I am waiting for the public statement from the NRA in response to the
Newtown murders. According to Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe, so is the Republican Party. Joe is the lone conservative show piece at MSNBC, usually surrounded by liberals each morning, including his C0-host Mika Brzezinski in case you don’t know. I have mixed feelings about his opinions, especially that time when he repeatedly said that “they hate us” apparently referring to Muslims worldwide. I thought that was a bit simplistic. I tape the show and often fast forward when Joe is talking.
But I give him credit for often criticizing the current Republican Party for fashioning “a brand” that is attracting fewer buyers every day. Over the course of the election, his reaction to the Republican campaign was often a head scratching response to disarray: “What are they doing?”
That is also his reaction to the Republican silence regarding the Newtown massacre. He had invited a “Republican leader” to appear on his show, but that person declined. He wanted to wait for the NRA announcement today, which says a lot about the weight the NRA carries within the party.
Joe described well the fundamental resistance by NRA zealots to control semi-automatics and large ammunition clips, the usually unstated fear that eventually the federal government will become so oppressive that armed rebellion will become necessary and they want to be armed and ready.
As Scarborough put it: The Republicans “are afraid of a small fragment of NRA members who believe the federal government is coming to kick down their doors, kill them and seize their property.” It is important to keep that in mind when considering this issue. That attitude cannot be reasoned with, especially because it often remains unstated.
That is the hard core nub of resistance to gun control, but there are lighter layers of resistance not so politically extreme but still strong. Many NRA members see the matter as a slippery slope that will lead to an ever increasing limitation on gun rights. For those wanting to change gun laws, I think it useful to understand the somewhat varied expressions of resistance by gun advocates.
Below are two stories by Washington Post reporters that help illuminate the issue from the perspective of various “gun lovers”. Not surprisingly, gun sales are booming right now, given gun owner fears of future restrictions. This report stems from interviews at a gun dealership in North Carolina. And this report resulted from a visit to the NRA Museum in Virginia.
Since writing the above I have watched the statement made by Wayne Lapierre of the NRA. If you have any sense of the NRA, it would be easy to imagine what he proposed. Referring to Newtown, he said that no one has raised the most important question of all: How do we protect our children today? And his impassioned answer was to put an armed security guard in every school in America as soon as possible while also taking to task the violent nature of our movie and video game culture. That was basically it, except for a few protesters who made themselves heard and seen here and there.
He did not take questions by reporters, but will be on Meet the Press with David Gregory this Sunday and he said next week NRA representatives will be available to comment on his proposal and answer questions.
I will wait to comment as well as I want to think about the issue more and read reactions from others. By the way, I will not post this Tuesday, as it is Christmas, but will return next Friday.