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Evan December 7, 2016

Posted by Sobek in News.

You may have seen this already, at Hot Air or somewhere. If not, take a look, and then some thoughts below the fold:

I followed a link to some background on how that ad happened, and saw that it was from a group called Sandy Hook promise. Then I started reading through the comments, and that’s what prompted this post.

The comments very, very quickly turned into an argument about how gun laws don’t save people, how people who oppose gun laws are bloodthirsty monsters, and about how your mom is a whore who should have aborted you.

What bugs me is, this isn’t a gun control ad. At least not overtly. The message is, pay attention to people around you. Learn to spot warning signs, and what to do about them. Isn’t that a message that everyone really should agree on?

The problem, I suspect, is that this is a debate that has moved irreparably beyond an actual debate. The well has been so thoroughly poisoned that even a benign or positive message comes across as in bad faith. In this instance, I like to think the Sandy Hook Promise people really do want people to show some awareness of the angry loner and intervene before something tragic happens, but I have such a hard time believing they want to stop there, so this ad feels like it’s made in bad faith.

By way of comparison, I also think it’s a good idea for the good folks at the local mosque to be aware of the troubled loners in their midst. But if I responded to “Evan” with a similar spot and called it “Mustafa,” I would be a racist Islamophobe. Not for the content of my ad, per se, but because no one would accept it at face value. Imagine the arguments in my YouTube comment section. What percentage of them would actually focus on the ad itself? Very few, I suspect.


1. Tushar - December 8, 2016

The very fact that we are discussing the effectiveness of the ad objectively means our minds are not completely poisoned.

The other side can speak for themselves.

2. Jimbro - December 8, 2016

I was aware that a video from a Sandy Hook-related group was out there but hadn’t seen it until this post. As I watched it I felt like it was a set up. For what? Either the secret writer would be another boy and celebrate that or, at the very end when it was revealed to be a non-white girl, a paean to multicultural love. As soon as the gun man entered the building my eyes rolled back.

You make many good points: awareness of other people is good as in learning to spot the warning signs. So many other ways this could have been presented than the sucker punch approach. And, yes, I believe you would be pilloried for your “Mustafa” clock making video.

3. Tushar - December 8, 2016

Geoff, the great game is afoot concerning China, that great bugbear of yours.

US! japan, Aus and India have a semi formal alliance aimed at containing China. Smaller nearby states like S Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam obviously are trying to shore up their defenses. The race is on between the two camps to attract as many ASEAN countries in their camp as they can.

There are some encouraging signs. E.g. Vietnam is buying Russian Sukhoi 30 planes, but not just the regular ones. They are buying the SU-30 MKI variant that was customized by India with Indian, Israeli and French technology. These planes have 3D thrust vectoring, large payload and range. Indian pilots will be training the Vietnamese air force.

India and US are cooperating a lot. India had already acquired C-130 and C-17 transports, Apache and Chinook helicopters, P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircrafts, howitzers etc.

There is talk of deploying US electromagnetic launch system (EMALS) on India’s upcoming large aircraft carriers.

Things are going to get very very interesting in next few years.

4. geoff - December 9, 2016

Geoff, the great game is afoot concerning China, that great bugbear of yours.

I look at it as the twin bugbears of Russia and China, who are still engaged in large business deals and joint military exercises, BTW.

But you see the rest of the world arming and training and forming alliances, while we’re disarming and convincing potential allies that we’re really not tough or trustworthy.

Our pilots may not have enough budget to train much in actual aircraft, but at least the budget covered their diversity training.

The military enfeeblement alone was sufficient reason to vote against Hillary!.

5. Tushar - December 10, 2016

Geoff, I predict that the russkies will cooperate with US against China. China is hurting them a lot by stealing their technology, and they are pissed.

6. Cathy - December 18, 2016

Great post. Watching and responding to those along the sidelines is an act of mercy or compassion. I’m all for it.

Years ago while serving in professional ministry a group that included pastors, teachers, principals and psychologists from the area school districts, and even cops met regularly to discuss how secular and religious institutions could work together to help ‘grow’ healthy youth in our communities. Lots of aspects were covered. If your interested, google up the 40 Assets — that was one of my contributions to our discussion. We learned a lot from one another, and I think we made some headway. We encouraged the schools to NOT schedule events on Sundays and Wednesday evenings to allow youth and their families to focus on religious events and asked the churches to consider scheduling their events on Sundays and Wednesdays when youth and families would not be ‘distracted’ by secular events. It worked well for awhile. I’m not there anymore and have no statistics to know if our efforts helped but we all agreed that we needed to watch the outliers and strap-hangers in groups, like what this video portrays, because they are the kids that need help.

One group exercise we had was for everyone to take time to think about and then share with the group a person from our childhood or early adulthood who — maybe without really even knowing about it — made a difference in our lives while we were personally going through a rough patch. Wow! From our group discussion we were able to formulate a really cool list of ways we all could ‘be’ and ‘behave’ that would help troubled kids see hope and find their way though their tough times. That one silly exercise still helps remind me how to respond when I’m working with youth or on service projects with my church or charity. The stuff is simple stuff… We just have to keep it all in mind.

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