In the wake of the Newtown massacre the National Rifle Association, in the person of the organisation’s s executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre, has come up with its solution to gun crime. He has called for armed security guards to be posted in every school in the country, saying that, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
Now, while many American politicians, including some members of the NRA, are advocating tighter gun laws and, while such moves would be supported by the American public as a whole, we should not think of Mr LaPierre as some sort of American odd-ball. Moreover, even if his view that the only solution to gun violence is more guns. is not shared the majority of Americans, the good guy and bad guy is firmly embedded in the American psyche.
The cowboy crusader, good versus evil, and do you remember all of those films where the good guys wore the white and the baddies black Stetson? Of course, it is a psyche that facilitates the “war on terror”, no need to analyse, and what we have is reductionism at its worst. It might not find resonance with most Americans this time, however, the fact that Mr LaPierre would even have the audacity to play this card in the wake of the Newtown massacre gives us just some indication as to how sick American society is.