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Burke E. Strunsky

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A Response to the NRA Press Conference

Posted: 12/21/2012 3:46 pm

Despite all the promises of a "major announcement " at a press conference, the NRA has doubled down and superciliously claimed that the answer to gun violence is -- wait for it -- MORE GUNS. CEO Wayne LaPierre has blamed the media, music, videogames and gun-free zones for the slaughter of 27 people, including 20 first graders, last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a man who used a semiautomatic weapon capable of firing 100 rounds per minute. Each child was shot multiple times. LaPierre said, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Tell that to the 9 civilians who were shot by trained police officers outside the Empire State building last August in an attempt to subdue a man who had shot a former colleague.

What is particularly bothersome is that, despite a change in public sentiment since Friday, there was zero recognition by the organization that the proliferation of powerful guns has any role in the unique and prolific gun violence that our country experiences everyday. This is tantamount to saying that it's not the salt that I'm pouring on my food that is making it salty. We have more guns per capita than any other county -- with Yemen a close second -- approaching 300 million; when do we say that we have enough? When are we going to come to terms with the fact that we have 20 times the number of firearm-related homicides than industrialized countries with stricter gun laws?

The only concrete solution LaPierre even offered was a NRA-sponsored program to turn our schools into armed fortresses. The NRA is completely out of step with the national conversation particularly when it comes to semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity clips that have no legitimate hunting or self-defense purpose. The NRA is positioned to become irrelevant unless they take a temperature reading of national sentiment and acknowledge the patent realities of the number of guns and gun violence and present a reasonable plan that isn't an insult to those children who died last Friday. They are on the wrong side of history. However, is anyone really surprised that once again the NRA has allowed ideology to trump humanity?

 
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