If the NRA had any balls, this is what they would do

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. — NRA President Wayne LaPierre

There’s no denying the appeal of LaPierre’s statement. Last week, wouldn’t we all have rather read headlines about the death of attempted mass murderer Adam Lanza instead of how he brutally cut down over two dozen people, including 20 children? And this week, rather than watching footage of grieving families at funerals, wouldn’t we rather be watching an awards ceremony where President Obama pins a medal of honor onto the noble security guard who stopped the shooter? Of course we would. So why does LaPierre’s statement still give me the chills?

LaPierre says the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But if you think about it, the only place a bad guy can get a gun, is from a good guy. You know, good NRA-supporting guys like Colt, Winchester, Remington, Sturm-Ruger, Smith & Wesson, O. F. Mossberg and Sons, Bushmaster Firearms International, FMK Firearms–the list goes on. Bad guys don’t make guns. Only good guys make guns. Bad guys buy guns both legally and illegally. They also steal guns. Sometimes from good guys (as Adam Lanza did), and sometimes from other bad guys. But no matter how you look at it, guns come from good guys. So it seems to me that the fewer guns good guys make, the fewer guns bad guys will have.

Instead, LaPierre wants to engage in an arms race with the bad guys. Put armed guards in schools, he says. There’s just one problem: The only thing that can stop a good guy with a gun is a bad guy with an even bigger gun. Or more guns. Or body armor. Or a fricking tank. So how big should the good guy’s guns be? And how many guns should they have? And what caliber of weapon should school walls and windows be built to withstand?

And why stop with armed guards? Most schools are already locked down while classes are in session. In many schools, you have to pass through a metal detector prior to entering. And some schools don’t even allow students to have lockers for fear of what they might stash in them. So I don’t think anyone would complain if we put up fences around schools and topped them with razor wire. Guard towers would also help. So would searchlights and armed patrols. How about dogs? And checking vehicles going in and out of the property would also be an effective deterrent. All in the name of protecting our children, of course.

But even with all of these defenses in place, how are we going to tell the good guys from the bad guys? Background checks are a good place to start. So is finger-printing, facial recognition software, racial profiling and the like. Keeping an eye on suspected bad guys and the people with whom they associate also helps. So does the occasional interrogation. And if someone is being particularly difficult, a bit of creative “persuasion” never hurts.

This all may sound a little crazy, I know. But the only alternative is to give up guns. And if we did that, how on earth could we protect our freedom?

About Kevin Miller

Kevin Miller is an award-winning screenwriter, director and producer who has applied his craft to numerous documentaries, feature films and shorts. Recent projects include "The Chicken Manure Incident," "Hellbound?," "Drop Gun," "No Saints for Sinners," "spOILed," "Sex+Money," "With God On Our Side," "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," "After..." and the upcoming biopic "The Divine Comedy of Thomas Merton." In addition to his work in film, Kevin has written, co-written and edited over 45 books. He lives in Kimberley, BC, Canada with his wife and four children.

  • David

    Wonderfully put: the quest for self-defense is not the solution, but rather an additive and a guarantor, of violence.

    • Kevin Miller

      Now THAT is wonderfully put.

  • Milos

    Way to go. You just ruined any chance you ever had of anyone in the USA of taking Hellbound seriously. At least anyone other than far left-wingers.

    Here’s a tip for you: People in the USA don’t care one bit what silly canucks think about anything.

    • Littlefury

      You can always learn from other countries friend, and being an arrogant ass doesn’t help in the long run.

    • Kainos14

      He isn’t writing this for public approval or to further his movie. Some things are much bigger than that. He is saying it because it’s true….and doing the right thing is never the wrong thing to do.

    • Tim

      I found the film to be fair, thought provoking, with a flair for asking difficult questions. When I read the NT, I find there is no distinction between good guys and bad guys. Only Jesus is good, and we murdered him as a bad guy. Thus, for me, left/right ideology does not apply here. Merry Christmas!

      • Kevin Miller

        Right. A simple response to LaPierre might be to say, “There are no good guys.”

  • Frank Schaeffer

    What a great article. Just so. And what does the word “civilization” mean now? Do we Americans have any idea of how far we’ve fallen? What’s the new normal when anyone pretending to be sane stands up at a press conference and with a straight face proposes that all schools need to have armed guards. Why not just put each child in a windowless bunker and be done with it, in fact why have school at all?

