Noah Brand responds to Wayne LaPierre’s assertion that the answer to keeping our kids safe is a ‘Good Guy’ with a gun.
The NRA announced earlier this week that today’s press conference would unveil their bold new ideas to address public concern about guns in the wake of the Newtown massacre.
Instead, they didn’t do that at all.
Wayne LaPierre started out well, with this:
How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?
Well hey, that’s a question I’ve been raising myself. Lay it on us, Wayne, what’s a sensible solution that we know works?
As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe. It is now time for us to assume responsibility for their safety at school.
The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Um, no. That’s not… no. We’ve field-tested this one, Wayne. That’s actually one of the solutions we know doesn’t work. The two things that have stopped previous spree killers have primarily been suicide and law enforcement. (Or as you know it, Big Government.)
Now, to be fair, I’m skipping over a lot of LaPierre’s remarks. He does spend a couple pages talking about how the world is full of evil, inhuman monsters who don’t have human feelings any more because they played video games. I was eliding over that out of politeness; I mean, if I’d said something that stupid, I wouldn’t want people bringing it up publicly–would you?
Some might ask why I think LaPierre deserves such courtesy, but I strive for empathy even with the most obnoxious. Honestly, the man’s in an unenviable position. He can’t propose anything other than throwing more guns at the problem; he’d be fired in an instant if he did. He’s gone too far down that particular path to turn back, and so there he is, standing up in front of the whole world and proposing something that’s known to be unworkable and stupid. How can you not feel a little bad for him?
There was a time when the NRA could talk honestly about viable gun control ideas, but thanks in part to LaPierre, that time is long past. Now all they can do is stick to what doesn’t work and desperately try to create a decoy with video games because that sort of worked back in ’99. It’d be laughable if it weren’t so serious.
So, since the NRA isn’t going to be part of any serious grownup conversation on the subject, we’re going to have to figure out what works without them. Let’s get to it.