If there is any small bit of positivity one can take from the school shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut earlier this month, it's that it will hopefully force a sober and frank discussion about the profileration of assault weapons and the ease of access to guns and ammunition in this country. And indeed, many quarters are calling for stricter laws or even bans to be drawn up around the type of weapons that were used by the killer in Newtown. Staying mostly silent until now has been the NRA themselves, but today they finally held a press conference (but didn't take any questions) and seemed to dust off a speech that was two decades old.
NRA VP Wayne LaPierre once again trotted out the tired argument about violent video games and movies being the culprit, and then went on to cite two movies that are so old, it more or less just established the organization/lobbyist group is preferring to stay entrenched in their longstanding stance. Here's an excerpt from the speech via WHNT:
And here’s another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.
Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?
Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like “American Psycho” and “Natural Born Killers” that are aired like propaganda loops on “Splatterdays” and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it “entertainment.”
But is that what it really is? Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?
So yeah, nothing new here. And in addressing the topic of how we care for the mentally ill in this country, the NRA's lone suggestion is to create a national database to track the crazies. And in summary, they believe that more guns in schools and basically everywhere will keep everyone safe. Needless to say, the NRA is standing by Charlton Heston's "cold dead hands" routine to the bitter end, even it runs counter to the mood in the country, where even moderate members of the group are willing to concede some changes for the greater good.
This issue won't be going away anytime soon, but expecting that an increase in guns and a decrease in supposed "filthy" entertainment will lead to less gun crime only makes sense in Bizarro land. Feel free to share you thoughts on this issue with us below.