The Insanity of the NRA
As Wayne LaPierre doubles down on the NRA’s new slogan, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Jeff Toorish (a commenter at Politico) takes the time to make this incredibly smart, informed, and compelling counter-argument. This guy needs to be on the Sunday shows to demolish La Pierre and associated morons. His long response at Politico to LaPierre’s position is worth quoting here in full:
This man is completely insane.
Let me preface this by saying, I have and do own guns. I believe in the Second Amendment. I personally have a concealed weapons permit for my state (and reciprocity states) and I sometimes carry a firearm. I am a military veteran and as a former journalist, I covered a great many stories that involved firearms. I am also currently a tactical EMT, meaning I am trained to go into armed conflict situations with SWAT Teams. At one time I was a crack shot, and am still pretty good although I don’t really shoot all that much anymore. When I was in the military, one of the jobs I did was nuclear security. I have been a member of the NRA in the past but am not at the moment —nor will I be ever again.
I mention all of that to lay out my bona fides regarding this issue. All too often, gun issues are debated by people who have a vested (financial) interest or are completely ignorant of the real facts regarding firearms.
So, having said all that, there are a few facts that simply must be made clear. Guns kill people. Period. People own guns because they like guns. Nobody really needs a Harley Davidson motorcycle —but a lot of people own them because they like them, they like the image and the lifestyle. The same is true of Smith and Wesson or Sig Sauer firearms. People may hunt or live somewhere that a gun is a good thing to have. But few people need more than one or two and hardly anybody needs an assault weapon in civilian life. The fact is, people own guns because they like owning guns.
Guns kill people because people, both good and bad, use and misuse guns. To suggest anything else is simply ignorant. Guns kill on purpose and by accident. I have personally interviewed parents of children who died because of gun accidents. In every case, those parents truly believed they knew how to handle guns in the home. They were wrong.
I have also interviewed victims, family members and criminals involved in shootings both intentional and accidental. In almost every case they retroactively wished they had not had a gun available.If you have a gun in your home, you are 45 times (that’s times, not percent) more likely to have a family member of friend killed by that gun than to ward off an intruder. The numbers are simple and staggering. If it is safety you want, keep guns out of homes. If you pull a gun on a criminal you are more likely to have the gun taken away from you than to actually use it.
Guns kill and fewer guns in a situation means most likely fewer people will die. If you think there is some idiotic, heroic, movie-hero answer to gun violence in schools, malls or movie theaters that is simply moronic. Adding more guns in any confined space means more bullets flying, meaning more people are likely to die.
Wayne LaPierre believes adding police officers to schools, meaning more guns to schools, will prevent a deranged homicidal/suicidal lunatic from paying a murderous visit. He is wrong.Insane people will not be deterred. People who do this kind of thing are expecting to die, likely want to die and most likely want to die in a blaze of glory. My fear is that adding well publicized police to schools will make them more attractive to gun toting lunatics who are going to see schools as a more attractive means to a suicidal end.
There were armed guards at Columbine High School that fateful day as well as Virginia Tech. At Fort Hood there was an army. They were useless and prevented not a single death. More importantly, it is not merely another gun or two in the building —“good guys” trying to kill “bad guys.” It is training.
US Special forces operators spend years and the nation spends millions of dollars training each one to shoot with the precision needed for that kind of close quarters operation. It is actually absolutely insane to believe local police departments can replicate that kind of precision. That does not even take into account the difference in equipment and the necessary personal commitment. Even with all that, there are friendly fire incidents among elite special forces troops.
I do not believe turning schools into armed camps is the answer. I also believe no reasonable, thinking person would support this clearly desperate ploy by this cynical organization and its buffoonish leader. If we are going to spend money on anything related to schools preparing themselves, let’s create emergency exit doors in every first floor classroom allowing children and teachers to get out quickly. Train teachers in reasonable evasion techniques that will actually protect the students.And, perhaps most importantly of all, let’s stop listening to the NRA and begin having an adult conversation about this issue before another child dies at the hands of a gun toting monster.
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