Usually, we try to adhere to the old saying that if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
But there are times when that precept is sorely tested.
The latest example involves NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and his organization’s answer to mass killings of children.
Leading up to LaPierre’s press conference, the American public had been promised the NRA was going to offer “meaningful” contributions to the discussion of how to prevent massacres like the one that took 20 youngsters and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Yet, what LaPierre offered a mere couple of hours after church bells in the region and beyond had tolled out 26 times for the victims was finger pointing, excuses and a complete misreading of reality.
After blaming the media (but of course) and the entertainment industry with its violent movies and video games, and politicians who seek solutions via new laws and regulations, LaPierre turned his attention to mentally ill Americans, not as people who need help but as the culprits.
“The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them. They walk among us every 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? ... How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?”
Americans of all political persuasions have realized that it can’t be business as usual when it comes to guns. Yet here was LaPierre again wrapping himself in the Second Amendment to see that nothing changes. One can sum up LaPierre’s position with his comment that “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
What LaPierre called for was actually more guns, not fewer.
“I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January.”
LaPierre also essentially called on Americans to form militias or armed posses to patrol our communities, all in the name of protecting our children.
What LaPierre wants is no answer. That leaves finding a real answer to the rest of us.