The National Rifle Association Disgraces Itself. Again. - Spectator Blogs

21 December 2012

Earlier this week I suggested that America’s gun owners have often been let down by the leadership of the gun-rights movement. I don’t know if that has ever been more obvious than it is today.

The press conference – well, a statement really, since there were no questions permitted – held by the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre is quite extraordinary. Reading the transcript I thought at first that it must be a parody written by gun-control activists determined to discredit the National Rifle Association. Turns out there’s no need to attempt that, not when the NRA is prepared to do the job itself.

I don’t know if I can recall a performance quite as stupid, bone-headed, ill-judged, morally obtuse, tone-deaf, politically obnoxious and emotionally unintelligent as this. Heckuva job, NRA.

The NRA’s solution to America’s gun problems? Armed guards in every school. Because, yes, the further paramilitarisation of American life is just what every child needs. Apparently so:

The National Rifle Association’s 4 million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters join the nation in horror, outrage, grief and earnest prayerfor the families of Newtown, Connecticut … who suffered such incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime.Out of respect for those grieving families, and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment. While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent.

Now, we must speak … for the safety of our nation’s children. Because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one— nobody — has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works? The only way to answer that question is to face up to the truth. Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them.

And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order? Think about it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants,courthouses — even sports stadiums — are all protected by armed security.

We care about the President, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers. Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family — our children — we as a society leave them utterly defenseless.

And the monsters and predators of this world know it and exploit it. That must change now! The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them. They walk among us every day. And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn’t planning his attack on a school he’s already identified at this very moment?

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It didn’t get any better after that introduction, either. It’s almost as though you could be forgiven for thinking that beneath this curdling self-pity and self-righteousness the NRA sees some grim upside to the Sandy Hook tragedy. Perhaps now other Americans will finally see that the NRA has been right all along. Finally! More guns are needed.

(Of course, as has swiftly been pointed out, this is no guarantee either: Columbine High School had an armed guard. Despite this and despite Sandy Hook schools are safe places for kids. They really are. )

The Americans I know who own guns are not morons. The same cannot be said of the NRA’s leadership. There are times when playing to the dafter elements of your core support may make sense; this should not have been one of them.

I think that were I a member* of the NRA, I’d be resigning my membership this weekend.

*And if I were American I might be! Of course I’d be a member of the ACLU too.


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  • alexsandr

    well if I was a US citizen, no doubt I could go to wallmart and get myself a firearm.

    But I have never been taught how to work one. So the idea that having guns in the hands of amateurs is risable because they will probably kill the wrong people, or themselves. Or shoot at concrete and have bullets ricocheting all over the place. Now that is a good idea isnt it?

  • Phil

    In the 1950s, 60% of Americans said they would support a ban on handguns (Gallup); in 2011, 73% said they would oppose one.

    This week Gallup showed 42% felt gun bans would be effective, well behind beefing up the police (53%), doing better mental-health screening (50%) and cracking down on violent video games (47%). source: ft

    How “tone-deaf” the NRA really are; not at all. What amuses is that Americans have fallen more in love with gun ownership as the social policies begun under JFK & LBJ have bloomed into fruition. So Massie is wrong all over the place.

  • Loudon Cleary

    Let’s start by admitting that LaPierre is right: if Americans value money enough to guard it, why not children? Posting armed guards at schools would certainly reduce the opportunity to carry out massacres. But then let’s keep going. Why not remove the motivation for massacre, too? Is it really sensible to marinate people, from infancy, in violent computer games and entertainment? Finally, let’s remove the means of carrying out massacres: as LaPierre and Co. know well, you may not have to get rid of guns, but you absolutely must control them.

  • Alex

    Alex Massie disgraces himself. Again.

  • Nickie

    School is no place for guns and armed guards. Lanza was clearly a very disturbed young man but the presence of guns and live ammunition in his own home did make the killings very easy for him. I wonder if he had to apply for a license and satisfy a doctor that he was of sound mind, if his state of apparent agitation would have diminshed by the time he had filled in the form.

  • Colonel Mustard

    In all the knee-jerk reaction to this no mention has been made of the incidents at schools where similar attempted massacres were stopped by armed citizens, in one case by the school principal fetching his own pistol from his car. Massacres require the victims (and their supposed protectors) to be unarmed and defenceless. The idea that restricting the legal ownership of guns will somehow prevent that is naive beyond belief.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    I see the Speccie’s self described “libertarian” is at it again. 😉

    You should stick to your lefty authoritarianism, son. There’s plenty of freedom and liberty to be stamped out, you know. Plenty of work for you gauleiters and apparatchiks.

  • Ringstone

    The NRA say “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” – well the American people seem to do a lot of it. The link goes to causes of death for young people 10 to 24 years old, the dark bar is violent death – and the USA leads the way.
    “At 8.9 per 100,000 population, the rate of violent death (such as from
    homicide or accidental shooting) is 18 times higher than in Britain. For
    young American men the risk is much higher. The death rate from
    homicide for 20-24 year olds is a staggering 28 per 100,000 population”.
    Of course, the poll is skewed and the Economist is a left wing rag; if you are in denial – nothing to do with having an assault rifle, it was the Xbox wot did it!

  • The Red Bladder

    So, it would seem, the US arms industry is only too willing, ready and able to protect the public against – er, well, the US arms industry.

