Saturday, May 04, 2013

The NRA keeps ramping up the nasty, brutish, short, and crazy at its annual meeting

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The NRA has a crazy new neo-Confederate anti-government president and at its annual meeting this weekend in Houston it's been plumbing the depths of gun-nut craziness.

As usual, there was Wayne LaPierre, the face of the organization, using militaristic rhetoric and the usual paranoid delusions of the right to ramp up the fearmongering, as if being able to own any gun you want, whatever your fetish, whatever your own delusions, is the only freedom that matters, or rather the only component of freedom that matters, in the Hobbesian state of nature of the gun nuts' imaginings. (Hobbes viewed the state of nature as a dystopia leading to civil society; LaPierre and the rest of the nuts consider it, or something closely resembling it, their utopia. Yes, what I'm saying is that the NRA's project involves at its core the undoing of civil society and the replacement of it with life that is nasty, brutish, and short.)

And then there was this gem:

Gun owners should store a gun in their kids' room, according to a 'Home Defense Concepts' seminar offered at the National Rifle Association's Annual Meeting, comments that came just days after the fatal shooting of a two-year-old at the hands of her five-year-old brother.

The course was taught by Rob Pincus, who owns the popular firearm instruction company I.C.E. Training. Pincus argued that, in the event of a home invasion, parents would instinctually run to their children's room anyway, they might as well have a gun stored there to kill two birds with one stone:

PINCUS: How about putting a quick-access safe in your kids' room? [...] Good idea or bad idea? We have an emotional pushback to that. Here’s my position on this. If you're worried that your kid is going to try to break into the safe that is in their bedroom with a gun in it, you have bigger problems than home defense. [Laughter]... In the middle of the night, if I'm in the bathroom or getting a glass of water or in the bedroom or watching TV in the living room, if that alarm goes off and the glass breaks and the dog starts barking, what's the instinct that most people are going to have, in regards to, "am I going to run across the house to get the gun, or am I going to run over here to help the screaming kid?" And if I'm going to go to the kid anyway, and I have an extra gun and an extra safe, why not put it in their closet?

Oh, sure, what could ever go wrong?

As ThinkProgress notes, contra NRA propaganda, "[d]efensive gun use against home invasions are extremely rare," while "children are wounded and killed by accidental gunshots with horrifying frequency." There's been a lot of attention on this post-Newtown, but every day seems to being reports of another tragedy, another "accidental" shooting, including many involving children. The case of the five-year-old shooting the two-year-old is just one of the latest.

The gun nuts think that if you're armed to the teeth, including with military-style weapons (of mass destruction, I would add), you're safe. (Which is why they were saying -- LaPierre again, of course -- that everyone in Boston wished they'd had a gun during the lockdown/manhunt after the marathon bombing.) Which of course is incredibly stupid.

See, it's Hobbes again, or rather their version of Hobbes, the Hobbesian state of nature but with each of us -- well, some of us, the right ones, at war against the Other (and it's not just common criminals given the NRA's broader and darker ideology and worldview) -- armed with killing machines. All the more reason for civil society, for a society that strictly regulates guns and gun ownership, and all the more reason for the NRA to be obliterated.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share


  • I can't help thinking about a huge, Hunger Games sort of event where you put all the NRA people into a huge, sealed arena and shout BOO! I figure Wayne would be burnt toast within 30 seconds.

    Of course news of such tragedies is something of the product of demand as well as the massive coverage being the impetus for the crazies to compete with each other in the mayhem Olympics. I despair of rational solutions or even pragmatic improvements in this emotional, fast and loose with the figures, climate.

    Somehow, as a person who liked being in a country where the government had some level of trust for the citizens, I'm afraid both sides are urging us toward a country where nobody trusts or can trust anyone.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 11:14 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home