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Is the NRA doing for Gun Rights what the WBC is doing for Christianity?

I have to confess that I stole that headline from Fark, which phrased it as “The NRA: Doing for gun rights what the Westboro Baptist Church does for Christianity since 1871″.

It is too bad that the NRA couldn’t keep their fool mouths shut after the Conn. school shooting. Their initial statement pissed off just about everyone, including gun owners. But they just doubled down.

Appearing on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, NRA spokesperson Wayne LaPierre said:

Israel had a whole lot of school shootings, until they did one thing. They said we’re going to stop it and they put armed security in every school and they have not had a problem since then.

But Israeli security experts quickly said that LaPierre doesn’t know what he’s talking about. A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry said “What removed the danger was not the armed guards.” Another expert pointed out that Israel very strict laws licensing and controlling firearms, saying what should be obvious:

In a country where hundreds of thousands of people carry firearms, it is essential to manage the training, licensing and authorization of those who wish to be armed.

You know you’re in trouble when you compliment Israel by using them as a good example, and they respond that you are full of crap.

Back in the US, the response to NRA statements has been equally negative. Even Senator Joe Lieberman said “I have found the statements by the NRA over the last couple of days to be really disheartening, because the statements seem to not reflect any understanding about the slaughter of children.” Congressman Chris Murphy (D-Conn) called LaPierre’s interview “the most revolting, tone deaf statement I’ve ever seen.”

People who have followed this blog for a while know that I believe in the Second Amendment right for people to own guns. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have common sense laws that require background checks, gun training, and sensible safety rules for all gun owners. And most people — including gun owners — agree. Why is the NRA so out of touch with their own constituency?

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8 Comments

  1. Arthanyel wrote:

    Because like many organizations with a high percentage of conservative members, it has been hijacked by the extremists. When you begin from a premise that your world view is the only one that exists and if something challenges it you have to twist the facts to fit your preconceived narrative, you end up like the NRA – or Faux News.

    And as I have said on other threads that makes honest dialog about real problem solving nearly impossible.

    Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink
  2. abra1 wrote:

    Gun owners have never been the NRA’s primary constituency. It has always been a manufacturers’ and dealers’ lobbying organization and have the primary goal if selling a many guns a possible and they shrewdly managed to convince their customers they have the same interests. LaPierre managed to reinforce their message the gun ownership is under threat for a key group of prior who have spent a large amount of money buying up things they anticipate going off the market… 3.5yrs worth of high capacity magazines of one distributor. It never has been, never will be an interest group representing the average citizen gun owner.

    Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    Good point.

    Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink
  4. Austin 3:16 wrote:

    Source = Guardian Newspaper

    Average firearms per 100 persons.

    Israel = 7.3

    USA = 88.8

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink
  5. Arthanyel wrote:

    Abrai – unfortunately that is liberal propaganda and inaccurate. I have been a life member of the NRA since 1982, and I do gunsmithing – I have decades of inside experience with the NRA and they are not just a shill for manufacturers. It’s not a conspiracy – they actually do think they are defending the rights of individual gun owners, and most gun owners agree.

    Unfortunately the leadership is extremist, and so they block even RATIONAL discussions about how to reduce gun violence. And for that I think they are crazy – and LaPierre’s response to Newton was ludicrous.

    But its not a front designed to fool people into buying more guns.

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink
  6. Arthanyel wrote:

    Austin 3:16

    What’s your point?

    Average firearms per 100 persons

    Switzerland = 45.7
    Finland = 32
    Sweden = 31.6
    Norway = 31.3
    France = 31.2
    Canada = 30.8

    I could go on. Yes, there are a lot of guns in the United States. The actual percentage of households with guns is higher in Switzerland than in the US, but many US gun owners have a large number of guns.

    Also note that thee are FAR MORE gun collectors in the US (as a percentage) than any other country, and we have a big country, so some number of those “extra weapons” are antiques that are never fired.

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink
  7. Austin 3:16 wrote:

    Hey ARTHANYEL,

    My point was that comparing Israel to the USA isn’t exactly a fair comparison.

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    Austin, that’s also what the Israeli defense experts said. But their bigger point is that in Israel, they are defending against terrorists. In the US, we are defending against nut cases. Completely different situation.

    Any way you look at it, LaPierre’s statement is just silly.

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

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