National Rifle Association Calls for Dramatic Expansion of the U.S. Police State

The National Rifle Association has finally broken its silence and issued a formal comment on the Newtown massacre. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” declared president Wayne LaPierre this morning, urging Congress to “act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation.”

Wayne LaPierre (via Hollywood Reporter)

LaPierre’s “press conference,” at which the press were not permitted to ask questions, was revealing. He could have humbly expressed sympathy for the families and a willingness to work toward reducing violence in schools. Instead, LaPierre made a grand proposal for an unprecedented expansion of the police state. This is very troubling.

The organized gun-rights lobby often portrays Americans’ right to gun ownership as God-given and vital to preserving “Liberty.” But LaPierre’s proposal seems to belie any good faith concern about “Liberty.” Indeed, gun-wielding agents of the state stationed outside every first grade classroom is inimical, one would think, to the preservation of “Liberty.”

I’ve just seen on Twitter that a Hoboken, New Jersey councilman is calling for two armed police officers in every school (public and private). The post-tragedy hysterics are officially underway, which will almost certainly lead to awful policy. Elementary schools should not be transformed into locked-down fortresses.

About michaeltracey

Journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. Follow me on Twitter at @mtracey.

  • LesterBallard

    I am not disappointed.

  • Dan Marshall

    “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” is disproved immediately by the fact that Lanza took his own life. So the bad guy with a gun was stopped by… the bad guy with a gun. Of course, we can’t expect simpletons to grasp nuance or complex situations.

  • Janice in Toronto

    Jesus H. Fuck. This is the best the NRA could do?
    You ‘merkins are just -so- screwed. Sadly, it seems that there’s nothing to be done about your gun culture. The cat’s outta the bag. I’m so glad I live in Canada.

  • Cecelia Baines

    Between Boner, errr…Boehner, and his major failure yesterday and LaPierre’s mental breakdown on live TV I am reveling in Schadenfreud right now….Well, I would if it weren’t for the fact that it took thousands of needless deaths and a straw in the form of 20 children to be assassinated to get the nuts to finally show their true colors.

    What is amusing is that it was clear LaPierre had a concealed gun under his jacket. He also claims that by being armed it will protect against these heinous crimes, yet, the conference had security guards and metal detectors to get into the conference! So I guess that makes LaPierre a hypocrite. Just add that to his list of crazy.

    And look up the statistics of arrest rates and juvenile sentences to privatized juvenile prisons from “cops in schools”. The stats are appalling. Police in the schools run rampant and arrest CHILDREN for childish things. Then the kids get placed via corrupt Judges into these privatized juvenile prisons and the cycle of crime continues.

    No, armed police or soldiers in our schools is not the answer.

    And the bigger question comes, how did we arrive at a point where we even think of placing more guns in a SCHOOL is normal or oily-dokily?

    The United States is a crumbled and ruined country. It is a laughing stock.

    There is very VERY little to be proud about regarding America and Americans.

  • Matt Dillahunty

    “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” …

    Shouldn’t we also be asking – What stops a bad guy WITHOUT a gun from getting their hands on a gun?

    Nice of the NRA to frame this to avoid that question.

  • Digital Liberty

    I’m in favor of gun rights. Not so excited about some kind of “TSA and Homeland Security” for the schools.

  • Jeff Akston

    Yes, the NRA responds to anti-gun hysteria with pro-gun hysteria. Insanity.

    When I am king, I will pass a rule that says that no new laws can be even discussed for 90 days after a national event.

    Both sides of the situation become completely irrational and reactionary. It’s a totally dangerous “something happened, so we must pass a law – any law – so we can tell people we did something about it!”

    All of these laws pushed through and passed because of some tragedy are mistakes (e.g. Patriot Act)

  • Cecelia Baines

    Janice, I went to graduate school in Canada. I also was able to work and live outside Vancouver for a period of time, as well as Montreal. I am actively trying to find work in my field in Canada because, frankly, I am so disgusted and sad at the “state” of America. It is a cruel joke now.

    I have a good lead (interview scheduled) for a great position in Yellowknife (I am a pilot – this would be flying helicopters) as well as a good position near Trois Riviere in Quebec (oui, j’parle Francais!). I truly hope to get one or the other because frankly, this is the last straw.

  • Douglas Stewart

    Lanza taking his own life probably saved the lives of at least a few cops that he would have easily killed because he so overwhelmingly out armed them. Having a semi-retired out-of-shape security guard with a gun that was primarily only working to subsidizing his retirement until his social security kicked in, (unless of course we’re talking about hiring crack Navy Seal commando ninjas at every school), would have put up little more resistance than the kindergarteners. Hey, maybe Lanza would have killed the security guard and had even another gun to take out more children?

  • Joshua Barrett

    yeah your right… we should have waited till after slavery ended to start talking about ending it.

  • Doug B.

    Know what is better than armed guards in schools? – barbed wire and guard towers

  • marquis de sadek

    Why don’t we have the head of Al Qaida give his views on the subject next? They are equivalents in my book…

  • Don Gwinn

    The presser was a sad failure. You’ll get no argument from me. However, armed security is not a terrible idea, and many teachers and other school employees are already trained, background-checked, and permitted to carry defensive arms everywhere else they go. All it would take would be to allow them to carry their own arms and use their own training, as is already done in Utah (statewide) and in some school districts in Texas and other states.

  • m6wg4bxw

    And when there’s a killing spree at a hospital, we put cops at all malls. And when there’s a killing spree at a library, we put cops at all libraries. And when there’s a killing spree at an auto repair shop, we put cops at all auto repair shops… And so on. How could anyone object?

  • Richard Wade

    The “good guy with a gun” routine shows that LaPierre and his ilk are stuck in their adolescent male fantasies where they imagine themselves to be the hero in an action movie. You know, where the bad guys stand still shooting machine guns at close range and yet always, always miss, while the hero dives through the air shooting a hand gun and never, ever misses.

