Click here to read the National Rifle Association’s response to President Obama’s op ed on gun control, published on Sunday. I’ve got to say the NRA’s dietribe [sic] is a lot funnier than the President’s. “The primary reason why tens of millions of Americans own firearms is that they fear violent zombies roaming the streets uninterred.” Oops! My bad. Typo. They fear “violent criminals roaming the street undeterred.” The NRA quickly loses its sense of humor and gets all petulant, accusing the Brady Campaign, VPC and MAIG of exploiting the Loughner spree killing. Which they did, but is that really the way you answer a call for consensus? And then the NRA goes after the Prez, all guns blazing . . .
“Your record as a public official is anything but supportive of the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” the NRA chides. The gun rights group proceeds to rub the President’s pre-presidential stance on gun control, and accuse of him of guilt by association: “You surrounded yourself with advisors who have advocated against the second amendment for years . . .”
I get it, but it’s kinda hard NOT to do that when you’re a Democratic President, n’est ce pas? The NRA’s screed advises the President to get tough on criminals. And then tells the Prez to call on the media . . .
. . . to refrain from giving deranged criminals minute-by-minute coverage of their heinous acts, which only serves to encourage copycat behavior. If media outlets won’t show a fan running onto the field during a baseball game because they don’t want to encourage that behavior by others – surely they can listen to law enforcement experts and refuse to air the photographs, video messages or Facebook postings of madmen and murderers.
I’m not saying that’s a major league digression, because that would be a bad joke. But c’mon, really guys? A) Do you really want the President of the United States telling the media how to do their jobs, and B) Isn’t it better to let that bat shit crazy stuff go through so that Americans know the real source of the problem? I mean, isn’t that exactly what happened with the Loughner killing, thus knocking the wind out of the sails of the gun grabbers?
In short, the NRA letter is a swing and a miss. Like the President’s op ed, the NRA missive scores a direct hit on their base, but fails to do anything to educate those who don’t know much about gun control, and don’t really want to know much about gun control.
The NRA should have kept it simple: raising the low-hanging fruit that “gun safety advocates” have in their sights: banning high capacity magazines and tightening various statistically irrelevant “loopholes.” The longest journey starts with a single step. They easiest way to stop that journey is to just stick your foot out and let the aspiring traveler trip over it.