Leave it to pink Himalayan salt enthusiast Megan McArdle to propose what may be the dumbest fucking solution to keeping our children safe from gun violence that has ever been proposed — I’m talking weapons-grade dumb. The sort of dumb that has the power to bend space and time.
In her latest effort, Megan McArdle offers the standard libertarian pablum about how we can’t change what we can’t understand — and no, government intervention won’t work because gun control laws will inevitably infringe the God-given right of white men to walk around armed to the teeth, and mental health services are for socialist losers, so we shouldn’t even bother, because shut up that’s why:
The alternative is Newtown. When one tries to picture the mind that plans it, one quickly comes to a dead end. Even if I had been raised with no moral laws at all, even if there were no cops and no prisons, I’m pretty sure that I still wouldn’t want to spend a crisp Friday morning shooting cowering children. Trying to climb this mountain of wickedness is like trying to climb a glass wall with your bare hands. What happened there is pure evil, and evil, unlike common badness, gives an ordinary mind no foothold.
Since we can’t understand it, we can’t change it. And since we can’t change it, our best hope is to box it in. Gun control opponents are angry that liberals immediately started talking about gun control, but this seems like a natural instinct to me. It’s not the best way to get good policy, mind you; hard cases make bad laws, and rules passed in the wake of tragedies tend to be over-specific, and under-careful about unintended consequences. But it’s not somehow indelicate to want to talk about this now; if thirty children had been killed in a landslide, I hope that we’d be talking about whether there might be some way to keep that from happening in the future.
After boring us with her ineffectual handwringing, McArdle proposes a solution that overtakes “MOAR GUNS” as being the top Really Fucking Stupid Solution™: rush the shooter, because why the fuck not?
That’s right. She wants to train children to rush the shooter. After all, the gunman might be able to mow down the first 8 to 12 kids, but after that — if there’s a good 50 kids bum-rushing him — the gunman is going to get taken down… eventually. (I guess “8 to 12 kids” is the price she is willing to pay for the right to shoot whateverthefuck, wheneverthefuck.)
I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.
Hey, you know what else would make these sorts of mass shootings less deadly? Fucking gun-control laws. Besides, I don’t think teaching children to throw themselves in front of guns that shoot eleventy-million rounds per second counts as the sort of meaningful action that President Obama passionately spoke about in the wake of this tragedy.
Also, doesn’t McArdle’s solution seem a little bit too close to victim-blaming? It’s like: Hey kids! You wouldn’t be dead if you would have just bum-rushed the shooter! Duh!
So, way to go, Meg! Way to put the death of the twenty children who were gunned down by Adam Lanza squarely on the shoulders of the other children — like this little girl who played dead amongst the bodies of her slain friends before running out of the school drenched in blood — who had the temerity to survive. Nice job.
These “more guns, don’t tread on me” people are craven assholes. McArdle should lose her job, but she won’t. Craven assholes never do. But hey, at least she said that we’re not being “indelicate” by talking about ways to prevent it from being too goddamn easy for a madman to walk into a kindergarten classroom and gun down 20 kids.
Our benevolent libertarian overlord is going to let us talk about it! So we’ve got that going for us – which is nice.
[via New York Magazine][cross-posted at ABLC]