    Yo Wayne! How many Detective-John-McClane-James-Bond-Dirty-Harry-Rambos are there in the world to guard our nation’s little school kids?
    (Hint: Zero.)

  • Mokehillannie

    Well, they have armed guards at Kinniston, N. Carolina Walmart, why not at schools? Aren’t our children more important that Walmart goods??

  • John Sargeant

    Reading the whole statement it sounds like a rant rather than a way forward.

  • Blasphemous_Kansan

    As a child in 90′s America, I remember the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, which, if I recall correctly was federally funded, and it’s method of education was that local police officers would come into the classroom and lecture about drug dangers. The complete failure of the program aside, every class in the school participated in D.A.R.E., all on different schedules, and the result was at least 1 armed local police officer present in the building at any given time. I was only about 9 years old, but it’s left an impression on me as the first political issue that I took an interest in. People who identified as ‘democrats’ favored big government, and didn’t really seem to have much of an issue (at least locally in pre-internet america) with the cops in my school, ’cause we were learning that “drugs are bad, mmkay?”. But the people who I learned favored small government called themselves ‘Republicans’, and they THREW A GODDAMN FIT because this program was obviously a shell through which federal money would be funneled, and through gradual acceptance of the program, we would come to be at peace with an armed police presence in our schools at all times. And it seemed obvious to everyone with a small government bone in their body that the constant presence of an armed police force in the building might just be bad thing.

    Fast forward to today….. and this: “We need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work — and by that I mean armed security,” and I’m not even sure which direction is up anymore, but if Mr. LaPierre told me that rain was wet and that the sky was blue, I’d still go outside to check for myself.

  • Gadfly

    Won’t happen – see, that would mean they’d have to spend more money hiring and training cops.

  • Kenneth Adair

    What’s all this good guy/bad guy nonsense? Are we 8 year-olds? It’s rather simplistic to think there’s some sort of magical line dividing the “good” and the “bad.” One thing, though, if you have firearms in your home, you’re 20 times more likely to shoot yourself or a loved ones than you’ll EVER be able to use them to defend your self or property. Get rid of your firearms if you really love your family more than your guns.

  • Rich Wilson

    As I’ve said elsewhere, we must accept two basic facts:

    1) we cannot protect our children from all risks. No matter what we do, kids will still get shot in schools and die in car crashes. And maybe even kids will get shot by their own security guards.

    2) any attempt to reduce risk is a cost benefit analysis. What are the costs (not just financial) of putting armed guard(s) in every school?

    And what alternatives do we have that might prevent more deaths with a lower cost. More counselors? More teachers? Better lunches? More sports opportunities?

  • ortcutt

    We can think that this is a bad idea without resorting to the lazy, paranoid rhetoric of the “U.S. Police State”. It’s that kind of Alex-Jonesish anti-government paranoia that is fueling the problem in the first place.

  • Travis Dykes

    I went to a middle school and a high school that had police officers on the campuses and I fail to see any problem with it. It does cost money which can be problematic for rural schools, but it’s not something I wouldn’t mind paying higher taxes to fund (I would also like to pay higher taxes for more and better paid teachers). So I’m not seeing why everyone is getting all up in arms about the idea of putting police in our schools other than that the NRA said it. The only other reason I’ve seen mentioned was here with Cecelia Baines’s comment about higher arrest rates in schools with police officers. However the only studies I have seen do not differentiate between schools in bad neighborhoods and schools in good neighborhoods, and currently most schools with police officers stationed in them are in bad neighborhoods with high crime rates. So I wolnt say that shes right about the problem being the police being there, but she might not be wrong either since there are some cops who are dicks out there.

    Really though y’all, there was enough other crazy in the NRA’s statement to get on without having to go after the one thing they said that makes sense.

  • Rich Wilson

    Obviously if it works in airports and schools, then we should expand the program. Maybe if we hand enough armed guards on the streets we’d have no more road rage. We’d sure reduce the unemployment rate.

  • S. James Schaffer

    That’s a nice straw man you’ve got there.

  • Zach Eustice


  • Paul Broni

    Is there anyone here who can deny that an armed officer at the school could have significantly reduced the number of innocents killed in Newtown? That’s assuming the attack would have happened at all, which my guess is that it would not.

  • S. James Schaffer

    Goddamn you people sure love your strawmen.

  • S. James Schaffer

    How do you know he didn’t just come to his senses and decide he was unable to live with what he did? After getting the shooter in the Arizona incident on the proper medication and counciling, he’s expressed extreme remorse for his actions.

  • Jon Peterson

    What Mr. Schaffer said. Also, since when is slavery considered to have been an “event.”

  • Les Lane

    I find the NRA proposal reasonable provided that gun owners pay for the police officers. This is only fair since gun owners impose the burden on the school system. A tax of about $100/yr per gun should cover the NRA’s proposal. I’d be happy to see the NRA administer the program.

  • Janice in Toronto

    ‘defensive arms’. You mean guns?

  • Daniel

    I’d also like to add that the middle school I worked at last year had an armed cop on campus at all times. Until, of course, a lawsuit proved that the police were tougher on racial minorities (Native Americans in this case), and the cops were taken out and the winning lawsuit money was used to create an Native American liaison position on campus.

    As someone who has taught in some very high crime school districts (downtown Stockton, CA for one), I think that if I were so nervous about my students that I needed to bring one of my guns to school (yes, I am also a veteran, hunter, and gun owner), I simply wouldn’t be a teacher. If I’m thinking of my students as threats, I’m simply not going to be able to do a sufficient job of actually teaching them.

  • John (not McCain)

    There was an armed officer at Columbine. He shot at one of the killers and missed. That armed officer didn’t save a single life.

  • Ansilatoms

    You can feel as justified as you want, but the hysterics, while very real, are taking place on both of the strongest sides of this issue. Every reaction is knee-jerk, very reactive, very emotional, falls to side that the parties commenting already lean towards, and fail to acknowledge that there is no such thing as a simple solution. 311,591,917 people in this Country (all with their own temperament and opinions)…diverse ecologic environs, industries, cultures, geography, population density, and risk factors. There is no one set of needs to be met. There is no one set of concerns. There is NO one size-fits-all, simple, solution or plan. Nothing will ensure anyone’s safety. Aside from any of this, we have to just wrap our heads around the fact..things happen.

