After a mentally ill gunman killed 20 children and seven adults, including himself, a remorseful public has been jerked alert once again to the need for some sensible gun reforms.
I had hoped NRA CEO
But, no, LaPierre hunkered down. His "meaningful contributions" sounded less concerned with promoting gun safety than promoting gun sales.
The firearms industry must have been delighted. The guns-and-ammunition industry has contributed between
LaPierre's big news: He called for armed guards and armed schoolteachers in all of our schools. My initial thought: As soon as some teacher's gun is stolen by a rambunctious student, that'll be the end of that idea.
But, no, arming guards or even teachers is not totally goofy idea. It's not very original, either. "Across the country, some 23,200 schools -- about one-third of all public schools -- had armed security staff in the 2009-10 school year, the most recent year for which data are available," The
But armed guards are not the panacea that many imagine they might be.
"There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people," said LaPierre. No, he was not taking about the gun industry. He was talking about the entertainment industry.
He lambasted violent in movies, video games, a coarsening of the culture and, ah, yes, that all-purpose scapegoat, the news media -- as if massacres were not worthy of public attention.
What about common-sense gun reforms? At least two recent polls, for example, show large numbers of gun owners and non-owners favor measures that help keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, suspected terrorists and people who have a criminal past. But the NRA headquarters opposes them.
Most gun owners who were not NRA members supported a national gun registry, a ban on magazines that hold more than ten rounds and a ban on semi-automatic weapons, according to a poll last year by
If only he had been limited to smaller magazines, one wonders, how many other lives might have been spared? But LaPierre and the NRA don't seem to be interested in "If only" scenarios that don't fit their arguments -- or promote more sales of guns and ammo.
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