Barack Obama

The NRA's Obama Gun Hypocrisy Ad: The Right to Self-Protection Doesn't Imply Federal Armed Guards in Every School

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The NRA, on this day when the president issues his set of proposals in response to the Sandy Hook shooting (none of which would have done anything to prevent the Sandy Hook shooting, natch), releases a much-derided video wondering why, if the president has armed guards for his kids, can he be such an elitist hypocrit as to not enthusiastically support government-funded armed guards in all schools?

That "put a gun in every school" proposal is the NRA's favorite "let's pump up the security state and maybe gun sales through huge new federal contracts" idea, one that has nothing whatsoever to do with defending Second Amendment rights, the group's alleged mandate.

Still, an important point is hidden in their ad, though one that applies only to those who say no private citizen should own a gun, fortunately not really at issue in today's proposals. The ad makes it clear that everyone seems to recognize that in a world where guns exist, having guns (whether in your hand or the hands of hirelings) can be very important indeed in exercising the core human right of self-defense.

However, the ad refuses to recognize proportionality and effectiveness and the fact that the president's children face unique risks and probabilities of attack. Thus, the NRA with this ad plays into out of proportion fear-mongering that allows people to look at very rare events like mass shootings in school and decide that huge blanket measures are necessary in trying to fight them.

It simply isn't true that massive, expensive, and potentially troublesome measures from the federal government are called for or made necessary by Sandy Hook at all. In fact, "doing something" can be worse than doing nothing, whether it be the unnecessary expense, dubious effectiveness, and potential hazards of armed federal guards in all schools, or the attempts to criminalize innocent actions like selling guns or owning certain tools and preventing huge classes of people who never have and never would harm anyone from effectively exercising the right to self-defense that Obama is hyping today.

The ad, by the way, despite what some critics think, does not say the president's daughters should not have taxpayer-funded protection.It just says that yours should as well.

UPDATE: I initally misinterpreted the ad as an implied poke at the president's kids Secret Service protection, not just armed guards at their private school. However, NRA's Wayne LaPierre did suggest last month that Congress should "act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation." So, the NRA is responding to a private school's choices with a call for a huge new taxpayer mandate.

UPDATE TO UPDATE: The Washington Post insists that the president's kids school doesn't even have armed guards, so my initial read of the ad, though it appears not to be the NRA's intent, is the only read of it that makes acutal factual sense.

My book on the legal roots of the Second Amendment fight, Gun Control on Trial.

The ad:

NEXT: A. Barton Hinkle on Conscientious Objection to Mandatory Contraceptive Coverage

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  1. It just says that yours should as well.

    Not really. Well kinda. But in my view, it’s simply stating that a more legitimate response to protection from gun violence is armed defense vs. gun removal. Yes, outside of the ad, the NRA is explicitly humping for the police state. But the emphasis on “gun free school zones” at the end, and lack of an explicit statement that it is cops, and not necessarily school personnel (administrators/staff/etc.), who need to be armed, doesn’t make it a clear cut add for the security state. Just for armed security.

    1. You’re going to spoil the cosmotarian “othering” of the NRA, pal.

      1. Between this and that horse shit Gillespie was pimping yesterday, Reason is really hitting a new low on this.

        1. I wish they’d be this critical of the ACLU. It is a much more target-rich opportunity.

          1. Doesn’t fit the narrative, SIV.

  2. The NRA hasn’t proposed “federal armed guards” in schools.They’ve made noise about “retired police officers” and federal funding but we already have federal education funding and school resource officers. The NRA won’t be lobbying for and scoring votes on any such proposal.

    However, the ad refuses to recognize proportionality and effectiveness and the fact that the president’s children face unique risks and probabilities of attack.

    The armed guards at Sasha and Malia’s school aren’t just for them, but all the DC elitists children who are enrolled. The NRA isn’t talking about secret service protection.

    1. The NRA isn’t talking about secret service protection.

      which speaks directly to the left of the hypocrisy. It chooses the frame the ad as being about Obama only while pretending this kids are more special than anyone else’s. Why? They’re children.

      The Obama Fellating Committee willfully ignores the point in hiding behind “security for mine but not for thine.”

      1. It’s about time someone other than the DNC engage in class warfare. Maybe this is a way to give them a taste of their own medicine.

        We need to see more ads reminding Americans that Feinstein is one of the lucky few Californians with CCW permits. Or that the Obamas have guards carrying P90s (fully-auto submachine guns with 50-rd mags), despite just telling us that such weapons are designed for killing large number of people. If a lone wolf with an AR frightens him, he must be truly terrified by his secret service.