  • Augustus

    The National Rifle Association is all about the responsible handling of weapons. They don’t commit these crimes. They don’t make them possible either. But what liberals are doing is causing the ranks of the NRA to swell ( an average of 8,000 new members a day since the tragedy). It is monumentally stupid to blame the NRA for this shooting, as some lefties have done, and even more stupid to call for more violence. Adam Lanza meant to kill his mom, and those his twisted mind believed his mom loved more than him. Those kids are dead because Nancy Lanza waited too long to do anything about Adam. Those kids are dead because she did not properly secure those weapons. Those are the two actions that could have, and probably would have, prevented the Newtown disaster.

  • Kevin

    It is good to see Code Pink in the picture again. I have not been aware of any media coverage of them since Hope and Change came to America.

    I certainly missed their demonstration about the killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in a US drone attack in September 2011, on which Wikipedia makes the following comment:
    “The ‘targeted killing’ of an American citizen, sometimes described as an assassination order, was unprecedented.”

    I am not saying they did not have a demonstration – maybe they did. I just did not catch the picture in the Telegraph or the Spectator.

  • Alise Stewart

    Truly horrifying is the implication that “mentally ill” equates to violence. And composing a database of those members of society reeks of Hitler seeking to isolate those members of society he wished to destroy. First get the general population to see “them” as different, then put “them” in camps, and start building the furnaces.

    Isn’t the entire point that none of these nut jobs had been diagnosed or treated as mentally ill? If we had a national database, the shooters would not have been on it.

    Speaking as an American, can we not see that the gun culture is related to our distorted concept of what it means to be a ‘real’ man? Must every man pack a gun to be considered the latest descendant of the frontiersman or a Revolutionary War soldier? We have taken their outer trappings, the gun, and thrown away what they were really fighting for…IDEAS.

  • Malfleur

    Massie, Bill Clinton voiced the NRA’s present position in 2000. Did Clinton disgrace himself? Come on, Massie, come out and face this – one of your fellow liberals disagreesd with you way back when – conveniently forgotten now by the unprincipled.:

    Don’t try to come at me from the moral high ground,Massie. It is you and those like you who, to make a political point, killed those children in Sandy Hook by failing to support the democrat Clinton’s 2000 proposal..


    • Stuart Eels

      By all that God holds dear Alex Massie can be a pain in the waffling writing engaged in but one thing Alex Massis isn’t is nut job like you!

      • Malfleur

        …and your point is?

  • DavidDP

    To paraphrase, nothing will happen until Americans learn to love their children more than they love guns.

  • Kevin

    “The NRA’s solution to America’s gun problems? Armed guards in every school.”

    Britain’s solution to backstreet abortions? 200,000 legal abortions per year.

    • Wessex Man

      What’s that got to do with the price of milk you halfwit?

  • James Strong

    The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.
    What part of that does anyone disagree with?
    You can’t un-invent guns, and you can’t stop bad guys getting hold of them. Banning them is beyond pointless, it is stupid. Criminals do not obey the law, so they won’t take any notice of a ban.
    Arming guards at school is OK but is not sufficient; what it does is identify the first target for the bad guy.
    The least bad option is for law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms. If a few staff members at Sandy Hook school had been carrying concealed firearms then fewer innocent lives would have been lost.
    The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.

    • Alise Stewart

      We have shoved off onto America’s teachers: the teaching of morals, giving the kids breakfast, the war on drugs, and now we want them to carry concealed weapons to act as bodyguards, no matter how willing or unwilling they may be? Are there any more duties we can saddle teachers with? Did you want them to chew the free breakfast for the kid too?

      • Beefeater

        The public school teacher’s unions are the vanguard of the state. Health and safety rules, social justice (compassion), hours, pay and benefits are their major concerns. Why not make it mandatory that each school has teachers who carry guns – to protect themselves, if not the children? Teachers, police, firemen are parents too. How about a whole separate government office: School Marshalls? Paid more than Park Rangers. I’m surprised the public service employee unions have not jumped on this obvious job creator.

        • Alise Stewart

          Teaching social justice and moral issues should be the responsibility of the parent and the supporting community, not the government entity of schools. Same with gym. Schools have only picked up these responsibilities because American culture has dropped the ball.
          It’s time for our culture to assume that responsibility again, instead of dumping it on undervalued and underpaid teachers.

          Or maybe the kids should live in a government compound surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards…oh, wait, that’s prison; where 1 in 10 kids ends up from criminalization of drugs (health issue), and sincere lack of society to face reality and take responsibility for the raising of it’s children.

          • childrenofthecorn

            fuck off and get your own identity you bfring asshole.

      • childrenofthecorn

        get your own identity. butch

    • subjectivity

      perhaps abolishing gunshops? Who is the bad guy and at what point do we identify him? ‘If a few staff members at Sandy Hooks…..’..teachers from now on should learn their subjects and how to conceal a weapon just in case.
      This is a joke, right?

  • provolone

    There were armed police in all of my schools. Outside of school, as a teenager; it was trivial for me to obtain a gun on the black market at cheaper than retail prices.

    How can we claim that more gun laws will be effective, when guns are already available at discount prices on the black market? It is easier and cheaper to purchase a gun illegally.

    How can we claim that more laws will be the solution when we already have the world’s largest prison population? We have only succeeded in creating a larger class of criminals.

    What if instead of pleading for a solution from the leviathan, like children unable to solve their own problems; What if we took personal responsibility for our culture of violence? What if individuals reached out to the mentally ill and interacted with them instead of stigmatizing them? What if the troubled young shooter was playing chess with an old retired neighbor that morning, instead of obsessing and plotting?

    The state can’t solve all of our problems. It can only make more criminals. It certainly can not save us from our own cultural failures. What is a tear, if not a plea for compassion? What is violence if not a failure of human empathy? When the head of state sheds a tear, the symbolism is simple; Yet statists continue to react with the same tired routine.

