The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been responsible for countless nonsensical, totally illogical and sadistically irrational pro-gun slogans. It's kind of what the NRA does. Its executive vice president and chief crackpot, Wayne LaPierre is a never-ending geyser of these easy-to-repeat yet easily debunkable slogans. So it came as no surprise when the NRA released a brand new YouTube video that literally makes no sense whatsoever -- on any level. In fact, it's so off-the-rails that it's difficult to imagine even the most loyal NRA automatons buying into what it says. Here's the video (via MMFA):
How can I make such a sweeping assumption about NRA loyalists? Mainly because the host of the video, NRA "commentator" Billy Johnson, isn't LaPierre or anyone who "looks" like your typical NRA goon. Not that they all look the same, but I've never seen any NRA people who look like the host of this video. Billy appears to be from the same casting agency that gave us the Healthcare.gov "Pajama Boy" and that leather-jacket hipster Millennial from a GOP video back in March. Put it this way, Billy looks less NRA and more PBR. Of course there's nothing wrong with casting Mr. Johnson, but it does, however, speak to the fact that the NRA is trying to look smarter and hipper. Unfortunately, the words coming out of Billy's mouth are just as ridiculous as if they came out of Ted Nugent's mouth.
Anyway, you might recall Billy's previous performance in which he suggested that we stop using the phrase "mass shootings" and the word "gunman" when events like Santa Barbara or Sandy Hook occur. Why? Because it makes guns, you know, look bad. If you think that's stupid, you ain't seen nothing yet.
1) The title is crazy. The video is titled "Everyone Gets A Gun." I won't even dig into the long list of ramifications commensurate with such an overly broad idea. No, not everyone gets to have a gun. Haven't LaPierre and the NRA been screaming about launching a mental health database accessible by gun dealers so mentally incompetent people can't buy AR-15s from Walmart? What about all those "bad guys with guns?" Should they be allowed to "get a gun?" Maybe I'm confused, but I thought the NRA was against giving literally everyone a gun.
2) Education, parks and jobs don't kill people. This part might take a while. Billy begins by telling us that the U.S. government has an education policy, a parks policy and a jobs policy, all of which are designed to increase access to these clearly beneficial things rather than to restrict access to them. See what he's getting at here? He continues by telling us that U.S. gun policy is all about restricting access, not increasing access in spite of the Second Amendment. So, in Billy's teeny-tiny hipster brain, guns are equivalent to education, parks and jobs. They're not. In any way.
He inexplicably admits with a sarcastic zinger that education doesn't harm anyone. "Perhaps we should think seriously about who we give access to knowledge. They could us it to do a lot of damage." Again, he's being sarcastic and doesn't really mean it. Which case, right! Education is harmless, unlike firearms, which are weapons used in tens of thousands of deaths every year. Show me one example in which a school has been used as a weapon to kill 10 out of every 100,000 Americans. The same goes for access to jobs or parks.
However, what Billy doesn't appear to grasp is that there are many laws -- useful ones -- that regulate education, labor and parks. Many National Parks charge admission. Other parks are closed during certain hours, or sections of the parks are restricted due to hazardous conditions. We also aren't allowed to run around a park and do whatever the hell we want. We can't vandalize the parks, we can't drive on certain terrain, we can't cut down trees or hunt animals without permission. As for labor, where do we begin? Labor regulations maintain a 40-hour work week; they prevent the exploitation of children; they prevent discrimination; they allow employers to not hire someone based on drug use or a criminal record. The list goes on and on. Something tells me Billy didn't fully think this through.
While we're here, it doesn't hurt to mention how the largely pro-gun right has been trying to restrict access to birth control, affordable college educations, reproductive healthcare and even voting.
3) Read a newspaper, Billy. I'm not sure where he's getting his news, but this is just wrong: "We don't have a U.S. gun policy. We have a U.S. anti-gun policy." Baffled? I am. "What if we were to design policy around the assumption that people need guns?" Seriously, what the hell is he talking about? Since the Sandy Hook massacre alone, far more pro-gun laws have been passed than anti-gun laws. Here are a few headlines that Billy clearly missed.
These are all following the cold-blooded murder of two dozen children and teachers at Sandy Hook -- wait. Strike that. Correction. Sadly, these headlines are all from the last 25 days! And in case you're worried the articles might be sourced from the pesky liberal media, I gathered the headlines from the NRA"s Institute for Legislative Action website. Not only is there no such thing as a sweeping "anti-gun policy" here, but Billy doesn't seem to be familiar with headlines that have appeared on one of his own affiliated websites.
Toss into the mix the brutal reality that even after the AR-15 was used in numerous mass shootings, most notably at Sandy Hook and Aurora, it continues to be the most popular firearm in the U.S., with gun groups and even sitting congressmen giving them away as coveted prizes. Not a single law has been passed to ban such weapons in spite of the ongoing mass shootings in which ARs were used; nor have pro-gun activists carrying loaded AR-15s at protests and in public places been routinely arrested simply for carrying one.
4) "Guns make people's lives better." Oh please. At the very most, guns might help someone who relies upon wild game to survive. And, when used by the police or the military, there's a conceivable benefit in terms of safety. But owning a gun doesn't inherently improve one's life. For most people, it's like buying an expensive retail product, then sticking that product in the closet. We might need it some day, but chances are we won't ever actually use it.
Billy continues by saying that U.S. gun policy should encourage people to buy guns and "even reward those people who use them." Yeah, that's a fantastic idea. We totally need to incentivize gun usage because it just doesn't happen often enough. "What if instead of gun-free zones, we had gun-required zones?" Like where?! I have an idea: why not make the neighborhood where Billy lives a "gun-required" zone. What could possibly go wrong?
Okay, enough of this. There are a couple more minutes left in the video, but it's getting to be unfairly easy to destroy it. Suffice to say, in the remaining moments, Billy suggests federally-subsidized firearms and "yearly allotments of free ammunition." His justification? We subsidize healthcare and education, so why not? Wait, does that mean the NRA supports government subsidies in these areas? Interesting. Maybe they're not all bad. Ah, what am I saying? Of course they're all bad.