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Friday, December 21, 2012

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Posted by on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 8:59 AM

So said NRA spokestool Wayne LaPierre at a news conference this morning, where he called for an armed police officer in every school.


Comments (52) RSS

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It's just under the wire, but LaPierre manages to squeak to victory in the annual "Douche-nozzle of The Year" award...
Posted by COMTE on December 21, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
He's not a spokesperson, he's the fucking CEO. Jesus, is there a more dangerous man in America???
Posted by I Got Nuthin' on December 21, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 3
If you wait until the "bad guy with a gun" is at the school with the gun loaded, drawn, and firing before you try to stop him, you are already too late.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 21, 2012 at 9:06 AM · Report this
Fighty Almighty 4
Can't hep but wonder if LaPierre would be whistling this tune if one of his own children had been slain.
Posted by Fighty Almighty on December 21, 2012 at 9:09 AM · Report this
@3 right. it's like prevention is a foreign concept.
Posted by natalie on December 21, 2012 at 9:12 AM · Report this
onion 6
the good guy with a gun would have to have an assault weapon. not a simple little handgun.
Posted by onion on December 21, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
treacle 7
So wait, the group that champions freedom and the right to keep arms as a backstop against a tyrannical state actually wants cops in every school???
Yeah, no police state potential there. No way that could go wrong, or experience mission-creep. Nope.
Posted by treacle on December 21, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
sperifera 8
NRA: "The only way to fight obesity is to eat more cheeseburgers."
Posted by sperifera on December 21, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
NRA: Fight traffic jams by always using your own vehicle.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on December 21, 2012 at 9:18 AM · Report this
@5 because prevention doesn't help sell more guns. And that is the sole purpose of the NRA.

It really is pretty clever, the solution to preventing gun violence is selling more weapons to commit violence: fear + death = profit. Welcome to the beautiful US of A, where capitalism trumps all.
Posted by deign_to_say on December 21, 2012 at 9:18 AM · Report this
Doctor Memory 11
Well of course. The NRA is, in the end, a bunch of shills for America's firearms industry. The national dairy ranchers association thinks you should eat more cheese, and the NRA thinks the solution to any problem is for you (or better yet the government) to buy more guns.

The question is why anyone takes the NRA's naked self-interest any more seriously than the cattlemen's.
Posted by Doctor Memory on December 21, 2012 at 9:18 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 12
I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that the leader of the NRA would suggest we need more guns.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 21, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 13
turning the nation into a prison filled with prisons, in the name of freedom and safety.
Posted by Max Solomon on December 21, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this
originalcinner 14
I want @8 on a bumper sticker.
Posted by originalcinner on December 21, 2012 at 9:23 AM · Report this
I thought the whole point of of private gun ownership was so people didn't have to rely on the cops for protection.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 21, 2012 at 9:23 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 16
@15 He considered suggesting that we buy each kindergardener an assault weapon*, but thought that might not go over well.

* with bullet in the firing chamber and safety off of course, can't trust the little kids to remember to turn off the safety in an emergency.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on December 21, 2012 at 9:31 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 17
@15 He considered suggesting that we buy each kindergardener an assault weapon*, but thought that might not go over well.

* with bullet in the firing chamber and safety off of course, can't trust the little kids to remember to turn off the safety in an emergency.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on December 21, 2012 at 9:31 AM · Report this
Does the NRA want to pony up the money to pay for a cop in every school? If so, then I might be willing to give them a little credit for this proposal.

I might even warm to it if this was paid for by a tax on ammo.
Posted by midwaypete on December 21, 2012 at 9:31 AM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 19
@15: How's that working out for you?
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on December 21, 2012 at 9:32 AM · Report this
sloegin 20
Good thing the gunman at the latest bi-weekly massacre didn't have body-armor to counter an armed guard. Oh wait.
Posted by sloegin on December 21, 2012 at 9:32 AM · Report this
And of course, all the shooter needs to do is take out the cop, and then he's free to shoot as many kids as he can until other cops arrive.

And then I suppose the NRA will propose that we station 3 cops at every school.

