Despite the armchair psychology, while Newtown school mass murderer Adam Lanza was probably rather off upstairs, National Rifle Association CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre isn’t a psychopath. He’s a million-dollar-a-year shill in a nice bespoke suit who seems to know which side of the toast the butter’s on. His idea of a flannel outdoorsy shirt probably has a Brooks Brothers label. Full disclosure: I have one. It’s comfy and nice. As a Friday NRA press conference is scheduled, along with a promised Sunday political talker show, I figure he had to emerge from his stealth mode bunker before the even more radical Gun Owners of America and their ilk devoured his meal ticket.
While the NRA frankly deserves its current blackballing as a result of decades of an extremist tilt to the far-Right by its’ leadership and corporate sponsors, there are beneficial things the 4 million member organization has long produced.
America has a long standing relationship with firearms throughout its history. Our nation evolves. With hundreds of millions of firearms in circulation, wishing them away to a disarmed Japanese level is about as likely as our kids pining for sushi-flavored Pop Tarts with Wasabi frosting, wrapped with dried seaweed.
Despite the headline-grabbing mass shooting outrages, many more victims are maimed and killed by suicides, domestic disputes and improper handling and storage of firearms.
The NRA has long played a key role in civilian marksmanship and firearms safety. The only thing more dangerous than a maniac with a gun, is a firearm in untrained hands.
Marksmanship is a legitimate sport. Even in the Olympics. Forget spraying from a 30 round magazine at a menacing paper silhouette. Any idiot knowing butt from muzzle can do that. Training mind and body, right down to respiration, to perfectly place holes in a tiny ‘X’ ring bullseye far down range is challengingly hard to do. Decades ago, I tried and wan’t very good at it. An Olympic-grade .177 caliber air pellet or .22 Long Rifle match rifle isn’t on the menu in computer shoot-em-up video games. Nobody is using a pricey Swiss-made Hammerli .22 caliber match pistol to rob a convenience store. Heavy barreled 7.62mm match grade target rifles are not shooting up schools. Frankly, the sport of marksmanship owes a lot to the NRA, before it went to the crazies.
Failed Supreme Court wannabe and conservative ideologue Robert Bork died this week at 85, after advising the doomed Romney campaign. He was a proponent of constitutional originalism, as if America and the planet had not evolved since the Eighteenth century.
To honor the late, disgraced President Tricky Dick Nixon’s legal hitman Bork pushing up daisies, I wish the Supreme Court would rule on the Second Amendment as the slave owning, woman disenfranchising, all-too-fallible, powdered wig Founding Fathers intended. Government won’t infringe your right to a flintlock musket, just as long as you join a “well regulated militia” like the National Guard or the Army. Raise your right hand…
More than three dozen years since boot camp, I haven’t forgotten marching in the snow to the chow hall, with my nostrils flaring at the distinctive aroma of institutional government haute cuisine, and the acquired tolerance of dehydrated powdered eggs. The allure of recreational shooting might dim a bit under military good order and discipline.
It’s high time for meaningful gun laws. Do it.