“Welcome to the NRA”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

8 thoughts on ““Welcome to the NRA””

  1. Say What?

    “We think it is poor form for a politician or a special interest group to try to push a legislative agenda on the back of any tragedy.”
    — NRA, after 2008 Northern Illinois shootings

    “Now is not the time to debate politics or discuss policy.”
    — NRA, after 2009 Binghampton massacre

    “At this time, anything other than prayers for the victims and their families would be inappropriate.”
    — NRA, after 2011 shooting spree that wounded Gabrielle Giffords

    “There will be an appropriate time down the road to engage in political and policy discussions.”
    — NRA, after 2012 Aurora massacre

    “NRA will not have any comment.”
    — NRA, after 2012 Newtown massacre

    “to soon to begin politicizing the horrible events that transpired in Connecticut”.
    —Dan Logue

    “It is premature to be talking about legislation while people are still in the process of making funeral arraingments”.
    —Doug LaMalfa

    Hard to hear inside the echo chamber, what with all the ricochet’s-

  2. Chip nailed it. Tomorrow the NRA is likely to come out and say, “we stand with you, we grieve with you, we are willing to work with you, we will honor the memory of these children”, and then go right back to proposing hair brained schemes that don’t even come close to touching the real issue.

    I certainly want to reduce the incidents of gun violence at schools, but the problem IS NOT that schools are gun free zones. And the very people who will be shouting to the rooftops that we should arm teachers and administrators are the ones who have spent the last 10 years deriding teachers, diminishing their rights by breaking public employee unions, and serially stating that teachers and administrators are leeches fattened at the public trough. Think about the logic of their position: they don’t trust teachers to teach our children but trust them to carry guns and stand up to killers armed with assault rifles and clad in body armor at the drop of a hat. It is hypocrisy personified.

    There have been 61 mass shootings since 1982; more than half of them have occurred in areas where guns have been allowed, and of the 30 that have occurred in restricted areas many of them have occurred in places where there are restrictions on carrying guns (like workplaces, malls, movie theaters and parking lots) but no enforcement to assure that. These mass hooting have accounted for approximately 1000 deaths since 1982. If you have not gone through the Mother Jones database on mass shootings you should do so to inform yourself for the coming debate.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map

    But there is another issue here; while those 1000 people have been dying by mass shooting, 2,000,000 people have been injured by gunfire in the USA, 600,000 of them dead. Since the Newtown shooting 11 people have been killed by gunfire in Chicago alone, almost all of them young men between the ages of 13 and 29, and there have been three mass shooting where 4 or more people have died, all of them essentially cases of domestic violence. Every day, 85 Americans are shot dead, about 53 of them in suicides. This figure is still lower than 1993’s peak in gun deaths (37,666), but has risen significantly since firearm deaths reached a low in 2000 (28,393).

    So the issue here is that the NRA, and their insane allies, from our local legislators to the irrelevant addled ‘conservatarians’ who blog on local sites, will dabble around the edges, will pay lip service to the children and teachers of Sandy Hook, while at the very same time blocking the reform we need to reduce gun deaths across the country in the very area we need it the most; amongst the 30,000 people per year killed and the 70,000 injured who are average Americans. We absolutely suffer the little children, but the little children grow up into adolescents and adults who kill each other at a rate unprecedented in the civilized world. We need to fix that problem as well.

    I think Ben is correct: we have to go right at the second amendment. The right to ‘bear arms’ is not a unrestricted right, and we need to re-write it to reflect that fact, taking the ability to interpret it as such because of a misplaced comma and the power of a lobbying group off the table (read the controversy over the actual text here).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    We need a combination of new gun laws, enhanced enforcement, and a set of solutions going at causes related to mental health.

    One final note: if one wants to ensure that nothing happens in Washington D.C., appoint a commission. If the solution proposed here is to study the issue and we accept that, we are bigger fools than the NRA. There needs to be legislation, swift legislation, to ban assault rifles and large capacity clips, require longer waiting periods, close the gun show and on-line loophole, and require that those who are on waiting periods are actually checked before guns are released, and owners of guns must be required to register and account for their guns on an annual basis, just like we do automobiles.

  3. I can hear it now: it is the video games (Grand Theft Auto is available worldwide); it is the movies (American movies, particularly shoot em ups, top the box offices around the world); it is the decline of the American family (the US was amongst the last of the developed world where most women worked full time); it is our ‘pioneer’ history (we had less deaths per 1000 people from guns in 1880 than we do today).

    It is all smoke and mirror bullshit to divert your attention from the real issue; it is the proliferation, low cost, and lack of regulation of guns that is killing us.

  4. It is expected that the NRA will double down on it’s talking points. Listeners of NPR’s BBC World News got a taste of that yesterday when two of our politicians (can’t recall names) aggressivelly doubled down but with a twist. The twist was demonizing and blaming unions in the same sentence. The NRA plans to shoot us up with their rapid fire simi-automatic, unlimited magazine mouths.
    When Charelton Heston reveled the new direction of the NRA with his dramatic “cold dead hand” argument I lost respect for the orginization.

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