  3. “…. Thus, the NRA with this ad plays into out of proportion fear-mongering that allows people to look at very rare events like mass shootings in school and decide that huge blanket measures are necessary in trying to fight them….”

    “….blerg blerg blah blah blah Reason, typical cosmotarians, blerg blah berg yarkg…”

  4. However, the ad refuses to recognize proportionality and effectiveness and the fact that the president’s children face unique risks and probabilities of attack.

    That is just horse dung Brian. No Presidential child has ever been attacked or threatened with such. Moreover, show me a single instance in the last 50 years where any terrorist organization has tried to get to a politician by murdering their children. I can’t think of one. Thinking the two brats are in special danger is just the kind of action movie horse shit that this magazine normally abhors and dismisses in relation to any other terrorist threat.

    In contrast, kids who go to school in actual dangerous places like Chicago rather then NW Washington DC, really are in danger and would benefit from armed protection. Do you no think people being armed doesn’t make you safer? If not why are you a libertarian?

    1. A better objection is “SO what? If the prez kids have a disproportionate risk of being attacked, how does that affect my right to protect my own kids from, albeit remote, chance of attack?”

      1. The argument is that their danger is so much higher that Obama is not being hypocritical for accepting the protection. Of course their danger isn’t that much higher if at all.

        1. President Jed Bartlett’s daughter was kidnapped, if you’ll recall.

          You’re speaking nonsense John and making a fool of yourself.

          1. Well played, sir.

  5. However, the ad refuses to recognize proportionality and effectiveness and the fact that the president’s children face unique risks and probabilities of attack.Based on history, what are the probabilities of an attack on a president’s children?

    1. Fucking zero. What would it accomplish? Why would killing those two kids be any more effective than killing any other two kids? If killing politician’s kids worked, they would have done it in really nasty conflicts like Northern Ireland or Yugoslavia or Spain. But it never happened.

      And as SIV points out above, all of the elite DC schools have armed guards even if there is no SS protection.

      1. Specifically Sidwell Friends, to which the NRA ad is referring.

        1. My wife worked for Holton Arms which is a peer school for Sidwell. They have an armed guard on campus at all times. All of them, Medera, Landon, Sidwell have them.

          1. Well, their special snowflakes are much more special than everyone else’s special snowslakes.

        2. And Sidewell is Quaker

          1. Well we are all nonviolent except when it comes to our special little snowflakes.

          2. It burns us, precious!

          3. So was Grace Kelly in High Noon.

      2. If killing politicians’ kids worked…

        …then Muammar Gaddafi might have changed his tune after we killed his. Of course, it’s impolite to mention that in public, seeing as how we’re supposed to be the good guys and all.

        1. his kids were not purposely targeted. By the way, Obama is plenty happy to drone strike the little Paki kids, but I don’t hear you pissing about that. How come?

        2. Gaddafi’s kids were grown adults, fighting in the military. His youngest son was 28 when he was killed.

          You might as well have mentioned Uday and Qusay Hussein while you’re at it.

          1. “Gaddafi’s kids were grown adults, fighting in the military. His youngest son was 28 when he was killed.”

            Four-year-old Hanna Gaddafi was a grown adult fighting in the military? I’m thinking you’re the one who needs a history lesson, not me. (Of course, now there is doubt whether she was actually killed or not, but it seems like the US government didn’t question it at the time.)

            “his kids were not purposely targeted. By the way, Obama is plenty happy to drone strike the little Paki kids, but I don’t hear you pissing about that. How come?”

            Oh, not purposely targeted, that makes it all better. “Hey, I’m just dropping bombs on your house, not on you specifically, so it’s cool, right?” And if you haven’t heard me say anything about it, it’s because you’re responding to one damn comment I’ve made, which had nothing to do with Obama’s drone campaign. I seriously have no idea what the fuck you’re on about, because nothing I said was any kind of approval of Obama’s actions.

      3. But it never happened.

        Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova disagrees.

        1. To be fair, the Bolshiveks didn’t use the Romanov kids as political pawns to get what they wanted. They just lined them up and shot them with their dad.

  6. Has no one here seen Man on Fire???!!!

    I can’t believe everyone is understating the imminent danger that faces every child-of-a-celebrity.

