Megan McArdle Suggests We Train Children to Act as Human Body Shields — Seriously.

20121217-161414.jpgLeave it to pink Himalayan salt enthusiast Megan McArdle to propose what may be the dumbest fucking solution to keeping our children safe from gun violence that has ever been proposed — I’m talking weapons-grade dumb. The sort of dumb that has the power to bend space and time.

In her latest effort, Megan McArdle offers the standard libertarian pablum about how we can’t change what we can’t understand — and no, government intervention won’t work because gun control laws will inevitably infringe the God-given right of white men to walk around armed to the teeth, and mental health services are for socialist losers, so we shouldn’t even bother, because shut up that’s why:

The alternative is Newtown. When one tries to picture the mind that plans it, one quickly comes to a dead end. Even if I had been raised with no moral laws at all, even if there were no cops and no prisons, I’m pretty sure that I still wouldn’t want to spend a crisp Friday morning shooting cowering children. Trying to climb this mountain of wickedness is like trying to climb a glass wall with your bare hands. What happened there is pure evil, and evil, unlike common badness, gives an ordinary mind no foothold.

Since we can’t understand it, we can’t change it. And since we can’t change it, our best hope is to box it in. Gun control opponents are angry that liberals immediately started talking about gun control, but this seems like a natural instinct to me. It’s not the best way to get good policy, mind you; hard cases make bad laws, and rules passed in the wake of tragedies tend to be over-specific, and under-careful about unintended consequences. But it’s not somehow indelicate to want to talk about this now; if thirty children had been killed in a landslide, I hope that we’d be talking about whether there might be some way to keep that from happening in the future.

After boring us with her ineffectual handwringing, McArdle proposes a solution that overtakes “MOAR GUNS” as being the top Really Fucking Stupid Solution™: rush the shooter, because why the fuck not?

That’s right. She wants to train children to rush the shooter. After all, the gunman might be able to mow down the first 8 to 12 kids, but after that — if there’s a good 50 kids bum-rushing him — the gunman is going to get taken down… eventually. (I guess “8 to 12 kids” is the price she is willing to pay for the right to shoot whateverthefuck, wheneverthefuck.)

I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.

Hey, you know what else would make these sorts of mass shootings less deadly? Fucking gun-control laws. Besides, I don’t think teaching children to throw themselves in front of guns that shoot eleventy-million rounds per second counts as the sort of meaningful action that President Obama passionately spoke about in the wake of this tragedy.

Also, doesn’t McArdle’s solution seem a little bit too close to victim-blaming? It’s like: Hey kids! You wouldn’t be dead if you would have just bum-rushed the shooter! Duh!

So, way to go, Meg! Way to put the death of the twenty children who were gunned down by Adam Lanza squarely on the shoulders of the other children — like this little girl who played dead amongst the bodies of her slain friends before running out of the school drenched in blood — who had the temerity to survive. Nice job.


These “more guns, don’t tread on me” people are craven assholes. McArdle should lose her job, but she won’t. Craven assholes never do. But hey, at least she said that we’re not being “indelicate” by talking about ways to prevent it from being too goddamn easy for a madman to walk into a kindergarten classroom and gun down 20 kids.

Our benevolent libertarian overlord is going to let us talk about it! So we’ve got that going for us – which is nice.

[via New York Magazine]

[cross-posted at ABLC]

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169 replies
  1. 1
    Bernard Finel says:

    McArdle is, without a doubt, one of the dumbest people in the United States. Her complete inability to reason is only matched by a laziness so profound that it is, literally, mind-boggling.

  2. 2
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    Huh? how do 5 year-olds rush the shooter. Children react first by putting their hands over their ears because of the noise.

    Emotions run at a high rate over the senseless death of babies. She should stop and think about her own emotional responses.

  3. 3
    mouse tolliver says:

    Everyone who read this post has a moral obligation to go over and flame the holy loving shit out of that stupid moron. And complain to her bosses that having an idiot like her on the payroll makes them look bad too. The worst thing about our failed media is that you can’t get fired for stupid.

  4. 4
    jibeaux says:

    Somewhere, Louis Gohmert is saying “ha, I told you guys I wasn’t the stupidest person on the North American continent!”

  5. 5
  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    Because Pickett’s Charge worked out so well that the obvious solution is to reprise it with 6 year olds.

  7. 7
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    No words.

  8. 8
    IowaOldLady says:

    This is horrifying. I just had email from my daughter-in-law, a first grade teacher. She’s been in tears over the deaths. Requiring her to carry a gun is an appalling enough idea, but requiring her little kid students to rush someone with a semi-automatic weapon is a criminal notion.

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    I hope she loses her job over this. She deserves to. Just horrific.

    I didn’t know about that little girl who hid under her dead friends. I just can’t…oh, that poor girl and how she must feel and how her mom must feel and…I just can’t absorb the whole thing.

  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    Also, too, is this sufficiently high-grade stupidity to tempt the good Mr. Levenson to return to the McArdle-bashing beat?

  11. 11
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @mouse tolliver:

    Everyone who read this post has a moral obligation to go over

    Actually, no. If you buy Atrios’s argument that McMuggins was hired to turn Newsweek into “all trolling, all the time”, that’s going to rack up the pageviews. Better to deny her that.

  12. 12
    PeakVT says:

    McArdle. Sounds familiar. I think I read something about her once.

  13. 13
    GregB says:

    Please, someone tell me that is an Onion article in which the most stupid possible thing that could be said about how to react to a man with a gun in a public setting.

    Please tell me that this is an Onion spoof.

  14. 14
    Violet says:

    @mouse tolliver: Better is a letter to the management of Newsweek Beast explaining how they must get rid of McMegan and you will not be visiting their website until they do. No clicks for you.

