When a Headline doesn’t Comport with Content (WS on Gregory v. LaPierre on MTP)
Daniel Halper has a post up at The Weekly Standard entitled Gregory Mocks LaPierre for Proposing Armed Guards, but Sends Kids to High-Security School.
The two quotes from the interview that Halper uses are as follows:
"You proposed armed guards in school. We’ll talk about that in some detail in a moment. You confronted the news media. You blamed Hollywood and the gaming industry. But never once did you concede that guns could actually be part of the problem. Is that a meaningful contribution, Mr. LaPierre, or a dodge?," asked Gregory.
Later the host suggested that guns don’t prevent violence in schools (he cited the mass shootings at Columbine and Virginia Tech). "But you would concede that, as good as an idea as you think this is, it may not work. Because there have been cases where armed guards have not prevented this kind of massacre, this kind of carnage. I want you would concede that point, wouldn’t you?," Gregory pleaded.
The piece then notes that Gregory’s kids go to the Sidwell Friends school, which has a security staff.
Does this make Gregory a hypocrite? Nothing in the quotes (which I assume are the ones that best represent Halper’s position) above suggest that Gregory rejects armed guards at schools, yet they don’t. Indeed, I do not recall any such claims in the interview (which I watched in its entirety yesterday, although I did not reread the transcript in its entirety for this post). As such, I see no evidence for hypocrisy here.
What I see is an attempt to get LaPierre to consider that there might be additional policy prescriptions beyond just armed guards (or hand waving about violent movies, etc.). Indeed, what I saw from LaPierre in this interview (which is what I saw in his press conference that my co-blogger, Doug Mataconis* called a “Bizarre Response to the Sandy Hook Shootings“) is an utter unwillingness to even discuss reasonable policies related to guns themselves.
The bottom line of that interview is that when asked “Is there any new gun regulation that you could support?” there was nothing but dodge in response, because the clear answer is “no” and the only solution that LaPierre and his organization favors on this topic is more guns. There was also much in terms of assertions about regulation don’t work, but the comparative evidence suggests otherwise.
There is also, I would note, a discussion to be had about the role of armed guards in schools. Many schools do, in fact, have armed guards, but they are not there to prevent mass shootings, but for other security concerns, such as students brining weapons to campus. This is a rather different mission. Pretending that one lone guard per school is a deterrent to someone bent on mass murder is debatable.