My Response To The Highly Anticipated Wayne LaPierre, NRA Press Conference

Today was the day of the highly anticipated National Rifle Association (NRA) press conference in response to the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, CT. The NRA went silent for days after last Friday’s mass shooting, finally issuing a statement this past Tuesday that read:

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.

NRA Statement on Newtown School Shootings

So the key words from the NRA’s statement on Tuesday was “meaningful contributions.” This of course is not unlike President Obama’s “meaningful action” statement in response to the Sandy Hook shooting. So the anticipation is that during today’s press conference, the NRA might actually say something out of character. I, however, expected nothing of the sort. But I gotta tell ya, even with my tempered expectations, I was still taken aback by what I heard today.

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, took to the podium today and delivered a diatribe which blamed anything and everything, except, well, guns. What you need to know about the NRA is that they are first and foremost a lobbying group. While they do boast a membership of 4 million, their primary purpose is to enable gun manufacturers to sell as many deadly weapons as possible.

Let’s start with LaPierre’s opening statement at today’s NRA press conference:

Because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one, nobody has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?

Wayne LaPierre - photo by Gage Skidmore

Right off the top LaPierre is on the defensive. If protecting our children is the “most important, pressing and immediate question we face,” then it’s probably best to start there instead of beginning in a defensive posture. Poor NRA — woe is me.

How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?

The only way to answer that question is to face the truth. Politicians pass laws for gun free school zones, they issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. And, in doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.

So LaPierre’s response to the mass gun violence and 26 deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including 20 children, is more guns. We should have an armed guard in every school in the nation and we should arm teachers, regardless of whether they want to be armed or not.

No, we do not need to accept the NRA’s premise. Violent crime is actually trending down in this country over the past two decades, but this type of mass shooting event is on the rise. We do not have to accept the NRA’s call for more guns to combat a specific type of gun violence. We do not have to tell teachers the only way they can be safe and their students can be safe (and this is a false notion) is to keep a loaded gun under the teacher’s desk. Quite simply, my response to the NRA is: NO

And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal. There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like “Bullet Storm,” “Grand Theft Auto,” “Mortal Combat,” and “Splatterhouse.”

And here’s one, it’s called “Kindergarten Killers.” It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research staff can find it, and all of yours couldn’t? Or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it? Add another hurricane, add another natural disaster. I mean we have blood-soaked films out there, like “American Psycho,” “Natural Born Killers.” They’re aired like propaganda loops on Splatterdays and every single day.

First: (Mortal Kombat? — American Psycho? — Natural Born Killers?) — REALLY? — Great contemporary examples there Wayne.

Second: There’s one small, tiny, teeny-weeny little detail that debunks this idea that violence in TV, movies and videos games is to blame: Many other countries watch the same TV shows, movies and play the same video games and they do not have the level of gun violence that America has, and they do not have regular mass shootings. You want to know something else these countries don’t have? Easy access to guns.

Third: Apparently the NRA uses so much energy to protect the Second Amendment, nothing is left in the tank when it comes to protecting the preceding constitutional amendment. You know, that free speech thing.

The media calls semi-automatic fire arms, machine guns. They claim these civilian semi-automatic fire arms are used by the military. They tell us that the .223 is one of the most powerful rifle calibers, when all of these claims are factually untrue, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

This is what gun-toting extremists do. They belittle people who do not have an advanced degree in gun terminology. You know what? I don’t care what the correct terminology is. I don’t care what the most powerful rifle caliber is. I care about the damage that can be done. I care about the people who are injured and killed by any caliber weapon. And I don’t need to know whether the gun and ammo used at Sandy Hook is the most powerful or not. The only thing I care to understand about the weaponry used in this tragedy, is that one person was armed with a weapon that allowed him to easily gun down 28 people including himself. Period.

One week after the tragedy in Newtown, CT, and LaPierre is squabbling over misuse of gun terminology? Are you kidding me? One week after 20 innocent children were murdered and LaPierre needs to point out that the caliber rifle used to murder them is not the most powerful available? — Hey Wayne: Go fuck yourself.

If we truly cherish our kids, more than our money, more than our celebrities, more than our sports stadiums, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible. And that security is only available with properly trained, armed good guys.

That right there my friends is a gun-tote’n delusion. Good guys? So that’s the black and white, right vs. wrong, good vs. evil mentality talking right there. Well, I hate to tell you Wayne, but Adam Lanza did not become a clearly definable bad guy until the final minutes of his life. Before last Friday Adam Lanza could just as easily been labeled a good guy. So who gets the guns again?

/ photo by Gage Skidmore

Sensible Gun Safety

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