  15. 15
    g says:

    Hmm, didn’t the principal “rush the shooter”? How’d that work out?

    Not to say the principal wasn’t brave.

    McArdle deserves not only to be fired butto be banished from civil society.

  16. 16
    toschek says:

    HA – I was just coming here to email Imani a link to this very piece.

    Inshalla, McMegan will lose her gig at SnoozeWeek over this. I’m speaking as a person who deplores censorship, but adores accountability.

    And McMegan has a dump truck load of garbage to be accountable for.

  17. 17
    wiscomom says:

    I’ve been busy signing petitions, donating money, calling my reps and ready to march. Tell me how we make sure this woman doesn’t have a job any more. I’m glad to help.

  18. 18
    Roger Moore says:

    @Bernard Finel:

    McArdle is, without a doubt, one of the dumbest people in the United States.

    She isn’t dumb, she’s just lazy and a paid shill for people who like things the way they are. OK, maybe a little bit dumb, too.

  19. 19
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    McMegan won’t lose jack shit over this. She works for Tina Fucking Brown.

  20. 20
    PeakVT says:

    @GregB: Not an Onion spoof. Onion spoofs are at least funny in an oh-my-god-that-is-so-true sort of way.

  21. 21
    redshirt says:

    This is a neat twist to the post 9/11 strategy that no plane can ever be hijacked again because the passengers will rush the hijacker.

    Genius! Given that we’ll need to be well regulated though, I propose all Americans practice their “rush the crazy shooter” skills one weekend a month, and one month a year.

  22. 22
    WereBear says:

    I have been enjoying McArdle bashing up to now… but this is just jaw-droppingly incredible. I cannot believe I’m hearing it.

    Train our children to just ride into that Valley of Death, huh? Is this is a disguised plea for larger class sizes?

    Wow. Now that is some dedicated shilling. Please, tell me this woman is not contemplating reproduction. Wouldn’t an article like this disqualify her from adopting or taking in foster children? Please, say it would.

  23. 23
    Jebediah says:

    Ok, McMegan, show us how it’s done.

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    She wants to train children to rush the shooter.

    I realize that this is utter fantasy on my part, but you know, there is a historical precedent for this sort of thing that McArgleBargle might learn from (ha!): the French army insisting that élan would overcome German machine guns in the opening weeks of The Great War. So the French troops rushed the machine gun positions.

    No, really!

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    Do you think this would work with infants and toddlers too? Can we teach infants to fling themselves from their strollers? Can toddlers maybe drop and roll at the shooter to knock him off his feet? Hey, maybe we should all go around wearing bulletproof gear, including helmets, all the time. You know, because we’re the ones responsible for tackling the shooter. Because any actual attempt to stop shootings from happening is unrealistic and cannot happen and won’t work.

    Would McMegan volunteer to wear a pager so she can be summoned at a moment’s notice to the location of any shooting and she can fling herself in front of the shooter? Only seems right.

  26. 26
    dmsilev says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s a bunch of Europeans fighting among themselves. Doesn’t count. Try referring her to Pickett’s Charge or perhaps Cold Harbor.

  27. 27
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Heh…The Maginot Line

  28. 28
    maya says:

    McMegan is trying to invoke the Flight 93 Strategy from 9/11. I believe everyone went down with the terrorists there too.

    She, Palin and Bachmann ought to see if they can harmonize together.

    Edit: Redshirt beat me to it.

  29. 29
    Kristin says:

    She is depraved.

  30. 30
    HinTN says:

    McMegan is a tool and she is just being used.

    Alsotoo, am I the only one for whom the mobile site has ceased to exist?

  31. 31
    Mike in NC says:

    McArdle should lose her job, but she won’t. Craven assholes never do.

    Sadly, that’s a fact. Craven assholes usually come out on top and get promoted faster than non-craven non-assholes, from my own experience in government and the private sector.

  32. 32
    Rational Subjectivist says:

    I think the Scrooged model is at work here. Bill Murray as a TV exec who was delighted that his ad campaign to frighten people into watching a program gave someone a heart attack.
    McMegan can be as stupid as she wants as long as the page hits keep coming. I wonder what Tomasky thinks about this.

  33. 33

    I also like the shit about how “if we don’t understand something, we can’t fight it”. I don’t get that. What does that even mean? I mean, shit, how well did we really understand Hitler? Yeah, there was some extent to which we could somehow understand what he was doing, and even some of the reasoning [sic] behind it. But how well could most people in the world truly grasp what made Hitler what he was? Or was Hitler, in her eyes, nothing more than “common badness”? And yet, somehow, somehow, we fought him and his seemingly numberless minions. We even beat them. Has she never taken a history course? I think I knew about World War Two by the time I was in 7th or 8th grade. I couldn’t have written a decent college paper about it, but I knew what the broad strokes were. How can this woman get through the day without drowning herself in her morning coffee somehow?

  34. 34
    beltane says:

    I hope this idiot never, ever has children because no child deserves to be raised by such a brainless, soulless clown.

    @Violet: McMegan is very tall. We should nominate her to act as a decoy next time there is a school shooting and dress her up as a giant duck while we’re at it.

  35. 35
    dmsilev says:

    We’re also missing a key problem with McArdle’s solution: It’s very much against the libertarian ideal. I mean, collective action for the greater good with no reward? Unpossible. The true libertarian solution would be for some toddlers, the Makers, to pay a bunch of other toddlers to re-enact the Charge of the Light Brigade in their stead. Or possibly pay the gunman to go away. How many graham crackers do you think that would take?

  36. 36

    @Villago Delenda Est: Let them eat machine made bechamel.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Would McMegan volunteer to wear a pager so she can be summoned at a moment’s notice to the location of any shooting and she can fling herself in front of the shooter? Only seems right.

