The NRA’s Prescription For A Safer America: Assault Weapons Everywhere

After a week of silence, the NRA has finally come forward to comment on the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The spokesman for the gun manufacturer’s lobbying group was NRA executive VP Wayne LaPierre.

The speech was a rehash of familiar diversions the NRA uses to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the bloody consequences of the gun culture they advocate. Their obsession with a misreading of the second amendment (which they always ignore makes specific reference to “a well-regulated militia”) takes priority over every other right or freedom in America, including free speech and the right to life.

NRA Safer America

According to LaPierre, the real killers in America are the producers of movies and video games. And while LaPierre advocates regulating these forms of entertainment, he is adamantly opposed to the sensible regulation of the actual weapons that cause actual fatalities. This is consistent with the hypocrisy of right-wingers who claim to want government off their backs, unless it is to enforce some aspect of their theocratic morality. They chafe at federal efforts to rein in predatory bankers, but are thrilled when government keeps gays from getting married.

The NRA’s core argument against stricter regulation of the most dangerous types of firearms is that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” The problem with that argument is that it requires everybody have a gun. And, of course, having guns did not help Adam Lanza’s mother. What’s more, statistics show that people with guns in their homes are more likely to be victims of gun violence than those without guns. Often the gunowners weapon is used against them by their assailant.

The only constructive suggestion in LaPierre’s remarks was to hire and station armed guards at every school in America. Aside from turning all campuses into war zones, that would not come close to solving the problem of violence in our society. There are also children at the beach, in shopping malls, at church, in restaurants, and parks, and playgrounds, and libraries. Would LaPierre propose to have armed security at every Chuck E. Cheese and Disney movie?

At one point in his speech LaPierre spun an absurd hypothetical asking what would have happened if there were an armed guard at Sandy Hook. His presumption is that the tragedy would have been averted. However, it might just as likely have resulted in the murder of the guard along with everyone else. Common sense tells us that the killer would be expecting the guard, but the guard would be surprised by the killer. Plus, would the guard be armed with equivalent firepower? If so, that means that all of the guards at the sites we decide to protect would be carrying assault weapons. Seriously? Assault weapons at Chuck E. Cheese and Annie’s Day Care and Toys ‘R’ Us? Surely, nothing bad would come of that.

The NRA approach to public safety would be a throwback to the wild west when everybody was packing heat and there were shootouts in the street. It would turn our society into a battle zone with frightened citizens scrambling to insure that their mode of protection was superior to any other they might encounter. There would be innumerable George Zimmermans patrolling our neighborhoods and slaughtering the innocent.

The NRA manages to find fault in everything but guns. LaPierre cited movies, video games, mental health, and even hurricanes, as the causes of “a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization.” So we are victimized by hurricanes, but not by rapid-fire rifles with 30 round magazines? And at the top of his list was the media about whom he said…

“Throughout it all, too many in our national media, their corporate owners, and their stockholders, act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators.”

On this point I may have to agree with him. The media has been far too timid about addressing the practical issues surrounding gun policy in America. They are cowed by charges that it is “not the right time” to engage in this debate. But according to the NRA it is never the right time. Even now, LaPierre said that “There’ll be time for talk and debate later. This is the time, this is the day for decisive action. We can’t wait for the next unspeakable crime to happen before we act.” Let the absurdity of that statement sink in. He is saying that this issue is so important that we should act without any deliberation. We should just do something, but we must not, under any circumstances, talk about it first.

Always happy to do its part, Fox News has already signed on to LaPierre’s dictate of silence. It was recently disclosed that a Fox executive sent a memo to their producers ordering them to refrain from discussing gun control. And today, Fox is apparently still operating under that edict. They broke into the LaPierre speech late and left it before it concluded, cutting out a full third of the speech. Then they followed the aborted speech with a fiscal cliff panel. While they didn’t have time to show all of LaPierre’s remarks, they did broadcast in full remarks to the press by three GOP senators on a Benghazi report that was released two days ago.

