I'm going to - well I guess I can't say live blog since I'm watching a recording - watch the CNN Townhall on the Parkland, Fla. mass murder (so you don't have to) and type about it as it goes.
Regular font will be what I'm seeing happening, my thoughts will be in italics.
It starts of with Tapper giving a brief summary of the Parkland shooters, introductions of folks on stage, and an outline of the program. I always get annoyed whenever anyone refers to politicians as "leaders". I'm an American - I can lead myself just fine ya statist git.
The victims are memorialized on the overhead screens while soft music plays in the background. Each one of the 17 murdered have their photos and names displayed for a moment.
Rep. Deutch speaks, hitting some of the more trendy catch phrases (people have told this community that it's too soon, weapons of war, don't want thoughts & prayers, want action, etc..) Even though this is recorded & he's on a screen I reflexively did a wallet check and have the urge to go count the silverware. He received a standing ovation.
Sen. Nelson speaks. He mentions "common sense solutions", "getting assault rifles off the streets" "BackGroundCheck on every acquiring of a gun".
His demeanor suggests a fruitful career in B horror flicks.
Sen Rubio speaks. tries to establish empathy, talks about communication problems, especially over politics.
I wonder if he realizes he's been invited to dinner only because he's on the menu.
I'll note, I didn't expect the venue to be as large as it is. has more of a concert/convention feel than anything approaching a discussion.
Brother of murdered student asks Deutch what can be done to keep him from feeling like he'll be murdered in a classroom. Deutch answers with banning "assault weapons".
If I were smart (or Steven Green - but I repeat myself) I'd be drunkblogging this thing.
Man who lost daughter asks Rubio - no not asks, berates Rubio for his & Trumps prior remarks to much applause. He orders Rubio to blame guns to much applause. Rubio says he'll repeat what he said & starts getting booed. The father interrupts demanding Rubio to state guns are the factor, something about weapon of choice & Rubio does. Rubio says he supports denying 18 year olds their Right to arms, banning bump stocks, adding info to NICS. Rubio doesn't support AWB, gets booed, father says daughter was killed with "weapon of choice", & berates Rubio for not supporting it. The father gets a standing ovation, then crowd boos Rubio. Rubio explains problems with AWB, definitions being tricky. Easy to work around for legal rifles that function the same. The crowd boos.
Tapper reminds crowd that they're eating into time for folks to answer when they cheer/jeer during an answer. "I want to make sure as many people in this community get to ask questions - that's why I'm here" No it's not - Tapper is there to direct the blood from the sacrifice into the grooves on the alter. He shouldn't get so pretentious.
Survivor that was shot twice, saw best friend murdered asks Sen Nelson what he'll do to strengthen BGC. Nelson talks about gunshow loophole closure in Fla. Blames counties for not doing it, says it could be taken care of in DC. Nelson brings up Pulse Nightclub shooter as example of slipping through BGC. Gives props to Rubio for showing up when no one else did. Nelson says "The gun is what is going to do the killing" He's a hunter though! AK47 & AR15 is not for hunting, for killing.
I'm thinking low budget, made-for-TV stephen king. Maybe main villain or at least high grade henchman. Ayup. He shoulda went into acting.
Student that hid in closet asks Deutsch how someone mentally ill can buy an AR15. Deutch talks about Gun Violence Restraining Orders. He talks about AWB, claims mass shootings increased 200% in the decade after AWB sunset. If there are too many loopholes then close the loopholes. He gets lots of applause
I'm giving in - gonna go check the silverware...
Rubio speaks. He's gracious about folks telling him he's courageous for being there. Says problem with AWB is you'd have to ban every semi auto rifle, & crowd erupts in cheers. Rubio says his colleagues on stage don't want to ban every semi auto rifle, Deutsch steps up says rifle that fires 150 rounds in 6 minutes should be banned.
If 25 rpm is the new standard then they'll have to go after lever guns. & bolt actions. & Jerry Miculek's double rifle.
Rubio asks Deutsch if he wants to ban any rifle that can do what the AR can do. Deutch drops it to 150 rounds in 7 or 8 minutes, exclaims weapons of war, max number of people killed, etc. & says he's for banning those. He gets a standing ovation.
