These people get up in the middle of the night to go put out fires. They don’t expect to be shot and killed.
That’s a Webster, NY police official on several firefighters getting shot while battling a fire.
What the hell, America?! We’re just taking potshots at firefighters now?
But, seriously, can someone get Wayne LaPierre on television so he can quickly blame these firefighters for not carrying guns while fighting fires that were apparently set in order to ambush them?
Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past week or so, it’s that the only way to prevent someone from shooting firefighters is to make sure that firefighters are armed.
What do you do — how do you have any sort of conversation at all — when “fact” doesn’t mean the same thing to both people?
LaPierre: You could do what Dianne Feinstein wants and ban all high-capacity magazines, but it’s not going to make kids any safer… I get calls from gun owners saying I went to bed safer because I have a firearm…
David Gregory: That’s an argument, not a fact.
LaPierre: It IS a fact.
Gregory: No, a feeling is not a fact. That’s reassurance, not evidence.
Leaders of the National Rifle Association said Sunday that they would fight any new gun restrictions introduced in Congress, and they made clear that they were not interested in working with President Obama to help develop a broad response to the Connecticut school massacre.
During an appearance on the NBC News program “Meet the Press,” Wayne LaPierre, the vice president of the powerful gun lobby, was openly dismissive of a task force established by Mr. Obama and led by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. that is examining ways to reduce gun violence.
One reason that LaPierre is so dismissive of the task force is likely that its stated goal is to reduce gun violence, while his entire career is built on expanding gun violence [Yeah, yeah, go ahead and write nasty messages to me about this]. Of course, that’s not what he’ll say; instead, he casts the task force as an assault on the 2nd Amendment:
“If it’s a panel that’s just going to be made up of a bunch of people that, for the last 20 years, have been trying to destroy the Second Amendment, I’m not interested in sitting on that panel,” Mr. LaPierre said, adding that the “N.R.A. is not going to let people lose the Second Amendment in this country, which is supported by the overwhelming majority of the American people.”
But, as for me, I don’t have any problem with people owning guns or with the 2nd Amendment. In fact, I’d like to see the 2nd Amendment taken far more seriously than LaPierre does. All he cares about is that people go out and buy lots of guns; he doesn’t care one iota about the 2nd Amendment beyond his perception that it keeps him in a job. Personally I think it’s well past time that we worked on regulating the militia demanded by the 2nd Amendment: If you want to own a gun, then you also need to be a member of a well regulated militia. You need to be out there on the weekends, drilling with your compatriots. Every weekend. For hours and hours. Not the occasional trip to the gun club for fun. Not taking apart and cleaning your rifle when you feel like it. All the time. With someone watching over you and giving you directions. And it all needs to be regulated. Not just a little either. Well regulated.
That’s the only way to secure a free state, after all.
ThinkProgress compiled the ten most unbelievable quotes from Wayne LaPierre’s astonishing NRA press conference, which was the first official word from the gun-loving lobby since last Friday’s mass shooting in a Connecticut elementary school:
1) Gun-free schools zones “tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”
2) “There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.
3) “[V]iolent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years! Add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some other natural or man-made disaster, and you’ve got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization.”
4) “We need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work —and by that I mean armed security.”
5) “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away … or a minute away?”
6) “And throughout it all, too many in our national media … their corporate owners … and their stockholders … act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators.”
7) “Then there’s the blood-soaked slasher films like ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Natural Born Killers’ that are aired like propaganda loops on Splatterdays and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life.”
8) “In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day of every month of every year.”
9) “Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here’s one: it’s called Kindergarten Killers. It’s been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn’t or didn’t want anyone to know you had found it?”
10) “Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?”
My personal favorite — which is flying around the internet this morning — is, “This is the beginning of a serious conversation. We won’t be taking any questions.”
David Frum’s recent tweet captures my feelings on America’s love affair with guns nicely: