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Belle Chesler: Will an AR-15 Succeed Where the American Dream Failed?
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In the wake of the Parkland massacre, in a land whose citizens own an estimated 265 million guns, half of them in the hands of just 3% of the population, and with mass shootings (four or more people) taking place, on average, nine out of every 10 days, this country is unique among developed nations when it comes to guns and gun violence. There’s no other place where civilians are quite so weaponized, nor any other country whose weaponized politicians (backed to the hilt by the NRA) are quite so sophisticated and sophistic when it comes to explaining why all this couldn’t be more normal in a “free” land. (The satirical publication the Onion caught the spirit of the moment perfectly in 2014 with this headline: “‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”)

Unfortunately, as is clear from the responses to the Parkland, Florida, slaughter, our children don’t feel quite so “free” as they perform grim lockdown drills at their schools. My 5½-year-old grandson came home recently after just such a drill and asked his mother, “Why would angry dogs try to break into my school?” Okay, he doesn’t quite have the details straight yet, but he will all too soon while huddled in the corner of some darkened classroom. It’s a hell of a way to go to school.

There was, of course, an equivalent in my own 1950s childhood: the “duck and cover” drills we schoolchildren took part in regularly in our classrooms, while outside sirens wailed their test warnings for a nuclear apocalypse. As you might imagine, that, too, was frightening at the time, even if not in quite the same way. To the extent that we kids could take in the idea of a nuclear attack, we knew, at least, that those Soviet missiles weren’t aimed specifically at our school or meant specifically to slaughter us; they were aimed, after a fashion, at everything, at slaughtering everybody. They were horrifying, but also strangely impersonal.

In the intervening years, in the school context, death has become so much more personal. No wonder that, led by inspired and inspiring high school students who have been in the line of fire or fear that they will be, something is actually happening in this country when it comes to guns — a transformation of public opinion, a growing business boycott of the NRA, a chain of sporting goods stores that will no longer sell military-style semi-automatic rifles like the one Nikolas Cruz carried into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and even a few politicians who are beginning to rethink their positions on parts of American gun culture. In that context, let a high school teacher, Belle Chesler, take you inside an all-American school-cum-shooting-gallery of our era and clue you in as to what a grown-up thinks about the nature of American life while locked down in the dark with her students.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Gun Control, Guns, Mass Shootings 
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  1. Yawn. What exactly is the rationale for demanding that US gun violence rates be compared only with so-called “developed countries” when a substantial portion of the American population comes from ethnicities whose ancestral countries have very high rates of violence? This is an elephant in the room that people like Mr. Englehardt work hard to ignore.

  2. In that context, let a high school teacher, Belle Chesler, take you inside an all-American school-cum-shooting-gallery of our era and clue you in as to what a grown-up thinks about the nature of American life while locked down in the dark with her students.

    Is she not safe inside her 1,000 foot radius gun free zone?

    Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990
    The law applies to public, private, and parochial elementary schools and high schools, and to non-private property within 1000 feet of them.

  3. theMann says:

    Hey Tom, maybe you can explain why El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Columbia, and Venezuela all have astronomically higher per capita murder rates, and gun violence rates, than the USA despite strict gun control laws?

    Hey Belle, maybe you can explain why there are higher per capita murder rates in France, Italy, and The Balkans, all of which have strict gun control laws, than there are in the USA?

    Hey maybe any of you, seriously, really any of you, can explain why the America of 1960 had nearly zero gun violence – an America where you could buy a gun via the mail and gun registration didn’t exist- with the America of today where an ever expanding collection of restrictions go hand in hand with an ever expanding occurrence of gun violence?

    The greater reality is this: Whites own 80+ % of the guns in the USA, non whites commit, well, we just don’t even collect that data any more, but way the hell more than 20 % of the gun violence in America. Simple and indisputable fact: the ultimate aim of all gun laws in this country today is the systematic attempt to disarm Whites in the face of ever escalating violence towards Whites by non Whites. And we need to call out every one of these gun control liars for what they are.

    • Replies: @llloyd
    , @lavoisier
  4. End of the day, these shooters, every one of them, is the product of feminist K-12 education, a divorced single mother, leftist-feminist driven psychiatry and over-prescription of the M&Ms of the depressed lovingly and profitably provided by Big Pharma. So the Left wing in this country creates the nuts, drugs the shit out of them, fails to control them and when they commit atrocities, they want the GUNS taken care of. Right. Check. It isn’t going to fly, not in Florida. The rest of us will forget about it.

