19 June 2018

School Protection Bill Dropped Because of Election Year

NC: School Protection Bill Dropped
Because of Election Year

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By Dean Weingarten. June 13th, 2018
Original Source

Several North Carolina legislators have introduced a common sense solution to increase protection for schools in North Carolina, The bill, HB 1039, also known as the School Self-Defense Act, has been introduced, but has not been voted out of committee. It is in the Committee on Rules, Calender, and Operations of the House.
The premise of the bill is simple. Take responsible members of the school staff who already are permitted to carry concealed weapons in the rest of the community. Require them to obtain training in responding to an active shooter. Allow them to carry concealed in the school, to provide a discreet, immediate armed response to a deadly force situation in the school. From abc11.com:
"HB 1039, School Self-Defense Act, would have allowed this common sense, practical solution to be implemented in North Carolina," said Representative Larry Pittman (R) 82nd District, one of the bill's sponsors. "However, seeking to avoid controversy in an election year, our leadership has chosen not to allow this bill even to be heard in committee. This is a failure to act that I fear may one day cost lives that could have been saved."
House Bill 1039 authorizes some faculty or staff members to carry a handgun onto school grounds "to respond to acts of violence or an imminent threat of violence."
"I believe that there are many teachers who would want to be armed and want to be in a position to protect their children from any kind of a school shooter," said Jean Fitzsimmons, a retired teacher.
Under the bill, the person would need a valid concealed handgun permit and 16 hours of active shooter training. Plus, the school or governing body could opt out.
Polls have revealed about 20% of teachers favor having armed teachers capable of protecting the children in their schools. Many teachers have military and law enforcement experience.
People with concealed carry permits have already shown themselves to be extremely safe and responsible. Statistics on people who have concealed carry permits show that they are far less likely to commit crimes than police officers. The bill simply removes many obstacles that have been put in place to make it difficult for teachers to provide protection for their students. It does not force any teachers to be armed, but provides a mechanism for those who wish to volunteer, to do so. As the teachers are volunteers, additional expenses to the school are minimal.
Advantages of this approach are many. Students do not know who, or how many, teachers may be armed at any one time. Thus, it becomes difficult to plan a successful rampage shooting. Rampage shooters typically plan their event for months, sometimes over a year, in advance. Introducing the variable of one or more unknown armed individuals in the school makes the planning far more difficult. Knowing that the individuals are trained to deal with active shooters increases the difficulty.
There is evidence that increasing the difficulty can cause potential shooters to abandon the project or to seek other targets. The more time used, the more possibility the shooter will be discovered, discouraged, or simply mature out of a dangerous fixation on rampage shootings.
The standard response to increasing the numbers of armed defenders in schools is a simplistic slogan - "no guns in schools". The slogan makes no sense. The slogan might as well be "no guns in schools until too late!"
Requiring law enforcement to respond to an active shooter, from outside a school, has been shown to take too much time. Most active shooting incidents are over in five minutes.
Having a few volunteers who know how to use weapons, carry them concealed routinely, and who have had specialized training in reacting to active shooters, is simple, inexpensive, and effective on several levels.
The majority of teachers who do not wish to be armed would not be required to be armed. Those who have experience, the desire to protect, and the willingness to undergo some training, could do so.
Many teachers have already shown their willingness to engage active shooters when unarmed, often paying with their lives. Those teachers would have been much more effective if they had been allowed to be armed.
Having armed and known school police officers, who are unwilling to actually protect the students, was counterproductive in the Parkland shooting.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

God's Word for Tuesday, 6/19/18

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.
Ephesians 5:25-26 (MSG)

18 June 2018

God's Word for Monday, 6/18/18

Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.
Ephesians 6:4 (MSG)

17 June 2018

Dad & Me

Sept. 1973

This is me and Dad on my first Navy leave, after boot camp. Despite the fact that he wasn't crazy about my enlistment - he was drafted during Korea, after all - he was proud of me.

The whole misbegotten Good Humor Man uniform issued by the Navy is a sad chapter, best left for another time...

