Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, has done it again. It meaning he managed to make himself look even more extreme by writing an immoderate article posted under the Guns and Gear section of The Daily Caller. The last part exemplifies exactly how ingrained guns are in center right politics. One can only wonder if these sites really believe Obama is out to take everyone’s guns, or if they just want us to believe it.
“All over this country, tens of millions of Americans are already preparing to Stand and Fight to protect their families and homes” wrote LaPierre before adding “These good Americans are prudently getting ready to protect themselves.”
“It has always been sensible for good citizens to own and carry firearms for lawful protection against violent criminals who prey on decent people” LaPierre writes.
It almost sounds as if LaPierre is saying that gun owners are good while those against owning guns are bad. Is that what he’s saying? In LaPierre’s world, good gun owners do not commit flagitious acts of violence. As if the issue with guns are only the people being murdered.
What about suicide and accidental deaths. We do need to rethink every aspect of our gun culture, including but not limited to guns in pop culture. The fact is, we lose far too many people to gun deaths.
Here are some statistics to think about.
According to Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Between 1955 and 1975, the Vietnam War killed over 58,000 American soldiers – less than the number of civilians killed with guns in the U.S. in an average two-year period.”
Plus, “In the first seven years of the U.S.-Iraq War, over 4,400 American soldiers were killed. Almost as many civilians are killed with guns in the U.S., however, every seven weeks.”
According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, “Over 100,000 people in America are shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, accidents, or by police intervention” every year; 31, 537 of those people die of average. 18,000 of those people are children or teenagers. On average 282 people are shot in murders, assaults, suicides and suicide attempts every day; 86 of those people dying. Of those shot, 50 of them are children or teenagers, leading to 8 children or teens dying from gun shots. These statistics are saddening.
The cost of gun deaths reaches Billions, while firearm makers are flush from sales of these death machines. According to the market research firm IBISWorld, U.S. firearm companies earn around $1 billion last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that the 30,000 plus gun deaths every year cost tens of billions of dollars. Additionally, the exact cost of gun violence in terms of dollars is not completely understood.
“Federal agencies are handcuffed by laws limiting their research on the subject -- the result of lobbying by opponents of gun control law” and the “American Medical Association and other health care groups to treat gun injuries and deaths as a matter of public health have been met with fierce resistance from gun-rights activists and politicians” writes Jeffery Young.
The American Medical Association believes that gun violence cost the healthcare system, which in turn cost everyone else paying for insurance, and soon it will cost everyone paying taxes. This is because Obamacare will help expand healthcare coverage to millions of people who go without today.
Looking at this data should make you wonder why exactly LaPierre would write something like this:
“A heinous act of mass murder—either by terrorists or by some psychotic who should have been locked up long ago—will be the pretext to unleash a tsunami of Gun Control” writes LaPierre.
He is ignoring the data above to make a case built out of fear.
“After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all” writes LaPierre.
And he writes its Obama using tragedy to advance political agendas. What is he trying to do when he warns of the coming collapse from Obama spending too much money?
“Nobody knows if or when the fiscal collapse will come, but if the country is broke, there likely won’t be enough money to pay for police protection” LaPierre warns.
“Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival. It’s responsible behavior, and it’s time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that.”
This austere version of a future where the citizens will have to police themselves is aimed at the same people who don’t trust government; and not just laissez-faire, outright fear of government doing anything. This kind of language serves to sell millions of weapons; and does little to help keep the streets safer. The kind of people that would stand by this apocalyptic version of the future also see the NRA spokesperson as being beyond reproach.
LaPierre even goes as far as to write that gun owners will have to take it upon themselves to sit in where the government fails to protect them.
“Gun owners are not buying firearms because they anticipate a confrontation with the government. Rather, we anticipate confrontations where the government isn’t there—or simply doesn’t show up in time.”
LaPierre’s warning to pro-gun control forces was revelatory, grim and possible slightly brutal, depending on how you want to interpret what he wrote.
“The enemies of the Second Amendment will be met with unprecedented defiance, commitment and determination. We will Stand and Fight” LaPierre wrote.
Fighting of course meant clogging up the courts with case after case and begging members for more and more money. LaPierre had the nerve to complain about the media’s supposed “hundreds of millions of dollars of free advertising” which sounds more like a guestimate than a real number; despite the $57 million in real dollars the group spent in 2010 on communicating with its four-million members. The grass root membership is where the group’s real power resides. Although there is debate on whether their image has really taken a hit.
It’s clear that the NRA is planning on using this gun control issue as a recruiting tool.
LaPierre writes that “Every gun owner should be an active member of the NRA. Every gun owner should be sure that every member of his or her family is an active member.”
The whole thing would be laughable if the stakes were not so high. The article was laced with “racial overtones” and its questions about America’s future; how in the world this guy justifies saying people have to arm themselves with assault rifles and extended clips is beyond me. It’s just one more thing that the Republican Party should back away from but won’t.
This article was not just misguided, it is dangerous. This is another straw on the camel’s back, and I have a feeling it’s about to break; leaving the Republican Party shattered for years to come. Of course that’s assuming Democrats continue to be as masterful as they have been; 2009 proves election goodwill is fleeting.