    Another thing. Getting rid of the guns doesn’t get rid of the nuts, the boys are still being marginalized, they won’t be happier about it tomorrow than they were last week. Further, get rid of the guns, the nuts will dream of a scheme to blow up an entire school. Guns would look like the least of the problem after a deal like that. It’s the school they go to that have them enraged. That makes it the school’s failure, not mine. If you’re a school system and you have students that want to blow up or shoot up their own school, you, as an educator, fucked UP. Call THEM to account, call the COPS to account and we can even call the FBI to account on this one, as usual. It is all of this the kids running about protesting don’t get. Besides, they’re likely afraid to call attention to the school. They have to go back there after all.

    • Replies: @stopislaminUSA
  5. pyrrhus says:

    When 95% of US firearm murders come from two minorities, blacks and hispanics, you don’t want to deal with that fact. Nor do you want to talk about the cops killing more than 1000 people every year. Instead, you want to take firearms away from everyone else, the very people for whom the 2d Amendment was created. Extremely dishonest, and typical of leftist clowns…..

  6. llloyd says: • Website

    I just googled. The murder rate per capita for France was about three times lower than in USA. The rate for Italy was several times lower than in France. That is the era that pre dates the refugee crisis. However that would not make much statistical difference maybe even lower it. The refugees are not into murder. They just want to live there so good reason not to do major crime. The common denomination sadly seems to be the black populations in these countries. If guns were allowed into France on American scale, the statistics would jump dramatically.

    • Replies: @Saxon
  7. Dr. Doom says:

    Useful idiot lectures dumb racists about the ethics of self-defense from the Killing Fields of her Gun Free Zone. Cambodia is the framework of gun control and useful idiots who support it.


  8. @Jim Christian

    If you do not believe that this was a false flag in Florida you are going to be woke soon.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  9. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The horse is out of the barn. There’s hundreds of millions of guns already out there. No way to do anything about that fact. The author would be in favor of house-to-house searches of homes by armed government goons to get these guns. We don’t want a police state; perhaps the author does. Fantasy doesn’t do it. We’ve had forty years of the war on drugs and we now have more drugs than ever before.

  10. Saxon says:

    “The refugees are not into murder.”

    Except they are. Their own countries have astronomical murder rates compared to the indigenous population they’re colonizing. These people aren’t separate from the conditions that foster such murder rates in their own countries. In fact, with humans, environment is largely created by the human population. It’s why blacks and other such global south population groups have high crime but especially high violent crime rates and that doesn’t change when you transplant them onto our soil.

    If you gave France the gun laws of America and allowed the firearms to flow in, of course the gun crime rates would go up; but it wouldn’t be the indigenous population doing it, it would be the blacks and browns. Just like in Sweden, it’s not the indigenous population that caused the rape rate to balloon so high that it’s now the rape capital of the northern hemisphere. White Americans–real white Americans–not “Hispanics” and jews like the Parkland shooter that the lying authorities love to categorize as white (see the Sheriff’s most wanted list for a bunch of brown guys named Hernandez and Gonzalez who are supposedly “white”) have similar gun crime rates to European natives in places like Switzerland.

    Magic soil isn’t real. These other peoples don’t magically transform into us even when born in our countries and sent to the exact same schools because my friend evolution is real and biological differences between population groups are also real.

  11. Since Mr. Engelhardt looks so favorably upon the “business boycott” (that appears to have already engendered a counter-boycott on which we see little in the Soviet media), that’s my cue to insert this blurb here:

    “One of the first corporations to jump onto the anti-NRA jihad bandwagon was the First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), which is the parent company of my friendly community bank in DeKalb IL. Of the seven states in which FNBO or its subsidiaries operate —Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas— five went for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Seems like they may have set themselves up for a nasty consumer boycott from here in the heartland. If you are a client/customer of an FNBO affiliate, I strongly encourage you to send a note explaining your likely future banking options to Mr. K. Langin : the FNBO PR flack handling what really should be a major sh*tstorm. You can tell him I sent you. Next up, I’ll see how far I get talking to United Airlines’s PR flacks at their Chicago HQ.”

  12. poop says:

    First off, what happened in Florida was a terrible, preventable tragedy… but due to the failures of federal, local, and even site based “law enforcement” and “security” (not to mention school administration) it happened. I suspect no rational person would think that particular nut (Cruz)should have any guns. But following the same rationale, why would we expect the corrupt/incompetent FBI to “protect” us from nuts like him when they have demonstrably failed. In a perfect world, guns would be unnecessary. Its not a perfect world.

