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Watching how the tragedy in Newtown changed the America we live in, I can’t help but wonder if the National Rifle Assocation and its president Wayne LaPierre, have no ammunition for the crisis they’re facing.  Here’s the deal: it’s pretty clear that if you look at their actions, the National Rifle Association does not represent gun owners.  For one, it doesn’t give a hoot about their safety.  It only cares about the opportunities to place more guns in people’s hands, which means that the NRA’s real constituents are gun manufacturers.

The latest and clearest example of this mindset was on full display today, when at his press conference NRA’s Wayne LaPierre announced that the solution to the problem of school shootings, is to place more armed guards in our schools.  Considering the nature of the tragedy, and the great number of possible solutions: from safety training to increasing access to mental healthcare, or anything else for that matter, NRA’s solution made clear that it represents interests of those who sell guns not those who buy them.  Then again, to a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

The question that I really would like to have answered is this: has the paradigm of our existence shifted so much since last Friday, that an organization such as NRA as it currently stands, is no longer acceptable to the general population? The National Rifle Association and the  gun lobby have reached an amazing level of success in controlling politicians and dictating political agendas.  The mere fact that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms hasn’t been able to confirm a director in years, says a lot about the power this industry wields.  But as in all conflicts, when one side dominates, the only way to change the balance of power is through asymetrical warfare.  In the world where the gun manufacturers lobby has decimated its known opposition, an extraordinary event, or to be precise, murder of 20 children at an elementary school, shifted the paradigm knocking the lobby off balance.

In “Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, Thomas Kuhn argues that revolution occurs when new problems are not solved by the currently existing solutions.  In other words, the paradigm shift presents us with new problems requiring new solutions because the old ones no longer work.  And that makes every old and tried argument used by proponents of gun “rights” (otherwise known as “people advocating selling-as-many-guns-as-possible-to-anyone-who-can-afford-it”) for decades,  suddenly ring hollow.   The old tried-and-true arguments of arming teachers, protecting rights, and imperfect laws, now seem more offensive then implausable.

And thus my point: unless the National Rifle Association adjusts to reflect the new reality we all live in, it might as well refund the dues it collects back to its members, and shut down the headquarters, for it is bound to go the way of today’s Republican party – noisy, unappealing, and ineffective.  While only NRA can decide what role it plays in the future of this country, I sincerley doubt that Wayne LaPierre is part of the solution.

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I support National Rifle Association

8%8 votes
90%85 votes
1%1 votes

| 94 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good point, Yuri (9+ / 0-)

    I do think the NRA hurt its brand immensely today with a waste of time, non-news conference that was basically a veiled gun commercial. LaPierre sounded nutty and offered a ridiculous, nonstarter solution. I hope they have hit their limit in terms of power, and will begin a much-needed decline.

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:48:21 PM PST

  •  Can something sans heart or soul (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, koNko

    be killed off ?

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:52:21 PM PST

  •  They represent gun manufacturers not gun owners. (9+ / 0-)

    I grew up around guns, my dad grew up around guns.  I hunted when I was younger, my dad still hunts.  We go shooting when I go visit him.  He doesn't own any kinds of guns like the ones the NRA is trying to protect, and wouldn't want to.

    I think it's a bit like the cigarette lobby.  They were super powerful and influential and had congress in it's back pocket.  Eventually the public saw how evil they were and fought back.  

    I think the NRA jumped the shark big time today, and going forward the public will be pushing back.

    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

    by Puffin on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:59:58 PM PST

    •  You nailed it (0+ / 0-)

      It's all about maximizing the profits of the industry, and way far away from NRA's early emphasis on promoting training and safety.  

      I come from an NM ranch family where guns were incidental but necessary thanks to presence of certain animals such as the mountain lion who stalked my mom on a horse for miles until gramps pulled to 30 aught 6 on it.  

      That's what gun ownership was about before the NRA got out of hand.  Nothing to do with profits, just a tool for prudent country living.  

      "And once again, the forces of niceness and goodness have triumphed over the forces of evil and rottenness." --Maxwell Smart

      by emobile on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:29:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Puffin - you are correct about gun manufacturers (0+ / 0-)

      that's who the NRA really represents. Gun Owners of America represents the more extreme individual gun owners. GOA is well to the right of the NRA. However, the NRA still has a lot of individual gun owner members and very significant political punch. I am not a gun owner or NRA member, just a political junkie. I don't believe the news conference today will have any long term effect. Don't count the NRA out, they will be effectively working in the shadows to minimize the impact of the tragedy in CT. If gun owners think that any legislation will impact their ability to buy and own guns, or make guns or ammunition more expensive, watch for more people to join the NRA. We are already seeing a stampede to buy assault rifles and ammunition in response to legislators talking about gun control.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:46:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Absolutely a must watch video: (0+ / 0-)

    There is no such thing as an off year election. Every election effects each other. We need to work as hard in 2014 as we did in 2012.

    by pollbuster on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:23:23 PM PST

  •  By his comments (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jaywillie, john07801

    he has stated he will not be a part of any conversation. He also said he will not support any new gun legislation.
    And we think we can compromise with these people?

    A hooded sweatshirt can make an innocent teen look like a criminal. Just like a suit and glasses can make Geraldo Rivera look like a journalist." ---Stephen Colbert

    by sankaty on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 10:27:59 PM PST

  •  What role do you think groups like this will play? (0+ / 0-)

    Project Appleseed

    Or might they be finished too?

    While only NRA can decide what role it plays in the future of this country, I sincerley doubt that Wayne LaPierre is part of the solution.

    It strikes me that gun control advocates in general have a day-to-day boots-on-the-ground problem.