    Statists see our all of our problems, including cultural failures, as nails that can be solved with the levithan’s hammer of justice. It is this naive and childish world view that furthers our failure. Yes, state violence, does reinforce our culture of violence.

    If we are to blindly accept the objective truth of state justice as an infallible function of morality; Then we must also ask of Obama, Why does he send drone strikes to weddings, to kill US citizens and whatever children may also be present? Is this not hypocrisy and if so, what authority does he have left to condemn domestic massacres?

    • Bernie Cavanagh

      Although I am most definitely in the ban weapons as stringently as legally possible category you make a very compelling argument. Well said.

    • Anne Blomquist-Malecki

      Paragraph five is so truthful and elequent; I am changed.

  • Andy Hume

    Of course, office buildings, [most] power plants and sports stadiums are not protected by armed guards in Britain – nor, for that matter, are most banks – because a ban on guns means that those trying to rob or disrupt those facilities are far less likely to be armed with automatic assault weapons.

  • Beefeater

    Gun-owners have been let down by the “leadership of the gun-rights movement”? What’s this wet argument? Some kind of reflex exoneration of the common man and blaming of their bosses? Like those who understand the Palestinian suicide bombers but condemn the leadership who gives them the bomb-belts? How much thought was there behind this reflexive “Ugh!” reaction to the speech? Just what would you have those who own guns say in response to those who superstitiously turn to banning, zero-tolerance, “gun-free” zone stupidities, stringent (and useless) regulation of guns because – and this is the sole underlying rationale when all the fluff is removed – guns are lethal weapons? Your parenthetical note about Columbine having an armed guard is not sufficient rebuttal to the argument that “the answer to an armed bad guy is an armed good guy.” It is the traditional American answer to violent criminal attackers (whether armed with guns or not). America arms its police, sheriffs, bank-guards, corporate security. American Jews have armed guards at their schools and synagogues. Householders have guns. At the point where the attack occurs should be the point at which there is the strongest defense. Globally, America (and Britain) arms its favored insurrectionists to fight disfavored regimes.

    The NRA’s stand against government abridgment of the Second Amendment is far stronger and more civil libertarian than the ACLU’s selective and ideological support of government control under the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendments. In fact, the ACLU should be defending Second Amendment: the civil liberty of gun-ownership is as constitutional as the civil liberty of the mad to be liberated from custodial institutions.

    Should America ban the manufacture of cigarettes?

    Screen box-cutter and bleach buyers?

    Make it illegal to be a member of a gang?

    Monitor video game players?

    If parents want their children to be safe from violent attacks at school, the simplest, most practical and effective way to achieve this is to arm the teachers or have an armed guard. Otherwise, the only sure way to keep their children safe from school massacres is not to have them be at school where they are a mass target. High schoolers and university students have been victims of fellow students. Do parents want to rely on school psychologists or teachers acting as “gatekeepers” ? Is it really sensible to rely on reading the “signs” before an attack, or screening before purchase, or regulating rate of bullet firing? Adding more crimes to the books is pointless.

    • Ron Todd

      It would have been better PR if they had waited until afte other people had made the suggestion then stood up and said yes and we can help with that.

      Like this country new laws are added on top of old laws what we need is one set of good laws. Laws that can be widly accepted and generally enforced.

      • Mailman

        Just as it would have been preferable for the left to have waited for the dead to have been buried before piling in to demand tge disarmament for tens of millions of law abiding Americans.


  • Daniel Maris

    Here’s my reply to Wilhelm’s comments about “Ebonics speakers” which was censored:

    What about the way the 35 million Ebonic speakers’ forebears were
    treated by Anglo-Celtic slave owners? – subject to multiple rape;
    subject to whipping, castration and amputation as punishments; forced to
    endure life-shortening hard labour; denied education; denied the
    ability to develop family life; denied civil rights; and subject to all
    sorts of injustices, both petty and grand. I’m not sure they’ve turned
    out that badly, all things considered, particularly given their huge
    contribution to American culture, in music, dance, the military, film
    and increasingly business as well (much greater than say the Mexican or
    wider Hispanic contribution to the USA).

    Where would American “soft power” be without the contribution of “Ebonic” speakers I wonder.

    Even Himmler had to admit that SS troops liked to dance along to the jazz records captured from American forces.

    • Wilhelm


      Do you feel better after that demented rant ?

      Have you ever wondered why Maris and his ilk keep wittering on about ” Heinrich, cattle trucks and Signal magazine ? ”

      This is the classic standard form of abuse by the Left. The ” nazi ” jibe / smear is constantly used to delegitimize any nationalism and social conservatism with the most potent weapon in the Left’s rhetorical arsenal.

      The principal purpose of the incessant repetition more than 70 years after the war is to stigmatize any nationalist movement, National Socialist or otherwise.

      The Lefts anti-Hitler orthodoxy, invoked almost daily, is in effect tacit propaganda for multiracialism and a potent device to keep all nationalists perpetually hiding in closets, too afraid of labels like “racist” and “nazi” to openly say what we sincerely believe.

      Now that I’ve cleared that up, what’s Santa getting you for Christmas, a train set or a colouring in book with some crayons, which is it ?

      And it would be helpful for all concerned if you gave a sensible answer.

      • Daniel Maris

        I merely remarked that the music of your “Ebonics Speakers” appealed even to SS frontline troops as proof of the reach of America’s “soft power”.

        For some reason the thought of strong blond Aryan types cavorting with wild gesticulations to the strains of African “Hot Jazz” seems to upset you.

        Racism is not nationalism – in fact it is quite the opposite of nationalism as it divides a nation and seeks to unite with other nations.

