Wayne LaPierre of the NRA says that the answer to school shootings is an armed police officer in every school in America, and Congress should ensure that this happens when kids come back from winter break in January.
Because cops are bulletproof, apparently, and are never shot. And a shooter with an AR-15 in his hand, finger on the trigger, will be stopped by a cop with a .9 millimeter in a holster who doesn’t know the asshole is coming.
And schools are the only place that’s vulnerable. Tell that to the Sikhs in Oak Creek, the moviegoers in Aurora, the shoppers in Clackamas, the staff and patients at the hospital facility here in Pittsburgh, Gabrielle Giffords and her constituents outside a grocery story. The women at the LA Fitness in Bridgeville, PA. The people at Tennessee Valley UU Church. The lunch eaters at the McDonalds in San Diego. The soldiers at Fort Hood.
Because cops never open fire on unarmed civilians who they “think” have guns. Because shootouts between cops and criminals never kill bystanders. (Who in LaPierre’s construction, would be children.) Because cops are inherently trustworthy and their presence in a school wouldn’t escalate the potential for school violence to turn deadly. (Where there’s a gun, a gun can be used.)
LaPierre also blamed violence not on guns, but on television, movies and video games, specifically naming “Mortal Kombat” in which none of the characters have a gun.
And LaPierre specifically scapegoated people with mental illnesses, calling for a national database of people with mental illnesses. No national database of guns or gun owners, but of those of us with mental illnesses. Never mind that people struggling with depression who can’t get out of bed don’t kill people. Just ignore the fact that two soldiers with PTSD commit suicide every day, on average, but so far, none have shot up a crowd of innocent people. Forget that people with schizophrenia, widely thought dangerous, are actually exponentially more likely to be victims of crime rather than perpetrators. And easily, casually, thoughtlessly set aside the fact that the vast, vast majority of gun crimes are not committed by a person with a mental illness.
Where there’s a gun, there’s a gun that can be used. Increasing the number of guns in vulnerable places (which would be, we’ve seen, as 2012 has shown us, is everywhere) only increases the likelihood of someone being shot there, and that’s not an improvement. Not by any means.
This is the NRA’s “substantial offering” to solve gun violence. This is the same old rhetoric they’ve been pushing for the entirety of their existence. It is anti-science, anti-statistic, anti-factual nonsense.
It’s time to be serious — which starts with no longer letting an organization that represents 1.3% of Americans dictate public policy on this issue.