This isn’t a fun time for Second Amendment advocates. We’re being demonized. We’re under constant assault, finding ourselves called on to justify our right to keep and bear arms, regardless of what the Constitution says.
In that wake, NRA president Wayne LaPierre stepped in front of the camera. He wanted to reassure gun owners, but the question is, did he?
Judge for yourself.
Some key takeaways are the NRA’s opposition to pretty much everything the anti-gunners are putting forward right about now. They want universal background checks, which LaPierre vows the NRA will work against. They’re against national reciprocity, which LaPierre reiterated his support for.
Most importantly, though, at least in my opinion, was LaPierre echoing the call to hold government officials accountable for their own failures leading up to the Parkland massacre.
The politicians in Washington created an environment that laid the groundwork for Parkland when they decided to incentivize schools to fail to report problem children. The school officials laid the groundwork when they accepted those incentives despite seeing the warning signs in the future killer. Sheriff Scott Israel laid the groundwork when his department failed to act on the numerous complaints made about the future killer. The FBI laid the groundwork when they failed to investigate a tip that the shooter had announced his intentions.
So many failures along the way led to that moment, that horrible moment. None of those failures, however, were failures of the Second Amendment.
Why should the gun community be forced to pay for their failures? The gun store followed every law. It did exactly what was required of it.
Had the government officials done their part, that’s where it would have ended. The gun store would have seen that the Parkland killer was a prohibited person and refused to sell the gun.
Just like that, 17 kids would be alive today.
But that’s not what happened. Instead, schools decided to ignore problem behavior because of a fear of losing federal funding. A sheriff’s office refused to act on some 39 complaints about a kid for some unfathomable reason. The FBI’s failure to investigate also boggles the mind. They all dropped the ball, yet who gets blamed? The NRA.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear. The NRA and the firearm community are not now, nor have we ever been, responsible for any of this bloodshed. We didn’t make this bed, so we refuse to lie in it.
LaPierre’s commitment to the mission of the Second Amendment is unsurprising, but still reassuring. While I do not agree with the NRA’s stance on bump stocks–I don’t feel they should be regulated by either law or bureaucratic fiat–it’s a small point of contention out of many, many points of agreement.
It’s important, at this moment, to stand with our friends. Even if we disagree on a few points here or there, this isn’t the time for those petty differences. We all agree on the big picture, and so it’s important we hold the line. Together.