So You Want More Guns In Schools, Do You?

Huffington Post today with an important, if unfortunate local history lesson that occurred to us as well during this morning’s announcement by the National Rifle Association:

In a highly anticipated press conference on Friday, the National Rifle Association announced that after a week of reflection following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it decided the way to prevent another such tragedy was to place more guns in schools.

“I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January,” said the NRA’s top lobbyist Wayne LaPierre in a speech at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C.

But having armed security on-site failed to prevent the deadliest mass murder at an American high school.

In 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 15 people and wounded 23 more at Columbine High School. The destruction occurred despite the fact that there was an armed security officer at the school and another one nearby — exactly what LaPierre argued on Friday was the answer to stopping “a bad guy with a gun.” [Pols emphasis]

In fact, as we recalled during today’s NRA press conference and Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel recounts, there was an armed police officer permanently assigned to Columbine High School in 1999. Jefferson County Deputy Neil Gardner exchanged fire with the gunmen at Columbine without stopping them, and was quickly backed up by, as everyone knows, dozens of officers who were also unable to prevent the killing of 13 people (and the killers’ own suicides).

This isn’t the first example of a wrongheaded response to tragedy that has a strong, if superficial, allure. Sure, there’s a chance that armed guards in schools could stop an act of violence. The practice of assigning police officers to schools, after all, is not new.

But as our community’s own experience shows, it’s not the solution either.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. rocco says:

    hearing this idiot call for more guns to be added to the equation.

    LaPierre is a tin foil hat, a nut with a forum.

    As with most conservatives his age, Lapierre dodged the Vietnam draft. His testacles dropped adout the time he was no longer eligible for selective service.

    Now he’s the voice of the most powerfull domestic terrorist group in the nation. While most firearms owners don’t belong to the nra, some how and some way, the screwball minority of gun owners that pay dues and subscribe to this clusterfuck is powerfull enough to have the pinko contingent in the House and Senate cow tow to them.

    I don’t know if it’s too late to have a grown up conversation about responsible gun ownership. but God help us if it’s not.

    One thing’s for sure. Lapierre’s idiotic take this morning shows the nra won’t be part of it.

  2. rocco says:

    This afternoon,a self styled “mental toughness coach” the allways on the fringe Steve Siebold told Michael Smerkonish he’d never allow his kid to go to a class taught by a teacher that feels uncomfortable going strapped in class.

    The thing is, while someone saying this to make a little money or curry favor with the unichs at the nra is something you can understand, nauseating as it is, it’s possible this waste of space actually believes what he’s spewing.

    Both bad options.    

  3. AristotleAristotle says:

    that one day, we can all look back on December 21, 2012, as the day that the NRA jumped the shark.

  4. Willard Smitten says:

    The CCW defense one with the black and brown skinned people hurting on the white guy is particularly troubling here on this fine blog.

    Gun ads Gun Ads Gun ads…righ here on Colorado Pols.

  5. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, would have been better advised to remain wherever he had been hiding after the Newtown, Conn., massacre, rather than appear at a news conference on Friday. No one seriously believed the N.R.A. when it said it would contribute something “meaningful” to the discussion about gun violence. The organization’s very existence is predicated on the nation being torn in half over guns. Still, we were stunned by Mr. LaPierre’s mendacious, delusional, almost deranged rant.

    Mr. LaPierre looked wild-eyed at times as he said the killing was the fault of the media, songwriters and singers and the people who listen to them, movie and TV scriptwriters and the people who watch their work, advocates of gun control, video game makers and video game players.

    The N.R.A., which devotes itself to destroying compromise on guns, is blameless. So are unscrupulous and unlicensed dealers who sell guns to criminals, and gun makers who bankroll Mr. LaPierre so he can help them peddle ever-more-lethal, ever-more-efficient products, and politicians who kill even modest controls over guns.

    His solution to the proliferation of guns, including semiautomatic rifles designed to kill people as quickly as possible, is to put more guns in more places. Mr. LaPierre would put a police officer in every school and compel teachers and principals to become armed guards…

    People like Mr. LaPierre want us to believe that civilians can be trained to use lethal force with cold precision in moments of fear and crisis. That requires a willful ignorance about the facts. Police officers know that firing a weapon is a huge risk; that’s why they avoid doing it. In August, New York City police officers opened fire on a gunman outside the Empire State Building. They killed him and wounded nine bystanders.

  6. and, one more from our too recent, local never again . . .

    . . . I don’t know what the definition of insanity is, but I’ve — unfortunately — learned to recognize insanity when I see it.

    . . . God damn the National Rifle (Sales) Association.

  7. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    Don’t fight them. Marginalize them.

    Keep in mind that all of this is deliberately designed to serve an overarching strategic goal – distraction. The NRA absolutely must keep the focus off of the problem of easy gun availability, and what can be done about it, for as long as possible.

    The media narrative the NRA hopes for out of this presser is twofold: NRA criticizes media for maligning gun owners; and NRA calls for armed security guards in schools. This is standard obfuscation from the NRA, which always tries to distract from the discussion about the need for reform by characterizing the push for it as driven by elite cultural disdain for gun culture and ordinary gun owners. And focusing only on schools is about diverting the conversation away from the broader epidemic of gun violence.

  8. Sir RobinSir Robin says:

    Treat gun violence as a disease…..a public health issue, and well established perspectives and tools become available and useful.

    Of personal interest, friends of mine in the 1950’s played with the young Dr. Stephen Hargarten growing up a couple blocks from Pandl’s. Pandl’s, in Whitefish Bay, WI, was my introduction to what a great restaurant experience should be.

    I think there are moments when things can have progress,” he says. “I think this may be one of those moments. I’m not naive to think it’s going to solve everything. But I think people are going to look back 100 years from now and go, they had what? You could carry any kind of a gun anywhere you wanted to? Really?”

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