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Dec 21 2012

The NRA has spoken

The executive vice president of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, gave a press conference today on the recent school shooting. He had a culprit in mind — the media, which lets kids see all these horribly violent programs — and a solution, which had absolutely nothing to do with addressing his postulated causes. Instead, he proposes that the nation fund armed guards for every school. Really. That’s his serious answer.

LAPIERRE: You know, five years ago after the Virginia Tech tragedy, when I said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy. But what if — what if when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he’d been confronted by qualified armed security? Will you at least admit it’s possible that 26 little kids, that 26 innocent lives might have been spared that day? Is it so important to you (inaudible) would rather continue to risk the alternative? Is the press and the political class here in Washington D.C. so consumed by fear and hatred of the NRA and American gun owners, that you’re willing to accept the world, where real resistance to evil monsters is alone, unarmed school principal left to surrender her life, her life, to shield those children in her care.

No one. No one, regardless of personal, political prejudice has the right to impose that sacrifice.

Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no national one size fits all solution to protecting our children. But do know that this president zeroed out school emergency planning grants in last year’s budget and scrapped Secure Our Schools policing grants in next year’s budget.

With all the foreign aid the United States does, with all the money in the federal budget, can’t we afford to put a police officer in every single school? Even if they did that, politicians have no business and no authority denying us the right, the ability, and the moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm.

LAPIERRE: Now, the National Rifle Association knows there are millions of qualified and active retired police, active, Reserve, and retired military, security professionals, certified firefighters, security professionals, rescue personnel, an extraordinary corps of patriotic, trained, qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every single school.

We could deploy them to protect our kids now. We can immediately make America’s schools safer, relying on the brave men and women in America’s police forces. The budgets — and you all know this, everyone in the country knows this — of our local police departments are strained, and the resources are severely limited, but their dedication and courage is second to none. And, they can be deployed right now.

I call on Congress today, to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation. And, to do it now to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in January.

Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation, or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work and by that I mean armed security.

Shorter LaPierre: MOOOOOORRRRE GUUUUUUUUUUNS!

Then we should surround playgrounds, libraries, movie theaters, swimming pools, football fields, grocery stores, candy shops, toy stores, and every place that kids might go with heavily armed guards. Let’s live in fear and turn this country into a police state.

People called him crazy 5 years ago. Now we call him obsessively, dangerously stupid.

123 comments

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  1. 1
    cag

    Armed guards sure worked for Indira Gandhi.

    Preview of this message looks a little strange with the URL pointer in a larger font.

  2. 2
    KathyO

    You’re saying that an organization that works for gun manufacturers is in favor of a solution that would require the sale of more guns? How odd.

  3. 3
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Yes, that worked so well in Columbine, Colorado! Result, a dead guard added to the body count. And aggravated entitlement is just soo socially responsible! Lastest news: man shot fellow customer for complaining about slow service, teen kicked to death to teach him a lesson, argument over Newtown shooting ends in gunfire, Montana man waterboards four children, two of them his.

  4. 4
    Lofty

    I have decided that guns are actually magic wands. You hold them out in front of you, chant some magic words, (die yo scum, etc.) and sometimes sparks come out and you magically feel ten feet tall and two feet long. Stroking them works too. Like all magic, unwise use has repercussions (read T. Pratchett et al for explanations on what happens when magic is used at the wrong time)

  5. 5
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Wrong, idea on the source of the funding. The NRA should be funding armed guards out of their yearly dues. Either take moral/financial responsibility for your actions, or go out of business….

  6. 6
    Zugswang

    I don’t know what it is that make so many people who own guns think that they’re automatically Charles Bronson or forget that even police and military (who have significantly higher gun safety standards than all but the most cautious civilians) manage to both accidentally and intentionally cause wrongful harm to themselves and those around them.

  7. 7
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Correction, my mistake! The guard survived although he couldn’t shoot accurately enough to would the spree-killer. It was a teacher who was killed.

  8. 8
    Ichthyic

    about blaming Newtown on hollywood and video games…

    if you think this shit is old and ridiculous, you obviously haven’t seen CNNs take on it….

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/12/19/cnn-picks-their-game-to-blame-starcraft/

    Starcraft???

    are you fucking kidding me?

  9. 9
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    *wound*

  10. 10
    anubisprime

    That has got to be the most ignorant shamefully brain dead suggestion ever made on the subject.

    How embarrassing, they are lampooning themselves shamelessly, and they do not even realize it!

  11. 11
    kevinv

    If only the shooter’s mom had owned guns this would’ve never happened.

  12. 12
    John Morales

    Some loon:

    With all the foreign aid the United States does, with all the money in the federal budget, can’t we afford to put a police officer in every single school?

    Well, I suppose — but better make that at least two (and in full riot gear at that) — else some malevolent but innocent-looking killer could walk in unarmed, politely distract the officer and cosh them, whereupon the killer can arm themselves with the officer’s own weapons!

    <snark>

  13. 13
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    If only the shooter’s mom had owned guns this would’ve never happened.

    I’m not sure how sarcastic you’re being, but…she did.

    The guns he used were hers.

  14. 14
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    No one. No one, regardless of personal, political prejudice has the right to impose that sacrifice.

    yet the NRA requires all of us, in the US, to sacrifice tens of thousands of people, human beings, are sacrificed and the NRA is determined to continue to impose this sacrifice.

  15. 15
    Doubting Thomas

    Now here’s a thought. Consider this about armed school guards, who will pay their salaries? And like all good conservatives they will want to pay them with peanuts so the people you will get to do the jobs will be the lowest common denominator.

    Crap how they love to whine and moan about the stupid ****s they hire at the TSA to paw through your undies and pat your crotches, now they want to give those same minimum wagers assault weapons and have them “guard” your schools.

  16. 16
    mikehuben

    The obvious response is that if gun ownership results in bad guys having guns, then gun ownership should be taxed to pay for the needed guards. Preferably up front at the point of sale.

