Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
A principal lobbyist for the merchants of death, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), held a press conference this morning one week after the massacre of school children by a crazed gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
According to Wayne LaPierre, the real "victims" of this past week have been the NRA and gun owners. I kid you not. NRA calls for armed officers at schools (full speech):
While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have
remained respectably silent. Now, we must speak for the safety of our
Because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week,
no one, nobody has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate
question we face: How do we protect our children right now, starting
today, in a way that we know works?
* * *
Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize gun owners.
LaPierre implicitly suggested that the repeal of the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act, first approved in 1990, would be a good place to start.
The only way to answer that question is to face the truth. Politicians
pass laws for gun free school zones, they issue press releases bragging
about them. They post signs advertising them. And, in doing so, they
tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to
inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.
And why would this be necessary? Because the NRA wants to place an armed security guard in every school:
[W]hen it comes to our most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of
the American family, our children, we as a society leave them every day
utterly defenseless, and the monsters and the predators of the world
know it, and exploit it.
* * *
As brave and heroic and as self-sacrificing as those teachers were in
those classrooms and as prompt and professional and well- trained as
those police were when they responded, they were unable — through no
fault of their own, unable to stop it.
As parents we do everything
we can to keep our children safe. It’s now time for us to assume
responsibility for our schools. The only way — the only way to stop a
monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested
in a plan of absolute protection.
The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
* * *
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.
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.
Let's unpack what ol' Wayne just said. The NRA wants to place an armed security guard in every school. But Wayne's lobbying clients, the merchants of death, do not want to pay for it. The NRA wants Congress to appropriate the money to pay for it, presumably out of the general fund, i.e., your tax dollars.
I have a better idea. If the merchants of death want to place an armed security guard in every school, then we are going to impose a new use tax called the "school safety tax" that will apply to every weapon manufactured, sold or transfered; every piece of shooting paraphenalia sold; and every piece of ammunition sold. After all, "mass shootings" at schools are the result of guns by definition. This is the same concept as the long-established use tax for gasoline. Only those who drive a vehicle and purchase gasoline pay the gasoline tax. Only those who own a weapon and purchase ammunition should pay the "school safety tax."
But there is a flaw with ol' Wayne's logic. He started out saying the Gun-Free School Zones "tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to
inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk." Well Wayne, by the same logic if you advertise that there is an armed security guard at the school, will this really be a deterrent to a determined madman? Mass shootings are not random acts of violence. Mass shooters spend a lot of time planning their attacks and preparing for it, including scouting their intended target.
The armed security guard at the school will be the first victim. Will this security guard be wearing full SWAT Team combat gear? Is this appropriate for an elementary school where young children could be terrified by the mere presence of a security guard in full combat gear? Has it really come to this in America?
And by what logic do you not believe that the shooter, knowing there is an armed security guard in full combat gear, will not purchase armor-piercing "cop killer" bullets — something that the NRA lobbied to make available for sale to the public? At best the armed security guard is just an obstacle to be overcome.
But wait, there's more. Not only does the NRA want to repeal the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act so that it can place armed security guards in every school, but it wants to insert itself into the training of all these new armed security guards:
[T]he National Rifle Association, as America’s preeminent trainer of law
enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years — we have
11,000 police training instructors in the NRA — is ready, willing and
uniquely qualified to help.
* * *
Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson will lead the effort as national director of the National Model School Shield Program . . . Under Asa’s leadership, our team of security experts will make this
program available to the world for protecting our children in school.
And we’ll make the program available to every single school in America,
free of charge.
As expected, Wayne LaPierre blamed everyone else for the culture of gun violence in this country excepting the clients on whose behalf he lobbies Congress, the merchants of death. And he completely ignores the fact that the merchants of death rely upon the existence of this culture of gun violence to directly benefit from it. According to LaPierre, the "bad guys" are:
The mentally ill – "[O]ur society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters.
People that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven
by demons, that no sane person can every possibly comprehend them."
The "criminal class" – "The fact is this: [a national database of the mentally ill] wouldn’t even begin to address the much larger,
more lethal criminal class — killers, robbers, rapists, gang members
who have spread like cancer in every community across our nation.
Federal Prosecutors – "Federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40 percent, to the lowest levels in a decade." (This ignores the NRA's role in making the burden of proof in these cases more difficult.)
The media – "How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame
from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall
attention and a sense of identity that they crave, while provoking
others to try to make their mark."
(More media) video game makers – "There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and
corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own
people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like “Bullet
Storm,” “Grand Theft Auto,” “Mortal Combat,” and “Splatterhouse.”And here’s one, it’s called “Kindergarten Killers.” It’s been online for 10 years."
(More media) film makers – "I mean we have blood-soaked films out there, like “American Psycho,”
“Natural Born Killers.” They’re aired like propaganda loops on
Splatterdays and every single day."
(More media) music videos – "1,000 music videos, and you all know this, portray life as a joke and
they play murder — portray murder as a way of life. And then they all
have the nerve to call it entertainment. But is that what it really is?
Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really
the filthiest form of pornography?"
(More media) anti-gun bias – "[T]he media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws,
and fill the national media with misinformation and dishonest thinking
that only delay meaningful action, and all but guarantee that the next
atrocity is only a news cycle away. . . Worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban or one
more law imposed on peaceable, lawful people will protect us where
20,000 other laws have failed."
What Wayne LaPierre failed to mention is the NRA's role in making certain that state data bases of the mentally ill and criminal convictions are poorly maintained and shared; preserving the "private sales" gun show loophole that does not require any background check; lobbying on behalf of shorter wait times for background checks; lobbying on behalf of making military-grade weapons and ammunition available to the public; Internet sales of weapons; and on an on.
The NRA at one time was about gun safety and responsible gun ownership. But it long ago became the lobbyist organization for the merchants of death. It does not represent the views of responsible gun owners, nor NRA members, as several recent polls have demonstrated. Today's NRA press conference is just the latest example of how out of touch the NRA is with responsible gun owners and its membership.