No one should argue with the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre when he calls for a police presence in our schools to make them safer.
Not safe, but safer.
After that, however, LaPierre’s arguments are either crazy or disingenuous, as his appearance on “Meet the Press” Sunday shows.
Here they are:
We need to get the criminals and the “insane monsters” off the streets before they commit more crimes. Gun laws don’t work. Don’t take our guns.
Let’s take the first one, that we need to identify these monsters before they act.
Was the Connecticut shooter in the mental health system? No. The Aurora murderer? No. The Portland killer? No.
A problem is — and conversation at our family Christmas party last night focused on this — that unfortunately many of these madmen are not identified until after they act. And families, for a variety of reasons, are often reluctant to fully admit and deal with the severe mental health problems of their kids or spouses. Or just feel helpless and don’t know where to begin. Or can’t imagine their kids being the monster La Pierre describes.
Beyond that, LaPierre conflated these troubled killers with common criminals, a silly attempt to ignore the question.
As to the “don’t take our guns,” LaPierre plays right into the paranoia of some. No one’s arguing that all guns should be confiscated, maybe not any guns. It’s a far cry between limiting magazine or clip sizes and “taking our guns.”
Finally, and most insidiously, LaPierre argues that earlier assault weapons bans didn’t work, that they were chock full of loopholes.
And possibly he’s right. But he leaves out one salient point: He and his NRA lobbyists are the very ones who made sure the loopholes were in the earlier legislation.
It didn’t work, LaPierre argues, because we made sure it wouldn’t.
Nuts, disingenuous or both, LaPierre shouldn’t be the one driving the conversation about what we can do.
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Bio: Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.