    I’m pretty sure she considers herself to be “too important” for that sort of duty. That’s for The Help to do, not VIPs like Megan McArgleBargle.

  38. 38
    Whidby says:

    People killed this year with “assault rifles” will achieve parity with the number killed by lightning strikes, so Mcardles suggestion is idiotic, but even it were widely adopted, it would have little effect on anything.

  39. 39
    darkmatter says:

    I sincerely pray to the gods that she never has kids. Dear Christ, she really is depraved and completely soulless. Teaching 5 year olds to rush the shooter? Really?

  40. 40
    beltane says:

    I am now waiting with bated breath to see what David Brooks will add to this discussion.

  41. 41
    jl says:

    @dmsilev: Damn straight. I say deregulation to ease the way for market magic mass shootings and explosion insurance policies is the way to go. Those without policies and therefore inexpensive victims could be forced to wear signs, or maybe patches sewn into their clothing, to eliminate imperfections in the market for information.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    @darkmatter: It make me sick even to contemplate it. I simply cannot imagine how her sick mind could not just come up with such an idea, but transcribe it and press Publish so that the rest of the world can see her sickness too. Incomprehensible. She’s a sick, sick woman. I hope the management sees her post and decides she’s no longer appropriate for their publication. It’s the very least she deserves.

  43. 43
    bootsy says:

    What a piece of human garbage.

    I can’t imagine even an Aryan Nations skinhead in prison would propose that children defend themselves by running into gunfire.

    Stupidity is not an excuse. We know she’s not stupid. We know she knows her continued employment and that of her family rests upon being a bootlicker for the most evil people on the planet.

  44. 44
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:


    People killed this year with “assault rifles” will achieve parity with the number killed by lightning strikes,

    So it was an act of God? Inshallah !

  45. 45
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:


    Or….artificial maple syrup made with high fructose corn syrup.

  46. 46
    Whidby says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): no, nowadays G-d exclusively concerns Herself with the outcome of college football games.

  47. 47
    Anya says:

    Oh.God. That poor little girl. I can’t imagine her anguish. Every time I read another story about this tragedy it brakes my heart even more.

    Fuck that asshole McArdle. She’s really a heel. What a heartless nincompoop.

  48. 48
    Jerzy Russian says:

    What is the safe word again? I have reached my limit of stupid.

  49. 49
    Kristin says:

    @Violet: I can’t get over this one. I have seen a lot of depressing, anger-inducing, horrifying shit over the last few days, but this takes the cake. There is something deeply wrong with Ms. McArdle.

    You know what’s even scarier? The comments are treating this as if it is a reasonable suggestion. There’s just a normal discussion going on over there. Yes, some people are telling her how disgusting she is, but a lot aren’t. It’s bizarre.

  50. 50
    Anonymous says:

    After that, she writes,

    “Would it work? Would people do it? I have no idea; all I can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning rifles with pistol grips.”

    Just in the nick of time, I am a Mayan now.

  51. 51
    jl says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    ” People killed this year with “assault rifles” will achieve parity with the number killed by lightning strikes,

    So it was an act of God? Inshallah ! ”

    Luckily for us, wingnut state legislatures around the country are working furiously to eliminate the last deluded gun free zones in schools, churches, supermarkets, ice cream socials, theatres, malls, and other dangerous high threat areas, to fix that problem.

    And stand your ground laws. Heck, if you shoot first at when the possibility of some potential threat crosses your mind, then no problem, right? And the dead will be ‘bad guys’ so will not count.

    Edit: BTW, what is offensive about the lightning strike analogy is that, any person is free to take measures to reduce the probability of death by lightning strike to approximately zero. But to protect the supposed rights of crazy people who stockpile guns for the end of the world, or nutcases who want to swank around town with a big piece in their pocket, we are supposed to be ready to throw ourselves into a hail of bullets for the rare privilege of poking our heads out into a public ears.

    Efft it, I am getting a moat, stockpiling a few years of wheat and hiring me a some henchman. This civilization thang did not work out, and if I think that way because I am nuts, corrupt fools like Scalia have twisted the Constitution into making my derangement your damn problem.

  52. 52
    CaseyL says:

    It’s all about the clicks. She’s completely venal, shallow, and less capable of reflection than a vampire, but she knows how to keep her job.

    If everyone storms off to tell her what a waste of protoplasm she is, or contacts Tina Brown to tell her what a waste of protoplasm McArdle is, you only validate McArdle’s worth to her employer.

    They are not unlike the WBC in that regard.

  53. 53
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    As cynical as I am, I believe what happened at Newtown has taken this country into an unknown place where the old rules no longer apply. No, I don’t think this stupid bitch will be fired because of this, but there will be consequences. This is a bridge too far, because this is a bridge that was built over the bodies of dead children.

  54. 54

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): You know Mcmegs has her syrup bottled in an antique container and handwrapped in a festive box right there in the sugar shack in VT and shipped post haste to make it to the “Upscale Breakfast for Dinner” night with Matt Yglesias.

  55. 55
    Gin & Tonic says:


    People killed this year with “assault rifles” will achieve parity with the number killed by lightning strikes

    People killed by “assault rifles” in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012 achieved (roughly) parity with the number of people killed by lighting strikes in the US in 2012.

  56. 56
    Rome Again says:

    Dear Ms. McArdle:

    Please seek psychiatric help immediately.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Ace Speedwell says:

    Rush the shooter?

    You first, Megan, you first.

  59. 59
    jl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: There will be outliers.

  60. 60
    Whidby says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I thought that about 50 people were killed in this country every year by lightning strikes. I haven’t checked in a while so maybe those lightning control measures are starting to pay off.

  61. 61
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Roger Moore: Thank you. Green Balloons!!!!

