Yes, it's old news, but it's a story worth repeating. It's about the liberal outrage over Wayne LaPierre, CEO and Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association. Last week he held a press conference where he offered the N.R.A. perspective on the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Some excerpts:
LAPIERRE: You know, five years ago after the Virginia Tech tragedy, when I said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy. But what if -- what if when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he’d been confronted by qualified armed security? Will you at least admit it’s possible that 26 little kids, that 26 innocent lives might have been spared that day?
I call on Congress today, to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation. And, to do it now to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in January.
So, why is the idea of a gun good when it’s used to protect the president of our country or our police, but bad when it’s used to protect our children in our schools? They’re our kids. They’re our responsibility. And it’s not just our duty to protect them, it’s our right to protect them.
The New York Daily News was one of those liberal news organs that took LaPierre's proposals badly.
Less than two hours after the moment of silence for the dead of Newtown, after the solemn sound of church bells ringing for the children and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary on the last school morning before Christmas, there was Wayne LaPierre, executive director of the National Rifle Association, calling for more guns in America, not fewer.
So LaPierre wasn’t just the biggest gun guy in the whole country on Friday, he was the dumbest, and most delusional, and most dangerous.
LaPierre’s solution is a “police officer in every single school and a protection plan for every single school.” More guns! He talks about the Secret Service guarding one President and makes it sound simple to establish a Secret Service for every school in America.
Dumb! Delusional! Dangerous! Deranged! Really?
Flashback. The date is November 1, 1998. The New York Times reported,
Two weeks ago, President Clinton announced a program called Cops in Schools, aimed at making it easier for school districts to get money to hire police officers in hopes of preventing the types of shootings that have resulted in the deaths of students and teachers in half a dozen schools in the last three years.
Governor Whitman recently encouraged local school districts to invite police officers to patrol schools. And the state Attorney General's office and Department of Education have just drafted new guidelines for school-police partnerships.
Although most school districts have police officers teaching the DARE antidrug program, the police are still rare in schools in other capacities.
Security is usually handled by private firms, except in some urban settings like Jersey City, where officers have patrolled five city high schools for more than a decade.
Turns out Clinton's proposal for Cops in Schools was adopted. The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), which falls under the United States Department of Justice, includes a COPS in Schools (CIS) program.
COPS has announced 19 rounds of funding under the COPS in Schools program, including five that were a part of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative, a joint initiative between the Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services. The Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant program was developed to provide students, schools, and communities with the benefit of enhanced educational, mental health, and law enforcement services to promote a comprehensive healthy childhood development.
COPS announced the first round of the CIS program in April 1999, and the most recent in July 2005. COPS has awarded in excess of $753 million to more than 3,000 grantees to hire more than 6,500 SROs through the CIS program. COPS has provided more than $10 million to hire approximately 100 SROs through the Safe Schools/Healthy Students program.
The contradictions that coexist in the progressive mind are pretty easy to figure out, though. A cherished progressive goal is the disarming of American citizens. If progressives had their way, private ownership of firearms of any kind would be strictly forbidden and the ban would be vigorously enforced.
Bill Clinton was a champion of gun control. His administration was responsible for the first assault weapons ban, a predictably useless piece of legislation from the stand point of preventing violent crime. But it's purpose wasn't so much to prevent crime as it was to condition the American public to the gradual infringement upon the citizens' right to keep and bear arms. So when the great and wonderful Clinton called for Cops in schools, what a great idea. The New York Times concluded its article on Clinton's proposal on a positive note.
''The bottom line is to make schools safer,'' said Chief Stephen J. White of the Doylestown, Pa., police department who is a juvenile justice expert with the International Association of Chiefs of Police. ''And you're going to do that by making officers more accessible to students and teachers, especially in schools that have trouble with crime and violence.''
What a contrast from the reception given Wayne LaPierre. As head of the N.R.A. Mr. LaPierre is a defender of the U.S. Constitution, in particular the Second Amendment rights. He opposes gun control and so the liberal/progessive media opposes him. Here's a more recent reaction from the New York Times to essentially the same proposal as the one implemented by Clinton in 1999.
We cannot imagine trying to turn the principals and teachers who care for our children every day into an armed mob. And let’s be clear, civilians bristling with guns to prevent the “next Newtown” are an armed mob even with training offered up by Mr. LaPierre. Any town officials or school principals who take up the N.R.A. on that offer should be fired.
Mr. LaPierre said the Newtown killing spree “might” have been averted if the killer had been confronted by an armed security guard. It’s far more likely that there would have been a dead armed security guard — just as there would have been even more carnage if civilians had started firing weapons in the Aurora movie theater.
Is police protection in schools a good idea only when Democrats propose it? Is armed security appropriate for, let's say the New York Times building but not for the elementary school down the street? According to the liberal media, the answer to those questions would seem to be, "Yes."
And the children of Sandy Hook? They've just become the latest symbols in the political cause of gun control.