The NRA’s response to the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary – and any other mass shooting in the country for that matter – has been one of massive scapegoating: women, teachers, video games, the entertainment industry, hurricanes, terrorists, the doorman at the school, and the mentally ill. Everyone and everything but guns, gun owners and gun lobbyists who have spent years easing gun regulationsmor across the country making it possible to obtain guns easier than a car — were responsible.
More specifically, The National Rifle Association, which is the nation’s largest gun advocates lobby, attributed the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, to “school free zones,” arguing that “genuine monsters” (other than the proponents of gun ownership galore that is) are attracted to schools because its administrators and teachers are not armed.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” NRA low life and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said. He urged Congress to “act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation.” La Pierre shoveled out blame far and wide, going after reporters for glorifying killers like Adam Lanza, violent movies, video games, and music videos. He tore into gun safety advocates for exploiting the tragedy for “political gain,” targeted President Obama for underfunding police initiatives in schools, and said that the media demonized “local gun owners” and spread “misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next violence is a new cycle away.” “Add another hurricane, terrorist attack, or some other natural of man-made disaster, and you’ve got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization,” he said.
Now it is the fault of law abiding citizens who don’t sleep with assault rifles under their pillows that this happened? Clearly, according to the NRA, they asked for it since not owning a gun is an invitation to being gunned down and shot in places you ought to feel safe. This is the same garbage rhetoric used in rape culture where the victims become the accused and are told that having behaved or dressed in certain ways provoked and justified, or at the least made it “understandable”, why they were assaulted and raped. That is a very disconcerting position to take as it is incredibly manipulative, twisting the victim/perpetrator position around, thus indirectly assign blame to victims for the atrocities committed against them rather than trying to find ways to minimize such atrocities and violence and thus really change anything about the status quo.
Scapegoat and Round up the Mentally Ill While We’re At It
La Pierre also called for the nation to create an “active national database of the mentally ill”, a brilliant idea that not only will not violate any privacy laws (HIPAA), it will also most definitely not lead to further stigmatization and marginalization of people with psychological disabilities – whom he apparently lumps in together with violent criminals – and discourage care-seeking, diagnosis, and treatment.
I don’t even know where to begin. Twenty families are burying their children in this holiday season, children who will never experience life and all its wonders, not to mention the psychological trauma the parents and families of those children will experience for the rest of their lives because of the actions of a criminal with easy access to weapons of mass murder, and all the NRA can come up with is basically blaming the victims and their parents for the outcome? Citing hurricanes and the media and Hollywood and the lack of tools of murder?
La Pierre and his supporters are nothing but disgusting, contemptible, frightened, small-minded fear mongers who are placing the alleged rights of a bunch of people to own tools of murder and mass murder above the life and safety of people.
There is just something indescribably vile about a proponent of unregulated access to guns. This was an opportunity for the NRA to grow, to advocate responsbile gun ownership and regulations like, for example, creating a national database of gun owners and requiring gun registration and other institutional controls similar to car ownership and operation. Instead, all they could come up with was shameless scapegoating, deflecting of responsibility and advocating the discrimination of vulnerable populations, such as the mentally ill, who are, frankly, more likely to be victimized by violence than to perpetrate it.
Mental Illness Does NOT Equal Violent Behavior
The final straw, of course, was calling for a national database of the mentally ill. Not a national database of gun owners, but of the mentally ill.
Ok Heinrich Himmler.
What will be next? Round them all up into so called sanctuary districts, for their own protection of course, or make them wear some kind of a plaque on their garments so they can be easily identified?
What is outrageous is that not only mental illness is being equated with violent, criminal behavior but that all people with mental illnesses – which covers a broad spectrum of disabilities, most of which are not violent – are being lumped together as this one entity society must be aware and scared of. The reality is that there are millions of people suffering from mental illness who would never engage in such a vile, inhumane act of mass murdering children.
Someone who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, after, hmmm.., let’s say having been a victim of violence with guns, or a school shooting, is technically considered as suffering from a mental illness. Someone suffering from depression and anxiety taking medication is considered an individual suffering from a mental disability; a person suffering from severe anxiety is considered mentally ill. To lump these people together with violent criminals – who may or may not be mentally ill, – becasue remember, not all people with mental illness are dangerous, and not all killers are mentally ill, meeting standards of psychiatric diagnosis – is as low as it can get and the height of irresponsibility and inhumanity.
La Pierre played quite expertedly into the irrational fears and scapegoating mentality of the minuscule minded gun wielding, Jesus and cross hugging citizens of this nation by making references to those evil “killers, robbers, rapists, gang members” who have “spread like cancer in every community across our nation” and from whom we need to protect ourselves by owning an arsenal of assault weapons and other tools for mass murder.
The truth, of course, is that the only cancer having spread through society is the policies the likes of La Pierre and his organization of unregulated gun ownership advocates and the mindless tools that follow them advocate, believing that the answer to the problems of crime – or any problem for that matter in society – is arming every man, woman and child with all sorts of weaponry and sending them off into the world, as if guns – instruments aimed to kill – make us safer.
Imagine the principal of Sandy Hook had been armed with an assault rifle and after the first shot was fired and people were running around in panic she had jetted out of her office with an AR 15 shooting into a crowd of children running in panic. According to the NRA, that would have been the solution, which, of course, is another comforting lie.
Living in a society with ordinary citizens armed to the teeth like guerrilla fighters, taking justice into their own hands, like George Zimmerman, and shooting into a crowd with moving targets, does not make us safer. This Dirty Harry and John Wayne mentality is only good for when the zombie apocalypse or another end-of-world scenario – mostly to be found in science fiction – is upon us. It is not the route rational people in a civilized society held together by the rule of law and the Constitution they allegedly trust in, ought to embark on. We do not want to send our kids to school with the likes of George Zimmerman prowling the halls.
NRA’s Response to the Carnage at Sandy Hook At a Glance:
1) Create a police state – TSA style security at every corner. A George Zimmerman in every neighborhood. I mean, we are all totally grateful that he protected us from the evils of a 17 year old child holding candy and we clearly need more of that.
2) Arm every man, woman and child with assault rifles like they were Snake Plissken. The more guns and tools of mass murder lie around, the safer we all will be since human beings are totally not prone to irrationality and rage over something like someone cutting them off on the freeway or giving them the wrong look at the grocery store etc.
3) Scapegoat everyone and everything for this: Women, pacifists, the mentally ill, video games and movies, entertainment industry, the doorman at the school…everyone but gun owners and the gun – a tool solely designed to take lives, nothing else. Apparently the gun is a very misunderstood tool for murder.
Great America. Moving towards a plutocratic police state one gun wielding, Jesus chest-thumping, fear mongering, bigoted patriot at a time.