September 14, 2019

Misplaced Rage

For the sake of full disclosure, I have been a proud member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) for several years. I own three pistols, and I have a concealed carry permit.

The horrific massacre in a Florida school has resulted in a vicious verbal assault upon the NRA by students, parents, politicians, and the media. Somehow, the “logic” goes something like this: A nineteen-year-old male was able to purchase a semi-automatic rifle. He then brought it to the school and killed seventeen people. Since the NRA supports the Second Amendment and, thus, the right of citizens to bear arms, the NRA enabled the killer to carry out the slaughter. Therefore, the NRA has blood on its hands. This calumny has been repeated ad nauseam for the last several days.

So, an organization whose purpose is to defend a Constitutional right is pilloried because of an evil act by an evil perpetrator. Well, let’s extend this so-called logic and see where it can take us.

Each year in the United States, approximately 10,000 people die in alcohol-related vehicle crashes. That breaks down to 29 per day or one person every 50 minutes.

Now let’s be honest. We all know that the alcohol industry in the United States spends enormous sums of money promoting the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Attractive men and women are featured in ads drinking beer or hard liquor, and they certainly seem to be having fun. The connection is clear: alcohol equals good looks and a good time. If you are not experiencing all the fun, then something must be wrong with you.

So, if a person drinks too much and causes a fatal car crash, then the alcohol industry must have blood on its hands. And, yet, there is no outrage here.

And speaking of vehicle fatalities, what about the automotive industry? In 2016, 37,461 people died in vehicle crashes. One of the main causes of these crashes was excessive speed.

How many cars commercials have you seen where the speed of the car is a main feature? Most of them, right? The visual impact of a sleek vehicle racing down an open highway is very alluring. Or maybe it’s a flashy car careening around corners to the sound of squealing tires. Ah, to drive like that looks really cool!

But, hey, almost 40,000 deaths! How can this be ignored? The car companies clearly have blood on their hands. And, yet again, there is no outrage here.

The movie industry is another culprit. How many movies glorify the use of weapons and mass killing? Often the hero wipes out forty or fifty bad guys with remarkable shooting skills. At the same time, the hero makes a joke about how one of his opponents died, and the audience laughs. What a terrible message to promote! Hollywood undoubtedly has blood on its hands. And, yet, for the third time, there is no outrage.

Now compare my examples above with the National Rifle Association. The NRA does not produce slick videos showing someone gleefully gunning down innocent people. It does not glorify war or violence. It supports law enforcement personnel and trains many of them to be better at what they do. The NRA encourages strict enforcement of gun laws already on the books in order to keep criminals off the streets. In fact, it was the NRA that lobbied to get the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in place to stop people from buying guns who are not permitted by law to do so. The NRA donates thousands of dollars to help various youth groups throughout the country. In schools, the NRA’s Eddie Eagle Gunsafe program educates young children on gun safety and what they should do if they come across a gun: Stop. Don’t touch. Run away. Tell a grownup.

Yes, the NRA, through its website, TV shows, and magazines, does provide information about various guns, and gun manufacturers can advertise on those venues. But, again, the information is factual, not glorified.

So, if we are going to use the same “logic” of the NRA bashers, then there should be outrage directed toward the alcohol, car, and Hollywood industries. The NRA, on the other hand, should be lauded as a responsible, conscientious organization.

But, of course, we know how the Left works. It will tell any lie, obfuscate any fact, and exploit any group (in this case, dead children) to achieve their ultimate goal of total gun confiscation. We’ve seen this act before.

A final thought: On the day 17 children were murdered in Florida, approximately 1,800 unborn babies were slaughtered in abortion mills across the United States.

As we mourn the loss of those 17 students in a school, we should keep in mind that aborted babies never even get the chance to go to school. And who mourns for them?

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Written by
Thomas Addis

THOMAS ADDIS is a retired high school teacher and published author, most recently authoring a children's book, A Gift of Light, which is available at Amazon. An M.A. graduate of Oakland University, he is Associate Editor of Catholic Journal. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and cycling.

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Written by Thomas Addis
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