Everyone was so focused on waiting for the apocalypse on Friday, they missed the end entirely when the NRA opened their mouths.
America's National Rifle Association, silent for a week since the horrific shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, didn't just add a voice to the debate on guns. They shot holes through the concept of debate.
Debate is for later. The NRA wants guns in schools NOW.
"I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January," said Wayne LaPierre of the NRA in fire and brimstone mode.
"As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe. It is now time for us to assume responsibility for their safety at school. The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
And so, the world ended. Innocence, perhaps long dead, is most emphatically gone now. The debate—which LaPierre doesn't want to have—is over, and only absolutes remain: guns are killing children; therefore, only guns can save them.
Keeping guns away from schools? That advertises them to "every insane killer in America", according to Lapierre.
"The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them.
"They walk among us every day. And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified at this very moment?
"A dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?"
I'm surprised he didn't suggest putting everyone who has a mental health issue into an internment camp. Because everyone is a threat to you and your child, you need a gun. And perhaps an NRA membership while you're at it.
If there was an outpouring of grief and soul-searching a week ago about how 20 six and seven-year-old children could be repeatedly shot to death, if there were complicated questions asked about what measures might reduce mass killings and gun crime, all of that was swept aside by the NRA for their traditional enemies. The media and violence films and video games promote violence. Why don't all of us who watch the news and see violence in films go killing people? Because we know someone will stop us with a gun. . . or that seems to be the NRA logic.
"Normal" in the United States isn't a land of innocence and American perfection. It is a world where schools, even without their own police offices, know to shout "lockdown" when an incident threatens the building and its young charges. It is land where bullet-proof backpacks sales boom.
And it is a world where a six-year-old boy takes a gun to school in Utah, points it to a girl's head and says he's going to kill her, all because his parents wanted him to have protection at school.
Where that is normal and doesn't make people pause, much, then arming teachers or putting police in 100,000 schools is not the end of the world. It's just the next step in a world we've chosen to fill with weapons and danger.
Maybe the US and its attempt at sanity has failed and there are simply too many guns now, necessitating arming even more people. Despite the claim that guns make individuals MORE free, securing each building and person from threat is sign of mass paranoia and the slide to a police state. A police state might be safer, but not because there's any sort of freedom.
There has been some sensible calls for considering how mental health is treated and supported in the US, such as in this powerful blog that went viral a week ago. There are also some necessary questions to be asked about why mass killers are overwhelmingly male and whether it isn't the violence of media messages that causes the problem, but the devaluing of life and particularly female life. All those gender and mental health questions are impossible in LaPierre's gun-totting world.
It is world Lapierre and others genuinely believe in. They have been arming themselves with more guns since President Obama was re-elected.
The fear of future potential gun control by government prompted more people to control guns personally, making it easier for people like the Newtown school killer to obtain weapons with which to shoot children, provided they are not shot first by the very people who lost control of their guns in the first place.
Make sense? No, I didn't think so. See? The world ended.
First Published On : Dec 23, 2012 14:56 IST