  62. 62
    beltane says:

    @Rome Again: Maybe this is one of those warning signs we should be on the lookout for. Someone should have this woman committed before it is too late.

  63. 63
    Sterling says:

    She must not have an editor or a friend that she runs these ideas past, because someone with a high profile blog typically isn’t fucking insane enough to write something this nutty.

    Could this be the dumb idea (out of really countless dumb ideas from McArdle) that stops other bloggers linking to her stupidity?

  64. 64
    Laertes says:

    We know exactly what it takes to train people to charge into machinegun fire. Every army on Earth does it. When the subjects of this training are children, we call the instructors War Criminals.

  65. 65
  66. 66
  67. 67
    Baud says:

    because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.

    The Persians thought so too.

  68. 68
    Baron Elmo says:

    Does anyone, anyone, believe that McArdle would herself “rush the shooter,” if some psycho packing heat stormed the Newsweek office?

    Yeah, right. She’d be curled up beneath the nearest desk within a quarter-second, hands clamped firmly over both ears, whimpering to herself, “Someone’s got to be alive to describe this. We can’t all be heroes!”

  69. 69
    PurpleGirl says:

    @g: Yes, the principal did rush him, along with another person. They both were killed.

    That woman is an idiot.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:


    Yes, because it’s as impossible to prevent a guy from walking into a school or a movie theater with an assault rifle as it is to prevent a lightning strike.

    I didn’t think you could be any dumber than you were this weekend, but you managed to surpass yourself. Bravo.

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Roger Moore says:


    Yes, the principal did rush him, along with another person. They both were killed.

    But if 10 or 15 people had tried rushing him all at once, enough of them would have made it to tackle him and take away the gun. The problem wasn’t with the individual action, it was the lack of coordination with everyone else in the building.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    Comrade Jake says:

    I’m assuming at this point that The Atlantic paid Newsweek to take McMegan off their hands.

  75. 75
    Rustydude says:

    It’s sort of like when my 6 year old nieces and nephews gang tackle me and play dogpile where I’m stuck at the bottom of the pile. I totally couldn’t reload in that siutation.

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The problem wasn’t with the individual action, it was the lack of coordination with everyone else in the building.

    All the Kung Fu movies I’ve seen confirm this as truth.

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Fuck that asshole McArdle. She’s really a heel. What a heartless nincompoop.

    What a nin-cow-poop. What an im-bezel. What an ultramaroon.

  78. 78
    Whidby says:

    I’ve asked you to not respond to my posts. You’re being a creepy stalker.

    After I took the time to document what a dishonest and/or delusional person you are, I don’t feel the need to engage you.

    Just stop please.

  79. 79
    Ajaye says:

    Wow. I thought at least in this situation the children themselves would not be blamed as older victims in previous shootings have been (e.g. The V Tech students being called ” sheep” who allowed themselves to be shot rather than rushing the shooter as any courageous unarmed libertarian would). Never imagined that anyone would even come close to going there.


  80. 80
    cyd says:

    History already showed that rushing at people with automatic weapons doesn’t work. It was called WWI.

  81. 81
    Sterling says:

    Did you ever see Lord of the Flies? We need to fill the schools with kids like that in case this ever happens again. Then the shooter would be hunted down and killed for sport.

  82. 82
    dexwood says:

    Little Audie and Audrie Murphys… got it. Man,our media is just as crazy as all the other crazies.

  83. 83
    srv says:

    Megan has moved beyond glibertarian and has run off the cliff into Lemmingtarianism..

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:


    If you don’t want to read my replies to you, use the pie filter. If you want me to stop replying to stupid-ass shit that you say, like comparing people with assault rifles to lightning strikes, stop saying stupid-ass shit.

  85. 85
    Gex says:

    @Mnemosyne: You misunderstand the First Amendment, friend. It means assholes can say whatever offensive stupid shit they want and the rest of us need to STFU.

  86. 86
    chuckieboy says:


  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:


    Whidby haz a sad because he was here all weekend trying to start shit and I finally got fed up yesterday and gave him the fight he wanted.

    He needs to turn on his pie filter or stop whining just ’cause he got spanked.

  88. 88
    Roger Moore says:


    He needs to turn on his pie filter or stop whining just ’cause he got spanked.

    He could always tuck his tail between his legs and craw back under his bridge.

  89. 89
    scav says:

    so the same crowd that went into paroxysms of outrage over the mention of suicide bombers and bravery in the same sentence while tut tutting about kids in palestine hurling rocks are now fully on board with training toddlers as kamikaze human shields as the sole possible defense against bad things happening. That’s not a fetus, that’s a draftee into the Disposable Snowflake Infantry! Over Here! Over Here! Man the Cultural War to Save The Beleaguered Sunday Night Special With Extended McMmagazines and Semi-Automatic Capabilities by cowering behind the barricades of post- birth canal bodies!

  90. 90
    Jay C says:


    Is this is a disguised plea for larger class sizes?

    If “rushing the shooter” IS McMegan’s idea of how to increase class sizes, SHEZ DEFNITLY DOIN IT RONG !

    Fucking idiot.

  91. 91
    Suffern ACE says:

    Yep. All those men at VA tech weren’t manly either if I recall. And due to the absence of men to blame this time, we now get unmanly children to kick around.

  92. 92
    danielx says:

    if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly

    If there’s some sort of annual reward for the stupidest comment/idea to be published on the intertubes, this is definitely a top five contender.

    “Young people”? This would be six year olds, or twelve year olds, or sixteen year olds? Even the Marines try to avoid frontal assault these days, and go through some pretty thorough indoctrination and training if they do have to make such an attack.

