Adding insult to injury (literally), Democratic and Republican politicians somehow managed to take the terribly sad and tragic events of Aurora, Colorado, and make them worse. In the face of the worst shooting in U.S. history, politicians of all political biases danced around the obvious, tripped over their sentences, and did everything imaginable to avoid uttering two words: gun control. That term probably strikes more fear into politicians than actually staring down the barrel of a .357 magnum. Just look at Colorado's Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, on NBC's "Meet the Press." Sure, he was dealing with the tragedy's aftermath and wanted to proffer healing words, but he completely botched a question on gun control lobbed by host David Gregory. Hickenlooper said, "You look at this person [Holmes]...this creature...if he couldn't have gotten access to the guns, what kind of bomb would he have created?" Hickenlooper then pivoted to a nonsequitur, saying how we live in an "information age." An unmistakeable WTF moment if there ever was one.
Thus, it didn't take long for the usual suspects to show up. The rabidly right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial writers fawned over the governor's remarks in an editorial called, "Hickenlooper's Good Sense." (Being praised by the WSJ editorial board is kind of like your crazy, smelly, repulsive relative cornering you, saying, "You've always been my favorite." But I digress.) The Journal loved, just loved, the fact that the liberal governor punted when given the floor to talk about sensible gun control.
Reliable blowhards such as Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Chris Christie, too, all sang from the same songbook: "Now Is Not the Time to Talk About Gun Control." For these and other right-wingers, when is a good time? Their answer? Never. The only one who had the courage to bring up gun control after the massacre was New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and even he was silenced.
I'd love to place all the blame on Republicans for ignoring gun control since they're the ones married to firearms, but honestly, I can't. In four years, President Obama has shown little interest in tackling the dizzying rise of gun violence in the United States, and he hasn't renewed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004. Let's face it, for Democrats in congress any legislation with the words "gun control" in the title might as well have the words "Osama bin Laden Appreciation Day."
Why are politicians of all political stripes in fear of gun control? We all know why, but no one says it. The National Rifle Association has bullied and bribed lawmakers and politicians into silence. This begs the question, Why the hell do we need the NRA anyway? What's their mission? Just log on to their website and you'll soon know the answer. The splash page pleads for viewers to register to vote. Huh? Isn't the NRA a group dedicated to teaching about gun safety? Nope. The home page blathers on about the Fast and Furious gun-running debacle and how Attorney General Eric Holder should be held in contempt. What does that have to do with the NRA's alleged "mission," which, according to their own website, is "to promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis." Answer? Nothing of course.
The NRA has always been a political arm of the Republican Party, but in 2012 it's become more than that. It's a group that does zero good and does a whole lot of bad. Imagine if it were to dissolve tomorrow—life would go on. The Second Amendment wouldn't be scrapped from the books and hunters would still bag their game.
If it did dissolve tomorrow here's what might happen: Spineless politicians would finally get the monkey off their backs and maybe, just maybe, pass legislation that, I don't know, outlaws a person from buying 3,000 rounds of ammunition. But in the sick world of the NRA and its supporters, that kind of sensible legislation would "infringe" on the Second Amendment.
These kinds of corrupt ideology and twisted thinking are reason enough for the American people to rise up and crush the NRA. Make the organization as relevant as the Ku Klux Klan is today. Yes, this is just a pipe dream, and no I don't really believe it will ever happen.
But we can all hope and dream, can't we, that someday America will be free of the NRA.
Note: I have blogged in the past for the Huffington Post, but since the site was sold to AOL, it has become increasingly difficult for me to get my posts published. I tried to post this one to Huffington, but they declined to publish and gave me no reason. I can only guess it is because this post is critical of the NRA. It's too bad the Huffington Post has now become the go-to site to read up on ways to get through menopause and seven reasons 50-year-olds aren't having sex. Oh well.