  • Dan Marshall

    Maybe I should have been more clear… I don’t think that it’s quite as simple as a good guy/bad guy dichotomy. The first part of my comment was meant sarcastically, which is why I followed it up with a statement about it being a nuanced/complex situation. I agree that the shooter was likely in need of some professional help, and most likely would not have done what he had done if our mental health support system wasn’t so desperately broken.

  • Brett

    Securing our schools is part of the answer. I don’t find the remarks crazy at all. We protect many places with uniformed officers, why not have a Sheriff Deputy making sure people who show up on campus are not meaning harm. What is wrong with a person that is trained to identify trouble and do something about it? Is it really so crazy to protect the most valuable thing in this country with armed officers? Along with limitations on gun capabilities for private ownership, mental health issues, this is part of the solution as far as I am concerned. All options should be on the table for discussion even if you don’t agree. To do anything else, like call someone elses idea stupid, is to only use your personal emotions to debate this problem. That is not helpful, we need to talk about ALL of the options regardless of whether you agree with them or not. That is how you fix a problem.

  • JC Christiansen

    please clarify: I heard him state “armed security” not armed police. did I hear two different parts of this speech or is one side or the other intentionally misrepresenting what was said for political advantage?

  • Bill Haines

    Better passive security measures in schools? Good. More focus on schools by police? Sure. Armed security officers in schools? Um, no, I don’t think so.

    Mandatory licensing for firearm ownership, with criminal background check, psychological evaluation, safety and skill testing, periodic renewal? That’s more like it. Mandatory registration with waiting period for any sale of any gun, with limits on type and number that can be sold and owned? Better. Mandatory insurance coverage for every weapon, with certification by a trained professional that the owner has secure storage in home and vehicle? Even better. Stiff mandatory fine and years-long loss of right to own a firearm, for anyone violating any of these mandates? Yeah, I think so, that would bring us pretty much in line with saner countries.

    Chance of federal law imposing these mandates on all jurisdictions within the US, with any local laws having to be more strict, not less? As far as I can see, sadly, zero.

  • Gus Snarp

    If we apply that to mass shootings, it would insure that we never discuss it.

  • Gus Snarp

    You left out the bit where he blamed video games and movies.

    Dear Wayne LaPierre: STFU!

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Subhead: “Conservatives call for bigger government”

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Hey, maybe Lanza would have killed the security guard and had even another gun to take out more children?

    You mean, like how he got the first set of guns by killing his mother?

  • John Forest

    The statements made at this so-called press conference is one result of facile thinking that holds sway in the NRA and much of the Republican Party. It is a desperate attempt to lens every issue through a pro-gun stance. There was nothing in this statement that would add to critical thinking, logic, or thoughtful public policy. At best it was a crude cynical advertisement for the NRA. I predict it will come back to haunt them.

  • Joseph Rich

    I’m sorry, but I didn’t start talking about banning semiautomatic rifles an hour after Newtown, I started 90 days after Columbine.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Is there anyone here who can deny that an armed officer at the school could have been victim #2? And why should we care what Paul Broni guesses?

  • Joseph Rich

    For those who think we who want to ban semiautomatic weapons being reactionary, I didn’t start wanting to ban semiautomatic weapons an hour after Newtown, I started 90 days after Columbine. So why do I have to let the gun lobby dictate when I can talk about gun control. I have the freedom to speak whenever I want.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Don’t forget the moat.

  • Cichawoda

    The NRA bottom line has been and still is — oppose anything that would possibly cut into gun sales and do everything possible to boost gun sales. Nothing else matters and evrything else is just a distraction,,,

  • Bad_homonym

    Had an argument with a family member about this last night. ‘Guns need to be locked away and out of sight!’ I’m sure the laws already demand those things. They also demand we don’t kill! Laws aren’t the answer. They are broken all the time. I hope in due time there will be some rational discourse. Here in Canada we had our own tragedy years ago that led to our government throwing billions of dollars away in a gun registry that did nothing to improve public safety! I hope cooler heads prevail

    BTW Matt. Love your show !

  • Daniel

    Kind of hilariously, there is some evidence that the D.A.R.E. program increased drug use among participants. Upped awareness that drugs existed and the warnings about peer pressure gave students the idea that most of their friends were doing drugs.

  • S. James Schaffer

    The problem with the NRA is that it has become Wayne LaPierre’s personal fiefdom and soapbox. So any discussion by individuals who support gun rights in any way shape or form that disagrees with his views is likely to be drowned out. I’m not certain of the proper path, but I do know that we won’t find it in such an emotionally charged environment.

  • coyotenose

    Which they don’t actually want, because then their “Government doesn’t help and minorities crime is everywhere” ideology is weakened.

  • Don Gwinn

    Yes, most people prefer guns, for obvious reasons. I just use a broader term to include things like pepper spray, batons, etc. If you substitute “guns” there, that’s fine.
    (Although…there *are* states where a “pistol permit” authorizes a handgun only, and a baton, TASER, etc. will get you into the same kind of trouble an illegally-carried handgun would.)

  • Gus Snarp

    “Laws are not the answer because people break laws” is an awful argument. Laws don’t have to be obeyed by everyone to be effective, particularly when they can change the market for guns. Due to the number of guns already out on the street, this would take a lot of time, but outlawing weapons with magazines greater than six rounds, as well as those magazines, creating buyback and destroy programs, requiring training, testing, licensing, and registration for purchasing any firearms, and eliminating the private sale background check loophole, will eventually make it more difficult to obtain a gun that makes this kind of carnage easy. It won’t fix everything, it won’t prevent every crime, but it will make it harder, and if that’s all we can do, then that’s enough.

  • coyotenose

    A statement isn’t a straw man just because you don’t agree with it. That was hyperbole, or possibly a variation of a reductio ad hitlerum.

