NRA's Wayne LaPierre is all bluster, few ideas
The Kansas City Star
Seriously, I had expected better from the National Rifle Association.
I had thought its executives, the great and powerful, would get out in front of the rejuvenated gun controversy by calling for a modified ban on the most outlandish of weapons. Or perhaps they would join Congressional Republicans and take a sudden interest in helping the mentally ill.
But no. Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre’s only prescription to gun violence in American was armed security officers in every school.
There’s nothing wrong with the idea itself. Many urban schools do have security. My son attended one of them in Kansas City. He went through a metal detector daily and the security guards (who weren’t armed) were an additional resource for the students.
But putting weapons into the hands of “good guys” in school buildings won’t even reduce school shootings, much less the dozens of other attacks that take place around the country every day.
A security officer can only be in one place at one time. And that person is as vulnerable to attack by a shooter with military-style assault weapons as an unarmed principal. You would need an entire police unit to actually make schools secure, and there’s no money to pay for that, even if you think it’s a good idea.
LaPierre, who was interrupted twice by protestors, painted a grim picture of America.
“Our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters,” he said. “People that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons, that no sane person can possibly comprehend them….does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn’t planning his attack on a school?”
Apparently, the fact that these deranged, evil people can easily obtain a Bushmaster assault rifle and purchase enough high-capacity magazines to mow down an entire small town doesn’t bother the NRA executive. He said nothing about that.
LaPierre criticized the video and computer game industry that markets violence, calling it “the filthiest form of pornography.” I agree that many video games, and some movies as well, are out of hand. But there’s this thing called the 1st Amendment, and it’s just as sacred as the 2nd Amendment. Both can be misused, and require people of common sense and good will to stand up and protest the abuses.
This was a blustery, defiant news conference that probably was intended to shore up the NRA base. It certainly provided no substantive proposals for reducing gun violence in America.
At the end, Dave Keene, president of the NRA, comically informed reporters: “This is the beginning of a serious conversation. We won’t be taking questions today.”
That kind of summed it all up.