MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT A teacher in every gun store? (Photo: Paljoakim)
Wayne LaPierre is the number one example of why there is no such thing as a "good gun owner," only over-the-top zealots who appear overdosed on out of date anti-psychotics. One of the great ironic paranoid fixations of the FOX cult is that they are victims: victims of the government, victims of minorities, victims of Hollywood, victims of transmissions from Mars for that matter.
Of course, it's all some fantastic Gothic psychosis. After all, what is the federal or local government telling any of these wingers to do? What is so oppressing them? Tell us about it, but we want a psychiatrist and an armed teacher on hand just in case one of the LaPierre "good guy" nut jobs goes whacko and with an AK-47.
I remember many years ago one particular incident that occurred when traveling the circuit debating on gun control. An incident that occurred appears in retrospect to be emblematic of the "good guys" that we are up against. After the discussion was held before a couple of hundred people (most of whom booed me before I uttered a word) a guy came up and asked me to "take back" my statement that almost any person with a gun has threshold moments when they are capable of using the firearm to harm innocent people in moments of rage. This is particularly true in the United States where many gun owners – particularly the LaPierre acolytes -- see themselves as victims and harbor deep resentment and often a thirst for vengeance toward anyone not in their cult.
Not one to be intimidated, I repeated my statement. At that point the "good gun owner" became unhinged, flung himself forward and began to try and strangle me as he yelled, "You are saying that I am insane." Another guy with him (in a red flannel shirt, I swear) pulled him back and protectively advised him to "ease up," as I kept the "good guy's" hands from throttling me. In a few moments it was over, and the friend hustled the "responsible" gun owner out of the room.
I bring this up not just because this has been a week of writing commentaries on the gun lobby, gun culture, and gun control (in which I invested 25 years of mostly volunteer time in as a national leader), but because whatever gun control we pass needs to be accompanied by a change in America's gun culture – which is fueled by an infected pustule of self-reinforcing corrosive claptrap.
That is why I was glad to receive a counteroffer to Wayne LaPierre's strident no retreat advocacy of guns on Friday.
The solution is simple, forget about putting armed police in every school: "I suggest putting a teacher in every gun store," writes Jef Johnson. (The proposal appeared on the Facebook site: "I love it when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is President." What can beat a stern teacher with a yardstick watching over the gun guys and gun sellers who skirt the law?
The idea was sent to me by my high school journalism advisor when I edited the public school newspaper, "The West Word," at Niles West in Illinois.
Richard Turner, thank you for the tip and for being the kind of teacher people look back on and say that person made a big difference in my life. Richard had long ago gone on to a highly successful career in philanthropy, but he never lost track of mentoring his former students.
I don't think Richard will be volunteering to guard any gun shops though.
He just retired.
Maybe Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker can get some armed teachers in every gun shop to keep the gun guys on the up and up.
And if enough teachers don't volunteer for gun shop duty, there are always bears.
Remember, we can all agree that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and arm bears.