  • coyotenose

    What, really? Well, he thinks he’s an ’80s action star, so he might have a point…

  • Rich Wilson

    “hitlerum” Thanks for the hot chocolate in my sinuses there coyote.

  • coyotenose

    Without listening to the, ahem, “press conference”: private security guards would be paid with taxpayer dollars. Many, possibly a majority of them would be off-shift police working a second job to make ends meet. The only effective difference between the two is that “armed security” would be less accountable.

    Anyone want to place bets that LaPierre owns stake in a security company?

  • coyotenose

    That’s… I like that.

  • coyotenose

    $100 per gun is a bit high, though. Hmm, $30 billion a year… maybe the legislation could stipulate that excess monies go towards some fucking school budgets.

  • Glasofruix

    Is there anyone here who can deny that no free access to guns could have significantly reduced the number of idiots with guns?

  • coyotenose

    An armed officer ready for that sort of thing would burn out fast.

    At best, the shooter would have gone somewhere else. Maybe opened fire on the playground or a nearby daycare. Or just, you know, concealed the weapon until he was sure of the officer’s location and THEN opened fire with a weapon dozens of times more deadly than police standard issue.

  • coyotenose

    And the sharks. With lasers.

  • Cecelia Baines

    Well stated and very true!

    These gun freaks think “oh now is not the time” is always ONLY about the latest mass shooting (and think about the wording here…..the LATEST mass shooting…..once more, the LATEST mass shooting….they have become so commonplace that we now use LATEST to describe one of them.)

  • RobMcCune

    You can’t call the police, the military, the intelligence community, the prison system, or any official armed with a gun “big government”, no matter how broad or invasive their powers are. Big government is only pencil pushers with paperwork and college degrees, who tax away my awsomeness to help less awsome people.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Incredible. Also I recall that, under D.A.R.E. lessons, 1 shot of Whiskey = a couple lines of coke. This I do remember from my childhood, the grand equivocation of all contraband.. Aww, it’s my first false equivocation fallacy!

    I may be mistaken on the popular feelings regarding D.A.R.E. from democrats or republicans in the general sense. I was 9 after all and working with a limited sample size! But, yeah the true humor is that it seemed that there was a really grounded argument, grounded in principles of small government, to NOT allow government-backed armed officers in our schools. Now it’s kind of like opposite day, or something. Seemed like kind of a no-brainer at the time. Still does.

  • The Captain

    I have to admit I find the this post quite interesting yet mostly rubbish. On it’s face it seems like a great messaging coup to paint the NRA’s proposal as an “expansion of the US police state” but the argument though brings up a host of problems the author does not address.

    Now sure, the NRA’s membership is a diverse bunch with many law enforcement members, but it also has a large paranoid anti-gubment group that loathes all things gubmn’t and hates the police. So to paint the NRA as supporting such activities will undoubtedly cause turmoil within the organization and may help to weaken it. Yet pushing such a meme would be a serious blow to Americans that need more policing within their communities. But now I find I’m not sure if this is article is a messaging strategy, or just bat shit insane anti-gubment ramblings.

    See here’s where this article goes off the rails, let me ask this, how is this proposal an expansion the “police state”? Is it officers in schools, but we already have that. Police have been in many high schools for decades, so this isn’t a “new” or really that radical of an idea. It’s wrong, but not for the reasons in this article that’s for sure. Hell now that I think of it, there are cops in some elementary schools I have seen (or patrolled by very frequently) so is it really just a “police state” if it happens near middle-class white kids?

    Or better yet, give a definition of what this “police state” is? As far as I can tell, the NRA’s idea, while not appropriate in this case (for other more logical reasons) is what many communities have been begging for all over the country, more cops to prevent crime. This entire article implies that no new police should ever be hired or deployed to communities that are dealing with crime, since doing so by definition (of this author at least) is an “expansion of the police state”. So according to the logic of the author, cops to drive by my street to look for the kids cutting tires… nope that’s an “expansion of the police state”. More cops on patrol or on corners down the street where the shooting was two nights ago… no, of course not that’s a “preservation of “Liberty.”

    Some of us don’t have the spoiled luxury to live in soft middle-class enclaves where the idea of police protection is so foreign that it’s viewed ad an oppression only. Many Americans oppression will never come from a “gun-wielding agent of the state” but from the gun-wielding gang that lives 5 doors down, too bad they should not expect help from their government or police who should be their liberators, since people like the author thinks that by protecting them is taking away their “liberty”.

    Oh and most importantly…. what the fuck does this have to do with atheism?

  • Diane Horn

    I think you are overly pessimistic. We have problems, every sophisticated society has problems and we need to solve them. We are capable of doing this but the sane among us need to stand up and stand firm.

  • Diane Horn

    I like your rational. There is no quick fix. We’ve allowed the situation to go too far and now we’ll have a lot of hard effort to repair the problem but we must. So Yes, buy back, ban selling semi and fully automatic weapons to anyone except police and militia. We need to stand our ground or this will just go on and get worse. Those of us who have had enough of the carnage need to dig in our heels and be very very vocal!

  • Isilzha

    Oh, look, another idiot who wants to have a say in what someone else publishes on their blog.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    If you have to argue in the hypothetical, you already lose.
    Your guess is exactly that, and is just as useful as any other billions of guesses about what might have happened if and only if…….

  • The Captain

    Just asking…. or are you an idiot telling me that I’m not allowed to ask.

  • Isilzha

    You don’t think adding that many armed police and “security” (barely trained, armed and low wage employees who assume much more authority than they have) does NOT create more a police state? What about indoctrinating young children into accepting armed security on that scale? You don’t see an issue with that?

  • Isilzha

    How about teach basic statistic and risk in school so when people become adults they’ll have an inkling more understanding than the majority seem to have after events like this.

  • Isilzha

    Can you imagine how many more innocent people will die if every is carrying a gun and is trigger happy to “protect” themselves?