So, 18 to 21 rpm. There goes that marlin model 60. Jerry Miculek's derringers & Ruger No. 1 are gone, as are cap'n'ball revolvers.
Nelson speaks. He co sponsors an AWB. Mentions AK's manufactured in Fla. Sig Sauer MCX mentioned as a high powered assault rifle. Mentions AR15. Fla gave financial incentives to Colt to make AR's in Fla. links it to murders at Parkland.
Students thanks Rubio for coming out. The student mentions active shooter drills. He asks why do they have to speak out to save innocent lives. Gets much applause. Rubio is nice to him, voices support for GVRO's. Student says that's like 1rst step of 5k run. Rubio talks about FixNics, working with Hippa laws to get more info into system.
5k? 5 K? If the Good Lord had intended us to use the mteric system, he'd have made some ancient king's thumb a centimeter long, now wouldn't he?. Geeeze.
A teacher is introduced. She gets a standing ovation for "sheltering 65 students in her classroom" Asks Rubio about arming teachers. Is she supposed to serve & protect in addition to teaching. Rubio denounces armed teacher idea. Says he doesn't want his kids going to school with armed teachers. He insinuates cops would shot armed teacher by mistake.
If anyone wants to make a deal, we'll gladly trade you Rubio in exchange for a Republican...
Tapper asks Nelson about Trump mentioning arming teachers. Nelson says it's a terrible idea, then without comprehending it he counters his own point by saying deputies can't be in every building. "if the weapon is a high caliber rapid fire assault weapon it is hard to go into a fight against that if you've got just a handgun"
Brave Sir Deputy could not be reached for comment, but would likely agree.
Student who lost sis (would have been her 17th bday) asks Deutch if majority supports gunowner control but elected officials don't enact it does that mean our democracy is broken. Deutch says it is a little bit. He talks about a poll. 97% supports UBC, he claims. He doesn't have an answer for why something with 100% support (a 3% jump in only 12 seconds!) doesn't get passed. Duetsch states that when an org spends 10's of millions promoting the interests of gun companies to influence elections then yes our democracy is a little broken. NRA represents gun companies instead of safety of Americans. He exhorts student leaders leading movement stronger than money (read NRA).
Ya know, with math skillz like that I'll be surprised if the dems don't put him on a budget committee.
Checking silverware again. Also spare bath towels...
Kid shakes hands with everyone, starts off by telling Rubio when he looks at him he's staring down the barrel of an AR15, sees the murderer from Parkland. He asks Rubio to tell his friend that he'll get to live to join military. Rubio says he'll live & everyone has a chance to change the country. Kid tells audience they can't boo b/c someone's a repub or dem.
Seems to me he kinda lost the high ground when he compared Rubio to a child murderer.
Kid asks Rubio if he'll not accept any more donations from NRA, & the crowd cheers. & stands. Kid goes on about he wished he could've asked the "nra lady" how she can look in mirror as she has children. Rubio tries to answer, the crowd jeers, starts chanting something I can't quite make out. Tappers quiets them down. Kid asks "in the name of 17 people you cannot ask the NRA to keep their money out of your campaign?" Rubio tries to answer, gets jeered, kid says he can get folks there to give Rubio as much cash as NRA. Rubio says the NRA doesn't agree with his notion of raising age from 18 to 21, he doesn't know if they're opposed to arming teachers as he is. He brings up his bill to add terror watchlist to Nics. Kid asks NRA to keep money out of Rubio's campaign.
Given as much gunowner control as Rubio supports, I hope the NRA does. Then again, given as much gunowner control as the NRA supports they probably will keep giving him A grades. Kid wasn't impressive though. Polite tantrums are still tantrums.
Student asks Nelson - wait, she makes speech, claims her school will be beginning of gun control. etc. Asks question for miss Loesch & NRA but they're not here yet, & "all of you puppet politicians that they're backing" - was blood of her teachers & classmates worth your blood money.
That's it, I'm calling my broker & telling him to buy stock in CNN just so I can have the pleasure of dumping it if things don't improve.
