US National Rifle Association urging politicians to have armed guards in every school.

(86 Posts)
Pan Fri 21-Dec-12 17:15:02

Today in a news conference. Lots has been said in the time since Connecticut, but this surely raises the discussion to a new level, given how powerful the NRA are in US politics.

And if anyone needs reminding how ingrained gun ownership is in the USA, here is an ad from Walmart (Asda's company) for that last minute little stocking filler

To my Brit head this is lunacy of the highest order. Anyone differ?

momolili Fri 21-Dec-12 23:32:34

I'm another American that is completely horrified by this gun culture, but then I'm not a natural born citizen so gun ownership is a very alien concept to me. My two pet hates are healthcare and guns! The former is finally being reformed in some way, but it's going to take a lot more than the deaths of 20 innocent children to turn this country around! We've been here a little over 5 years and are new citizens and I can honestly say that this is the first time since moving here that I regret the move! My husband and I are very anti-guns; we have always asked parents outright if they have guns in the house and if the answer is yes then our kids are not allowed to go there. Many think we are being very unreasonable, but hey my kids, my rules!
The NRA are a bunch of loonies; if armed guards become a feature of the school system or teachers are allowed to carry concealed weapons, then we will have to seriously think about leaving. Since the shooting (and I'm nowhere near Newtown) I'm petrified someone is going to pull out a gun and start shooting just because he / she feels the urge! What a life!!!

Fuchzia Fri 21-Dec-12 23:57:14

Genius idea. But wait! what if the guard is a lunatic whose escaped the 'database of mentally ill people' the NRA have suggested which is bound to prevent further horrific incidents. Think it would be best to have two armed guards in each school, or maybe three. chances are at least two of them will be sane and could overpower the crazy one.

Phew! Glad that's sorted!

The proposal of a register for mentally ill people is a stupid idea and if they can do one of those, then why can't they do a register of all the people who own guns too.
I think any gun control laws and pressure against them is going to have to come from the bottom up. Machines designed to kill and not there for any other reason.
sad

notcitrus Sat 22-Dec-12 06:20:31

The more the NRA look like idiots, the more Americans with a firm belief in states' rights and a fetish for the Constitution and knowledge that the nearest competent police are 3 hours away (most gun advocates) will start to dissociated from them. So let them rant!

It's only recently that the 2nd Amendment was ruled in the Supreme Court to provide the right for all to keep arms, rather than just for the purposes of "a well regulated militia". Great article in the New Yorker on how politics could easily get a new more restrictive interpretation in future.

I'm American but never lived there much. But you really have to appreciate how the distances outside the coasts and cities mean there is effectively no law enforcement other than your own, and a local sheriff who is a poorly trained side with a badge. Watch True Blood. Apart from the southern accents and the vampires etc, that's what my family's towns are like. If Jason was your local deputy, you'd probably want a gun too...

skratta Sat 22-Dec-12 08:55:01

A register for mentally ill people?

The NRA doesn't listen to the facts because I heard on the news today that 1/4 Americans (born here or not) have had a mental illness of some time, mainly depression, but sometimes things like personality disorders. Are we going to discriminate against 1/4 of the population, when I think it's quite clear that nearly every single person with a mental health issue doesn't shoot people? Although numbers don't make a difference, and it would wrong if there were smaller numbers affected, this shows how many people have or will have or did have a mental illness, how common it is, but also how untalked about it is- which needs to change.

The NRA are trying to scapegoat mentally ill people (think that makes sense? Sorry if it doesn't!). They don't want to be the one to blame, so they pick an easy target. It turns out to be mentally ill people, predictable in a way- so much stigma, often unspoken stigma and most commonly people react hurtfully but they don't even realise they're doing- a subconscious stigma- as well as discrimination in life, jobs, even getting the limited support from the Government, and it really is very limited, mental health makes a difference. Easy to blame basically.

MoreBeta Sat 22-Dec-12 09:07:34

When the US Constitution was written it did not envisage people carrying semi automatic assault rifles. It was written in an age of single shot low power rifles and hand guns with six bullets. The NRA surely could agree to limit the sale of very high powered semi automatic weapons.