    With roughly 100,000 public schools, at $50,000/year per guard, that is roughly $5 billion/year in taxes on gun sales that are needed. With roughly 5 million new guns produced each year, that is an average of $1000 tax on each gun.

    If that’s what Wayne LaPierre wants, let him say so!

  17. 17
    Ichthyic

    I’m not sure how sarcastic you’re being, but…she did.

    answer:

    around a 10, I’d wager, on the sarcasm scale.

  18. 18
    Ichthyic

    I recently noticed that it’s actually cheaper to buy a semi-automatic 380 pistol in the US, than the average college textbook for any upper division course.

    guns cheaper than books.

    a story that writes itself?

  19. 19
    Inaji

    You can always count on these nimrods for failure of thought. Can an armed guard be everywhere at once? Can an armed guard not be disarmed? Can an armed guard not be killed first? Nah, they don’t want to think, just throw more guns on the fire and roast ‘em with a helping of jingoism.

  20. 20
    Ichthyic

    Crap how they love to whine and moan about the stupid ****s they hire at the TSA to paw through your undies and pat your crotches, now they want to give those same minimum wagers assault weapons and have them “guard” your schools.

    *thinks about what happened at Newtown*

    so… your average security guard would have stopped that?

    ROFLMAO

    yeah, sure.

  21. 21
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Now here’s a thought. Consider this about armed school guards, who will pay their salaries?

    The schools can cut the art and music programmes to pay for them.

    And like all good conservatives they will want to pay them with peanuts so the people you will get to do the jobs will be the lowest common denominator.

    It’ll get contracted out to a company like Halliburton and the school will pay the multinational company $100,000 a year and the armed guard will get $20k with no benefits.

  22. 22
    Inaji

    It would seem no one remembers Brenda Spencer anymore. She wasn’t on school property when she did her school shooting.

  23. 23
    alanuk

    So he intends to put people into these non-jobs who are otherwise unemployed but have previously worked in occupations using guns. Would you really want a Vet. suffering from post-traumatic stress wandering around your school fearing where the next bullet is coming from.

  24. 24
    meursalt

    People called him crazy 5 years ago. Now we call him obsessively, dangerously stupid.

    I have a different assessment. I see no dysfunction in LaPierre’s thinking here. What I see is cynical pandering to his base. His salary comes from member dues (and corporate donations too, I’m sure, but I’m no expert on the NRA’s finances). What he’s proposing is essentially a jobs program for NRA members. He even enumerates categories of people who would qualify for these jobs, in case his base is slow on the uptake.

    On the other hand, if he came out in favor if any type of gun control, the NRA would lose members and thus money.

    I honestly find the response to be shrewd. This guy knows who writes his paychecks. The two ends of the spectrum of views on gun control are so diametrically opposed that they’re not going to easily find compromise through dialogue. Was anyone really expecting the NRA to make concessions in this statement?

  25. 25
    barbyau

    I personally learned a thing or two from LaPierre and he has changed my mind.

    We ARE the only country that has movies.
    We ARE the only country that has video games.
    We ARE the only country that has people with mental illness.

    That is why our problem is several orders of magnitude worse than any other developed nation.
    /snark

    How can people even begin to think these things are a factor when they are available globally? Our unique problem is caused by a unique factor. It is the only social indicator that tracks with gun violence. It is our lax gun regulations.

    Oh wait. It seems to me most people actively try not to think. All they understand on this issue are the slogans that get thrown around. If it feels good to their gut, then that is the obvious truth and everyone who disagrees is not a real American.

    I am feeling pretty down on us right now.

  26. 26
    slatham

    I remember being in Hungary in the early ’80s and seeing Russians with machine guns sporadically posted in public squares and the like. I wish I had pictures to share. I wonder if that is the vision the NRA wishes to pursue.

  27. 27
    Ichthyic

    Was anyone really expecting the NRA to make concessions in this statement?

    I think really, it wasn’t the NRA people were expecting to say anything different, so much as people were hoping their innumerable fanboys would start suddenly realizing that what they’ve been hearing all these long decades are nothing but ridiculous lies.

    probably also just as unrealistic a dream.

  28. 28
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Caine, trying not to derail, but some of us remember who she is.

  29. 29
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Oh joy, Mabus is here.

  30. 30
    omnicrom

    Can someone call one of the Monitors? The Mabus signal is on.

  31. 31
    Inaji

    Alert sent.

  32. 32
    Louis

    I said it elsewhere, I’ll say it here.

    This chap wants a national register for people with mental illnesses. I think this is an amazing idea. That way it will be easier to provide a solution to mental illness. Perhaps even a Final Solution.

    Louis

    P.S. Paging Dr Godwin. Also, please note the heavy sarcasm contained in this post.

  33. 33
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I’m not going to talk about the insanity of this from a safety or monetary perspective; y’all have that covered.

    What chills me about this kind of talk is that no one seems to acknowledge the psychological toll such theatrics exact on us. The normalizing of armed guards makes the world feel more dangerous. More suspicious. It makes one afraid to do “the wrong thing” for fear of setting off some trigger-happy cop/guard. It makes one feel scrutinized in places one shouldn’t have to feel that way. It makes the ethos of a prison a normal, unremarkable thing at a school, a mall, etc. That’s horrifying.

    Look at what has happened to US airports with the rise of the TSA. They’re desperately unpleasant and a lot of it has to do with knowing that incompetent but entitled boobs are watching you and have the full legal authority to make your life miserable over something stupid.

    I hate this. And I hate that more people don’t speak out against it. The psychological space of community is important too. It’s not just one of those things we can dispense with because “it makes us safer” (barf). It’s part of quality of life, and dammit, that matters.

  34. 34
    ginmar

    There was a shooting in Pennsylvania while LaPierre was giving his bizarre little rant. Five people killed. So far.

  35. 35
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Very good point, Josh.

  36. 36
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Josh, if you are not doing anything wrong, you are no reason to be worried about armed guards.

    Just remain polite.

  37. 37
    Inaji

    Janine:

    Caine, trying not to derail, but some of us remember who she is.

