The NRA proposal to send hundreds of thousands of guns into schools should be tossed into the dustbin of discarded bad ideas. Ron Paul and Frank Luntz are right: the NRA has responded horribly to the latest mass murders using military-style assault weapons. The NRA intransigence has not only poisoned our dialogue about guns, it has taken away attention from equally important solutions involving entertainment and mental health. Some of the same conservatives who agree with the NRA idea of sending hundreds of thousands of armed police into schools have also called for laying off police. Some those who applauded the courage of teachers in Newtown, Conn., have ridiculed teachers and call for teachers to be laid off along with police.
Luntz is right when he says that the NRA has not been listening to the people. Paul is right when he says that it is a very bad idea to send hundreds of thousands of police with guns into schools, though I believe Paul is very wrong when he opposes reasonable efforts to ban the most lethal assault weapons and ammunition. Laissez-faire and Austrian economics are not the proper response to mass murder.
1. There should some limit to military-style assault weapons.
2. There must be improvement by the movie, music and video game businesses and a lessening of their contribution to violence in America. The Motion Picture Association of America responded far better than the NRA in expressing a willingness to join efforts to reduce violence. Now the MPAA and other trade associations must deliver.
3. There must be a far greater commitment by our nation to research, treatment and care on matters involving mental health.
It is a shame that the intransigence of the NRA has so poisoned our national dialogue and has actually reduced discussion of entertainment's role in violence and America's need to vastly improve mental heath care. These matters should all be taken seriously and treated equally.
My first prediction for the new year is one I desperately hope is proven wrong. I believe there will be more mass murders using assault weapons, probably sooner than we think, which will finally bring the changes that will only come at far too high a cost to our children, our families, our community and our country.