  • Diane Horn

    Hear hear! Exactly to the point! If his mother hadn’t had guns and hadn’t taught him to shoot would he have even conceived the idea of shooting up the school? We’ll never know for sure but it is a point worth considering. No guns available no massacre. Love your guns or love your family. Sounds like a good slogan to me!

  • novocastrian

    I hope that the US lawmakers have the guts to tell the crazies of the NRA where they can stick their guns and their gun lobby. LaPierre and his pro-gun cronies have the blood of those children on their hands. Without their political power I reckon the US would have had meaningful gun control long before now.

  • Russ Guthrie

    It seems odd to me that this article seems to be slamming the NRA and Wayne La Pierre, while the banner at the top right says to click to tell congress to support the 2nd amendment.

    I DO support the NRA and the 2nd amendment. Not so much Wayne’s somewhat reactionary approach, though.

    Guns (specifically the misuse of guns) and aberrant behavior (i.e. “mental health” issues) are merely symptoms of a disease no one seems to be talking about.

    The “disease” this country – and most, if not all others – has, is:


    We still live in a male dominated society, where men make and enforce most of the rules. If the individual family is the primary building block of a society, then the men in those families are the mortar that connects one family to another. Men are supposed to be the heads of their families. To teach their children morality and “proper” behavior not just with their words, but more importantly, with their actions.

    To teach their kids the rules of life, as it were. One of those rules being “life isn’t fair, deal with it”. But with intellect, not with violence. Or by assigning blame for their actions to others and assuming the role of the victim.

    What can we say about a father who abandons his kids? Or one who allows his son to spend thousands of hours a year playing “first person shooter” video games, while he sits his fat ass on the couch watching football and slugging down a 12-pack a night? And what can we say about the behaviors of those kids years down the line as a result of those piss-poor examples (to name just two)?

    That, my friends, is the disease. And guess what guys? YOU are part of the problem! We all are. And ladies, so are you, to a lesser extent.

    Guns, driving while texting, DUI, not wearing seatbelts, mental health, not flossing, cheating on your taxes, laws, laws and MORE laws, blah, blah, blah.

    Here’s a thought – turn off the tube and spend time with your kids! Don’t have any? Then set the example for the young fathers you have influence over and the children you come in contact with.

    Be a REAL American. Be a REAL MAN!

  • Clarissa

    I do think SROs (school resource officers) are a very good thing for schools– every high school should have one, minimum. But the answer lies in far more than just this.

  • RobMcCune

    How dare you question the existence of Saint Cowboy-Detective-John-McClane-James-Bond-Dirty-Harry-Rambo.

  • Jerry N. Wesner

    And all we’d have to do to pay for these Rent-a-Rambos would be lay off one or two teachers per school.

  • RobMcCune

    I wouldn’t be too sure, it’s politically easier than passing gun laws or providing social services to the mentally ill. It also has bipartisan appeal.

  • Diane Horn

    If you look closely at this particular case, it seems to me that just removing his access to guns would have gone a very long way. Problem is we’ll never know for sure. If it’s effective we’ll be trying to prove a negative. How many more massacres like this would have happened if assault weapons were accessible to every messed up kid?

  • The Vicar

    Y’know, I seem to recall that Columbine had two armed guards. If true, then it certainly didn’t help one little bit.

  • Tobias27

    which is more reasonable to hope to accomplish
    1. getting rid of all the “badpeople” on earth (although we might help them with better mental health care)
    2. limiting access to weapons of mass destruction – (30 round clips and 6 bullets fired per second)
    Or we could work on both simultaneously – naw that would be too hard

  • RobMcCune

    Putting police in schools to prevent violence doesn’t necessarily mean that the officer will sit around until someones life is in danger. More than likely some school officials or even state legislators will have the bright idea to put them to “good use” for more mundane activities than protecting the school from a mass shooting.

  • Cecelia Baines

    Okay. Good luck with that.

    And they played the fiddle while Rome burned to the ground…..

    What’s that I hear? Violin music.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    My daughters school has had a full time armed police officer at her school for years.

  • Bad_homonym

    I wasn’t very clear. I am worried more that hasty, emotion driven laws will be passed that do nothing to curb the problem. Here in Canada we already have much tighter gun laws and they aren’t making a very big difference statistically. ( many that you suggested) I am as upset as anyone else every time some wacko does the unthinkable. I would rather see better social programs for those who slip between the cracks. Our government dropped the ball to the tune of a few billion dollars on a reactionary program that did nothing to help. I certainly don’t hold the views of the NRA but answers aren’t as easy as they might seem in a time of heightened emotion

  • kooter

    This dudes got his own interests and it’s very apparant that they don’t involve the Constitution of the United States of even mankind. Illumaniti if you ask me. Bonehead. How did he get into the NRA?

  • Bill Haines

    And the explosive-booby-trapped drawbridge.

  • Patterrssonn

    How is a registry program bad? I’ve never understood why people would have a problem registering their guns but not their cars.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    and when there is a killing spree in a police department (I’M HERE FOR SARAH CONNER) what will we do then?

  • MichaelBrice

    Oh America, what is the real agenda here? There are 1500 child murders a year in the U.S., there are 750,000 iatrogenic deaths in the U.S. each year. The time has come for armed guards in your doctor’s office too I guess.

  • pagansister

    Exactly, Cichawoda.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    all I remember from the D.A.R.E. program was a lot of girls were wearing x-small D.A.R.E. shirts on campus.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    And after the drawbridge, that hallway where hot oil or molten lead can be poured down from above.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    at to that effect whether it has ended or not.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    don’t you guys think it would be much easier and more cost effective to just put gawd back into schools?

  • JohnnieCanuck

    What is he thinking of, a ’50s horse opera? Good guys vs. bad guys? How is he going to get the bad guys to wear black hats, so the guards won’t be sitting ducks just waiting to be ambushed?

  • m6wg4bxw

    We can only hope that someone sends more police from the future to help us.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    What do you suppose the hourly rate would be for a deity to actually show up and do the job? Something tells me He’s never going to be around when you need Him.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    I think what Isilza is saying is go write your own blog if you think you have something important to say.

