THE BLOG
08/29/2014 01:56 pm ET | Updated Oct 29, 2014

The NRA Takes Tone Deaf to a New Low

Sometimes when you're crazed, you don't realize how crazed you are. Welcome to the world of the gun corporation-owned NRA, an outlier fringe group.

And so they were at it again. Less than 48 hours after a nine-year-old little girl accidentally killed the instructor who was teaching her at the gun club how to use an Uzi -- yes, really, an Uzi -- the gun corporation-owned NRA sent out a tweet about all the great fun that the kiddies can have at the shooting range.

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I mean, seriously, how tone deaf can one get? Not just the message itself, but look at the Twitter account name used for posting this. "@TeamWON." Yes, it's quite a victory they're trying to convince us to celebrate. And anyone who thinks this tweet was just a coincidence when it was posted, rather than yet another intentional attempt to regain the public platform after a potentially damaging tragedy is ghastly kidding themselves. This is what the gun corporation-owned NRA does.

Great fun, indeed. Well, okay, perhaps not so much for instructors, but at least for the kiddies, as long as you don't count a lifetime of nightmares and therapy.

To the credit of "NRA Women," they took down the tweet without explanation. Not that any explanation was needed. I suspect "Are you serious??!! This makes US look like heartless assholes" was thrown around a lot. I also suspect some of the NRA Women also started to shout, "Over my dead body," but thought better of it, remembering who they were dealing with.

By the way, I want to be clear about something, to put all this is perspective. So, a digression --

At summer camp many years ago, I taught "air riflery," which is a fancy name for BB guns. It was an NRA accredited sport, though I suspect BBs were looked down at with scorn by the NRA hierarchy, even way back then. (Once I did a test, and put a blown-up balloon in front of the BB gun and fired -- it didn't break the balloon. Though in fairness, if there was more distance between air rifle and balloon it would have popped. Though with the low-power BB guns we used, I wouldn't bet on it. Nor would I bet that you'd hit the balloon, since the sights were often a bit off) BB guns were probably just waaaay down on the NRA totem pole. After all, how many macho points can one get with a BB gun when competing against an Uzi? That aside, I was pretty good at it, reaching the level of Expert, the second-highest (only under Distinguished).

I also enjoyed regular riflery at the camp, with single-shot .22s. I wasn't quite as adept in that field, doing okay, but just getting about halfway, reaching Bar 4. It was only recently that I found out the husband-and-wife camp owners had an ongoing philosophical argument about whether to have the gun range. The wife part of the equation told me she was strongly against it (and just think, she wasn't even an "NRA women"!), her husband felt the range was well-monitored, had a history, and justified as a target sport.

The point being that I am not inherently against teaching young people (I was 11 when I started) how to handle single-shot rifles safely as a target sport. And to me, with my hand on a Bible, that's ALL it ever was. Trying to hit a bulls-eye, like in archery or darts. Obviously a rifle is massive worlds more dangerous, but I'm just explaining how I personally viewed it. I never had any thoughts of hunting or killing animals for food or anything other than one thing: I liked shooting at a piece of paper 75 feet away with numbers on it to get the highest score. It was (to me) not significantly different in its core point than bowling.

And it was incredibly, meticulous, profoundly monitored. A set order to everything. No picking up of the rifle even until approval was given. No talking. Total attention to detail and care. I did my best to keep those high standards reasonably so when I ran the BB guns. Stupid as I thought BB guns were. (I kept asking to be assigned to some other activity. Once, I did get to work in athletics, but that was only for a few weeks I was then sent back in air riflery. I think this was for two reasons -- 1) I ran if efficiently and well, and 2) I don't think they could get anyone else to take it over. I ended up being in charge for three years. Ah, the burdens of having a useless skill...)

Through all this, I never gave any thought to using a hand gun. I don't know why not, but there was never any hint of an idea of being a quick draw or gunslinger, or tough guy. It was just rifles -- lying prone or sitting or kneeling to look carefully through a little eye piece at a target to get as many points as possible.

And having said all this, though I enjoyed single-shot rifle target practice to score points, if they didn't have riflery or air riflery, I'd have been okay with it. Same as if they didn't have it today -- which they may not, for all I know. Because in the end, whatever your personal position one way or the other,I think it's fair and reasonable to believe there's a huge difference (to the extent of it being an unencroachable gulf) between the two realities: a mannered, deeply-protected range to shoot at a bullseye target purely and solely to score points -- and teaching a nine-year-old child to use an Uzi.

There is no earthly reason to use an Uzi unless you are a member of the Israeli Army.

And I think there's little reason to let nine-year-olds to handle a gun of any sort -- there's plenty of time to learn, God willing there not being a house accident. And I think too there's little reason for most any young child to handle a gun for any other reason other than as basic hit-a-target-and-score-points practice. If you want them to learn about killing animals for food, take them to the grocery store and watch the butcher.

But most of all, there's no reason to be so thoughtless and crass simply because you're crazed and feel that whenever there's a tragedy you must push the cause of that tragedy all the harder. Smash it peoples' faces. Cram the hell down peoples' throats. Even if that means the throats of little children so that they can just have grand "fun."

With a God-sucking Uzi.

Or any killing weapon.

My sense or at least hope is that this sort of thing will ultimately backfire on them. No pun intended. Because what they do every time they do this is remind the public in the most galling, horrifying way what galling, horrifying, heart-breaking thing happened. This time, for instance, even the NRA Women knew they'd gone too far. But the overall NRA powers-that-be? Nah, not them.

After all, they're the gun corporation-owned NRA, the outlier fringe group. As tone deaf as one could imagine.

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To read more from Robert J. Elisberg about this or many other matters both large and tidbit small, see Elisberg Industries.

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