What nonsense.
Posted by midwaypete on December 21, 2012 at 9:33 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 22
Total cost per officer is $116,500 on average. Six year old estimate; probably more now? There's 98,817 public schools in the US. Back of the envelope it's a new $11,000,000,000 government program. Or an increase in the size of the Department of Homeland Security by a nice round 20%.

No word on how to pay for it. Maybe just borrow the money?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on December 21, 2012 at 9:35 AM · Report this
NotSean 23
The only thing that arms a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Posted by NotSean on December 21, 2012 at 9:35 AM · Report this
seatackled 24
So this time he wants the jack-booted thugs around?
Posted by seatackled on December 21, 2012 at 9:39 AM · Report this
theophrastus 25
i understand that the NRA ( have no stake in rational discussion, yet i've often wondered what their response would be if they were simply asked: should non-military citizens be allowed to purchase bazookas? or shoulder fired missiles? mortars? and if not, what's the reasoning for placing a limit there? and then why would a limit toward even less military weapons be unthinkable?...etc. "sound in principle just haggling over price" if-you-will.

of course one imagines they might respond that tactical nuclear weapons ought to be allowed to each citizen. and that would forever seal the issue about our mental health system.
Posted by theophrastus on December 21, 2012 at 9:43 AM · Report this
Amnt 26
As a gun owner and defender of gun rights, the NRA says some pretty stupid stuff and this isn't a meaningful suggestion.
Posted by Amnt on December 21, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
Hasn't this actually been a done in poor, inner-city schools for decades now? Metal detectors and off-duty cops moonlighting as security are the norm. Suggesting this for affluent white kids is an outrage? But then nobody gives A FUCK when it's poor black or brown kids in the cross hairs.
Posted by Westside forever on December 21, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
You can mock him all you want but his suggestion would actually have had an impact on the Sandy Hook shooting.
Which is more than most of the suggestions presented here so far would do (except maybe better mental health care).

But that's the point.
For most people this isn't about finding a solution to the problem.
It's about grief porn.
You have to act outraged so that other people can agree that you are a Good Person who is outraged that this happened.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 21, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
@22 - It's right in the tradition of conservative "small government". Fewer teachers but more cops for our children. Spending half the budget on the military and its legacy doesn't register on their radar so another $11B is conveniently a drop in the bucket.
Posted by anon1256 on December 21, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 30
@27: if we're putting metal detectors & off-duty cops at inner city schools in an effort to prevent violence, then it seems as if someone does give a fuck, if only to that degree.

suggesting that armed guards become the norm @ every school in the nation is the outrage.
Posted by Max Solomon on December 21, 2012 at 10:06 AM · Report this
NotSean 31
@28 A police officer is no assurance that a semi-automated carnage would have been stopped.

Ergo, adding more police, or having any police, is useless..

I learned this kind of argument from the nutters. It's easy to use with just a little practice.
Posted by NotSean on December 21, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
sperifera 32
@28 - As usual, your moniker speaks volumes about you and your beliefs on this topic. Wayne LaPierre was, is, and will continue to be a hypocritical shitshow, and those that blindly follow and drink his KoolAid are, well, fairly unbalanced. What flavor is yours?
Posted by sperifera on December 21, 2012 at 10:14 AM · Report this
originalcinner 33
Where is this cop going to be stationed? At the school doors, where he's the first to get shot? In one classroom, protecting 1/20th of the pupils? In the breakroom, eating a doughnut when the gun nutter comes spraying bullets?
Posted by originalcinner on December 21, 2012 at 10:14 AM · Report this
@ 28. Perhaps it would have had an impact, or, more likely, there would have been 20 dead kids, 7 dead adults and 1 dead armed guard.

Forgetting about the $11 billion/year price tag of this, what do we do about all the other public places (malls, movie theaters, coffee shops) where mass shootings have happened in just the past year? Should we have armed guards at all of them? And if killers can still legally get their hands on assault rifles with 100-round drum magazines, how heavily will we have to arm those guards to ensure that they can actually make a difference in the real world? Are shootouts between heavily-armed would-be killers and equally-heavily-armed would-be saviors really the best answer the NRA could come up with?

How about we do what we can to limit the effectiveness of those who decide to murder? Isn't that a better place to start than turning the world into the OK Corral with assault-rifles?

