Ah, the NRA at its long awaited press conference said that the best way to deal with the epidemic of mad people running around with army guns is to “arm and train guards” in schools . Good thinking. Hire some mall cops on Segways and all will be well. Trouble is I teach at a school with two real cops with pistols stationed inside at all times. Don’t know what they would do when face with a Bushmaster .233. The obvious answer, then, is to have a cop with body amour and a Bushmaster.233’s at every entrance in every school
Logical, but something troubles me about it. Can’t put my finger on it.
Not to trivialize this. I guess there will have to be more locks, walls, maze entrances and TV cameras, but there is a madness about this.
In its editorial today the New York Times echoes some of what I wrote a few days ago about the gun industry being the main source of the problem. It did the homework I asked for about the connection between the NRA [It entitled its editorial National Rife (Selling) Association ] and the gun industry and pointed out that the industry gave “between $14.7 million and $38.9 million” to the NRA since 2005.
The editorial mentioned the loophole in the federal law the requires criminal background checks before people can purchase guns. The law only applies to gun stores, so sales at gun shows don’t require the checks. That’s about 4 of every 10 gun sales. I’d say the loophole is more like a gorge.
Saw Code Pink sneak into the NRA news conference and put up banners near their spokesperson. Very cool.
Guns and Racism
Interesting piece on BlackAgendaReport.org about what it calls the “The Real and Racist Origins of the Second Amendment” by Bruce Dixon. As you know the amendment is very short: ” A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of afree State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” You’ve probably heard some of the endless arguments about whether our all-perfect forefathers meant that weapons were only for use by things like state militias or for personal protection. Dixon’s article talks about something else, what militias were used for in the 1700’s. He points out that they were mainly set up for slave catching, road checks and Indian killing. He says the idea we need a militia to defend against tyranny came later as a justification for the “gun culture” once slavery was gone and most Indians murdered.
It’s worth considering, but from my reading the all white and all male forefather were concerned with government tyranny and believed a militia was the way to handle what might be a too powerful central government. There is something to it. I did talk to an Iranian years ago who believed that when the Shah fell in Iran and everyone did have guns he felt for the first time that Iranians were really free.
There’s also the argument that gun control is a racist, that throughout U.S. history whites made laws to keep guns (and Bowie knives) out of the hands of blacks. It started way back with laws directed against free blacks and got all out hysterical after Nat Turner’s Rebellion in the 1830’s.
In my lifetime I saw that racism. I remember the hysteria when Black Panthers paraded with guns (legally) in public. Before long police were shooting Panthers and the Panther papers were telling people to “Shoot the Pigs”.
Lots to think about.