Let's see if the organization will deliver any recommendations that will address the slaughter that happened one week ago today:
The NRA spokesman, Wayne LaPierre, essentially said in his remarks that the country should become an armed police state. The NRA's solution to the gun culture? Armed police at all schools--he didn't say how we'd pay for that, estimates are that would cost the government $5.5 billion. But what about private schools? Nursery schools? Daycare centers? Then what about other unprotected vulnerable venues, say, nursing homes for the elderly? I didn't listen to much else after his insane suggestion, so I don't know if he mentioned anything about any restrictions on gun sales or ammo sales. What the NRA did show the American people today is that it is an irrational lobby for the gun manufacturers, and they care not one whit for the safety and care of our children.
So what the brilliant minds in the NRA have proposed today is turning this country into an armed government police state. This coming from the organization that warns its members to arm itself against a possible takeover of the government. If that isn't a definition of insanity, I don't know what is.
NYTimes: "Businesses and special-interest groups often cloak their profit motives in the garb of constitutional rights — think Big Tobacco and its opposition to restrictions on smoking in public places and bold warnings on cigarette packages. The Supreme Court has made clear that the right to bear arms is not absolute and is subject to regulations and controls. Yet the N.R.A. clings to its groundless arguments that tough regulations violate the Second Amendment. Many of those arguments serve no purpose other than to increase the sales of guns and bullets."
USAToday: "In both smoking and drinking, progress has been driven by a blend of changing public attitudes and responsive government policies.
Could the same thing happen for guns? The moment is ripe. The slaughter of 20 children ages 6 and 7 was an event so unimaginably awful that it might have created the sort of sustained public pressure that other horrific shootings have somehow never managed to build.
Here, too, there's a valuable lesson from America's history of dealing with alcohol.
Even aside from constitutional considerations, attempts to outlaw handguns won't work any better than banning booze did during Prohibition. But sensible gun restrictions seem more possible than at any time since an assault-weapons ban expired in 2004. These include a broadened ban on military-style semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity clips, and background checks on all gun sales."
Chicago Sun-Times: "When it comes to government action, Obama already knows what to do. The nation has been debating gun-control measures for decades, forever studying and talking, but always failing to take action.
The top items on the to-do list are ready to go [...]
Will new laws wipe out all gun violence? Of course not.
But imagine, for a moment, that your child was the one saved because the Newtown shooter had a slightly less powerful gun or 20 fewer rounds of ammunition.
Today’s the day to act."
While Congress and the President negotiate our fiscal future, our first concern should be whether or not we will continue on the path we are currently on: Unending horrendous gun deaths in this country (predictions are that by 2015 gun deaths will outnumber motor vehicle deaths), and accepting, as part of our American culture, the slaughter of more children, women, and men.
Reax to the NRA today:
"I actually fell for it. I actually though the NRA would come out with some concessions - closing the gun show loophole, at the very least. I really should have known better. This morning Wayne LaPierre gave one of the most cynical and cowardly speeches I've ever heard. Blaming everyone and everything other than guns and access to them."
" After reading the transcript of the NRA’s press conference where they had promised "meaningful contributions" to the discussion after Newtown, I’m surprised that I’m amazed, but I am. This is epistemic closure beyond the inability of the right-wing to believe the reality of last November’s re-election of Obama. For years, the NRA has been stoking fears of "jackbooted thugs" from the Federal government. Now they propose putting an armed government employee in every single school across America."
"You are witnessing the total implosion of the right in the United States: the defeat of Boehner’s ridiculous Plan B and this speech by the NRA."