Saturday, December 22, 2012

Every school a killing field: Is the NRA's Wayne LaPierre the stupidest creature on the planet -- or just the most loathsome?


UPDATE: The NY Post (yes, the NY Post!) today front-paged
Blowhard Wayne (the "NRA loon") as "GUN NUT" -- see below

Now that Brother Blowhard has made clear exactly who and what he is, surely he will be universally shunned, right?

"[N]othing did more to discredit the merchants of weapons of death than their own chief advocate’s callous rant."
-- from the New York Daily News editorial "Gun-crazed maniac"

by Ken

So there I was, fulminating into my keyboard about the astonishing performance of National Rifle Association Exec VP Wayne LaPierre, who had broken the NRA's long post-Sandy Hook silence and finally, unequivocally revealed himself as the the demonic slimebag he is, and I took a breather and checked e-mail and found a new post from Noah which he calls "2012: The Year That Idiocracy Moments Broke the Scale," and which we'll probably have here on Monday, and he's writing about a film I know is dear to his heart, and which I've been hoping for some time he would write about, Mike Judge's Idiocracy, and he's taking off from the serial experience of seeing the premise of the film come to life, and one of his cases-in-point is happening on his TV screen as he writes -- and it's Blowhard Brother Wayne blowing hard.

You'll see what Noah had to say on Monday, and you'll even see my fulminating in a moment. But meanwhile Noah has passed along an editorial that appeared in, of all places, the New York Daily News. This carries an extra dimension for those of us old enough to remember the old Daily News, in the days before the Murdochized New York Post moved onto its far-right flank, when the News duked it out in a dumbing-down competition with its rival, the now-long-defunct Mirror, for the hearts and minds of the city's working class.

The News is no longer the bastion of craziness it once was, but still, it's the Daily News, ferchrissakes, and yet here it is editorializing thusly:

Gun-crazed maniac

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association will forever now be known as America’s maddest gunman.

In style and substance, his performance Friday in delivering his organization’s response to the Newtown massacre revealed the obsessive, lunatic paranoia behind its worship of firearms.

A week after a gunman armed with an assault rifle murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, and ever so shortly after the bells there tolled for the dead, LaPierre lashed out at everyone and everything but the weapons that were used to kill.

Still worse, in his arrogance and in his sense that terrible forces are out to get him, LaPierre was callous to the raw agony of the families of the slain. The hell with them — he made clear that he will fight to maintain the easy availability of assault weaponry of the kind that killed their kids.

He flayed the news media for supposedly perpetuating a culture of violence and ignorance.

He blamed video games and movies for murder, as if big-screen or small-screen entertainment matters more than easily obtained machines of death.

He mocked anyone with a single new idea to prevent deadly weapons from falling into the hands of those intent on mayhem.
And, exhibiting a level of insanity that qualifies people for commitment as a danger to themselves or others, he called for stationing armed cops at every school in the United States.

You see, in Wacko Wayne’s world, the only answer to death by guns is to flood the country with more guns and stand ready for the shootouts. His zeal is worse than nuts; it’s a peril to life and limb.
All this springs from LaPierre’s dark vision of America as a country where psychopaths roam free and plot even now to kill.

Here he was in full flight: “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?

“How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame — from a national media machine that rewards them with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave — while provoking others to try to make their mark?”

By the time LaPierre insisted on a national database of the mentally ill, one could be forgiven for wondering whether it should include the paranoid, delusional man himself, because his description of people “so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them” surely fits the hard core of the NRA.

No one can argue against school security. New York City has plenty, mostly with unarmed security officers. But staffing every school building in the country is wildly unnecessary and would be prohibitively expensive while achieving little.

Remember: There was an armed guard at Columbine High School, scene of the 1999 murders of 12 students and one teacher. The two teenagers who went on the bloody rampage feared him not, nor was he in a position to save the victims.

Remember, too: Mass killings have become more frequent in America as guns have become more commonplace. If you can’t prove that the increasing availability of assault weapons caused the killings, it is absolutely clear that having guns all over did not deter the slaughter.

There’s an upside to LaPierre’s act. In showing his extremism, he shot himself in the foot, if not somewhere more damaging. His most fervent supporters will be pleased, but many NRA members — the large number who are more reasonable — will likely be appalled. Will his allies in Congress step up with the billions of dollars that would be needed every year to staff schools with cops? No way.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, got to the heart of the matter, accusing LaPierre of taking “the easy way out.” He said: “Listen, I don’t necessarily think having an armed guard outside every classroom is conducive to a positive learning environmen. But let me just say in general I don’t think that the solution to safety in schools is putting [in an] armed guard — because for it to be really effective, in my view, from a law enforcement perspective, you’d have to have an armed guard outside every classroom.”

For all that advocates of sensible gun-safety measures have said in the past seven days, nothing did more to discredit the merchants of weapons of death than their own chief advocate’s callous rant.

How many will follow America’s mad gunman over the cliff?


Here's the News running an op-ed piece called "Ban killer weapons and do it right now" by Richard Aborn, president of NYC's Citizens Crime Commission, and encouraging readers to sign a petition to "ban all assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and institute comprehensive gun control." The Daily News, ferchrissakes!

As you'll see, there's a striking amount of overlap, but as threatened, here is the fulminating I had fulminated as of the time I saw Noah's first e-mail.