Tapper tries to moves on. She asks Nelson why don't we have kevlar vests & walls of kevlar instead of cheaply built walls. Why do ya'll protect yourselves with guns & vest but we have nothing but dry wall is the gist of it. Nelson replies with talk about AWB, BGC, common sense laws, etc. She asks why it takes so many lives to change, takes jab at Rubio in form of question, why wasn't first school the last school this happened to. Nelson asks why nothing was done after Pulse. It'll continue absent common sense laws he answers himself.
Senior that has enlisted in Army, Thanks Rubio, slams "so called pres" & governor. He asks Rubio for standard mag cap ban. Rubio thanks him for enlisting. Says he hasn't looked at mag size, but is reconsidering. Rubio gets much applause at that answer. Rubio says it might not prevent anything but mag cap ban would save lives. He hints that some may have gotten away but cops should disclose that.
Okay, how about y'all take Rubio in exchange for a fiery independent with a libertarian streak?
Tapper points out the GOP's NRA ties, then points out dem majority in 09 & '10 that didn't push gunowner control, then asks Nelson if that was a mistake. Nelson says yes. Nelson brings up sandy hook. He says when they get 60 votes they'll do more, til then he'll see what he can get. He mentions the NRA are blocking things now.
Rubio says something will happen in next few weeks. fixnicx, ban bumpstocks, raise age to 21, safeschool act.
Okay, we'll trade Rubio for an empty seat & whatever spare change you have on you.
Student asks Deutch how come there aren't equal methods of protection in all schools despite their social, infrastructure, crime rates & median income. She gets much applause. Deutch says every school should have necessary security. Veers off to lament it's what we've always heard before, says it's a sprint not a 5k. He goes on about banning bumpstocks that convert semi auto into killing machine, that there's no need to think, a bumpstock needs to be done next week. The applause kicks in campaign mode. he grandstands about BGC's again, then with a flourish spins it into UBC.
A student asks if campus will be safe when she returns. Deutch tries to reassure her. BGC, UBC, bumpstock ban, no fly no buy are trotted out. Again. He says the time for talking is over (yet doesn't shut up). & if you elect me president I'll...
Imma go check to make sure toaster is secured to counter.
Tapper introduces Dana Loesch & Sheriff Israel.
Tapper asks Israel about arming teachers. Israel says teachers should teach (to much applause). He goes on that we should ask teachers what they want to do instead of telling them, seeming confident that they'll reject carrying a means of defense.
A student is introduced with much applause. She tells Loesch that "we will support your two children in a way that you will not." Then asks her if it should be harder to get semi auto's & mods to make them full auto, mentioning bump stocks. Loesch applauds her for speaking out, says no one should deny her voice because she's young, etc. Loesch gets booed & random hecklers shout things at her. She tries to explain states aren't required to report to nics, gets booed again (I sense a theme here). Student interrupts, repeats question about semi autos & full autos. Loesch says NRA is cool with bumpstock ban.
Israel interjects. says she isn't standing up for students until she says "I want less guns" & he gets standing a ovation.
Israel wants expansion of baker act, doesn't want to wait until proven danger to self or others, wants to take weapons away for examinations.
At first I was surprised that an elected official with a yankee accent would so enthusiastically champion gun owner control, or be so rude to a lady in the South. Then I remembered they're in lower Florida. From Orlando to the keys there's more yankees per capita than in Baltimore. But still...
Also, I just called my broker & with much satisfaction sold that CNN stock I picked up a few incredulous minutes ago.
Teacher asks Loesch to define well regulated militia &, using supporting detail, explain how an 18 year old woth a military rifle is well regulated. The teacher says Loesch's answer will be graded by the country. Loesch brings up Mason, militia is whole of people, etc.The teacher asks what the NRA is going to do about a murderer being able to get weapon. Much heckling as leosch tries to answer, Tapper finally steps in to calm the crowd. Loesch talks about 39 leo contacts with murderer & mentions the baker act. Israel steps in, says only the murderer is responsible. 3 things to do, he propagandizes - 1: (wait for it...) crime prevention by environmental design. (Unsure if he means growing extra thorny shrubs or bullet proof carbon credits) 2: (wait for it..) A nation wide baker act, with permanent disarmament 3: (& bam!) More gunowner control. 18 year olds should never have a rifle. bump stocks, or auto rifles, then he delivers the applause line, & lo, the crowd applauds.