    McMegan is now denying in comments that she meant to suggest that children should be drilled this way. (Damn that pesky reference to young people!) Well, what the fuck were you suggesting, you miserable excuse for a human being?

  93. 93

    […] Among the many policy suggestions following the mass murder in Newtown Connecticut, this one from Megan McArdle is nearly indistinguishable from an Onion article (via Balloon Juice): […]

  94. 94
    PreservedKillick says:

    Please tell me this woman does not have children.

    I’ve been amazed by McMegan’s stupidity for years. Amazed that she had, and still does have, a soapbox from which to spew such utter crap.

    But this…this crosses the line from pure stupidity into something that is truly vile.

  95. 95
    Suffern ACE says:

    @danielx: maybe she thinks running toward the loud noise is natural and running from it is the learned response?

  96. 96
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    McArdle poetry:

    I have nothing to say
    and I am saying it
    and where is my check, Tina?

  97. 97
    scav says:

    Or maybe Whidby sees all gun-toters as Jove, lightening-wielding ur-fathers hurling bolts of life and death unto mere mortals at whim. Lighting strikes are acts of god and shooters are likewise his divine instruments.

  98. 98
    CDWard says:

    Regulate semi-auto weapons just as tightly as full auto weapons are regulated now.

  99. 99
    danielx says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    It’s hard to tell, because from what I can see McMegan and serious thought are on nodding acquaintance at best. She wrote a four thousand word essay and from what I can tell there was about five seconds worth of thought put into it. Something like “Will this get by my editor? Of course it will, I’m Megan McArdle”.

    Clueless horrible twit.

  100. 100
    Suffern ACE says:

    Maybe we should allow the kids to have pointy scissors just in case the shooter doesn’t go down easy. We’re just too safety conscious for our own good.

  101. 101
    dmsilev says:

    @Suffern ACE: No, the solution is clear. We need to arm our 6 year olds. They’re small, so they can’t handle anything heavy, so maybe start them off with derringers or similar.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  102. 102
    magurakurin says:


    Just stop please

    Harden up, mate. You’re the one who just walked into the bar. Mnemosyne’s been here since the doors opened.

  103. 103
    Raven says:

    @Whidby: You’re a fucking idiot. If you keep posting I’ll dog your punk ass every fucking time I see you here. You like that better?

  104. 104
    magurakurin says:


    You see Whidby, I told you to stop your whinging. Now you got that grumpy guy at the end of the bar riled up. And he doesn’t even drink. He’s stone cold sober and you better believe he will come at you like a spider monkey, Chip.

  105. 105
    hilts says:

    Megan McArdle is a jaw-dropping waste of protoplasm.

  106. 106
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @Raven: Yep. Whidby done jumped from a jelly into a jam now.

  107. 107
    Tom Levenson says:

    To repeat from last thread: I’m so glad Imani and John have pointed out this nonsense, and I’ll be able to duck Zander’s goading to perform one of my patented and pointless 4,000 word fiskings. I need a life.

    The consoling part of this is that there are clear (to me) signs of an ongoing erosion of McArdle’s influence. She’s got on the order of 150 comments at her place on this post, much of it from a handful of trollish gun nuts trying to defend their heroine. This is well down from typical threads in her Atlantic heyday. Plus, I’m trying to recall the last Village or brat-pack reference to her. I think Andrew Sullivan tossed her link-bone recently, but that’s about it.

    All I can say is that the Daily Beast’s paywall can’t come to soon.

    Oh — and if you read the whole damn thing, as I did, it is as you would expect, an ill-reported, poorly argued pile of assumptions presented as conclusions, with a careful path taken to avoid what people who actually think about gun regulation in the American legal and cultural context might be suggesting. She’s great with straw men; reality (and moral judgement) not so much. But I did promise myself I wouldn’t give her more hours of my time, so I’ll stop.

  108. 108
    Jerry says:

    Hey! Why not? We can put a crucifix around their neck and give them a headband that reads, “John 3:16” on it.

    /crosses fingers in the hope that someone with knowledge of the Iran/Iraq War will get this reference.

  109. 109
    Violet says:

    @Tom Levenson: I’m sure I saw her on MSNBC in the last six months or so. Daytime, when I was at the gym at lunch, I think. That Now with Alex Wagner program. I remember it because I almost fell off the treadmill when I saw her. I couldn’t believe MSNBC gave her a platform to increase her profile in the punditocracy.

  110. 110
    becca says:

    Sweet slimy sensationalism at its most grotesque. Tina Brown is pleased, no doubt. She has always had a penchant for tabloid trash, hasn’t she?

  111. 111
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Violet: Oh, she’s not gone. But I think she is dwindling. I hope so, certainly. I’d also like to think that in some small way I helped…;)

  112. 112
    HumboldtBlue says:


    Canadia! Fuck Yeah!

    There is nothing like strong, frontal assault.

  113. 113
    Violet says:

    @Tom Levenson: I hope you are right. And if so, I’m sure you helped, along with everyone else who ridicules her.

  114. 114
    Birthmarker says:

    I don’t read her b/c she is a terrible writer. She doesn’t have the slightest idea of when to omit a comma, and knows nothing of the basic use of a semicolon. I did break down and read the annual cooking column, and it is just terribly written. She can’t effectively write a list of cooking implements!

    She’s unreadable. She’s like an uneducated Peggy Noonan.

    Plus I believe the whole cooking column scam is to get herself the, what, 15% credit for every item sold through her link?

    I don’t grasp how someone with her skill set can get a national platform. I believe her benefactors must pressure the Tinas of the world to take her on.

    Maybe she will soon take “time off” to “write” another book.

    Oh and by the way, I suggest she be the first volunteer next time we need someone to rush a shooter.

  115. 115
    Mister Papercut says:

    Also, doesn’t McArdle’s solution seem a little bit too close to victim-blaming?

