NRA achieves its purpose

The NRA’s Friday press conference revealed the powerful organization to be utterly tone deaf when it comes to how to reduce violence and protect children. Do we need any more evidence of that than NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre’s comment that “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” 

The jaw-dropping performance won LaPierre headlines in the New York Post like “Gun Nut” and in the Daily News of “Craziest Man on Earth.”  The NY Times editorial board spoke of his “mendacious, delusional, almost deranged rant.”  He didn’t soften his approach one iota on the Sunday morning news shows.  Meet the Press’ David Gregory, for whom I usually have little use, did an outstanding job challenging LaPierre’s contradictions and obduracy, his unwillingness to consider changing even a single gun law.

Responding to the problem doesn’t require demonizing all gun owners. There are lots of mentally stable, law-abiding hunters, sportsmen and others with legitimate security needs.  Wouldn’t it be nice if those owners were to join the call for practical gun safety measures?

One approach should focus on the gun show market, which doesn’t require background checks. Fully 40 percent of gun sales happen in that secondary market. And, according to  Newark Mayor Cory Booker,  some 74 percent of Americans polled, think you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun without such a check. 

Effective background checks require adequate data bases.  For example, it might not be enough to ban guns only to those who are adjudicated mentally ill.  There are many other deranged individuals out there who have never been in the court system, or have been in court but, for a variety of reasons, were never formally adjudicated as mentally ill. How to gather the data without stigmatizing every person with mental illness will be a challenge.

LaPierre’s proposal for armed guards in every school should be discussed at the local level.  But there was an armed guard at Columbine who exchanged fire with the shooters, and remember that result. Some districts may want armed security officers while others would oppose turning presumably safe havens into armed camps. 

His assertions that we need to look at video games, movies and the national culture of violence merit calm and thoughtful consideration as part of a comprehensive response.  But his paranoid delusions that those seeking any additional gun safety measures are an “anti-Second Amendment industry” would be laughable were the situation not so serious.

There are about 9000 gun murders a year in the United States, 561 children under age 12 over five years.  There are some 39 gun murders a year in Great Britain. Adjusted for population differences, that would be the equivalent of 195 a year in the United States.  Clearly, Houston, we have a problem. 

But Wayne LaPierre has no problem.  His job is not to represent the public or even all gun owners. His job is to serve gun manufacturers and related industries to help them sell more guns and ammunition and block any efforts that could dampen sales. 

Last summer, whipped up by fears of Obama’s reelection, there was a boom in gun sales.  Black Friday gun sales set an all-time record. And after Newtown, guns have been flying off the shelves across the country. 

Congressional talk about reinstating a loophole-ridden assault weapons ban doesn’t address today’s reality and, even in its modest form, can’t be depended upon. Public support for improved gun safety is only up marginally given the horror of Newtown and, if the past is prologue, will probably diminish in coming months.

So Wayne LaPierre is clearly earning his keep,  laughing all the way to the bank. While the media intone that he’s making his hideous public image worse, others love him and his message. The criticism doesn’t at all seem to bother him or those rushing to be his customers.  Too bad for the rest of us who cling to the hope that this time things might be different.

I welcome your comments in the section below.

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10 Responses to NRA achieves its purpose

  1. Right on Margie. La Pierre asserts that those who want change had gun owners and the NRA. The facts are that what we hate is a callous indifference to public health and safety associated with the lack of background checks and ownership of weapons and weapon clips that have no place in public ownership when they are designed to kill people associated with military use. It is time for those who need to have guns for hunting and self-protection to indeed get on the bandwagon of change that eliminates the latter. They have children too, who continue to be in danger because of them.

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    • Miles Fortis says:

      So what proposals did Barbara Boxer introduce? Her being outraged and all:
      •Boxer unveiled two proposals Wednesday to bolster school security. The first would require the Justice Department and Education Department to draft new school safety guidelines and provide up to $50 million to help schools implement new security plans. Another proposal would provide federal reimbursement for up to 4,000 National Guard troops to be used by state governors to protect schools.

      New security plans? You mean like the NRA proposed? And…..what is this? Federal money for National Guard troops to protect schools? And the media reports it with nary a dissenting voice pointing out that these Guardsmen would most likely be carrying their basic armament, i.e. a rifle, most likely an M4 variant, possibly the fully automatic version that the United States military fields. But the NRA is full of idiots for suggesting armed officers and qualified concealed carry permit holders be allowed to protect what everyone agrees are our most valuable (and vulnerable) treasures?

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  2. Extremism both against and in favor of gun control makes it impossible to achieve sane measures like requiring background checks at gun shows or making it a felony to sell a gun privately to someone who doesn’t produce a valid permit (something that would again require a background check). Still, what hurts the most is knowing that no law could have stopped an event like Sandy Hook where a criminal killed someone and stole their guns in order to commit crimes.

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  3. RLEmery says:

    Yawn, oh you mean that guard at Columbine who onyl had 10 rounds of ammunition, and then as was standard operating procedure by police then, surround and contain, and wait for SWAT team to arrive, all while waiting for backup the two idiots continued killing for another 44 minutes.

