I haven’t had a chance to watch the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) press conference yet but based on the live blog done by Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned I’m not at all impressed. First I’ll point out the following notes:
Wayne now says the media is trying to hide a dirty secret that there are violent video games. He highlights a game called Kindergarten Killers that’s been online for 10 years.
Now he’s talking hurricanes and natural disasters. He then cites music videos that show violence – but who is airing music videos these days? He says that this stuff is the worst form of pornography.
He says that these issues bring cruelty into homes. He says that kids witness 16,000 murders in media by the time they reach 18. He says that the media is to blame.
Is this what the NRA has resorted to? They’re seriously trying to imply violent video games and media is, at least partially, responsible for the real violence we experience? Blaming violent media has been a favorite pass time for many groups over the ages but the simply fact is such blame assumes individuals are incapable of separating fiction from reality. I grew up playing violent video games, watching violent movies and televisions shows, and listening to violent metal yet I have never initiated violence against another human being. This is because I understand the difference between fiction and reality, as do most people. Blaming violent video games for real world violence pissed me off when I was a gamer and still pisses me off today. I’m not surprised to hear LaPierre trying to find something, anything, to blame but he should have focused his blame on issues that can actually lead to violence.
NRA, as the top instructor, is highlighting their law enforcement training programs and offering them to communities. He notes that NRA did use these training programs to help in WWII. He says they are developing a new model call National School Shield. It’s going to focus on many facets – access to schools and teacher training.
They have tapped former Rep. Asa Hutchinson to lead the National School Shield. NRA will pay for it. Schools get it free of charge. No money required by schools or communities to get the materials to get them talking about how to secure their school.
Wayne notes that we should be securing our schools at least as much as sports stadiums.
This concerns me as well. Securing schools as much as sports stadiums requires making schools even more like prisons than they already are. Many major stadiums have metal detectors, cameras everywhere, and guards performing pat downs on those entering the venue. Since stadiums are private institutions I don’t care how they run their operations. In his apparently desperate attempt to the Connecticut shooting on something LaPierre hasn’t considered the consequences of making schools more like prison. If he believes violent media causes violence in society then submitting children to prison style security is likely to make them more subservient to the state. As the state has a vested interest in disarm the populace it would seem counterproductive to the goal of protecting gun rights to instill even more obedience into today’s youth. Maintaining gun rights requires a populace that will stand up to the police state, not submit to it. Having children go through metal detectors, submit to searches of their persons and belongings, and being under the constant eye of Big Brother can only instill authoritarianism, which directly opposes the stated goals of the NRA.
I don’t want to spend all of my time lambasting the NRA without pointing at the conduct of gun control advocates. For some time now gun control advocates have been demanding a conversation about gun. Now that we’re having that conversation how do you think they’re conducting themselves? I’ll let you be the judge:
We have a Code Pink infiltrator getting in the way of Wayne. The Code Pink protestor is getting more attention since he’s being allowed to scream. The security didn’t remove the guy early enough.
Another Code Pink protester with credentials. She started screaming from the beginning. Now the media is interrupting Wayne on the protests. And he then starts attacking the media again. This is clearly a speech meant for NRA members & gun owners who support the policies of NRA members.
When they said conversation they must have meant a platform from which they could make their demands to a sizable audience while silencing all opposition. Advocates of gun rights have at least, for the most part, conducted themselves in a professional manner and have given gun control advocates the ability to speak their part unmolested. It’s too bad they won’t show us the same amount of respect.
I think the conduct of gun control advocates compared to the conduct of gun rights activists speaks volumes. The goals of gun control advocates are authoritarian in nature. They want to utilize the state’s capacity for violence to disarm non-state entities. Gun control advocates claim to desire peace but rely on the threat and use of violence against gun owners, whether they’ve done something wrong or not. Meanwhile the desires of gun rights advocates are the opposite. Instead of demanding authoritarian violence be initiated against nonviolent individuals gun rights advocates want individuals to go about their business peacefully. Those of us who advocate gun rights oppose punishing innocent people. We believe punishment should be reserved exclusively for those who have done wrong. This stark difference manifestes itself in the strategies used by each side. Gun control advocates attempt to silence any opposition, which is a very authoritarian tactic. Gun rights activists allow their opposition to speak and rely on argumentation, a very libertarian tactic. One side wants to control you while the other side wants you to be in control.
Even though I don’t like what the NRA said at their conference they at least conducted themselves in a professional manner. They waited one week before saying anything while gun control organizations moved in immediately to exploit the tragedy while it was still fresh. The NRA allowed gun control organizations to say their piece without interruption while gun control advocates attempted to shout down the NRA. In my opinion the most notable thing about this news conference wasn’t what was said by the NRA, it was what the gun control advocates did in an attempt to silence their opposition.