Monday, December 24, 2012

NRA Incoherence

After watching NRA CEO and spokesman Wayne LaPierre's interview on Meet The Press, this morning, I am more confused than ever about the position of the far right-wing on guns. None of what LaPierre said made any sense. Spotting NRA contradictions was like playing a game of whack-a-mole. Here's what I took note of:

  • The NRA defends Second Amendment rights to guns without restriction as a bulwark against tyranny of the government. This morning LaPierre accused gun control advocates of wanting to put "every gun sale in the country under the thumb of the federal government." Yet he called for "putting an armed guard in every school" and cited police and the Secret Service as models of "good guys with guns" protecting people from "bad guys." A massive, armed domestic security force spread across the nation in every school house would not be considered a potential tool of tyranny? Out of curiosity, what if the new school security was packing copies of Origin of Species as well as guns?
  • The NRA supported right wing political candidates who reject, besides gun control laws, any new form of taxation and demand substantial cuts in the federal spending. But LaPierre wants the federal government to pay for this new security force, saying, "With all the money in the federal budget, if we can't come up with [the money] to do this...." Perhaps Grover Norquist, who sits on the board of the NRA, can explain how this will work.
  • Among the many things on which LaPierre blamed Sandy Hook in his speech on Friday was "viscious, violent video games," which create a culture of violence. Yet sending armed guards into schools everywhere to shoot bad guys wouldn't contribute to this culture? And incidentally, Slate pointed out that one of the games the NRA blamed is set in a school in which everyone is armed.
  • The NRA considers itself a protector of civil liberties. LaPierre demanded a "national database" of anyone with mental health issues, ignoring (As David Gregory pointed out) personal privacy laws and the rights of states to defy forced federal cooperation. Which civil liberties should matter more? At the least, should it not be acknowledged that broadening interpretations of the Second Amendment entail narrowing interpretations of the Fourth Amendment?
I suppose it is possible that trying to sound coherent while articulating all these contradictions was the reason LaPierre actually began foaming at the mouth. Course ultimately, LaPierre won't have to straighten out these inconsistencies. Good luck to the pro-gun Republican and Democratic lawmakers who will have to explain NRA logic to voters.

1 comment:

  1. I made a couple of these exact points the other day to some acquaintances who are very pro-Second Amendment. Violent video games are bad, but real guns are okay? Serious cognitive dissonance. And, also to your fourth bullet point, in the past ten days I've heard more arguments for "locking up" the "mentally ill" and "crazies," despite the fact that they, too, have civil liberties.

    I'm fearful that too many Congresspeople remain in thrall to the NRA and its ilk, and that this may not be the watershed moment we need. But I think that we need to keep highlighting that it's NOT just Newtown - it's every day in this armed, illogical country. (See also https://twitter.com/GunDeaths; I'm really glad someone is doing this.)

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