The National Rifle Association has finally addressed the Newtown, Connecticut shootings. They held a so-called press conference today.
(Above–Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown after the shooting.)
In the days since the shootings the NRA has stayed silent just as you would expect of cowards. They were cowards despite all the tough talk and all the guns they own. The NRA did not take questions at the press conference. The people killed in Newtown did not have the option to avoid being shot by the gunman.
The NRA said that an armed policeman should be in every school and that violent video games should be regulated.
All we hear from the right is about small government and free markets.
And yet in this case the solution is more government.
If more government is the solution to gun violence, than why is more government not the solution to many other problems in America?
The right-wingers in Congress that the NRA backs are at present fighting against any tax increase for even the most wealthy.
The NRA also called for more mental health services in the United States.
I agree with this proposal.
Yet I don’t believe I heard anything today from the NRA about raising the taxes needed to fund more mental health services in these lean times.
Does the NRA believe in anything but mayhem?
The NRA solution to an abundance to guns in America is to make sure that there are even more guns in America, just as the Texas conservative solution to the large number of people without health care in Texas is to shut down women’s health clinics so that even more people don’t have health care.
These are murderous solutions from people who seem to be in love with hurting people and with death.
Even at this point not long after the violence, many of the facts of the Newtown, Connecticut mass-shooting of children and school staff are clear enough.
The facts are clear enough because we have seen these type shootings happen again and again in America. We keep lists of the most deadly mass-shootings like we keep baseball statistics.
We have yet another well-armed off-balance individual who has gone to a public place and killed a number of people. And we know that it will not be long until it happens again somewhere in America.
I have 3 points to relate here that convey my thoughts on the matter based on reactions I’ve seen expressed in the news and on social media since the shooting took place.
1. It really is meaningless for the Democratic elected officials to express regret over the Connecticut shooting without talking about efforts they will propose to address the reasons for the violence.
2. We all know the extreme right will not relent on gun control just as they won’t on climate change, taxes for the rich, or as we saw on the international disability treaty killed in the Senate recently despite the support of Bob Dole. How long do we let maybe 25% of the country hold us up on every measure of progress?
3. It is good that people care about each other and want to offer prayers for the dead in the Connecticut shooting. Prayer makes a hopeful difference in many people’s lives. But in terms of stopping the violence, prayers will have no more effect then did Rick Perry’s call for prayers to end the Texas drought while denying climate change. Public policy changes are required to address public policy problems.
California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein says she will propose legislation in the next Congress to regulate high-powered guns.
There is plenty of leeway in this country to address gun violence without taking after law-abiding folks who have a gun at home for whatever purpose. The debate over guns in America needs to move away from over-rigid interpretations of the Second Amendment and move towards general public safety.