My last column, "The NRA and the USA," was an olive branch I, for one, extended with respect and hope that the National Rifle Association would follow through on its promise to help protect the children of America from more mass murders as our outraged nation witnessed in Newtown, Conn. Today the NRA answered with hostility to those of us who wished it would join in a serious attempt to protect the innocents of America.
Friday we heard more of the same rhetoric of intransigence, hostility, irresponsibility and neglect. Today the NRA's hostility to hope sold short our children, our parents and our nation.
My hope is that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will move to change history by giving $100 million to advocates of limiting military-style, mass-murdering assault weapons in the national battle that the NRA's unyielding intransigence now makes inevitable.
Friday Wayne LaPierre, executive director of the NRA, called for trained armed guards in the schools. I agree -- for those schools that choose this course. He called for more changes in the world of entertainment. I agree, and proposed this in my column. He called for improvements from the music business. I agree; and proposed this in my column. He called for improvements from the video game industry. I agree, and called for this myself. He called for increasing our commitment to mental-health research and care. I agree, and called for this myself.
But it is not enough for the NRA to simply criticize others and call for others to act without taking responsibility itself.
Friday the NRA offered nothing, zero, nada, about what it would do to help on the issue where it can matter the most. Police risking their lives at this hour to protect our children will not be moved by kind words for their work when coupled with contempt for their desire to better control the military-style weapons that kill our police while they kill our children.
The idea of turning kindergarten teachers into weapon-wielding police is absurd. The idea of further turning our schools into shooting galleries and our communities into armed camps is ridiculous.
Friday the NRA did not speak for the hunters who would not be affected by limiting the assault weapons of mass murders. The NRA spoke for intransigence, hostility and an extremism that does no service for our country, our parents, our children, our hunters, our law-abiding gun owners and our national values.
I, for one, tried to extend an olive branch, which the NRA treated with contempt. It is now time for a political battle that is long overdue and time for an unprecedented commitment to win this political battle from the mayor of New York and all who care about our country.