|Baldr Odinson, a.k.a. Jason Kilgore (source)|
I intend to keep an eye on his rantings so that civilized folks don't have to. It's just another service we offer.
We'll get started below the fold. I'm just going over the highlights, not the whole thing (which is fairly lengthy). Unless otherwise noted, all emphasis is in the original and all links are included.
Let's get going.
"Remember after the Sandy Hook tragedy how the NRA was silent for so long? Even those of us who were used to the cynicism of the nation's main gun lobby thought that, maybe, the brutal deaths of all those elementary kids and teachers might be enough to get the NRA to at least sit at the same table and consider what could be done to find middle ground."Wow. Great opening, huh? The NRA didn't jump right in, out of respect for the victims and their families, as opposed to the gun-ban promoters who publicized it, demonized gun owners who had nothing to do with the tragedy, and introduced legislation to "prevent another tragedy" (read: punish those same law-abiding gun owners), even before the crime scene was cleared and all the facts were known. But it's the NRA who are the amoral bad guys. Riiiiight.
As always, "find a way to keep guns out of the hands of madmen" really means, "pass a law that won't affect those bad guys, but will affect law-abiding gun owners." As has been pointed out, none of the laws proposed in the wake of Sandy Hook would have done anything to stop -- or even significantly slow down -- the shooter. And "limit the deadliness of their weapons" is a non-starter; it equates roughly to "reducing the utility" of guns, placing good people at a disadvantage against bad guys who (surprise!) don't obey laws.
"When the NRA finally broke its silence, instead of working with other organizations to find a way to keep guns out of the hands of madmen like Lanza or limit the deadliness of their weapons, the NRA had an entirely different proposal that shocked the rest of the world: Arm our schools!"
This is what they think the NRA proposed.
"They called for a program to train and arm school administrators and guards, and even teachers, and played up the myth of the conceal carry hero. It was a line that any sane person would recognize as insanity, and was only supported by groups known to be exceedingly extreme (like this one from here in Oregon)."Now, here he's setting up a straw man argument. The implication is that all school employees would be forced to undergo training and carry guns, whether they want to or not. The NRA has never advocated that, nor has any other pro-gun group. The proposal was to remove the blanket ban on carrying and allow staff who were willing to be trained -- and some who already were -- to carry if they saw fit. Unlike the "Affordable Care Act," it's an option, not a mandate.
The Guns Save Lives site has been doing an excellent job of dispelling the "myth of the conceal carry hero." Hint: The "myth" is that they don't exist. Pro-tip for research: If your premise is that something never happens, and your critics can find even one case where it does, your premise is wrong.
Next he cites a few isolated cases of armed guards -- including "highly-trained" police officers -- leaving guns unattended in student bathrooms (What were they doing in the student bathrooms? Aren't there staff-only bathrooms?) and one case of an freak-accident injury during CCW instruction (mechanical malfunction in a gun pointed in a safe direction; the employee was hit by a ricocheted fragment), followed by a quote from this article:
Yes, because the guns are responsible. That a mass-shooting could have any other root cause(s) is a "delusional assumption." Now I'm going to skip around the article a bit. Bear with me.
"The American Federation of Teachers called the suggestion 'irresponsible and dangerous,' while the National Education Association described it as shocking and based on the 'delusional assumption that everything other than guns contributes to these tragedies.'" (emphasis added, and extraneous links removed from this section)
On this topic, no. No, we are not.
"Those of us who were used to the NRA's widely out-of-touch views wondered how they could possibly become any more extreme. 'What's next?' we wondered, thinking it exaggeration, 'Will they want to arm the kids, next?'"*sniff sniff* I think I smell another straw man coming....
"The push to sell guns to kids and their parents has been shameless. I'm not talking about hunter-safety programs here, or even Eddie Eagle. The NRA has tried, and failed, to lower the legal age for teens to buy guns to 18, in Texas. They host special 'youth day' events to prop up child memberships. Gun manufacturers market small, pink and multi-colored rifles, such as Crickett rifles, specifically made for children. And they have a large number of kids' apparel and publications aimed at normalizing these lethal weapons for kids." (extraneous links removed)Wait for it....
"So this week it wasn't particularly shocking to those of us who know the NRA that they suggested that kids in school be armed.
"Let me say it again: This week, the NRA suggested that kids in school should be armed. And not just armed, but have it as a requirement to be trained in order to pass a grade!"BAM!!! Oh, that's gotta hurt, right?
|Seriously, they think we'd approve of this.|
To back that claim up, he links to this video from NRA commentator Billy Johnson. Take 4 minutes and watch it. I'll wait.
Back? OK. Answer me this: Did Billy, in any way, propose that all students be armed and carry while at school?
Or, did he make the reasonable hypothetical suggestion that, if we valued gun rights like we value education, health care, availability of food, and retirement benefits, we would teach our kids how to use guns safely and responsibly?
The rest of the article consists of debunked anti-gun myths and flawed studies, including the "74 school shootings since Newtown" statistic from Everytown for Gun Safety, which was challenged by the Daily Caller's Charles C. Johnson and CNN, who found that only 15 of the 74 qualified as "school shootings." PolitiFact rated Everytown's claim "Mostly False."
He closes with this gem:
"[W]e need to adhere to the same rule we tell our children: you can't stop violence with more violence. When we teach our kids that the only way to feel safe is to arm ourselves with lethal weapons and prepare ourselves to kill others, then something very wrong has happened to our culture."I disagree: sometimes, violence is the only way to stop violence. Not always, but sometimes. In other cases, violence can be prevented (not stopped) by avoidance, or by displaying the threat of overwhelming violence. When we teach our kids that the only way to counter criminals is to cower and "give them what they want," we're making the situation worse. When we do that, something very wrong is not only happening to our culture -- we're actively harming ourselves and our posterity!
(Special thanks to Weer'd Beard, whose many fiskings of Brady Campaign's Joan Peterson [a.k.a. "japete"] inspired this.)
(Also see Sean Sorrentino's take here.)