THE BLOG

There's Nothing To Celebrate: NRA's Celebratory Atmosphere At National Conference Is Disgusting

05/03/2013 05:07 pm ET | Updated Jul 03, 2013

This weekend at its national conference in Houston, the National Rifle Association is celebrating. The organization is celebrating the fact that the Senate, despite the wishes of a majority of Americans, failed to pass the gun violence prevention bill last month.

Don't take my word for it. Take theirs. Just this morning, NRA Executive Director Chris Cox bragged about the organization's efforts to defeat the Senate's bill. "It was great to see the president throw a temper tantrum in the Rose Garden," Cox said.

I think Cox's remarks are disgusting, particularly since President Obama was doing what the NRA refuses to do -- standing with and fighting for families who have lost loved ones as a result of gun violence. I also think the celebratory atmosphere at the NRA's national conference is disgusting.

There is nothing celebratory about the fact that 11,000 Americans die each year from gun violence. In fact, on Wednesday 18 people died as a result of gun violence, including a 13-year-old and 15-year-old. Tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, many more people will die as a result of gun violence.

There's nothing celebratory about the fact that 20 first graders and six educators were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last year, or the fact that easily accessible assault weapons allowed Adam Lanza to take those 26 lives and injure others in less than five minutes.

There is nothing celebratory about the fact that two brothers suspected of planting bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon a few weeks ago were able to get a gun without a proper permit. This gun was used to kill a police officer.

Despite these morbid realities, the NRA is still celebrating this weekend in the Lone Star State, slowly but surely consigning itself to irrelevance as Americans continue to pressure Congress to do something about gun violence weeks after the Senate's failure to pass the gun violence prevention bill. These Americans are confronting pro-gun politicians at town hall meetings, donating money to gun reform groups, and running ads attacking politicians who voted against gun reform. They're even protesting the NRA's national conference this weekend, which is proof that the "Connecticut effect" is not going away and the silent majority continues to get louder and louder.

The NRA is on the wrong side of history. A majority of Americans -- including a majority of NRA members -- want Congress to do something about gun violence, a demand expressed to me by many Newtown parents and other Connecticut residents after the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook. But the NRA chooses to ignore them. The organization would rather spread misinformation about the impact that lax gun laws have on American families and communities.

Ironically, the motto at the NRA's national conference this weekend is "stand and fight." The organization fails to realize that the majority of Americans who support commonsense gun violence prevention measures are prepared to do exactly that.