Freedom Updates: February 9, 2001

The Colorado Freedom Report:  A libertarian journal of politics and culture.

The Colorado Freedom

Freedom Updates: February 9, 2001

All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.

Notes on School Violence

Steve Schweitzberger's daughter was in the library during the Columbine killings. Now he has written a report about the tragedy and about ways to stop future tragedies. While some of the report's conclusions could stand critical evaluation, it offers first-hand insights into the story and some original analysis. See

"America has become a nation of inept, even infantile, parents who are unwilling or incapable of protecting their children from bullies... When will parents finally show some outrage and declare that enough is enough? When will they appear en mass at the juvenile penitentiaries, their suppressed primeval drive surging forth to liberate them? When will Americans storm their Bastille and separate school and state?" -- Cathy Cuthbert, "What About Socialization?",

Michael A. Fletcher reports March 7 (page A12), "Security guards patrolled the hallways with two-way radios" ( Lot of good those radios did.

Mike Littwin writes for the March 9 Rocky Mountain News, "High school was always hard. Some kids were always victims. Guns have always been available. But we didn't always have Columbines.... Certainly, one schoolboy shooting begets another. Inevitably, the media plays a role in that. But, at the rist of sounding self-serving, I find it hard to see how you could avoid covering something like this." Kevin Vaughan adds in the March 7 News that potential murderers "may also look at the attention Harris and Klebold got, even in death, and crave that, as well. After all, their pictures were plastered across the front page of every newspaper in the country..." At least the paper is trying to come to grips with the copy-cat syndrome. Vaghan writes about the subculture that worships the Columbine killers.

Let's remember the good kids, too. For instance, the March 7 News features a story about Cherry Creek seventh grader Taylor Rhode, who raised over $5,000 to help burn victim Stephanie LeBlanc. Rhodes got sponsors for shooting hoops. In general, I interact with quite a number of young people on a regular basis. They're good, quality kids who are intelligent and basically happy. So let's not lose our sense of perspective.

It's the parents, stupid. The March 9 News features a Speakout column by a Strasburg woman. The woman blames the rash of school violence on the high rate of kids getting picked on. The woman talked to her abused son, talked to the teachers and principal of the school, encouraged her son to fight back, even got rid of the family gun. But at no point did the mother consider an obvious solution: TAKE HER CHILD OUT OF THE GOVERNMENT SCHOOL. Parents hand over responsibility of raising their children to the government, and then they wonder what the problem is. How could any mother leave her child in a situation she knows is violent and emotionally scarring? It's so socially ingrained in some people that they MUST send their kid to the local government school that they can't think outside that box.

"He faced a judge... With him were two public defenders... If he looked painfully alone, it's because he was. No father with him. No mother. No relative. No friend. No one but the lawyers he had just met. Maybe that should give us a clue as to how he got there in the first place." -- Mike Littwin, March 8 News

Rockwell Sees Hope

"What do the ideological convolutions of our age tell us? I believe they tell us which way the wind is blowing, and it is toward freedom and away from government planning" (Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., "Transforming American Opinion,

Along that line, one reader alerted me to a cartoon called Non Sequitur ( It says (March 9), "Lenny discovers the source of all our problems." Lenny is looking at a door with the sign, "Government center to solve all our problems."

Denver Cops "Lose" Gun

Kevin Vaughan writes March 8, "Denver police are investigating the disappearance of money and a gun from the department's property bureau..." What happens to the missing guns? Do they end up in the lifeless hands of people like Ismael Mena? We may never know.

In the same issue of the News, John Sanko quotes Senator Ken Arnold about the racial profiling bill: "I see this bill as a slap in the face of law enforcement... We're saying that law enforcement is out there making contacts without reason, locking people up without reason, putting people in prison without reason." Yup. That's EXACTLY what we're saying, Ken.

"Urban Sprawl" for Dummies

The Mackinac think tank recently published an article by Samuel A. Walker entitled, "'Urban Sprawl' for Dummies?", March 3. He writes:

The point policy-makers should understand about "sprawl" is that it's not wrong for individuals, families, and businesses to choose the most viable options open to them. Whenever an alarmist shows a picture of ugly housing developments "encroaching" upon pristine farmland, it might be appropriate to show him a picture of a typical inner-city neighborhood and ask which he would prefer, if his living arrangements were at issue. In fact, ask him where he lives now.

The Colorado Freedom