Color me cautious
First, my apologies for not posting much yesterday. Lupus. It happens.
Now, let’s see how I do today.
First on deck, we have the report from the Daily Wire that “Our Teenager” was called in to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s resource office and questioned over some Twitter postings of him at a gun range with his dad.
Over the weekend, Kyle Kashuv posted a series of tweets featuring him getting instruction on firing a semi-automatic rifle.
Good for him!
Young people should learn how to use a weapon responsibly.
Yet when I saw the Daily Wire’s report yesterday that he was questioned by school security and a deputy sheriff, my gut told me to be very cautious over believing the account at face value.
Now I’m not saying I don’t believe the story at all. I’m sure he was called into the security office.
But I am being cautious about the account as it is reported.
The Daily Wire’s report is based entirely on Kashuv’s account of the incident and nothing else.
He alleges that he was questioned, berated and “treated like a criminal.”
As I said, I’m not calling Kyle a liar.
Don’t get me wrong.
But I am cautious.
Well, as I’ve said before, teenagers are driven by a need for attention. Developmentally, they lack impulse control, emotional control and judgment.
That’s true of all teenagers – regardless of their position on the Second Amendment.
Given that, we should always proceed with caution when the only details of an incident come from the account of a teenager.
Remember the young conservative CJ Pearson who garnered instant fame for his pro-conservative, anti-Obama videos several years ago. Then in 2015, CJ claimed Barack Obama blocked him on Twitter.
Conservative websites ran with the story.
And it turned out to be false.
Again, I’m not saying Kyle Kashuv is lying. Understand that.
What I am saying is teenagers are prone to exaggeration and embellishment. It’s just the way they are.
Come on, we were all teenagers once. You know it’s true.
I’m sure he was called into the office. After all, he provided to the Daily Wire a photo of the hall pass from the security office.
But his account of the incident is probably weighted to A) make Kyle look good and B) make the school look bad.
Not because he’s a shifty little creep. But because he’s a teenager. It’s just what they do.
Kashuv claims that in addition to the school resource officers, a member of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office also questioned him.
And this makes my spider sense tingle.
Kyle is a minor.
Police cannot question a minor without a parent or guardian present.
So either the Broward County Sheriff’s deputy is an idiot or Kyle’s account is somewhat embellished for dramatic effect.
(Though, it could be both. After all, the Broward County Sheriff’s office doesn’t have the best track record — as evidenced by their lack of action during the February 14th shooting.)
But there just seems to be some oddities about his account that makes me cautious.
Now, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if we subsequently learn that some of the MSDHS anti-gun kids decided to try and get Kyle in trouble for posting these tweets of him at the gun range.
Because, they’re teenagers. And teenagers are vindictive and cruel. Plus they lack impulse control, emotional control and judgment.
After all, these anti-gun kids admitted to bullying Nikolas Cruz. So we already know they’re vindictive and cruel. Plus, their own over-the-top, hyperbolic statements — not only about their experience but about the NRA — already show that they are prone to being overly dramatic.
So I have no problem believing they reported Kyle’s tweets to the school.
But when it comes to an account provided solely by a teenager, I am always overly cautious.
In their initial report, the Daily Wire notes that they have contacted Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Broward County Sheriff’s office regarding this allegation.
But at this writing, no follow-up article about any response has been published.
As a result, I will remain cautious.
If I had to guess, I’d say the account is more or less based in truth. But, given the fact he’s a sixteen-year-old, it probably also has a little flourish added to make the story sound better.
In fact, if I had to posit a scenario, here’s what I think happened.
The anti-gun kids saw those tweets, and, because they’re vindictive teenagers, decided to report them to the school while painting themselves as triggered and traumatized by them.
Then school administrators, who are trying to live down their own incompetence, felt they had to follow up on the complaints so as not to look even more incompetent.
So they called Kashuv in to address the complaints.
It’s unsurprising. After all, not doing anything about repeated warnings over Nikolas Cruz resulted in the deaths of seventeen people. I’m sure they’d like to avoid that in the future.
And as a result, vindictive children with a grudge can abuse the school’s hyper-vigilance and need to overcompensate to their own advantage.
That sounds entirely plausible to me.
My caution comes in Kyle’s recounting of the incident.
Some of his account strikes me as a wee bit over-dramatic.
“I was treated like a criminal for no reason other than having gone to a gun range and posted on social media about it.”
“They continued to question me aggressively, though they could cite nothing I had done wrong. They kept calling me “the pro-Second Amendment kid.” I was shocked and honestly, scared. It definitely felt like they were attempting to intimidate me.”
One is left with the impression that Kyle was trapped in the room with three Jack Bauers.
And that seems a bit over-the-top.
Like all of these teenagers who have been thrust into the spotlight, Kyle has gotten a taste for media attention and celebrity. And just like Hoggie or Puglsey the bald chick, it’s bound to go to his head.
That’s not a slam on him. It’s just a fact. Teenagers, when faced with this kind of media attention, inevitably let it go to their heads.
That’s why I’m cautious about taking his account at face value.
The truth is in there somewhere, to be sure. But I think the truth might be clouded a bit by the natural teenage impulse to exaggerate.
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4 thoughts on “Color me cautious”
I don’t have Lupus, but I have physical issues too. I “discovered” your website not that long ago, and I check in daily and I find it valuable.
I think this is only the second comment I ever made here, and I just want to say you don’t need to apologize because you have an off day.
This website is a treasure to me, and thank you for all of your posts.
Thanks, Don. What a lovely thing to say.
If there’s a “teachable moment” (to quote some jerkfaced former president) here is that there is never any reason to post pics from your trip to the shooting range on social media. The world doesn’t need to know what you did on your day off, nobody does. Keep your private life private.
Unless of course this kid wanted to manufacture an exploitable incident. Which is also sad because when I was his age such Machiavellian thinking would never have occurred to me. My classmates and I simply lived our simple lives never assuming we could elevate ourselves to national celebrity status through clever media manipulation.
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