There is no white flag, but the bravado of the NRA displayed regularly in their tweets has been silenced since Friday in what appears to be an almost cowardice retreat. (See embedded copies of NRA tweets from Tuesday to Friday below the squiggle.) And, despite a tweet sent out Thursday celebrating that their official Facebook page had reached 1.7 million "likes," the page has now disappeared without a trace.
The name of the primary weapon, Bushmaster AR15, is familiar to anyone who remembers the Washington DC sniper nightmare. According to a ProGuns website:
A leader in the field of firearms and renowned worldwide, Bushmaster produces high quality and high performance firearms for everything from hunting to home defense, law enforcement, plinking, and competition. Known for their dedication to detail and use of top grade materials, Bushmaster’s firearms are some of the best in the world. From the ready-to-accessorize Bushmaster AR15 ORC (Optics Ready Carbine) to the easy-to-carry yet powerful Bushmaster Carbon 15 9mm Pistol.#NRA has been a top Twitter trend over the past few days, but responses from their community are minimal and are coming from NRA members and fans, not officials. Perhaps they will claim that now is not the time to debate the issues they so boldly support, but in the mean time, #NowIsTheTime is also a top Twitter trend. And, the debate is under way, with or without the NRA.
Members of Congress, known to be proud supporters of the NRA, did not respond to the opportunity to appear on Meet the press today:
Is it cowardice? Will they come out swinging after what they believe is "the right amount of time to grieve" before debating gun restrictions?
BTW, we reached out to ALL 31 pro-gun rights Sens in the new Congress to invite them to share their views on @meetthepress - NO takers.— Betsy Fischer Martin (@BetsyMTP) December 16, 2012
There is a lot of anger directed at the NRA right now. And for many of us, the feelings of helplessness can be abated at some level by taking action, by fighting for change. The NRA represents, to many of us, the "protection" of the right to bear arms, even the kind of weapons meant for mass killings in times of war.
The NRA has spent a lot of money to advance the politicians identified as their supporters and their lobbying presence in Washington has been intimidating law-makers for too long. It is up to us to keep pressure on our representatives and on the NRA to move forward with laws that restrict automatic weapons and close background check loopholes.
Let's challenge the NRA and their Political Victory Fund to put a portion of their lobbying budget and efforts into improving our mental health system. Let's challenge them to use their lobbying efforts to support the guarantee that mental health services will be fully covered by medical insurance.
In the mean time, hug the children in your life and if you know one, please, hug and thank a teacher.