  • The Captain

    I do have a blog. But why the fuck do you think you can comment in the comet section an not me? Perhaps you should have taken your comment to me and started a blog with it?

  • The Captain

    Typo.. should be “comment” and “and” not comet an.

  • Michael

    It’s worth noting that having a police officer present in a school apparently does some good, according to experts, it noticeably reduces the chance of an attack like this.

    I think it is unlikely that it is merely the presence of an armed individual that produces this affect however. It’s more likely that having someone around who’s job and training are all about securing the school campus, means that the campus becomes more secure.

    I know there are lots of little things that help that may not be obvious to school officials, such as having only a single entrance to each classroom, and minimizing windows onto hallways.

  • abb3w

    If press can’t ask questions, shouldn’t the press indicate that by calling it something different than a “press conference”? Say, perhaps a “press statement”.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    what ever that sum is I’m sure he’ll get special privileges from the IRS.

  • Aom Jack

    TL;DR all the way through. Some comments were on topic, some were correct, a lot, not so much. Many were knee-jerk over-reactions. What La Pierre is saying, succinctly, is that if people are allowed concealed carry, the crime rate goes down, especially crimes against women. This is a statistical fact. He is NOT calling for a Police State. I don’t know HOW people can consider that a police state. In a police state, NOBODY would have a firearm except a criminal. Pre-WW2 Germany comes to mind. You people out there who don’t like guns, look back many decades and consider that the commission of crimes with guns used to be extremely low, and kids used to carry guns to school so they could hunt game on the way home for dinner. Go figure out the real cause instead of blaming guns.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    Even better Armed preachers in the schools
    A:) they get their gawd back into schools and
    B:)if they get killed in the line of duty then they can’t bitch about it

  • Travis Dykes

    I think it’s more be responsible and secure your guns if you love your family. My dad loved me and the rest of our family, and he kept the guns locked up. Never had any problems in our house with guns, and now I keep my guns locked up.

  • Travis Dykes

    Actually I’ve yet to go to a hospital that did not have police stationed there, and having gone through nursing school I’ve spent a good bit of time in several different hospitals.

  • Bubba Tarandfeathered

    Mass Shooting, Meh. What’s the deal with Lindsay Lohan getting money from Charlie Sheen?

  • Matt Jahnke

    He saved the biggest hand gun for himself to be sure the result would be a suicide, not a traumatic brain injury.

  • The Captain

    This whole piece is nothing but antigovernment paranoia by michaelt.

    While I do not agree with anything the NRA said. Seriously, what “liberties” would kids loose by having cops at their school. How is having a police presence in a community a “police state”? This is the same antigovernment hysteria that many gun advocates use to justify their assault rifles, to protect themselves for this “police state” michaelt claims we have.

  • DougI

    So, do we need guns to protect ourselves from the NRA?

  • Rich Wilson

    only a single entrance to each classroom

    Wouldn’t you want multiple exits? Otherwise shooter stands at the door and mows everyone down?

  • Miss_Beara

    Bad guys will wear black hats, handlebar mustaches, a cape and be accompanied by ominous organ music.

  • Miss_Beara

    Because in real life, the “good guys with guns” don’t shoot like James Bond or John McClane, no matter what pro gun people believe.

  • Miss_Beara

    There was a story a few months ago about a guy from Michigan in Canada. He said that a couple guys approached him asking him a question and he said that he wished he had his guns because he felt threatened. Those guys are lucky to be alive, that guy would have shot them in a second because he was ‘protecting’ himself.

  • Bad_homonym

    The problem was the waste of money. It cost billions and didn’t reduce violent crime committed with firearms. In the end it was scrapped as the continuing cost made no sense. That money could have paid for the entire careers of about 300 police officers. In terms of overall benefit, that seems to me a better buy. Not to mention that honest people registered their guns, but most crimes were committed with illegally obtained firearms. In many cases these guns are already prohibited to own at all in Canada!

  • Bad_homonym

    The problem in our case was the waste of money. It could have paid the entire careers of about 300 police and been of more service to all. As it was honest people registered and the crimes committed with firearms didn’t. In most cases the weapons used were not only unregistered but prohibited entirely in Canada. When the dust settled after several years it was scrapped in favor of wasting more money on a broken system.

  • Roger Peritone

    Other countries like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, etc have far less per capita gun-related crimes than the States. Maybe they should learn something from them?

    I can’t believe that this guy said what he said….he has to know what he looks like.

  • Michael

    The idea is that since everybody is staying put during a shooting, a single entrance means it is easier to secure the room. Barricade the door, and stay out of sight. Most police experts on active shooters recommend barricading or sealing extra doors ahead of time.

  • Pat Morrow

    Ok ,setting aside the crazy that is the NRA I did some checking. In the USA there are 98817 public schools in the US 33.366 private and 6742 post secondary for a total of 138,925 schools. One cheap police officer at say 60,000 a year would come to about 8.35 Billion a year . According to statistics the gun and ammo sales in the US is 11 billion a year total revenue . Tax all guns and ammo at around 75 % and bobs your uncle .

  • Pureone

    Ask Israel about the cost. They have 9mm hidden around the schools and teachers trained to use them since the Ma’alot massacre. Nary a school shooting since 1974.

  • eskomo

    200,000 police officers @ 100,000 per year is $20 billion a year, pretty close.

  • Shoo En

    The police would be hitting the kids with their gun butts for looking at them wrong.

  • Rich Wilson

    So the cost of the guns is minimal. Israel has the advantage that all their school teachers get a couple of years of military training. So I guess to work out that cost, you’d have to ask what it would cost to keep the USA’s 7.2 million teachers trained. And don’t forget the cost that a teacher or student uses one of those guns against innocents. Other teachers would be there to take them down, but you cannot assume that the people you want to have the gun are ‘good’. A small number perhaps, but when working with 7.2 million people, nothing is 100%

    (That 7.2 million includes post-secondary teachers, and I’m trying to address only K-12, but for the sake of argument I’ll carry on).