Posted by Marooner on December 21, 2012 at 10:19 AM · Report this
just require all gun owners to provide volunteer militia service and duties patrolling unsafe corners, schools, etc. part of the well regulated militia. clearly constitutional. many militia laws, already are on the books. instead of gun control call it well regulated militia advocacy, and of course, we regulate the types of weapons the well regulated militia can carry and keep, duh!
Posted by well regulate it on December 21, 2012 at 10:26 AM · Report this
"A police officer is no assurance that a semi-automated carnage would have been stopped."

Possibly not stopped, but reduced.
Because the response time would have been faster.

"Ergo, adding more police, or having any police, is useless.."

Yeah, that does not make sense because he was stopped when the police arrived.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 21, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
seandr 37
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Um, no, often the bad guy stops himself with a gun at the end of the slaughter.
Posted by seandr on December 21, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Cascadian 38
#36, he was stopped when large numbers of police arrived. Effective tactics require several officers on-scene before responding. A single officer approaching an armed gunman is likely to be shot. So for this to be even minimally effective, you need to station many cops on scene.

This suggestion is a recipe for a police state in schools. Yet the NRA and its supporters claim to support freedom. Freedom from what? Responsibility? Freedom to do what? Kill people with impunity? Use a dangerous tool without any effective regulations? The whole "freedom" rationale is a lie. Guns reduce our freedom.
Posted by Cascadian on December 21, 2012 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Good job of beating that straw man.
Keep it up.
"Guns reduce our freedom."
There are a bunch of people who signed the Declaration of Independence that seem to disagree with you.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 21, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
WFM 40
What's the deal that on my mobile slog feed the adverts in the margin are for handgun training by
Posted by WFM on December 21, 2012 at 11:57 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 41
Frankly I think the idea of children being armed is far more appealing. Bullies would get the message and some hot lead all on the same day. Sounds reasonable and sane to me. Why bother with one adult with a side arm. It won't do a thing if the guard is taken out first. Make all schools like The Lord of the Flies.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM · Report this
Cascadian 42
The founders did not agree on the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. Many opposed it. Those who supported it often supported gun regulations in their own states, indicating that the abolutist position of the corporate gun rights lobby is bullshit.

If the answer to gun violence is the militarization and securitization of our society, then yes, guns reduce freedom.
Posted by Cascadian on December 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM · Report this
To add to @42. For the first 200 years of the US, gun ownership was quite limited. It wasn't acknowledged as a universal until much later. Heck, even the 'wild west' most towns were gun free. Fairly, I'd highly recommend reading more into the history of guns in the US. I think you'd be quite surprised.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM · Report this
"The founders did not agree on the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. Many opposed it."

Okay, who?
Do you have a link to their arguments?
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 21, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
@44 Wikipedia scratches the surface a little. Mostly the debate came down to how to deal with interstate conflict considering each state had its own army. I really enjoy Spitzer's The Politics of Gun Control. I think you'd find it enlightening. He details how the federal government first regulated militias to the modern debate we're having now.
Posted by CbytheSea on December 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM · Report this
merry 46
Goddammit, there I was, shouting at the TV this morning, just like before the election.... dammit...

Mad props to the two protestors who showed up and spoke truth.

And, y'know, if ol Stinky LaPierre had even opened with something approaching conciliatory in regards to the fact that the majority of Americans now support an outright ban on assault rifles, that would have been one thing. He could have then gone on to deliver his 'solution' of making sure that every school bristles with guns, and he would have come off as at least acknowledging the new reality in the nation, without totally surrendering his (apparently treasured) nutjob card.

But, nooooooo... It's all about the eeeeevil, and only more guns will protect us from... guns.

