NRA’s news conference on Connecticut shootings: some thoughts

  1. NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre spoke this morning about the greatness of America and her citizens. He said quite a few things; one of them in particular resonated with me.
  2. He mentioned the Sandy Hook Principal, Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed when she attempted to overtake the shooter. It’s simply not right, he said, when gun laws leave as the school’s only defense an unarmed woman rushing toward a gunman. No one should require that level of sacrifice from someone else, he concluded.  —  This is simply inarguable. Had Mrs. Hochsprung been armed – with any number or variety of weapons – she would very likely have been able to stop the shooter. But as it was, laws prohibited her from carrying a gun on school grounds, and she was killed as she was forced to resort to her bare hands. I ask: if a school can not trust its administrators with firearms, then who can be trusted?
  3. As I considered Dawn Hochsprung’s dilemma, I was moved deeply. What an awful thing – to be entrusted with the care of hundreds of students, and in this worst of moments, to be completely unequipped to protect them. To be forced to choose between hiding behind a desk or door and confronting a shooter with nothing but her bare hands. Dawn Hochsprung chose the latter; her death was not only heroic, but truly tragic. And as I imagine Dawn Hochsprung in that moment, I imagine the overwhelming flood of emotions and decisions she must have been processing. I imagine she sensed an opportune moment, and ran toward the shooter. And as I see her running, and him swinging his gun toward her, a question emerges. But my question is not: “Who put that gun in the hands of the shooter?” My question is: “Who took a gun out of the hands of Dawn Hochsprung?”

I commend the NRA for its proposal of a school safety program that would put an armed individual on every campus, and for its willingness to contribute financially to see that happen.

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5 Responses to NRA’s news conference on Connecticut shootings: some thoughts

  1. thelyniezian says:

    It is perhaps arguable to allow people to be armed in preparation against such situations, but the question remains: how is it that the threat exists in the first place? Does the easy availability of firearms, to persons who are mentally ill, not present a problem? Should nothing be done to at least close the loopholes and require mandatory background checks, plus perhaps tougher laws relating to safe storage of guns?

    Now I understand you farmers and people who like hunting need guns for certain reasons relating to those pursuits, but presumably those are shotguns or hunting rifles rather than semi-automatic assault weapons. What do you think about those, and can you justify their use?

    • I’m not opposed to background checks and prohibiting sales to mentally ill people. But the reality is those won’t stop mentally ill people from getting guns, and they won’t stop people from killing other people. Guns can be stolen, sold person-to-person (privately), etc.
      Laws about safe storage are excessive. And completely unenforceable.
      As for the legality of assault weapons, I for a long time was not very well able to articulate my reason for wanting them to be legal. I just use a rifle and shotgun in my hunting (though I know some people like using assault-type weapons in hunting, for their accuracy and reliability). But I recently read a comment on an article that put it well. The commenter said he wanted an assault weapon for two reasons: 1) If foreign invaders come into the land, and 2) If the ballot box stops working. I think both of those reasons are sound.

      • thelyniezian says:

        Well, situation 1 seems to be unlikely to happen for a while yet- the US has one of the most powerful militaries (or at least navies) in the world, and is a nuclear power. Back on the alternate history forums I used to frequent, it was reckoned that in an “alien space bats” type situation* where all the nukes were removed and the entire world united to attack the US, it would have trouble (then again, armed citizens were claimed to be one thing in its favour).

        As for situation 2- well again that seems doubtful, though not entirely implausible (though the slide towards totalitarianism seems to be more likely in politically unstable situations or countries with weak constitutions with exploitable loopholes, something I’d not have thought true in the US). But I’d question what good it would do without half the regular military defecting, when the military has even more powerful weapons at its disposal, probably knows the country as well as any rag-tag militia, and the fact you’d probably end up with something like the current situation in Syria, only worse. And would it be a good idea for Christians to be supporting any sort of armed uprising against a corrupt government, given passages like Romans 13, Ephesians 6:12, and the like?

        On the other hand I do question what good increased controls of arms, beyond tightening the loopholes would do. Granted here in the UK we only had one school shooting of not (Dunblane in ’96)- and that lead to a ban on handguns in a nation which already had much tighter gun laws than the US. But that didn’t stop the likes of Derrick Bird driving round Cumbria with a shotgun and a rifle, killing 13 (including himself) and injuring 11 more. Banning some guns but not others won’t stop murders, though it might make them harder, and banning all might get rid of legitimate reasons like hunting. It’s also worth bearing in mind that there is much less of a gun culture in the UK anyway, so few people have them.

        *A term used in the AH community to signify a “what if” scenario that would be implausible or impossible in reality. The idea being that it would require the intervention of “alien space bats” (“ASBs” for short) or some fantastical agency to happen.

      • I think that’s all very well-put.
        I do have to often ask what I think about armed uprisings, as a Christian. I’m not sure I have an answer. Many of our founding fathers were Christians. That doesn’t justify it, but it does complicate it. I can say with confidence that I would have no problem shooting someone who threatened the life of my family. I feel that would be my duty as a father and husband; not to mention the emotions that would come into play at that moment.
        I don’t think that either of those scenarios (the ones I mentioned in my previous comment) are very likely either. But that doesn’t really change my mind about it.

  2. thelyniezian says:

    (I have heard some justifications, but I’ll hear your views first. And by the way, merry Christmas.)

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