While Wayne LaPierre was making crazy talk

Perhaps those state troopers should have rocket launchers?

The National Rifle Association today held its first press conference since last week’s deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, and the takeaway was clear: We need more guns.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

He went on to call for an armed police officer to be stationed in “every single school” across America to prevent further mass shootings, as critics tried to point out that armed law enforcement officials might not be the panacea the NRA thinks it is.

But before they could finish their sentence, the counterargument made itself as news broke of a mass shooting event in Pennsylvania with multiple casualties, including state troopers.

According to local reports out of Blair County, at least four people were killed and five more were injured in a shooting spree near Altoona. The gunman is said to be among the dead, and at least two state troopers were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

WPXI’s Courtney Brennan says she was told by emergency officials that the shooting suspect “was ‘mobile’ at one point and went up and down a rural road and shot victims.”

No additional information is available at this time, but a spokeswoman told the Altoona Mirrorit was “a relatively large crime scene.”

NRA: Librul gun-free school zones killed your babies

So Wayne LaPierre, the batsh*t crazy head of the NRA, held the Washington press corps hostage for a half-hour this morning, rambling, excusing and blaming video games, liberals and gun-free school zones for the 27 deaths in Newtown last week.

The crazy train was only briefly derailed twice, when Code Pink protesters interrupted the press conference (which was really a speech). God bless ’em, they only said what everyone in the room was thinking — and what real leaders would have been saying all along.

As this mess unfolded, I found I was as angry at the media as I was at the NRA. Is there any wingnut so crazy that the librul media will refuse them a national platform? Of course not! LaPierre will be Dancing Dave Gregory’s guest on Press the Meat this weekend, and he will be accorded the same respect and thoughtful consideration as a Bishop Desmond Tutu.

In a way, though, Wayne may have done us all a favor. Normal people, anyone except the dyed-in-the-wool gun worshippers, will be repulsed by his rationalizations, and appalled by his “School Shield” program to put ARMED VOLUNTEERS IN EVERY SCHOOL.

As my mother would have said, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, he’s just plain crazy.”

(Here’s the transcript. You can watch the whole thing here.)

R.I.P., Nancy Lanza

I noticed the big Healing Moment of Silence today was for 26 victims, not 27.

And there’s your nasty little underbelly of this scenic little New England town: They blame Nancy Lanza for the shootings. She’s the mother, she should have known. She shouldn’t have guns in the house. She shouldn’t have taught her kids to shoot.

Well, she grew up on a farm. Guns are a big part of life in rural communities.

Besides: Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

I do not presume to understand Nancy Lanza, and I will not judge her. I do know one thing: She did the best she could under difficult circumstances. I mean, you’ll notice Peter Lanza, Adam Lanza’s father, hadn’t seen him in two years. Sounds to me like he wrote a fat check and walked away from dealing with his troubled kid. (Not that I judge him, either. I don’t know what I would have done in a similar situation.) It’s just that somehow, it’s always the mother’s fault.

I don’t think I’m making an inaccurate generalization when I say that mothers are usually the ones left to deal with sick, handicapped or disturbed kids. They’re your blood, you gave birth to them. You’re the mother.

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to people that maybe she kept the guns because she was afraid of her kid. Mothers can’t say things like that, so we’ll never know.

For these and other reasons, I will not use the word “should” regarding Nancy Lanza. I have no idea what she “should” have done. I wish everyone would put down the weight of their judgement.

I just know that she was a mother, trying to do her best, and she was blown away by the son she was trying to help. May she rest in peace.

The externalities of gun use

In which Yves argues that gun owners pay the true cost of gun use.

That’s what I had in mind when I suggested mandatory gun insurance. It’s a good way to discourage casual gun ownership while causing minimum burden to people who have hunting rifles in rural areas.

But remember, rural suicides by gun are increasing. There really is no such thing as a benevolent class of gun users. Under the right circumstances, people who wouldn’t think of stabbing someone to death will pull a gun, because it gives them psychological distance.

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