  •  I think you are mistaken (0+ / 0-)

    To believe that the NRA is finished ... is mistaken. Completely mistaken.

    Their allies are already going to bat for them on all fronts. We know how wealthy they are. We know how powerful they are. We know how persistent they are. We know they have endless resources and are willing to go the extra mile to keep things the way they want.

    +Right Wing Radio. I happened to listen to Rudi Giuliani today, as he was sitting in for Sean Hannity ... Rudi once advocated Assault Weapon Ban ... He has changed course and is now 100% behind the NRA and of course blaming President Obama for everything...Did you hear them attack Bob Costas?

    +Evangelicals and religious right: I listened to Franklin Graham in his radio interview, which was discussed on this site a few days ago. He will not support any new Gun Legislation. He blames the shooting on Hollywood, Video games, ... the same talking points as Wayne LaPierre. Accident? no, no, no. Those statements from Huckarbee are not accidental. They are well coordinated with the NRA and the Religious groups.

    +Political parties: How many Congressmen and Senators will have the guts to go  against the NRA? Take a guess. Very few. Some who were speaking on TV against  the NRA in the first few days, many have already started lowering the bar ... they need to NRA to win elections. Especially those in the South.

    +Pension Funds, Wallstreet: These are the people who invest massively in Gun Manufacturers stocks. These people want profits. They want high yields. Some funds have sold their stocks. But how many? Unfortunately, there are still plenty of our mutual funds, pension money and al... invested in these funds.

    +Tea Party, Libertarians: There are  still too many Americans who believe, the more guns, the better. Just wait until a non-white or someone with an Arab-sounding name kills a few people. The conversation will shift completely. This is very sad, but it is true.

    +The Main Stream Media: We know very well that these people carry the water for the Corporate Media. I'm still waiting to see anyone at CNN,  ABC, CBS, FOX go after the NRA SERIOUSLY.  They can't. They will have a few articles here and there blaming the Government. That's about the extend of this. Nothing really in term of real investigative reporting. Nothing really damaging, persistent.

    +Local Governments, State Governments: These guys are in bed with the NRA. They owe their jobs to the NRA, especially those Southern States. And their population will follow them blindly without any questions. Just watch how Texas, Tennessee and other Southern States are reacting to the tragedy...

    +The General Population: Walmart ran out of guns and ammunition following the CT shooting. People are not returning guns, they are buying them. I have neighbors who bought some. I have friends on my Facebook page who bought them  on November 7th. After the CT Shooting, they shared pictures of their guns .. with their Facebook Friends ...

    I would love to see the NRA disappear. But it is just like the Republican Party. There needs to be a responsible branch of Gun Owners who completely disassociate from the NRA and all the groups mentioned above and form another group. Otherwise ... I'm very skeptical that anything meaningful will happen. I doubt Biden's commission will be able to do anything meaningful. These Republicans will be asked to join the workgroup, with the simply goal to water down every single piece of Legislation. And I'm sure, it will be a struggle to find enough votes in the Senate or the House.

    •  Public outrage is also very powerful. For example (0+ / 0-)

      the protestors at the NRA's last "press conference." The groundswell against the NRA might just be powerful enough to stop them. There is one other organization The Brady Campaign that is getting new attention and money, maybe not enough to go up against the NRA and its bought and paid for politicians but it's a beginning.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 02:49:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How has the OWS outrage worked? (0+ / 0-)

        How has the public outrage against Wallstreet worked concretely?
        The Tea Party survived because it was taken over financially by very wealthy individuals/groups and pushed by Fox News and all the right wing talk radio.
        The occupy movement ... was even rejected by Democrats.
        Unless this anti-NRA movement is organized and financed, it will simply die out. The NRA has too many friends in high places.

    •  i think they are at a tipping point... (0+ / 0-)

      ...where there influence can be greatly diminished for the long term,  but yes some tipping remains to be done.

      they could be "Boehner'ed", in other words all the influential groups still exist but the NRA capable of unifying and focusing that influence.

      and P.S. Franklin Graham is not an evangelical leader in any sense.

      •  Franklin speaks on behalf of his father foundation (0+ / 0-)

        And he might just seem like  a jerk for us liberals, but for Evangelicals, he represents the elder Graham foundation.
        I don't remember many evangelicals coming out and speak out against him.

  •  All they need is a better spokesmodel (0+ / 0-)

    Sarah Palin.  They need to replace Wayne LaPierre with Sarah Palin.  You betcha.  

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:20:05 AM PST

  •  Not even close... (0+ / 0-)

    Sadly.

    They have a lot of damage left in them.

    "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

    by Notthemayor on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 12:31:59 AM PST

  •  The fact that the NRA is responsible for having (0+ / 0-)

    congress defund and deny research on firearms injury and death is a big factor. This has been going on since 1996 through their support of pro-gun members of Congress.

    This makes them even more dangerous in a Democracy. In their droning on and on about the Second Amendment, they were in violation of the First Amendment by denying research. This is more than lobbying for the gun industry this is interfering with peoples' right to know the truth.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 02:44:07 AM PST

  •  Depends who you ask (0+ / 0-)

    Since the shooting (as with previous cases) sales of assault weapons are skyrocketing on fears gun controls will be enacted.

    So once again, mas-shootings become the best advertising money can buy for producers of these weapons, which suggests the NRA has been pretty effective framing the issues in the public imagination.

    And now they are doing it again, using this tragedy to make the case that we need more guns to protect ourselves from the existing guns.

    Change that.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 03:20:17 AM PST

    •  two people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko

      I happened to talk to 2 people who caught part of the Lapiere news conference.  Both are gun owners.  One I know is NOT an NRA member, the other may be.  Both told me the same thing:  They turned it off, they "couldn't listen to that".

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