The problem with using crime as a rationale for owning guns is that violent crime in the United States keeps going down. For that matter, so does the percentage of older, white men, who just happen to be the demographic that buys and owns most of the guns.
Most offensive in LaPierre's insensitive, ignorant diatribe is that in these instances Hillary Clinton was the victim. Since when do we ridicule and punish victims for the actions of those who violate them?
It has been a week since Ismaayl Brinsley, a deranged man with a long criminal record, killed two New York City police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, in cold blood, but so far we haven't heard a word from the National Rifle Association.
The NRA fully understands the racial dynamic at play here. As long as we can blame something other than guns, America will not have to come to terms with the truth that violence is a complicated phenomenon that is made far more lethal by the easy availability and killing power of firearms.
We are a society at war with ourselves as well as with much of the world. Gun control in various forms may contain that war, but only a shift in consciousness will end it. That shift must include the realization that power requires more than the means to point, shoot, kill.
The opinion of the pro-gun movement seems to be that the guy with the gun is always right, no matter what the facts of the case are; that gun possession makes you a super-citizen with enhanced rights to take life, avoid prosecution, and use lethal force in response to non-lethal force.
Rep. Leslie Combs, as the news reports, 'accidentally fired her handgun in her Capitol Annex office Tuesday...' Part of her initial response has rightly caused anger and outrage. In her words, 'Like I said, I am a gun owner... it happens.' Exactly. And too often.
The debate over assault weapons rages on, with both sides of the issue hardening positions with each event. But amid the high-decibel back and forth, one voice is curiously silent: the companies that make a profit by putting these weapons on our streets.
How many are "enough?" How many "good guys?" How many guns? Indeed, there will never be enough "good guys with guns" for LaPierre's taste, chiefly because the NRA's sole mission is to sell as many guns as they can.