    1. It is those violent action movies affecting Doherty’s thinking. Or a change in editorial direction. One of the two. If I had to wager I think the liberaltarian beast has risen from its grave.

    2. Or that time Kristen Bell got kidnapped back when her father was president.

      She sure was terse and witty there for a while.

    3. Everything I need to know about this issue I learned from the great Sinbad flick First Kid.

  7. in typical fashion, the left willingly ignores the substantive point of the ad and immediately goes personal. It’s what liberals do and, to be fair, it’s often what Team Red disciples do, too.

    Obama’s kids are not the only ones at the school; lots of well-to-do folks have no issue with armed guards watching over their munchkins while telling yours to suck it up. And where was all this outrage when Camp Obama claimed Romney caused some guy’s wife to get cancer and die?

  8. I propose privatizing all schools and letting each school handle its own security. All in favor?

    1. Sure. Let Doherty send his kids to the gun free zone school.

      1. While our kids attend the gun full zone school? Sounds good to me.

        Perhaps “full” is excessive. But I would like to see a half-dozen administrators/teachers armed, so long as they attend yearly training on gun safety and take monthly trips to the firing range.

        1. Armed with what?

          A concealable pistol vs. an AR-15 isn’t exactly a fair fight.

          1. Better than throwing paperweights. The first rule of a gunfight: bring a goddamn gun. Second rule is bring your friends with guns.

            The third rule is front sight and the fourth rule is always send Tulpa on point. That way his brilliant contrarianism will render the opposition totally incapable of firing back.

      2. “Sure. Let Doherty send his kids to the gun free zone school shooting gallery.”

    2. This proposal also solves every single “issue” that comes up with public schools.

      Don’t like zero tolerance on kids who play cops and robbers? Leave.

      Don’t want armed guards at your school? Leave.

      Want the school to conduct locker searches? Leave.

      1. Ah, what a wonderful world that would be. But, of course, the most effective solution (doing less) is never on the table when it comes to government.

  9. So, the NRA is responding to a private school’s choices with a call for a huge new taxpayer mandate.

    How could public schools make this same choice without a new taxpayer mandate?

    1. Don’t bother Reason with details. They are busy getting their Washington street creed by othering the NRA.

      We all have fun calling them cosmotarians and liberals collecting a paycheck until they get a better gig. But it is amazing how hard they try to live down to the stereotype.

    2. that quote has to be among THE most nonsensical pieces of tripe to ever spring from a Reason keyboard. The NRA is making a point, not advocating a new “mandate” of any sort.

      Maybe it’s true; spend enough time inside the Beltway and all rational thought is gradually sucked out of you.

  10. The NRA’s response to the school shooting, from start to finish, has confirmed in my mind that I was right to give up my membership years ago.

    To summarize: We need more armed agents of the state in schools.

    Fuck that.

    1. They are STATE SCHOOLS RC? I think it is unnecessary because I think the chances of a school shooting happening to any one person are pretty damned small and not worth worrying about. But if you think that is a danger, an armed guard seems to be a pretty rational response.

      You would have no problem with private schools hiring armed guards right? I don’t know why you would. Therefore, your problem is with the state running schools not with there being guards there. And the existence of public education is not the NRA’s fault.

    2. There’s nothing in the NRA’s proposal that requires the guards to be agents of the state.

      For the record, I think the NRA’s proposal is unworkable and misguided, but the argument that Doherty is making is ridiculous. Along with the bellyaching about the NRA straying from its Second Amendment mandate.

    3. The NRA’s response has been to turn the focus to the ” let’s do something” crap favored by the American people (as shown in polls after Sandy Hook) that does not involve gun restrictions. They are doing their job of protecting our 2nd Amendment rights. The NRA isn’t going to lobby and vote score on these other issues. The vague proposal involved “retired police officers” not a Federal Bureau of School Security.

      Any role played by the NRA in actively supporting school security will be in their traditional mission of firearms education and training.

  11. Can anyone see this happening again?

    http://bit.ly/V8pADG

    Sure she had Secret Service protection, but still.

    (Reason breaks the long Google news archive link)

  12. So as many of us loyal readers have observed H&R has taken a hard left turn.

    The masthead relects a more sharp division of the print and digital realms.