    She’s just reflexively following the template that’s been in place since Virginia Tech (“Why didn’t they fight back? Probably because of their liberal, emasculating collegiate book learnin’. Made ’em all soft…”). They did it with some of the Aurora survivors, too. And here I was thinking that at least here the victims would be just too small, too innocent to cast these outrageous post-mortem aspersions on, but leave it to McMegan to be dense enough to effectively do just that. I don’t know why I’m even surprised by this.

  116. 116
    whidgy says:

    @Raven: There’s waaay too much anger and incivility in this country.

    You’re not helping.

  117. 117
    magurakurin says:


    There’s waaay too much anger and incivility in this country.
    You’re not helping.

    says the shit stirrer. Passive-aggressive response thy name is Whigby.

  118. 118
    Yutsano says:

    @magurakurin: Chotto baka da ne?

  119. 119
    Tom Levenson says:

    @beltane: He already has. It’s the fault of a clash of values or something that made all those kids die. (I think he was saying we have too many guns because the rural folks (aka white southern, mountain state men) haz too big a sad that big cities and people who don’t look like them are out there now.

  120. 120
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Yutsano: I see what you did there. And yes, baka yaroo.

  121. 121
    Yutsano says:

    @Tom Levenson: Japanese is rather striking for its relative lack of direct swear words. Most actual diminutives relate to the swearee’s intelligence more than anything. It’s not a surprising feature for a culture that values education very highly. Hell being a merchant used to be regarded as a low profession. I think someone kinda let that go in the 20th Century or thereabouts.

  122. 122
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @whidgy: Oh fuck the hell off, shit for brains. And take your tiny member with you.

  123. 123
    Platonicspoof says:


    the mcmegan line

    Thank you for that.

    I wish ‘The McMegan Line’ could be added to the BJ Lexicon as something like ‘the point where someone’s thoughts have not only ceased to have any relevance as a solution, they’ve virtually condemned toddlers to death as cannon fodder’. .

    How could she think and type the words of this idea without picturing even a shadow of the resulting carnage of innocent children?

    What if the gunman had planned on only shooting the teacher?

    Has she seen the victims pictures? Any six year olds? Ever?

    She should be on medical leave. The representations are unhitched from human reality.

  124. 124
    Gex says:

    @Tom Levenson: It’s nice to know that I share equally in the blame for this. Rural white men hate me, and I in turn exist to be hated. Therefore, both sides…

  125. 125
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    What I want to know is why Blenderella didn’t take this brainy idea of hers one step further and advocate training kids to not only rush the shooter but to wrest the weapon from him and waste his ass.

    After all, it would save citizens the expense of a trial and imprisonment.

    At Redstate, the religious zealots are blaming the teachers, taking gawd out of school, violent movies, violent games and unbelievers with no morals for the deaths in Newtown. The gun zealots are pointing at the existing gun regulations and proclaiming that they have failed and that no amount of regulation can prevent these shootings from happening because of FREEDUMBS!

    Boy, conservatives sure hate a lot of people.

  126. 126
    Birthmarker says:


    Redstate sounds like my facebook feed. I took a bunch of people off today. I have one very close friend who is hanging by a thread.

  127. 127
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Blenderella pscyho-della!

  128. 128
    Petorado says:

    Wow. I’ve never read words written by someone without a soul before. It’s like she’s not human, but a Cro-McMeaghan. But then again, that’s assuming that Cro-Magnons had no emotional capacity, and that would be wrong.

    The whole point of an assault weapon is to make an individual more powerful than a group. By being able to put more lead in the air than a larger group of opponents, the individual with the assault rifle can still prevail. McCardle expresses the same mentality the shooter did: that individual lives are meaningless, if you judge them to be.

  129. 129
    kay says:

    Why do conservatives bother responding to this shooting? They have absolutely nothing to offer. Does it make them feel better to outline all the ways NOTHING CAN BE DONE?

    They made a decision. They’ll offer no compromises. Not inconvenience, not sacrifice of any kind. I accept that. Why can’t they?

    This nonsense, the armed guards, concealed carry in schools, their sudden interest in (hah!) HEALTH CARE is to make them feel better. They should just admit they don’t intend to do JACK SHIT about this, and, in fact, they’ll fight us every step of the way.

  130. 130
    cmorenc says:

    McCardle may actually be a secret key participant in an important scientific experiment for the military: can stupidity be so powerful it can deflect bullets? Only problem is that she’s too stupid to make the experiment work. Meghan, YOU’RE the one who’s supposed to rush a gunman and stop the bullets with your stupidity, NOT a bunch of children.

  131. 131
    tbunny says:

    The gun issue stirs up the very bottom-most of the bottom feeders, no doubt. But this is the really one of the most shockingly brain-dead statements I have ever encountered. I’m really at a loss for words to characterize the magnitude of idiocy McArdle has displayed. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if she is discovered gnawing on frozen brains at some point.

  132. 132
    kay says:


    The concealed carry permitting and records process in Michigan is a mess. The law was written to protect gun owners. It’s completely opaque. The state was supposed to compile records at the county level, but there are no sanctions for ignoring that. There’s a county that hasn’t submitted the required records in 8 years.

    Yet they’re ready to send concealed carry permit holders, anyone at all, armed, into schools.

    This is beyond reckless. It’s dangerous. They’re increasing the risk to those kids.

  133. 133
    Citizen_X says:

    Well, the rush-the-shooter thing works for zombies, don’t it?

  134. 134
    hamletta says:

    I am one of those losers Megan McArdle was talking about. When I was 4 years old, I ran out of our house with my pants down.

    It was on fire, and my little sister was dying in the back shed, but obviously I could have pulled my pants up and magically healed her by, I don’t know, grafting my skin onto hers.