    Yes, I know. My point was that the Spencer shooting illustrates the pointlessness of an armed guard (along with all the other reasons.) Spencer was safe and secure in her own house.

  38. 38
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Correction, ginmar. Three people were murdered. And the murderer was killed in a shoot out.

    I am just a little bit pissed off that they are saying that four are dead.

    Do not add the murderer as part of the casualty list.

  39. 39
    Louis

    Janine, #35,

    Ah yes, the good old logic that underpins “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”.

    In other words, those who fear persecution should be persecuted.

    Nice!

    Louis

  40. 40
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Caine, one could also say the same about Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden.

  41. 41
    meursalt

    @Icthyic

    I think really, it wasn’t the NRA people were expecting to say anything different, so much as people were hoping their innumerable fanboys would start suddenly realizing that what they’ve been hearing all these long decades are nothing but ridiculous lies.

    In my experience, the NRA position, and that of their more enthusiastic members, tends to be an absolutist position.

    I also second Josh’s opinion. Looking at LaPierre’s proposal with an open mind, I’m not convinced that its net effect would be beneficial. We’d be inserting firearms into situations where they’d never normally be, inevitably leading to accidents and abuses. Children’s safety would be entirely subject to the mental health and competence of the guards. And I really don’t want to live in that sort of society. That would be a hard sell for me, as I suspect it would be for most of us.

  42. 42
    kantalope

    There are, as mikehuben pointed out, 100,000 public and private elementary schools in the US. This is not counting the typically larger middle and high schools. If there are 2.5 guards per school to allow for days off – front back coverage, admin, etc this is probably a minimum figure — the new elementary school force would be about the same size as the Marine Corps.

    They are just blowing smoke

  43. 43
    vaiyt

    I have only one thing to say:

    Shooting with real guns makes you a fine, freedom-defending and upstanding citizen, but shooting with virtual guns makes you a mass-murdering lunatic?

    What kind of drugs are these people on?

  44. 44
    neuralobserver

    People called him crazy 5 years ago. Now we call him obsessively, dangerously stupid.

    I dunno,… I’ll accept the second sentence as a working definition of crazy now.

  45. 45
    neuralobserver

    No one. No one, regardless of personal, political prejudice has the right to impose that sacrifice.

    Seems to me, advocating his position means imposing a need for sacrificing the innocent.

  46. 46
    johnw

    If only there had been an armed person at Fort Hood.

  47. 47
    barbyau

    Oh. And the NRA needs to STFU and let the grown ups talk now. If they won’t participate in the discussion honestly, they need to get out of the way.

    NRA Gun Club video game demo

  48. 48
    barbyau

    Seriously. I have no innate opposition to guns. I am opposed to how we are managing them because we are slaughtering ourselves at an alarming rate relative to the rest of the developed world. If the data showed that gun policy did not correlate with gun violence, I would have no interest in putting limits on what people do.

    But the real world data does not support that. Meanwhile, the NRA responds to that fact by interfering with data collection at the CDC to make sure that reality does not discredit their position.
    Read the Quoted Sections on How the NRA Stifled Studies

    Selling video games and blaming video games. Stifling studies. They are a dishonest player. They don’t want to persuade anyone. They want to force everyone to live under their dictate.

    They act like they are the only patriots so I ask them to honor what America stands for and use the First Amendment to persuade me, not the Second Amendment to intimidate me.

    Meanwhile, they have been steadfastly working to put guns into the hands of convicted felons, including domestic abusers, rapists, and murderers. Felons Finding It Easy to Regain Gun Rights

  49. 49
    neuralobserver

    LAPIERRE: You know, five years ago after the Virginia Tech tragedy, when I said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy.

    Interesting,…. CBS reporter Chip Reid finished his report this evening by stating that there was an armed security guard or officer on campus at the Columbine shooting in Colorado, and 13 kids still died.

    His statement smacks of the fantasy that school shooters lack any sense of planning,.. that they come in mindlessly and thoughtlessly, making it a ‘piece a cake’ for an armed person (likely, a lightly armed person) to easily take out almost any assailant, especially heavily armed. There seems to be no realization on his part that a person bent on such destruction could very well have a planned attack and could take out any one armed person quickly.

    In addition, it’s apparently socially acceptable to Pierre and company to turn schools ( and other institutions and places of public gathering) into potential ‘OK Corrals’ where the answer to a firearms attack is a good ole’, rootin’ tootin’ shoot-out,…you know,… the guys in the white hats save the day.

    What does it take to change the modes of thinking in huge swaths of this society?

  50. 50
    neuralobserver

    [blockquote fail]

    LAPIERRE: You know, five years ago after the Virginia Tech tragedy, when I said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy.

    Interesting,…. CBS reporter Chip Reid finished his report this evening by stating that there was an armed security guard or officer on campus at the Columbine shooting in Colorado, and 13 kids still died.

    His statement smacks of the fantasy that school shooters lack any sense of planning,.. that they come in mindlessly and thoughtlessly, making it a ‘piece a cake’ for an armed person (likely, a lightly armed person) to easily take out almost any assailant, especially heavily armed. There seems to be no realization on his part that a person bent on such destruction could very well have a planned attack and could take out any one armed person quickly.

    In addition, it’s apparently socially acceptable to Pierre and company to turn schools ( and other institutions and places of public gathering) into potential ‘OK Corrals’ where the answer to a firearms attack is a good ole’, rootin’ tootin’ shoot-out,…you know,… the guys in the white hats save the day.

    What does it take to change the modes of thinking in huge swaths of this society?

  51. 51
    evilisgood

    Right, because a massive expansion of the police state and further stigmatization of the mentally ill are just what America needs to reduce gun violence.

  52. 52
    Tsu Dho Nimh

    @45 – Military personnel do not routinely carry loaded weapons, except for MPs and sentries, and people in a war zone. What does a paper-pusher need with a loaded weapon on base?

    If you are taking a weapon to the firing range, I think that ammo is issued at the range for anyone training or qualifying.

