Sean Hannity proposes giant police state to combat mass shootings. There’s just one problem

Joe Sommerlad@JoeSommerlad
Tuesday 06 August 2019 15:15
news

As America reels from two more horrific mass shooting incidents over the weekend, we've already been subjected to some seriously bad takes from Republicans.

While many simply offered the customary "thoughts and prayers" or blamed violent video games, mental illness or anything but easy to access to lethal assault weapons, others have outdone themselves like Ohio state representative Candice Keller, who says Obama, “fatherlessness”, gay marriage and “drag queen advocates” were the real causes.

Or how about Hollywood actor Jon Voight, who argued that Donald Trump's rhetoric - which Democrats argue directly inspired the white supremacist manifesto written by the the El Paso shooter - could not have been at fault because racism was "solved long ago"?

But Fox News host Sean Hannity has a late contender to beat them all.

Hannity - the channel's big beast anchor who is said to speak to Trump by phone on a nightly basis - took to the air to address America's gun problem and suggested that what was needed was an elaborate police state with every high school and shopping centre guarded around the clock by armed forces.

Trump advocated arming teachers after last year's massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida - convinced that the answer was more guns, not fewer - but this was even crazier.

I'd like to see the perimeter of every school in America surrounded, secured by retired police...

Have one armed guard on every floor of every school, all over every mall, the perimeter and inside every hall of every mall.

We can do that with stores. We can do that in malls. We can do that pretty much anywhere the public is. Courthouses, we can expand that out everywhere and keep Americans safe.

Aside from Hannity's vision of a 2000AD-style Judge Dredd police state sounding decidedly fascist in nature, he had failed to consider the logistics.

As Huffington Post points out, there are some 100,000 public schools and 35,000 private schools in America so to have a cop on each floor of each facility would require several hundred thousand officers even before you get to the 116,000 shopping centres that would need protecting similarly as part of the same fever dream scheme.

And, according to US Department of Justice, there are currently just 701,000 full-time law enforcement officers serving, meaning Hannity's mad paramilitary force would stretch American policing to breaking point before it even got started.

The right-wing blowhard was bending over backwards to find an alternative to clamping down on gun ownership - the inconvenient truth America ultimately needs to face up to stop this happening again - and Twitter users wasted no time in letting him know it.

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