Bruce Rayner: In search of common sense
June 4, 2018
Common Sense is something most of us have had since childhood. It's ingrained, the product of our upbringing and family values. It's our moral compass, giving us a feeling for right and wrong and what makes sense when solving problems. We use it to see simple solutions to today's serious problems that our leaders don't see, like endless school shootings. Maybe they're held back by the weight of our cumbersome government. So let's discuss a common sense solution.
First a politically correct warning: Some of what you read here may be disturbing.
Therein lies a major part of the problem. As a culture, we are being taught that we must always be safe, protected from the least slight, not to face up to issues to ask, "Wait, what are the root causes, what can I do, can I handle that? Worse, we are indoctrinated to listen closely to the disturbing details about each new disaster, then text it to our friends on Facebook. Consider that your parents, grandparents, might have had a different reaction. During World War II, every day, month after month, 297 soldiers died in battle — 297 each day! Were people warned about that disturbing news? No, and the news made few headlines. We were a country at war. We buckled down and built bombers, concentrated on the war effort.
One thing we know: There will be another school shooting in our future. Sad, but it will happen. All the marches, arguing pointlessly in Congress about guns, will not provide a solution and like World War II, the deaths will continue. We have a dark cloud over our society.
If the media won’t do it voluntarily, the government should enforce a suspension of certain freedoms of the press ...
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Is there a possible Common Sense solution? If so, everyone from the media to Congress and ourselves would need to be voluntarily involved in a counter attack on this terror. It would mean the loss of some of our freedoms, but what if it could make a difference? Quickly let's take a look at a plan of attack on school shootings.
First, what's one root cause behind these killings? It's the media. They tell you about the horror, over and over. You love it, advertising revenues go up, even Facebook wins as you tell all your friends. Shut down the network news? Can't do that, they have freedom of the press. Take away all the guns? We have a right to bear arms so that won't work. Arm all the teachers? Won't work. How would our government handle it? They wouldn't. Can't. What could work?
We the people can insist that our media cease to report anything inflammatory (like a shooting that could be copied). If the media won't do it voluntarily, the government should enforce a suspension of certain freedoms of the press where a violation would result in huge fines to that media outlet, internet or social site. Huge, it must hit them in the pocketbook should they choose to exercise their "rights" to report it (and risk more lives). It wouldn't be difficult to define what news should be withheld; anything that if duplicated would result in death to innocents would qualify. Is there precedent for suspending freedom of the press? You bet. Again, in World War II, news of attacks on our troops and shipping was suppressed to prevent information getting into enemy hands. I suggest we really are at war here, against those who would commit terrorist acts that harm, maim and kill the innocent, including school children. Thus media control is justified. Why is it so difficult for our leaders to use the words, "We are at war with those who would harm us." This is political correctness run amok, and our school children are dying. Where is the common sense?
Imagine, if the media and internet suddenly went dark on school shootings, and other terrorist acts, in a short time the vision and insane pleasure that misfits receive for committing such acts would dry up. The "How to" instructions for bombs and guns that fill the media as part of news reporting serve no purpose other than to tempt those few who would try it themselves.
Obviously there's more to the story, better parenting, and identifying those who are troubled. Our end goal is not to control terrorism, but to get back the experience of growing up in a carefree world. We want to experience the freedoms we thought we had. Just apply your common sense and each of us probably has a good and simple idea how these things can be accomplished.
Bruce Rayner lives in Nevada City.