Maybe most of you were fortunate enough to miss the NRA press conference this afternoon. I happened to have the news on in the bedroom while wrassling the kids into the bathtub and saw most of it. It can be summed up handily in one simple quote:
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun."
I'm not going to link to statistics, or studies, or articles that point out that there were in fact armed guards on site at Columbine and other places.
Instead I'm going to ask a simple question. What is it, exactly, that we want to prevent?
Because if we listen to Wayne LaPierre, spokesman for the NRA, what we're seeking to prevent is not the occurrence of mass shootings. That, as far as he and the NRA are concerned, is inevitable and we must just resign ourselves to living in a country where elementary school kids and moviegoers and high school kids and random children asleep in their beds are all possible gunshot victims and fatalities waiting to happen. The only thing LaPierre and the NRA want to change is HOW those shootings occur. It doesn't advocate preventing them.
Take a look at that direct quote above. The thing it doesn't question is, bad guys will have guns. So, they say, resigning to the inevitable, we have to make sure "good guys" have guns too.
Why not--let's just be crazy and think out of the box!--make it HARDER for "bad guys" to get guns?
Because without a gun, no matter how bad the bad guy is, he won't be shooting anybody.
The NRA's position isn't about preventing shootings like the one in Newtown, CT. It's about accepting them, as inevitable, and telling us how to live with them and prepare for the next one.