No one ever accused Wayne LaPierrer of being a moderate. That was clear several years ago just after Sandy Hook, when he passionately claimed guns had nothing to do with the massacre.
“There is no greater freedom than to survive and protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns and handguns we want,” LaPierre said in 2014.
Hmmm … in other words the best we can get from life — the most freedom — is just to “survive and protect”? That suggests that the world outside is very dangerous indeed. And it is so dangerous that we cannot even entrust our survival and protection to police. We have to do it ourselves.
Where does this bizarre fear come from? I could perhaps understand this as a holdover form 9/11. But the reality is that since 9/11, the police, security services, and military have done the heavy lifting in defending us. We have not had to resort to blasting terrorists with shotguns just to survive. And based on results alone, US security services seem to have done a good job for us (I leave out whether they have injured others).
So why don’t we trust them? Why do some persist in thinking that only they can defend themselves with their own guns`?Think about it for a moment. Even if the danger were so severe, would we rely primarily upon individuals who often lack basic training in armed combat? Would that be our first line of defense? Of course not.
And btw, that is what the founding fathers decided when they tried to rely on “guys with guns” (the militias) to fight the war of 1812. It was a disaster, so they started using professional troops, which, BTW, eliminated the main purpose of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Get that part about a “well regulated militia” being necessary for security? That was the conventional wisdom back in 1776. It proved to be wrong. A well regulated militia is not necessary for the security of a free state. That is why we have the army, navy, air force, etc.
So why can’t these folks see that they are bonkers? Here is the good news. While they may not see it, a lot of other folks do. And I believe this is re-shaping American politics. The grown ups in the room are starting to realize that they have lost control, and they want it back. This, I think, is the reason why we are seeing the huge amount of protest since Trump took office.
My guess is that Mr. LaPeirre knows this and is frightened by the prospect that grown ups may start asserting themselves in policy decisions. He probably realizes that Trump has pushed things too far into bizarroland and a lot of folks want out. So Mr. LaPeirre is doing what you would expect him to do. He is trying to deligitimize the protesters, suggesting that they are paid for left wingers. Ah well, These are strange times. And let’s hope that they are short lived and the grown ups start having their say.