  53. 53
    sirbedevere

    I know I shouldn’t be at this point, but I’m still astonished at the attitude that guns are a good thing to have in society because they protect us from people with guns. That’s like calling an arsonist a hero for putting out a fire he started.

  54. 54
    maddog1129

    That’s the best they’ve got? Seriously?

  55. 55
    Randomfactor

    Just wait until someone suggests that the same rationale for publicly-funded armed guards at schools applies to Planned Parenthood clinics as well…

  56. 56
    gardengnome

    Did anyone really expect a positive, rather than defensive, response from the gunners? Treat the symptoms, forget the disease…

  57. 57
    freetinkerer

    I feel if there was a teacher who was comfortable carrying a weapon who was there at Newtown, the outcome might have been different. I don’t think we realize that you can be caring and carry. You aren’t a monster simply because you happen to bring your defense with you. I don’t think we would have to pay anybody, because even the people who we do pay (law enforcement) have limitations. From what I understand, they would be asked to ‘secure the perimeter’ and wait for the SWAT team. But what do I know.

    If there were one or even two individuals “identified” as the ‘guns’ of the school, they would be the first targets. That is not the solution. And it has been suggested that hired help may not be so trustworthy – agreed.

    I would be comfortable knowing that several individuals are armed at schools (who are trained and comfortable with it); but I have carried before and don’t have a problem with it. I recognize I am not Rambo, but if given the situation, I would really hate myself if I did not do everything in my power to save my friends.

    Indeed, better comprehensive background checks and waiting periods would be nice, but of course this person just took his mom’s guns.

    A horrible situation that will no doubt occur again somewhere else, in time. I hope someone will be there to stop it. Has there been any discussion with the teachers who lived through this event – if they had had a chance, would they have shot back?

  58. 58
    Joshua Toon

    I watched this thing live…and I was just astounded . This guy is from space. It was hallucinatory.

  59. 59
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Of course, it’s not like any adult volunteers granted positions of power in environments with children have abused that power, or like predators have been drawn to such opportunities. No examples of that I can think of…

  60. 60
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I watched this thing live…and I was just astounded . This guy is from space. It was hallucinatory.

    That was my reaction as well.

  61. 61
    Aliasalpha

    And, to do it now to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in January.

    Blanket safety? I wasn’t aware that blankets played a part in this horrible incident and even if they did, I think they should be focussing more on the guns since blankets at least have a function that doesn’t involve killing people

  62. 62
    carlie

    And, to do it now to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in January.

    *blink*

    In a week and a half???

  63. 63
    timgueguen

    Yeah, you can recruit tens of thousands of people to guard schools in 2 weeks. Well, I guess you can, if you make no efforts to check whether they know which end of a gun is which, or whether they’ve got some problem like being a convicted child abuser who shouldn’t be near kids.

  64. 64
    Stardrake

    Sadly, I expected a response much like this. Although I more expected the NRA to offer up a force of armed volunteers–the demand for Congress to pay for cops was rather unexpected. (Especially since they are rather big on “Cops are never there when needed, therefore I need GUNS!”) I’ve heard LaPierre basically say that people who don’t carry guns are parasites on those who do, so this is nothing surprising–the best to hope for is they might have pissed off some of their members (A guy can dream…..).

  65. 65
    Paul K

    Janinie at 37:

    I’m going to disagree. The killers are human, and part of the numbers of dead. I work with kids this age every day, and I have cried a lot in the last week. And part of the reason I have cried is because this young man was not a monster; he was as human as I am, and there’s no way to predict when or who the next killer is going to be. That’s horrible to me. I don’t feel particularly afraid of it happening to my kids. I know the chances are still small. But it’s happening more often, and more kids are going to die.

    I was actually physically ill when I read a story last night about how lots of folks are using the number 26 when describing the number of dead in Newton. The media are doing it. Obama did it. They are not just leaving out the shooter, they are leaving out his mom. She’s dead, and her son is dead. Too many people are dead.

  66. 66
    Paul K

    Damn! sorry for both misspelling your name, and for being familiar, Janine: Hallucinating Liar. I was going to fix it before posting, and got distracted.

  67. 67
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Next time, please spell my name correctly.

    I did not deny the humanity of the murderer. But he was not murdered by someone on a killing spree. He was killed in the act of stopping him from killing more.

    He is not a victim. And I resent having him placed on the victim role.

  68. 68
    Paul K

    As for this crap from the NRA, I’ll say it again: I don’t want my choice to be ‘die or kill’. And I don’t want the kids I work with to ever have to even think about all this shit, let alone see someone every day who will remind them of it. We already do lock-down drills, and that sucks enough. Kindergarteners practicing hiding in a corner, or running out the door to ‘scatter and meet at a pre-determined meeting place’.

    This is not the world I want to live in, and for some batshit reason, the gun nuts get to decide that it is the world I get.

    I think I’m on the same page as Josh at 32.

  69. 69
    Paul K

    Sorry, Janine. I see I mis-read you. So many others have been denying his humanity, but that doesn’t excuse me for not reading your comment more carefully.

  70. 70
    carlie

    They are not just leaving out the shooter, they are leaving out his mom.

    They are not just leaving out his mom, they are leaving her out on purpose. I can’t retrace my steps to where I read it, but I saw a whole article about that and how she is being deliberately excluded on the basis that it’s her fault, too. And in fact, some people are blaming her more (than the adult son who did it) since “she raised him that way” and she was the one who had the guns in the house. Funnily enough, I wouldn’t think those same people would be on board with putting it into law that anyone who owns a gun should be charged with homicide if a gun used in a crime can be traced back to them.

  71. 71
    Paul K

    carlie:

    In the article I linked to above, from the Washington Post, they discuss what you say. Here’s a quote from a Newtown parent:

    “Why would a woman who had a son like this, who clearly had serious issues, keep assault rifles in the house and teach him how to shoot them?” she said. “To deal with that, there’s a feeling here that we’re just going to focus on the 26 innocent people who died at the school.”

    We don’t know what her son’s issues were. People are assuming that he must have had serious issues that were obvious, otherwise, how can you explain what happened? How can you feel safe?