    In addition, its no accident the 2nd amendment immediately follows the 1st. Without the 2nd, you lose the 1st. Both are under assault as we speak, and if you eliminate the 2nd, say goodbye to the 1st also. As bad as shit is now, it can get MUCH worse.

  13. lavoisier says: • Website

    Simple and indisputable fact: the ultimate aim of all gun laws in this country today is the systematic attempt to disarm Whites in the face of ever escalating violence towards Whites by non Whites. And we need to call out every one of these gun control liars for what they are.

    It is much more sinister than that. The ultimate aim of the gun laws in this country is to disarm the citizenry to make it easier for our corrupt Republic to impose their totalitarian multicultural utopia on all of us as they continue to engage in wars around the globe in thrall to the territorial ambitions of Zion.

    The stakes are very high.

    A disarmed citizenry is the goal of any totalitarian government. While I am fearful of the largely black criminal element in my country and their penchant for violence, I am more fearful of the criminals in government who would take away my freedoms for a few shekels.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  14. El Dato says:

    Is Trump deflecting liberal anger towards vidya?

    Outcry as Trump links violence to video games, shows reel with gaming massacre at Moscow airport

    What’s it with these “outcries” lately? It’s become obnoxious.

  15. @lavoisier

    It is much more sinister than that. The ultimate aim of the gun laws in this country is to disarm the citizenry to make it easier for our corrupt Republic to impose their totalitarian multicultural utopia on all of us as they continue to engage in wars around the globe in thrall to the territorial ambitions of Zion.

    Exactly! If a cop pulls me over for speeding, I have every right to shoot his ass and go on my way unhindered. Praise the Lord for the Second Amendment.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  16. peterAUS says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    A town of around 15 000 in Midweast, 95 % whites.
    A new war somewhere abroad, or an escalation of a current one, creates a flood of refugees.
    D.C. decides to take them in. Millions of them. The town above shall get 5 000 of them to settle in.
    People from 5th world country, of alien culture and way of life.

    The people in the town organize demonstrations->nobody cares.
    The people in the town get angry, demonstrations get violent->the State deploy riot police to “pacify” the town.->a couple of guys open fire on police->police return fire->more people start shooting at police->police retreat from the town and block all the entry/exit points.

    D.C. sees it as a VERY bad example. Deploys a Task Force. State police, FBI, some elements of National Guard and some elements of U.S. military. Light armor and helicopters, among other things.
    People in the city:
    1. Fold because apart from a couple of hunting rifles used in the shootouts with police they can’t stop the Task Force. Mass arrests follow. Heavy media coverage of that. Etc.
    2. Get organized to stop the Task Force on imposing D.C. will there. 2000 gun owners there get organized into an unified force.
    D.C. escalates: brings more forces. Heavy propaganda.
    1. People in the town fold.
    2. Another, adjacent, town, does the same. And another. The deployed Task Force, effectively, finds itself surrounded.
    D.C. panics. …………..
    From then on, well…who knows.

    Can’t happen in USA?

    Happened, plenty of times, for different reasons mind you, somewhere else.

    • Replies: @anarchyst
  17. anarchyst says:

    You are absolutely correct. The first modern-day vestiges of federal coercion took place at Little Rock High School in 1957 with the illegal use of federal troops to enforce the will of the U S government against the majority of citizens who wanted to maintain the status quo–segregation.
    Once government knew that they could get away with their unlawful behavior, by threatening whites by the use of federal troops, all bets were off.
    Fast forward to more recent history when federal troops were used at Ruby Ridge and Mt. Carmel with impunity.
    There is one common denominator–each of these illegal actions violated long-standing “posse comitatus” statutes and was directed against whites…sorta tells you something.

  18. @stopislaminUSA

    False flag or no, the result is predictable. If the idea was to raise a generation of men who can’t get pussy who are then so pissed off at society and women in general that they start shooting, I’ll buy into that. The Chinese murdered their daughters for a hundred years and here they are with 7 men to every female age 15-50. Those men are called “Empty Branches” and the Chins fill their military with them against their potential of damage to the regime that permitted the infanticide. We’ve certainly created lots of ‘Empty Branches’ as a society. Every mass shooter of more than 10 victims was raised by a single mother. Every one of them was an outcast and these pussy-less men can be Asians, White boys, Negros, they aren’t men with roots in women or family, they don’t have work, prospects or hope. These are the monsters we’ve created for ourselves.

