Hanes HallbirnSaturday,22 December 2012

The Snap:

On Friday, the National Rifle Association (NRA) broke its silence in the aftermath of the horrible tragedy in Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice-president, proposed a solution to America’s problem of gun violence that relies on, well, more guns. Specifically, LaPierre and the NRA say the path forward involves armed security personnel at every public school in the United States. The supposition is that well-trained, gun-toting guards would be able to effectively neutralize would-be shooters in future crisis situations.

The Download:

There are a couple of small problems with this approach. And by “small,” I mean fucking enormous.

First, the NRA’s theory is bullshit. There were two armed police officers on duty at Columbine High School in 1999. TWO. And yet, they were outgunned by murderous teens with superior firepower. Also, there was an entire police force on campus at Virginia Tech University in 2007 when 32 people were massacred. So, no. The NRA’s proposal to place armed guards on campuses across the nation isn’t one based on logic.

But by far the most galling aspect of the NRA’s proposal is its request for a big-government solution to gun violence. This is the same NRA whose members often espouse a smaller government that will “stay out of our business.”

So, waaaaaaaaaaait. We need to arm our citizens in preparation for a scenario in which we all need to rise up and topple a totalitarian government (aka a “big government”). Thus, the NRA favors a smaller government that will keep its dirty mitts off of our guns. And they want to get out in front of any potential big-government regulations (and thus realize this small-government vision) by… wait for it… increasing the size of the government. All we need to do is hire armed guards to patrol the 98,000 public schools across the nation. 98,000 new positions (and make no mistake, that’s what this proposal amounts to… off-duty cops can’t fill all of those roles full-time while still covering their existing duties).

Can you imagine if the Democrats had proposed this solution? There would have been a giant popping sound, heard the world over, from the simultaneous head explosions of conservative Republicans. What. The. Fuck.

I mean, honestly. I’m not in favor of repealing the second amendment, but gun violence is a serious problem that requires serious, nuanced solutions. And the NRA’s opening salvo is anything but. It’s completely asinine. Small government + more government does not equal smaller government.

Hat Tips:

The New YorkerFarhad ManjooBusiness Insider, Col. Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., The Wall Street Journal, Image Credit: Flickr



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