    • Lock Ledger

      I actually think Frank is right, we ought to do away with schools. Most states allow u to enroll ur kid in online classes now. It is more cost effective and a parent can invest in their children more.

      • Kevin Miller

        That’s kind of what I’m hinting at in my piece, the notion of a school as a total institution. Adding fences and armed guards helps to bring the subtext to the surface.

  • Eric

    There’s just one problem with all your ideas regarding possible solutions. They all involve giving up freedoms, and giving up freedoms is precisely the opposite of what the United States was planned on. …Life, liberty… pursuit of happiness… these are all part of the USA. Removing people’s freedoms before they have broken a law is not, and that includes the kids who have to go through all these metal detectors. I’m sorry, but freedom isn’t safe. So people can choose safety (or some quasi-version of it) or they can have in-alienable rights and freedom, but not both; not in this broken world.
    Beyond that taking guns away which are made by firearm manufacturers won’t stop anyone who has a couple of thousand dollars to spend. 3d printers mean that the bad guy in your article doesn’t have to go to a good guy to get a gun. He can just print it himself. At this exact moment it won’t be a good gun which can fire more than 10 rounds, but he can print off as many guns as he wants. So an answer to your question about where the bad guy goes to get his gun – nowadays, it might just be his basement or toolshed.

  • http://www.lifecourseministries.com Mike Lanphere

    When I hear this kind of story I try and make it most personal. You can find out what is really in a persons heart, courage or cowardliness. if while you were waiting for guns to disappear through some legal process, which is ridiculous in the first place if your goal is trying to get guns out of the hands of criminals, it will never happen. The scenario is; you had two or thee conscious less criminals break into your home and they began to rape the women in your family and shoot your family members , would you stand by and watch or would you fight for their lives? These kind of crimes do take place, they are a reality and from one who would never intentionally hurt anyone, I would act quickly pull the trigger or whatever necessary to stop there evil plans. This is the most extreme scenario but their are many other scenarios that are well justified to use a gun for self defense. This one puts you in the middle of the picture, if you answer you too would pull the trigger then its hypocritical to judge others based on their own self defense scenario. If you would stand back and watch it all take place… well what can I say?

  • Alisa

    What is more horrifying? Having your wife and kid raped and not being able to stop it, or having your kid shoot and kill 25 people with your gun because they had access to it? I don’t like to play your game and I don’t have an answer but we need to attempt to answer this question thinking of the whole community and many more scenarios rather than just choosing scenarios to suit our own political biases. What if you had the “freedom” to own nuclear weapons of mass destruction? On a spectrum the tools of violence would range from hands – blades, guns, automatic weapons, guns, biochemical and nuclear weapons. Where should we draw the line and why? When the constitution was penned, most towns had a battery where private weapons were housed. In a case where the Civillians needed to be armed, they could go there and have access to their weapons. A madman or a person consumed with anger would not have had the “freedom” to collect their weapon. Weapons were also not as deadly as our current semi-automatic guns. I love freedom, the propblem is that we have to compromise some freedom to enable other freedoms. Please do not simply hold blindly to one freedom without considering any of the others which may be sacrificed in the process.

    • Kevin Miller

      This is a great observation, Alisa. Holding to a radical, a-historical interpretation of the Second Amendment–either for or against–doesn’t exactly lead to a constructive solution.

  • Rusty Shackedlford

    How would the free citizenry of this country protect against tyranny from their own government? Are we supposed to just trust that our elections will always be fair and not corrupt? Are we supposed to just trust that the majority of the country will never impose horrible actions to the minority? Without military equivalent fire power in the hands of the free citizen we would be easily enslaved. The second amendment isn’t about sport hunting or personal home defense. It’s for protecting free people from any sort of tyranny.

    • Kevin Miller

      Plenty of countries do just fine without their citizenry armed to the teeth.

      • http://antichristaliens.com/ Lock Ledger

        Like Saudi Arabia. A little too much armchair in the philosophy here. Ur in Canada, man!

    • The D

      Precisely, Rusty! Freedom is the only human right that matters: with it, all other human rights are redundant. Without it, they are irrelevant. But I fear your words are wasted here. Saudi Arabia? Yes a country which has institutionalized misogyny. That’s who we want to be like? Seriously? How about maybe mentioning the Swiss.

