Carlo's Corner: The NRA has a point, if you just get drunk enough to consider it

May 3, 2013
Adam Lanzar used a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle to shoot 20 children dead.

People of the world, freedom is under attack! And as shocking as it might seem, this threat to liberty is emerging from within the “Land of the Free” itself.

Yes, there was actually a bill put to US Congress that sought to increase the background checks on individuals seeking to buy semi-automatic rifles of the sort that Sandy Hook mass murderer Adam Lanza used to gun down 20 children in December.

Sure, it was voted down, but that a proposal for a minor increase in regulations to in background checks on those seeking to buy weapons whose only purpose is mass slaughter out of the hands of mentally unstable people was even considered shows us just how far the once mighty beacon of liberty that was the United States of America has fallen.

Luckily, there is resistance. The National Rifle Association (NRA), a grassroots movement that unites giant gun corporations and powerful Republican politicians, has just held a convention to rally freedom-lovers against the creeping fascist agenda.

“America's most powerful gun lobby has launched a belligerent defence of its opposition to new gun control measures at its annual meeting in Texas,” reported on May 4.

NRA leader Chris Cox said: “Friends, right now our freedom is under attack like never before. When a deranged criminal murders innocent children, they blame us.”

And it is totally outrageous to blame the NRA. All it has done is flexed its powerful political muscles, backed by the financial clout of the big gun companies and utilising close ties with the Republican machine, to defeat any attempt to limit a corporations' right to sell as many high-powered assault rifles to as many people as possible regardless of the social consequences.

And it is not like the NRA has not put up its own, far more rational alternative. The solution to deranged individuals with guns — and it is so obvious when you think about it — is more guns!

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre, NRA executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre called a press conference to denounce all the negativity towards guns, and instead put up a positive alternative way forward to stop mass killings: Put armed guards in schools and arm the teachers.

I know at first this sounds a bit mad, proposing more instruments of killing as a way to stop killing. And sure, it didn't stop the 1999 Columbine massacre, in which 12 students and a teacher were killed despite there being an armed guard. And sure, after the press conference @SarahbaxterSTM tweeted: “Armed guards at school? My kids actually had one in the US. He shot his teacher ex-girlfriend and was shot by police.”

But look, no system is perfect. And when the alternative is to attack one of the very fundamental principles on which the American revolution was founded — the right to buy a high-powered semi-automatic rifle in a supermarket — more guns in schools is surely worth a go.

And it is not like that is all the NRA has to say. LaPierre was also quick to provide a profound analysis of the root cause of such mass shootings. Not guns or bullets, but “violent video games”, “blood-soaked films” and music videos that “portray murder as a way of life”.

The logic is perfectly clear. Fictional depictions of violence cause violence, not the actual instruments of violence that are actually used to cause violence.

LaPierre also pointed out it was impossible to stop killers “given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill”. Yet again, the NRA comes up with a practical solution — blame, demonise and single out people with mental health problems.

If I could just add one amendment to this otherwise fantastic proposal: why stop at a register? Why not make those with mental health problems wear yellow stars too — that way, the armed guards will know who to aim for.

Now sure, I realise that on the surface, none of this seems to make much sense. But you just need to think about it in more depth — after drinking a vat of bourbon and consuming large quantities of mescaline. Try it, you'll find that after large quantities of mind-altering substances, the genius of the NRA's proposals becomes clear.

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