Though I have recently written a reply article to the many gun advocates I have been debating, after Friday’s first official statement from the NRA, delivered by executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, I thought it would be a good idea to follow up on it and give a few direct replies to some of LaPierre’s rather long and unlettered rants.
LaPierre: “Whilst some have tried to exploit this tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent”.
Me: The only political gain most of us have tried to advance is the prevention of further mass shootings.
It is, however, quite a shame that you decided to break your respectful silence, and disrespect yourself and your entire organization by ranting on about the need for more rather than less guns. Please know that your cynical attempt to accuse liberals of politicizing this situation, while you yourself are trying to financially and politically capitalize on people’s fears, by selling them more guns, has not gone unnoticed.
LaPierre: “Does anyone really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn’t planning his attack on a school he’s already identified at this very moment?”
Me: Not at all. But a crucial part of this hostile planning involves gaining possession of weapons. And judging by recent experience, the next attacker will either do this by legally purchasing these weapons himself, like Jared Lee Loughner, Wade Michael Page and James Holmes, or by taking them from any number of friends or relatives who own them, like Jacob Tyler Roberts and Adam Lanza.
So by all means, let’s do something about this.
LaPierre: “The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters. People that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons, that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them”.
Me: It is quite clear that your BA in education and MA in political science did not go to waste, and you seem to have additionally mastered the field of psychiatry. Up till now, all we had to go on was a diagnosis by the Austrian doctor Hans Asperger, who researched the unique condition of autism Adam Lanza was likely suffering from, but I like your diagnosis WAY better - with its genuine monsters, possessions and demons. Oh my!
You might also want to consider that it’s not a question of sanity that prevents a person from ever possibly comprehending these mass murders, it’s a question of psychiatric education.
And by the way, that the very same conservatives who scream for government to stay out of healthcare, now ironically call for the government to take over the mental health care system, has not gone unnoticed either.
LaPierre: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”.
Me: Hollywood’s 1950s westerns just called. They want their slogan back.
How about before we get all ‘High Noon’ on people, we consider the revolutionary idea of preventing bad guys from ever getting their hands on guns in the first place?
Also, I’d be a bit more careful about making such calls to arms if I were you - as the head of the NRA, lots of people consider you a bad guy, and everybody knows you have a gun...
LaPierre: Violent video games, music videos and movies encourage violence in our society, and are therefore responsible for much, if not all, of it.
Me: Interesting. How does this explain the fact that these same exact movies and video games and music videos can be found in every country in the world? Countries like Japan not only import all our violence ridden content, they also produce some of the most obscenely violent movies themselves. By NRA accounts, countries like Japan should be awash with gun violence. And yet, gun violence can barely be found there. There has to be something else then - something to account for the difference in gun violence rates. What could it be? We know it couldn’t be the fact that there are more than 88 guns for every 100 people in the US, because LaPierre never mentioned THAT now did he.
LePierre: Just as 20,000 different existing laws are still being broken, new gun laws are not the answer because people will break them as well.
Me: In that case, why have traffic laws if people keep breaking them? Why have laws against murder if people keep breaking those as well? Why have ANY laws? You are basically saying that because people break certain laws, we should abolish them altogether. Never mind law enforcement, litigation and punishment (to say nothing of education), no, let’s just do away with the laws themselves.
I always thought the NRA was all about law and order. Who knew it was such an anarchistic organization all the while?
LaPierre: “Since when has a gun become a bad word?” A gun in the hands of a Secret Service agent or a soldier protecting America is not a bad word.
Me: Indeed. A gun in the hands of a trained professional who's gone through background checks, training and certifications should by all means be considered a good thing. So by all means, let’s make sure that everyone has to go through such processes before being licensed to carry a weapon. Nothing bad about that indeed.
LaPierre: After the Virginia Tech incident, I called for every school to have armed security.
Me: Virginia Tech DID have armed security. In fact, Virginia Tech had a whole campus police department. And incidentally, Columbine High School also had an armed sheriff's deputy who had been policing the campus, for all the good that it did.
LaPierre: With all the foreign aid that the US gives out every year, can’t we afford to put a police officer in every single school?
Me: Let’s forget for a moment that schools like Columbine high and Virginia Tech did in fact have armed police officers, exactly which part of the annual $53 billion foreign aid budget do you suggest we allocate towards the $11 billion it will likely cost to have a police officer at every one of the 132,183 schools in this country?
If this really is the best that the NRA can come up with, it seems that the battle for stricter gun controls might not be as hard as we thought. I would like to officially thank Mr. LaPierre for not only shooting himself in the foot, but for sticking it in his mouth afterwards.