      The complete absence of logic I see in this entire stream is shocking but not surprising. Progressive ideology has a long history of “that which seems like a good idea” but turns into horror when you actually put it into practice. I will put an above statement to this test: “So it seems to me that the fewer guns good guys make, the fewer guns bad guys will have.” So based on this premise, we (the good guys) should not have guns. That way, the bad guys have nowhere to get guns from and therefore the bad guys will have no guns. Unfortunately, this argument presumes an equal starting point, that no one has anything. As this is clearly not the case, the argument is on rocky ground right from the start. But lets ignore that and ask what if we use gun control to eradicate guns from society altogether? We’ve already started this in Canada with less than perfect results. Gun control activists love to point at higher US homicide rates but ignore the overall violent crime rate which is double in Canada (approx 950/100,000 vs 450/100,000) according to StatsCan and the FBI. But, again, lets ignore this and follow through with our test. So we ban ALL guns everywhere. Great. Now what? All the law-abiding citizens will comply while criminals (including and especially gangs) will not. How much death and violence would result until you finally managed to track down all the criminals and somehow round up all of their guns as well? Is this your idea of an acceptable sacrifice? Just the few broken eggs necessary to make an omelet? And no, we don’t view people dying now as a sacrifice for our ideals. We view it as the tragic consequences of criminal behavior. Oh and what about our results? Well lets assume you succeeded in disarming criminals. Countless victims but we did it! We can pretty much guarantee that one of a few things will happen. Those criminals will restock from their criminal friends in other parts of the world, start making their own weapons or they will simply pick a different weapon and we’re right back where we started. The net of all of this is precisely NOTHING! You will inflict all manner of violence on average people for some “greater good” which will never happen, leaving only the violence, death and resulting misery in your wake. And for what? Another failed progressive social experiment at the horrible expense of innocent people? No thank you!

      This is why people like myself, Randy and others will never stop opposing the ideas of those of you who continue to cling to this idyllic notion of legislating shangri-la into being. You can’t. You might instead put more stock in the value of your fellow man. You seem to be completely oblivious to the terrible cost of what you propose and that you are implying that such terrible costs are somehow acceptable even if your ideas might (and almost certainly will) fail. And yet these kinds of ideas get thrown around our society ad nauseum and then people wonder why there is no respect for human life? Why would there be? Here in Canada, children are now being taught, via so-called “activist curriculum” that aggression against those who disagree with you is somehow justified because “they” are obviously bad. What happened to respecting differences or responding to them? Notice that we respond to you with discussion rather than the threats of violence hurled at the NRA. Your ideas “gives me the chills” as you put it but I would never advocate the silencing of those ideas as we are hearing south of the border via various forms of intimidation, especially in media. These are the real problems which are shaping a society which treats life as a commodity and neglects any semblance of respect for individuals and their basic freedoms. That is the progressive path and until this stops, the slow slide downward will continue unabated.

      • Kevin Miller

        You’re leaping from one extreme to the other. My satirical piece suggested reducing the number of guns, not banning all guns. Totalitarianism at either end of the spectrum is inherently violent, as you’ve pointed out. But does that mean we do nothing? Transplant the argument to nuclear weapons, for example. Do you think proliferation of nuclear weapons makes the world more secure or less secure? Most people would agree that the more nuclear weapons we have floating around, the greater the likelihood something bad will happen. It’s not a matter of IF but WHEN. So even though an outright ban of nuclear weapons may be neither possible nor desirable, wouldn’t a reduction of nuclear weapons reduce the possibility of some sort of accident or misuse of the technology? I’m merely applying the same logic to guns. Fewer weapons, smaller magazines, etc. will necessarily limit the probability of homicide, mass murder and suicide involving firearms.

    • ymoore

      ‘Are we supposed to just trust that the majority of the country will never impose horrible actions to the minority?’

      I’m African America. You are kidding, right? If what you are afraid of is the table turning and white becoming the new black, you need to know that you can’t fight karma with guns. You counter bad will with good will. Martin Luther King said, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” If you are afraid of walking in another person’s moccasins, there will never be enough guns to make you feel safe.