Straight Talk
PETER WORTHINGTON - If NRA's LaPierre really believes armed guards should be in schools, he's an idiot

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA)

Credits: REUTERS

PETER WORTHINGTON | QMI AGENCY

Arguably, the most asinine suggestion for making schools safe from demented mass killers comes (not surprisingly) from the National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre.

In his first press conference since the slaughter of 20 children (and six adults) at a school in Newtown, Conn., the executive vice-president said by the time kids return to school after the holiday season, armed guards should be there to protect them.

His argument is that banks and airports have armed security guards, so why should schools be left unguarded and unprotected.

If the man actually believes this, he's an idiot.

Maybe he'd like to see school crossing guards armed with .45s?

If there was a real danger of Newtown or Columbine massacres at American schools, LaPierre's armed guards proposal would invite rather than deter attacks.

Airports and banks are different.

At both there is easy access, and the "armed protection" is discreet to invisible. Does anyone truly think someone with an obsession to shoot masses of innocent people would be deterred by knowing there is armed guards at an airport?

Do armed guards prevent banks from being robbed?

LaPierre seems to be using the Newtown massacre to advance his own agenda of spreading guns around, as if in hopes of creating mayhem so everyone becomes a gun owner - and by implication a member of the NRA.

The Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer had it right when he noted that random killings have increased threefold since the 1980s when gun controls were weaker.

Oddly, homicides in America have declined by 50% over the past 30 years, while mass murders - nutbar massacres, if you like - have increased.

The latter figure is likely due to the violent culture that has emerged with TV and video games in which teenage shooters can mow down bad guys, complete with spurts of blood and bodies blown apart.

A certain insensitivity to bloodshed is built up by these violent shooting games, which might well affect the minds of the susceptible to repeat them in real life.

But the key problem is to keep the crazies from acting out perverted fantasies. Again, LaPierre's branding the likes of Adam Lanza of the Newtown massacre as "evil" is not only wrong but misses the point.

"Evil" is not a sickness. Those who shoot up schools are invariable sickos who should be getting treatment, but who run free until they do something so dreadful that people realize they needed curtailing.

It's only after the fact that we realize a weirdo is an actual danger to himself and those around him - like Lanza.

As for guns, NRA paranoia exceeds what's normal. The only guns that should be readily available are shotguns and bolt-action rifles. Assault and semi-automatic weapons are for soldiers, not collectors or gun nuts.

The "right to bear arms" should not apply to guns designed for mass killing.

So banning guns in the U.S., where there are probably more guns than citizens, is unrealistic. And wouldn't work.

Crazies emerge time to time. And there's no telling who is homicidal until after the homicide, guns or no guns. Perhaps reducing the "entertainment" value of violence, and graphic depictions of slaughter and depravity, will change the culture.

The above would involve limiting free choice - an American untouchable.

As well as curbing the NRA, perhaps the American Civil Liberties Union needs reining in, because its excesses provoke reaction and paranoia.

Otherwise, America is a pretty safe country where schools and citizens live without feeling they need guns for survival.

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