The New York Daily News display you see on the left is but a snapshot of the unprecedented campaign of vilification being heaped upon Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, in the wake of his reaction to the Sandy Hook massacre. The Daily News has abandoned all pretense of objectivity; in the lead-in to their story, they refer to LaPierre as a "vile NRA nut" and "the craziest man on earth", and in another gross breach of objectivity, they're leading their own petition campaign to ban assault weapons. Most of the objection is to LaPierre's call for armed guards in schools, which he justifies by saying that since we protect our banks, airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses, and sports stadiums with armed security, it's logical to consider protecting our schools the same way. But LaPierre also cited America's degenerate, putrefying pop culture as a catalyst as well, to include violent video games, sadistic blood-soaked slasher flicks, and countless music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. Read LaPierre's full statement HERE.
However, the voices of sanity have not remained silent; two of them were heard in Alaska on December 22nd. First, Democratic Senator Mark Begich, who released a statement calling for more mental health support on December 17th, said he’s not interested in new gun laws, and believes the previous assault weapons ban has proved to be inconsequential in reducing gun violence. Begich supports expanding a federal program to help school districts by seconding sworn police officers to function as school resource officers at the schools; when he was mayor of Anchorage, he helped initiate the program in the Anchorage School District. Begich has been a firm supporter of the Second Amendment even back to his mayoral days.
Republican Congressman Don Young, who also serves on the NRA’s board of directors, also supports the school resource officers program, and supports the development of the National School Shield, an NRA education and training emergency response program pushed by former Congressman Asa Hutchinson. “I applaud today’s announcement by the NRA suggesting that armed police officers be placed in our nation’s schools. Schools across the country have become unnecessary targets to violence and mayhem,” Young said. “I look forward to working with my former colleague Hutchinson of Arkansas to help develop a path forward so that all parents feel safe when their kids leave for school each day.” On December 20th, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner quoted Congressman Young as saying that he would not support an assault weapons ban.
In that same December 20th story, the News-Miner also interviewed several local gun owners and dealers, and the consensus was that the lack of mental health services was at the root of the shootings. Arctic Gunworks owner Gary Junk said the 1994 assault weapons ban was ineffective and calls the classification of “assault rifle” meaningless, since the inner workings of a Bushmaster .223 are nearly identical to the innards of most hunting rifles.
What is really deplorable about the gun-grabbers is not so much their ideology, but their hysterical rhetoric and fascist tactics. The rhetoric directed against Wayne LaPierre is actually stronger than the rhetoric that was directed against Osama bin Laden during the height of the 9-11 hysteria. Particularly despicable was the behavior of Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who represents Newtown in Congress; he used the occasion to shamelessly grandstand to his constituents. And New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is even mulling over the prospect of preemptively rounding up and confiscating assault weapons. The gun-grabbers are trying to transform 20 dead kids into political capital. Contrast the statesmanlike behavior of Mark Begich with the juvenile antics of Chris Murphy, and you'll understand why I don't like to paint all Democrats with an equally broad brush.
The two News-Miner articles from December 20th and December 22nd have provoked an explosion of public commentary. Some representative samples:
From December 20th:
akitasgalore December 22nd 20 Hours Ago:
How about a nation repenting and turning back to God? How about putting God back in the schools where the Lord's Prayer was said over the intercom every morning as in our last generation?
The same era where kids brought their guns to school everyday and pocket knives? And no school shooting ever took place. And when kids fought, they used their fists and lived to fight another day.
How about bringing back a respect for human life by repenting for the over 50 million abortions, to the false god of convenience? Why should kids respect life when our nation condones abortions?
How about restoring the definition of marriage as a legal, moral, contract between a man and woman?
Or people taking responsibility for their mistakes and choices instead of swallowing drugs that alter their brains?
Or demanding accountability of corrupt politicians and a state controlled biased media?
Or having an education system that tells the unbiased truths of history?
More laws will not help.
rextrailbigfoot December 20, 2012:
We should all remember why we have a 2nd amendment. It wasn't put there for hunting, but for protecting us from tyranny.
"The right of the people to keep and bear...arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..." (James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 [June 8, 1789])
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244)
"And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms....The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants" (Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787. Taken from Jefferson, On Democracy 20, S. Padover ed., 1939)
From December 22nd:
rextrailbigfoot December 22nd 10 Hours Ago:
Senator Begich has made a wise decision. Alaskans will not elect anyone to the US Senate that votes against the 2nd amendment. We are a pro gun state for sure.
Teachers taking on additional responsibility of learning gun safety, how to shoot, and keeping guns in school is one way to insure that they and the school kids are protected. Armed guards might be less effective than armed teachers. Anyway at least a few teachers should be armed, maybe not all, but a few.
More gun control laws are not the answer. Restricting gun ownership only applies to law abiding citizens while criminals will still own and obtain guns.
The same liberals that support gun control support the killing of over 800 unborn fetuses each day in the USA. That is a tragedy that they ignore.
These liberals also support removing prayer from public schools, same sex marriage, and the gay and lesbian lifestyles. These issues corrupt the teaching of positive values to young people.
Invictus December 22, 2012:
I'm not opposed to the idea of more policing of schools, but I don't think that's the best answer. I think that teachers, who volunteer to take training to be certified to carry defense weapons in school is the better solution. Police and security personnel are easily identified and either avoided or targeted. Incognito school marshals are more threatening because the criminal does not know who the defenders are and cannot necessarily target them first, plus, they don't know if there is more than one. In all earnest seriousness, I would ask people who really want to protect children and teachers in public spaces now, to read this essay by someone who knows what he is talking about:
We have been living with air marshals on commercial airliners for forty years now. We trust our teachers everyday with the safety of our children. Why not school marshals?