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Monday, December 24, 2012

What the NRA Should Have Said







I am an idealist. I believe that people typically have the best of intentions. Moreover, I usually fail to follow Oprah’s oft quoted advice that has almost become cliché: “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” I'm a second chancer.

So when the NRA announced that they were delivering a press conference, breaking their weeklong silence, I saw a glass half full. I expected that twenty six coffins, particularly, the  twenty smaller ones, had inspired an epiphany. 

I should have listened to Oprah. 

The NRA’s call for armed officials in every school is simply shoddy arithmetic. Guns plus more guns doesn’t equal peace; furthermore, several teachers’ associations have expressed their opposition to the NRA's proposition. (You can read the entire transcript here.)

Regardless of how you feel about gun control, it’s important to acknowledge that the NRA's EVP, Wayne Lapierre, spoke words that can be described as nothing short of an insensitive train wreck, as PR experts everywhere have agreed. So while they alluded to some of the  points below, they should have driven them home and tossed the rest. 

What they should have said:

  • Our prayers and thoughts are with those affected by individuals who used weapons for evil versus good.
  • We realize that the violence in America is a serious problem that while complex, must be grappled with. This means that we have to work harder to ensure that the weapons we so love, are used exclusively for sport, leisure, and protection.
  • Based on our organization’s breadth of knowledge in relation to gun policy, we humbly offer our voice to be included among the task force led by Vice President Joe Biden to help create solutions that protect American citizens. 
  • This is not a time for stubbornness, anger, thoughtless action, or worse, inaction. It’s a time for reflection, serious thought, and a keen plan of action. We are prepared to step up to the plate. God bless Newtown, Aurora, Chicago, Oak Creek, Tucson, Portland, and the countless other cities who have been shaken by senseless gun violence. We’re on your side. 

But they didn’t.

Now I know better. I’m still optimistic. I just know that I should have believed the NRA when they first revealed who they were.

There is at least one thing I’m grateful for. The NRA is comfortable with being upfront about their ideas, no matter how ill received and horrendous those ideas may be. 

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