An Ill-Conceived Reaction

Local Connecticut school and public officials were predictably less-than-pleased with Wayne LaPierre's unhinged press conference yesterday.

Teachers, school superintendents, mayors and police chiefs in Connecticut are rejecting the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) response to the shooting in Newtown, describing the gun lobby’s proposal to equip schools with armed guards and more guns as too simplistic, shameful, and opportunistic.

One Connecticut school superintendent dismissed the NRA’s suggestion as “an ill-conceived reaction from an organization that does not have any credibility or expertise with respect to addressing school violence” and said that the idea “is an excuse for not addressing the need to enact meaningful safe gun legislation in conjunction with an investment in mental health services.” Putnam Police Chief Rick Hayes called the proposal “scary,” noting that teachers can’t possibly have the kind of training necessary to safely handle large weapons.

"Ill-conceived" may be the best description, because the only thing LaPierre accomplished was demonstrating, unequivocally, how unhinged proponents of lax gun regulations are and he now serves as a poster child of the opposition to all thinking, rational people.

In other words -- if one of your goals in life is stricter regulations on guns, he made your job much easier yesterday.

LaPierre is to guns what Rush Limbaugh is to reproductive healthcare and Tony Perkins is to LGBT rights. Figures who turn the controversial into the indefensible.

  • trgahan

    Please tell me how such good conservatives like the NRA can suggest that the public need to shoulder the burden (addition police, etc) so a small minority can own military grade weaponry needed WHILE asking a minority (the 1%) to pay a little more tax (especially compared to the groups earnings) to support the public good is Evil SOCIALISM!!!

    What about my right not to bear arms?

  • GrafZeppelin127

    The whole “more guns” nonsense reminds me of one of the key symbols in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies: the stick sharpened at both ends.

    In the novel, the boys use it to impale the severed pig’s head on a pike stuck in the ground. They offer it as a “gift” to the “Beast,” an imaginary construct that provides the source of their fears, divisions, and descent into savagery. Then they carve another one and use it to hunt down the only remaining holdout of civilization, Ralph *(the explicit idea being to do the same with his head), destroying the island in the process, only to be abruptly “rescued” before they could move in for the kill.

    The stick sharpened at both ends symbolizes, inter alia, the futility of warlike aggression, and the inevitable self-annihilation of mankind. Its ends point away from each other, toward infinity, representing humanity torn apart. When one points such a weapon at his enemy, he is also pointing it at himself. There is no “safe” end, only dangerous ends. Like a candle burning at both ends, it can only annihilate itself.

    UPDATE: DK Diary exploring this in more detail: The NRA and Golding’s Stick

  • muselet

    A long, righteous rant about the slaughter in Newtown that’s worth a few minutes of your attention.

    The part that made me (figuratively) stand and cheer was this:

    Every fucking time there’s one of these shootings, we inevitably circle around to only talking about how to make life more miserable, regulated, and abusive for the victims. How there need to be armed security guards, locked and barred doors, mandatory metal detectors, armed teachers, 12-year-olds hiding in sniper nests… All the things that don’t actually make the kids safer, but do disproportionately get used to punish non-conformity.

    All because it is simply inconceivable that we could in any slight, minor, infinitesimal way inconvenience the people who ACTUALLY COMMIT THESE MURDERS.


  • kushiro -

    I might have missed it but I have not seen any explanation as to why anyone should listen to what the head of the NRA has to say about public safety. What experience or expertise does Wayne Lapierre have in matters of security, violence, or school administration? Are we going to ask Hugh Hefner about female reproductive health? Should we ask the CEO of GM to design highways and draft traffic laws?

    • Brutlyhonest

      No shit, right? The guy’s organization represents about 4 million of the over 300 million US Citizens. Some talking head should explain how that tiny minority came to control the narrative.

      • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

        That is a great point. The only one so far has been Lawrence O’Donnell.

        The NRA only repesents a few which shows how marginalized it’s supporters and republicans have become in our society. I think it also shows how influential Fox News is.


        • Sean Richardson

          Being fair, the NRA does not even represent its own membership in many things; the majority of NRA members support reinstituting the assault weapons ban, for instance.

    • ekonokoehn

      Correct! Would the right listen to the head of the Sierra Club for environmental policy?

    • orbitup

      Kind of like having Dianne Feinstein write gun laws?

  • D_C_Wilson

    Notice how LaPierre made no suggestions about how all these new armed guards would be paid for in these days of perpetual fiscal crisis.

    I’m sure the GOP will be all over that.

    • ekonokoehn

      Didn’t he say they would be volunteer? Even better!

      • D_C_Wilson

        3,000 volunteers willing to spend all day standing around a school building for no pay?

        Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.

  • muselet

    Kevin Drum this morning:

    LaPierre’s only goal yesterday was to hijack the media narrative. He wants us talking about Natural Born Killers. He wants us talking about Grand Theft Auto. He wants us talking about mental health services. Hell, he’s perfectly happy if we spend our time talking about how crazy his proposal is and how unhinged he is personally.


    If you want to have any chance at all of passing gun legislation, that’s what you should be talking about. Guns. End of story. The other stuff can wait.

    The title of Drum’s post: If You Want to Regulate Guns, Talk About Guns. Period.


  • Brutlyhonest

    For their nightly “news” broadcast last night, NBC had a lot of people lambasting the nra’s ideas, then dutifully found someone who purported to be a Newtown parent to say she thought the idea had merit. Both sides.