LaPierre: it’s all or nothing on gun control.

Wayne LaPierre is keeping up with the insights on how to reduce gun violence.

There’s no point in pursuing universal background checks for firearms purchases, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre plans to tell the Senate tomorrow, because bad guys will get guns anway.

Yes, we won’t stop all criminals from getting guns, so why even bother to make it more difficult?  Also, we can’t stop all crime, so why even bother with police?  Criminals are just going to commit crimes anyway, right?

Because in life, we can’t just make things better.  It’s either perfection or inaction.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Glodson

    This a totally original idea and is in no way stolen from my favorite author, but if we are going to have crime anyways, it should be organized! Thief’s Guild starts soon!

    That is the dumbest line of reasoning. Not the bit I wrote. It isn’t like the ease of legal access makes criminal getting guns easier… Wait… Damnint. Fucking reality.

    • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      If his books were harder to read he’d be hailed as a literary genius for his perfectly-observed and deftly-delivered commentary.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    What profound thinking from LaPierre. If only there was a concise and pithy way to express it, like
    perfect is the enemy of good

  • Glodson

    If they were written in verses, we would have a new religion.

    Probably a much more humanistic and interesting one. With giant space turtles. All led by a man who made a sword out of meteoric iron ore to commemorate his knighthood and who took out a living will when he was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s so that he could face death on his own terms.

  • ZenDruid

    I discussed this with some firearms aficionados at work [and they grudgingly agreed] :
    Levy a funeral / hospital / lifetime care surcharge on every box of ammo sold in the US to cover all the expenses for those noncombatants who got shot. Change it every year to reflect the previous year’s tally of deaths, injuries and permanent disabilities.

    • ZenDruid

      One of the guys said there would still be drive-bys, but the shooters would aim better and waste less ammo.

      • machintelligence

        Chris Rock got there first.

        • John Horstman

          The best part: it’s a brilliant idea. Levy an exorbitant sin-tax on ammo and include an exemption for firing ranges for ammo used on-premise (so people can practice, shoot for fun, etc. – we’ll also necessarily need to re-empower the ATF to actually monitor dealers and firing ranges to make sure they’re complying with the taxation laws, unlike now where they rely primarily on voluntary self-reporting and dangerous, poorly-planned, poorly-executed stings like the one they were running three blocks from my house). People can still hunt (“For a price, Ugarte; for a price.”), can shoot for fun/competition for cheap, and we extensively restrict the number of bullets on the streets (this will motivate a black market for untaxed bullets, though not as extensive or problematic a black market as prohibition would establish; it’s the difference between the market for cocaine and the market for untaxed cigarettes), which means fewer people killed by guns. It may even drive more people to firing ranges instead of setting up their own, possibly lethal ranges. Everybody wins except bullet manufacturers (who will see sales dip) and the people stockpiling enough ammo for a small army in their bunkers, whose intense paranoia should probably exclude them from gun ownership anyway.

  • Rain

    Why do they even keep that guy around? After Sandy Hook, people were waiting for a statement from the NRA and he comes on and makes a vile hateful spiteful speech attacking everyone and their aunt Matilda. He’s always saying dumb non-sequiturs like his idiotic universal background checks statement. NRA should fire the idiot.

    • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      Haven’t you heard?

      We (that is, “the left”, alternatively liberals, libtards, lie-bruls, and Nazisocialistcommiefascisttheocratatheists) control him, and make him say ever stupider things. It’s all part of our plot to discredit Troo Merkans who want nothing more than to worship Jeebus and Ayn Rand with their guns RON PAUL.

      • John Horstman

        Wait, now their own people are all false-flag plants? Stupid me for underestimating the depths of Right-wing paranoia.

    • pjmaertz

      They should , but he’s only saying things that a vast majority of individuals in his organization believe. I’m pretty sure they believe that civilian access to high explosives and full auto weapons would make massacres more difficult to perpetrate, and would make us all safer. Of course, they are wrong.

  • baal

    Ever watch movies from the UK and wonder why everyone doesn’t just go get a gun? Me either. *cough early Jason Statham movies cough*

    I heard a piece on Wayne’s comment this AM and facepalmed. Well, I actually stopped myself since I was in the car driving. Lo and behold, my car door has a lock on it. I use it from time to time. Folks who break into cars (to take stuff) don’t seem to overly bothered by car door locks. Well, not the trained ones. I’m sure (I’ve seen it) it dissuades your otherwise not all that criminal homeless person trying all the car doors in a parking garage.

    I haven’t seen anyone argue that any one small (or big for that matter) law change will make us 100% safe. That would be as irrational an argument as Lapierre is making.

  • Brian Crisan

    Stating that a proposed solution is likely to be ineffective is not the same as arguing that no solution should be pursued. This post does not fairly characterize LaPierre’s argument.

    • John Horstman

      Well, it wouldn’t if LaPierre wasn’t also arguing against any/all solutions, but since he is, it’s not a mischaracterization. It’s just necessary to understand the analysis that JT is offering in the context of everything LaPierre has said.

