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No Easy Fix for Mass Shootings

From Issue: Volume XX - Number 26
12/28/2012


By Les Robbins

In the aftermath of the Newtown massacre I would like to say that I was surprised by the comments from the executive director of the National Rifle Association but I wasn’t. I have been an NRA member for many years and about two years ago I refused to renew my membership due to a variety of issues that I have with the organization.

While I am a firm believer in protecting the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution, I have felt for some time that the scope of the NRA has gone far beyond protecting the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms.

From a purely political perspective they have become far too radical for my liking and their politics has moved far away from protecting the rights of hunters, sportsmen and shooting enthusiasts and has moved to some of the most extreme right wing issues that have little if anything to do with the second amendment.

Wayne LaPierre’s comments during his press conference this week were just way over the top but like I said predictable. I know many people who hunt, shoot and believe in the rights of all of us to keep and bear arms. Many of them have either dropped their NRA membership or have taken positions contrary to the very extremist positions that Mr. LaPierre espoused this week.

His comments reminded me of the Cold War and the associated arms race between the United States and Russia, except Mr. LaPierre’s arms race is a domestic one that would pit citizen against citizen in an attempt to see who can have the biggest gun and who can shoot first. This is just ridiculous.

“The only way to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun!” I just laugh at his suggestion that we put a cop at every single school in America and that we fix the Mental Health System in America. Mr. LaPierre doesn’t talk about who and how we are going to pay for these things. The very politicians that support him and his organization’s radical views are the same politicians who have gutted the mental health funding in this country. They are the same politicians who refuse to pay for more police too.

Oh they claim to be supportive but they still won’t pay for the costs of the services. Maybe we can get the NRA to pay for those additional hundreds of thousands of cops that it would take to do what his organization suggests?

At Columbine there were armed security people on campus, prior to the shooting. It didn’t do any good. He says that they weren’t trained well enough. Well who is going to pay for that very expensive training Mr. LaPierre, the NRA?

The bottom line here is that there is no easy fix to problems like these, but pumping more guns into the system, especially assault-style weapons is not the answer. The only people in this country who should have legal access to assault weapons with magazines or clips that hold between 30 and 100 rounds are the police or the military, period.

les@longbeachcomber.com