  72. 72
    Paul K

    And I’m saddened by her use of the word ‘innocent’, implying that his mom was not, and therefore was somehow deserving of what happened to her. I understand that fear and grief are part of this, but it’s still very sad.

  73. 73
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I do not think we know enough about the situation at home to know how dangerous it was for Adam Lanza to be around them.

    But I am also of the opinion that such assault weapons should not be easily available to anyone.

  74. 74
    Paul K

    Janine:

    I agree completely, and find it dumbfounding that this discussion is even happening. Easy access to semi-automatic weapons and magazines that can hold dozens to a hundred bullets? That’s madness. And the answer: more guns? Gunfights above the heads of five-year-olds? Beyond madness.

    My (poorly made) point was that, though I wish his mother had not had these weapons at all, she does not deserve so much blame that anyone should think of her deserving what happened to her. Would we blame her if someone had broken in and stolen them? At least so far, I don’t think we even know if he did have open or easy access to them.

  75. 75
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    The only reason I don’t think such a plan would work is because the same right wing loons would complain about paying these lazy, shiftless workers on the government dole within a year and then cut budgets. Plus, how are these guards supposed to identify potential threats when everyone is packing, being good Americans ready to defend themselves and others? That would get confusing.

    But as to armed guards making schools safer – of course they can. I’m not sure what is seen as the technical problem with this in practice (aside from the armed citizenry issue). Look at what our police are capable of:
    http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/12/cleveland_police_shooting.html
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121217/16231921411/police-chief-deploys-officers-with-assault-rifles-to-stop-id-everyone-says-local-crime-stats-give-him-probable-cause.shtml

    And most people are willing and able to live their lives just fine with the threat of security looming over their heads. If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

  76. 76
    Forbidden Snowflake

    To the people who wondered who was sponsoring the NRA: here ya go.

  77. 77
    Ichthyic

    And in fact, some people are blaming her more (than the adult son who did it) since “she raised him that way”

    It made my day a couple days back to be able to disavow a close acquaintance of that very notion.

    It’s easy to run away with an unsupported hypothesis in our inevitable attempt at “othering” the shooter and anyone who might have sympathized with him (family, friends, etc.).

    When any of us can actually, through patient presentation of facts, curtail using “othering” to form unsupported conclusions, I think we should pat ourselves on the back. It’s bloody rare enough!

  78. 78
    Ichthyic

    To the people who wondered who was sponsoring the NRA: here ya go.

    bookmarked for inevitable future reference!

  79. 79
    blogofmyself, writer of papers

    I’ve seen enough of stand-your-ground laws to know where this is going. Some kid would be acting up or even just roughhousing, and that guard would perceive them as a threat, and that would be that. A bunch of armed guards at schools would end up with a bunch of dead kids, especially POC.

    Paul K :
    #66: Well said.

    and # 69

    We don’t know what her son’s issues were. People are assuming that he must have had serious issues that were obvious, otherwise, how can you explain what happened? How can you feel safe?

    Well said again.
    People want to think that it’s obvious who would do these things, because it makes us feel like we can notice it beforehand and prevent tragedy. No-one wants to believe that this could happen to them, or to people they love. No-one wants to think that humans are capable of things like that, so they blame it on something else. No-one wants to think that our society could cause these things, because that makes us all susceptible, so we blame it on the individual and hope it goes away.

  80. 80
    Paul K

    Ichthyic, 75:

    When any of us can actually, through patient presentation of facts, curtail using “othering” to form unsupported conclusions, I think we should pat ourselves on the back. It’s bloody rare enough!

    I’ve worked to do that this week with folks at the school where I work, and with others I know in my town. I think I may have convinced one of them, but the others were very dismissive. They didn’t even want to hear what I had to say. He had to be ‘just a crazy person’. It’s hard to blame them. I wish it was that easy myself.

  81. 81
    Jimmy_Blue

    So let me get this straight. Conservatives want small government and less government spending – except when they want to put armed representatives of the government in every school and to massively increase government spending to do so. I am sure the NRA members will approve a bill raising their taxes to pay for the thousands of armed guards needed, right?

    And what good does the holy 2nd Amendment do when it isn’t the government trying to turn the country into a police state but the people who worship the 2nd Amendment as a means of preventing this? The NRA is suggesting doing the very thing they claim to fear and aim to prevent through force of stupidity and ignorance.

    And now people of colour, already dealing with the crimes of “Being black whilst driving” and their like, can look forward to the new crime of “Looking a bit out of place near a school for some reason I’ll invent after I’ve shot them”. Despite the fact that these mass shooters inevitably turn out to be privileged white guys. Or will these cops somehow be different to other cops?

    But don’t worry, I’ve heard the NRA have solutions to all the world’s problems in the works. AIDs epidemic – more people with AIDs. World poverty – more poor people. High rates of teen pregnancy – more teen sex. Illegal drug use – more people doing drugs.

    Consistency is the key after all.

  82. 82
    Paul K

    Jimmy_Blue:

    And we need these guards to be in place in less than two weeks.

    I just cannot help thinking that this absolutely nutty idea is not the least bit serious. What the NRA leadership is really saying is ‘Fuck you all! We love guns and dead kids don’t matter. In fact, they make us love our sweet guns all the more.’

    And I’m reading now that the NRA is considered weak by some other gun worshipping groups.

  83. 83
    Ganf

    How about a simple solution…

    Just lock the fucking doors after the school bell rings. All visitors would have to enter through a separate entrance to a secured office area to be allowed in. Of course the door locks would not prevent opening the doors from the inside, in case of an emergency or whatever.

    That should keep most armed killers out or at least slow them down.

    Oh, I forgot…there should also be sharks with Laaazzzers in a pool that has a special trapdoor.

  84. 84
    Paul K

    michaelsternberg:

    I’m not sure how snarky you’re being, but as for your first suggestion, many schools I’ve worked in have done just that. As did the school in Newtown. He forced his way in.

  85. 85
    Ichthyic

    Oh, I forgot…there should also be sharks with Laaazzzers in a pool that has a special trapdoor.