    1. Blah blah blah Hit n Runpublican blah blah blah Red Tony blah blah

  13. Mr. Drummond from Diff’rent Strokes is dead.

    How does this pertain to the topic at hand, you ask? Easy. I’m reminded of the episode where Willis, fearing for his safety after encountering bullies at his school, gets his hands on a revolver. Mr. Drummond returns home late one night, and Willis, unable to see in the dark and fearing a break-in, confronts Mr. Drummond, gun in hand. Mr. Drummond, furious, takes the gun away from Willis, and without reven fumbling around for the cylider release, unloads it. The next day, he takes the gun to Willis’ school and gives it to the principal, who expressed his gratitutde. It sturck me how much differently that would’ve been handled today, with a SWAT unit being called, the school locked down, tearful reporters on CNN reporting the incident in lurid detail, and Mr. Drummond being put away on terrorism-related charges.

  14. Instead of hiring armed guards, the schools should spend the money on courses in statistics and probability and basic logic.

    1. They’d have to hire a better class of teachers.

  15. Gun free zones are the problem because someone can walk in there and be certain that no one can fight back. A gun free zone with a guard is still certain to be a shooting gallery once the guard is taken out.

    The only way to get rid of that certainty is to allow those who can concealed carry to carry in schools.

    Sure, there’s a chance that no one will choose to carry on the school grounds, but the certainty that everyone is unarmed will be eliminated.

    1. But guns are scary sarcasmic. We are talking about children here. We can’t have guns around children. What are you crazy?

      This is how they actually think.

      1. Think? They don’t think. They have emotional reactions. The only time they engage their brain is to rationalize what the feel. Think? No, they don’t do much of that.

      2. “We are talking about children here. We can’t have guns around children. What are you crazy?”

        Speaking of which, I’m about to take my stepson (9) to the range for the first time in his life. He’s never shot a gun before. I have an old Marlin 60 that I’ve owned since I was 12, and I think a 22lr will be perfect. However, do you think it’s worthwhile to get a different rifle (bolt-action 22 with a smaller stock), or is the semi-auto Marlin sufficient?

    2. Uh, there’s usually at most one adult in each room of the school. So by that logic every classroom is a “shooting gallery” once the shooter takes out the teacher.

      Plus the fact that the likelihood of a teacher successfully stopping a school shooting is orders of magnitude lower than that a teacher’s loaded gun winds up in the hands of a kid by accident.

      1. Find a dictionary and look up “deterrent”.

        As far as the kids stealing a gun, that requires that 1) the teacher is carrying 2) the kids know the teacher is carrying 3) the kids overpower the teacher and 4) no one else in the school is armed and able to stop the kid once they steal the gun.

        Again, look up “deterrent” in the dictionary.

        1. The possibility of getting shot is not much of a deterrent to someone who plans to shoot himself afterwards. Assuming mass shooters are rational people is kind of silly.

          As far as the kids stealing a gun, that requires that 1) the teacher is carrying 2) the kids know the teacher is carrying 3) the kids overpower the teacher and 4) no one else in the school is armed and able to stop the kid once they steal the gun.

          Nope. Teacher takes off gun belt in the restroom and forgets it. (this has happened with air marshals in airports in the past) Or the teacher passes out from some illness during class and the gun is exposed.

          Are these unlikely scenarios? Yes. But they’re more likely than a successful defense against a school shooter.

          1. The possibility of getting shot is not much of a deterrent to someone who plans to shoot himself afterwards. Assuming mass shooters are rational people is kind of silly.

            Which is why they’re always shooting up police stations, gun shows, and shooting ranges.

            1. There’s no evidence that the “gun free” nature of the places where the few mass shootings that have occurred have occurred is what caused them to occur there.

              Columbine, VT, the Sikh temple, Ft Hood were selected because the shooter had specific people/groups he wanted to target, and those are the places they gathered. (and Columbine had armed guards btw, and VT and Ft Hood had armed police on site)

              The Aurora Cinemark is harder to figure, but that’s matched by the Tucson Safeway which was assuredly not a GFZ.

              1. There’s no evidence that the “gun free” nature of the places where the few mass shootings that have occurred have occurred is what caused them to occur there.

                Tulpa, meet Common Sense. Common Sense, meet Tulpa. I can see you two have never met, so I encourage you to become acquainted with each other. Well, rather I encourage Tulpa to become acquainted with Common. Common, you have nothing at all to learn from Tulpa except to observe how irrational people who have never met you can be.

              2. There’s no evidence that the “gun free” nature of the places where the few mass shootings that have occurred have occurred is what caused them to occur there.

                The fact that they almost universally occur in such places is proof enough.

                Columbine, VT, the Sikh temple, Ft Hood were selected because the shooter had specific people/groups he wanted to target, and those are the places they gathered.