        It is quite legitimate to reference the experience of Nazi Germany to explain the nature of a racist movement as a opposed to a national movement.

      • Alise Stewart

        If you even have an idea that your ‘sincere beliefs’ open you up to labels like ‘racist’ or ‘nazi’ then you are walking really too close to the edge. I bet anything you live on a compound…

        • Max

          FYI, the despicable racist and white supremacist “Wilhelm” also posts as “Eddie” and “Hypocrisy Spotter”. He’s transparent and stupid in equal measure. I prefer to call him Breivik, and encourage others to follow suit. In fact he’s probably writing his 1,500-page manifesto against “multi-culti” Britain now! What a fruitcake.

          • Alise Stewart

            Wilhelm with a gun is what should be banned…what is it with the re-rising of neo Nazism?

            • childrenofthecorn

              fuck off bitch

          • Wilhelm


            I’m not Eddie or Hypocrisy Spotter, if you had more than two brain cells which clearly you don’t, you would notice the different writing styles.

        • Wilhelm

          Miss Stewart

          Ho Hum, I do not communicate with women, it’s like talking to a 3 year old child, waste of time. And with that, you’re dismissed.

          • Alise Stewart

            Who cares?

    • uberwest

      Are all African Americans Ebonics speakers, or is it just a black supremacist fad?

      Wouldn’t the African Americans have died out if their slave ancestor all been castrated?

      When you look at cases of criminal enslavement in the modern UK, the perpetrators are all non British. Mostly African / Indian / Pakistani. Most if not all cultures have used slaves at some point or other. Perhaps the level of guilt which you feel as a gullible leftist tool isn’t appropriate?

      Have a look at the sentences handed out to the Irish traveller slavers who kept British men slaves for years, beating them, starving them and forcing them to do hard and degrading work. I think the stiffest sentence was 8 years, meaning that the chief thug will only serve four years. Other members of his family only got 3 or 4 years.It doesn’t indicate that the justice system in this country regards slavery as all that serious a crime. A man got 16 years for trying to shoot a heroin dealer recently.

  • Troika21

    Its amusing watching Europeans deal with gun-violence in America.

    They always report it through the lens of is this the turning point in America’s love-affair with handguns?.

    No it isn’t. And it never will be, just look at how courts strike down automatic weapon bans and the like, fact remains: many Americans like guns, they’re allowed to have them, and they buy them.

    The problem lies in why they buy them, and how guns are viewed.

    Generally, most other countries that allow weapon ownership treat them as owned for hunting or sporting purposes, whilst in America they are ‘guarantors of liberty’ and a ‘guard against tyranny’ etc.

    So the problem is not really ‘how do we reduce gun violence?’ it’s ‘how do we get people to trust government?’ Or for that matter, each other.

    • Harlequin

      The United States was founded by people who took up arms against their lawful government, because that government was oppressing them. I’m fine with trusting government, so long as they remain worthy of that trust. And if they don’t… well, I have the tools to hand to bring them to account.

      • Baron

        Harlequin, sir, spot on.

      • Chris James

        Really Harlequin? Do you really have the tools to bring the government to account? You and your one handgun or semi-automatic weapon will be sufficient to confront the tooled-up might of the American military, secret service, etc? Somehow I suspect this is utter bullshit.

        Maybe if you were say on a nuke you could have some sway, maybe that’s what you’d ultimately like, but I’m afraid at present you’re running some way behind in the arms race.

        If you genuinely believe owning a gun gives you any additional liberty then I’m afraid you’ll get everything you deserve in your paranoid shell of a life. All that owning a gun creates is fear and paranoia amongst others and the need for those who seek to commit crimes (be they governmental or common felons) to be similarly, or more likely better, equipped.

        Equally, if you’re really concerned about who’s taking liberties in your country, maybe you should take a closer look at the leadership of the NRA and the many other lobbying groups who are exerting undue influence on and effectively subverting governmental policy. Those representing the banking groups or the oil men would be particularly worth looking at, considering they’ve respectively robbed the country of trillions of dollars and led you into years of unnecessary bloodshed in the middle east (although I’m guessing you have less of an issue with the latter).

        • Daniel Maris

          Yes, but this is where you get into other people’s culture. How a culture sees itself hardly ever matches how the rest of the world sees it.

          A “for instance”: the rest of the world (mostly colonised, tryannised or enslaved by us) considers our (the UK’s) claims to be the home of liberty to be risible, ridiculous, contemptible. However, it is a big part of how we see ourselves, a good part I would say. It may seem absurd to us that Americans think guns=liberty but this is a part of a complex culture and if you unpick that part of their culture you unpick lots of other things.

      • jasonjapanwhite

        You’re last defence against tyranny. Sadly, no longer an option for Brits.

        • Karla

          The whole idea that semi-automatic guns et al. are somehow an useful defence against tyrannical government is quite frankly a fanciful American myth invented and touted by the American gun industry and gun lobby.

          A true (not the Obama the “Muslim Kenyan” kind) tyranny would have no qualms about terrorising the civilian population into surrender (and also the surrender of their guns). Even “simple” car bombs, or even the cutting off of the supply of running drinking water, electricity, telephony, or even the Internet these days, would do!

  • Jeremy Legg

    There is no way that the USA can get away from the issue of reducing firearms proliferation. For sure, they may need to put guards in schools. Given the current state of affairs, that seems prudent. But it may only lead to the problem of gun massacres being transferred to other locations (watch out, churches! And indeed after school.).
    What the US needs to address is why so many people are driven to make use of guns, and deal with the problems at their roots. I’d suggest treating drug addicts as patients instead of criminals (thus taking away the need for them to commit crime to get their fix); de-stressing America by creating living wage and decent paid holiday conditions, and restoring a sense of community and responsibility.
    That will take a miracle; they need to turn to God wholeheartedly and turn from their sins (family breakdown in particular), too.

