The Nose: NRA Weighs In On Newtown Massacre

The Nose rounds up one of the most difficult weeks in Connecticut's history.

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The Nose: NRA Weighs In On Newtown Massacre
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The Nose: NRA Weighs In On Newtown Massacre

One of the verbal melodies that sustained me during the past year was the notion that people can be divided into two camps: those who think they're living in a comedy and those who think they dwell in a drama.

It's a useful -- to me, anyway -- means of understanding certain people and certain moments. I usually belong to the group that sees life as a comedy. For the past seven days that, of course, has been impossible.  
 
But today is the first time I've felt any trace of sunniness. I think this morning's remarkable all-music Where We Live was a big help. And so, in an odd way, was the bizarre performance given later in the morning by Wayne Lapierre of the NRA.
 
With a week to prepare, Lapierre and his group scheduled a defiant, divisive, self-imploding press conference on the morning of our national moment of silence. As sad as this moment may be, I feel the gods of comedy taking over some of life's puppet strings. 
 
You can join the conversation. E-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

  

Comments

E-mail from Wayne

Liked the show today. I am a direct descendant of William Miller, the great adventist, a founder of the 7th Day Adventist Church who predicted the end of the world as a date in 1843. I am not a member of any religion, although I have a spiritual aspect to my life. I think people want an apocalypse because they think it will solve all their problems and absolve them of those responsibilities. My great-great-great grandfather had thousands of followers.

E-mail from Chris

I dont understand why you and your guest contradict your own thoughts, and degrade the responsible gun owners.

First, I heard one guest belittle how Wayne placed blame on movies and video games, but then go on to say he could blame 1960's western TV programs.

Then you go on about how a good guy with a gun is not the tool to stop a bad guy with a gun. So we should take guns away from all police?

Wayne spoke with certainty and sadness. I did not feel fearful from his words. There may have been anger - anger from criminals being allowed to get away with their crime then blame the good guys.

Creating "gun free zones" have never worked. I would think that the many school shootings would prove that. Criminals break laws. Someone with the intent to break laws (kill/murder) will not be stopped by another law (no guns allowed).

The violence we have been facing in our country over the years is due to many fronts. A few of the biggest offending problems are, lack of meaningful criminal penalties, to little mental health support, repeated exposure to violence through news and other media (including children's games), and lack of self discipline and responsibility for ones own actions.

The argument of what type of gun is a danger is irrelevant. EVERY gun is a danger when in the hands of a dangerous person. My guns have never hurt one person. My guns have never committed a crime. In the same tone, what difference does magazine capacity make? if you have one twenty round clip or 2 ten round clips, you still have the same amount of ammunition.

Now to direct to any new law. Responsible changes take time to create, thoughtful and workable laws. To knee-jerk a law into existence is always the wrong approach. We need to look no further then the current, so called "fiscal cliff" This situation was created last year to fix an immediate problem at that time, but we are left with the mess to clean up now. Enacting any responsible legislation never happens when it is a direct result of a reaction. We need laws that are proactive in many aspects, as I mentions above, to promote positive influxes and reduce negativity. Government rarely creates workable language on short term deadlines.

My belief is not always in line with the NRA, I am however a life member. But as with any discussions, extremism on either side never works. I agree a solution needs to be found, but the extreme views you and yours guest were sharing on the show today are not a step in the right direction.

I have much more that should be said, but as was apparent from the show, any dissenting voices from your opinion, were not broadcasted, therefor I dont believe by continuing this one sided conversation I am writing, serves little purpose other then to vent about how disappointed I am with you and your show today.

E-mail from Ramon

I just listened to the first part of The Nose in part because I knew that my esteemed colleague and long time friend Dr. Luis Figueroa would figure among your guests.

I wanted to share that I am too shocked about the pronunciations from the NRA spokesperson. However, is all fitting that they would advocate for militarizing all schools since the group they truly represent is the gun industry. As the saying goes if all you have is a hammer all problems seem like a nail.
As a counselor educator I worry about the level of violence that our children in the U.S. are exposed to through the media and specifically violent video games. Others wiser than I have referred to the level of desensitization toward violence and its consequences on our children. I ask myself, what would a militarized school with armed guards - a fortified school setting- would do to the psyche of the children in these militarized schools or forts? How will they resolve differences now and in the future? What are the lessons/indoctrination they will take away from this? Earning respect by the caliber of a gun or guns you own or carry? Freedom of speech mediated by gun supremacy? What kind of society would that be? Not a true democracy. It reminds me of the big problems we had with gangs in Hartford in 1992/3 and what "respect" meant to the members of those gangs.
Our youth in the U. S. does not have appropriate and effective access to mental health help and in my view that would be money well spend and one terrific first step in the direction of a healthy youth.
One last food for though - if arming both sides was the answer the Middle East conflict would have been resolved already.