    And we will not mention my brother, who was 6 months old, and did nothing but cry and shit his diaper, the slacker.

    My parents, of couse, dealt with this in a perfectly logical manner, carefully calculating how having one less child would affect their retirement earnings. And also how not having to pay for her care and feeding would allow them to buy the latest in blender technology.

    Haha, just kidding. They are insane.

  135. 135
    TooManyJens says:


    I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if she is discovered gnawing on frozen brains at some point.

    How gauche. She’d at least run ’em through the Thermomix first.

  136. 136
    sadfascist says:

    This is the sickest and most loathsome thing I have ever read. It exceeds even the previous nadir of pundit perversion–remarkably also authored by Megan McArdle–in which she argues that those who were wrong about the Iraq war are more trustworthy than those who were right.

    Perhaps unsated by the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, gulf war II pom-pom girl McArdle returns to lust for the blood of American kindergarteners. That she exploits the former to advocate for the continued slaughter of the latter would be ironic if it were not so utterly depraved.

    Let us make no mistake here. This woman wants, quite literally, not for our children to live in a safe world, but simply to die in a more organized fashion by rushing collectively into the muzzle of a firing assault riffle.

    McArdle seems remarkably fond of encouraging little kids to put bullet holes in their brains for the greater good of society. More’s the pity she refuses to extend the same standard to herself.

    Adam Lanza has more integrity in his trigger finger than McArdle and her Koch prostitute husband put together.

  137. 137
    Ash Can says:

    I’m with PreservedKillick above. I always thought McArdle was none too bright, but this isn’t just stupid, this is grossly inhuman. McArdle isn’t just an idiot, she’s a shItty person.

  138. 138
    Betsy says:

    OK, I’m just mad now, but is she one of the ugliest people you have ever seen, or what? Her face is like a fucking Idaho potato that has been dipped in glue and then sand, then stuck with two tiny raisins for pig-eyes. Keepers! Why doesn’t she uses some of her dead daddy’s union-benefit $$millions$$ to get a fucking dermabrasion!

    Hideous inside, hideous outside.

  139. 139
    Betsy says:

    PS No offense to real pigs or raisins

  140. 140

    […] Megan McCardle, who suggested that we train children to rush a shooter in a human wave attack (yes, seriously). The worst by far was Fox News personality Mike Huckabee, who just said the hell with it and went […]

  141. 141
    Betsy says:

    @Laertes: that was beautiful. I can sleep now.

  142. 142
    sreja says:

    Read the full actual article by McArdle; it’s completely reasonable, well argued, and rationale.

    Have we really gotten to the point here where *we* are the idiots creating (and then piling on) these lazy front page faux outrage posts that distort what people are saying and bear no relation to reality?

    Does IBL even read the articles she complains about? Or is there just a list of people deemed to be enemies and when they write something you just go looking for a sentence to pull that you can get outraged about?

  143. 143
    Dexter's new approach says:

    She should have included one of those Taiwan News video reenactments to show us exactly how she imagined it would go down. Maybe at the end one of the surviving 6-years olds – perhaps the black one – turns to another survivor and grumbles, breathing heavily, “I’m too old for this (stuff)” and they both laugh as they help each other up.

    I’m just at a loss. It’s obviously an extraordinarily ludicrous solution to stop mass school shootings, but what’s more troubling to me is she wants to inject day-to-day fear and put huge responsibitly on the little ones. Drill into them they’re never safe and may need to be little martyrs at any moment.

    Instead of trying to cultivate a more peaceful, civilized society in a moment of tragedy, the Right always veer towards a more violent, fearful mean-spirited one.

  144. 144
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    You know that part in every bad war or sci-fi war movie where we’re shown how evil and bad the other Army leader is by him saying how we’re gonna win by just sending so many troops at them that eventually they’ll just be overwhelmed, or they’ll run out of bullets before we run out of soldiers, that sort of thing??

    Welcome to the world of bad evil movie villains, McArgleBarlge.

  145. 145
    Platonicspoof says:

    McArdle’s history has been brought up here at BJ before, but here’s a reminder of her previous behavior.

    h/t Suterpederman from the comments in the New York Magazine article Imani linked.

  146. 146
    trollhattan says:


    well argued, and rationale

    I don’t think that means what you think it does.

    Regardless, no, and thanks for playing.

  147. 147
    Mnemosyne says:


    Read the full actual article by McArdle; it’s completely reasonable, well argued, and rationale.

    Really? It’s completely reasonable to say that there’s no way we can possibly regulate guns, so the best solution is to train our 7-year-olds to throw themselves at any gunmen who get into their classrooms?

    Why not take my idea — let’s require kids to wear body armor with their school uniforms in the classroom. That way, when gun nuts inevitably break in (because, after all, we can’t possibly regulate guns any better than we do now), the kids will be more likely to survive. Problem solved!

  148. 148
    Mnemosyne says:

    Here’s an enterprising young man after McArdle’s own heart — he brought a gun to school today because he was scared his school might be attacked.

    He is 11 years old.


    (swiped from Chris T. in the thread above)

  149. 149
  150. 150
    Yutsano says:

    @sreja: You’re right. Totes reasonable. You train your children first. After all, we need a brave pioneer to lead us into this brave new world!

  151. 151
    bemused senior says:

    @kay: Kay, I hope you are going to post on the Republican efforts to take over the Electoral College through dividing the votes by Congressional district results. How are red state dems going to fight this?

  152. 152
    Rathskeller says:

    I would like to contribute to the discussion by saying something profound, but I can only offer my view, which is that Megan McArdle is an imbecile. It pains me that people pay her money for her useless thoughts.

