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Monday, April 1, 2013

Why Morton Kondracke is Right and Wrong about Wayne LaPierre and Michael Bloomberg

Over the weekend, columnist Morton Kondracke wrote two posts on Roll Call's Pennsylvania Avenue blog, one titled  Why Wayne LaPierre is Right and Michael Bloomberg is Wrong, and the second was reversed, Why Michael Bloomberg is Right and Wayne LaPierre is Wrong.  When you get past the unnecessary name calling  in the first:
Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Association are obnoxious, paranoid and intimidationist...
And the second post:
The National Rifle Association is paranoid... 
Kondracke seems to find more to like about what Wayne LaPierre has said than Michael Bloomberg. From the post about why Wayne LaPierre is right:
Specifically, LaPierre was right to say that the best response to horrors like the Newtown school massacre would be to increase the presence of armed guards at schools. There already are armed guards and metal detectors at many inner-city schools prone to violence — not to mention, at airports, the U.S. Capitol and every other federal building in Washington. Why not at schools?
And this was Kondracke's most suprising (and refreshing) admission:
I’d go even further in LaPierre’s direction: Encourage every school to have at least one staff member (teacher, assistant principal or cop) who’s armed and trained to use a gun to respond to an attack. The guns should be well-secured, for sure, but it certainly would be a deterrent to a would-be killer to know he’s not hitting a completely “soft” target.
Kondracke is a moderate to liberal (though I would not call him a full fledged liberal) commentator.  The fact that he has stated LaPierre (and by extension the NRA) is right to suggest that school personnel should have the option of being armed is quite a move in our direction considering he is in favor of most of the gun control proposals floating around.

So let's take a look at that second post.  Even in that one, he found more common ground with the NRA than with Bloomberg.  For instance, citing columnist David Brooks:
“Past efforts to control guns have not dramatically reduced violence,” he added. “The Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Brady Act of 1993 and the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 all failed to reduce homicides significantly.” He cited studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arizona State University and the University of Cincinnati.
Where he does agree with Bloomberg (other than on criminalizing private sales on firearms and ammunition magazine bans) was on the Mayor's controversial "Stop and Frisk" policy.  Citing Manhattan Institute Fellow Heather McDonald, he writes how the policy has saved the lives of minorities in New York, who make up the vast majority of homicides in the city.

If Kondracke really understood the issue, he would know that those magazines holding more than ten rounds are quite standard in a number of handgun models as well as a number of semi-automatic rifle models. As for those background checks on private sales - it's is not parinoid to oppose the creation of a national gun registry which Obama's DOJ says would be required to make it effective.  The only thing that a list is good for is to assist with collecting banned firearms, as it has been used for in states that have required registration of certain firearms, then later banned those very same firearms.

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