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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The embarrassing and shameful bills the Florida legislature is voting on

It's a list of reckless, vindictive, dangerous and heartless bills.

Today a senate subcommittee  voted to decertify unions that have less than 50 percent membership, except for police, fire and prison guard unions, you know the ones that are mostly men and vote republican. This is a direct attack on teacher unions.

Speaking of teachers, they voted to arm them as a line of defense against school shooters despite the fact that overwhelmingly teachers have come out against the idea.

Then two days after the slaughter of fourteen children they voted to declare porn a danger while refusing to take up a debate about assault weapons, something they have refused to discuss in both houses now.

They also voted to have "In God We Trust" prominently displayed in all public schools. I guess this plus arming Mrs. McGuilicutty is supposed to keep children safe. 

Throw in their annual voucher bills designed to siphon more money out of public education and children into unregulated and generally substandard private schools and this is what the republicans in Tallahassee call a successful session.

Friends we can and should be doing better. We can no longer continue to vote for people who want to dismantle our public schools, show zero interest in protecting our children and who only represent the special interests who donate to their campaigns and super pacs.


Scott Shine gets one right about guns

I think Mr. shine has been a dreadful, I mean legendarily bad school board member for a variety of reasons that I won't go into here, though if you want to put his name in the search bar you can easily find them. That being said, I agree with his position on arming teachers.

From First Coast News,

In response, Duval County School Board Member Scott Shine says Florida Carry needs to pump the breaks.

"I think what we have to consider is that the training to have a concealed weapons permit doesn’t really bring you to the level of law enforcement dealing with an active shooter situation," said Shine.

Later in the piece it mentions he is instructor in shooting sports and a teacher of a local concealed weapons class.

Um gulp.

Here is the thing, If shine who has had in my opinion had tons of bad ideas knows arming teachers is  a bad one, then that just proves how bad the idea is.

The Florida Senate makes the gun problem worse

It's hard to imagine after the tragedy in Parkland that the gun problem could get worse but that is what the Florida senate has made it. They were asked by the survivors to do two things and they failed to do them both.

Almost immediately after the tragedy, the survivors went to Tallahassee and begged the house to ban assault weapons and instead the House thumbed their nose at them and instead declared porn an emergency and mandated that "In God We Trust", be displayed in all our schools.  

The Senates supposedly the adults in the room had a chance to keep the debate alive but they didn't, voting on a near party line to stop debate on the issue. They then doubled down on the smack to the face of the survivors and did the second thing they didn't want, guns in the classroom and started a program to arm teachers.

From the Orlando Sentinel,

The amendment (to ban assault weapons) failed in a 7-6 vote, with Miami Republican Anitere Flores crossing party lines to join Democrats, who voted as a bloc in favor of the proposed ban on assault-style weapons. 

After the ban failed, the crowd again erupted, threatening lawmakers with being voted out of office in November. 

The overall package approved by the Rules Committee would allow specially trained teachers to bring guns to schools, prohibit people younger than 21 from buying rifles or other long guns, and give law enforcement officers the ability to get court orders to take guns away from mentally ill people they deem dangerous.

Only in Florida can we take a terrible tragedy and not only do nothing substantial about it but then turn around and make things worse.

Friends we can't keep voting the same public education hating special interest owned politicians and expect things to improve, we just can't.

How the senate committee members voted:

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Trump wants to protect our children on the cheap.

These are his words,

Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again - a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.

You know why spend the money to properly protect our children when you can do it on the cheap. Why invest in smaller classes so teachers can better get to know their students. Why invest in psychologists and social workers because so much of what happens at schools has nothing to do with schools.

Then he wants to give teachers who are already under paid a bonus if they will carry a gun? That's disgusting.

You know there have been bank robberies forever and nobody says, we should arm tellers, there have been shootings in movie theaters and nobody says arm the ushers either and after church shootings nobody says, arm the preachers, but for some reason people think arming teachers is acceptable? In fact in just about every aspect of life there has been gun violence but the answer hasn't been to arm the people who work there, but now the president wants teachers to carry weapons and if they ever have to use them to shoot most likely children.

