Friday, December 21, 2012

The NRA and the Law of Escalation

It is intriguing and disturbing to hear the NRA espouse their belief that armed guards or police in schools will solve all the safety problems in schools and that violence in the media is a primary reason for gun violence in America.

As a strategy guy, I have a few thoughts on this:

1. You better have more than one armed guard or policeman in the school. If there is only one and someone is planning an attack, the armed guard or policeman will be the first one killed.  After that, things come apart as the people confident that the guard would protect them are now vulnerable.

2. You better have the guards in multiple protected areas within the school.  If you don’t, a coordinated attack takes them out first.  Then see point #1.

3. They are assuming that teachers will not want to shoot the guards.  Teachers demonstrate gun violence also.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this story from earlier in December where an elementary school teacher in Pennsylvania went bonkers and shot his wife to death in a church.

4. On the day of the massacre at Columbine, there was an armed guard on duty at the school.  He was checking the “Smoker’s Corner” when the shooting took place as explained here.  His presence didn’t prevent the shooting.

5. The NRA stated today that violence in the media is a major contributing factor to violence in America.  The inconvenient truth they leave out is that the number one weapon used in the “violent media” is … wait for it …. guns.

Here’s the bottom line on the NRA’s inane (and insane) desire to introduce more weapons as a solution to gun violence.

We Cannot Avoid The Law of Escalation

Here’s how it works.

I bring a knife to a fight and you bring a gun to assure your victory.

To counter your gun, I bring a bigger gun.

To counter my gun, you bring a bomb.

To which I respond by bringing a bigger bomb.

And so on.

Sounds stupid doesn’t it?

But I don’t think arming everyone sounds any smarter.

So …..

We can either save ourselves a lot of time and effort, get right to the final solution by arming everyone with bombs and let them sort it out once and for all.

Or ….

We can have a MORE intelligent conversation around the whole gun debate and look for a balanced solution that, while not perfect, represents the best we can come up with collaboratively.

I know which one makes better sense to me.

How about you?

In service and servanthood,


PS If any member of the NRA denies the existence of the Law of Escalation, then allow them the right to only have the types of weapons that existed when the 2nd Amendment went into law in December of 1791 and see what they think of that.

The Cold War was the ultimate example of the Law of Escalation.  The NRA’s intent is to recreate the same thing on a personal level.

And we all know what the Cold War almost produced, don’t we?


  1. Excellent, but what is the strategy then? What is a "More Intelligent conversation"?. I am not a gun owner, and don't plan to be one anytime. However, since the Columbine tragedy, this gun control issue comes up, everyone clamors to "take the guns out of the streets", everyone clamors for a more "Intelligent Solution" but I have yet to hear what the mysterious Intelligent solution or even conversation is. Is it so intelligent that all of us "dumb commoners" have zapped it out of our mind when we heard it. So far all I hear is : Blame the guns, the NRA, the gun crazed NRA members and their ilk... what about the shooters themselves, do they bear any responsibility at all. I hear that they are also victims of one sort or another. Either victims of Bullying, victims of abuse or some other commonly paraded cause by all the psys on TV. Who can look at a 6 year old child in the eyes and coldly put a bullet in him/her at close range? Let alone 5 or 6 bullets? and do it systematically, over and over and over again? The gun availability or lack of it, would not make such a person an angel or make him worse than he is. He would probably would have been just as cold with a rusty old butter knife. There are sick people out there. That's the problem that should be addressed. If that's a mental illness, it should be studied, funded and a real effort should be made to understand exactly what those violent mental illnesses are, if they can be cured or helped in some way and if possible find out what causes it. It looks to me that every time something horrible happens, everyone attempts to assign the blame away from the perpetrators, trying to find some sort of justification. Look for a reason to increase the collective guilt. I don't understand this. We saw it for the 9/11 attacks, somehow it is America's fault, some conspiracy theorists claim that the US Government did it. When a Sicko rapes and murders a child, the ACLU runs to defend that guys civil rights, the more horrible the crime the more society tries to find justification somehow, by victimizing the offender. That's what makes me want to puke. Particularly when the victims are innocent children. They are the real victims. Who cares what he used to kill them, the point is that HE DID!!!!!!!!! Why is the NRA or even at a point the Shooter's mother being attacked on the media and the blogosphere. What about that Crazy Sumbitch who did it? Does he bare any responsibility? I don't know what the solution is, but I know that talking about intelligently without saying anything at all may be good for scones and coffee cake at high tea time, and is a refreshing change of subject from the usual weather diatribe, but it has amount to naught so far. Harry, this is in no way, directing at you or what you wrote. I actually agree with your analysis and your point on escalation, but I take issue on the Generic "Intelligent Conversation" whooping serving of warmed up Bull Durham. I am sure it was not a point to be made in your article but rather a direction to which conversation should be pointed, but I am anxious to hear anything "Intelligent" in concrete terms behind said or written anywhere. I don't have anything to offer myself, I confess. I am more of the foolish sanguine type who, if confronted in a similar situation would probably react the same way the Principal and a couple other adults did. Meaning getting killed attacking the Monster trying to save the little ones lives. It's not a solution, but sometimes one may get lucky.