                Lots of people have a beef with the police in general, or with particular officers, yet once agaiin, they don’t seem to target police stations all that often.

                Columbine had armed guards btw, and VT and Ft Hood had armed police on site

                Soldiers on a military base generally aren’t armed unless they’re engaged in a particular exercise that requires them to possess weapons. And even then, unless it’s a live-fire exercise, they’re generally not issued ammo. There are police on military bases, but as with any other place, it’s going to take time for them to respond.

                1. The fact that they almost universally occur in such places is proof enough.

                  Uh, no. First off there’s an awfully small sample size, small enough that most of these places have other things in common too. For example, almost all were no-smoking areas.

                  Soldiers on a military base generally aren’t armed unless they’re engaged in a particular exercise that requires them to possess weapons.

                  Yes, I know, which is why I placed Ft Hood with the other GFZs.

                  1. For example, almost all were no-smoking areas.

                    With the exception of tobacco stores, at least around here, all public places are no-smoking. Even the beach.

                    Typical Tulpacal lame analogy.

                    1. Whatever dude. There are other commonalities.

                      Other than Ft Hood, all of the shootings occurred in affluent areas.

                    2. Other than Ft Hood, all of the shootings occurred in affluent areas.

                      You’ll reach at anything rather than admit that someone intent on killing a lot of people would choose a place where they could be absolutely certain that every law abiding citizen is unarmed.

                      Though this isn’t the first time I’ve seen you vehemently deny common sense.

                    3. Still there is the fact that having a shooter meet armed resistance lowers the body count in a mass shooting.

                2. “There are police on military bases, but as with any other place, it’s going to take time for them to respond.”

                  And in the case of Ft. Hood the perpetrator chose a location where the least amount of armed resistance would be. Being a maniacal killer doesn’t make a person a total idiot.

          2. Not just school shooters. Pervs, custody kidnappings, rival gangs, fleeing fugitives, staff domestic disputes. All still very low prob but there are reasons other than the threat of massacres why responsible willing adult staff should be armed in schools.

            1. All still very low prob but there are reasons other than the threat of massacres why responsible willing adult staff should be armed in schools.

              Tulpy poo is working from the liberal premise that if you allow something then every single person will do it. Which is a false premise. Not that he cares.

              1. Uh, what? Your position is actually the one that would be helped by that premise.

                If few teachers actually took advantage of CCW then your scheme of protection is pretty worthless.

                I’m sure your hyperrational guy who wants to shoot a bunch of first graders and then himself would figure this out while carefully considering the cost-benefit ratio.

                1. If few teachers actually took advantage of CCW then your scheme of protection is pretty worthless.

                  It’s not protection, it’s deterrence.

                  Learn to read, moron.

                  1. If there’s no protection there’s no deterrence.

                    1. If you want to kill a bunch of people, given a choice between a place where it is absolutely guaranteed that no one can shoot back, or a place where there is no prohibition against armed self defense, which would you choose?

                      Someone who wants to kill a lot of people isn’t going to go where there’s a chance he could get shot at before the cops arrive. No, they’re going somewhere where everyone is a victim.

                      Your denial of this is either stupid or dishonest. I can’t tell which.

          3. The possibility of getting shot is not much of a deterrent to someone who plans to shoot himself afterwards. Assuming mass shooters are rational people is kind of silly.

            Then why have the vast majority of mass shootings happened in gun free zones?

            Are these unlikely scenarios? Yes. But they’re more likely than a successful defense against a school shooter.

            It’s not about a successful defense. It’s about schools not being juicy targets because the gunman knows with certainty that everyone is helpless.

            How many of these teachers do you really think would carry guns? Public schools are places where any deviation from liberal groupthink is socially unacceptable. More than likely one or none of the people in the average school would choose to arm themselves. But that’s not the point. Taking away the certainty that everyone is disarmed is the point.

            *whoosh*

            That’s the sound of the point going over your emotional head.

            1. See my post above.

              It’s not about a successful defense. It’s about schools not being juicy targets because the gunman knows with certainty that everyone is helpless.

              If a successful defense is unlikely there’s no deterrent. Even if we leave aside the question of whether getting shot is a deterrent to suicidal school shooters.

              Over 95% of the people in a school are minors, also, so unless you’re proposing having the kindergarteners pack heat during nap time, the fact is the vast majority of people in the building are going to be helpless.

              1. the fact is the vast majority of people in the building are going to be helpless.