    I have no idea what that training would cost. I think it would have to be fairly extensive to be useful.

    Now let’s look at the benefit. (This is a cost benefit analysis). I ran a quick check on the schools shootings from 2000 to now, and came up with an average of seven (7) people killed per year in K-12 schools. That’s students and adults, and often includes the shooter.

    And like I said, you can’t bring that number to 0. You’ll still have cases where it’s the teacher, or someone gets off a couple of shots before the teacher can get to the gun. Or gets the teacher and has to be taken down by a 2nd teacher. So we’re looking at saving AT MOST 7 lives per year, probably less.

    Are those lives unimportant? Of course not. But ask the parent of the kid who got killed by a drunk driver, or a texting driver, or any other preventable death.

    Maybe this is the most cost effective way to save lives. I honestly don’t know. I suspect not, but I don’t think anyone knows at this point. My point is that letting our emotions guide sweeping policy like this isn’t the correct way to go about it.

    The number of children killed in schools is traumatic because it is so rare. Kids die many other ways every single day, but because it’s not so rare, we ignore them.

  • Mike Hugh-jass

    “Guns dont kill people, people kill people.”
    Inconvenient fact: America has the highest per capita, gun related, homicide rate of any developed nation. So obviously Americans are more violent and murderous than any other nationality. Then again, if you reject that, what does it do to the premise? If it’s not the people…

  • Mike Hugh-jass

    I like that… don’t dismiss the crazy, let them explain where the funding should come from. They can either admit that it should be socialized, or taxed.

  • Mike Hugh-jass

    Do the math on how much this would cost, and how you suggest it should be funded. Then answer why we would spend that mind boggling amount of money on *that* while refusing to pay for smaller classroom sizes, teacher salary etc… and speculate on what that says about our culture and priorities.

  • Mike Hugh-jass

    I have not had an armed guard at my home for years. No one has tried to murder me. Therefore… ? what?

  • Mike Hugh-jass

    Like the poll of NRA members who agreed ~75% to various aspects of “gun control”? Really makes you wonder why the leadership of the NRA is not interested in representing the views of its members.

  • facebook-1004345945

    How about……not letting the ‘bad guys’ get a hold of a gun to start with? (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care)

  • Baby_Raptor

    Most importantly? Hemant wants to make sure that everyone’s aware of current evens RE a Fucking mass murder spree, and you think it’s more important to bitch that the topic doesn’t fit what you think the blog should publish? Get over yourself. Nobody cares that you think this isn’t topical to a blog that you don’t run. If you don’t want non-Atheism posts, don’t read non-Atheism posts. But you don’t need to bitch when they come up.

  • xylofyle

    is this how we ever so cautiously(?) lead ourselves into the gestapo state? we need rational thinking not over reactive emotional actions.

  • John Moriarty

    too late for that Q. reality says USA locked into it. Alas NRA wackos are right. My European pov btw; not that many guns here, long may it remain so.

  • John Moriarty

    eh, police marksmen. nuff said.

  • John Moriarty

    a lot, but the genie is already out of the bottle.

  • John Moriarty

    exactly. Glad I live in Ireland. If I were in Amerika, I would seriously consider having a weapon.

  • John Moriarty

    that’s interesting.

  • Aaron Scoggin

    I’m pretty sure that I participated in D.A.R.E. for most of my school career, but I don’t remember any of it. Oh, except this one time, where they showed us the “many faces of meth”. So at least it made me never EVER want to do that.

  • Aaron Scoggin

    There are also other factors that I haven’t heard any politician of power talk about. How much does it cost to train the teachers? How much of a salary bump are we expecting for a teacher to have these skills? Then, how much money are we going to have to pump into the education system to see these policies come to life? And then, is all of Congress going to agree to the budget increase?

    It just seems like pandering and a knee-jerk reaction to me. “Let’s put guns in the hands of all the teachers, or hire armed security guards!” “Uhh, okay. I’m gonna need $20 billion.”

  • Rich Wilson

    Sen. Boxer is citing figures of 258 shooting deaths at US schools since 1999. Even including post secondary, all I could come up with on wikipedia was 150. I know wikipedia isn’t the greatest source for information like this, but that’s still quite a discrepancy.

    In addition to the National Guard, she’s proposing an increase in Federal Grants from 30 million to 50 million. If you just count the public schools (99 706 in ’08/’09) that’s an additional 200 bucks per school for heightened security. Is that even a metal detector?

  • The Captain

    What is it with idiots expressing their opinions in the comments that others should not express their opinions in the comments?!

    Oh, and I love how most of you are too busy bitching about my right to ask the last 14 word question (and not giving an answer) while ignoring the other 483 words about the bat shit insane antigovernment paranoia prevalent in this article and it’s implications for crime prevention. But I guess that is a bit too long and hard a subject so just bitch about the throwaway simple comment at the end.

  • Pureone

    The cost of guns would be zero. I would wager that parents/private citizens/private businesses would donate guns, ammo and lock boxes. Since we seem to be a gun-crazy nation,I would bet that at least two people in each school are familiar with guns. Not just teachers, but also custodians,facilities people, anyone in and around a school daily. Also, I would wager some people would like to learn how to use one and take free training. I’m sure instructors would donate time for classes; the ranges would donate time, space and targets.

    There is/was a school in Texas that has carry for teachers while at work. It takes first responders 15-20 minutes to get there.

    Other shootings have been stopped by armed school workers and even students. They aren’t mass shootings then, and don’t get the media attention.

    I love how someone voted down my other comment, especially since it was nothing but facts. They must really hate facts.

  • Thackerie

    How many of those kids were carrying assault weapons capable of firing multiple rounds within seconds? It’s not your grandpappy’s world any longer.

  • Thackerie

    Not to mention that having a single entrance would be a danger in case of fire.

  • SeekerLancer

    “Just add more guns” is an arms race that can’t be won. Life isn’t action movie and drawing a gun rarely ever results in a positive outcome.

