The Wrong Prescription


The NRA‘s Wayne LaPierre finally delivered the organization’s response to the tragedy in Newport and, to no one’s surprise, their answer to the problem is more guns. Whoever didn’t see that one coming must be living in a cave—without a gun.

Wayne LaPierre

At a key moment, when the organization needed to show empathy, it instead doubled-down on the very policy everyone is contemplating. For the NRA, this is business as usual and it’s as cold and calculating as the bean counters in a car company that determine it’ll cost the company less money in pay-outs to victims and victims families than to fix the problem itself.

Instead, LaPierre, desperate to find any other target to get people focused on, latched onto the Fox News gambit of blaming violent video games for the problem. Yep, let’s not ban guns but instead ban video games. That will solve the problem. Forget that this would be yet another example of blatant hypocrisy in the face of the stated goals of Republicanism. Guns are at risk so this is no time for logic.

Their actual solution was to advocate for the hiring of armed guards for every school. Surely this will have a positive impact right? Anyone paying attention will recall that Columbine High School had just that situation. The guard could only help fleeing students from a distance. And what parent among us wouldn’t want our children growing up in an environment like a prison complete with guards packing heat?

But hey, this isn’t about learning from history. It’s about protecting gun sales by pushing what feels right which is always the more shiny bauble of this constituency.

And who would pay for all this? Why, the government, of course! Two hypocrisies in one statement. Bravo! No wonder this guy is their chief salesman. I have little doubt some local red townships will jump all over this idea.

Let’s also ignore the reality we all know to be the case—that such a position would pay very little and would draw less-than-optimal resources. So let’s go ahead and put poorly-trained, low-intelligence, poorly-paid armed “guards” into our schools with all our kids. What could possibly go wrong there…. unless they’re a video game fan.

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  1. Mike Killebrew on

    Why is it the NRA’s job to find a solution to a problem that is not theirs? Guns have always existed in American culture. Obviously or else the issue of the 2nd ammendment would never be at risk in an America that loves to turn a blind eye to the true problems with society. Since I work for a living and don’t usually have even the time to voice my opinion in this forum, I also don’t have time to do statistcal research on the amount of mass killings that have occured in our country each year dating back to at least the industrial revolution. I’m sure the statistics would point to an ever increasing number that showed sharp increases in the late 80’s going foward. Previous to this time frame I bet there was not near so much gun control. How come now that we continually increase the restrictions on owning guns, we don’t see a corresponding decrease in gun violence? Simply put the problem lies in the destruction of the American value system. The family unit is all but a myth with one in two marriages ending in divorce. Just by watching the news our children learn it is acceptable and beneficial to lie when necessary. So many more things need to be fixed in our society before we blame guns, but I’m outta time and must leave.

    • Rich Heimlich on

      Mike, for what it’s worth, I haven’t seen any data suggesting that the number of mass shootings is rising. If anything the data suggests it’s either been flat or going down. One good piece on this is from the website.

      However, to your main question, it’s not that the NRA has to find solutions. First, they’re already proposing solutions on their own but their solutions (which many gun supporters then jump to supporting) are always extremely predictable — more guns. Second, the NRA needs to get out of the way when it comes to others finding any other solutions. They target anything that hints at less guns and immediately use all their power to strong-arm politicians into voting against those solutions. Thus, at least for me, they’re wrong on both ends of the equation. However, as a firm supporter of freedom of speech I fully support their right to do all of this.

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