I don't know what upsets me more, the presidents tone deaf and incompetent idea or the fact he wants to save money while implementing it.

What do you think it would be worth to save a child's life?
More guns is not the answer.

How sincere is Tallahassee about gun safety and school securiy measures?

Well sadly we now know what it takes for rick Scott and the republican's in Tallahassee to care about public school children, and yes if that came off as jaded I agree.

I want to be careful when giving them credit because he and they are undoubtedly partly responsible for where we find ourselves and to be hones they haven't done anything yet.

I don't think what they have proposed goes nearly far enough and in fact it just barely scratches the surface but since every journey starts with a first step I thought it should be acknowledged that after years of ignoring the issue people are finally talking about it. Though at the same time we should be wary because the chasms between what Scott wants and what the legislature want seem pretty far apart. 

From the Tampa Times,

 Gov. Rick Scott and Florida's Republican Legislature laid out a $500 million school safety package Friday that includes major changes to gun laws but falls far short of what survivors of the Parkland massacre and Democrats are demanding. 

In the most significant change on gun laws, state leaders agree that anyone who wants to buy a gun must be at least 21. Under current law, only handgun buyers must be 21. Beyond that, top Republicans disagree. 

• The Legislature wants a three-day wait for gun purchases, but Scott does not. 

• The Legislature wants to allow trained teachers to carry guns; Scott does not. 

• Scott wants police or relatives to be able to take away a mentally unstable person's guns without having to forcibly commit them. The Legislature does not.

One of the big problems here is Scott and the legislature have made big promises that they have rarely delivered, and they routinely ignore the will of the people, time and time again bowing down to special interests and their donors.

Image may contain: people standing and indoor As concerned as I am that Scott and the legislature won't do anything or won't do anything that will make a difference, I am just as concerned how they plan to pay for the things that they do.

Public education is already chronically and in my opinion criminally underfunded in Florida and Tallahassee has a history of implementing mandates and not paying for them and if they did this here, that would further squeeze our public schools.

My concern is they will require these safety measures but pay for them by under funding education in large, even more.  

Tallahassee up till recently has not cared about public education for quite some time and despite some positive words from them, now is the time to be more vigilant than ever at least until something gets done.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Jason Fischer roasted over office incident.

First let me say violence in any form is reprehensible, next let me say, how does Jason Fischer not have an opponent yet? He ran a scorched earth campaign that he barely won which had to alienate his opponents, who was also a republican, base  and he has taken so much special interest money that has to turn people off.

He has only represented himself and his donors one of which is his employer since he was elected and he is beatable if somebody would step up. Want proof look at the comments most of which are making fun of him or are against him.

Okay the story is somebody visited Fischer's office and demanded he do something about assault weapons and when he didn't get the response he wanted he assaulted a legislative aide, which again if it happened is not cool at all.

Fischer put this statement out on Facebook,

On Wednesday, a man, a coward really, forced himself into my district office in Jacksonville demanding that the legislature ban “assault weapons” and other firearms.
He then attacked my district aide and said he was trying to prove a point about “gun control.” This coward was inspired to violence by the political stunt that one of my colleagues pulled on Tuesday. Shame on both of them.
There is no justification, political or otherwise, for violently attacking an innocent person.
We’ve notified the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office about the incident. Anyone with information about the assailant’s identity is urged to contact JSO immediately.
My district office will be closed until some additional security measures are put in place. Any constituents who wish to contact me in the meantime can do so by email or phone, or (850) 717-5016.
I look forward to constructive, civil conversations about the issues important to Northeast Florida, especially as we wrap up the 2018 legislative session.

In response hilarity and some poignant comments ensued, its a public page but I deleted posters names and these are some of the comments.

Hock has a badge showing that they are a constituent of Jason Fischer Maybe ya outta arm your office workers... ya know, since arming teachers is a good idea, we should extend that idea to other work places.

