For the most part, I like the way the administration is handling the gun issue right now. But I'm not sure how I feel about this:
The Obama administration is considering funding many more police officers in public schools to secure campuses, a leading Democratic senator said, part of a broad gun violence agenda....I hope nobody is naive enough to think that it's possible to get the NRA's congressional lackeys to play nice by finding "areas of common ground." Having said that, though, I'll add that suggesting possible areas of common ground has made the president look like the adult in the room, in the eyes of the voters, for quite a while now. So maybe there's some value to this.
The school safety initiative, one of several under consideration, would make federal dollars available to schools that want to hire police officers and install surveillance equipment....
The idea is gaining currency among some Democratic lawmakers, who see it as a potential area of common ground with Republicans who otherwise oppose stricter restrictions on firearms....
I'm of two minds about the proposal -- there are cops in some schools already, particularly in cities (and cities, interestingly, seem to be disproportionately underrepresented among sites of school shootings). On the other hand, turning schools into armed compounds is an admission that you've failed to control violence by other means.
It'll be interesting to see how this idea is received -- it's the one proposal the gun lobby won't rail against, but it's not popular (Public Policy Polling says Americans oppose it 41%-50%), and I suspect the NRA won't push for it if it's part of the administration's package (unless the NRA itself gets big bucks to train the cops). And many Republicans won't like it because it costs money! And some wingers will probably decide it's a way to get our schools occupied by fascist "Obama cops." (I actually expect this phrase, or something similar, to be used.) So I think this could play out in an unpredictable way.
You probably saw the NRA's statement after an association official met with Vice President Biden yesterday:
...We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be "prejudged," this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners -- honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans. It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works -- and what does not.Do you think the NRA bothered to wait until after the meeting to write that statement? I assume it was already written before the meeting took place. Any reason why I shouldn't assume that?
In response to that "I'm going to start killing people" video by Crazypants James Yeager, Zandar writes:
Imagine this guy wasn't white, and/or was a Muslim. Would you still feel the same way about his call for people to rise up in a civil war and his promise to start killing people?It's cavalier of me to say what I'm about to say, given the fact that I'm a white guy for whom doing something like this would be basically risk-free, but here goes: I wish an African-American or Muslim would, as an experiment, literally re-create a few of these death-before-disarmament videos (there are hundreds of them on YouTube, from Yeager and other gunners) -- reciting exactly the same words, brandishing exactly the same guns (or at least prop versions of the same guns). I'd love to see the reaction -- from the right-wing media, from the authorities -- if videos like that went viral.
I absolutely understand why no one black or Muslim would want to do this -- you could be jailed, or even shot by the cops.. But someone willing to take the risk -- and then able to demonstrate that the supposedly insurrectionary videos are just cover versions of videos by white Christians -- would be making a serious point. It would be great performance art -- though, in all likelihood, not worth dying for.