NRA Compendium of Crazy
Yesterday, Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association delivered the organization’s first words since the tragic shooting spree that left 20 schoolchildren and 6 adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The NRA promised “meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”
After the NRA went completely dark on social media, and in the press for almost a week, they made their first public statement, striking a tone that was so completely out of touch with mainstream America, and most gun owners, it was necessary for the BBC who covered the event to tell its audience twice that they were not listening to a spoof.
LaPierre berated the existence of “Gun-free school zones,” violent video games, violent movies, violent music videos, evil, media coverage, journalists, news outlets, and stockholders in those organizations. He suggested Congress fund armed police officers at every single public school in America. He called for “an active national database of the mentally ill.” Problems such as these are not simple and do not have a one-ingredient cause, nor do they have a one-step solution. He would have big government keeping tabs on everyone diagnosed with depression, or anxiety, and he’d turn schools into militarized zones full of Kindergarten cops. But the one thing he did not address, the one thing to be left out of this conversation, was guns – not the legally purchased, semi-automatic assault weapon used by the shooter to murder more than two dozen people, not the high-capacity clips that carry enough bullets to kill more than a hundred people without having to stop to reload, nada.
“The only way, the ONLY WAY to keep a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection,” he said. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.”
Remember when it used to be satire? What used to be sit-com material is now expected to be taken seriously.
That’s our problem, America. We just don’t have ENOUGH guns. More guns = less gun violence. That makes sense, right?
And thus we notice that the definition of a “meaningful contribution” to this situation may be different to the NRA than it is to everyone else.
Newtown Connecticut’s congressman, Democrat Chris Murphy attended two funerals yesterday – those of seven-year old Grace McDonnell, and six-year old Dylan Hockley.
As he was leaving Grace’s funeral, and heading to Dylan’s, he responded to Lapierre’s press conference, by tweeting the following:
Walking out of another funeral and was handed the NRA transcript. The most revolting, tone deaf statement I’ve ever seen.
The congressman spoke later with Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: Senator-elect Murphy, I just wanted to get your response, your reaction to the NRA’s — it wasn’t really a press conference, just their statement.
REP. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Yes, I was in Grace McDonnell’s funeral. And when I got out, I was shown a copy of the statement. And I nearly became sick.
By the time I had gotten to the next funeral, to little Dylan Hockley’s funeral, the horror had already started to spread through the 200, 300 people who were there. Dylan’s family talked about the fact that they knew that something good was going to come from Dylan’s death, that there was going to be change in this country.
I can’t speak for Ian and Nicole, nor for the other parents, but I’m pretty sure that they don’t think that change is more guns. And that’s essentially what the NRA said today, is that the solution to this mass killing in Newtown is more guns in schools, in homes, more guns throughout the streets of America.
COOPER: Yes, there was a lot the NRA didn’t address. Essentially, it seems to me they’re also then calling for armed guards in movie theaters, armed guards in any public space, as you say, just basically weapons everywhere.
MURPHY: Yes. Listen, it doesn’t make any sense. We’re not going to live in a society where every building you go into has a security guard with a semiautomatic weapon.
Ultimately, the solution for this country is not for us to become one big armed camp. The solution is to make sure that these weapons don’t exist in the first place. If the assault weapons ban had been in place, Anderson, I fundamentally believe, I know a lot of parents in Newtown believe that there would be kids getting their Christmas presents this Christmas, because, in 10 minutes, with those 30-clip — those 30-round clips, this guy was able to destroy 27 lives in just under 10 minutes.
That shouldn’t be allowed. And I think there are a lot of NRA members who agree. I think Wayne LaPierre today is out of step with America, he’s out of step with Newtown, but I think he’s out of step with a lot of his members, and I hope that the whole world saw that.
COOPER: He had also talked about sort of a mental health database. Beyond the possible infringement of rights that that might have, that still doesn’t get around the loophole that gun show sales have, because they often can do without background checks.
MURPHY: Yes. One of the most absurd parts of his statement today is his insistence that we have a registry of people with mental illness. If you have been treated for depression, all of a sudden you’re going to be on a registry.
Of course, at the same time, the NRA has opposed a gun registry so that we can track who has these weapons. So the NRA says we want to know who has a history of mental illness, but we frankly don’t want to know whether those individuals or anybody else has a gun. It just doesn’t make any sense.
And what this stunt was today was a smokescreen to try to distract people from where this country is moving. This country is moving over the last seven days towards sensible gun legislation that takes assault weapons of the streets, that takes these assault clips out of the hands of these mass murderers.
And I don’t think that LaPierre or his organization can stand in the way of that any longer.
COOPER: Do you think — I have talked to a couple of mothers. And one mother in particular said to me that she now feels fearless, that she has gone through the worst pain imaginable and she now feels fearless. It was Lynn McDonnell, whose funeral you went to today, her daughter, Grace.
Do you think we are going to be hearing from some of these mothers, from some of these families in this, I guess, what will be a battle down in Washington?
MURPHY: Well, Anderson, you and I were at Grace McDonnell’s funeral today, and you saw the monsignor say at one point that he couldn’t wait until these 40 parents were unleashed on Washington, and he looked our way.
I think every parent is going to take their own time to figure out whether they want to be part of this process of change and what they believe the change should be.
But I have a feeling that the majority of these parents are going to be marching on Washington, are going to be demanding change, whether it be more help for the mentally ill or developmentally disabled or stricter gun control. And they’re going to be the best spokesman for this issue because they want to make sure that these 20 kids’ memory doesn’t just vanish from the scene.
There’s something good that can come from this, and once the grieving process is over, I do think we’re going to have one of the most powerful lobbying forces that this country has ever seen in the parents and relatives of those that were killed last Friday.
It’s not just Democrats who leveled criticism at the NRA. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office tweeted:
Instead of solutions to a problem they have helped create, @NRA offered a paranoid, dystopian vision of a more dangerous and violent America
Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie said, “I don’t necessarily think having an armed guard outside every classroom is conducive to a positive learning environment.”
If you were left slack-jawed, and wondering, perhap,s if Wayne LaPierre and the NRA have just gone off the rails in light of recent events, disabuse yourself of that speculation right now.
Here’s a compendium of crazy from the NRA that came out on YouTube before the shooting in Connecticut.