God love ya all, you idiot rubes, 'cause I sure love ya! Just keep kissing my ring and we'll keep those gutless politicians in a state of terrified paralysis, and together we'll make beautiful mayhem and death together, and the gun manufacturers who keep me in diapers will make more zillions -- and, oh yes, it won't matter that you've got the World's Tiniest Penis. I won't tell if you don't!


Today I stand before you counting on you being leagues stupider even than I've counted on all these years. I'm gonna rub your noses in doody, and you're gonna sing, "Hallelujah, Brother Wayne!"


And Wayne thinks it's an opportunity to open up a whole new market for guns, and to turn all our schools into killing fields.

I mean, the mind boggles. Is there anyone on the planet stupid enough to buy this barnful of doody? Blowhard Wayne complains that our entertainment media create a climate of violence. Yes, they do, but nobody in history has done more to promote a culture of violence and murder that Blowhard Wane and the modern-day NRA. The challenge to NRA members now is: Do you grasp that what Brother Wayne is saying is that you are all a bunch of murdering sociopaths, and America had best get out of our friggin' way or we'll get you out of our way.

I mean, we don't even know what happened inside Sandy Hook Elementary School yet, and Brother Blowhard has the unmitigated gall to build an entire Brave New Guntopia out of the preposterous notion that having a single armed NRA-certified triggerman stationed in the school would have prevented the incident, when in all likelihood it would have just added to the death toll.

But then, why should Brother Blowhard give a damn about the death toll? He makes his living from it. Again you never know whether Brother Wayne is just a grinding moron or, more plausibly, a pathological liar. And at this point in his life, he is so saturated in evil and death that he can't possibly give a damn what new horrors result his latest prescription for "New Horizons in Gun Deaths, Accidental and Planned." The man is a bloodthirsty ghoul. He lives to preside over butchery and death.


One question, rattlesnakebrain. As counsel Joseph Welch so famously asked that vile blowhard Joseph McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"


I had always intended to offer some powerful but more proper commentary on Brother Blowhard's bloviating in the form of a strong post by Amy Davidson, "Should Teachers Carry Guns." You don't have to read all that closely to see that Amy isn't any less horrified by Brother Blowhard's blithering than Noah or me or the Daily News. Here's a little of what she has to say:
Since the shooting in Sandy Hook, there has been talk about not only what it means to stand in front of a class but what it’s like to keep six-year-olds silent in a closet with a gunman steps away, or, like Victoria Soto, a teacher laid to rest Wednesday, to die trying to protect them. Paul Simon sang “Sounds of Silence” at Vicki’s funeral—his sister-in-law knew the Soto family; Derek Jeter called her mother, because he’d heard she was a Yankees fan. Those are fitting tributes. What is confounding, though, is the idea, put forward by gun advocates, that this all would have been better if only Soto and her colleagues had been carrying guns, too—if they had served as field officers in some sort of counterattack.
In a press conference Friday, Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association, said that children had been put in danger by “laws for gun-free school zones” and by having “unarmed principals.” (“How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order?”) At what might have been a moment of humility for the organization, he said that people “driven by demons” were among us, along with a “much larger, more lethal criminal class,” and that the only way to stop them was with guns—with “armed security in every school” and a “National Model School Shield Program” to be developed by the N.R.A.
Is this where we are? If you want to be a teacher in, say, Virginia, do you have to nod as your governor, Robert McDonnell, says, as he did on Tuesday, referring to Sandy Hook’s principal, “If a person like that was armed and trained, could they have stopped the carnage in the classroom? Perhaps.” By the end of the week Virginia state legislators were introducing a bill to require at least some school officials to be armed. This was echoed on Fox News and beyond; there are already bills that could bring guns into schools in half a dozen states. . . ."
And here's a little more:
What is repellant here is the blithe way gun advocates have wrapped an argument that writes off children’s futures in sanctimonious talk about personal responsibility. In this way, it is very much of a piece with a broader philosophy that has its grip on the Republican Party. Why are we so passive? Why can’t we all just own guns and stop having funny ideas about making sure that the most vulnerable people in this country have as good a chance as anyone?
"We all have fantasies of rescue when it comes to a story like Sandy Hook," says Amy, and she describes the sort of thing she's imagining, then says, "But serendipity and dreams of glory are not policy choices; reducing the number of guns is."
She ponders some of the implications of expecting, say, teachers to be marksmen, and arrives at this conclusion:
This is where gun advocacy ends: not with a right to bear arms, but with an insistence that the rest of us have an obligation to do so. In the name of a misreading of the Second Amendment, teachers and children are conscripted in a gunfight. A movement that frames its cause as liberty imposes fear, and service only to the gun.
Let me just put it this way: If, now, there's anyone in the country who doesn't consider Brother Wayne a pariah, an untouchable, an outcast to anyone with even a modicum of decency, then the country is in worse shape than I thought.


You know how I was making fun of the New York Post above, and how its Murdoch-era craziness seems to have driven the Daily News ever so slightly into the zone of sanity? Noah wondered if I'd seen the front page of today's Post.

I had not one but two Municipal Art Society walking tours today, and in the course of my wanderings I think I did see it quickly but didn't really register it, since it seemed so, well, strange. Now, however, it does seem to me to respond to the challenge I posed above -- that anyone in the country with even a modicum of decency is obliged to "consider Brother Wayne a pariah, an untouchable, an outcast."

Still, the NY Post? Color me surprised.

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