On the Tuesday following the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, the National Rifle Association issued the following statement:
The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown. Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting. The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again. The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, DC area on Friday, December 21.
Silly me. I thought that in the aftermath of the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, the moms and dads, sons and daughters who make up the NRA were going to initiate some constructive dialog about, at the very least, re-instituting the assualt weapons ban. What was I thinking? Instead, the Executive Vice President (pronounced lead lobbyist), Wyane LaPierre, managed to push from his lips, what can only be described as a stream of absurdities.
In a 22 minute senseless series of successive talking points, LaPierre blamed mental illness, the media, video games, President Obama, gun-free school zones, hurricanes, sports stadiums, celebrities, foreign aid, movies and music videos, ... clearly everything he could think of, except guns. The central premis he parroted was "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun".
While right wing talking points are intended to be neither informative nor accurate, but instead easily articulable, it naturally follows that Mr. LaPierre's theories are riddled with holes. I feel it necessary, nonetheless, to point out but a few inconsistencies:
- There were in excess of 53,000 good guys with guns present at the Fort Hood shooting in Killeen, Texas, and yet within the space of 10 minutes, Nidal Malik Hasan was able to kill 13 people and wound 29 others.
- If violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, and Splatterhouse are responsible, why is the very instrument that makes these games violent unmentioned? In other words, play gun; bad, real gun; good.
- If you truly had nothing constructive to add, why did you wait a full week before commenting?
- Am I the only one that thinks it odd that the organization that claims we need guns to protect ourselves from opressive government, is now advocating a police state in which armed government officials line hallways of grade schools?
So in conclusion, I was naive to think that in the face of the history of the NRA in matters such as this, they would, in any way, do the right thing. My question however, is for the four million moms, dads, sons and daughters who make up the membership of the NRA; why are you not upset by the pitiful posturing of the likes of Mr. LaPierre. We didn't truly expect the NRA to take responsibility, just to respond sincesibly.