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There are 300 million guns in the United States. According to governors like Rick Perry from Texas, right-wing pundits like Mike Huckabee and countless other apologists for the status quo, the problem is that the principal of Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut didn't have a firearm when a gunman entered the school with military-style weapons and tragically killed 20 students and six school personnel. As we have learned, principal Dawn Hochsprung was one of the heroic public employees who lunged at the gunman before being gunned down herself.

The proposal to arm teachers is insane. The solution to guns and gun violence is not more guns. It's also shockingly hypocritical. The extremists who want to outfit teachers and other public employees with guns so they can risk their lives to defend children from armed crazies also want to take away these workers' health care, pensions and unions.

So what will National Rifle Association leaders say tomorrow when they have their press conference about the massacre? I'm hoping that arming teachers in the classrooms is not one of their big initiatives. I'm hoping it's something that will make some sense to people in Newtown and across this country who are grieving and desperate for the kind of meaningful action President Obama has talked about.

The NRA's press release said the group is "shocked" and "saddened" by what happened. As horrific as this event was, no one should be shocked by it because it is all too common. What's shocking is the sheer number of mass shootings in this country since Columbine. What's shocking is the history of such shootingsin our country. What's shocking is that 12,000 people are killed every year by firearms.

The NRA should do an about-face tomorrow on its legislative agenda or announce it's shutting down its advocacy operation. As recent polling has shown, the NRA doesn't speak for most gun owners because the majority of gun owners, just like the majority of other Americans, support commonsense gun laws. These include criminal background checks for all gun-buyers, bans on high-capacity magazines and bans on military-style assault rifles like the one used in so many recent shootings.

Basic gun safety among law-abiding citizens is also a major issue. Keeping a firearm at home significantly increases the risk of death for everyone in the home, no matter how the weapons are stored or what type they are, according to a Harvard study. If you have a gun, everybody in your home is more likely than your non-gun-owning neighbors and their families to die in a gun-related accident, suicide or homicide. So gun owners cannot be too careful.

The killer in Newtown began his rampage by shooting his own mother with her own guns, and he then took those weapons to Sandy Hook.

In Newtown, access to military-style weapons, lack of basic gun safety, this country's culture of excessive violence and the need to identify troubled people and get them mental health services all intersected. Clearly we have to address all these issues and others as part of a comprehensive and long-term solution to this problem.

The place to start is with immediate passage of the sensible gun laws advocated by the president, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and organizations like the Brady Campaign and Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

The NRA is the mouthpiece of gun manufacturers, not law-abiding sportswomen and men, so the group's leaders should be extremely careful about what they say. Silence would be better than making a divisive contribution to a delicate public policy debate gripping a nation in mourning.

Originally posted to James Salt on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 05:17 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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Should gun legislation jump to the front of the queue of Obama's legislative priorities?

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| 52 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  The NRA wil re-iterate their positions. (5+ / 0-)

    Seeing as this has been scheduled for a Friday news Dump.

    The press release will be a long series of statistics quoting the number of guns sold and the murder statistics.

    It will ignore the fact that fewer people own guns and instead will claim that MORE guns are what we need.

    And If I'm wrong I will be incredibly surprised.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 05:25:35 PM PST

    •  They've been increasingly cowed by the enormous (4+ / 0-)

      negative reaction. I wonder if anything constructive will come out of their mouths tomorrow. If they do say anything constructive, what do you think that would be?

      If you want peace, work for justice.

      by James Salt on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 05:37:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Our thoughts are with the families... (9+ / 0-)

        Of this senseless tragedy, which NOBODY could have predicted... blah blah...

        nothing much constructive.  If they talk about laws it will be their refrain about "Enforce the ones we have" and "If you ban guns, only criminals will have guns."

        I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

        by detroitmechworks on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 05:39:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's a little late to be concerned ... (0+ / 0-)

        about whatever the NRA may have to say.  Immediately after the Newtown tragedy occurred, the airwaves were filled with gun control demands, resulting in millions of people rushing to gun stores to buy every gun available.  Pretty much every gun store is now sold out or close to it, putting probably another 50 million guns (guessing) in the hands of the public in addition to the 300 million already out there.  Since any new gun control law, if passed, will only address future purchases, it seems the anti-gun opponents have created the exact opposite effect of what they sought.  The irony is worthy of note.  Meanwhile, as the debate progresses, millions more guns will be manufactured and sold, completely negating attempts to limit their availability.  The idiots behind this strategy should hang their heads in shame.

        "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

        by Neuroptimalian on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 01:01:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'll tell you what needs to happen; gun owners (10+ / 0-)

    who are sick and tired of this bullshit need to speak out, themselves. They should be holding press conferences tomorrow all over the nation criticizing the NRA and standing behind meaningful legislation. They can make the suggestions as to what that is.

    But this won't happen. I suggest it won't happen because really, the majority of gun owners won't speak out en mass.

    And until they do, the NRA represents them even if they don't.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 05:43:11 PM PST

    •  you're exactly right. There needs to be a "protect (3+ / 0-)

      the second amendment" by keeping guns away from those with mental conditions. The voice of law abiding sportsmen type people could be especially helpful and even framed as protecting our constitutional rights.

      If you want peace, work for justice.

      by James Salt on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 05:51:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm a gun owner.  I'm a farmer.  I am not a member of the NRA, and I don't agree with their positions.  So, according to you, I should go out tomorrow in my town of 620 people, to stand on a soapbox and hold a press conference.  Really? Is that your best idea?

      Just as a guess, I'd say you don't have a clue.

      Alpacas spit if you piss them off. So don't do that.

      by alpaca farmer on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:56:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was an organizer for a great deal of my (3+ / 0-)

        adult life. Your town might be too small, but you can most certainly form an organization in your town and work with the local press.

        Enormous things were changed by people organizing at the local level across the nation. Think about its effect on nuclear weapons, for instance. Think about how a small group of women worked to get the right to vote. Think about how people from all over the country aligned for civil rights.

        People in small communities--and I mean SMALL--organized their small communities and then aligned with other communities large and small (many of these communities of color) in CA, for instance, to stop the building of more toxic waste incinerators.

        Organizing works.

        And yes, I absolutely DO have a clue. Often it is the perception--and more importantly the acceptance--that one is too small to matter which stops one from trying.

        If you feel it's a worthy goal, and it seems you might not from your comment, you work at it. They are your guns and your rights. And if you believe, as you might, that the NRA actually does represent you, then no, no you won't be successful.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:27:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The NRA plays "The Shocked" - Let's make it a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, Killer of Sacred Cows

    a flop at the box office and boo them out.

  •  NRA's management is going to double down. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows, suesue

    Shock, introspection, humility, and shame, in fact what should be the normal range of human emotions by anyone else, is not only beyond them, but thought of as an affront to their core advocacy principles of arming everyone in America ten times over for their overlords, the stockholders of gun manufacturers.

  •  The only thing that would satisfy me is that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suesue

    the NRA announces that it is disbanding.  

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