On April 16, 33 people died in glorious defense of the inalienable right of every citizen to bear arms: a truly proud day for the NRA...I’m sure their offices will be flooded with new membership applications.
But I have one small two-part question: having heard over and over and over again that every decent, God fearing American must be able to defend him/herself—which I find hard to dispute—my question is this: 1) of the 30,242 people who died of gun-related deaths in the United States in 2004 (the last posted figures) how many of them were the result of decent, God-fearing Americans defending themselves and/or their families, and how many were victims of deranged individuals with a grudge; and 2) is the ratio defensible...and if so, how? The “well, criminals could still get guns” defense strikes me as a rather petulant and weak rationale.
In a classic case of the sum being greater than its parts, the vast bulk of individual members of the NRA are indeed decent, God-fearing people. It’s not them we have to be concerned about: it’s the fact that the NRA as an organization also implicitly protects the rights of those who take advantage of this same “inalienable” right to wreak their form of vengeance upon others.
This is a very short entry, and I am sure only one of thousands of blogs addressing the massacre, but I would very much appreciate it if you could ponder my questions and get back to me with an answer I can understand.
In the meantime, Charleston Heston, poster boy for the NRA, has said he will give up his gun only after it is pried from his cold, dead hands. I will happily volunteer for that job.
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