In the wake of last week’s tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, The National Rifle Association, the country’s most influential lobbying group has been silent.
No representative from the organization has appeared on television or radio, no one has sent out any tweets from it’s twitter page and recently the organization took down it’s facebook page.
In the aftermath of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963, that killed four African-American girls, Dr. Martin Luther King wrote a letter to then Alabama Governor George Wallace saying that “The blood of four little children…….is on your hands”. Your irresponsible and misguided actions have created in Birmingham and Alabama the atmosphere that has induced continued violence and now murder”.
Wallace, just a week earlier had told the New York Times that “to stop forced integration Alabama could benefit from a few first-class funerals.”.
There are a lot of Americans now playing the role of Dr. King and saying to the NRA that there is blood on their hands.
The NRA has been silent for a reason, there is no defending the indefensible. Adam Lanza walking into elementary school carrying his own personal arsenal and taking the lives of children and their teachers can’t be explained away with the always ridiculous and inaccurate statement of “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
NRA Executive Vice President and resident scumbag Wayne LaPierre has always been quick to defend the idea of firearms in tragic situations like Newtown. Just two weeks ago Lapierre, when asked a question about Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jevon Belcher shooting his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins to death responded by saying “the one thing missing in that equation was that woman owning a gun so she could have saved her life from that murderer.”
It’s almost as if Lapierre and his band of cronies live in an alternate universe. These are the same individuals who want teachers and administrators to now be trained on how to use a firearm in the case of another Sandy Hook, which is the dumbest thing imaginable.
If the NRA is stripped of the hold it has on politicians particularly in rural areas that would go a long way in terms of curbing America’s fascination with guns and gun violence. The flat out intimidation and bullying tactics that the organization has used to get their way has no place in politics. Imagine neighborhood drug dealers creating their own superpac to influence politicians. Yes, drugs are illegal and guns are not, yes no respected politician would line up behind drug dealers, but the consequences are no less deadly when you talk about gunshow loopholes, assault weapons, and bans on waiting periods for guns, all of these are things the NRA support or have supported in the past.
These politicians from these areas lineup to take the organization’s money when it is time to get re-elected or cower in the corner if they oppose them.
Maybe there is now hope however. West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, someone who has received an A rating from the NRA ( Yes folks, they grade elected officials) has signaled that he may be ready to look at bans on assault rifles. Manchin has not been one of my favorite Democrats, I even question whether he is one, but if he is willing to have a political backbone and punch the bully in the mouth, that is something that we all should be able to get behind, I’m optimistic that enough of us will do so.
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