It's unfortunate that this happened, I hope your aide is ok. Have you considered adding "In God we Trust" to the doorway? I hear that keeps the bad things from happening.

Are you allowed to carry in your offices, or must they be gun free zones? Making sure all staff carries should be a good deterrent.

What about our schools? Someone came into one of our Florida schools and murdered 17 innocent people. Can we close them until we put additional security measures in place?

 Sorry to hear about the aide. Glad you are able to close while you assess security and thank you for letting your constituents know. 

Your constituents are angry. Students are forced to go to schools they don’t feel safe in. What is Jacksonville doing to prevent this violence at one of our schools? What are you doing?


Is it your position that only cowards want sensible regulation of firearms and a ban on assault-style weapons?

Yes or no, Rep. Fischer.


sounds suspiciously made-up, like the boy who claimed CNN wanted to 'give him a script'. Convenient, like when Sarah Palin used to blame shootings on 'leftwing terrorists.'

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Trump’s insulting and reckless tweets about arming teachers.

As a rule, I try not to get upset by Trump’s tweets, if I did it would be all that I do. Today’s tweets however since they were about schools and teachers, hit a lot closer to home.

I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience - only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to

Oy vey, does he think only the best 20 percent of teachers would be willing to protect children, or teachers needs guns to do so? Only the best 20 percent want guns in schools? This tweet hung in the ether for 14 minutes, when he followed it up with...

....immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A “gun free” school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!

 ... and his first word is immediately, some 14 minutes later. In the next text he talks about response times which is insane when you consider it took him 14 minutes to complete his thought.

He then speaks about highly trained teachers, um these are the same teachers that must pay for basic supplies out of their pockets. Furthermore education is already the first thing cut during a crisis and most school systems are hand to mouth with nothing left to spare. Instead of common planning are we going to have common target practice?

Trump also wants to do this on the cheap, because he believes armed teachers would cost less than guards. Yeah, let’s just get teachers to do it, its not like they have anything else like teaching going on. Many teachers in addition to teaching are already, parents, social workers, and mentors, so he wants to make them armed guards as well. Then if he really cared would he not want to spare no expense? I don't believe in turning our schools into prisons but why is he suggesting we protect our children on the cheap?

Speaking of Gun free zones, I can think of two, the NRA convention and anywhere the President is but hey facts right, have never got in the president’s way.

Also, did he say he never called for arming teachers in one text right before he called for arming teachers in the next ? Can I say, oy vey again?

Then there is his third tweet,

....History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes. It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!

I am being charitable when I say the president is being overly optimistic there. Also, data tells us more guns lead to more gun deaths and the thing is it has already been tried before with tragic consequences.

A TEACHER IN northwest Pakistan accidentally shot dead a 12-year-old pupil yesterday while cleaning his pistol in the staff room, police said.
Teachers in northwest Pakistan were given permission to carry firearms in the classroom after Taliban militants massacred 132 students at a school in the city of Peshawar in December.

Most schools don’t pay for all the supplies teachers need, and teachers already do so much more than educating. Now Trump and numerous other right-wing politicians want to arm teachers, how does that make sense?

Then I have a few questions off the top of my head, which I imagine is a lot longer than Trump thought about it.

Would I get a vest and cuffs too? Would training count as professional development? How much would I get? Would I be expected to carry the weapon on me, keep it in my desk (where my lap top was stolen just two weeks ago) or in a lock box in a cabinet? Would I leave it at school over night or take it with me?

He finished his tweet storm with,

....If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there...problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!

Parkland had an armed officer and Nicholas Cruz undoubtedly had to know that and it didn’t deter him. Now I think a fair question might be what if there were five or seven armed guards, not that I think that is a solution either.

But would even that have stopped a “sicko”? Most of these guys are looking to die, they want to go out in a hail of bullets. Sicko's don't care

Insulting and reckless sum up Trump’s position on arming teachers and his presidency in general as well. 

There are a lot of things we can and should do but arming teachers shouldn't even be on the list.

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