Joining the NRA

Confession time. Every now and then I visit Fox News. I’m curious about what the right-wing is being told. Since they’ve written off every reputable news source as “fake news”, they’ve narrowed down the available sources of news to conspiracy nut-job sites and Fox. Reading through opposing viewpoints helps me clarify and solidify my views on controversial topics. Today’s read was about a mother of two joining the National Rifle Association.

Her justification is weak, at best:

I did so because the absence of common sense that I’ve witnessed recently is alarming to me as a parent. We’ve seen deeply misguided hatred and rage directed toward people who want to protect themselves with a gun rather than targeted at the heart of the problem.

I believe this is a form of the old “good guy with a gun” argument. A misguided belief that if you have a gun, when you are attacked you’ll be able to fend off the attacker. There’s several ways to look at this, but the most relevant is probably to point out that there was a good guy with a gun on the scene of the Florida shooting, and he did nothing. There’s also the example of Chris Kyle, the soldier at the heart of the book and movie “American Sniper”. Chris knew weapons inside and out, and he was killed by a fellow veteran with a gun. You won’t find someone more knowledgeable of the dangers and responsibilities of firearms, and he was in a situation where he knew the person he was with might be dangerous, and he was still killed. Does it work? Sometimes. Will it work for you when you need it? Maybe? But that’s still missing the point. It’s a straw man argument.

No one is arguing that all guns should be outlawed and taken away. What we are addressing here, to begin with, is the availability of semi-automatic rifles that fire high-velocity bullets. The question on the floor is “should these weapons be available to the general public”?

This battle we’re facing isn’t about guns, it’s about evil. Evil in the hearts of those who choose to act with a gun.

I’d agree. However, I’m doubtful that we’ll be able to solve the problem of evil in the hearts of man anytime soon. We’re working on it, but it’s a tough nut to crack.

However, for us to face that truth as a society means that we also must confront the culture we’ve created. We are living in the midst of a depraved culture where right is wrong and wrong is right. One where we’ve seen the breakdown of family values, and an overall morality that’s flexible.

You’re not kidding. Decency, respect, honor, compassion, commitment… you don’t get a lot of that from American society today. It’s a problem that needs work, but creating a society that has the compassion to be able to live together with differing opinions and the empathy to help those outsiders who need it takes time. While we are waiting, how about we do something about this gun problem. I’m sure we can tackle both issues at the same time.

That’s a much harder conversation, and not one many people want to have. It’s much easier to put a band-aid on the problem, take away everyone’s guns, and hope the problem goes away.

Until it doesn’t. Evil is no respecter of laws, and evil doesn’t need a gun.

Another straw man argument. I thought we had already said that we weren’t arguing to take away everyone’s guns? Also, that while we are working on solving the problem of inherent evil in mankind, maybe we make it harder for people to get the weapons they would need to be able to kill 17 kids? Maybe there’s something we can actually do, like right now, that might help the situation.

The writer spends the next few paragraphs pointing out well documented issues in the Florida shooting, talking about sickness and evil in the shooter, and then we get this nugget:

When I joined the NRA last week it was because I was tired of being preached at by people who are unwilling to look at the problem and only want to treat the symptom. It’s easy to blame the NRA, and it’s easy to blame guns. It’s the new trendy target, but it’s not the solution.

Here, at the end of the article, do we actually get to the core of why this woman joined the NRA. It wasn’t so she could feel safer, it wasn’t because she believes the NRA is working for the betterment of mankind, or that they are going to abolish evil. It’s because she “was tired of being preached at”. She joined the NRA and wrote an article for Fox News to snub her nose at calls to action that didn’t agree with her political ideals.

In any other system, if there are failings on multiple levels you look at each level and fix things as you find them. Not so in the American gun debate. Millions of Americans get to the point of mental illness in the shooter and quit right there. Yes, mental illness is definitely an issue that we need to address, but let’s get to the next level, where the person with the mental illness was able to obtain military grade weapons and ammunition.

If someone comes into the emergency room with, oh, I don’t know, let’s say a gunshot wound, the doctor doesn’t just remove the bullet and call it good. You’ve got to stop the bleeding. Yes, we need to look at our culture and our society. Yes we need to address the core of the problem of why this is happening. Yes we need to bring real Christian values1 back into American culture. But while we are working on that let’s stop the bleeding. Stop sacrificing our children, children! to Moloch.

Someone in this argument is unwilling to look at the problem, I don’t think it’s the people calling for common sense gun legislation.

  1. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”