I note the US gun owners’ association, the NRA, has responded to the recent shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.
Their spokesman, Wayne LaPierre, variously blamed the shootings on lax enforcement of “gun-free” areas round schools, deranged individuals not being on a national data base, violent video games and the media. He decried the fact that school staff had to give up their lives to protect the children as they couldn’t defend themselves and went on to say, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
It is perfectly true that a child in the US (and elsewhere) will witness tens of thousands of acts of violence between TV/the cinema/video games before reaching the age of 18. But they don’t all end up committing massacres. Plus, moreover, don’t such depictions help to create the climate in which the NRA finds fertile ground for recruitment?
(It is curious that these same children are not supposed to witness that most human of acts, of love/procreation, through the means mentioned before that same tender age. I somehow suspect Mr LaPierre would be against them viewing that sort of thing, though.)
Again; isn’t it possible that, even if the staff members had carried guns, they would still have been shot by the attacking gunman? He had the initiative after all.
And the only thing? Surely a better way to stop a bad guy with a gun is never to let him acquire the gun in the first place.
I recognise that the genie of gun ownership in the US is not one that can be easily put back in the bottle, there are simply too many of the things about.
The NRA’s remedy to gun attacks on schools, however, is to station armed guards, trained volunteers Mr LaPierre said, ex-police, ex-military etc, in schools.
Are you sure, Mr LaPierre? Are ex-military personnel, those who have seen combat, seen their comrades mutilated, blown up or shot, really the best people to protect young innocents? Aren’t veterans famously subject to trauma and mental problems, to difficulties reintegrating with civilian life?
So, Mr Lapierre, I ask. Who is to guard these volunteers?
Because I guarantee, I guarantee, that should this guarding of schools by armed volunteers come to pass, some day down the line one of these volunteers will run amok in his/her school with his/her gun. (Even if said volunteer hadn’t been in the police or military.)
What will Mr LaPierre’s remedy be to that?