Accessories to Murder
“Millions of NRA members and not one has shot up a school,” we were actuallied on Facebook today. “That’s a fact.”
About five million, more or less. They pay their forty bucks a year to “help us defend your Second Amendment freedom whenever and wherever it comes under attack.”
Their money, along with that of weapons manufacturers, is funneled into politicians who work tirelessly to do nothing — or worse — to solve a problem that has killed 1.5 million Americans since 1968.
They are all accessories to murder.
We know of no other way to explain it. We’ve spent years listening to their arguments, especially the days after yet another slaughter of innocents. The American response to massacre is a profane ritual, a macabre dance where everyone knows the moves in advance.
And every time, their argument boils down to one fundamental action item: Do nothing.
A somewhat recent step in the dance has been to blame mental illness for the shootings. If this was a serious argument, the Obama rule adding Social Security mental-disability records to the gun-purchase background database would not have been repealed by Congress and signed by President Trump a year ago. If this was a serious argument, the NRA would not have strongly advocated for this repeal.
It is not a serious argument. None of them are. They are all deliberate distractions to keep us from addressing the problem. They are an expression of the real mental-health issue that bedevils our nation:
These people are sociopaths.
We know of no other way to explain that, either. You can shoot up a movie theater, a church, a college campus, a nightclub, an outdoor audience, or a goddamn grade school, and these people will mouth concern for the victims while working to ensure there are more of them. We generously allow them to “debate” when we should be shaming them, condemning their failures as citizens and human beings. Our civic respect enables them, when they should be shunned.
There are debates to be had, legitimate debates, about rights and measures and effectiveness. Perhaps we could study firearms deaths as a public-health matter, although that was outlawed by the NRA. Perhaps private citizens could sue gun manufacturers for liability, although that was outlawed by the NRA. Perhaps we could close the gun-show background-check loophole, but that’s blocked by the NRA. Perhaps we could re-enact the assault-weapons ban, but that’s blocked by the NRA.
The NRA, the politicians whose souls it buys, and the members who provide the cash to enable the transactions.
These people, all of them, are sociopaths. They are all accessories to murder.
And they all have blood on their hands.