Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The NRA responds to Newtown shooting out of fear, not sympathy

Running scared

Posted by Chris Haire on Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 4:40 PM

After four tone-deaf days, the National Rifle Association of America finally released a statement yesterday afternoon about the assault rifle massacre in Newtown, Conn.

The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters — and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.

Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.

Uh. Bullshit.

I mean, nothing at all would have prevented the NRA from releasing the first graf. Nothing.

Truth be told, the only reason the NRA waited as long as they did was because they wanted to see how the people and the politicians reacted to the Sandy Hook school shooting.

Perhaps they were hoping that the Twitter chatter would turn into a pisspot of partisan bickering like it did after the Gabby Giffords shooting. Or perhaps they were hoping that talking head-talking points controversy would focus on whether nor not pop culture was to blame for the shooting, which is what happened after Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Aurora, Colo.

But none of those things have happened to any substantial degree after Newtown. The conversation has stayed fixed on gun control. And so the NRA finally had to speak up.

Which brings us to the latter part of their statement:

The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.

The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, DC area on Friday, December 21.

Details will be released to the media at the appropriate time.

A meaningful contribution? Interesting. I honestly don't recall a single time in the past when the NRA has made a statement like this. In fact, it almost sounds like they are willing to, I don't know, give the A-OK to at least some new gun control efforts.

Now, do I think that the folks at the NRA feel at least partially to blame for this tragedy? I mean, that would make sense. But I don't think they do. They just are having a damn difficult time defending themselves. The old tricks just aren't working.

Normally after an event like this, the folks at the NRA would proclaim that mass shootings only happen because the victims don't have access to guns; no one is there with a gun to stop the murder before he begins his rampage . But this time that doesn't work. After all, the first victim in this case, Nancy Lanza, not only owned guns and was an experienced shot, the guns that the killer Adam Lanza used to murder 20 school children were hers.

The truth of the matter is, the NRA knows they are under the gun. They know that the organization itself — and the so-called right to own an assault rifle that they championed — is under fire. And they are scared.

It's about fucking time.

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