  • LB

    Lets lock up the loonies

    Problem solved.

    • pseudonymous in nc

      LaPierre can be the first of them. Certifiable.

    • Ron Todd

      Yes but sometimes they are not identified as loonies until after they kill.

  • Wilhelm

    The problem is there is 35 million Ebonic speakers on the loose in America.

    This particular one put human feces in a sock and threw it in the face of a woman on a Chicago train, for no apparent reason. One has to ask, Is there no end to their depravity ?

    “It was like the biggest degradation I’ve ever experienced. I wish he
    had just hit me, that would have been less traumatic.” the victim said.

  • DavidDP

    So those against guns want a register of owners, and the NRA wants a registered of the mentally ill. How about a compromise? Declare anyone who wants an assault rifle to be mentally ill, and put them on a register. Bob’s your uncle, both sides get what they want……

  • Bernie Cavanagh

    Not being American but looking on this from the outside the consensus internationally is just complete disbelief at the state of gun control in the U.S.

    The idea of having firearms in schools is just insane and it seems society and civilisation is regressing to a backward state. I would expect something like this in certain countries where there is no effective government and anarchy reigns but in the leading country of the western world?????

    I can only assume that the increase in the desire for weapons apart from the whole macho status thing is down to the use of the “Politics of Fear” that began in 2001 which gives the mistaken impression that if you own a gun, whether or not you have trained extensively in the use of that weapon or not, you will be able to defend yourself and family from terrorists and all other bad people.

    The announcement about video games and the mentally ill are just a smokescreen, many countries have those issues but we don’t kill each other at the same rate.

    The idea of armed neighbourhood watch members is equal in it’s lunacy. One only has to think about that for a short time to realise just how incredibly stupid it is.

    But the icing on the cake is the fact they waited a week because they were having a major “Oh crap” moment then come out with this bilious rhetoric while families are still in the grip of horror and mourning for their babies is just appalling.

    • Baron

      Bernie, in Israel, some staff are armed. Have you heard of a similar atrocity in their schools, even in the conditions they live under?

      There’s plenty of evidence of a reverse correlation between gun ownership and gun crime in the states of the Republic, just google it.

      • Bernie Cavanagh

        Unfortunately Baron, not nearly enough. Please carry out your checks carefully before using a badly flawed argument., The overwheming evidence is that the correlation between the number of guns and the

        • Daniel

          “…in the US you come one point behind Mexico per 100,000 people.”

          But guns are illegal in Mexico.

          • Bernie Cavanagh

            No they are not. I do wish you people would research your facts correctly.

            A common misconception is that firearms are illegal in Mexico and that no person may possess them.
            This belief originates due the general perception that only members of law enforcement, the armed forces, or those in armed security protection are authorized to have them. While it is true that Mexico possesses strict gun laws where most types and calibers are reserved to military and law enforcement, the acquisition and ownership of certain firearms and ammunition remains a constitutional right to all Mexican citizens and foreign legal residents; given the requirements and conditions to exercise law. such right are fulfilled in accordance to the law.
            To compare the US to Mexico with the current state of the drug cartels is at best idiotic and at worst completely irresponsible but if that’s what you want to do then fine.

            Also given that Mexico’s dreadful problems are driven by America’s penchant for illegal drugs I’d keep a bit quiet about that one.

            But hey, if you like, let’s arm everyone, put guns in the hands of every citizen, hell, give ’em a 45 ACP not one of those wussy 9mm, after all, you want stopping power and you want to feel godlike when you pull out your shiny weapon.

            All the meth heads, rapist, thieves and freaks can have one as well because they are so easy to get, that’ll even out the field. The rest of the world can treat it as an experiment to see how the ideas of the NRA work. You know, like a study in progress and let it go for another ten years and see how the body count stacks.

            Now, I’m just going to sit in the corner and bang my head against a wall because quite frankly, that makes more sense.

  • Trevor Daltry

    Please wake up. I served in the british army in an armed conflict. Every weapon that was used by us or the enemy was designed to kill.You can`t use them to harvest crops or sow seeds to feed people. The weapon allows someone to kill or maim, melt them down to make farming tools.. Feed the kids please don`t kill anymore..

    • Baron

      Trevor, where were you when the Austrian corporal was around then, you shuold have told him, you should tell the criminals today.

      Nobody except those of evil disposition wants to kill, but to take your view, apply it to societies at large would be a disaster, the gun owning criminals would take over, my blogging friend.

  • CraigStrachan

    Well I am not a member of the NRA and I am a member of the ACLU. I also have two kids in U.S. schools, and while I would agree that the presentational aspects of the NRA statement were utterly dire, it’s not immediately obvious to me that the idea of armed campus security officers at schools is so far out of the mainstream. Los Angeles Unified School District already has its own police force, after all!

    Let’s recall that it was a spate of hijackings in the 60s and 70s – which were probably about as frequent and perhaps less deadly than the spate of school shootings in the last two decades – which brought about the whole panoply of security measures around commercial aviation, up to and including armed air marshals. It’s just not clear to me that school kids deserve less protection than air travelers.

    And the NRA press conference did clear up at least one question I didn’t know I needed an answer to: whatever became of Asa Hutcheson?

  • Nina Schipperke

    1. Create a monster

    2. Create a second monster to deal with the first.

    Ain’t America grand?