I feel safer already knowing that Fox News and the NRA are aggressively campaigning for the rights of all Americans to live in a society awash with weapons designed for combat. Heavily armed guards in schools and bookstores can only serve to move this country closer to the utopian models of Somalia or Beirut sought by right-wingers where freedom reigns above all and government is small enough to drown in a bathtub.


24 thoughts on “The NRA’s Prescription For A Safer America: Assault Weapons Everywhere

  1. Several other places on the venerable interwebs have already pointed out that we have had mass shootings on military bases and at schools that employed armed guards – so we already have evidence of how that works.

    But to another point, part of the flaw at the base of the NRA’s philosophy is the Manichean belief that people are either good or bad. They don’t get angry. They don’t drink too much or get high. They don’t act on impulse. Good people do good things; bad people do bad things. End of story.

    If they could just let us know the people who are “good” who won’t grab their guns and identify the “bad” ones that we could monitor…

    • There is plenty of evidence to the contrary as concerns mass shootings and armed resistance. The issue needs to be addressed on multiple levels, including more effective gun control.

      Good and bad people exist, but I don’t believe there are too many drunk or otherwise impulsive evildoers running headlong into movie theaters or schools to shoot up the occupants.

      There does need to be a more effective method of identifying and treating unstable or the mentally ill.

      • To clarify: my comment about too much alcohol and drugs or impulsive behavior is not about mass killings. While these are especially shocking, most gun violence is not a mass killing. In 2011 over 8500 died in homicides involving guns. That is just the homicide number – not the suicides or accidents.

        I also don’t believe in purely good or purely bad people. People can do good acts and bad acts.

        • I understand…thanks for clarifying. There is no question that mixing guns and alcohol/drugs/impulse is a recipe for trouble, and homicide is often the result.

          Likewise, I don’t believe in purely good or bad people. Human beings tend to do a bit of both good and bad, as you stated.

          I don’t think the endgame is to ban guns or to have unrestricted access.

  2. So basically, as far as I can tell, LaPierre is saying, let’s manufacture and sell more of these killing machines so the gun industry, that I am a lobbyist for, can make more money. Their is no price too high to pay for his interpretation of the second amendment. He seems to care nothing about anything else in the constitution except the part he interprets as inviolable, which also happens to protect his business interests. This is nothing more then pure selfish greed motivating this insanity.

    They are so in fear of ‘the libruls’ coming after their liberty and freedom that only these killing machines can protect them. How ridiculous, especially from people who accuse ‘libruls’ of being a bunch of weak pussies who couldn’t fight their way out of or into anything. Even if the gov’t. did come after everyone in some Hitlerian sort of way these weapons would do little to save you from it. You could have a house full of automatic weapons and an M-1 tank all fully loaded and ready to go and you wouldn’t last one minute against the full force of the firepower of the government. Good luck with that!

    • The deed is already done – with all that has happened in the last week, specifically the immediate threats to the rights of law abiding citizens, Ammo, guns including your favorite assault rifles, magazines, etc are sold out everywhere around here and are selling briskly all over the country. So we are now more armed than ever before, no law will change that unless you are promoting confiscation, which I’m sure you would like to see. Funny how that paranoia that people liked to make fun of ended up being 100% on the money. If you really cared about protecting people, try looking at the causes of this behavior vs the tools used to carry out the action.

  3. Liberals are the hypocrites. They defend Hollyweirdos like Russell Simmons, Michael Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, and Susan Sarandon, who attack gun owners yet would never give up their armed security.

    • Based on the hate-mail that everyone you mentioned receives from the gun lovers, i would hope they have security. It doesn’t make them hypocrites, they have a demonstrated and reasonable fear of those with whom they disagree. It’s interesting that you find liberals who voice their 1st amendment rights despicable, yet don’t mention your 2nd amendment rights or trouble will follow.

