Saturday, January 12, 2013
Wayne? Meet Ryan...
Sometimes, in this world of YouTube and Twitter and Facebook, of 24-hour news cycles and the ten-second sound bite, we occasionally decry the fact that anything and everything can be out there for the world to see and hear nearly instantaneously, and that once it is out there, it's out there forever.
However, there are times when this state of affairs does a service to society, because anyone with access to a computer and the Internet can go back and confirm exactly what was said, and when, and why.
This is one of those time.
As you probably remember, back on December 21, Wayne LaPierre, the executive director of the National Rifle Association, stood up at a news conference and said, "The only thing that stops a bad buy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Here is the quote, at the 1:11 point in this clip:
Notice the emphasis on the word "only", and the number of times he uses it during this part of his message. La Pierre clearly wants us to believe that more guns are the only answer to things like school shootings.
Now, here is another clip, with two California law enforcement officers speaking in the aftermath of yet another school shooting, just last Thursday, at Taft Union High School, in Taft, California:
In case you didn't hear this story, a student showed up on campus at Taft High oon Thursday morning with a shotgun and a grudge, looking for two other students who he claimed had bullied him. He shot one student, but quick-thinking science teacher Ryan Heber, with the help of another school employee, managed to distract the student with the firearm long enough to let the other students flee the room and then talked the student into putting down his shotgun.
Now, there is another aspect to the story. According to local news reports, there is ordinarily an armed officer on campus at Taft High. Ordinarily. However, that officer was not at the school...some stories have said that he was not able to get to work because he was snowed in. Whatever the reason, he was not there. The teacher was there. The teacher was not armed, and yet he managed to keep that student from using all of the at least 20, according to reports, shotgun shells he had in his pockets.
So, there were injuries. That is indisputable. But, it is also indisputable that Wayne La Pierre's statement, that the only thing that can stop a gunman is a gunman, is inaccurate. One would hope that La Pierre would learn from this that very few things are as absolute as he would have us beleive.
Honestly, I don't hold out too much hope for La Pierre. He is, after all, a shill for US firearms manufacturers, and his plan is clearly a ploy not to protect school children so much as to generate sales for his masters. The take-away for the rest of us, however, should be that the solution to violence is not more violence, and that the solution to guns is schools is not more guns in schools.
I'm not sure why this is such a difficult concept for some people to grasp.