Proposal of the Notional Rifle Association in response to school shootings (Part #1)
As a consequence of the Newtown School / Sandy Hook massacre, there has been extensive commentary on school shootings in general, on the right to bear arms, on the availability of firearms to citizens of the USA, on gun control, on the consequences in terms of the level of homicides there, on the complicity of the gun owner lobby and arms manufacturers, and on the nature of the government response with respect to remedial legislation -- within the constraints of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution (cf. Alan Fisher (After Newtown: Rethinking US gun laws, Al Jazeera, 19 December 2012; Edward Helmore (Gunmakers' town in crisis after shooting, The Observer, 22 December 2012). A valuable perspective on the unchanging -- and unfruitful -- pattern of response to such events is provided by Gary Younge (Newtown shootings: if not now, when is the time to talk about gun control? The Guardian, 14 December 2012) arguing:
It is simply not plausible to understand events in Connecticut this Friday without having a conversation about guns in a country where more than 84 people a day are killed with guns, and more than twice that number are injured with them.... Americans are no more prone to mental illness or violence than any other people in the world. What they do have is more guns: roughly, 90 for every 100 people. And regions and states with higher rates of gun ownership have significantly higher rates of homicide than states with lower rates of gun ownership.
Further issues relate to a seemingly crafted presentation of the event by authorities in collusion with the media, as described by James F. Tracy (The Sandy Hook School Massacre: unanswered questions and missing information, Global Research, 25 December 2012). Others have commented on the disparity in news coverage of the event in comparison with the case of similar fatalities elsewhere (Glenn Greenwald, Newtown Kids vs Yemenis and Pakistanis: what explains the disparate reactions? The Guardian, 19 December 2012). How indeed are fruitful possibilities to emerge, as variously discussed (Richard Falk, Responding to the Unspeakable Killings at Newtown, Connecticut, Transcend Media Service, 24 December 2012; Marianne Perez de Fransius, After Newtown: shifting the structure and culture of violence towards peace, Transcend Media Service, 24 December 2012)?
The Sandy Hook massacre was rated the top story of 2012 in an Associated Press Editors Poll, ahead of the US Presidential election and Hurricane Sandy.
In its response, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has elaborated a radical proposal -- the National School Shield -- to place armed guards in schools to reduce the possibility of school shootings (NRA Calls for Arms in School, The Wall Street Journal, 22 December 2012; Gun lobby defends call for armed guards at schools, Reuters, 23 December 2012). This has itself elicited widespread commentary, noting the ambivalence of popular support for gun control (NRA proposal to post armed guards in schools is debunked by critics, The Guardian, 21 December 2012; Poll: Inconclusive support for gun control, CBS News, 27 December 2012).
What follows is a proposal by the Notional Rifle Association -- necessarily more radical than that of our colleagues in the National Rifle Association. It could be considered potentially both more politically feasible and more cost-effective (given the drain on much-stretched public resources required to guard against the well-documented and greater threats of terrorism).
The proposal here advocates the possibility of progressive weaponisation of the replica toy weapons already made available by parents to children for their amusement -- and received with enthusiasm by them as a complement to their experience with video games. The process is seen as engendering an internal pattern of control within schools, consistent with the arguments of the National Rifle Association and with the principles enshrined in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.
The radical nature of this proposal follows from arguments developed previously (Liberating Provocations: use of negative and paradoxical strategies, 2005). A previous massacre of children in Norway in 2011 was explored in terms of its wider implications (Gruesome but Necessary: global governance in the 21st Century? Extreme normality as indicator of systemic negligence, 2011).