    Aha! My business venture is about to pay off!

    people said I was mad to start breeding cyborg sharks with built in lasers, but I knew that people would want them!

  86. 86
    Tapetum, Raddled Harridan

    I feel I can speak to the put-guards-in-all-the-schools argument, since a) I went to a school that had guards (albeit, I don’t think they had guns) and b) due to a threat received earlier, my son’s HS was patrolled by armed police this week.

    In my school the guard did not perceptibly increase safety. He was incredibly easy to sneak past. Even I as a student so straight-laced I received exactly one detention in my entire school career (late library book), snuck past him to go have lunch at home at least a dozen times. Oh yes – he was also the school drug dealer.

    In my son’s HS, the armed police around did not make me feel like my son was safer. The police at large did, when they tracked down the source of the threats, arrested the person responsible, and determined that they were neither intending to do anything, nor capable of carrying out a serious attack. (Said person is now up on felony charges of making terroristic threats.) The police patrolling the school just made me very nervous for my introverted son, who always wears all-enveloping black hoodies to school.

    If trained police, who are there for a specific reason make me nervous, I don’t think armed, bored volunteers of unknown training and provenance are going to make me feel safe and relaxed.

  87. 87
    keresthanatos

    moot ….. google “printed guns”.

  88. 88
    puppygod

    I think I get it. Basically, US is one, big Stanford prison experiment still going on.

    Buing a gun is an easy way to get from the prisoners group to the guards group. It’s all there is to it.

  89. 89
    John Morales

    keresthanatos, futuristic fapping.

    (There’s a reason guns are not made from plastic)

  90. 90
    Kevin Anthoney

    Apart from everything else, it can’t be the most stimulating job ever, waiting for an event that’s most likely going to happen somewhere else. How long before one of the guards shoots up a school out of sheer boredom?

  91. 91
    kevs

    LaPierre should be encouraged to speak out more often because his speech has surely helped the cause to introduce proper arms control in the US.
    Unfortunately, after this PR disaster I suspect he won’t last long in this role.
    Instead the NRA will find someone more practiced at making meaningless speeches which seem to express concern about atrocities while continuing to do nothing about it. A bishop would be the obvious and perfect choice.

  92. 92
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Kevs not so sure about that. LaPierre holds near godlike status among the right wing. With his ability to focus votes and capital.

    Who knows though, maybe this tips the scales but LaPierre has said similarily detached from reality statements before…

    Just not after an event like this, because he typically stays quiet after mass shootings.

  93. 93
    mildlymagnificent

    I would be comfortable knowing that several individuals are armed at schools (who are trained and comfortable with it); but I have carried before and don’t have a problem with it.

    This is downright silly. It’s not about being comfortable around guns.

    The required skill set is acting as a bodyguard. Even the standard armed school or university guard wouldn’t qualify for the sort of fast reaction/accurate shooting required to act as a protective service agent (for little kids rather than VIPs in this instance). And a lot of what they do is getting the protected person into a safe place – and they do a lot of planning for escape avenues and the like.

    Most police officers don’t even have these skills. The training is demanding in the first place (who pays for that) and maintaining the full skill set is not just going along to a shooting range every now and again (who will pay for the frequent skills maintenance days, fitness testing and all the rest of it).

  94. 94
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    This really is just the NRA demonstrating a terrible example of gun safety by shooting itself in the foot

  95. 95
    Matt Penfold

    Most police officers don’t even have these skills. The training is demanding in the first place (who pays for that) and maintaining the full skill set is not just going along to a shooting range every now and again (who will pay for the frequent skills maintenance days, fitness testing and all the rest of it).

    In the UK the PM, other Government ministers, embassies and such come under the protection of the diplomatic protection corps, part of the police. They one of the few branches of the police to be routinely armed. They are very selective over who they will accept into their ranks, and they spend around 25% of their time training or undergoing assessment as to their continued fitness. As a result they are expensive.

  96. 96
    evilDoug

    Rev said

    LaPierre holds near godlike status among the right wing. With his ability to focus votes and capital.

    Have you seen this?
    There are two entries related to the NRA.

  97. 97
    alisonmeyer

    Oh, don’t be silly, people. The NRA is working out a volunteer plan that will staff every school in the country with armed sentries, and it won’t cost a single taxpayer cent! Win-win all around! Just find a couple hundred thousand unemployed guys, give them guns, and put them in schools, and all our problems are solved.

  98. 98
    dancaban

    You may own all the guns you want. Just ban the ammunition.

  99. 99
    d.f.manno

    @freetinkerer (#57):

    I feel if there was a teacher who was comfortable carrying a weapon who was there at Newtown, the outcome might have been different.

    Really? Because there was some comfortable carrying a gun at the Gabby Giffords shooting in Tucson, and he very nearly made things worse:

    The new poster boy for this agenda is Joe Zamudio, a hero in the Tucson incident. Zamudio was in a nearby drug store when the shooting began, and he was armed. He ran to the scene and helped subdue the killer. Television interviewers are celebrating his courage, and pro-gun blogs are touting his equipment. “Bystander Says Carrying Gun Prompted Him to Help,” says the headline in the Wall Street Journal.

    But before we embrace Zamudio’s brave intervention as proof of the value of being armed, let’s hear the whole story. “I came out of that store, I clicked the safety off, and I was ready,” he explained on Fox and Friends. “I had my hand on my gun. I had it in my jacket pocket here. And I came around the corner like this.” Zamudio demonstrated how his shooting hand was wrapped around the weapon, poised to draw and fire. As he rounded the corner, he saw a man holding a gun. “And that’s who I at first thought was the shooter,” Zamudio recalled. “I told him to ‘Drop it, drop it!’”

    But the man with the gun wasn’t the shooter. He had wrested the gun away from the shooter. “Had you shot that guy, it would have been a big, fat mess,” the interviewer pointed out.

    Zamudio agreed:

    “I was very lucky. Honestly, it was a matter of seconds. Two, maybe three seconds between when I came through the doorway and when I was laying on top of [the real shooter], holding him down. So, I mean, in that short amount of time I made a lot of really big decisions really fast. … I was really lucky.