What is frighteneing is that ever since the shooting in Conneticut sales of guns and ammunition has risen by several hundred percent. The reason this has happened because people are 'stocking up' on guns because they expect some sort of ban to be imposed so they think that if they buy now then the Govt will not dare take them off them but just stop any new semi automatic weapons being bought after a certain date.

I read somewhere that one shop had suddenly sold out of its entire stock of AK47 and MIA semi automatic rifles in one day. These assault weapons designed for use by armed forces to kill people on battle fields are now in someone's home.

We just do not have this gun culture in the UK so it is almost impossible to comprehend the thinking that people have about guns in the USA.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sat 22-Dec-12 09:11:07

Also, when the constitution was written, the US was a very different place.

footballsgalore Sat 22-Dec-12 09:51:53

Maybe Maggie's idea for bottom up gun control is the way to go. What would happen if American citizens started turning up at police stations handing in their weapons? Would that send the 'we have had enough' message to the govt/NRA? Or is that something that would simply never happen?

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sat 22-Dec-12 10:04:01

Massive amounts of weapons have already been handed in, spontaneously, without any pressure to do so. I can't link as on phone but there was an article showing a massive pile of assault weapons handed to police shortly after this happened.

Tamoo Sat 22-Dec-12 10:22:44

It's not just these spree killings that are an issue either. It's how guns exacerbate other situations. Two guys have an argument in the street and instead of it ending up in a fist fight, one pulls a weapon and shoots the other. Domestic incidents escalate because there are guns in the house. Small time robberies or muggings can end up with fatalities because one or both parties is carrying a gun.

The other issue with gun control is, even if someone is assessed as 'mentally fit' to own a weapon, they will inevitably have family sharing their home, and visitors to the house. Even if it's kept under lock and key it wouldn't be that hard for a family member who has flipped out to gain access to the gun. Adam Lanza is surely a case in point? Probably he wouldn't have got a licence himself, but his mum did, and he didn't have any problem getting hold of her guns.

niceguy2 Sat 22-Dec-12 10:30:29

It's staggering to me that the proposed 'solution' to guns in school is to have erm......more guns in school!

The constitution was drawn up in a much different era and I have no clue why people still believe it is necessary in modern America. It doesn't even explicitly say guns. It's arms. So by logical extension they should also be free to purchase a stinger missile or two.

What amazes me is a country so rich, so polite, so prosperous, so full of clever talented people. Yet they cannot see the illogic in requiring a person to hold a permit to perform manicures but should be free to go buy a machine gun?

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sat 22-Dec-12 10:32:47

I agree tamoo, arguing for a register of the 'mentally ill' as a way to avoid a repeat of this simply ignores the fact Lanza's mother was a pro-gun enthusiast who legally owned her guns, and who would not have appeared on such a list. It's a pointless distraction tactic, used to try and deflect the NRA's responsibility in this.

niceguy2 Sat 22-Dec-12 10:35:20

The gun culture thing though is fascinating. I remember going on a training course once where the trainer was a outright god fearing redneck. Lovely guy but his logic was totally alien to us.

During conversation we asked him how many guns he had at home. Cue a brief pause whilst he counted. Between 90-100 was his answer! He taught his daughter how to shoot when she was 10. Took her hunting at weekends, in the same way as we'd take our child to Mcdonalds. It was just something you did.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 22-Dec-12 10:35:52

Presumably, Lanza would have had no problem acquiring a gun if he wanted one, no criminal record and no record of mental illness as far as I'm aware?

lljkk Sat 22-Dec-12 10:36:23

Who will pay for it? NRA or Taxpayers? Leaving aside dozens of other valid objections. How would this cockamamie scheme be funded? Volunteer guards as staff would barely dent necessary costs.

Is NRA offering to fund it, the vetting, capital purchases, equipment maintenance, staff training, admin? Of course not. Sounds like another way to suck $trillions of taxpayer money into right wing boondoggle ideas.

niceguy2 Sat 22-Dec-12 10:40:04

It's just diversion tactics.