Tapper asks why NRA doesn't want to raise age. Loesch mentions service members, mentions rape survivor who wished she had firearm, & the crowd jeers. She mentions she lived on her own when 20, had shotgun. talks about being old enough to vote, or to drive car, or to serve their country, with the caveat that they're not a danger to self or others.
Mom that lost daughter. asks about general security measures, drills, metal detectors, psych's, etc. How do NRA & lawmakers work together, who will pay etc. Loesch explains 150 schools have implemented NRA school plan from 2013. But it's up to individual schools.
That was the most sincere question I heard all night. By sincere I mean that she actually seemed to want to know the answer, instead of asking a question to make a statement of itself, or to set up a respondent to get cheered or booed.
Israel says he agrees with Loesch, but its always the same old thing. He wants something different. Different of course means more gunowner control. less guns on streets, etc.
I was wrong - I shouldn't be drunk blogging this - I should be opioid blogging this.
Loesch mentions fixnics & to my everlasting surprise she gets booed. She mentions better system to handle red flags, tells Tapper his network should asks those question more.
Teacher asks Israel about fbi tip not followed, etc. Tapper steps in & says it's an fbi query, &the fbi declined to show up, Then the teacher asks Israel to talk about contacts with murderer, red flags, etc. Israel says lawmakers must change things, that his dept. is reviewing contacts with murderer, etc. israel then asks law makers for more powers for cops to disarm folks, & mentions baker act.
Loesch asks about 39 calls about murderer & if they couldn't have used the baker act on him during any of those contacts. Israel claims there weren't 39 contacts, questions her sources (which she says are the MSM). He mentions again that cops need more power &the baker act is brought up yeta gain. He wants multi year project for folks released from - something - baker act. He kisses up to school teachers by mentioning their low pay.
Mother of murdered teacher asks Loesch why life liberty & happiness aren't protected as fiercely as right to arms & she gets applause. Loesch says good guys with guns will be protecting schools & she gets booed. (I sense a pattern, I just can't quite put my finger on it...) She says it's not guns versus kids. The mother says it was muskets back then; now it's not muskets. It's assault weapons, weapons of mass destruction. She gets a standing ovation. Loesch counters with more than muskets were available in the 1790's, that free speech not confided to tech of that era, etc & - surprise! - gets booed.
Israel weighs in; he.lists some mass shootings, says change is needed whilst implying gunowner control is the answer. He gets a partial standing ovation, with much applause.
Loesch mentions 8th tragedy where red flags were ignored, & gets booed. She mentions improving reporting disqualifiers to nics, talks about murderers who would've been denied sales if reported, & gets booed.
Tapper thanks Israel & Loesch, booing commences loudly when Loesch is mentioned.
Father of murdered student reads poem his son wrote before he passed.
Students sing song which I believe they wrote. after a few verses & choruses students deliver spoken messages about not being ignored, calling congressmen, etc.
& that's it.
Now that I can look back on it (though in retrospect I shoulda drunk-opioid blogged this thing) I can tell you it was a really disgusting event. This wasn't meant to further dialogue; ratings perhaps, but the primary purpose was to make it look like the MSM's agenda has overwhelming public supporter, & the oppostion (that'd be us) were guilty. Dissenters will be ousted, voted off the island, kicked out of the tribe & all that. Oh & yes, CNN can't hide behind neutrality any more. They picked who asked questions & who was invited to attend. I know damn well that the entire student body (3,000+) isn't made up solely of folks who think that what Sarah Brady wanted was a good start.
I've seen this tactic before, at a Bloomberg funded event (the committee hearing for Colorado's gunowner control laws back in '13 - & trust me - the legislature was Bloomberg funded). Pack the audience to make your opponents seem a minority. Then offer only a pretense of moderation when your opposition gets jeered, or called murderers, or what have you.
CNN wanted The Narrative (tm) to be pushed. & it was. Hell, you couldn't swing a cat without hitting an anti-gunowner catch phrase ("weapons of war", "semi automatics into machine guns", etc.)
I do not know if the kids questions were scripted by CNN or some other activists. It's entirely possible there was no scripting at all & the kids have just been so thoroughly indoctrinated that the questions they wrote seemed jotted down by a Bloomie the Hut funded PR team. The one that mentioned infrastructure, median income, etc seemed too social justice warrior-esque for a teen, but it's possible that some teens are that deep into SJW territory.