    The Chinese certainly recognize the danger of men with no roots, the disenfranchised. False flag? I call horseshit on THIS one in Florida, this was just a kid pining for girls he couldn’t have and going and killing a slew of them. This kid was brewing his hatred for a long time in their little community. Others of a false flag nature, I gotta see PROOF. Everything can’t be a false flag. You can’t keep that many secrets. The false flag notion is simply so that we don’t have to admit how FAR down the rabbit hole is our society, how depraved, how indifferent, how decayed and how deeply in decline we are. When there is no where left to go for the bottom 20-50% of young men, expect more. A lot more. Many, many more..

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @El Dato
  19. peterAUS says:
    @Jim Christian

    ..we don’t have to admit how FAR down the rabbit hole is our society, how depraved, how indifferent, how decayed and how deeply in decline we are. When there is no where left to go for the bottom 20-50% of young men, expect more. A lot more. Many, many more..

    Agree, up to a point.
    That does not apply, IMHO, to all of the USA. There are parts where you definitely have all that and more, but, there are parts where you don’t.

    So, doesn’t feel right to drag those good parts down because of the bad parts.
    The catch, of course, is that the malady tends to spread if not extinguished, let alone contained.

    Maybe “containment” is the way to go, at this stage. Like ‘you keep fuc*&ng yourselves over even more, just leave us alone”.


    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  20. El Dato says:
    @Jim Christian

    Very correct.

    This cries of “false flag” are as obnoxious as the permanent “outrage” in the media about someone having said something non-progressive. Really bizarre and ultra-complex scenarios on how this “false flag” went down are then pulled out apparently from a festering stack of TV series proposals rejected even by Hollywood. TV rots the brain.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  21. @peterAUS

    Good take. Problem is, they won’t leave you alone. Cmmunities outside the borders away from the 20-million population centers are peaceful, White and somewhat prosperous for now, but they get their share of immigrants and now Section 8 migrants from inner cities the Left wants to gentrify. Just look at Cabrini Green for instance. Left-wing, but White, peaceful, wealthy and getting wealthier all the time. And so red states and communities find themselves invaded, they’re never left alone even aside from all the EEOC and other mandates shoved down their throats. States’ Rights? That’s a laugh. They’re never going to be left alone and Trump is but a minor blip in the process.

    When a lowly Federal judge in the 9th Circuit has the power to thwart any executive or legislative or especially popularly-voted mandate, then the Judicial has simply become a tool of the SJW crowd and much too powerful. Trump can, in Constitutionally-proper fashion, fire and replace Federal judges, one after another, including the underlings. It’s been done many times before. Certainly the Liberals flushed the conservatives out of judicial power beginning really from the top-down beginning with the Warren Court. The liberal charge on the courts was on from that point on. The Trump era isn’t forever. He could go a long way by firing judges and replacing them with men of jurisprudence, not political connectedness.

  22. @El Dato

    Well, unless the ‘false-flag’ is the deliberate incompetence of FBI in allowing a known nut in Alaska to travel by air and have his gun returned to him loaded in Fort Lauderdale last year. Barely remembered is, he shot up the airport upon his arrival. Deliberate, or sloppy law enforcement? Can’t say. Was Gabby Giffords a false flag? It was likely a Fast and Furious handgun that shot her, one of many that got away from them and turned up at gun shows, for sale. To a nut with a fetish to shoot people. Sloppy law enforcement? Who knows, the FBI landed on it, dusted off the local and State police and scooped all the evidence and buried the shooter somewhere. I don’t know where he is, do you? From there, Gabby Giffords and her adulterous astronaut husband Mark Kelly started a whole new anti-gun organization. Convenient, but not a false flag, just fashion, I think. Las Vegas? One of their many Federal operatives got out of hand. Sloppy intelligence-asset management. False flag? Did Vegas even HAPPEN? If so, their incompetence was so breathtaking, so depraved, they HAD to cover it up. From Waco onward through 9/11 and all the mass shootings and chaos, these shooters all slipped through the hands of the people paid to protect us.

    The conspiracy government-wide is to cover up their lazy, contemptible methods and sometimes, outright cowardice. The deceptions, the lies they tell are to cover up their incompetence, their lack of imagination, they cover up the fact that they’re so bloated, so slothful in their handling of known dangerous characters (and we can include almost all of local and State LE in this) that we absorb these hits from kooks solely due to the lack of competent law enforcement.

    We have all the written law we need. Every kook in our National inventory that pulled a bullshit stunt was well-known. Now we just need to control the failed human products of a declining and depraved society. We know who they are, our cops are supposed to be smarter and better fighters. We certainly pay them to be so. And yet, they fail. And that needs to be covered up, it can never be their fault.

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