On Thursday’s CNN Tonight, political commentator Van Jones said that arming teachers is a terrible idea because they might use the guns to shoot black and Latino students.
Though Jones thinks there is a slight chance an armed teacher could stop a shooter, he things the negatives outweigh the positives:
"The positives are maybe somebody would use that gun well and stop an intruder. There are some real negatives as well. African-American and Latino kids already get treated fairly badly in schools as it is. They're more likely to be seen as a threat. They're more likely to be expelled, more likely to be suspended for the exact same behavior. Videotape the exact same behavior: ‘This kid is a threat; this kid is a class clown if they're white.'
“And so, there is a concern that I think parents have, and you've heard now African-American educators coming out saying, ‘If you start just passing out guns in schools as they are, given some of the bias that's there, you might wind up having those guns used against students in ways that are not good.’”
Jones said there are other ideas out there that he would rather explore first before arming teachers, though he didn’t detail what those were.
His comments come on the heels of another outrageous claim he made this week, again on CNN, that the National Rifle Association is the modern day Ku Klux Klan. Jones’s view through his racial lenses don’t allow him to see the difference in death tallies accrued by each organization, the NRA being zero.
But that wasn’t the only outrageous moment of the segment. Tonight host Don Lemon didn’t disappoint either.
Lemon, in typical fashion, ignored all of the missed opportunities regarding the school shooting in Florida — the failures of every level of law enforcement in this country from the FBI all the way down to the cowardly non-actions of the school’s resource officer — to blame the shooting on the fact that there’s too many guns in the United States.
“If this person did not have access to a gun, then this would not have happened, bottom line,” Lemon argued after claiming he doesn’t think all guns should be confiscated. (We’re still trying to figure out how not confiscating guns removes access to them. Maybe CNN will get back to us on that.)
Lemon’s idiocy caused laughter from his other guest, former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, now a legal commentator on CNN. He reminded the host that cities with strict gun laws have some of the highest murder rates:
"In Washington, D.C., you have some of the most restrictive gun laws in America, and it's certainly a land of peace and harmony. All the people doing the killing are illegally obtaining the guns. The notion that that isn't going to happen isn't the solution… And you brush aside the idea that other responsible people who have shown a commitment to these children might be willing to undertake that responsibility [armed teachers].”
Lemon conceded the point and immediately blurted out this tired trope: “Do you need a military-grade weapon on the streets of the United States, anyone who is not a police officer or who is trained or licensed to use it? No, we don't need that."
Lemon went on to call Cuccinelli’s argument “silly.” And when Jones chimed in and said his fellow panelist made a good point and urged Lemon to have “an open mind and… a full conversation” instead of shutting people down because they don’t think like he does, Lemon jabbed, “An open mind, though, Van, doesn't mean being stupid. Come on, let's be honest.”
Being called stupid on air by the host of the program elicited an even bigger laugh of disbelief from Cuccinelli.
Maybe Lemon should just start interviewing himself. At least then, there’d be no outside noise in his echo chamber.