Archie Bunker was the walking caricature of a bigot, a parody created for a 1970s sitcom. Yet the plan by President Donald Trump and the NRA to arm teachers seems to have come straight from “All in the Family.”
In a 1972 episode, the iconic TV character ― played by Carroll O’Connor ― tackled the issue of gun control. At the time, Bunker was responding to hijackings rather than mass shootings, but his solution was eerily similar to Trump’s plan to put guns in schools.
“Arm all your passengers,” Bunker said.
Bunker said a theoretical gunman would no longer have “superiorority” and “ain’t gonna dare to pull out no rod” as a result.
“And then your airlines, then they wouldn’t have to search the passengers on the ground no more, they just pass out the pistols at the beginning of the trip, and they pick ’em up again at the end. Case closed.”
Norman Lear, one of the producers of “All In The Family,” noted in 2012 that this clip was frighteningly similar to the NRA’s plan for putting more guns in schools after the Sandy Hook mass shooting.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” NRA executive Wayne LaPierre said at the time.
And now Trump wants to arm 20 percent of teaching staff at schools following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed on Feb. 14. He even suggested offering bonuses for teachers who agreed to bring guns into the classroom.
Alas, when this “All in the Family” clip first went viral, Lear noted that Bunker’s similar “plan” was used for laughs on his show.
“Can we possibly have any other reaction to Wayne LaPierre’s similarly insane idea to provide armed guards for every school but to laugh?” Lear wrote. “Or cry. I find myself doing a lot of both lately.”