"We have no national database of these lunatics. ... We have a completely cracked mentally ill system that's got these monsters walking the streets."
—National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre on "Meet The Press" Dec. 23, in response to the Newtown, Conn., shooting spree that left 28 dead, including 20 children ages 5 and 6.
Why it stinks: On the same program, LaPierre also said, "If it's crazy to call for putting police in and securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy." After a week of silence, LaPierre called for putting armed police in every U.S. school.
Setting aside how much that would cost, research has shown that more guns equal more gun deaths, whether by suicide or homicide. Even gun supporter John Lott tweeted last week that the shooter would just kill the armed guards first.
A 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, a military installation with plenty of guns, left 13 dead and 29 wounded. A 1998 shooting at the U.S. Capitol left two armed police officers dead. Columbine High School--where 15 died and 23 were wounded in 1999—had an armed guard.
As for creating a national database of lunatics: Honestly, don't people with mental illness have enough stigmas to overcome? Few would argue that America's mental-health system is woefully inadequate, but the overwhelming majority of people with mental issues will never be violent.
Let's fix the system and end the stigma. Perhaps, if we do that, potentially violent people will be encouraged and able to get help before anyone dies at their hands.