      • Brian Crisan

        LaPierre isn’t arguing against all solutions. In fact, both in his press conference and his Senate testimony, he proposed solutions of his own. For example, one of these solutions is that every school should have armed security.

        If the guy proposes his own solutions, he cannot be arguing against any/all solutions, as you claim. You can debate the merits of his view, but at least characterize LaPierre’s position fully and accurately first.

    • pjmaertz

      From just reading the quote JT provided, I think the rebuttal he’s making is appropriate. LaPierre argues that no gun control will work, because bad guys will still have guns. JT applies that same argument to other problems, to show that the argument is silly. I think JT fairly characterizes LaPierre’s argument ( based on the provided quote).

      • Brian Crisan

        Even from the quote JT provided, one can plainly see that LaPierre was arguing that background checks are ineffective. To generalize and state the criticism of the effectiveness of background checks amounts to stating that “no gun control will work” is to inaccurately characterize LaPierre’s argument.

        Later in his Senate testimony, LaPierre stated: “In addition, we need to enforce the thousands of gun laws that are currently on the books. Prosecuting criminals who misuse firearms works.” This is additional evidence that LaPierre did not state that “no gun control will work.”

  • Greg G

    @Brian Crisan

    You missed a good opportunity to fairly characterize LaPierre’s argument.

    • Stogoe

      Let me try:

      “*Twirls moustache* Mwa ha ha ha! I am a despicable person, inflaming the fears and wildest imaginations of millions of hunting and target-shooting aficionados, as well as the extremely tiny minority who have a dangerous obsession with having the most and the biggest guns ever conceived to protect themselves from zombies/robots/brown people, all to enrich myself and my true clients, the gun manufacturers! Mwa ha ha! I have the rubes by the puppet strings, all I have to do is say the magic words Barack! Hussein! Obama! and they scurry about, scampering to purchase what may be their last firearm or firearm accessory! Which is complete tosh, because of the Second Amendment, and everyone ought to know by now. But they don’t, apparently, and it’s making me rich! RICH! RIIIIIIICH!!!!!”

    • pjmaertz

      I’ll try too (but I can’t be as funny, it’s mucho too difficult).
      -”The government can not keep any types of firearms out of the hands of bad individuals. Accordingly, any firearm regulation is not a solution. The US should completely deregulate the firearms industry to allow for civilian purchase of any and all firearms, because if your home is being attacked by a helicopter gunship, which the government has been unable to keep out of the hands of criminals, you should be able to have a shoulder mounted heat seeking rocket to defend yourself. Also, we should put armed guards in schools and limit free speech rights of video game makers and Hollywood studios.

      Oh, and if you have a “D” by your name, we will only endorse you over a Republican if you are a lock to win and let us write legislation for you to propose.”

      I think I did okay

    • Brian Crisan

      It wasn’t my job to characterize his argument. I wasn’t the one criticizing it.

  • Don Gwinn

    I live in a state in which I not only had to pass a background check in order to possess ammunition or a firearm, much less purchase either (even from a private seller, so there’s no so-called “gun show loophole”) but there’s also a “waiting period” to give me 24 hours to calm my murderous impulses before I take delivery of a long gun (72 for a handgun, because reasons.) J.T. lives in a state where none of that is true.

    And yet J.T.’s state doesn’t compare to my state in terms of violent crime committed with firearms, in any category for which records are kept. I can state that confidently because, last time I checked, none of the five states bordering Illinois could boast anything close to our numbers, despite the fact that none of them have our onerous restrictions (they’re all shall-issue right-to-carry states, too, while we’re the last state in the nation with no way for a private citizen to get a carry permit no matter how dire the need.)

    The reason people like Wayne LaPierre seem ridiculously entrenched in an “all or nothing” philosophy is that they’ve been trained for decades that that’s how gun control works. California wanted to register a class of rifles, so they made explicit promises that there’d be no confiscation. Then confiscation began, using the registry. Chicago wanted to register firearms, and it was paranoid to think there was anything wrong with a simple registry. Then they decided to keep the registration requirement, but stop allowing anyone to register their handguns as required by the law, and voila! Nearly 30 years of a total ban on handguns that required the Supreme Court to undo, but with just enough loopholes that Dick Mell and other cronies can keep their large collections. LaPierre and many others have learned from experience that they will be asked to compromise, scolded to “be reasonable” (usually by people who have no idea what they’re trying to ban and are often trying to regulate imaginary weapons or re-prohibit something that’s been banned for 70 years) and then find that last year’s “reasonable compromise” is this year’s “intolerable extremism” that requires another reasonable compromise.

    • John Horstman

      That assumes we keep the exclusion criteria the same as they presently are. If we had universal background checks, we could look at the data and tweak exclusion criteria based on actual impact. We can’t even measure the impact at present, though, because even in your state (I know because it’s true of every state), there are major loopholes and impediments to enforcement of the laws on the books built into the laws themselves.