In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, the NRA suggested that armed guards should be posted at all schools. This week, they’ve pressed that assertion with claims that President Obama is elitist because his kids have armed protection, but he opposes the right of everyone else to do the same.
An easy conclusion to reach, but does it further the debate any? Image via tennesseeguerillawomen.
So far, so what? That’s what they do. They propagate fear and exploit the hell out of it whenever the opportunity arises. Far from being a threat to their cause, massacres like those at Sandy Hook, Aurora and Oak Creek are grist to their mill. The surge in membership they’ve experienced in the last two months, driven in part by a fantastic discount scheme they are offering, is statistical proof that telling people that the only way to deal with the constant threat that they are under is to arm up, seems to be working.
In our role as ‘rational human beings’, our first instinct is to throw our arms up in the a air and run about shouting about extremist idiots threatening the very fabric of the civilisation we worked so hard to build. The media, as usual, are happy to oblige.
But by doing this, aren’t we effectively reinforcing the idea of difference, and in doing so, strengthening their position? The NRA currently has 4.3m members and they can’t all be batshit. Some of them might even be rational human beings like us, fearful of a world they can’t understand, and attempting to assuage that fear by acquiring the only truly effective means they are told is available to them.
The only way to make progress in this debate is to cut the hysteria and act like the rational, responsible section of the population we claim to be. The NRA’s message may be offensive, but simply reiterating that over and over again tacitly propagates the sense of isolation experienced by already fearful people, resulting in more guns being purchased and inevitably more gun crime.
When it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter who’s wearing the badge of righteousness in a morgue, does it?