    So explain again how having an armed guard then, is the same as an armed guard now who is expected to enter and engage the shooter ASAP? Oh thats right, they are not the same.

    My it seems that everytime a civilian, or police officer actually engages a shooter, they are quickly taken out.

    FT Hood, first police officer arrives 9 minutes after the shooting started and engages the shooter, both are injured bu the officer is incapacited by her wounds. The second police officer arrives within 30 seconds of that incident and engages the shooter and takes him down with multiple hits.

    How about that security Guard in San Antonio TX where she engaged the active shooter Dec 19, 2012 and took him down before he wounded anyone?

    How about that civilian at Shoney’s in Anniston AL 1991 who took the active shooter down?

    Or Appalchian law school 2002, Pearl High School 1997 a GASP principal stopped a shooter, etc, etc,etc, etc.

    Using this ladies logic that it failed once means it doesnt work should also apply to murder as a law against it didnt stop it so we shouldnt have it, or since the law against pedophilia doesnt prevent it so there shouldnt be a law against it!

    Then this lame inference that gun contorl is the reason for lower deaths in England, such a pathetic lie.

    England -rates per 100k people

    1898 1.0 murder rate no gun control
    1997 1.3 murder rate, strict gun control implemented, 820 VCR
    2010 1.3 murder rate 1,977 VCR, murders have reduced to 1997 levels after a 25% increase. (ref Home Office UK)

    Their murders have always been low, not due to gun control, and strict gun control didnt reduce the murders, much less the violence, such a consistent trend in gun ban countries.

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  4. larryarnold says:

    The “gun-show loophole” you’re worried about is already closed, at least in Connecticut. According to the Brady Campaign that state has the fifth most restrictive gun control in the U.S. The laws being proposed, including “assault weapon” ban, gun registration, law enforcement discretion in registration, waiting period, required training, background checks at gun shows, “safe storage” law, and no right-to carry, that are supposed to prevent the next school shooting, all were in effect in Newtown, and utterly failed to protect the children at Sandy Hook Elementary.

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    • aronsbarron says:

      Individual states cannot go it alone. State borders are porous.

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      • Miles Fortis says:

        And your supposedly ‘porous’ borders of Connecticut didn’t have a single thing to do with this shooting either. Mrs Lanza apparently followed every requirement. Her son, however didn’t.
        But here’s the question:
        If it’s good enough for the president and Dick Gregory to school their children in a facility guarded by nearly a dozen heavily armed guards, and it’s NOT for everyone else, do you think we should read Animal Farm again?

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  5. Dan says:

    Security Worked, These are the words of Congressman Barney Frank after the United States Capitol Shooting Incident of 1998. The doctor’s didn’t protect the public. The killer had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic six years before but was released after testing as being of no danger to himself or anyone else. Furthermore, it was not the uniformed arm guards that stopped the murderer, it was a plain closed officer assigned to the dignitary protection detail that wounded the murderer. After the murder walked around the metal detector just inside of the entrance of the building and shooting one guard in the head killing him instantly and wounding the other. He was stopped, by the Massachusetts resident who was assigned to executive protection group for congressman, as the murder entered the outer office of a group of offices. They shoot at each other. Although the officer died from his wounds, he wounded the murderer enough to stop the carnage any further. Congressman Barney Frank was correct, Security Worked.

    At the time, why didn’t government officials throughout the country put in a plan to protect our children?

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    • Another miss of the point. Not that what you say is not true to an extent. Of course there should be armed security for people who are likely targets, such as presidents, etc. But had this been an automatic weapon with a one hundred bullet clip, the protection would have been useless. The point: Get these monstrosities of war off the streets as best we can, and get the message out there that they should not be in people’s homes, not on the street, not for hunting and not for target practice. Will this be 100% effective? No it wont. Bad guys might get them, but if it is harder to do so this might decrease the number killed by shooters in the end. We cannot give up and let them be available as much as the gun manufacturers and their NRA stooges want them to be. Should we spend the estimated $18 billion to put a cop in every school, and should they be armed with automatic weapons? What a statement about our nation this would be. Or maybe have the teachers carrying, with all of the attendant possibilities of inadvertent, inappropriate and accidental killings of kids that already happen in homes that have guns in them? A major part of the problem is too many and too powerful guns. Decreasing the number and the power has to be a part of what happens next.

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      • Dan says:

        According to Retired Colonel Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano, who wrote the book “Stop Teaching our Kids to Kill,” there have been over (5,000) five thousands studies showing a causal relationship that TV and media cause violence. This book was written in 1999 and the studies have been conducted since the early 1950’s— http://www.killology.com/new_media_vio.htm
        Along with mental health problems, it is the media that is help creating these mass killings; it is not the NRA teaching these criminals to shoot at people. These criminals are learning the violence with guns from, TV, Movies and Video, yet for over 50 years the government has put into effect over 20,000 laws against guns. How many laws are there to stop violence using the gun on TV, in Movies and in Videos?

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