    • Ron Todd

      How many of these mass murders have been stopped by a NRA member who was walking past and happened to have a gun with him? Most of them stop when the nutcase shoots himself.

      • provolone

        These guys have been gunned down before they create a massacre. Naturally, the preempted massacre is not reported as a massacre and it does not gain the same international press.

      • Baron

        Rod Todd, plenty of cases where someone harboring evil gets taken out by an armed law abiding citizen, again, google, you’ll get enlightened.

  • Austin Barry

    “The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them. ”

    To which the logical corollary is, surely, make it difficult for them to get guns.

    • CraigStrachan

      It’s also a counsel of despair about the possibility of reaching out to help and understand the mentally ill.

    • HJ777

      I’m no fan of the NRA, but making it “difficult to get guns” is not a short term option in the USA for constitutional, jurisdictional, cultural, and practical reasons.

      In the short-to-medium term, the NRA has a point. The longer term is another issue altogether.

  • Ben Redsell

    I watched this live with growing astonishment. Had there been an armed guard at Sandy Hook, the likely result would have been that the killer would have simply shot the guard as well, because, like police officers, they would have challenged him to stand still.

    Charlton Heston once said “from my cold dead hands”. After last weeks latest horror I know several parents who would take that swap and think it a bargain.

    The simple statistic these people have no answer to is 10728 murders relating to a firearm in the last year in the USA, and only 8 in the UK. How can MORE guns be the answer in the most heavily armed nation on earth?

    • HJ777

      I presume that the argument of the NRA would be that the guard would be a deterrent from attacking the school in the first place. Of course, that may mean that would-be deranged killers would then pick another ‘soft’ target instead.

      There is no easy solution, given the constitutional, legal, jurisdictional, cultural factors and current widespread proliferation of weapons that is the current situation in the USA. Of course, such mass killings are not confined to the USA as incidents in Germany, UK, Norway, etc. have shown.

      • Daniel Maris

        Yep, the killer then goes to the local swimming pool or whatever.

        I don’t really want to comment on America’s gun culture – it’s for them to work out.

        But I will certainly argue against UK people who want to import American gun culture.

      • Baron

        HJ777, you quite right, solutions aren’t easy, but the love you neighbor fruitcakes will again use emotions to pass a law that will do a fat lot of good in stopping incidents such as this but satisfy their desire to ban guns as a proxy for banning evil.

        In the UK, we banned handguns in 1997, and you know what? Gun related crime doubled in seven years after that. Virtually everyone with common sense agrees the 1997 Firearms Act was a mistake, but will anyone do anything about it?

        • Bernie Cavanagh

          So who are these people with “common sense”, common being the operative term and how many are there i.e. percentage plus where did you get that information from? I’d like sources for that statement because I don’t know anyone who likes the idea of the public carrying firearms.
          I was a member of a gun club in Warrington for a number of years and was initially a little put out by the new rules when they came into force but watching the slow decline of American society, the immunity from prosecution that the arm manufacturers enjoy and the incredible rise in gun violence I am most grateful for the ban.

          • Baron

            Bernie, your take on things shows how much damage has the brainwashing done. Before the war, one needed no license to own a gun, people didn’t go shoot each other. Today, owninga hand-held gun is off for the law abiding, guns are used in street violence daily. Why?


            • Bernie Cavanagh

              Well while you’re telling me this two fire fighters have been shot dead and two badly injured in Webster, New York while having the temerity to try and put out a house fire with the result that the fire was able to get out of control and destroy two other houses and a car. Maybe the fire fighters should be armed and wear body armour as well as the fire resistant clothing and breathing aparatus and take training on how to kill people as well as save them.

              • Baron

                maybe, or maybe NY should have kept the death penalty on the statute books, without knowing, Baron bets you the shooter must have tried to kill before.

                • Mailman

                  Indeed, the shooter had previously killed his mother in law abd be spent 16 years in prison.


        • Daedalus

          After Dunblane and the lefts (T Bliar) new gun control laws I handed in 9 legally held pistols (I had already given up 2 semi auto rifles after Hungerford). I asked the WPC who was logging them in, ( a .22 LR, 38 Special, 357 Magnum, 9mm * 2, 44 Magnum, 45 ACP * 2 and .445 Super Mag if you are interested) if she would feel any safer going out on the streets that night, now that these pistols were “safe”. NO was the very emphatic reply.

          • andagain

            I’d like to see a graph of handgun murders in the UK in the 1990s. It would be interesting to see if there was a big drop after the ban. Note: GRAPH, not comparison from carefully selected years.

            I can’t help but think that who you give the firearms licensces to matters more than whether you give any out at all.

            • Baron

              andagain, the UK statistics are messy because those in charge want to hide a simple truth – it took some 40 years to 1997 for gun crime to reach just over 4,000 pa in numbers, after the 1997 Act it took only seven additional years for gun crime to reach just over 9,000 cases pa. A similar picture is furnished in the US, States that have very tight gun laws have more gun crime than those where guns are controlled less vigorously. Go figure, sir.

              • andagain

                As I said, I want a graph, not cherry picked statistics.

          • Baron

            Daedalus, quite, a futile gesture, a costly failure, a piece of legislation that has allowed those who harbour evil to do more damage than before. Madness, sir, madness.

    • Baron

      what is the source of the eight murdered by gun in the UK then?

      • Baron

        and another thing, Ben, more kids in the US die in or around swimming pools, whilst you are at it banning things, would you ban swimming pools, too?

        What;s wrong with you, people. This latest case is a freak accident, these will happen, no statute will help. To get shootings, murders by the gun down requires more than just banning the guns, it requires the society to do what the great Edmund Burke said centuries ago: ” Society cannot exist unless controlling power upon will be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without”.

