Wednesday Evening News Roundup
When the NRA announced that they were going to hold a press conference, I stated on the air that I believed there was nothing that the NRA (National Rifle Association) had to say that I was interested in. I could not imagine their saying anything that was thoughtful, intelligent or helpful about the situation. Unfortunately, I was right. It seems to me that Wayne LaPierre, with his same tired clichés, considers the American people stupid.
Let's, just for a second, go with his suggestion that the way to fix the problem would be to have armed guards in elementary schools. Let's, just for a moment, assume that we can get state, federal and local funding for armed guards in schools. Let's also assume that we can figure out how many armed guards we need. I suspect that in small schools, we would only want to have one or two armed guards and that in bigger schools we'd like to have more. Now, let's add to this mix a gunman. By all accounts, the gunman in Newtown shooting was intelligent. He may have been, and probably was, mentally disturbed, but he was intelligent. He knew that the school was on lockdown. He broke a window in order to get past the locked doors. Why would we assume that the gunman wouldn't plan on taking out the arm guard first? Why would we assume that the gunman wouldn't plan for the armed guard? The armed guard will not be Dirty Harry, Rambo or Jack Reacher. The armed guard is not gonna be an ex-Special Forces elite paratrooper. It's going to be some guy. It'll be some guy with modest training who will be surprised by the attack. Remember in Tucson, Arizona, when Representative Gabby Giffords was shot, there was someone in the crowd who was carrying a weapon but did not think he could get off a clear shot without hitting civilians. During the shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, one of the first ones on the scene was a 20-year police veteran who got off multiple shots but did not hit the shooter once. For his troubles, he was shot multiple times and, thankfully, survived. Let's go back to 1966 when Charles Whitman shot and killed 11 people, wounding over 30 others. Two police officers confronted Whitman on the observation deck of the University of Texas Tower. One officer, from a distance of approximately 50 feet, discharged his gun six times. He didn't hit Whitman once.
Just because you have a gun, just because you've been trained, does not mean that in the moment of crisis you're going to be able to use that weapon to stop an assailant. Wayne LaPierre isn't simply crazy. He is a lobbyist. He wants you to buy something. He wants you to understand that guns are the only answer to violence. He wants you to be afraid. He wants you to buy a gun. By the way, don't buy just one, because one is never enough. Buy several.
Did you see that a US senator was stopped for drunk driving? Did you notice that it wasn't just any old US senator? It was Senator Mike Crapo from Idaho, a Mormon. I wonder if he will do the honorable thing and call a press conference to explain how he has disgraced himself, his religion and his state. Representative Anthony Wiener resigned after it was discovered that he emailed pictures of himself to young women. The pictures were lawful. Of course, he was married. but this isn't really adultery, is it? Then there was the huge cover-up that he manufactured, after which he resigned. Should the honorable senator from Idaho resign?
I think that President Obama should write an op-ed in the New York Times and then have an op-ed followed in the Washington Post. In this op-ed he should outline his proposals to avoid this fiscal cliff impasse. He needs to make it 100% clear to the American people that he has proposed reasonable solutions which have been rejected by Republicans in the House. Then, he should sit back and wait. He should not compromise Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or unemployment benefits. He should wait. He is holding the winning hand. Once January first rolls around happens, all the pressure will be on the House Republicans.
How was your Christmas?