                In a gun free zone THE SHOOTER CAN BE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT EVERY LAW ABIDING CITIZEN IS HELPLESS! HELLO? MCFLY? YOU IN THERE?

                Fucking common sense, how does it work?

          4. “Teacher takes off gun belt in the restroom and forgets it. (this has happened with air marshals in airports in the past)”

            We need to outlaw shitting.

      2. Plus the fact that the likelihood of a teacher successfully stopping a school shooting is orders of magnitude lower than that a teacher’s loaded gun winds up in the hands of a kid by accident.

        Yet another iteration of the “ordinary people are too mean and stupid to be trusted with guns” argument.

        1. When we’re talking about a building 99% of whose occupants are minors, the considerations are a bit different.

          1. When we’re talking about a building 99% of whose occupants are minors, the considerations are a bit different.

            So should police officers, if not responding to an emergency, be required to disarm before entering a school?

            1. If they enter the school while not on official coercive business, I don’t see a problem with making them disarm. I don’t know how often they enter a school under non-coercive circumstances.

              1. If they enter the school while not on official coercive business, I don’t see a problem with making them disarm. I don’t know how often they enter a school under non-coercive circumstances.

                Well at least you’re consistent, I’ll give you that.

                Lots of cops go to schools to pick up/drop off kids, career day, Officer Friendly, DARE . . .

                1. Officer Friendly, DARE . . .

                  Fraud is a variety of coercion.

                2. They absolutely should not be armed in a classroom. There is NO purpose for that. One of the big 3 rules of gun safety, as you know, is never to have a loaded gun unless you need it to be loaded for its current purpose.

                  Picking up and dropping off their own kids they should obey the same rules as other parents.

                  1. One of the big 3 rules of gun safety, as you know, is never to have a loaded gun unless you need it to be loaded for its current purpose

                    They don’t work if they aren’t loaded so at least your primary defensive weapon should always be loaded except when you are cleaning it.

                    Gun safety

                    treat every gun as if it is loaded
                    always point the muzzle downrange or in a safe direction
                    always be sure of your target and what is beyond it
                    keep your booger picker off the bang switch until you are ready to shoot

                  2. One of the big 3 rules of gun safety, as you know, is never to have a loaded gun unless you need it to be loaded for its current purpose.

                    Possibly that’s one of the big 3 rules of gun safety on Planet Tulpa, along with “Be as big a fucking retard as possible on the Reason.com comment threads.”

                    Here on Earth, though:

                    #1: Treat every gun as loaded.
                    #2: Never point a gun at something you’re not willing to destroy.
                    #3: Keep your booger hook off the bang switch until you’re ready to shoot.

              2. Why should a uniformed (or non-uniformed) police officer disarm when entering a building? What possible justification would there be? So the snowflakes don’t get unnerved by the sight of a holstered sidearm?

                I’d love to know what would justify that.

          2. I get the point you are making, but ‘do nothing’ is nowhere on the idea matrix.

            1. Yes. They have to propose “something” for practical political reasons.

  16. that quote has to be among THE most nonsensical pieces of tripe to ever spring from a Reason keyboard.

    It’s Doherty. Why would you expect something coherent?

  17. It is an interesting turn of event that poking at a Second Amendment rights group for having a major public reaction to increased restrictions on Second Amendment rights be, not any kind of defense of Second Amendment rights, but further hyping of a huge new federal mandate, marks one to some of our commenters as a “leftist” thing to do. (One may argue this ad is NOT an explicit call for that federal program, but as per that La Pierre quote, that is the context in which this ad ought to be read.) As always and I suspect as ever, I think everyone should be able to own any weapon whose use is not inherently violating the rights or harming the life of the innocent, and that includes prior-restraint prohibitions on ownership by the “wrong types of people” (who overwhelmingly would never use a weapon in a rights-violating way). Which is more than the NRA can say.

    1. The NRA’s major public reaction has been to oppose the AWB and other increased gun control restrictions.

      The armed guards thing is just a way to look like they want to “do something”…. and armed guards have the benefit of NOT restricting 2A rights at all. Looking like you want to do something is very important in practical politics in the modern age.

    2. Where has the NRA ever argued for a “federal mandate”? I thought they threw out the idea of armed guards as a good idea not a mandate.

      1. If LaPierre repudiated or denied saying the quote from the NYT quoted and linked to in my update graf, please point that out and I’ll amend/correct.

