Sunday, December 23, 2012

NRA Advocates safety of Weapons of Mass Murder over Safety of Children

I listened Sunday to Wayne LaPierre on Meet the Press.   He said that he was presenting a plan to make school children safer, but that claim was a gross deception.   He was presenting a plan to save the private unregulated ownership of so-called semiautomatic weapons and large capacity gun clips.  He was advancing a message designed to protect the sale of weapons capable of committing mass murder.   If you read the transcript of his interview, it became abundantly clear, that between the safety of children and the vision of unregulated weapons of mass killing, the children came second.   Repeatedly, Dennis Gregory asked whether the NRA could support regulation of weapons of mass killing and repeatedly LaPierre found ways to change the subject or to answer, in so many words, "No, not even if it would make kids safer."    The weapons are more important than the kids, he said, in all sorts of ways.

You're being unfair, Jerry.  The NRA proposal is a contribution to the safety of children., you say?   How can you be so cynical?   Well let's take a look at some of the problems with the NRA proposal:

  • The NRA proposal isn't designed to reduce mass murder.   Its designed to reduce mass murder when the mass murderer decides to attack children by walking past an armed security guard.  Under the NRA proposal, mass murder can be perpetrated against children, college students, movie patrons, in an unlimited number of ways.   If, using an assault rifle, the murderer picks off the security guard, the NRA proposal is basically worthless.  If the mass murderer waits for an unguarded door to open, he can gain entry the back way and wreak havoc before help arrives.   The NRA proposal does nothing to reduce the weapons of mass murder in our midst: it just creates a false sense of security by putting a single guard in a stationary location in just one of the places that children may be. 
  • The NRA proposal doesn't offer protection to  school children when they assemble in places unprotected by the one guard that is proposed.    Unless we are going to ban recess, field trips, and school buses, to name a few, any mass murderer who wants to access children with  weapons of mass murder, can do so in any number of places that simply cannot be guarded by a single armed officer.   
  • The NRA proposal fails to recognize that one of the reasons that mass murder occurs even when security guards are nearby is that a single security guard has a duty to protect himself so that he can eventually stop the mayhem.    When shootings are underway, a security guard cannot take the risk that he will be killed; his training requires him to take prudent steps to make sure that he can stop the intruder, and that often requires that he not rush into the line of fire without taking precautions.   
  • The NRA proposal doesn't offer a solution for day care centers, libraries, childrens' movies, or colleges and universities, and any number of groups of people who also deserve to be safe.  That's because the NRA proposal isn't about keeping people safe.  Its about calming people down and getting them to do something that will change the subject away from the fact that America allows anyone and everyone access to the weapons of mass murder. 
  • The NRA proposal places a single armed guard in a stationary position against an enemy with superior force and the element of surprise.     The NRA contends that security guards are stationed at all sorts of buildings and schools and wrongly contends that these security guards are posted in order to eliminate the threat of mass murder.  That's completely false.   Security guards are posted at buildings primarily to control the entrance of unarmed or lightly armed persons who don't intend to commit suicide.  You can't expect a single stationary security guard with a holstered gun to overcome a surprise attack from a heavily armed mass murderer who is willing to risk death. The NRA proposal refuses to recognize that security guards can do their job more efficiently if they face an who is unable fire 30 rapid fire rounds before reloading.  
  • The NRA proposal doesn't assure even a single armed security guard at each school; in fact it assures that there won't be constant security protection.  Let's face it folks.  Even security guards have to go to the bathroom.    It takes two security guards to assure that a single security guard is always present at a given entry point.  Not one, but two.   If there is no relief for the security guard, then a mass murderer need only wait until the security guard leaves his post.  Or, he can create a diversion of some kind that causes the security guard to leave his post. You can imagine any number of circumstances that will cause a security guard to leave his post; a student who gets injured, a scuffle in the halls, and so on.    Usually, when police are posted to a school, they serve a variety of safety functions besides keeping mass murderers out of the building.  They engage students in law enforcement discussions; in some schools, they meet with students who are suspected of criminal misconduct; they may collect data necessary for dealing with drugs, or serious harassment, and so on.  The security guards that NRA has in mind won't be able to perform this function, because if they are down the hall, or in a counselor's office, or in a classroom, a weapon designed for mass killing can kill a couple dozen children before the security guard arrives.  
  • The NRA proposal costs billions and still affords no safety.     News clippings are starting to surface with an estimate of the annual cost of providing a single armed security guard at each public school.   In Colorado, a public education official is reported as giving a $181 million cost for posting an armed security guard.  A Daily News analysis argues that placing an additional armed officer in each of the New York City's roughly 1,750 schools would cost about $81 million in salaries alone — plus benefits worth about a third of the yearly pay, for a total annual bill of well over $100 million.  The Daily News says, on a national scale, putting an armed guard in each of the country’s roughly 98,000 public schools would cost over $3.3 billion each year in salaries alone — plus benefits — according to Labor Bureau figures that put the average yearly pay of a a security guard at about $33,840.  

If you genuinely wanted to make public school children safer, you would go to law enforcement for advice.  Or to public school districts--school boards, superintendents and teachers?  Not the National Rifle Association?   The National Rifle Association is an organization dedicated to weapons before school safety.  It is dedicated to solutions that propagate weapons throughout society that are capable of committing mass murder.   Accepting advice from the NRA on how to eliminate mass murder in society is like asking the tobacco lobby to give us advice on how to eliminate cancer.  Its like asking the coal company lobbies to analyze the threat of global warming.   This plan of retaining Asa Hutchinson to create a plan is similarly flawed.    He's being asked to create a plan while on the payroll of an organization that's not willing to discuss solutions, unless the solutions fit within a preconceived set of parameters that put the safety of weapons of mass killing over the safety of children.  

If the NRA wrote an article about the characteristics of the 9mm Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol that Jared Lee Loughner used to shoot Gabrielle Giffords, or the Ruger Mini-14 rifle that  Anders Behring Breivik used to murder 77 in  Norway,   or the Glock 9 that Seung-Hui Cho, used a to murder 33 students at Virginia Tech, well I'd be inclined to take notice.   They know something about guns. But why would anyone take the NRA's advice on how to make schools safe?   If the NRA were genuinely interested in safe schools, it would have consulted with the people who run schools, and the people charged with helping us keep them safe, before it launched its proposal to put a gun-carrying guard in each school in America.  In truth, the NRA's proposal has nothing to do with saving schools; its a proposal to save automatic and semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity gun magazines.     Why won't the NRA plan work?  Because at its core, the plan isn't designed to work; its designed to give its allies in Congress something to say that doesn't make them sound like they are insensitive to elementary school murders.

1 comment:

  1. Its important to secure our school children. They are our future . You discuss very interesting points here which are very helpful.

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