes again, or should I say, social media becomes anti-social and dangerous!  It’s not that Facebook wants to support the practice of selling guns online.  They actually banned the practice in January of this year, but those clever gun dealers have devised various online selling strategies to circumvent this ban.  Sometimes it is simply a matter of using external sites and sending coded private messages.  What a tangled web we weave!

So we have some assurance that all of this illegal trafficking in firearms sales is being addressed, but its tenacity and creativity is astonishing.  More optimistic gun sales monitors claim that they are starting to shut down the online marketplace.  At the same time, gun enthusiasts are engaging in their own online activism.  There is currently a petition on Change.org that has drawn 40 of the 100 supporters it seeks to urge Facebook to lift its ban.  Please do NOT support this petition.  Please support individuals and groups who are actively involved in efforts to block such online gun sales.  Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a quick fix to all this.  One anti-gun sales activist reported that he had identified about 500 groups or posts to Facebook in the last month.  Facebook took down about two-thirds of them, but sometimes only after follow-up complaints?

One group is at the forefront of this anti-gun charge, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.  They appreciate Facebook’s response to date but add: “Part of being a good corporate actor is taking ownership – lives are on the line – and it’s vital that Facebook figures this out quickly.”

Ray Myers