    We can’t sink to declaring martial law and putting police anywhere people might happen to form a group. It’s a paranoid waste of resources and a slippery slope to the erosion of the freedoms the NRA thinks it’s protecting.

  • Silo Mowbray

    Best of luck Cecelia (and assuming you are female based on your name, it is GREAT to see a female helicopter pilot!)

    I’m a Vancouverite myself. A friend of mine works for a local firm that contracts out heli pilots for jobs around the world, mostly with resource companies. He goes out for six weeks and stays home for six. He misses his family a lot, but makes up for it when he’s back. Not a bad arrangement and the pay is apparently pretty good.

  • Silo Mowbray

    No quick fix is right. For starters, the U.S. as a society has to stop buying in to the bullshit idea that laissez-faire capitalism is all good, because it isn’t. It’s all good for people who get shockingly rich from it, because they gamed the system, but for the vast, VAST majority of society it’s harmful.

    Arms manufacturers want people to keep buying guns and ammunition. It’s how they get rich.

  • Silo Mowbray

    Yes, I can deny it. Now what?

  • Silo Mowbray

    This is a statistical fact.

    Then please provide citations. I would be interested in reviewing your “statistical facts.”

  • Rich Wilson

    First off, I don’t think we should discount any example out there, least of all one that works. But there are other examples that work where they take a different approach. We need to figure out the ways various lessons can, or cannot, apply to us.

    I don’t consider things being donated as ‘zero cost’. It’s just transferred cost. In the grand scheme of things I agree that the actual cost of a bunch of guns isn’t a consideration. But what you have to consider is if people could be persuaded to donate guns or time or training, could they be persuaded to donate something else? There seems to be a general willingness to pay a price to protect our kids. But for some reason our kids still have to sell chocolates to raise funds for various school related activities.

    What resources would be applied to this particular solution that could be applied to another solution, and which solution is best?

  • Eric Lilly

    Forget the extra police sent to watch over all of us. Police the media instead. You’ll find most of the mind altering forces within there.

  • Pureone

    Richard, you deserve better than snark as a response, so I’ll lay out what has happened. There have been shootings stopped: by a principle who ran to his vehicle to get his .45. By students. By citizens. Those aren’t mass shootings because they have been stopped. It doesn’t take a John Wayne or Audie Murphy. It takes a person trained and familiar with firearms. Considering the number of firearms and people already familiar with them is the U.S. (which is already a point of contention in this discussion, I concede), I would say that the number of people ready to guard our children is in the thousands. The one Marine who stood guard is only an example of one person, not the representative of the total possibility.

    I shoot trap. I hunt. I have firearms. I have semi-automatic firearms. I spend time with others who also have firearms. They are as distraught over this as you are. I heard the hushed tones as they discussed the recent events. These are regular ‘Muricans.

    I understand where you are coming from, but I also think you discount all the people, those who have served in the military, and those that have not, who wish safety to children.

    Personal anecdote: I have one friend who was a Marine in Desert Storm, has served three deployments since then under the National Guard, has seen and experienced what happens when citizens have firearms, since he’s been in firefights, and he still believes in the second amendment as currently interpreted.

  • Pureone

    On top of what i have said, I will say that I live two blocks from an elementary school. I have no children, as well as no military training, I have no delusions about being the hero flying though the air firing two pistols at once or whatever fantasy you have alluded to. I do know how to use guns/pistols and and a slight inkling on how to try not to get shot. If I were to see a suspicious person or have a foresight that something bad to be were happening, or to know something like that were happening before the first responders, I would try to stop that person by any means necessary.

  • Pureone

    Norway. Prolly others.

  • allein

    My former roommate teaches at a Catholic school and they still do DARE.My school never actually did DARE but when I was in 8th grade (1988-89) during our health class section on drugs they had a couple police officers in to talk to us and they brought a bag of marijuana. They lit some in an ashtray so we would know what it smelled like. Half the class got nauseated, as I recall. I don’t know how many of them later used the stuff (I never have but now at least I recognize the unpleasant smell that comes through my vents every weekend courtesy of my neighbors…).

  • Pureone

    Nothing. Gangs are familiar with black market trade and it would be easy to get a semi-automatic, nay, I say, an automatic firearm through such channels.

  • Chris Morrow

    A strawman is a misrepresentation of a position, not an under- or over- evaluation of someone’s degree of morality. If someone says “recycling old school furniture into guns is an awful idea”, you can’t say “That’s a strawman, because it’s actually an awesome idea.”

  • Pureone

    Thanks for the honest and rational discourse. I will take some time to think about what what you have said.

  • BenFromCA

    Wouldn’t it be wonderfully ironic if some nut job with an assault gun busted in on a high-level meeting at NRA headquarters and wiped out the entire room (with the Public Relations Director in attendance, of course)?

  • WoodyTanaka

    “Shouldn’t we also be asking – What stops a bad guy WITHOUT a gun from getting their hands on a gun?”

    No, we should be asking “How did the bad guy with the gun and the large capacity bullet delivery system get gun with the large capacity delivery system.” And the answer, of course, is the NRA — lobbyist and best friend of mass murderers.

  • m6wg4bxw

    The premise is a false dichotomy. Perhaps the bullets are what kill people. lol

  • nazani

    Along with looking for ways to help the mentally ill and enact appropriate gun control, we need to stop letting the NRA get away with claiming that it is a rights or issue oriented organization. In reality it is the advertising and lobbying arm of the firearms industry. It has bubkis to do with the 2nd amendment, which they purposely misinterpret. If any group was genuinely concerned that citizens might have to defend against an “illegitimate” government, they’d be voting against military spending.

  • Icebiker3

    This man is a complete idiot.


    Laughing stock? who ever is laughing the same awaits what is happening here. What most don’t realsize is we’re dealing with symptoms not the cause. Most people won’t bother to read a book and study history to understand how we got here. There’s a war going on for our minds and we’ve been losing so slowly most can’t even grasp it. Educate yourselves!

  • MIke

    Actually, I have a problem registering my car too. I simply see no reason why I need to register it every year.