  2. I think a more intelligent conversation starts from the standpoint that EVERYTHING is on the table until proven otherwise and that the "stuff" on the table is recognized as a CONTRIBUTOR (not the sole reason) that must be addressed.


    1. Mental illness
    2. Availability of guns
    3. Scale of weapons available and the reasons why
    4. An understanding of people's intention to commit violence (regardless of weapon choice)
    5. The high occurrences of violence (regardless of weapon choice)
    6. The REAL purpose of the ACLU and who they are or should be serving
    7. Priorities of lawmakers
    8. Hollywood, music, video games and the media industry in general
    9. Etc. - the list would be a long one.

    The problem today is that people say "I will propose and agree to solutions as long as what I find important is not affected".

    So NRA people say "guns are off the table - guns don't kill people, people kill people".

    Gun haters say "it's all about the guns - there would be less violence if we didn't have guns".

    Some people say that the only solution is to confiscate all weapons - with 300 million weapons on the street, that would be almost impossible to do.

    So they're all wrong and they're all unwilling to have a discussion around what level of intelligent compromise can produce a better world (not a perfect one).

    The world will only get perfect when we are perfect ... and I don't see that in our future.

    In the meantime, if we can't have a dialog and be willing to compromise regarding the things that we personally embrace, then we won't get any closer to something better.

    Such a dialog would be a far more intelligent one than anything going on today.

    Create a great day.


    1. That's a good example of an Intelligent conversation, particularly if the action follows the conversation. Unfortunately, it seems that over the past decades, there has been a lot of conversation and proposal of action advanced, but no follow up on those proposal by a sustained action. Let's hope we are truly learning and start to act. I agree, this shouldn't be like politics or Sports, there shouldn't be any side but that of the victims of the Violence, and an All-the-above approach should be favored.

  3. I also think that an intelligent conversation is predicated on the belief that we are ALL responsible for what our society produces instead of marveling about our contribution to the good stuff while holding someone else responsible for fixing the bad stuff.

    But then again, that is holding humans to a higher standard than they are currently exhibiting ... but still within their reach. :-)

    1. Holding ourselves responsible to all that is happening within our society, I can agree with that concept. Having a guilt trip because of our shortcomings as a society, when it is limited to show a contrite face and shame for that guilt but then turning around and looking at who or what else the accusatory finger can be pointed, is what I am getting tired of. Responsibility taken seriously demand that action is taken, not as a knee jerk reaction to assuage the collective guilt and self loathing, but action directed to the incessant research to better solutions, by applying them as they are being discovered. Never stopping to examine, study and search for improvement. As we evolve, so will our problems. The more complex our society becomes, the more complicated the problems will be. As you say Harry, Man is not perfect, but constant striving to improve must be part of the equation. The Blame game doesn't advance anything. That was what I was getting at in my original comment.

  4. And an intelligent conversation, where the parties are unwilling or unable to bring themselves to the table, must be brought together by someone who has the influence, power and authority to do so.

    And I can only think of a few people who have such influence and power .... but those few take their mandate (supposedly) from the masses.

    So WE can direct them to get it done ... if they don't have the will to do so.

    Unfortunately, we don't have the will to direct them either.