      • So only certain people should be permitted to protect themselves with guns???? We all have the right to protect ourselves as we see fit – not how you or some other person decides. Are we free or shall that be regulated too?

        • So you’re all for the 2nd amendment, but when people use their 1st amendment rights, they’re hypocrites? There is a big difference between deciding and voicing our opinions. As for your freedom, i’m not convinced that you should have the freedom to shoot down a student class, which is why we are discussing regulations on your/our freedoms.

          • I’m not sure how the hypocrisy fits in – I didn’t accuse you of that. What I did accuse you of is sugggesting some people have rights others can’t have.
            By the way, you can be a hypocrite while exercising your first amendment rights – Mark does it all the time. I’m not sure anyone is suggesting taking away your first amendment rights – even a little bit. My general issue with progressive types is that they like to tell everyone else what they should be doing and/or permitted to do but when you suggest anything they don’t like, they react as if you’re the one doing wrong while they do the same thing constantly. If that’s you, then I guess you are a hypocrite too, but you can be the judge of that.

            • Do you know any of these subversive ‘progressives’ you are railing against or is this just here-say from TV?
              I’m going to tell you something that will most likely, based on your past postings here, to cause you to immediately dismiss me. I consider myself to be of the liberal progressive persuasion.
              Contrary to popular belief, I also own several firearms, believe in the death penalty, and the rule of law. Stranger still, I believe that too much government intrusion into our lives is a bad thing. I believe that we as a society should through our government ensure that those in need receive help but I don’t believe in tax deductions and breaks for corporations. I believe that we need, as history has shown countless times, a government that can and will protect its’ citizenry from any entity willing to cause it harm be that foreign or domestic. This also means that I believe we need the EPA , OSHA, and other federal agencies that have been tasked to act as stewards. I believe in Unions and equal and fair pay practices as we would not really require some of these things if it were not for our own history in industrialization. I also believe that if gay people want to get married then they should be fully capable. I believe in personal freedom and responsibility, and your someone that wants to spend the looking at porn then so be it , it just better not involve children (those people deserve the death penalty). I believe in the freedom of worship. Meaning that if you don’t want to follow and adhere then so be it but on the other hand don’t expect me to follow your brand either. This also means that you should not try and force by any means anyone else to do as yours says either by force or by law. If you want to worship earthworms it’s fine with me, just don’t get mad if I exclude myself. And I promise not to force you to worship what I believe in either, that seems fair.

              These are just a few things that fly in the face of convention of how the sides have been described. The real question is why they are portrayed as they are and who is benefitting from it?

            • So Rob, you are consistent with what I’ve read here – you are big on the idea of a managed society – managed by the state. You’re also clearly a big believer in collectivism. You’re a good slave – now if we would all just give up some freedom, we could all be better off – I don’t think so. The Borg would love your interest in joining the collective.

            • My general issue with progressive types is that they like to tell everyone else what they should be doing and/or permitted to do but when you suggest anything they don’t like, they react as if you’re the one doing wrong while they do the same thing constantly.

              Oh sure, the left are the ONLY ones who do this…..

              On Abortion who is the one who is saying what a women should be or should not be doing with their body?

              Who is the one saying people should NOT help the needy? That they are “parasites”? And this is contrary to their “good Christian” image too.

              Who are the ones calling for MORE laws on voting? That’s telling others what to do, you should not vote unless you present ID? Why when the constitution itself states that voting as a right should not be restricted?

              These are but some examples, indeed this hypocrisy is shown very clearly in the article above by Wayne La Pierre when he supports the regulation of everything else BUT guns, in fact he denies that guns have anything to do with the problem. A good number of the “hands off my freedoms” right are also shilling for this, odd don’t you think that they are willing to have regulations on other stuff just to save their guns? What does this say about where their priorities REALLY lie?

