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Bill Bennett’s New Age Prescription For Avoiding Future School Shootings: Think Happy Thoughts And Arm The Students

Reported by Ellen - April 20, 2007 -

In my last post, I wrote about how Hannity & Colmes avoided talking about gun control around the issue of the Virginia Tech shootings during their April 18, 2007 show. Last night (4/19/07), they did debate the issue of arming students as a solution with Bill “you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down” Bennett. Just as important as arming the students to Bennett was his new agey remedy: the importance of accentuating the positive. With video.

One day earlier, Sean Hannity was decrying the use of the Virginia Tech tragedy for political purposes. Last night, Hannity tried to do just that as he made a not-so-subtle attempt to prompt Bennett into tying the shooter with Islam because of the words “Ismail Ax” written on his hand. Bennett didn’t bite but he did take a passing swipe at Hollywood, suggesting that it was possible Seung-Hui got it from a Quentin Tarantino movie.

But then Bennett admonished Hannity for not focusing on the positive enough. Bennett offered this bromide for avoiding future tragedies: “If we focus on this guy, if we obsess on this guy, we’re going to have more of this guy. If we focus on some other things, and other stories and other people, like Librescu (a heroic Va Tech professor who lost his life trying to save students), like Ryan White, we’re going to have more of them."

Even Sean Hannity sounded skeptical about that “solution.” However, he never questioned how Bennett might "know" such a thing.

During his discussion with Alan Colmes, Bennett seemed to acknowledge that there are limits to the power of intentions. Bennett said, “The thing we’re most worried about, and I think anybody who’s studied it would agree, Alan, is not the gun, but the gun in the mind, the trigger that’s in the brain. And what I would do, if I were running a campus is to think about ways to create enough disincentives for somebody who’s behaving or thinking in that way, that they don’t want to take the chance. And one of the ways I would think about that and maybe giving them would be to think about these military kids who are on campus, these kids who are in ROTC, and maybe giving them the opportunity when they have maximum responsibility and maturity to arm – you know, you have air marshals. Maybe we need to think about some marshals on university campuses.”

Colmes was doubtful but respectful of this cockamamie idea from someone with no real credentials in this area. “You’re presuming – and you said it all when you said ‘yes, he’s a lunatic’ – and you’re trying to come up with what you consider sane policies to meet an insane person as if that person would be responsive to perhaps sane public policy.”

Bennett said condescendingly. “Alan, Alan, it’s like the punchline of the old joke. He’s crazy but he’s not stupid. He planned this thing out, you know, to a tee. And he knew that everyone he’d be dealing with would be unarmed. And that was going to be the joy of it, the fun of it. We gotta take that plan away. We gotta create doubt in that rational part of his brain that he’s gonna be able to pull that off. No more pulling that off in America. Don’t give those people that opportunity any more.”

And don’t forget the power of positive thinking!

Below is Part 2 of the two-part discussion with Bennett.