You know something’s really out-of-whack when you hear there was a third “mass shooting” in less than two weeks – this time in rural Pennsylvania – and when you look into it and find out that three people died, you think, “Huh, well, that’s not very many, so I guess that’s not really a ‘mass’ shooting…”
This happened less than two hours before the N.R.A. held a press conference, today, in which the organization’s Executive V.P., Wayne LaPierre, gave a whiny, self-pitying speech in which he blamed the recent rash of gun violence on the usual media boogeymen, attempting to graphically underscore his argument with video from what appeared to be some random, amateurish, ten-year-old freeware Flash game that most people had never heard of, and then wondering aloud why the news had failed to dig it up.
He also cited movies like American Psycho and Natural Born Killers as examples of Hollywood’s ringing endorsements of violence, which leads me to believe that either Wayne LaPierre has never seen either film, or he has one of those mental blind spots that leaves a person incapable of distinguishing or processing sarcasm and irony.
Absent from his speech were any notions that guns were more than innocent bystanders at Sandy Hook – in fact, as far as he was concerned, guns weren’t involved enough, and his proposed solution was a firearm in every school (and a cap in every ass)!
Anybody else reminded of this pithy, anti-war observation from Vietnam? LaPierre must think Animal Mother was the hero in Full Metal Jacket.
Speaking of war, there was also no mention in the speech of America’s worship of the military (big surprise there), or the last decade-plus of unnecessary foreign adventures, which have resulted in incalculable losses of life and property, and no practical prosecution or punishment of the criminals responsible. Indeed, LaPierre went to such great lengths to call out pretend-violence, in so many different mediums and in so many words, that we can assume he’s a great deal more concerned about that than he is with actual violence in which millions of actual people are actually killed in the name of “democracy” and “nation-building.”
If he’d given this speech 60 years ago, he would’ve blamed children playing cops and robbers, or cowboys and indians, instead of the Cold War and the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction.
I’m a little surprised he didn’t also bring up “finger pistols.”
And for all his complaints about the “entertainment industry,” LaPierre failed to mention the culture of violence in, say, professional sports, so even his dumbass, blanket criticism somehow managed to be too selective. “Music videos” (dog-whistle for “black people music”) and violence in film are “really the worst kind of pornography,” but white, gun-jobbing rednecks are always READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL, and also love watching black guys beat the crap out of each other in literal cages, so calling out either of those would, of course, be a big no-no.
I’m sensing a pattern, here: To LaPierre and the N.R.A., literal violence is less of a problem than fictional descriptions of violence; and devices whose only purpose is to kill, maim, and destroy are less of a problem than depictions of their use, especially made-up ones, with those that critically analyze their consequences, I assume, being the worst.
Ironically, LaPierre’s complaints about “fantasy violence” didn’t stop him from indulging in some violent fantasies of his own, even in the midst of his denunciations. I’m talking about the one we’ve heard before, where a courageous gun enthusiast sighs while drawing his
katana concealed pistol, then calmly shoots the crazy guy indiscriminately spraying bullets at anything that moves, followed by everyone in the theater standing up and clapping.
Because when I think, “mentally unbalanced attacker who’s likely resigned to commit suicide already,” I also think, “guy who will probably be deterred by the prospect of his own death.”
This fantasy comes up anytime we have a situation like Sandy Hook or Aurora, but it rarely has any basis in reality, and when it does, the “courageous gun enthusiast” usually turns out to be like George Zimmerman.
The N.R.A. is an organization of terrified simpletons, with a black-and-white view of the world where everyone is either a “good guy with a gun,” or a “bad guy with a gun” – I’m not even exaggerating this last part, Wayne LaPierre said it in those exact words! They imagine themselves to be John McClane, and anyone else who isn’t his ex-wife-in-distress is Hans Gruber. The thought wouldn’t occur to them that they might be the “bad guys,” because to them, “good guys” are the ones who always make the right choice when acting primarily (or even solely) on emotion.
And what was their primary emotional response to the tragedy? Why, the same as the main conclusion of LaPierre’s speech: NOT ENOUGH GUNS, NEED MORE GUNS. Some of them were already in the throes of that response due to the shooting that preceded Sandy Hook on the other side of the country, in a mall in Portland, Oregon.
So when they got home, and heard about events in Connecticut, their minds immediately turned not to the victims, not to their own families or children, but once again to their guns, apparently forgetting they just hauled home an arsenal, like some kind of paranoid, violent Alzheimer’s patients with delusions of overthrowing the federal government. And so back to the gun stores they went, driving record sales of firearms and ammunition because this, this was just the opportunity Obama was waiting for to finally take their gerns!!!