        1. So are armed guards at private schools part of the security state Brian? If not, why not? It would seem your problem is more with state run schools than with security itself. And if it is with having armed security, why are we not out banning armed security at all schools?

        2. a nice start might be recognizing the point of the ad itself, which is far more about “security for mine but not for thine” than it is about any mandate for anything.

          Lots of folks NOT named Obama have their kids in this school, too, and it’s not easy to guess that many of them think gun control is a great thing. David Gregory comes to mind as one example.

          The ad made a point that goes far beyond politics or party. I can’t believe you missed it, so the alternative is that you willingly ignored it. Why?

        3. You’re reading that quote in the context the NYTs presented it in.Read it in the context of the actual press conference transcript. LaPierre made a vague proposal that sounded all voluntary-like “retired officers and volunteers” and offered to train them at NRA expense. The call on Congress was “before you ban guns why don’t you do something that might actually work”. As the NYTs reported this was not taken up by Congress yet it remains the most popular solution in public opinion polling. There have been no repeated calls for this by the NRA. The ad does suggest what LaPierre was actually implying when it shows the “Gun Free School Zone” signs as this was a law passed by Congress.

          This is all public relations. The NRA is not going to lobby for Federal School Marshalls and that is not what LaPierre proposed in his press conference.

    3. And the NRA actually has produced results in defending gun rights…. which is more than “principled non-voters” like Mr Doherty can say.

    4. Because the main point of the NRA’s ad was “the President understands that guns are a good defense against violence.”

      Just let it be, man. Most people who see the ad aren’t La Pierre scholars. Don’t tear down a valid point just because you don’t like where it’s coming from.

  18. Ugh, “…and that includes OPPOSITION TO prior-restraint prohibitions on ownership…” etc.

    1. So Brian.. could you bring up the missing edit button at the next staff meeting?

  19. The way to think about this is imagine if we actually privatized every school and people had vouchers and could send their kids to any school they wanted. Some people would send their kids to schools with armed guards and some would send them to gun free schools. And then after a few years there would be a mass shooting at some gun free school and every parent would demand that there be an armed guard at their kid’s school. So eventually, armed guards would be the norm.

    Given that, I fail to see how calling for armed guards at every school could possibly be considered crazy or radical.

    1. Well, it’s unworkable. And foolish to dump taxpayer money into a guard in every one of the tens of thousands of American schools, year after year, to prevent something that happens once every 14 years.

      1. Why is it unworkable? Think about if every school were private. Liability concerns alone would probably mandate armed security. I can’t see a private school winning a law suit after it failed to provide armed security and there was a shooting on its grounds.

        We hire janitors and armies of administrators for every school. No reason why we couldn’t hire rentacops for every school.

        1. Or security guards for every airport entrance.

          There’s a point of diminishing returns on everything, including security. The “if even one child is saved” is bollocks. Cost/benefit should ALWAYS be a consideration.

          1. I am not saying it would be worth it. But is sure as hell is possible.

            1. Agreed. I suspect Tulpa’s use of the word “unworkable” was in error.

              1. Well, that’s questionable. “Impractical” is more to the point.

          2. “There’s a point of diminishing returns on everything, including security. The “if even one child is saved” is bollocks. Cost/benefit should ALWAYS be a consideration.”

            So, provide your cost/benefit analysis for providing security for the POTUS kids. In yuan if you will please.

        2. Liability concerns alone would probably mandate armed security.

          I don’t think so. By that logic, every kids’ activity would require armed guards. Little League, YMCA swimming lessons, Cub Scout meetings, etc.

          1. No because we have never had shootings at those things. But schools, for sure. You really think a place like Sidwell has armed guards because they like to pay them? No, their insurance company probably told them to get them.

            1. There is no evidence it’s from insurance concerns. Does every inner city Catholic school have armed guards?

              Sidwell has a lot of prime kidnapping targets going to school there. The customers probably demand it.

              1. And no one else would demand such a thing? And yes catholic schools in bad neighborhoods often have armed guards. They all would except many of them cannot afford it.

              2. “There is no evidence it’s from insurance concerns. Does every inner city Catholic school have armed guards?”

                I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.

      2. Every private university has an armed police force Tulpa. And private schools in high crime areas like Temple in North Philadelphia have security forces that put a lot of municipal ones to shame. But putting a rentacop in every grade school is unworkable?