Yep. Yep yep.
Posted by merry on December 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 47
We need a counter-organization to offset the political influence that the NRA has. A type of group that will score politicians based on their record on gun control. Provide robust campaign support to those who actively legislate for sensible controls, and publicly lambaste those who do not. We The People need to give the politicians cover ("hey, you know, I signed that pledge to Anti-NRA, and I can't go back on my word, dontchaknow") to do the right thing.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on December 21, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
A lot of bitchin about the NRA and no solutions by many of you! Find all the one-offs and straw man arguments like he has body armor so this is a bad idea or all he has to do is kill the good guy with a gun so this is a bad idea, or we should just prevent it before he starts shooting. So sit in your state of anti-NRA delusion and let the bad guys continue to get guns. Morons on this board for sure.
Posted by u-should-wake-up on December 22, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
@48, speaking of delusional morons, Wayne LaPierre shows a horrendously awful lack of imagination or creativity if he thinks the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. I can think of many. A few are:
1 - crowbars
2 - tripwire
3 - metal garbage cans
4 - sharp glass
5 - cyanide gas
8 - knives
9 - garbage bags
10 - a good WOMAN with a gun
.... the list goes on.
A great many, MANY things can stop a bad guy with a gun. No matter whether held by a bad guy or gal or a good guy or gal, I don't want a gun in my daughter's school. Only a delusional moron thinks more guns is a good solution.
Posted by soundeziner on December 22, 2012 at 8:07 PM · Report this
Claypatch 50
@42 : You had better do a very careful reading of US History before you get yer panties into that bunch about the 2nd Amendment. You just might find out that the Amendment was needed at the time to protect a civilian populace (colonialists) from the predations of a unwanted military occupation (the Brits). Factor in the extremely vast frontier right out their Western backdoors and the great travel distances between farms, town, cities, and the 2nd Amendment is a brilliant piece of legislation....for that time. For the time we live in, its really not terribly useful anymore, and please dont trot out that argument that we need it to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government, as if a lightly armed populace (handguns, rifles) are going to be any kind of match for the US military.

Its not like the Constitution is written in stone either. Its been changed and amended several times over our history and can be done so again. Whether or not it should be, in this situation, I am not sure. But your posture of parroting the NRA's "2nd Amendment or Death" posture closes off any kind of rational argument.

I do want to agree with you, somewhat, on cops in schools. In this situation, it *may* have helped, maybe an armed cop would've cut down the losses by a third, a half, maybe even deterred the gunman so he turns around and goes and shoots up the local McDonalds, which would be a repeat of another mass gun slaughter. So, sorry, no, posting cops in all schools is not the answer.
Posted by Claypatch on December 24, 2012 at 9:49 AM · Report this
This is (poorly) written from the context of a local boring, suburban, professional, often left/libertarian-leaning middle aged dad who happens to have been safely around guns and gun culture from a very early age.

@3: I'm not sure I understand this, unless you're saying it just for effect? Having a trained, armed person (like maybe that hardcore principal who tried to stop the shooter with her bare hands?) there to counteract some guy bent on shooting the place up at least helps the odds. It certainly doesn't guarantee a good outcome (nothing does) but I'd much prefer it to my kids sitting there cowering and waiting...

@5: I think everyone is all for prevention, but a) you can't prevent crazy all the time and b) there are something like a quarter billion guns in this country that we know about. There's no magic wand you can wave that deals with a) and/or b) instantly, but you can take steps to improve the survival odds of unprotected people starting literally right now. If you want to work on a) and b) I'm all for it, but are you suggesting we and our kids should just sit around unprotected in the meantime?

@6: With all due respect, this just isn't true. You are vastly overestimating the power of what you're calling an "assault rifle," (I'm making the leap here that you're thinking of a .223 AR-15 semi-auto) and vastly underestimating the power of a well utilized semi-auto handgun. A couple of well placed shots with hollowpoints (a technique that responsible, defense-minded people practice, vs spraying shots wildly like crazed killers) could have worked wonders here. Again, no guarantees, but the odds would have been better.

@22: Setting aside the details of how to implement better local school security, if my napkin math is right federal outlays last year were ~$3,800 billion, so $11 billion would be something like three tenths of one percent. Not nothing, but manageable if we were serious. Some suggestions on where to find the money - we could stop: the Afghanistan war, massively expensive fighter jets built to fight an enemy who no longer exists, hassling pot smokers nationwide, hassling people who come to the US to work their asses off, massive payouts to giant corporations to subsidize shit that makes us fat and unhealthy, etc etc..

