Home > Uncategorized > A Counter-Proposal to the NRA

A Counter-Proposal to the NRA

[Update:  12/22/12 – The predictable fallout: universal condemnation. Bergen Record:

“Instead of offering solutions to a problem they have helped create, they offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America where everyone is armed and no place is safe,” Bloomberg said.

And for once I agree in part with Gov. Christie – although instead of ducking the question about the NRA (not familiar with the particulars proposal) he should have denounced NRA like Bloomberg did – this isn’t about particulars, its about fundamentals:

And Governor Christie, who said at an event on Thursday that armed guards don’t foster “an atmosphere of learning,” reiterated that stance on Friday.

“You don’t want to make this an armed camp for kids,” he said, noting that he wasn’t familiar with the particulars of the NRA’s proposal. “I don’t think that’s a positive example for children. We should be able to figure out other ways to enhance safety.”  ~~~ end]

Wolfenotes must go off topic today to respond to the NRA’s extraordinarily warped proposal to put armed guards at schools.

The NY Times reports:

WASHINGTON — The National Rifle Association on Friday called for schools to be protected by armed guards as the best way to protect children from gun violence.

Here’s our counter-proposal:

Here’s a technological police state solution I’ve posted on line to taunt the gun nuts:

Put a chip in all guns – like the one in my cell phone – that provides 24/7 location data.

Use drones, satellites, and mobile and fixed ground level detection equipment to monitor the guns, in real time.

If a gun is detected entering into “regulated space”, a police response is generated.

The police response would range from a cop car deployed to confront the gun possessor via the NYC policy of “stop and frisk”, or – in a worst case – a drone is deployed to conduct a “signature strike”.

Local police are already doing this domestically (i.e. “stop and frisk”) and it is US policy internationally (i.e.  24/7 drone surveillance, and drone strikes, including “signature strikes”).

The technology is already widely deployed too – from GPS, cell phone chips, and digital license plate scanners to Homeland Security cameras.

After all, what’s good for the black city kid and “insurgent” goose, is good for the gun nut gander!

Oh, and if NRA wants armed guards at schools, don’t pay for it out of the art and music budget.

Make the gun nuts pay a $500 per gun per year year fee to pay these school cops.

One twisted proposal deserves another!

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  1. Bill Neil
    December 21st, 2012 at 17:20 | #1


    You are right to heap as much scorn and sarcasm upon this NRA pronouncement as you have. I had a conversation with a neighbor this morning while walking my “security” dog, Josie, a Belgian Malinois, and she said she was thinking about buying a gun – this involving a brief exchange about the “state of the nation.” I told her, having had this conversation right inside my family several years ago, that owning a gun in a nation awash in 300 million of them – with another headlong rush to own now underway, was a grand illusion, probably more dangerous to the owner than not owning one.

    Any fair observer of our nation today, seething with political, economic and social discontent, inequalities of earnings, weatlh and even the ability to get a job, awash in feelings of powerlessness on the part of so many – add this reality to the usual American stew of racial, ethnic and religious churnings, and it is a recipe for continued mayhem. The irony for the armed American Right, who deep in their political hearts believe they are defending the Republic from a left inspired government (how wrong can someone be in their “diagnosis of whom Obama really is politically?) is that the great coup has already taken place: the corporate private sector, in their unified enough opposition to taxes, gov’t regulatory authority and any power in civil or economic society that might dare raise a serious threat of a check or balance (take your pick: consumer, labor, environmental…)have already captured every “bastion” mechanism of divided powers set up by the founders to thwart any faction or private interest from gaining the upper hand…this power is now extended to the upper reaches of the court system, already having neutered if not taken over the poltical financing system, the public educational system and the many non-profits themselves. It is the ability of many varied private fiancial interests to come together under a unifying enough ideology that has demolished and made a mockery of 2.000 years of the “Atlantic Republican Tradition” and its emphasis on enough economic equality to make genuine politcal equaltiy (never perfect and fleetingly enough balanced between elites and the masses) possible. And anyone who thinks that the republic under Bill Clinton in the late 1990’s was any interregnum in the power and rise of the Right ought to consider the grand bargain that Obama is now lurching towards. The Right continues to dictate what the Center does; the left is irrelevant.