  153. 153
    SpaceSquid says:

    Wasn’t this Field Marshal Haig’s prescribed tactic for taking German trenches in the Somme? Because I’m sure we concluded that it left something to be desired, due to no-one making it out still breathing.

  154. 154
    Monkey Business says:

    For people like Megan McArdle, this is an academic exercise. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen to her or her friends; it happens to Other People, Somewhere Else. So what if 8-12 children out of a class of 25 die charging an armed gunman? Surely it’s better that they give their lives so the other children can live, isn’t it? It’s calculus with a body count.

    It’s going to take a bullet whistling through the space previously occupied by an internal organ of a media-visible conservative politician or pundit or their spawn to shock the media or Congress into action.

    If John Boehner’s kids or Mitch McConnell’s grandkids were at Sandy Hook, they’d have drafted, debated, voted on, and approved the most restrictive gun control legislation in the Western World by now. Instead, they’ll stall and crow about the rights of legitimate gun owners, and the body count will grow while feckless Democrats too terrified of the NRA shrug their shoulders and go “What can we do?”.

    The whole thing makes me sick.

  155. 155
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac:

    You know that part in every bad war or sci-fi war movie where we’re shown how evil and bad the other Army leader is by him saying how we’re gonna win by just sending so many troops at them that eventually they’ll just be overwhelmed, or they’ll run out of bullets before we run out of soldiers, that sort of thing??

    AKA the Zapp Brannigan School of Military Strategy

  156. 156
    Sargeant Pepper's Spray says:

    In World War I, every time an opposing army jumped out of the trenches and rushed the opposing army head-on it was like, total victory!

    McMegan would absolutely shit herself if anyone were to open fire on her, let alone a determined suicidal lunatic armed to the teeth. She frankly strikes me as the type that would gladly use the closest child as a human shield to protect herself.

  157. 157
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @hamletta: That’s horrific. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, and my condolences on the loss of your sister.

    There is something deeply and morally wrong with MM2. I mean, I knew she was pretty soulless before this, but I didn’t think even SHE would sink to these depths. Utterly depraved and disgusting.

  158. 158
    El Cid says:

    Also, we should begin training landslides to choose not to attack children.

  159. 159
    Ecks says:

    Rushing the attacker CAN be the least worst strategy, but only if you have a large enough number of people with the time and space to coordinate among themselves, and the stomach to face such a grisly job, and who are physically large enough to do anything if they did get within arms reach of the assailant. If that sounds like a preschool to you, or like a bunch of surprised people caught in the middle of watching a movie then you need your head adjusting.

    Also it only works when there’s a single assailant who doesn’t have fully automatic weapons (i.e., not the German army), and there’s enough cover that you can start rushing from at least somewhat close to the attacker. Not a one-size-fits-all solution at all.

  160. 160
    Matt McIrvin says:

    As stated above, she almost certainly got the idea from the change in doctrine about airplane hijackings after the 9/11 attacks. Which just means she doesn’t understand how this is a different situation from an airplane hijacking, even if you grant her insistence that she wasn’t talking about kindergarteners being the rushers. A school shooter is not going to use the school as a missile to bring down a skyscraper.

  161. 161
    tinare says:

    Well if enough people “rush the suits” and write their disgust that she is their employ and that they will boycott any and all publications until she is fired, we might be able to save the rest of the world from having to deal with her idiocy.

  162. 162
    Billy says:

    Any time a Libertarian speaks, on almost any subject, the collective IQ of the nation drops.

  163. 163
    Larkspur says:

    I can do so much better than McMegan’s lame First Grade Bum Rush Brigade. See, every day, each classroom should weaponize one child with a suicide vest, with the teacher holding the remote switch. Then when a crazed gunman bursts into a classroom, all the other children duck and cover and the teacher detonates the weapon child. We have to give all of these things other names, like the weapon child being “Today’s Classroom Hero” and we’d have to secure him or her to the strategically located Hero Desk (and it should be a Hero Vest, not a suicide vest), and the other children’s desktops should be specially reinforced (somebody’s gonna want that contract) but after this plan gets deployed a few times, what nut is going to try an elementary school massacre? The end.

  164. 164
    Rustydude says:

    A tweet from McMegan yesterday explaining how she knows plenty about weapons:

    Because we were talking about spree shooting? And I don’t think I’m underestimating the power. I’ve hunted.

    Folks, she’s hunted!

  165. 165
    abd says:

    So, the argument is roughly that we shouldn’t respond with government restrictions on guns because trying to make people give up something important to them for the benefit of others doesn’t work and trying has bad consequences anyway. Instead government schools should teach small children to sacrifice their lives en masse for the benefit of others. Is that it?

  166. 166
    BruceK says:


    Teach primary-school children that when a crazed gunman breaches their school, the proper thing to do is a human wave attack.

    Like a zerg rush.

    Like the generals ordered the poor grunts to do in World War I.

    Put our children into the right frame of mind to become literal cannon fodder.

    I can’t express my opinion of anyone who would put forward such a … proposal. I just don’t have invective powerful enough.

  167. 167
    Matthew Reid Krell says:

    @BruceK: Are you my gun-shop-owning uncle? If so, good on you for knowing “zerg rush,” and seeing the sheer idiocy of that attitude. If not…same.

  168. 168
  169. 169

    […] McArdle is being excoriated on the left for her simple, painfully obvious […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] McArdle is being excoriated on the left for her simple, painfully obvious […]

  2. […] Megan McCardle, who suggested that we train children to rush a shooter in a human wave attack (yes, seriously). The worst by far was Fox News personality Mike Huckabee, who just said the hell with it and went […]

  3. […] Among the many policy suggestions following the mass murder in Newtown Connecticut, this one from Megan McArdle is nearly indistinguishable from an Onion article (via Balloon Juice): […]

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