I have nothing but sympathy for the survivors and victims of the Newtown massacre. I cannot even imagine what you must be going through, those who lost children and spouses to one man’s insanity.
I have nothing but contempt for those people who would use such a tragedy for political gain, who offer “solutions” that don’t even address the problems that allowed such a situation to happen. To the NRA, to the Anti-gun idiots who have been campaigning on the same tired plank they’ve been marching on since 1981, I have to ask, “What the fuck is wrong with you people?”
I’ll tackle the NRA first, because I’m a conservative, and I find it easier to shoot down pseudo-conservative polemic. Especially ill-informed bullshit like the crap the NRA has been spewing since December.
Really? Every school should have teachers on campus trained in armed response? That’s your “solution”? Give me a second; I’m rubbing my temples because all of the stupid in that idea has caused a minor blockage in my brain.
Okay, I’m back. No, wait…okay. YOU DON’T ARM TEACHERS! Sorry…sorry…deep breath…okay. You don’t arm teachers for the same reason you don’t ask your security guard to mop up the vomit in the cafeteria when Suzy Jenkins discovers her stomach can’t handle canned carrots. It’s not their job, the extra work distracts them from their actual job, and really (with no insult to teachers implied) asking them to do so will just make everything that much worse. A teachers first and only job is to ensure the education and safety of the children entrusted to him or her. Period. In an emergency situation, that means obeying the lockdown rules and ensuring that none of the children for whom the teacher is responsible put themselves in harm’s way in any way.
Think back to your own school days. Remember how, as soon as Mrs. Castlebaum was outside of the classroom, everything exploded into chaos with at least one student looking out the little window in the door to see what was going on out there (even more, if the reason she left was because of a disruption in the halls). That is exactly what would happen if an armed-response teacher was required to “defend the school”, only instead of watching Miss Tesselmyer’s meltdown, those kids will make themselves targets for the nutcase roaming the halls.
Never mind the fact that even with training, a teacher can’t spend all day thinking only about the responsible disposition of his or her weapon. If the fact of the teacher’s emergency responsibilities won’t sway you from the Road to Moron, then bringing up the tragic consequences that will predictably result from three minutes while Mr Cutnell finds out why Jake hasn’t come back from the bathroom yet and forgets that he left his sidearm in his desk draw will have no effect on you at all.
On to the other side, because, while I can’t even think about the NRA’s “plan” without getting a headache, the fact that your argument is so flawed in its bases that only superhuman hubris allows you to present it causes my hands to involuntarily clench into fists. Feel free to punch yourself in the face every time I mention a redundancy or a flaw in your logic.
“Toughened” laws would not have prevented Newtown. All three of the guns used were stolen from the perpetrator’s mother, and the one he leaned on the most—the M4 with the expanded magazine—was (and is) illegal to own in the state of Connecticut, anyway. Federal laws regarding assault weapons and thorough background checks wouldn’t have changed that, or added anything to it.
What people need for hunting (assuming people need or should be allowed to hunt) or for target competition has no place in the argument. The Second Amendment doesn’t bring up the rights of hunters or the requirements of the local Turkey Shoot. In words it calls for a regulated militia (that is, citizen army), but in spirit, it states, unequivocally “Government, any government, is a necessary evil, and it must be controlled and kept on its leash by the people, and they must be armed to do so.” Don’t believe me? Then you need to read Machiavelli, Jefferson, Adams, any thinker of the time who recognized the struggle between personal liberty and collective safety.
When Washington put down the Whiskey Rebellion, he didn’t seize the farmers’ weapons. Even the Confederates were allowed to take their side- and long-arms home after they’d surrendered. To paraphrase someone who may have been Machiavelli, but was probably someone else, “An armed citizenry cannot help but be free, a disarmed citizenry cannot but be in fetters.” That is the entire reason for the Second Amendment, and every “collective safety” argument you bring up, just burns the necessity of the basic reason for the amendment deeper into the brains of those who support it.
In any case, the availability of guns in the US isn’t the problem. The problem is the pervasive and endemic spread of feelings of hopelessness and impotence in the general populace. People who feel impotent seek ways of proving their impact on the world around them; people bereft of hope lash out at their perceived oppressors. Both of these “plans” are an effort to fix a bladder infection by wearing a diaper. It’s time to look at the real problem, and then to cowboy-up and face the difficulties of the real solution.