Your Choice America: The Holy or the Broken Hallelujah?

(At the risk of “tailgating” the incomparable Mrs. Polly, whose ability to raise waves of impassioned commentary with a few well-spiked paragraphs is the envy of us all, I would like to add a few thoughts on “Wayne’s World” because a) this horse is not nearly dead enough yet and b) some interesting new twists have come to light that put an even finer point on Mrs P’s poisoned dart.)

Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President, is taking quite a beating, in the press, for his delivery of the NRA’s opening (and closing) statement in our national conversation on gun violence, following the mass-murder in Newtown, CT last week.

It was no surprise (to me, at least) that the gist of LaPierre’s message was “Buy more guns.”  After all, Wayne has devoted his life and career to making sure that Americans buy lots and lots of guns.  Because they can.  Constitution says so.  And anyone who questions the intent or the scope of that right is just downright un-American.

Anyone who has ever worked in sales and/or marketing knows, for a fact, that if there were 20 guns in every single American home, and if our streets and playgrounds were strewn with bullet-riddled bodies and running with blood, Wayne LaPierre would still be out there dreaming up new ways to pimp guns and shouting down any and all objections.  It’s what he does. 

Now, because we’re Americans, Wayne has been afforded the opportunity to “speak his piece,” and the people who are serious about living out their lives out of the “line of fire” can feel free to ignore him, and his cohorts, henceforward.  And I seriously hope that they do, because, make no mistake: anyone who advocates for more guns in American society is an extremist.  And, by “extremist” I mean, “extremely”—self-centered, fearful, cynical, sociopathic—and any combination of the aforesaid.

Here’s data, for the data-driven, to support that view:

image

Anyone who can look at those figures and still argue that Americans need more guns is a stone-cold extremist who cares nothing for the collective social well-being of America.

And, while we’re on the topic, how can we explain the fact that it’s the same folks who tell us how “exceptional” America is, how lucky we are to live in this “shining City on a hill” that are warning that none of us are safe to walk the streets, to play or go to school without a firearm?  Why is that?  How did it come to pass?  That’s exceptional all right, exceptionally degenerate.

Wayne LaPierre would solve the problem by putting armed guards in every school in the land and he wants to do it before Christmas break is over.  He didn’t say how he’d propose to prevent the daily shootings in: malls, workplaces, college campuses, country roads, churches, or any of the other places in which 100 Americans lost their lives, this week, to gunfire.  I guess he’s taking this one step at a time . . .

There is a clue, however, that LaPierre and the NRA envision an innovative “free market” solution to our problem beyond simply selling more guns, and that clue is the mook he put in charge of what the NRA is calling a National School Shield Emergency Response Program, a “multifaceted” education and training program “available to every school in America free of charge” (which is a clue to how much gun retailers expect to haul in if this program gains traction).

Meet Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) who’s been tapped by LaPierre to lead the effort, and serve as its national director. 

Granted, it’s early days, but here’s what Asa thinks:

School safety is a complex issue with no simple, single solution.  But I believe trained, qualified, armed security is one key component among many that can provide the first line of deterrence as well as the last line of defense.

“Trained, qualified armed security” perhaps like those employed by his law firm’s client Xe Services? the private security company previously known as Blackwater and now known as Academi?  Academi sounds like a perfect name for a National School Shield Emergency Response Program, doesn’t it?

One thing that we can all agree on is that dithering is no longer an option on this issue.  As Tom Junod pointed out, our tendency is to

. . . respond in the most American way possible, with an outcry that will turn into a political debate, and a political debate that will turn, as all our debates do, into a recitation of our inalienable rights.

Meanwhile, there is no grass growing under the gun lobby in state legislatures across this great land—a final pre-holiday burst of business in states like Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and Georgia, this past week, was to dash off legislation to jump on the “arm the teachers” bandwagon, despite the fact that majorities at the state and federal levels don’t want to see such things happen.

So.  America.  Parents, teachers, cops, kids, Little League coaches and Lunch Ladies what’s it gonna be?  Safety, security and a right to the pursuit of happiness?  Or murder and mayhem?  Take a minute to think it over.  Then be as strong, as adamant and as steadfast in your convictions as Americans can be.

Posted by Bette Noir on 12/22/12 at 12:27 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsNutters

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Do they write “Academi” with a little heart over the “i”?

Do they write “Academi” with a little heart over the “i”?

@Origuy Smiley Face

Hmm:

...Hutchinson received more than $30,000 in contributions from the gun lobby during his years running for state and federal office. During a brief period in which he was registered as a lobbyist, in 2007, one of Hutchinson’s clients was Point Blank Body Armor, which bills itself as “the world’s leading manufacturer of body armor.”

A flak jacket—an indispensible part of the school uniform of the future?

There are people I love dearly who think more guns are the answer. I just don’t know what to say to them other than what you’ve said above. Thank you.

@Gravie—No.  Thank you.  Sometimes this feels like shrieking into a hurricane.  When one person says “I hear you!” it makes all the difference.  Thanks, again.

“Trained, qualified armed security” perhaps like those employed by his law firm’s client Xe Services? the private security company previously known as Blackwater and now known as Academi?  Academi sounds like a perfect name for a National School Shield Emergency Response Program, doesn’t it?

Once again, the grift goes on… they want further taxpayer dollars to go to their awful, awful friends, the murders will continue, and the grift will go on and on and on…

Great post, Bette (plus I love your full nym).  Your stuff is always good, IMHO.  This one too. The NRA increasingly lacks credibility even among many sane gun owner/hunters because of the NRA’s position on registration, assault rifles, big magazines and a host of other positions that border on advocating insurrection against the Federal Government.  Wayne has turned the NRA into a highly extremist, politicized fringe organization not that this was difficult to do.

Ironically, the NRA in the 1930s was a supporter of America’s first gun control laws and so no Constitutional issues involved, which shows just how far right the nation’s political discourse has become.

which shows just how far right the nation’s political discourse has become.

@mainmati—that’s a very important point that you make and one that has bewildered me for some time now.  It’s a weird sort of reactionary impulse to too much: affluence, freedom, success, stature that a certain %-age (happily, a minority %-age, so far) of us seem to go through. 

Perhaps there’s something humanly complex about arriving at your democracy via dissent. Like a rebellious adolescent’s secret longing to be reunited with authoritarianism?

BTW thanks for the kind words!

I recently saw some stats that even the majority of NRA members think there should be gun regulation; certainly the few NRA members I know tell me they supported it, even before the most recent horror show.  The thing is, the real money and power in the NRA is from the makers of guns and ammo - the NRA is now nothing but a front group for the manufacturers of this stuff. Their ad campaigns are easy to run since basically what they sell is (1) fear, and (2) penii enlargement (results not guaranteed). 

When 40% of the guns changing hands today do so at gun shows, where legal loopholes allow that to happen without any background check simply because it is a gun show, most people recognize that for the special bit of ‘Murikan ‘Ceptionalism that it is.  Crazy fucking stupid, and totalitarian/authoritarian to it’s very core.

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