        We’ve succeeded to fugg up the institutions that installed the controlling power within – the family, the schools, the Church – and instead of boosting those acting without like the criminal justice system we’ve made it easier and easier for crime to pay, a murderer spends on average less than 8 years inside.

        And you think banning guns will get us what we had before this massive erosion of the societal moral code, deportment, behavior? You what, completely loopy?

  • Rahul Kamath

    You missed the bit when Asa Hutchison came on and suggested people could form neighbourhood watch groups (vigilante groups I call them) which would be trained/ armed and which would protect schools. So dads and moms with no objectivity would stand guard at their children’s schools with guns. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Dayzd

    So what do you propose to stop this from happening again? It’s easy to criticise…..

    • Ron Todd

      There is no easy short term answer, in a better world we would not be starting from here. Taking short term measures that could in the long run make it worse by promoting the gun as a saviour making it harder to get rid of in the future and encouraging unsuitable people (it is inevitable some would be) to become vigilantes. Long term the second amendment has to change or go, as long as it is in place some will never give up guns. It is no use arguing that a well regulated militia written when smooth bore muskets were the weapon of choice does not require slightly unbalanced nutjobs to be allowed to buy semi automatic weapons with 100 round magazines or any new weapon the gun makers come up with in the future. Americans already accept some limits on gun ownership and use. There are age limits even if it is only 11 in Minnesota there are restrictions on the type of weapons they cannot have fully automatic weapons or anti aircraft rockets. A culture change is needed and the restriction built on until it is generally accepted that it only applies to people who are part of a well regulated militia or people that hunt with both groups restricted in the weapons they have. The right to have the ability to use violence to overthrow a government they have elected after which when all the armed factions fight it out with the winner getting to select a new government which would be constitutionally required to have elections has to be got rid of as an excuse to have lots of guns. If they are not convinced now that governments will keep having elections then they really do have problems. They need to have a counterbalance to the NRA as well focused and as well funded. Which might in the short term polarise society even more; as I said no easy answer. Short to medium term technology could I am sure come up with a way of tracking the location of guns and creating areas where guns were banned yes I know the bad guys would ignore the rules but a general believe in what is not acceptable has to be created. It is already possible to make a gun that only certain people can use that could be extended to restrict where guns can be used. Which I know does not remove the 300000000 or so guns in circulation but again is a part of a slow long term way to change attitudes. Any changes need to come from popular pressure so the NRA cannot claim they are part of a tyrannical elected governments attempt to disarm and weaken the people. There does seem to be a slightly paranoid tendency in a lot of Americans.

      • Baron

        Rod Todd, it’s not that the unwashed equipped with guns will use them for sure as the last resort against those in governance, it’s that those in charge cannot be certain of it, have to keep in mind the hoi polloi may revolt, take to arms as they did against the British if they felt the governance lacked consensus. Here the same, if only those in power had under their command armed men, the unwashed would be treated with an even greater contempt, insolence, abuse. Armed people do provide a check on the power of the elites.

        In America, it was the people who have surrendered power to those charged with governing the country, here, it just the other way round, it was the governing elite that has had power since the Normans arrived (and before), their successors still cling to it. That’s fine if one can trsut the political process, the impartiality of the institutions unquestionably, but can one? Look at the police behavior in the Mitchell’s case, if they can frame someone so close to power what can they do to someone at the bottom of the societal ladder.

        • Alise Stewart

          “Armed people do provide a check on the power of the elites” So let’s take Los Angeles as an example…does anyone really think the horrific conditions in South Central LA have any, ANY check on Hollywood?

          The idea of armed brigands roaming the countryside suggests walled cities and feudalism. Or Somalia. But not Connecticut, for God’s sake. Recreating Somalia in the Heartland, USA is surely not the answer…

          • Baron

            forget La, explain why the US with the 300mn guns happens to remain the most stable democracy, ha.

            But should the messiah declare himself a Caliph, you watch what happens.

          • childrenofthecorn

            You are using my email to answer. Fuck off.

        • Ron Todd

          More people with guns give the politicians a reason to increase the power of the police. The check of the power of the elite is to have the elite separated into different factions, the Tory faction, the socialist faction and so on, and to have elections.

          Armed gangs threatening to overthrow an elected government is the type of situation that the western world has been working to avoid for centuries. No the police are not perfect not close to perfect would armed gangs with no check on them other than a bigger armed gang be better?

          • Baron

            There’s absolutely no reason to suppose that if guns weren’t banned the police force couldn’t reduce. The contrary is the case if money’s no object. Disarming the public here doubled gun crime within seven years, other crime continued as before even though police numbets increased.

            Statistical evidence is against you, other ‘banners’, it’s just feelings that fuel your take on the thing.

            • Bernie Cavanagh

              Where on earth do you clutch these theories from. Please will you give us the source material that you keep “quoting”.

              • Baron

                Bernie, there’s a commodity called common sense, it once flourished, was in in abundance in this country, add to it statistics that count and, my blogging friend, you get the right answer.

                There’s no doubt at all that the 1997 Firearms Act engendered a step-up increase in the rate of crime where guns were involved. Check. There’s no evidence that the number of police has any bearing on crime, it’s used per se as a proxy, it ain’t the right proxy for a simple reason. Unless the new police manpower is involved in tackling crime where it happens it has a FA impact on overall crime levels. Just think, if all the new police officers were filling forms, which is what they increasingly do, how does it prevents burglaries and stuff, ha?

