In the wake of a mass shooting, anti-gunners waste no time politicizing the tragedy. In the wake of Las Vegas, for example, officials were still trying to sort out the number of deaths while gun control activists were already blaming the NRA and others for the atrocity. They see no problem with this at all. In fact, they’d argue that it’s the perfect time to have this discussion.
But heaven forbid the NRA to have a say.
Take the tweet the NRA put out on Wednesday, a day when gun control was front and center in everyone’s mind. Students had walked out of class for whatever reason, and the media was applauding them while also talking about infringing on our Second Amendment rights.
— NRA (@NRA) March 14, 2018
Simple and to the point.
Unfortunately, USA Today‘s Josh Hafner felt it was necessary to direct everyone’s attention to the tweet. You know, because it was so awful.
On Wednesday morning, as students nationwide protested to mark the one-month anniversary of the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., the National Rifle Association promoted a glamorized image of an AR-15 — the same kind of gun used to kill 17 people in the massacre.
“I’ll control my own guns, thank you,” the NRA tweeted at 11:30 a.m. ET, as students’ walkout demonstrations rippled across the United States.
Many students, such as those at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where last month’s shooting occurred, said they walked out Wednesday to gain visibility as they push for lawmakers to ban assault rifles like the one used in the shooting.
The AR-15 image came from an NRA article praising the weapon as “the musket of its era.” Unlike muskets, which fired about one round every 20 seconds, AR-15-style rifles have become the favorite gun of mass shooters looking to fire about one round every half second.
Several mass shootings have relied on AR-15-style guns, including: Parkland, Sutherland Springs, Texas; Las Vegas; Orlando; and Newtown, Conn.
I’d say it was the dumbest thing you’d read today, but let’s be honest, the competition for that title has been pretty stiff lately.
First, let’s address the idea of the NRA speaking out while people are speaking the opposite message. Um…unless you’re going to tell Planned Parenthood to shut up during the March For Life, then you need to back off. Free speech is free speech, and if a bunch of school kids can claim the NRA is a terrorist organization and has blood on its hands, it gets to send out a tweet.
And forget the faux outrage over them using an AR-15. It’s the most popular rifle in the country and the target of most of the legislation under consideration.
Second, let’s address Hafner’s argument that the AR-15 can’t be “the musket of its era” because it fires more rounds than a musket. During the musket era, military and small civilian arms were on par with one another. In fact, the civilian Kentucky rifle was superior in many ways to the British Brown Bess musket used in the American Revolution.
The AR-15 is called the musket of today because it’s the closest thing civilians can get to military hardware. It’s not military-grade or anything, but it’s as close as we can get. In the case of foreign invasion, the AR-15 in the hands of a civilian volunteer can be integrated into the military order of battle far easier than most other weapon systems.
The AR-15 gives the American civilian something to allow him or her to fight back against tyranny from their government as well. It’s a check on despotism.
That’s why it’s the musket of today.
Anyone who thinks the term should be ignored because of the rate of fire is probably not someone who should be listened to when it comes to firearm policy in the first place.
Back to any outrage at the NRA’s tweet; let’s remember that it all boils down to the fact that the NRA and gun rights organizations are supposed to be quiet in the wake of a tragedy, but their opponents are under no such obligation. Frankly, it was nice to see the NRA hoist the middle finger and lay it down like it is.