The National Rifle Association recently put out its National School Shield proposal elucidating its ideas on adding more security in the nation’s schools. Right on cue, the Los Angeles Times ridiculed the plan as but “a hail of bullets” that “will protect everyone.”
In an editorial from April 2, the L.A. Times’ Robin Abcarian opens with a series of jokes lambasting the NRA’s plan as “a kiddie version of the National Missile Defense program. Star Wars for Schoolyards. A hail of bullets will protect everyone!”
The NRA debuted its National School Shield initiative with frontman Asa Hutchinson, a former Republican Congressman from Arkansas, leading a full court press campaign. Hutchinson’s pitch essentially stated that at least one armed security guard be stationed at every American school. This, Hutchinson said, would increase response times to attacks.
This idea–one guard at every school–is what Abcarian characterized as “a kiddie version of Star Wars” and a “hail of bullets” that would protect everyone.
Abcarian went on to criticize the NRA’s panel of experts called to craft the policy proposal, implying that they had a fully preconceived notion of what they where going to end up concluding.
“To paraphrase a famous line about hammers and nails,” Abcarian said, “when you have a gun, every problem looks like a target.”
The Times’ Abcarian also ribs the report because it states that school violence has actually decreased across the country at the same time as security programs have increased.
“As more SRO officers have been assigned to schools, school death rates have decreased. These numbers support the notion that the presence of armed officers positively impacts the school environment,” the NRA report says.
But Abcarian scoffs that, “even the greenest undergraduate understands that correlation does not equal causation.” Fair enough. But just pointing that out is not proof that the NRA is wrong, either. Unfortunately, Abcarian offers a scoff but not a cogent rejoinder to the NRA’s claim.
Abcarian ends her piece on a typical note, suggestive of the need for gun bans.
“I am no school violence expert,” Abrarion says “but maybe… we should talk about the weapons?”
Here Abcarian violates her own rule. Correlating guns to school shootings does not equal causation, does it? Isn’t there a security problem, a mental health problem, or a societal problem instead of a mere gun problem?