Why Wayne LaPierre Is Right and Bloomberg Is Wrong (Part I)

Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Association are obnoxious, paranoid and intimidationist — but he and they are not always wrong. Some of their ideas should be adopted by advocates of “gun safety,” including Congress. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, who’s under fierce liberal attack for his city’s aggressive and effective “stop and frisk” policy, could make common cause with the NRA on some of its ideas. LaPierre should give Bloomberg credit for some of his. Specifically, LaPierre was right to say that the best response to horrors like the Newtown school massacre would be to increase the presence of armed guards at schools. There already are armed guards and metal detectors at many inner-city schools prone to violence — not to mention, at airports, the U.S. Capitol and every other federal building in Washington. Why not at schools? President Obama actually has proposed — and the NRA should support — spending $4 billion to keep 15,000 local police employed, $14 million to train police to respond to active-shooter situations and $150 million to hire 10,000 “school resource officers” — probably mostly counselors and social workers, but also police. I’d go even further in LaPierre’s direction: Encourage every school to have at least one staff member (teacher, assistant principal or cop) who’s armed and trained to use a gun to respond to an attack. The guns should be well-secured, for sure, but it certainly would be a deterrent to a would-be killer to know he’s not hitting a completely “soft” target.