Some of the kids behavior was awful. They were lashing out much more than seeking any sort of knowledge. & CNN egged them on. Damn CNN for that.
Rubio is moderately pro-gun. Perhaps C but certainly not A grade pro-gun. Loesch a bit moreso, though it's tricky to tell since she was there on behalf of the NRA. Anyone that's read me knows that I'd give the NRA no more than a C on being pro gunowner, but perhaps her responsibilities were holding back her own views. They did fairly well overall, considering they were there to be pinatas. Though I was disappointed in the support each of them expressed for more restrictions on the Right to arms, & thought they could have taken different tacks at certain points. Still they did alright despite the bias against them.
It was a slick production. Most well run hate-fest I've ever seen. Cutting right to the kids' song at the end & closing with it wasn't a last minute idea.
I do not have any sympathy for anyone's loss when they try to use it to create an artificial sense of guilt in me so I'll agree to relinquish some of my Rights. Generally I'll ignore someone for a few weeks after a loss, as the grieving process does take some time, & especially right after someone dies a lot of emotions can over ride a persons better judgement. Which is again why CNN should be damned for using these folks to push their agenda; CNN commercialized the grieving process to guilt folks into acquiescing their Rights.
Some of the kids seemed to be getting comfortable with celebrity. That's not a good thing to substitute for grieving. It's different for everyone; when I suffer a loss I will try to lose myself in my work for a while, some other folks I know take time off, etc., but I think these kids are getting the notion that activism can heal them. Even if the cause was just that's a bad plan. & this cause isn't just. If they succeed they'll hurt more people than they will help, & if they fail they'll be left disillusioned, and back at square one when it comes to dealing with what they've been through. Did I mention that CNN can go straight to hell?
In other places, before I watched, I saw this being lauded as a success. From a certain point of view it was. This gives the anti gunowners a sort of generalized plan on how to try to guilt & shame folks into disavowing the gun culture. It reinforced the progressive notion that victims have power or moral authority thus objective reasoning isn't required. What I don't think they realize is even folks on the fence & leaning their way will be likely to see that no matter what the policy issues are, kids shouldn't be used this way.
Tapper should have stepped in more often, especially when miss Leosch was getting harassed by the crowd. I didn't hear it myself, but I've read elsewhere some heckler called her a murderer. There were several places where that could've happened but I didn't hear it clearly. Still, Tapper should have been a little more interventionist instead of hanging back like a ref waiting to give a standing count of 3. Course, a former Handgun Control Inc spokesman ain't gonna step up too quick to defend anyone that's not anti-NRA. Yes, I think it was his bias that kept him from controlling the crowd better.
These kids, & a good many adults, would have been better served by doing something else, anything else, rather than let them be used by CNN as human shields. Nothing productive came from this event. If anything this'll help galvanize gunowners, as the cheering at the notion of banning all semi auto rifles, or the sheriff's open declaration for more power to disarm folks, are enough to get gunowners to the polls.
Sheriff Israel. I have a special kind of disdain for yankees who try to export their gunowner controlling ways. It doubles for cops who give you that "only one" vibe just by looking at ya. If I'd have watched this live I'd have really disliked the carpetbagger in question, but I watched knowing that his deputy didn't do a damn thing while the murders were going on. There's a chance he knew that during that event. Yet he still says the solution is more power for cops? In his department's case more spine perhaps, but certainly not more power. But Israel gives me that union boss kinda feeling, and I'm gonna presume that he's good at campaigning (which is what he seemed to be doing last night - on par with Deutch at times). If he doesn't resign then hopefully the residents of his county will vote him out. & hopefully his county isn't already over run with other progressives, cause if that's the case then this jerk may be sheriff for ages.
Now after spending way too much of my life viewing that hatefest with commercial breaks I'm gonna do something constructive, like replant lint in my pockets so I can pick it out again 20 minutes later.
If you haven't watched the entire thing yet - just don't do that to yourself. CNN hates gunowners & is willing to use kids to prove it. That's what you'll get out of sitting through the whole damned thing. I know that's what I got out of it.