Drop Your NRA Membership: Wake Up and Stop Being Fooled

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EDITORIAL

When are the people of the United States of America going to stop allowing themselves to be fooled by radical extremists on the political right?

If the National Rifle Association does not lose thousands of members after the insensitive and intransigent comments about the Connecticut school shootings, the public will get what they deserve with more of these shootings in the future and continued gridlock in Washington.

In the words of Politico, a conservative-leaning Web news outlet based in D.C., the NRA “stunned Washington observers Friday when the group’s CEO announced a plan to install armed guards at every school in the country — its response to the Connecticut shooting last week that left 20 children dead.”

The group’s leader, Wayne LaPierre, called on Congress to implement what he dubbed “the National School Shield program.”

But wait a minute. These are the same conservatives who are enraged that the Republican leadership in Congress might compromise with President Obama on taxes and the budget to avoid the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the rich on Dec. 31, when taxes will go up for everyone and across-the-board federal spending cuts could be triggered which could lead to a recession in the new year.

Are people still willing to be fooled by these Karl Rove-style political misdirection comments?

Instead of taking responsibility and offering some reasonable offer of compromise to help families deal with grief and the country deal with the problem of nuts running around with automatic weapons, exploding bullets and high-capacity clips, the NRA decided to call on Congress to come up with the money to put armed cops in every school in the country? Where is that money supposed to come from?

The representatives they supported for Congress won’t even come to the table to compromise on tax cuts for the top 1%. How in the world are we supposed to pay for this insane proposal?

As a gun owner and a believer in the entire Constitution, including the First Amendment as well the Second, I found these comments too offensive not to speak up.

As someone who spent a decade conducting media research who came to disagree with the studies letting the media off the hook for partial liability in feeding the violent frenzy we face in this country with their sensationalized coverage of violent crime, I don’t usually even get involved in covering sensational crime, since I believe it is often a distraction from other matters of public affairs.

Cable news is especially guilty of keeping people glued to the screen when one of these incidents happens, even though the broadcast news outlets inevitably get the story wrong for hours and even days. When there is no celebrity news to cover, and a school shooting happens, they turn up the volume and turn every school shooter into a damn celebrity. This feeds the ratings, circulation and advertising budgets of corporate news organizations who never seem to be able to connect the dots on the social problems that cause these incidents.

Whether it is rampant poverty or political opposition to national health care and a real safety net for the poor and mentally ill, or broken families made worse by the political opposition to birth control and family planning, all crimes have a root cause. These things are never addressed when a shootings happens. They are covered as if we all get to watch a live reality show of crime in a world gone mad.

The world has not gone mad. Just this one little shooter and his crazy mother, who stockpiled arms and made them freely available to a son with obvious social skills issues. There is no way to hold them accountable now. They are both dead.

I am sick of hearing these talking heads always say this is a time to have a “national discussion” of the problem, whether it is the possession of guns or the problems of the mentally ill. What they mean is that it is a good time for them to have a discussion on TeeVee about it, while the people watch in horror.

I would love nothing more than to have an actual discussion of this issue, even with the people of my home state, but of course there’s only one crazy forum of anonymous idiots where this happens, at the Newhouse-owned monopoly media in my home state at al.com. That is not a discussion. It is an anonymous idiot-fest.

Not that it will do any good, but I have a question for all the paid personnel at all the non-profit environmental groups in Alabama who were not only willing to team up with the NRA but seemed proud to do so to pass a 20-year renewal of the Forever Wild land conservation program in November.

Are you proud of that political partnership now? Do you have the guts to make a comment here to publicly address this issue? I’m not holding my breath. I’m out of here.

There are even many so-called “conservative” Democrats in my home state who are card-carrying members of the NRA so they can appeal to conservative voters and get re-elected every year to the Legislature and other offices. Yet we know every dollar raised by the NRA goes to give campaign contributions to Republicans who toe their party line on not just guns, but “no new taxes” as well. I urge all Democrats and Republicans to do something patriotic for your country today — cancel your memberships in the NRA.

© 2012, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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