In a speech today, NRA president Wayne LaPierre called for a new initiative to place policemen in every school in America. It’s curious that in attempting to defend one right, the consequence is a dramatically increased police force. While I am doubtful that limiting the sale of certain guns will have any dramatic impact of gun violence, it is disappointing (though perhaps not surprising) that the best the NRA leadership can do is propose more policemen. And why stop at one policeman per school? With the size of many public schools, one police officer is simply inadequate. An officer in every hall might be a better plan. In short, we need a police state to protect our right to own all the guns we want? That’s the best idea the NRA has?

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Mark T. Mitchell
Mark T. Mitchell teaches political theory at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA. He is the author Michael Polanyi: The Art of Knowing and The Politics of Gratitude: Scale, Place, and Community in a Global Age (Potomac Books, 2012). He is co-editor of another book titled, The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry. Currently he is writing a book on private property. In 2008-9, while on sabbatical at Princeton University, he and Jeremy Beer hatched a plan to start a website dedicated to political decentralism, economic localism, and cultural regionalism. A group of like-minded people quickly formed around these ideas, and in March 2009, FPR was launched. Although he was raised in Montana and still occasionally longs for the west, he lives in Virginia with his wife, three sons and one daughter where they are in the process of turning a few acres into a small farm. See books written by Mark Mitchell.


  1. Excellent analysis. The best argument NRA has is that uncontrolled gun ownership keeps us free, that it is a barrier against tyranny. To protect gun ownership from very limited oversight and control, they want to impose armed tyranny upon us.

    There is no better measure of how the NRA has outlived its usefulness to our republican government.

  2. I read there was a security guard at Columbine who shot at one of the shooters and missed [he was an off-duty deputy]. A near-by police officer responded and also shot at the shooters. Didn’t help. So how many guards, armed with what weapons, and at what cost would it take?

  3. I knew instantly that this was a silly idea, but I hadn’t quite yet put my finger on the way in which it is hypocritical to the point of absurdity. Thanks for illuminating.

  4. Let me get this straight, the NRA is concerned with liberty and freedom from Gov’t interference or tyranny. But, this same NRA wants a national database on who is mentally ill? This contradiction is so transparent it is actually scary. I’d rather give up my guns than have the gov’t track who is and is not “normal”.

  5. Hear about the guy in china stabbed 20 to death ? Really I’m hoping the State will institute a live-in officer who can cut my steak for me from now on.

  6. Both silly and tone-deaf.
    As one who grew up in a time and place when weaponry was respected for what it could do — and what it could not do, I wonder just how many sportsmen shoot a deer with an assault rifle ( or who would feel honorable if they did so.) Firearms are only a set of tools, and like any tool can be used well, or badly misused.
    But, this issue of “guns and/or freedom”. Does the NRA leaddership seriously believe (or want everybody else to believe) that without a glock in every pocket, the Republic is endangered? There is an organization which regularly asseses the amount of “liberty” in nations about the world, many of whom gthey rate above the USA, and yet — most of those countries have regulated firearms in a manner which the NRA would consider draconian. C’mon here, who’s fooling who?
    If the fight for freedom depends on having a 30-round clip for your full auto assault rifle, if it depends on turning the Commons into free-fire-zones, then, my dear Mr LaPierre, you have already lost the battle, all that remains is cleaning up the debris.
    Freedom is not contingent on hardware, but on heart. The NRA seems to have lost theirs.

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