        1. sub Many or Some for Every

          1. Show me a private school that doesn’t have a police force. I have never heard of such a thing.

            1. You’re making the extraordinary claim, John. So you have the burden of proof.

              I don’t have every private university’s security schemes at my fingertips.

              1. You don’t have to. You just have to find one. If such things never happen or rarely happen, it should be pretty easy to find. I can’t prove a negative. But you sure as hell can come up with an example. And if you can’t, you are most likely full of shit, as usual.

                1. Private school that doesn’t have a police force. Or a security guard.

                  http://www.marlboro.edu/resources/directory/staff/

            2. Security guards or police force or armed police force? Those are three different animals.

              1. They are all armed. So for the purposes of this debate, they make the same point.

                1. Here you go:

                  http://police.uoregon.edu/

                  An unarmed police force.

                  But this is a public university so that doesn’t count, right?

                  1. virtually all public universities have UNarmed officers, mostly because those people are not trained and sworn cops or former cops. They are employees filling a role, not much different from the grounds crew in that respect.

                    Colleges are also located in cities, which do have cops with guns and they are called in for crimes and for crowd control during things like ballgames and concerts.

                    1. Wareagle, the UO Police Department police officers are fully accredited sworn Oregon LEOs. They are just not armed due to the legislative circumstances that created it. They do have full police powers. Not just campus security anymore, I’m afraid.

                    2. The well-armed campus cops here are a division of the state police. The city police get called out for crowd/traffic control.

                      There is also no more than three campus cops on duty at any given time, yet they have eleven cruisers.

                    3. fair enough, yet as a creature of the state, the state-run university prohibits its cops from being armed. So again, when trouble arises, the Eugene PD is called in or the S-O, depending on jurisdiction.

                      I grew up in a college town; security was not armed there, either, and city cops were called in when necessary. Unarmed folks don’t deter anything. They do write nice parking tickets, though, and direct traffic during peak times.

      3. “Well, it’s unworkable. And foolish to dump taxpayer money into a guard in every one of the tens of thousands of American schools”

        Out of all the foolish dumping of taxpayer money into public schools this would be pretty low on my list. How exactly is putting a guard in every school any more “unworkable” than having a “counselor” at every school?

        1. There isn’t a counselor in every school, and shouldn’t be.

          1. Oh STFU.

          2. of course, there is and at most schools, more than one. More than one asst principal, too.

  20. “It simply isn’t true that massive, expensive, and potentially troublesome measures from the federal government are called for or made necessary by Sandy Hook at all.”

    This might be true. But if something is going to be done, rather than give up more of my privacy and 2nd amendment rights, why wouldn’t I support something that actually would work? If armed guards keep the POTUS’ children safe why can’t armed guards keep every kid in a public school safe?

    1. “If armed guards keep the POTUS’ children safe why can’t armed guards keep every kid in a public school safe?”

      STOP IT!!! YOU’RE MAKING JOE AND MIKA CRY!!!!1!11!1

    2. “If armed guards keep the POTUS’ children safe why can’t armed guards keep every kid in a public school safe?”

      Because shut up.

  21. is it just me or does the idea of cops in schools just rub you the wrong way?

    allowing teachers and admin to be armed is a good start for school safety, and i’m not categorically against any cops in any schools whatsoever, but the idea that cops should be armed security for schools just gives me an “ick” feeling. i admit it. it’s emotional, but i just feel (note: FEEL) that it’s the wrong approach to turn our schools into outposts for armed police

    i don’t remember ever seeing cops in my high school, certainly not the quaker prep school i went to (that would never fly with pacifists), nor the large public high school i went to for senior year. we got along fine.

    statistically speaking, kids are still safer in school than in the home or going to/from school, last i checked.

    maybe we’ve reached the point where the default should be cops in schools, but i’m gonna need some convincin’ of that.

    1. i don’t remember ever seeing cops in my high school

      Well, times change. We use to have a smoking area at the school and have our rifles on the gun racks in our trucks in the parking lot.

      But that was…well…forever ago.

      1. I remember the gun racks. I also remember by the time my kids were in high school, someone got arrested for that. Didn’t matter than the guns were unloaded or that the kid in question was a pretty normal student; he violated zero tolerance.

        My daughter’s boyfriend at the time got suspended, maybe even expelled if I remember right, for having a wiffle ball bat in his car.

    2. No. As far as I am concerned, police should keep people safe.

      I’d much rather have them guarding children at schools than most of the things they actually do.

  22. Sometimes you jsut have to kick it up a notch or two.

    http://www.anono-web.tk

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