  100. 100
    judithsanders

    I’d just like to suggest that we stop allowing the NRA to present themselves as having anything to do with the 2nd amendment. It doesn’t take much research to learn that Colonial and early American militias were formed to support the government, not to overthrow it. The Constitution states that the President is the commander in chief of the militia. If conservatives were actually concerned about being able to overthrow an “illegitimate government,” they’d stop funding the military.

    No, the NRA is just an advertising and lobbying arm of the firearms industry, no different than the Texas Beef Council. The oligarchy has many party hats.

  101. 101
    Paul K

    judithsanders:

    I agree. The thing is, the beliefs of the gun culture go far beyond the NRA now. They go all the way up to the Supreme Court. I really hope this incident brings actual change, but it won’t be easy. Nearly everything I’ve ever read that tries to argue for the protection of gun ‘rights’ has been bogus, even laughably so, but people who believe strongly don’t need sensible arguments, they just need faith and determination. Those two things make lying, and belief in lies, very easy.

  102. 102
    Paul K

    Hmm… I sure sounded like someone preaching to the choir there. We do need to be loud and clear about the bullshit the NRA is spouting, and they were particularly obvious in their batshittiness on Friday morning. Maybe if enough people point it out, and just laugh, or cry, at its ridiculousness, people with actual power to do something about it will stand up for sense.

  103. 103
  104. 104
    notsont

    I would be comfortable knowing that several individuals are armed at schools (who are trained and comfortable with it); but I have carried before and don’t have a problem with it. I recognize I am not Rambo, but if given the situation, I would really hate myself if I did not do everything in my power to save my friends.

    So lets get this straight..you want to put a civilian in fear of his/her life with a small handgun dressed in light cotton polyester clothing against someone who is obviously planning on dying armed with multiple weapons including an assault rifle wearing a bullet proof vest and a tactical vest with hundreds of extra rounds of ammunition.

    How do you think that’s gonna work out?

  105. 105
    paulburnett

    We are the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons on another country. We spend more money on our military than the next 26 countries combined spend on their military. Something else is wrong here – guns are just another symptom.

  106. 106
    mbane

    I looked into the current research associating gun ownership with homicide, both inter and intranationally, and, while the research does lean a little toward a positive correlation, the research remains mostly inconclusive (much less agreement then in climate change for example). Take this recent paper challenging the validity of international correlations for example:

    Reassessing the Association between Gun Availability and Homicide at the Cross-National Level

    Because of the inconclusive nature of the research I’m split as to whether restricting the freedom of gun ownership is sufficiently justified.

  107. 107
    Paul K

    mbane:

    If you meant to actually link to that article, it didn’t work. Using the title you gave in a Google search, I was only able to access the abstract, which concluded with:

    The results lend little support to the notion that gun availability operates uniformly across nations to influence levels of violence. Rather, results suggest that the nature of the relationship between gun availability and violence is shaped by the socio-historical and cultural processes occurring across nations.

    First, I don’t know what nations they compared. Some places are in chaos and without working systems to curtail violence. Second, I don’t know of anyone who is for stricter gun control who says that the problem in this country is simply that there are too many guns available. We are a culture that thinks violence is an appropriate early response. See paulburnett’s comment at 105, right above yours. I work with kids the age of those riddled with bullets in Newtown. It seems a sensible answer to me that, in a culture steeped in violence and swimming in guns designed for mass killings, the thing to do first is to GET RID OF THE FUCKING GUNS.

  108. 108
    Matt Penfold

    We are the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons on another country.

    No you are not. The decision to use the atomic bombs on Japan was a decision of the US, the UK and Canada. That all three countries needed to approve their use was established under the Quebec Agreement.

  109. 109
    David Marjanović

    Correction, ginmar. Three people were murdered. And the murderer was killed in a shoot out.

    I am just a little bit pissed off that they are saying that four are dead.

    Do not add the murderer as part of the casualty list.

    He is part of the casualty list. He’s in a way his own victim.

    How about a simple solution…

    Just lock the fucking doors after the school bell rings.

    In Japan, maybe 20 years ago, a schoolgirl died while trying to get into the school while the gate was closing. I’m against the death penalty for being late.

    people said I was mad to start breeding cyborg sharks with built in lasers

    You sure showed ‘em!

  110. 110
    Area Man

    @57:

    I would be comfortable knowing that several individuals are armed at schools (who are trained and comfortable with it)

    Um, I wouldn’t. First, despite gun-nut fantasies, it’s unclear that having randomly armed people present is going to ameliorate a mass shooting. You might reduce the fatalities by a few, or then again, you might increase them by a few. In those rare situations where some armed citizen was on the scene when the mass shooting started, it usually turns out that the shooting is over by the time the person arrives with his gun drawn. As best as I can tell, there is not a single clear-cut case in which an armed bystander has saved a life during a mass shooting event (there is at least one case I can think of where an armed security guard did).

    But putting that aside, even if we assume that having an armed citizen or three nearby will reduce the body count somewhat during a mass shooting, we have to subtract from that the increased body count from “everyday” gun violence. Every time a person goes out in public packing heat, there is a small but nonzero chance that their gun will end up wrongfully injuring or killing someone. The chances are much higher if the person is not highly trained. It may be an accidental discharge, or the gun gets stolen, or the person attacks someone who wasn’t really a threat, etc. These things happen all the time. Injuries from accidents outnumber homicides. If you have tens of thousands of schools with armed people in them, even non-stupid ones, you will get more deaths and injuries. I suppose it’s possible, but I find it extremely unlikely that any lives saved, if there are any at all, will exceed the extra ones lost.

  111. 111
    Paul K

    Area Man, 110:

    But, but… heroism, and tough guys, and white hats! What you say is reasonable, and as far as I can tell from my own experience and understanding of the country we live in, already backed up by reality.

