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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the NRA lashes out « Previous | |Next »
December 24, 2012

The National Rifle Association's promise of "meaningful contributions" to the US debate about gun violence consisted of a denunciation of the media, the president, the culture, mental illness, and violent video games. N.R.A. president Wayne LaPierre proposed that armed volunteer guards be stationed at every school in America on the grounds that signs proclaiming schools to be "gun-free zones" are practically an invitation to killers. More guns equal more safety.

CampbellPNRA.jpg Pat Campbell

According to the NRA it is the unknowable numbers of deranged monsters roaming the streets who were responsible for gun crime. The NRA's position is that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. It was red meat for the conservative base--the angry, ageing white male southern base who fear that they are losing their power.

Christy Wampole in her Guns and the Decline of the Young Man opinion piece in the New York Times says that it is not just the angry, ageing white male who is angry. Writing in the NYT's The Stone forum she says that young men in southern USA are having a very hard time of it. They are unemployed or underemployed, sullen and full of rage. Wampole asks:

Can you imagine being in the shoes of the one who feels his power slipping away? Who can find nothing stable to believe in? Who feels himself becoming unnecessary? That powerlessness and fear ties a dark knot in his stomach. As this knot thickens, a centripetal hatred moves inward toward the self as a centrifugal hatred is cast outward at others: his parents, his girlfriend, his boss, his classmates, society, life.

And they are still not allowed to cry!
Her argument is that the women and people of color who are skyrocketing to the top of the heap and displacing the white male and that there is need to cultivate empathy for the young white male, because it appears to them that life seems to have stacked the cards against them.

Wampole doesn't really address the world view of the NRA's base. This world is one of a hyper toxic masculinity, where civil society has broken down, and people are paralyzed with fear. In this world the only way men can prove their worth--stop other men laughing at them--- is through a fistfight or a gunfight.

In the light of this Wampole’s cultivation of “empathic habit” through development of a school curriculum that centers around an empathic practice, particularly in courses such as history, social studies, literature, and political science” doesn't really cut it. The NRA's more guns only means more violence.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:07 AM | | Comments (8)


The NRA has consistently resisted any move towards tightened gun controls after gun rampages over the past 20 years.

The best argument the NRA could bring to the table, after a week of "respective" was "more guns". They must gave spent their time watching videos such as Natural Born KIllers.

The behind-the-scenes lobbying to prevent any political tightening of gun controls is mixed with a blanket refusal to respond to criticism.

The NRA see the federal law enforcement agents as "jack-booted thugs who harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens.

The NRA's strategy is always the same. After every gun massacre they maintain several days or weeks of silence; then, when the initial shock and anger have subsided, they mobilises the full resources of the NRA to resist any post-massacre moves towards gun controls using fear-mongering methods.

This time around they have ruled out all compromise and have decided to take on Obama's proposal for a ban on military-style assault weapons.

Gun laws are becoming more relaxed than strengthened in the US. Michigan has passed a law to allow concealed weapons in public schools and daycare centres .

So... "armed volunteer guards" ... at schools???

And how does that address the vast majority of gun crimes? You know... those which DO NOT happen at school???

When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail!

Here in The Philippines they have pretty much implemented the NRA's proposals. Armed security guards are everywhere - entrances to shopping malls, next to bank doorways etc. It's impossible to walk in the streets without seeing numerous people holding shotguns or with holstered handguns.

The result is something like you can see in old Western movies, with daily stories of shoot-outs and collateral damage. Lots of alleged criminals seem to get shot dead instead of ever making it to trial, but it hasn't had any appreciable deterrent effect. It's also one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists; more than 150 have been killed since 1986, usually by shooters on motorbikes.

In other words guns and gun violence are just taken for granted, and this is the kind of society that the NRA and its conservative apologists seem to want for the USA. What a screwed-up country.

Too many nuts and desperates in America. I would like to carry a gun there too.
Hmm shooting criminals and journalists. How do they tell them apart.