No doorways, no windows, no walls
No shelter here on the ground
No standing and no safe place to fall
Just the promise of this distant sound
Bells are ringing all over the world

Friday, December 21, 2012

Random Thoughts on the Ramblings of a Mad Man

If when the only tool you have is a hammer, all problems start looking like nails, what do all your problems look like when your only tool is a gun?

The NRAs Wayne LaPierre answered that question today. In a call that amounts to a larger government presence in our lives, increased deficit spending, and greater federal interference in schools, LaPierre said the Congress should immediately approve "whatever it takes" to put armed police in schools. If the GOP, Tea Party, and True Conservative everywhere don't denounce him for this, which is against every conservative talking point that doesn't involve God, they will demonstrate they're only giving lip service to what they claim are their "core values."

As for his argument about schools and the Gun-Free Schools initiatives as "… tell(ing) every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk," it is nonsensical on the face of it. If this were the case, why aren't we seeing more shootings in government buildings, sports arenas or churches and other places of worship? Those places are also protected by the government as "gun free zones". Sure you can say government buildings and sports arenas have guards, so they aren't all that safe, but what about churches? If I had to make a guess, I think more schools have community patrol officers (police in school program) than churches do. So why don't gunmen go wild in more churches.

And if here you want to talk about God being in churches but having been thrown out of schools I will merely remind you that prayer groups in schools were a particular target of school shooters in the 90s.

As for those who we protect with armed guards, you do remember that several Presidents have been shot and killed since the additional assignment to the Secret Service to act as bodyguard. Not to mention the numerous attempts and threats on the President's life.

I know it's a fantasy of an armed civilian taking out the shooter, well the real life experiences aren't so clear cut.

Nearly half of LaPierre's public rant consisted of "It's not us. Look, a badger!" He rolled out the entertainment industry, video games, comics, everything but rock and roll (although he did mention music, it sounded like he was speaking about rap), to the consternation of one person who tweeted that it was a shame that rock is no longer challenging enough that it gets blamed for what's wrong in our country. Here's the thing, Wayne, we have a ratings system for all of those things. Those rating are a shining example of "industry self regulation" BTW. But, hey, thanks Wayne, we've already looked into that. By making these allegations the VP of the NRA places himself squarely stuck in the 80s, unable to see that the world has changed and moved on.

And when entertainment oversteps the line and gets someone killed, like the recent radio hosts spoofing one of the royal's nurses which ended in her death, those hosts we taken off the air (probably temporarily) and an international conversation occurred. When movies go beyond the pale, there's at least a week long beating of the breast about a movie that usually bombs in two weeks.

And now let us get to his actual plan, and I want you to think about this. His plan is putting a killer in each of the schools. Placing someone whose sole job, the only reason there are there, the focus of their training, is to keep their eyes on everybody who enters the school and judges if they should kill them. That's his plan. Remember, sometimes it's the students who do the shooting, so nobody is not a suspect. And to prevent a killing, the new "guards" would have to shoot first.

Plus, you might remember, school teachers are already over stretched and under assault. We're trying to cut their salaries, their retirement savings, and push their position in society to the lowest rung possible. And these are the people LaPierre wants to give guns to. These two things do not match up, in case you're wondering.

If Mr. LaPierre were serious about "finding solutions", the NRA would stop blocking research and remove the Dickey Amendement (something so wonderfully named) from any budget and appropriation legislation. In case you didn't know, because of the NRA's lobbying efforts while the ATF does collect statistics on gun violence, they are prohibited by law from releasing it. The CDC has also been threatened with loss of funding if they explore gun violence any deeper than reporting raw numbers in their Morbidity and Mortality reports. (Links grokked from Jay Lake)

But the NRA aren't serious about finding solutions to the problem of gun violence in our society. Because they do know what the data would show and the conclusions would be to limit gun ownership and restrict what civilians could own in terms of firearms.

And, seriously, for what purpose does any civilian need with an AK-47, AR-15, 50 cal. or a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds? These firearms are only designed to kill as many people possible as fast as possible. Sport shooting? Target shooting? It isn't hunting, these weapons suck for hunting. Unless you're varmint shooting, which is hardly done these days. Really, ask the "hunter" you know the last time they went squirrel, skunk, groundhog, or any small game hunting. When I was a kid, that was an actual thing. I don't think I've met anyone who does that anymore (the farmer out back does shoot groundhogs, but he isn't very good at it, and he does it because he feels he is losing too much of his crops to them).

It's all a fantasy. You want these firearms to keep the "guberment" out of your business, and maybe "take back your government"? Seriously? Say, how did that work out for the Branch Davidians or Randy Weaver at Ruby Rudge? They all had firearms for that exact reason. Didn't help them at all, did it. In fact, it tended to make the situation worse. And in both circumstances they only faced law enforcement, not actual military. Heck, when the Southern States broke off and tried to form another country they had some actual military people (one of the premier strategist of the day, actually) and they still lost. If you think you can do better, please stop deluding yourself. Think just because you have guns the government will stay away? How did that work for the Hutaree? Didn't do squat.

Mostly what Wayne LaPierre sounded like is a paranoid who realizes that people are out to get him. The meds aren't working, Wayne. The crazy is peeking through.

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