New Merchant of Death: The NRA

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image of a gunThe NRA may not have pulled the trigger at the elementary school in Connecticut but they can’t avoid any blame since they fight for little or no gun laws and benefit from and promote an irrational public fear that drives gun sales. The press conference they held on Friday 12/21 proves the point that they don’t really care about mass killings accomplished after their hard work. They now join tobacco and alcohol producers who also refuse to accept any blame for killing people and work to get legal protection. They have joined the merchants of death.

Here is the main take away from the NRA press conference:

And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.

Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?

Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like “American Psycho” and “Natural Born Killers” that are aired like propaganda loops on “Splatterdays” and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it “entertainment.”But is that what it really is? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as away to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?

The budget of our local police departments are strained and resources are limited, but their dedication and courage are second to none and they can be deployed right now.I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January.

Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work — and by that I mean armed security

Right now, today, every school in the United States should plan meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers and local authorities — and draw upon every resource available — to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now. Every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation.Every school in America needs to immediately identify, dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place right now.

NRA Newtown Shooting Press Conference Statement

The NRA’s response to the violence in Newtown, and their cry to not jump to judgement until all the facts of the case are known, is to suggest that we turn schools into a police state and to jump to judgment that Hollywood and the media are responsible for the Newtown spree. Right…

The blame Hollywood argument is an old one so I was surprised that Wayne LaPierre didn’t mention heavy metal music. Violent video games are self regulated and calls for the government to regulate have either failed or been struck down in court. The blame video game defense is also a false one:

Of course, even in the days before “Pong” and “Pac-Man” revolutionized the world of children’s entertainment, kids found many ways to play interactive games that included violent themes. Take the classic games of “Cops and Robbers” and “Cowboys and Indians”: children pretend to rob banks and shoot cops dead; toy guns or imaginary weapons are aimed at opponents; losers are supposed to “play dead.” Fast-forward to the present and the debate over video game regulation. Some critics and concerned legislators are claiming that the modern-day equivalent of Cops and Robbers must be regulated by government to protect minors from the purported ill-effects of interactive video games. The logic here is fairly straightforward: If kids are exposed to violent imagery in video games, they will become aggressive children or violent adults later in life. Although unable to muster credible evidence proving this thesis, legislators across America have been introducing measures that would regulate home video games or coin-operated arcade games on these grounds.

Regulating Video Games: Must Government Mind Our Children?

It was also a nice touch for the Libertarian dream date – NRA – to suggest schools become police states and demand that the government pay for it. The problem is Columbine and Virginia Tech had police on campus and those sprees weren’t prevented. President Reagan, in 1981, was surrounded by heavily armed Secret Service Agents and John Hinckley still shot him. You know what the Secret Service did after that – they don’t let anyone near the President until they go through metal detectors. They also do serious prevention research to identify any threats and to eliminate them before they can act.

I guess if the NRA wants a police state they should pay for it through an extra tax on guns and ammo – call it a Child Protection Tax. That would probably be as close as the NRA comes to actually doing something constructive that would protect children.

The NRA and their supporters talk about the 2nd Amendment while obviously ignoring the rest of the Bill of Rights – like wanting to ban violent video games which would violate the 1st amendment. Here is the text of the 2nd amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

One key word is “regulated”. So short of an outright ban of all guns (my wish) there can be rules and restrictions on ownership of firearms.

I highly doubt that the Founding Fathers fathomed mass killing sprees when writing the 2nd Amendment. The rate of fire of a musket, the most common gun at the time the Bill of Rights was adopted, could fire 4 shots per minute if the shooter was a well drilled solider. The purported gun used in the Newtown spree had a rate of fire of about 40 rounds per minute and the shooter had a 30 round clip. The semi-automatic gun may be great for a fantasy attempt to fight Big government but it also makes spree killings that much easier and more lethal.

What does it say about our priorities when we regulate the purchase of pseudoephedrine based cold medicine more than we regulate gun purchases.

It is obvious that the NRA will play the victim card, that we’ve seen before from the tobacco and alcohol producers, as they try to deflect any responsibility for the killing sprees. They also won’t offer any rational or constructive ideas to help lessen the chance for future mass gun killings.


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  • andy

    do you know of a better solution to protect children in schools?

    all i hear from you is to ban something,and that doesnt work

    look what banning drugs did for the drug war

    • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

      Banning guns would protect children – no guns less chance of a mass killing. I fully acknowledge a ban will never happen but we need to regulate guns a lot more than we do now.

      You can’t fully protect children until individual force fields are invented but I do know that turning schools into a prison isn’t going to protect children.

      • http://twitter.com/johndillngerr john dillngerr

        a ban on guns will never happen,that is ridiculous,and has nothing do with the safety of children
        there are armed guards in schools already all over this country.why?to make sure they are safe.
        you are letting emotion get in the way of logic.

        • http://www.dougberger.net Doug B.

          Well if there are armed guards in schools already then why do we still have mass killings at school?

          Yes I am emotional. People who try to defend gun owners over dead children makes me emotional.

          Logic says no guns no dead children – why is that wrong?