On Sunday morning, Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, told the world that armed guards stopped school shootings in Israel. Israel begs to differ. "Israel had a whole lot of school shootings until they did one thing," LaPierre said sitting calmly on Meet the Press. "They said, 'We're going to stop it,' and they put armed security in every school, and they have not had a problem since then."
Well Mr. Pierre, that would be awesome if it were true. But according to Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, it's not. More specifically, the two situations are "fundamentally different," and Israel's actually tightened its gun control laws in recent years. "We didn't have a series of school shootings, and they had nothing to do with the issue at hand in the United States. We had to deal with terrorism," Palmor told the New York Daily News. "What removed the danger was not the armed guards but an overall anti-terror policy and anti-terror operations which brought street terrorism down to nearly zero over a number of years."
Well this is awkward. It's kind of like the first time two days ago that LaPierre told the nation that we needed to put an armed guard in every American school to prevent more school shootings. This, despite the fact that there was an armed guard at Columbine High School in 1999, but 13 people died from gunshot wounds anyways. Within minutes, journalists pointed out myriad examples of other shootings where armed guards or bystanders failed to stop massacres as well as plenty of data about how ineffective the strategy would be.
LaPierre's creative understanding of the truth isn't necessarily the issue here, though. LaPierre has failed to check his facts on quite a few other issues lately, and that's fine because plenty of good reporters did it for him after the fact. He's not doing anybody any favors by trying to rope other countries into this problem, though. In Palmor's words, "It would be better not to drag Israel into what is an internal American discussion."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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