                Before the war, when the great unwashed were not as well educated, looked after by thousands of outreach councillors, informed in general what with no internet, TV galore, bloated government, and much poorer into the bargain, ordinary people owned guns without a permit. Murders were rare enough for some to enter the folklore. Today, when everything is under the eye of agencies of the state, google allows finding an answer in an instant, nobody goes hungry, one in four is obese crime has skyrocketed.

                Look, in the mid-60s, the number of burglaries in England and Wales ran around the 30,000 mark. Few years back, their number touched 900,000 of which about half were ‘successful’, in which over 30,000 people got hurt.

                What do you make of that then?

                • Bernie Cavanagh

                  What I make of it is using historical and empirical evidence to back up an invalid argument when one should really be looking at modern day comparisons in the G23 countries.
                  The United Kingdom has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides
                  in the world with 0.07 recorded intentional homicides committed with a
                  firearm per 100,000 inhabitants in 2009 compared to the United States’
                  3.0 (over 40 times higher) and to Germany’s 0.21 (3 times higher)

                  For interesting reading I would suggest this:

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Well, if you’re speaking “historically”, the European nations are some of the most murderous, barbaric and savage on planet Earth. It is within living memory that they were slaughtering each other in their millions and millions, and it was only the intervention of the United States, and its constant presence holding the murderous antagonists apart, that has facilitated this brief 60-70 year cessation in the historical European slaughter.

                  The US would have to keep up their 10,000 per year murder rate for quite a few centuries to catch up with the Europeans.

                • Bernie Cavanagh

                  So that makes the current situation fine and dandy does it?
                  If you read the comment correctly I was trying to steer away from the history argument but now you’ve brought it to the fore again:

                  I may remind you that the United States have been responsible for one, no, two of the largest atrocities of history, Namely the atomic bomb that was launched twice against unarmed civilians and to be honest the US seems quite determined to catch up having been at a good few hundred years disadvantage historically. We can all use the historic slaughter card and win points in a pissing contest including Iraq and Torture and illegal incarceration of prisoners but that doesn’t remedy the current issue does it. We are talking about your countrymen slaughtering each other as far as I am aware but correct me on that point if I misread the article.

                  Read the article below and get some more interesting not fun facts..


                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No pissing contest. It’s just a relation of history.

                  You’re mentioning history, and that brings up the historical European barbarity and murderous slaughter. That’s all. You can’t cherry pick history, and bring up only the parts you want.

                  And to repeat, the US will have to continue on for many centuries to catch up with the Euros on the murder score.

                  See, you can’t bring up history and then run away from it. It doesn’t work that way.

                  And the Europeans should ask the US military to depart, after informing them that their services are no longer needed, as they have been these past 60-70 years in keeping the barbarous Euros from murdering each other as they’ve historically done.

                • Bernie Cavanagh

                  Could you kindly elaborate in more detail on how the US has kept us all from killing each other for the last 60 or 70 years please and then relate it to the current US issue?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Well, I could explain settled history for you, I suppose, but it’s probably best that you educate yourself a bit first, and as you’re asking about it, it must mean you need that education.

                  Not sure there’s any need to “relate” the historical and recent European murderous barbarism to the “US issue”, any more than already in the 2 previous posts. It would take many, many centuries for the body count of the US murdered to reach that already posted by the Euro savages, in just the past century. And if the US leaves Europe, and history is any indication, the Euros will soon begin adding to their historical totals of murdered.

                • Daniel Maris

                  Are you a historian now?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Well, compared to you… yes.

                  But then, you’re ignorant and uneducated.

                • Bernie Cavanagh

                  I see that you have now resorted to personal insults against people which is the usual politics of might over right and the last resort of a lost argument.

                  While you’re not being so wonderfully educational maybe you can explain that while the population of America were busy funding the IRA and they were bombing the holy crap out of Britain and murdering innocent people as well, how that constitutes peacekeeping?

                  I would love to know how your country has managed to keep the peace in Europe and everywhere else for that matter including Iraq and Afghanistan and Korea and Vietnam. Oh, that’s right, tactical withdrawal and a huge civilian population body count.

                  Shall I continue, no I don’t think so because this everything to do with idiotic governments/politics and has nothing to do with the subject at hand and while you’re busy not telling me any history two fire fighters have been murdered and two badly injured in Webster, New York for wanting to carry out their duties of putting out a house fire.
                  Because of this two more houses were completely destroyed and a car.
                  Would you like the fire fighters to be armed and wear body armour as well as the fire fighting clothing and respiratory gear so they can go in guns blazing or maybe the NRA can pay for some armed guards every time there is a fire?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Again, there’s really no point in explaining settled history to you. You should spend some time educating yourself, would be my suggestion.

                  As mentioned, that settled history would demonstrate that the US murders would have to continue on for many, many centuries to catch up to the savage and barbaric murder results of the Europeans, which have only slowed because of the presence of the US there these past 60-70 years, which not only halted the historic slaughter there, but that which the Euros were acting out around the world everywhere else.

                  After you finish educating yourself on that settled history, perhaps we can discuss matters elsewhere. But no point in it just now, as you’re not properly prepared for the discussion, as you acknowledge.

                  Oh, and perhaps you can push to have the US removed from Europe, so we can see empirically what occurs.

                • Bernie Cavanagh

                  Again the insults about being uneducated. Hmmm.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  No, there’s nothing insulting about informing you that you’re uneducated, even as you blather on. You’re acknowledging same, in fact, so apparently you’re doing some self insulting, by your lights.

      • Colonel Mustard

        100% grade A twaddle from beginning to end. It is the existence of people with “logic” like yours that is why we are where we are – through the looking glass and in the realm of the Red Queen.

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