    The guns crowd seem to have this Old West outlook, and long for the good old days that are shown in the oh-so historically accurate Westerns they watched back in the day. The thing is, most folks who actually lived in frontier towns, and even many of them in the fictional ones, longed for the day when they would become ‘civilized’ enough that toting guns would no longer be necessary or allowed.

  112. 112
    khms

    What is rather extremely obvious to me as a non-American, when reading stories written by non-professional US authors, is that their solution to even fairly low-level crime seems to almost always be the same: kill the perp! Laws? Corrupt or powerless. (Also, historicals are almost exclusively situated in the old West.)

    This suggests to me rather strongly that the basic problem is cultural. (As if other news didn’t already tell me that.)

    Of course, as someone else already said, that makes it more, not less, important to reduce easy access to guns …

  113. 113
    Ichthyic

    The guns crowd seem to have this Old West outlook, and long for the good old days that are shown in the oh-so historically accurate Westerns they watched back in the day

    I think that is even reflected in the appeal of the feaux “cowboy image” that people like Reagan and Bush played up.

    I remember thinking how Deadwood (the HBO series), seemed to be working towards a more accurate portrayal of not just gun violence in the “old west” and how random it was (Wild Bill’s shooting, for example), but blurring the whole white hat/black hat meme. I found myself rooting for Swearington a lot. I think they at least tried to suggest that most people, “bad guys” included, just wanted some stability and NOT to have to worry about who was going to pull a gun next and shoot someone.

    that said, it’s still a far cry from an educational documentary :)

  114. 114
    Ichthyic

    …oh, and I’m sure some gun aficionado will come along and tell me that “as many people died from knives as guns in Deadwood!”

    *sigh*

  115. 115
    chigau (違う)

    I really fucking liked Deadwood.
    http://www.thewvsr.com/deadwood.htm

  116. 116
    Argle Bargle

    Many trained soldiers either freeze or shoot literally aimless when in a firefight. These are people who have been given weeks of training and are expecting a firefight to happen. So it really annoys me when the NRA and other gunnutz say the fix to school shootings is having armed teachers and admin workers.

  117. 117
    Nick Gotts

    Second, I don’t know of anyone who is for stricter gun control who says that the problem in this country is simply that there are too many guns available. – Paul K.

    But at least among rich countries, it does seem that countries with high rates of gun ownership also have high rates of gun deaths. See here and here.
    Top eight gun ownership rate rich countries in order: USA, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Canada, France, Austria.
    Top eight gun death rate* rich countries** in order: USA, Canada, Finland, Switzerland, France, Austria, New Zealand, Belgium.

    On a slightly different point, I’ve noted before that among rich countries, total homicide rates correlate well with income inequality. Two countries are notably out of line: the USA has far higher rates than it “should” have, while Singapore, where gun ownership is extremely low (0.5 per 100 inhabitants, compare the USA’s 88.8), has far fewer homicides than it “should”.

    * Includes homicide, suicide and accident. USA is again first in homicides alone, Canada second, Switzerland third if you don’t count Greece as rich, which seems reasonable.
    **In previous discussions, I put Switzerland second. The wikipedia page has been edited very recently (20th December), and I’m pretty sure I was reporting it correctly before, but whether the update gives better data or not, the general trend is the same.

  118. 118
    Nick Gotts

    So lets get this straight..you want to put a civilian in fear of his/her life with a small handgun dressed in light cotton polyester clothing against someone who is obviously planning on dying armed with multiple weapons including an assault rifle wearing a bullet proof vest and a tactical vest with hundreds of extra rounds of ammunition. – notsont

    Come on now – don’t you know the good guys always win?

  119. 119
    Nick Gotts

    And, to do it now to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in January.

    “”

  120. 120
    Nick Gotts

    My #119 wasn’t a premature post or an offering to Tpyos, but the only way I could think off to express my utter incredulity – the online equivalent of being speechless. If you were going to put armed outsiders into schools, would you not want to carry out some security and proficiency checks on them first? This guy is beyond belief, beyond satire, beyond whatever is beyond those things. That he could say such a thing and not be laughed off the stage is an indictment of the American media beyond anything I can recall hearing about.

  121. 121
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    Nick:

    Top eight gun ownership rate rich countries in order: USA, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Canada, France, Austria.

    Just out of curiosity, does anybody know of any statistics broken down into gun types? I would expect bolt-action rifles, shotguns, automatic and semiautomatic rifles and pistols would have very different violence profiles.

    And while my neck of the woods have a lot of guns, they’re mostly hunting weapons – bolt-action rifles and breach-loading shotguns the most common.

  122. 122
    carlie

    Skimming, so I’m sorry if I missed a link already to this:

    David Frum did a long, long series of tweets on the 21st describing where armed guards would be needed to protect people from shooters, using the NRA’s “logic”, with links on each one to a shooting death there. (it was retweeted by Greta Christina). An abbreviated list:

    We need a federal agent at every public swimming pool
    We need a federal agent at every Christian college
    We need a federal agent at every hospital
    We need a federal agent at every gas station
    We need a federal agent at every yacht club
    We need a federal agent in every taxicab
    We need a federal agent in every library
    We need a federal agent at every muffler shop
    We need a federal agent at every Hallowe’en party
    We need a federal agent at every marriage proposal
    we need a federal agent to protect every little girl with a stupid relative

    etc.

  123. 123
    Paul K

    Nick Gotts, 120:

    This is why I think that they are not making this suggestion seriously. They are appealing to their base (many of whom think the NRA is not batty enough when it comes to guns, and the NRA doesn’t want to lose them to groups like Gun Owners of America), trying to sell more guns for their sponsors, and trying to just stop the debate before it goes anywhere. They’ve always succeeded doing just that in the past, but this time I wish that they did just become laughingstocks. The problem is that our media ‘respect’ everyone on the right now, no matter what they do or say, because they don’t want to be accused of being liberal; a lie made up by the very folks who don’t seem to have any intention of continuing their stampede to the right.

    I don’t watch TV, but just Googled ‘guns fox news’, and it looks like, so far, they have not jumped right into the NRA’s lap. Maybe that’s a good sign.

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