God's Word for Father's Day, 6/17/18

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Up with God! Down with his enemies! Adversaries, run for the hills! Gone like a puff of smoke, like a blob of wax in the fire— one look at God and the wicked vanish. When the righteous see God in action they’ll laugh, they’ll sing, they’ll laugh and sing for joy. Sing hymns to God; all heaven, sing out; clear the way for the coming of Cloud-Rider. Enjoy God, cheer when you see him! Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house. God makes homes for the homeless, leads prisoners to freedom, but leaves rebels to rot in hell.
Psalm 68:4-5 (MSG)

16 June 2018

God's Word for Saturday, 6/16/18

God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet. He showed Moses how he went about his work, opened up his plans to all Israel. God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear him. He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we’re made of mud. Men and women don’t live very long; like wildflowers they spring up and blossom, But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly, leaving nothing to show they were here. God’s love, though, is ever and always, eternally present to all who fear him, Making everything right for them and their children as they follow his Covenant ways and remember to do whatever he said.
Psalm 103:10-13 (MSG)

15 June 2018

Navy Memories #17: Helo Down - Commence Search and Rescue

Previous installments:
  1. Boot Camp Memories
  2. About Those Navy Memories
  3. First Orders
  4. Anchor's Aweigh
  5. Man Overboard!
  6. Reflections of a Black Shoe
  7. Destroyer Life and Ports of Call
  8. Warships vs. Big Waves
  9. The Accident, and More Ports of Call
  10. The Black Sea - Operation Silver Fox
  11. 1975, A Year of Change 
  12. North to the Future
  13. Adak Outdoors
  14. Adak Life
  15. Adak Work, Winter, and More
  16. Rounding the Edges and Filling In The Blanks

Approx. location of operations described below.


November 1974. Task Group 60.1 enroute from Golfo di Palmas, Sardinia, to Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

USS Independence (CV-62)

USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13)
USS Sampson (DDG-10)
USS Vreeland (DE-1068)
USS Richard L. Page (DEG-5)
USS Manley (DD-940)
USS William M. Wood (DD-715)
USS Dalgren (DLG-12)
USS Detroit (AOE-4)

22:10 hours, approx. position 39° 40' N by 13°0' E. The destroyers maintain a loose circle at 10,000 to 14,000 yards from the carrier, steaming at various courses and speeds, while maintaining radar and sonar watches for non-U.S. aircraft and submarines. LTjg D.E. Myers is OOD.*  Cdr. John B. Castano, commanding, directed the rescue operation while LTjg Myers remained on the bridge.

Independence reports a helo** down to the west, and sights two white lights in the water. Wood's position is about 7 miles ahead to the west-southwest of the Independence, and sets Search and Rescue Detail. 

Wood's deck crew was ready with a rope ladder, enough hands to pull the airmen up, blankets and hot coffee. Doc was standing by, in case of injuries.

LT. R.P. Fiske, a qualified diver, was in the water with a line, attempting to tow the men back to the Wood. He was unsuccessful, being blown off course. 

Wood was close by the aircrew when the rescue helo arrived. We kept them in the spotlight until they were out of the water. LT. Fiske was pulled aboard a whaleboat lowered from Dalgren and taken aboard that ship, and later returned to Wood.

22:50 hrs - SAR is cancelled. Ships return to station and normal operations. Course and speed resumed.

Actual ship's log from that night

And now, the rest of the story ...

Two air crewmen down in the Mediterranean, surrounded by the ubiquitous green dye. Why use dye in the dark? Because we were searching with spotlights, and the searchers could more easily see the color change if/when the lights crossed that patch of water. Wood was close enough to keep a spotlight on them, at the end.

Their white helmets with reflective tape helped, too.

My emergency and/or special evolution duty station, as always, was as the Captain's phone talker. When the Search and Rescue Detail was announced, I reported to the bridge. The Captain told me to stand by in his ready room, adjoining the bridge. Two of the on-call Operations Specialists (radar operators) were waiting there, too. They were OS1 Art Spurr and OS3 Russ Haxton.

While we waited, I retrieved my guitar from Ship's Office, and played to keep us entertained.

Me and the guitar

Art had a brand new reel-to-reel tape deck***, and he recorded parts of the session. (I used to have a cassette copy of that, but it long since self-destructed.)

When the aircrew was sighted, Wood steamed to within 30 yards, and kept them spotlighted until the rescue chopper had them out of the water. Called back to the bridge, I was on the port bridge wing with the skipper to watch the rescue. Unforgettable.

Once the SAR detail was secured at 22:50, the ship resumed course and speed. And me? I did what any good sailor would do, and hit the sack.

OOD: Officer of the deck, e.g., the officer assigned to "drive" the ship when the captain is not on the bridge. In other other words, he had the con.

** Helo: Navy shorthand for helicopter.

*** It was 1974, after all.