The NRA’s Friday press conference will go down in history as a text book case of what not to do in a press conference. After days of silence following the Newtown, CT tragic mass shooting, it could only be assumed the NRA was crafting their most brilliant spin ever, making mental health treatment the center of a debate and not gun purchases, or ownership. But the “bad guy, good guy” soundbyte by vice president and chief lobbyist Wayne LaPierre, could only be, as someone brilliantly described, a case of the NRA “shooting themselves in the foot.” And the “magic bullet” solution to set up an armed police in schools only opened LaPierre and the NRA to further ridicule and outrage with examples of how well that set up worked at Columbine in 1999, a heavily armed Fort Hood, and Virginia Tech in 2007 which had/has armed campus police.
The time has come, where this side of the argument no longer has a place at the table. Perhaps there will be a serious conversation about U.S. gun culture and the mental health of the nation. Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” was part of that conversation and is still relevant. NPR’s Diane Rehm did a great show (Jan. 20) on the struggles of parents with seriously mentally ill children, and this article by Adam Winkler, “The Secret Hstory of Guns,” published in the Atlantic is very interesting and merits more discussion.
It will take more than awareness to move this forward. The President is asking the public to stay engaged. Nearly 200,000 signed an online gun violence petition posted by a citizen on the “We the People” page of the White House’s website.
Sooner or later there’s that final straw that breaks the camel’s back as the old schoolers uesd to say.
As for the final grade on Friday’s press conference, Code Pink earns the “A.”