Same with the register for the mentally ill. I mean ok...let's for a moment say they had a register. Then what? The obvious thing is not to let them buy guns. But wait....the shooter didn't buy the guns, he nicked them from his mother who wasn't mentally ill. So it's useless.

MoreBeta Sat 22-Dec-12 11:12:21

" It's arms. So by logical extension they should also be free to purchase a stinger missile or two."

Ah well, there you make a very interesting point indeed.

I was thinking about that this morning. Where is the limit? Could a law abiding, certified sane, god fearing, US born citizen buy a fully armed tank or a fighter aircraft or a artillery gun or a warship?

I think not.

Once citizens or indeed anyone else acquires weapons enough to overthrow Govt officials then pretty soon the 'Constitution' suddenly is used to allow those politicians to take direct action and you forget the right to bear arms. Its all about political calculations in the end what politicians do best is in self interest and that is work out how best to stay in power.

Look how quickly this whole thing has become 'political'. Obama is using it to deflect discussons about the US deficit and fiscal cliff because he knows the gun issue is a stick he can use to beat Republicans and make them look 'unreasonable'. The logic is that if the NRA can be used to make Republicans made to look unreasonable about guns them he can say the Republicans are unreasonable in the negotiations over the deficit and the fiscal cliff. In 3 months time they will also be arguing about the Debt ceiling - just when Joe Biden is delivering the results of the inquiry into gun control.

I can quite easily see Republicans and Democrats sitting down and agreeing a US debt deal linked to a new law on gun control. The political logic is really that crazy.

Pantomimedam Sat 22-Dec-12 11:15:13

The NRA are sickening. How they can clamber over the dead bodies of six year olds in this way, I do not know.

difficultpickle Sat 22-Dec-12 11:54:13

lijkk the NRA are saying that it will be a service staffed by volunteers so no costs incurred. Ds's school is in Windsor Castle so we are used to seeing policemen with large guns. Still makes me feel uneasy though.

niceguy2 Sat 22-Dec-12 12:04:43

And who vets the volunteers? How do you know that if heaven forbid this was indeed to happen again that the said volunteer would actually be more use than a chocolate teapot? Would they actually have the presence of mind and more importantly training to be able to fight back or could they accidentally kill kids themselves whilst shooting it out?

All this because they want to be able to own an assault rifle. It beggars belief. Noone is even talking about a ban on guns, only assault rifles.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sat 22-Dec-12 12:07:15

How is the answer to children getting shot in school to put nutters people with guns into schools confused This is the thought that went through my mind when I heard it on the news. Along with fucking idiots

difficultpickle Sat 22-Dec-12 12:53:10

President Obama isn't interested in banning weapons. He gave it lip service in his first presidential campaign but did nothing during his first term. There was no mention in his second campaign. He doesn't have the interest and the proposed ban on assault weapons will get nowhere. The one that expired in 2004 had so many exceptions that it was practically unenforceable. The NRA is hugely powerful and the gun owning population mostly ignorant on the true meaning of the 2nd Amendment.

lljkk Sat 22-Dec-12 14:13:29

Staffing is only one cost, Lots of associated admin costs especially with such a large H&S risk. And who gets sued if a volunteer goes Postal?

98,000+ volunteers are a lot of people to manage.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sat 22-Dec-12 14:31:15

The worst part of this 'volunteer army' suggested by the NRA is that it would most likely be those NRA evangelist-types who would want to step up and fill this void. I can't imagine anything worse than the sort of person who believes you need more, bigger guns to protect people from guns being allowed near schools. Trigger happy nut jobs believing they are the 'good guys' are the last thing schools need.

niceguy2 Sun 23-Dec-12 21:16:24

And you can just imagine when the first kid getts shot by the 'good guys with a gun' because they pulled out their mobile phones in a threatening manner.

Which of course would be called a tragic freak accident by the NRA who would blame the government for not allowing their volunteers to carry sniper rifles. Had they have had said rifles then they could have been covered the school from the hill top nearby and so their volunteer wouldn't have felt so threatened by the 10 year old........

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