Respectfully submitted.

E-mail from Tina

Hi Colin — Just wanted to share this with you. I was busy at my computer when LaPierre began to speak. After a couple of minutes, I found myself in tears...and I don’t cry easily, not even with everything that happened this past week. But that speech felt not like the reasoned and thoughtful response one might expect even of the NRA after such an atrocity, but like a horrible assault of its own. A cudgel of blame and hate against the mentally ill, a cudgel of blame and hate against the media, a cudgel of blame and hate against the President...and not one shred of acceptance that what the NRA promotes had anything to do with it. But in fact, a rough harangue to go to arms. Go to arms! In our schools of all places. After all those children died, a call for more guns, more of what took their lives in the first place. All I can think is that this is the way a society dies. Little by little, it shreds its soul in a stranglehold of misconceived, sightless, wrongheaded convictions...unable to lift itself clear of the notions that are dragging it toward the abyss. What a terrible way to mark this seven days of sorrow.

Sorry, Colin...I just had to get it out.

E-mail from James

Maybe is is a good thing I was too late to get on the air, I was listening in the car and I was so angry I was afraid I would not be able to speak anyway.
You are all just talking about the thing that is easy to talk about, and ignoring the elephant in the room. The problem is that no one (teachers, employers) can say "this person is a danger to society and if he will not seek treatment, someone should be able to make him. It's not politically correct.
A know of lot more people that have been killed or injured by drunk drivers, including my mother, than have been shot. Yet if I went up to someone and said "You are a drunk and a danger to society, seek treatment or surrender you driver's license. " I would probably be sued for anything I have. It is not politically correct. If drunkenness is a disease, treat it like a disease.
I am waiting for someone to say that he knew that Lanza was crazy, and that he was "afraid that he would do something like this", but it isn't correct to verbalize that kind of a thought. Unfortunately his mother may have suspected it.
It is necessary to treat people who are threats for who they are.

E-mail from Sharon

Re: NRA pres conference; Good guy violence, bad guy violence - the NRA is attempting to trap us all into the belief that maintaining the highest levels of violence - arming everyone - is the path to safety.

Violence is violence no matter who it is committing it. I believe the majority of our society are demanding a new narrative where we no longer allow the NRA to honor violence with their "good guy bad guy" analogy.

The NRA promotes violence...its well past time to stop them.

E-mail from Howard

I just have to take a few mins to add my 2 cents about what the person from the NRA said.

Instead of having armed 'good guys' at each school we should arm the kids. Teach them at an early age how to settle arguments with firearms. Let them learn that if someone annoys you just shot 'em. It's quick, it's easy and they won't bother you again. It would also go a long way to letting children police themselves by not teaching communication, thought nor the ability to resolve conflict in a positive manner. Give 'em all guns.

After Boehner's boner last night my solution is to let the NRA clown chase Boehner over the fiscal cliff with a cap pistol and then we can all wave good bye to both morons and get down to the business of finding real solutions to the problems of this country.

To quote Ron White, " You can't fix stupid".

E-mail from John

Colin,
My views on this issue is that we need to do several things.
1. Better mental health and better understanding what the meds do to the patient. Many have suicide warnings attached to them and may be helping cause this problem.

2. Register the sale of ammo to licensed people who own that type of gun only. Stop ammo going to stolen guns.

3. Ban hollow point and armour piercing ammo.

4. All owners need to have a background check every 5 years

5. Track the sale and use of ammo to keep it from going underground. By tracking the sale you will see where the issues are and who they are.

6. Don't ban guns. You do not this going the way of Northern Ireland, Israel, Iraq and Afganistan. Just think of what would happen if they left the guns and went over to bombing busses. Just thing if he had put a sticky bomb under each bus that was picking up the kids at school in the afternoon and set them all off at the same time. 400-600 people would be dead and he would never be known. Don't take the problem from bad to worse.

Oops!

Sorry about that. But the good news is the world didn't end, right?

E-mail from Jake

The end of the world was At 11:11 GMT or 6:11am this morning EST.

E-mail from David

Wasn't the solution after 911 to put armed federal marshalls on airplanes? That kinda worked.

E-mail from Wayne

People ask why. Perhaps it is to soften our hearts and to strengthen our resolve to do better.