    The mass shootings, taken in historical time and in their collective meaning are the ultimate expression of citizen powerlessness in the face of private economic power over all aspects of American life. Yes perhaps each one can be explained away in the details of each psyche gone awry: but the latest took place in a countryside awash in firing ranges (this was Yankee Conn. !) and in the home of a woman rightly or wrongly trhying to fend off her fears…the nature of which we don’t know yet…

    The Right fears our dependence on government without understanding how dependent on corporate power they are, where all their cherished freedoms and rights are hung up on the doorway before they even enter the private world of work. The myths and mythology surrounding small businesses as the counter, remedy and ancedote to all that has gone wrong – cherished by both parties – only serves to mask who holds and excercises real power in the US. And the proof of that is the fact that on the elements of business ideolgoy I have just listed, small business does not stand apart from big business, indeed, in all the points listed it may be more fanatically “Right” than many larger firms.

    A republic if you can keep it? We no longer have one. Any debates as to when we lost it?

  2. December 21st, 2012 at 17:37 | #2

    @Bill Neil

    Bill – a major unexplored factor in the gun mania is racism – the same fear that drove white flight and produced gated communities.

    Do you recall the response of the Parishes that surrounded New Orleans in the wake of Katrina?

    Pure, unadulterated racism led to armed borders and cops even shooting down black people on bridges.

    That same “thinking” is a driving force behind the gun mania.

    The killer’s mom in Connecticut was a member of a weird survivalists’ group. Forget their name, but I went to the website and their vision is one of economic collapse followed by anarchy and invading black hordes from the cities attacking the wealth white suburbs. The woman felt she needed guns to protect herself from the black masses coming to take her ill-gotten wealth (did you note her and hubby’s corporate careers in financial sector? These Wall Street economic elites living in compounds surrounding by the roiling black ghetto are really running scared. Think of the NJ urban/suburban politics on acid!)

    Unbelievable – truly unbelievable. Ugly.

    I read Chris Hedges, who has done a lot of work on the warped cultural backlash and nightmare associated with economic decline and religion and right wind extremists.

    This stuff made Hedges seem like a churchmouse. I’ll try to dig up the link.

  3. Bill Neil
    December 21st, 2012 at 18:00 | #4


    No question that the urban riots of the 1960’s helped lead to an arms race. The irony is that the arming led to more black-upon-black violence than interracial violence; I’m trying to think of a mass shooting crossing racial lines…?

    I’m not fan of Mayor Bloomberg when it comes to his views on political economy – on that – he’s part of the problem, a big part. But you have to concede he’s a tiger on gun control and global warming, and his news service has an article today listing the butcher’s bill from “generic” gun violence on the day of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook. And how can I ever forget a place called “Sandy Hook?”

    So there are two layers to this: the day to day mayhem and the rise and increase of mass shootings. But my larger point remains: we are no longer powerful citizen actors in an effective democratic republic; a society armed to the teeth is one full of powerless feeling people…unable to exert a corrective influence over those institutions that hold most sway over their/our lives…never forget that the black urban American ghettoes were the first to feel – alongside their neighboring white working class neighbors, the desconstruction of American manufacturing, Camden and Newark being prime examples. Before the riots erupted, the economic die was cast… and the nation wished them a hearty “we don’t need you” and “good riddance” after the gentler “benign neglect” phase. Do you remember the urban “redevlopment/planning” chief of Trenton’s reaction to our urging to pursue Merrill Lynch to come to Trenton and put its jobs there instead of Hopewell…Trenton wasn’t even in the running – he couldn’t conceive of it despite his job description. They were so already – this was the late 1990’s afterall – under the corporate headlock that they would forgo the jobs chase and sell their unused sewage treatment capacity so that someone else could get the private sector “gold.” !!

  4. December 21st, 2012 at 18:09 | #5

    @Bill Neil

    Bill – it is the fear and the racism, not any real facts.

    I read one website where the author went into tremendous detail about what would happen when the economy collapsed.

    These guys have all the right wing paranoid thoughts lined up. The see guns as the indicator of citizenship. Those without guns are “subjects” not citizens.

    Here is the scenario they portray:

    The deficit causes an economic collapse. The government can no longer honor debts. Social spending is slashed. Then the “parasites” in the city have their food stamps cut off and start mob raids at food stores, then incursions into white suburbs, where the money, food and water are. Cops can’t handle it – order breaks down. And the Citizen steps up!

