Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The NRA Mistake

Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners. That's not the Texas way. And that's certainly not the NRA way.

A NRA grass roots email sent to members late last week.

The email, which reportedly was also posted on a NRA website, was in response to a group called Texas Open Carry. They are the clowns who showed up en masse, armed with assault style weapons at a Chipotle's restaurant a little while ago. The group claimed their get together wasn't a demonstration, or political statement, although no one in their right mind believed that assertion for a second. Chipotle's certainly didn't.

The corporation quickly issued a statement which asked gun owners to leave their weapons at home, or in their cars, or just about any place else, while they are in their restaurants. Sonic Drive Ins and Chili's quickly followed suit. Starbucks had already made a similar request.

Various media outlets said the NRA message also used words and terms, like "counterproductive, scary, and downright weird." It is a report which can't be confirmed because a quick search earlier today of the NRA's home site and their lobbying site, the regally named, Institute for Legislative Action found no trace of the statement.

Yes, that stunning moment of, "common sense, consideration, and manners," was fleeting indeed.

After Texas Open Carry started to raise hell, Chris Cox, who heads the Institute for Legislative Action, went on a NRA produced radio show claiming the email was a, "mistake." Although he hedged just a tad, by saying different groups prefer to use different tactics, he made it clear the NRA was all for open carry laws, and the offending email did not reflect official NRA philosophy. He blamed some poor schmuck staffer by saying it was his, or her personal opinion which should have never been sent out under the NRA banner. If true, apparently anyone at the NRA , no matter how far down the totem pole, can post something on the official website without any editorial oversight, or permission.

He also told the audience he had a, "conversation" with the staffer. Although, he didn't divulge the contents of the talk, if Cox's explanation is true, the odds are about 50-50 it came in the form of an exit interview.

Prompted by the host of, "the talk show," with a series of leading questions, Mr. Cox went into a rambling account of how the NRA would always support the expansion of pro gun legislation. There was also a lot of the usual stuff about the anti gun mainstream press and people having the right to defend themselves--yada yada yada.

A spokesperson for Texas Open Carry quickly accepted the mea culpa by saying something along the lines of, "Oh that explains everything. It was some low level employee."

So what does it all mean? Was it exactly as Cox, who heads up a phalanx of blood thirsty lobbyists, said it was, simply a merry mix up? Was it was a rogue NRA staffer whose conscience has been riddled with guilt after years of having to write absolute bullshit? Or, was it an attempt by the NRA to be more mainstream, at least in appearance, by distancing themselves from a bunch of crude yokels, too stupid to realize they're making all gun owners look like crazed fanatics and provocateurs?

There is an argument for the latter. After all, no one wants to be sitting in a restaurant when a bunch of unknown geeks, dressed in camo, armed to the teeth with semi automatic assault weapons, comes storming through the front door. In that awful moment, as far as anyone sitting in the violated establishment knows, they might be the local version of Boko Haram, or Westboro Baptist, who are there to drag their daughters into the wilderness somewhere outside of Monroe, Louisiana. That's not to mention the quite public and incredibly raw reality of the anger and anguished passion of, Richard Martinez, whose only son was killed by a gun wielding nut a week ago simply because he was standing outside a deli in Isla Vista, CA.

Indeed, given recent events, some might think it's best to at least try to seem reasonable.

Well, if there was a bright flash of clarity it is snuffed out now. One reason might be the mass media ran with the story as if it was the second coming of Jesus of Nazareth. Who can blame them? It seemed, for an an instant, there was a break in the ranks of those who think owning a Bushmaster .223 validates their sexuality. Cox told his, "interviewer" the media attention was a crass attempt to divide and conquer. That's right, no matter what, never let the opposition know there might be a disagreement among the faithful.

Hey, who knows? If there hadn't been all the publicity the email might still be on the NRA's web site, serving as a rebuke to those who want to carry a semi automatic rifle into restaurants, hospitals, football stadiums and bars--to those fools who are so convincingly able to make the rest of us think every gun owner out there is a dangerous loon.

I will admit it is a quaint fantasy.

I'll go with it though, at least until the next outrage is perpetrated by some monster who hears voices and sees demons, but is still allowed to buy everything short of a fucking bazooka.

sic vita est


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