              Mark HAS indeed shown hypocrisy in the article, and as usual it’s the hypocrisy from the “less government only where WE want less government right”. The fact that figures on the right are more than open to censorship of movies/video games etc in order to push the discussion AWAY from guns speaks a lot about where their principles lie (it isn’t with “less government”).

              Your focus on only the left’s hypocrisy (and yes, the left are hypocritical sometimes too) and blatant ignorance of the right’s, shows you up for the biased rightwinger you have always been.

            • Delu – thanks for proving that exact point – which is you like to dictate what we rights we should be willing to give up, but ones you think are important can’t be touched. Exactly what do you think is important??? Maybe you can work your way up to dictator and get to tell all us subjects what’s good for us.

  4. So the debate goes on as it has for years – it would go a lot easier if everyone focused on the real problem – how to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and mentally unstable people. If that were the focus and NOT taking something away from the average, law abiding citizen, then we could make progress in this debate.
    With all the guns I see, you would think there would be mass shooting daily, but there isn’t – confirming that guns in the hands of law abiding people are not the problem.

    • Adam Lanza did not have any history of encounters with Law Enforcement. Therefore, he was a “law abiding citizen”.

      • Your response is almost too predictable – if you have a solution, it will always be to reduce the freedoms of your fellow americans. I guess the fight continues. I’m glad I stocked up on items that are being threatened in current debate.

        • And of course the right, the side which you PROUDLY belong to, as usual and typically focuses on the issue on only the individual and not the societal level. I guess that’s why you can proudly spout out such selfish individualistic views (“it’s MY gun, don’t you dare take it away!”), where such are concerned without even trying to look at it on the greater whole.

          Living in a society will always consist of restrictions where necessary. Of course certain restrictions may be too much, but rather than even consider restrictions on guns, people like Wayne La Pierre are trying their darndest to not even consider it, but rather shift responsibility away.

          The fact is however that this “society of violence” that the gun advocates spout as a reason for everyone having more guns will only be exacerbated by putting more access to guns in the system. That’s a point that none of the “gun rights” activists care about, because as long as they have and can keep their guns, they feel safe and fulfilled, to heck with the rest of society.

          • Yep, you’re right. You pretty much hit the target. I believe that society can be just fine and can thrive when the choices are left to the individual – not forced upon everyone by the state. I’m much more willing to give when some decision is left to me as a choice – try to force me and you get nothing. And with respect to your comment on “my guns”, neither you nor society have a right ANYTHING I own. Individual, personal property rights are non-negotiable. If you ask me nicely, I’m much more apt to work with you. If I had a trillion dollars in my account, you would have no right to even one nickel – but I’m certain I would help as many as I could so long as you left me to do it on my own.

          • One other thing – if you think guns are not a right of the indvidual in your idea of a society – repeal the second ammendment – then you can have what you want. It was put into our bill of rights for reason.

            • Steve,

              There has been some discussion from the Left about framing the debate coming out of the Sandy Hook massacre as having the difficult discussion to address:
              1. dealing better with mental illness
              2. identifying those with illegal weapons
              3. security issues in our society
              4. common sense gun control

              However, items 1, 2 and 3 are merely talking points in any debate or conversation I have listened to thus far. There is no real interest in addressing them; it is only to provide palatable cover to address item 4. And by the way, “common sense gun control” is code for banning guns from the Left’s perspective. That is the ultimate goal. From its perspective, it is up to conservatives to compromise. This means conservatives should acquiesce and submit.

              Your comments throughout this post have been spot on.

            • Thanks, you’re right – the debate is always somewhere besides where it should be and a political agenda takes control vs. trying to solve a problem. I agree with your thoughts on the Left and their ultimate goal of banning all guns and in effect disarming all Americans for their own good (I added the last few words). I don’t understand why the second amendment needs so much defense while others are just accepted as a right to be protected. They are all rights to be defended in my view. I’m not sure we can be more divided as a country as we are now – on many issues.

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