@33: I think the point is that, if you're serious, you'd do an assessment at each location and structure accordingly - you do not need to have TSA-style metal detectors (which don't work anyway) and a prison-style atmosphere to, again, *improve the odds* of avoiding nutjobs like this. I have background more in digital security and am no expert in physical security, but at my daughter's elementary school I would think that a combination of discreet cameras at the entrances, swipe-card locked entry, and a shift officer from the local PD or professional security who pays attention to the above and can respond immediately to problems would suffice (plus, and I am not making this up, the kids swarm the PD guys when they do career day - no joke). I would also note that probably 80% of the parents of the kids in this school who go to work each day use essentially this exact system at their place of employment.

@34: This gets into very sensitive and probably dangerous ground for the sake of this discussion, but this is where normal citizens with concealed weapons, and criminals with a high degree of ambiguity as to where it's safe to operate come into play. "Gun free zones" really do seem to me like an advertisement for a nutjob looking to be famous like this - they just do. Getting rid of them seems like it's the same reasoning that goes into people leaving ADT signs on their lawns even if there's no alarm running - you're introducing ambiguity into the mind of someone looking to do harm. Even if you don't want guns in the schools - tell the insane that you reserve the right to have armed individuals onsite at any time.

Which brings up another sticky point - I guarantee you, reader, that you come into contact with many, many more conscientious armed people in the course of a week than you'd ever realize - it's just the way it is. I know a lot of other boring douchebags like myself who take the security of our families and neighbors extremely seriously and are willing to put in the time, money and training to make sure that we (broken record) improve the odds of avoiding bad people with bad intentions. THE LAST THING WE WANT TO DO IS SHOOT ANYBODY, EVER. If someone ever gets into my house when my family is here, the steps are: get everyone to the hiding place, dial 911, get the gun out of the safe, and wait for the cavalry. Bad Guy, take any material crap you want, I can replace it. However, if you even remotely threaten the wellbeing of my family by coming near the hiding spot, I'm going to do my utmost to make sure you're fucked. I can't do that with pepper spray, a baseball bat or "mental health treatment." And if the son of a bitch has an AR-15, I'm not liking my odds if I have a single shot duck gun.

And for better or worse, those assholes are going to have guns for the rest of all of our lifetimes. If you think you can confiscate 250,000,000 guns, look how successful drug prohibition has been. I'm just not going to stop protecting my family as a goodwill gesture, and there are tens of millions of people like me. Criminals exist, they can get guns and threaten us - we didn't make up the situation, but that's the way it is.

This is too long so I'll finish up - I'll try not to sound condescending here, but all of you advocating for better gun control policy owe it to yourselves to be better educated about how guns work. I get it - people want to do something, but if possible you should try to emphasize the stuff that actually might matter. An "assault weapons ban" will do almost precisely nothing - they are just rifles, they look scary to you but they are no different functionally than what you think of as a hunting rifle, and in most cases are significantly less powerful - honestly. Googling "rifle ballistics" and 10 minutes of reading will clear this up.

High capacity magazines - again, it may feel good, but the practical effect is zero. For one thing - there are tens of million in circulation - criminals will have access to them, or they will make them. For another thing - do you have any sense of how much time it takes to fire 30 rounds from one 30 rd. mag vs 30 rounds from three 10 rd. ones? I'd say maybe 20 seconds, total, for someone who practiced a couple dozen times. It's meaningless, except that it antagonizes people like me and makes us much less likely to support your cause because it is so perfectly mindless and easy to rally around and would have absolutely no safety effect whatsoever.

I hope this contributes something, and I wish there were some real way to counter the stereotypes here about how anyone who takes guns seriously is a mindless, toothless redneck one-note asshole. For any of you Stranger writers - I would make a serious offer to teach you some of the above about how guns actually work (including a trip to the shooting range on me) so that you can speak from a position of knowledge when you talk about "doing something," even if I disagree with what you ultimately advocate. Let me know...
Posted by Boring Dad on December 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM · Report this
Claypatch 52
@51: Good read, well written. You make good points worth considering. It would be interesting to see a Stranger staffer take you up on your offer.
Posted by Claypatch on December 25, 2012 at 12:22 AM · Report this

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