I didn't watch the NRA's news conference, but I did read the transcript. (You can read it at The Washington Post's site, though I prefer the transcript PDF at the NRA's own site, which has a lot more italics.) It's easy to mock Wayne LaPierre for desperately seeking things other than the proliferation of guns to blame -- Hollywood movies (including Natural Born Killers, which came out the year Adam Lanza turned two), video games (including a crude, primitive, unpopular game from 2002) and even music videos (I guess the ones from 2001 and earlier, given the fact that no one's seen a music video on TV since then).
The headline recommendation from LaPierre's press conference is this:
I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school -- and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January.We can laugh, we can be appalled, but all over America the response of the usual noisy minority of gun extremists is: Yes, exactly. Here's what that means: it means that, in many school districts in America, LaPierre and the NRA have created another school-shooting scapegoat: any parent who questions the NRA's approach. In many cities and towns, pro-gun people are going to demand that skeptics accept this approach. They're going to say that skeptics are literally putting children at lethal risk.
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.
(I know: they've been saying this for years about gun-free zones. But this ups the ante: it's not just that guns should be allowed in schools, it's that they should be required.)
Oh, and the NRA is branding this:
The NRA is going to bring all of its knowledge, dedication and resources to develop a model National School Shield Emergency Response Program for every school that wants it. From armed security to building design and access control to information technology to student and teacher training, this multi-faceted program will be developed by the very best experts in their fields.I don't think this means the NRA is going to pay the armed para-cops, buy the weapons, buy the ammo, or pay to insure and indemnify the armed personnel. Nevertheless, I guarantee that, all over Red America, there'll soon be schools sporting some snazzy new NRA National School Shield Program logo somewhere on the building or grounds. And if any mass shooting takes place in any school or mall or hospital or church in America (in the world, really) that hasn't adopted this NRA program, the smugness from program participants is going to be insufferable. (If a shooting happens at an NRA-program location, well, that fact will be swept under the rug.)
Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson will lead this effort as National Director of the National School Shield Program, with a budget provided by the NRA of whatever scope the task requires....
Under Asa's leadership, our team of security experts will make this the best program in the world for protecting our children at school, and we will make that program available to every school in America free of charge.
We're talking, of course, about either (a) a volunteer George Zimmerman in every school or (b) a paid cop in every school. Business Insider estimates that the latter would cost about $5 billion overall. My first thought was that we should defray the cost of this with a hefty tax on the gun industry -- but then I read that the gun industry claims to generate only about $32 billion in direct or indirect economic activity. So we'd be talking about a 15% tax on all gun-related economic activity.
Hmmm ... maybe that's not such a bad idea.
Columbine had an armed guard. VA Tech had a SWAT team. Didn't stop heavily armed spree shooters motherjones.com/mojo/2012/12/n…— AdamSerwer (@AdamSerwer) December 21, 2012
RT @sshavelson: And there may have been some guns available at Ft Hood.— davidfrum (@davidfrum) December 21, 2012