Deflecting the Debate

Wayne LaPierre, Blaming Everything But Guns

Wayne LaPierre blames everything but guns, trying to change the subject. We shouldn't let him.

I didn't get to see LaPierre's press conference, but I just read the transcript of his remarks. I wouldn't necessarily oppose having a well-trained armed guard in every school. But the idea that he thinks this can just stop there is preposterous, not to say revolting, actually.

First of all, an armed guard in every school doesn't guarantee anything. Schools are big buildings; often they are campuses, not just buildings. What if the guard happens to be in the gym when a gun nut shoots his way into the shop? In fact, exactly this happened at Columbine High, which had an armed guard. He was out monitoring the Smoker's Corner, which every high school has, while the shooters did their work inside.

Second of all, this is one heck of a lot of money he's talking about. And, assuming one for each of roughly 100,000 public schools in the country, quite a few more members of the public employee unions (don't think Scott Walker and Rick Snyder didn't notice this angle!). LaPierre makes a blithe and idiotic reference to getting the money out of the foreign aid budget, but the foreign aid budget is tiny and badly strained as it is.

Listen, Wayne: howzabout a special tax to pay for this? Go read all his self-regarding moralistic language in the remarks about “our children”: "“If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained—armed—good guy.” Aren’t our children worth an extra tax dollar or two to prevent this from happening again?

But the main thing, of course: no acknowledgment that any efforts at all should be pitched toward trying to see to it that dangerous guns be less available to people like Adam Lanza. Indeed LaPierre blamed everything but guns: videogames, decade-old movies—you name it. He's quite obviously trying to kick-start a debate about these things, especially about the armed guard in every school idea, because every minute spent debating that is a minute not spent debating the weapons that mow humans down so quickly and efficiently. People on the other side should remain aware of this and not waste much time debating LaPierre's mostly irrelevant proposition.