Friday, January 18, 2013

Seeing the NRA for What It Is

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA, said the appropriate response to these increasingly common random mass shootings by maniac shooters is to put an armed guard in every school.

For reasons which likely seem obscure to Mr. LaPierre and the members of the NRA, this suggestion was not immediately embraced with a sort of, "Why didn't we think of that?" reaction by the general public. 

Today, the NRA, apparently dissatisfied with the lack of response, launched an advertisement calling President Obama a" hypocrite" and an "elitist" for rejecting the school gun toting guard idea, and instead, recommending a bunch of other things which, as the NRA sees it, would stab a dagger in the heart of their imaginings of what the 2nd amendment is. 

The ad points out that two armed guards trail after each of the Obama's children at their school and declares that Mr. Obama likes the idea of armed guards in schools so much he has invoked it for his own children, but not for your children.

And what could be wrong with this logic?

Let me count the ways, just so we can say we've listened.

First, hiring a single armed guard, or even several armed guards per school may warm the hearts of NRA members, (some of whom may find themselves chronically unemployed,) but the fact is, hiring even three armed guards per school is not the same as hiring two body guards per child.  
Like the septuagenarian bank guards you used to see in banks, the first target of any attacker is always the guard, whom they quickly shoot or club into unconsciousness, having the element of surprise on their side. In banks, it was pretty easy to find the guard, and in schools, likely, it would be pretty easy, but if you hid the guard, and had him emerge only after the shooting began, you'd have as many dead bodies on the ground as there are clips in one of those high capacity magazines before the guard even reached the shooter, after the fact.  

If the purpose of the guard is to intercept the shooter as he enters the school, the likelihood of his being able to cover an entire building is remote. So you can, on practical analysis, count on the shooter gaining entrance to the building, shooting children and then dispatching the armed guard, or, if the guard  manages to corner the shooter, it would only be after many deaths.

So, there is a vast difference between trying to protect one child and trying to protect an entire building, with all its children.

If I am not mistaken, in at least one instance, I think it may have been Columbine, there actually was a guard in place, who made no difference  and certainly at Virginia Tech, there were armed police who made little difference.

The problem is always locating the shooter, who may be moving, dropping bodies as he goes. 

When you know the target is only one child, localization of the pathology is not so hard.

But there is one other problem with the NRA's proposal for a guard in every school: Maniacs have signed no contract to shoot only at school children while in school. They shoot at movie theaters, shopping malls, churches, swimming pools, summer camps,  amusement parks, town squares, wherever people and particularly children, congregate. 

Now, let me anticipate: The NRA will say: Then we should have armed guards at all these places. And while we are at it, we can throw in stadiums, airports, train stations, subways, beaches and traffic jams.
Who exactly would pay for all these armed guards has not been worked out. Certainly not the taxpayers:  Members of the NRA have honorary membership in the Tea Party and the Republican party, and neither of these thinks any money ought ever be spent for public benefit, except for the Army. 
Now there's a thought: We could  redeploy our army from Afghanistan to our schools, stadiums, churches, tennis courts, summer camps. Now, wouldn't that be a nice secure feeling. That's the America I remember: safe and secure, an armed camp.

As for today's advertisement, decrying the hypocrisy and elitism of Mr. Obama, the NRA's advertisement is either:  A.  Not thought through  B.  A true reflection of the mental midgetry of the NRA's leadership  C.  Lunacy  D.  Really Stupid  E.  Knowingly sophistic, i.e., they know the difference between bodyguards and school guards but they hoped nobody would think about it. F.  All of the Above.

You really ought to listen to this ad. Mad Dog cannot do it justice by describing it. You have to hear that voice, dripping with hate and derision, somewhere between Rush Limbaugh and Charlton Heston, with a twist of Mitch McConnell. If I can find a link to it, I'll attach it to this post. It really is a masterpiece of paranoid ideology, full of hate and venom, really delicious and revealing.

So where does this leave us with respect to how we think about the NRA?

I know a lot of people who are or were members of the NRA, and they signed up for a variety of reasons.  But, when you have an organization which now is led by people who are clearly taking leave of their senses, do you not have an obligation to either resign or to call for immediate change in leadership?  

This has not happened. 

So, we have to assume the rank and file is as loony as the leaders. The National Rifle  Association of Paranoid Schizophrenics Often Delusional, Never In Doubt. Too long. The NRA of PSODNID. Has a ring.

Every last Congressman is scared to death of these organized maniacs. So what does that say about our Congress? No voices are raised to denounce the men or the mentality of the NRA.  

If we have any hope of eventually changing the ongoing mayhem, one would think the very least we can do is to denounce and defang the NRA. Some people with big bucks have to donate to an ongoing and effective marketing/advertising campaign to unmask the NRA as it so richly deserves, so we can expose to the detoxifying sunlight the stinky slime which is the NRA.


  1. Mad Dog,

    Your memory serves you well. There was an armed guard at Columbine--one would have to ask why--his name was Neil Gardner, described as a 15 year veteran. He actually exchanged shots with one of the shooters but was unsuccessful in stopping the rampage.
    So, in answer to Mr. LaPierre, one would have to say, "Been there, done that."


  2. Mad Dog,
    So that's the diagnosis- PSODNID,one can hope it's terminal, but that doesn't appear to be the case. This morning I saw clips from the "Guns across America" rallies held at state houses across the country yesterday. Some of the gathered even let their kids pose with the guns-charming. Apparently these folks, as well as the rank and file of the NRA, don't find the ad as odious as we do. They seem ready to do, as the slogan for the ad suggests,"Stand and Fight". Time's cover this week is a photo of Biden,Bloomberg and Gabby Giffords with the title" The Gunfighters" emblazoned in red. I just wish Time had chosen a less inflammatory way to depict the gun control effort. It just adds fuel to the fury of those who seem to think restricting their guns would be like restricting their oxygen. Both sides of the issue are vehement, but when one side is populated not only by nuts, but nuts with guns it becomes more than a little frightening-you get the feeling something very bad is going to happen before this fight is over.

    I was glad to see you liked Zero Dark Thirty-I've been wanting to see it and trust your critique since you were certainly right about the latest installment of Downton Abbey, which I caught up on yesterday,very disappointing. Some story lines were interesting, like Edith being dumped at the altar. I didn't see that one coming and thankfully Maggie Smith still has some great lines. However, the Matthew inheriting Lavinia's father's money just in time to save the ranch was ridiculously, annoyingly contrived. I'm also tiring of watching demure and devoted Anna trot off to visit poor, incarcerated Mr. Bates. They need to move that story line along don't you think-free him or hang him. Hopefully tonight's episode will be better...

  3. Maud,

    Couldn't agree with you more, especially about DA.
    As for the guns, what amazes me is the vehemence on the gun owners' side. This is clearly tapping into some deep, psychological roots. I have noticed, the gun enthusiasts who have more power and money, while loving their guns as works of art, are less threatened by proposed controls.
    Mr. Obama was right, years ago, in pointing to the red staters who cling to their guns, religion and I forget the third thing.
    Zero Dark Thirty is long on torture scenes, be warned. And they do get tiresome. But, overall, I've always been a sucker for movies which focus on solving a problem, escaping from prisoner of war camps, getting the invasion off the beaches.
    Mad Dog