I never thought I’d live to see the day the gun-control issue could bring together persons such Sen. Barbra Boxer (D-Calf.) and the NRA but in this crazy world you never know what you can expect. And if takes a horrible crime such as the Sandy Hook massacre to bring such strange bedfellows together in agreement, then perhaps some good can come out of such tragedy.
But it’s not good when it comes to when to heart of freedom, which is what the Second Amendment is about (NRA bumperstickers after all say “Defend Freedom”), when the NRA decides to ally itself with authoritarianism which its “alliance” with Boxer is about. For the NRA, in its recent press conference on Sandy Hook, basically allied itself with Boxer’s proposal to have armed National Guard troopers guarding elementary schools by calling for armed police officers, paid for by the Federal Government, to do the exact same thing.
The disappointing part of the NRA’s press conference which took no questions, was the fact its tone and language put the organization not on the side of freedom, which claims to be about, but authoritarianism. Its remedies, taken to their logical conclusion, is a garrison state with official lists of mentally ill people and with censorship. Libertarians, who have been their most valuable allies in the gun control debate, could only be disappointed in their presentation. Ron Paul thinks they’ve gone mad.
Does the NRA really want a society where everyone must be armed (like the town of Kennesaw, Georgia) rather than just having the freedom to have firearms? Force the Amish to own guns? If so, then this only lends more evidence to support the charge the NRA is simply bedfellows to the gun industry and working more to enrich them (which in turns funds the NRA) than looking out for the Constitutional rights of its membership. People have the right to own a gun then they should also have the right not own a weapon or allow weapons in their home, place of business or school. Some schools and public buildings may decide to allow licensed teachers or administrators to have guns on school grounds (which they are trying to do in Texas) and that’s fine if they wish to do so or have retire policemen or police officers on school grounds too. Fine, they should pay for them themselves.
Some states and communities may try to tighten existing gun laws (which didn’t work in Connecticut) and others may do what I had mentioned above. Whatever happens, one hopes the hysteria caused by this evil act does wind up as a replay of the aftermath of 9-11, which gave us the Patriot Act. To prevent this, the NRA and other conservatives need to be critiqued and need keep their heads instead of losing them in the mad rush to “do something”. It’s doubtful Wayne LaPierre wrote the statement he made. In that case, as a lobbyist, it will be easier to walk back what he said when talking to politicians in the gun control debate. But if this is a new line of argument, then the NRA is doing a great disservice to its membership by making it more friendless and isolated than ever before (and there’s no Charlton Heston out there to restore its credibility) with a demographic group that isn’t exactly a growing part of the populace. They had better be a lot wiser than they’ve acted so far.