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Sunday, March 25, 2018

While millions protest against gun violence, Jim Mageau fumes

Charlestown curmudgeon says students are protesting the wrong issue
By Will Collette
From Saturday's protest at the Rhode Island State House. Photo by Steve Ahlquist for UpRiseRI.
Charlestown’s former Town Council chair and leading Donald Trump cheerleader Jim Mageau wrote a letter that was published in the Westerly Sun on March 15th. It will be interesting to see if he sends in a follow-up after yesterday's momentous worldwide protests.

To put it mildly, Mageau is very upset at students for organizing protests against gun violence. He thinks they are protesting the wrong issue.

Mageau, like many ultra-right-wingers, is grasping for ways to blunt the tide of outrage at America’s stream of mass shootings, especially at schools.

Mageau’s unique take on the anti-gun movement joins other such remarkable positions as:

And now, let’s take a detailed look at Jim Mageau’s counter-point to the student movement against gun violence. My annotations appear in boldface.



Students should be protesting drugs, not guns
James M. Mageau, Charlestown, Westerly Sun, March 15, 2018


It's time for the parents of a student who does not choose to walk out of school to protest guns to ask themselves, what kind of harassment will their child be subjected to for not walking out when the other students return to class?

Related imageJim Mageau himself has a long history of harassing people who disagree with his political views. This appears to be a case of “projection” where Mageau assumes other people act the way he routinely acts.

Like gun manufacturers, the National Rifle Association, its members and sporting goods stores that sell AR-15 semi-automatic hunting rifles, will they be called murderers?

Ditto. Although you can make a legitimate case for their complicity in murder for promoting the sale of military hardware that has no practical use in hunting. Unless you’re hunting other human beings.

It's time to stop this foolishness. I for one do not want a bunch of school kids, most of whom don't know an AR-15 from a .22 rifle, using school hours to walk out of school and blame guns for something they know nothing about.

Related image
Yeah, right, Jim. These kids know nothing about gun violence
Unfortunately, today’s school kids know all too much about guns and gun violence. The kids who walked out of school during school hours were pretty much making the point that the kids in Parkland were murdered during school hours.

The hypocrisy of the protests is that in 2016-17 Rhode Island experienced 15 times the number of deaths among young adults from drug overdoses than it did from gunshot wounds.

Actually, if you want to make such a hierarchy, let’s not forget how many kids get killed in car accidents. Personally, I don’t really think the comparative body count makes any difference when it comes to opposition to any form of pointless, preventable death. Perhaps Mageau thinks the First Amendment means you can only pick one thing to oppose.

Why isn't there a national student protest over these deaths?

Actually, Jim, there is. There has been a national student protest movement against drugs and against underage drinking and drunk driving for quite a long time.

Apparently, it's because there haven't been any cases when 17 students died all at once from a drug overdose. That's what happened when a lunatic murdered 17 students using an AR-15 in Parkland, Fla. It's obvious that a single death from a drug overdose goes unnoticed by the general public even though the total number of deaths from drug overdoses far exceeds those from gunshot wounds.

Perhaps Mageau just awoke from a long hibernation and missed the huge amount of public attention being given to the epidemic of opioid overdoses. Even Mageau’s hero, Donald Trump, has weighed in calling it a national health crisis. Trump offered no funding for it but did propose the death penalty for dealers, perhaps getting that idea from the nutcase President of the Philippines.

I believe that there are many students on school campuses throughout the state who are using drugs. I also believe that there are other students who know who they are and where they are getting their drugs.

Since time immemorial, kids have been doing what they’re not supposed to do. When I was growing up, it was alcohol and cigarettes. I don’t know what it was during Mageau’s youth. What is Mageau’s point with this? Ah, we’re about to get to it…

Now it’s time to get down to where the rubber meets the road. Instead of blaming guns for killing our kids, let’s blame the real murderers. The drug dealers and drug distributors! If all of these students that walk out of school to protest guns are truly interested in saving lives, as they line up to go back to class, let’s have a police officer waiting at a desk near the door. Any student or faculty member who has information about a drug dealer or distributor dealing drugs on campus they can then report it to the police. The school medical staffs should also be made aware of anyone using drugs.

Such classic misdirection – making drugs a moral equivalent to guns. Most people are capable of holding two or more major thoughts in their heads at once. Being opposed to arming the population with military weapons doesn’t have to mean you don’t care about drug overdoses.

Does Mageau really think the average student knows drug dealers or the distributors further up the food chain? If kids don’t cough up the information Mageau thinks they have, what’s next? Enhanced interrogation?

In the Sun’s comment section, Robert Lombardo posted this suggestion:

“Mageau: Here is a win-win solution. You can protest against drugs and the students can protest against guns.”