Well, as expected in today's NRA press release, their solution to gun crime is to have more guns.
Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the NRA, called for a national database of the mentally ill and blamed violent video games and films for portraying murder as a "way of life".
He spoke out against the media for demonising lawful gun owners, and for suggesting a ban on certain types of weapon would be effective.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," Mr LaPierre told reporters.
As I noted on another forum where someone was holding forth yesterday on the same idea:
I would note that if we arm the staff, we then have to train, arm, test, continue to train, certify, and allow time for practice every person in a school that is authorised to have a gun, take time away from their already under-paid and over-worked staff, &c. I thought the GOP was all about less government. Such a programme instituted across the country would be a huge new vast government programme.
And the more secure you make the weaponry (after all it is being stored in a school), the less available it is for immediate use. The Newtown shooter came in guns ablazing. The principal was the first person gunned down, running out to check on the violence. It would have made no difference if she were armed with a shoulder holster walking around the school like Wyatt Earp, she still would have been first, and the shooter could have then taken her gun, too.
Moreover, if your putative armed administrator is carrying in the open in a crowded school hall, the risk of a student grabbing a gun goes up exponentially.
As far as a gendarme guarding schools, considering the number of gun-enthusiasts around, you could probably draw a plethora of volunteers who would do it for nothing. Well, maybe you could. An awful lot of people are all about arming schools, but one would have to wonder how many would actually volunteer to do it themselves if it is really all about the children, as they say.
The state could require certification and training from said volunteers, and thus no cost to the school district. That is assuming the protect-the-children rhetoric is actually more than rhetoric. But that still would not protect malls, and temples, and theatres. (Bear in mind we had a mass shooting in an Omaha mall here a couple years ago.)
And if schools were to become too hard to hit for the aspiring mass-murder, perhaps he will simply pick another softer target. (Wait, that has already happened three other times this year, at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, a movie theatre in Colorado, and a mall in Oregon.)
If we arm all soft targets (or all targets), we are in a military state, except the military is not in charge.
It’s a good thing that science doesn’t happen the way this debate about guns has happened (it’s too hard, so let’s not try) or we would still be huddling round the savannah with our flint and stone tools and thirty-year lifespans, scared of the next tribe over.
Of course, my neighbour and fellow city councilman, the owner of the gun shop, would argue that we need more guns, and more guns, preferably bought from his shop. The country already has three hundred million guns. How many more do we need? Note that nearly all of the NRA’s $300M annual income comes from gun businesses, not from its members.
Or we could use the Australian approach: federally-funded gun buybacks after a mass murder in 1996. The same arguments were thrown up in the wake of a mass-murder there (it’s too hard, people won’t give up guns, &c). They haven’t had mass murder there since. Did they end suicides and homicides by gun? No. Did they reduce them? As USA Today reports (full article at that link):
The author of a report on Australia's sweeping gun reform program that was instituted after a mass killing in 1996 says the United States would have many fewer deaths by dramatically decreasing the number of households with guns, the Sydney Morning-Herald reported.
The National Firearms Agreement -- reached among the political parties less than two weeks after a gunman killed 35 people and injured 23 at a Tasmanian seaside resort -- cut firearm homicide by 59% over the next two decades and firearms suicide by 74%, the report showed.
The law banned semiautomatic and automatic rifles and shotguns and put in place a mandatory buy-back program for newly banned weapons.
The buyback led to the destruction of 650,000 guns, the Sunshine Coast Daily reported.
In August, following the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who instituted the NFA, wrote in the Melbourne daily The Age that the United States should follow in Australia's footsteps.
So this was supposed to be a supportive statement in the wake of the Newtown shootings? Sure looks like more of the same to me. The sad fact is that the 2nd Amendment is considered sacrosanct to the gun lobby and they are in no ways prepared to give ANY ground regarding the regulation or restriction to gun access.
What we have here is the status quo - plain and simple.
Unfortunately, and I'm not a constitutional scholar, it looks like any serious curbs on guns will be thrown out by the SCOTUS. I'm afraid this mess, called the second amendment, is going to need an overhaul.
I'm up for it. Where do I sign?
Short of that, the only way I think we'd get control is to require all owners to be members of a militia. Do I really want them organized too? The only way that would be a good thing is if we put a picture of Obama in the middle of the football field and lined the militia up in a circle around it for target practice.