  5. Bill Neil
    December 21st, 2012 at 18:26 | #6

    That’s a fascinating detail, Bill, one I hadn’t heard. Let me say this, since I keep using that term “Atlantic republican tradition.” It comes from a difficult and profound academic work on constitutional theory (and much else) by JGA Pocock who published “The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition” in 1975, a ripe year, no for speaking of the fragility of republics? The connection to your bio detail about Lanza is this: there is a long strain of apocalyptic thought that goes with republics in distress, which emerged during the strains in the small city state of Florence during the Renaissance and the reign of their famous monk, and surfaced again in English tradition as England the elect of nations…in the English Civil War of 1640-1660 esp. around the factions in Cromwell’s army. But there are left and right variants, Christian and secular… to the apocalyptic strain of thought…and I invite your readers to consider Bruce Bartlett’s essay on the idea of “starving the beast” to provoke a grand fiscal and broader financial crisis to finally “rein in” that bad olde govt…as a late variant in that thinking: here at

    Unfortunately, “starving the beast” is alive and well inside the Beltway even as we write…and implicitly accepted, in less apocalyptical terms by the center…

    One other little biographical detail: I bought “The Machiavellian Moment” at the Princeton Univ. book store on my way home from another futile lobbying and testyfying trip to the state house in Trenton, sometime in the 1990’s. I bought it because I was attracted by the common but ultimately incorrect popular political slang implications of the adj. “Machiavellian” because I thought it described both political life at the state house, but also, more sadly, inside the conservation “community.” But even if it fairly expressed my mood…little did I know how many strands Pocock’s tale contained…a historical primer of the ancient fears about how hard it is to keep a genuine republic – and how easy it is to lose one…and many pages devoted to the importance to the Greeks, Romans and Florentines to keep an armed citizenry, based upon small farmers…and their rough economic equality to defend the republic from tyranny, internal and external…that’s the Right’s take on this tradition: the later English and American country Whig fears were that commercial special interests would corrupt the republic from within…which is why they strove so mightily to invent mechanisms to divide and balance powers. I believe they would be horrified at not just 300 million guns floating around, but the capture of the entire govt, certainly including state and local govts, by unabashed private economic interest, which you write so well about – Christie’s government and the current DEP.

  6. December 21st, 2012 at 18:42 | #7

    @Bill Neil

    I’m still trying to find the link to the website that had the scenario played out in military tactics detail.

    It was a link on piece by David Atkins at Hulabaloo. I can’t seem to find it though.

  7. December 21st, 2012 at 18:51 | #8

    @Bill Neil

    Bill – connecting some of the personal and social pathology and the issues of political economy is the Wall Street finance connections.

    Some have written that it takes a sociopath to succeed in that culture – a callous lack of empathy and an oblivion to all the carnage of your daily work. I would suspect that traders and those the work the joy sitck on drone strikes share some pathologies.

    Creative destruction indeed!

  8. Bill Neil
    December 21st, 2012 at 19:22 | #9


    The best I’ve read in that “genre,” besides Michael Lewis’ and Frank Partnoy’s “classics,” is a little known one: Karaen Ho’s “Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street,” perhaps the most chilling yet, and most comprehensive, a woman anthropolgist’s take on the the culture. The most shocking part was her detailed portrayal of the “plebe” class of young first year analysts, who are given the grunt work of preparing the “deal books.” Their personal lives disappeared; some never went home and slept in their cars…family life,anyone? The higher you rose the better the pay, and the more humane the hours…until a big crisis hits…

    No wonder they are eager to take it out of the rest of our hides after that experience, a financial equivalent of Parris Island. Maybe topped by only her portrayal of the occupation (before Occupy) of selected Ivy League schools: Harvard, Princeton, Wharton U of P and Stamford…for recruiting purposes; I ended up exchanging emails of protest with the current President of Harvard over the process…absolutely unwarranted intrustion into academic life…literally camping out…

    Bill, but how they mask the brutality under the fine manners…the most sociable and best rounded of the best of the Ivy league: you can see what they were after if you get Michael Lewis himself…the blood soaked language and military metaphors of the trading floors is not what the school boards in Penn. saw when the exotic interest rate swap instruments were sold to nearly bankrupt school boards in de-industrialized old steel towns…or in Birmingam, Alabama, for that matter. Charming best and brightest across those tables: so wise up, and listen to the best and brightest! They really are the smartest people in the world. And here’s my book review at Amazon of Ho’s book:
    http://www.amazon.com/review/R39LTM37GLQESH – entitled “The Smartest Bulimic Culture of Expedience in the World.”

    The reason behind the camping out in the Ivy league campuses is that the firms are really conducting extensive and prolonged personality screening: they know if you’re Ivy senior at these schools you’re bright enough…but they want the most sociable mask to hide the fangs, and that’s a tricky and slower process of sorting out, no? We wouldn’t last a week, Wolfe!

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