Until this morning, the NRA hadn't made as much as a pro-gun peep since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting,
out of respect for the families of the victims because that's how the lobbying group prefers to deal with the aftermath of gun massacres. Today, NRA Executive Vice President/ghoul Wayne LaPierre finally addressed the issue by way of a demented press conference-cum-sales pitch in which he blamed the media and video games for the tragedy, said we should instantly turn every school in the country into an armed prison, and reiterated that the real victim here is the NRA. Here are some of his most deranged talking points.
Let's arm every school! (SERIOUSLY.)
LaPierre's most terrifying and aggressive suggestion was that we should protect our children by doing "whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation." Holy shit. Some direct quotes from a transcript of his crazy talk:
The only way to answer that question is to face up to the truth. Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them.
And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.
Or perhaps they are attempting to make sure kids don't shoot at each other on purpose/set off guns by accident?
I call on Congress today, to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation. And, to do it now to make sure that blanket safety is in place when our kids return to school in January.
Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work - and by that I mean armed security.
Right now, today, every school in the United States should plan meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers and local authorities - and draw upon every resource available - to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now. Every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation.
Every school in America needs to immediately identify, dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place right now. And the National Rifle Association, as America's preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years, is ready, willing and uniquely qualified to help.
I've calmed down since the press conference, but when I heard this — the phrase "cordon of protection" — I felt nauseous. The NRA wants to turn schools into armed prisons. Who would the wardens be? Well, the NRA knows "millions of qualified and active retired police, active, Reserve, and retired military, security professionals, certified firefighters, security professionals, rescue personnel, an extraordinary corps of patriotic, trained, qualified citizens" that could "join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every single school."
Ooh, I know a guy like that! George Zimmerman.
The NRA are the good guys! Video games/movies/music videos are the bad guys.
I was very intrigued when LaPierre said that there was a "dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal. There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people."
A shadow industry?! I thought he was going to start ranting about the black market or the Mafia. But no. He was talking about decades-old video games, movies, and music videos.
Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here's one: it's called Kindergarten Killers. It's been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn't or didn't want anyone to know you had found it?
Then there's the blood-soaked slasher films like "American Psycho" and "Natural Born Killers" that are aired like propaganda loops on "Splatterdays" and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it "entertainment."
So let me get this straight: guns don't kill people, pictures of guns kill people? What do you think those movies and video games and music videos are based on? Real, tangible guns — and the NRA profits from them.
Plus, other countries have bloody video games and movies, too. But they also tighten gun control laws after mass shootings, and therefore experience fewer gun massacres. Crazy, eh?
The baddest guy, however, is the media.
"Rather than face their own moral failings," LaPierre explained, "the media demonize gun owners."
We are pretty annoying on Twitter sometimes. But you can't kill dozens of elementary schoolers with a bunch of snarky tweets, so I'm not sure if that's relevant. This is my favorite anti-media quote:
Now, I can imagine the headlines, the shocking headlines you'll print tomorrow. "More guns," you'll claim, "are the NRA's answer to everything." Your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society, much less in our schools.
I mean, is that not what you're claiming? Is that not liiiiitterally what you are arguing for? LaPierre makes my job easier; he writes his own shocking headlines.
The NRA's ideal world: guns for everyone!
Guns for everyone! Guns in schools, guns in homes, guns in your Christmas stocking. I thought the creepiest part of today's conference was how often LaPierre relied on simplistic and fearmongery "good guy/bad guy" rhetoric, especially given his derision towards video games and movies.
The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
That is an actual thing he said. Repeatedly.
The truth is, that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters. People that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons, that no sane person can every possibly comprehend them. They walk among us every single day, and does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his attack on a school, he's already identified at this very moment?
Of course we're all worried about that. But we also know that good guys with guns don't actually stop bad guys with guns. That's a fantasy, and it's a fantasy that the NRA and gun makers employ to convince people to buy more guns. In an excellent CNN piece today, Paul Waldman pointed out that, despite what the NRA says, gun ownership has been declining for decades; gun sales are at a record high, but the number of American households with guns has fallen from 54% in the 1977 to 32% in 2010. "That means that existing gun owners are buying more and more guns," Waldman writes. "That 'responsible gun owner' politicians talk about, the one who reverentially passes down to his son the bolt-action rifle his father gave him? That guy isn't good for business. The manufacturers need the other guy, the one who fears he may not be all the man he could be."
The only not completely deluded words we heard during the NRA press conference came from a protestor who somehow made it into the room. (Two did, actually.) "The NRA is killing our children," she said. "We've got to stop the violence, and violence begins with the NRA. Stating the true facts that they are the perpetrators of the violence that is taking place in our schools and on our streets."
LaPierre barely registered her presence before resuming his unhinged, tone-deaf call to arms. Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, at least four people were killed and five more were injured (including 3 state troopers) when some guy started shooting people at a church. A gun for every pew?