The National Rifle Association just doesn’t get it. After appearing today before a White House Task Force on gun violence, the NRA was back to communicating the “same old, same old”; namely, that any gun control measures attack the Second Amendment and the right of all Americans to bear arms.
In a post meeting statement the NRA said the following: “While claiming that no policy proposals would be ‘prejudged,’ this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans. It is unfortunate that this administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen.” This, in response to what appears to be a desire by Washington and gun control advocates to put in place a better system of checks and balances, including more intense and universal background checks, encompassing gun shows and for private sales. Also being looked at closely by the Task Force: a possible ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines. And what says the NRA to this? They remind us that such weapons are not often used in the commission of violent crimes and that handguns are much more common. Yet, as we all know, such weapons in the wrong hands, do the most damage and are often the weapon of choice in mass death tragedies.
The main problem I have with the NRA is that they appear simply unwilling to consider or discuss any solutions that would take any guns off the street or owners/potential owners more responsible and accountable. In the wake of the Connecticut school massacre, the NRA initially said nothing for days before eventually suggesting a plan to install armed officers at every school in the country. More guns to curb gun violence? Does that make any sense to you? Could an entity be more obvious of a commitment to its constituency over the public good?
If I were advising the NRA, I would strongly recommend they stop hiding behind the Second Amendment and start doing the right thing – namely, take off the blinders and work toward true solutions that protect law abiding gun owners and sellers yet make it harder if not impossible for those with the greatest potential to do harm to secure weaponry. I would also remind the NRA that two can play at the game of quoting the words of our forefathers. After all, one need look no further than the Declaration of Independence for these unalienable rights: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. In this, our country continues to fail all victims of gun violence.