An NRA Dream Speech
In last month’s column, I assumed that the Sandy Hook killings would be a turning point in the gun control debate. That it would force the disparate sides to seek common ground.
I thought that when the NRA announced an upcoming press conference on Dec. 21, and said it was prepared to “offer meaningful contributions to make sure this never happens again,” that it actually meant what it said.
I watched in wonder as Wayne LaPierre, NRA’s executive vice president, blamed everyone and everything else but guns for the tragedy and called for armed guards in every school in America.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said.
He also said he wanted the NRA to take the lead in organizing the effort.
I wondered why this newly security-conscious organization didn’t have the security in place during the press conference to prevent two separate protesters from holding anti-NRA banners in front of the podium for so long that their arms got tired.
And among all my “wonderment,” this is what I hoped LaPierre would have said:
“Good afternoon. On behalf of the National Rifle Association, I want to express how deeply saddened we are by the tragic events that took place in Sandy Hook on Dec. 14. The slaughter of 26 innocent lives, including 20 young children, leaves us beyond grief.
“Although no laws were broken in the purchase of the firearms used in this senseless act, and no laws were broken until Adam Lanza took his mother’s guns and pulled the trigger, something must be done now to try to prevent another tragedy.
“In the days since these 26 innocent lives were taken, I have called upon the leadership of the NRA to offer meaningful contributions to this cause. Although we have had major differences with President Obama over gun control in the past, we are willing to come to some type of middle ground.
“We are willing to join President Obama, and the majority of our members, in supporting an assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines. Contrary to what we have said in the past, and because of this tragic event, this ban is not a Second Amendment issue — this is a safety issue.
“A handgun in the possession of a well-trained security guard is still no match for a person wielding an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with high capacity magazines — the weapon used by Adam Lanza in Newton, or James Holmes in Aurora or Jacob Tyler Roberts in Clackamas, Ore. It is a matter of superior firepower.
“We no longer believe that the ban will start a slippery slope on the Second Amendment, and all law-abiding Americans will still have the right to bear arms.
“We will work with the White House and Congress to come to a reasonable decision on solving this problem.
“We are taking responsibility for our part in this tragedy, but there are other factors involved. Blaming the weapon is not enough. We are looking forward to joining Vice President Biden in meetings with representatives of law enforcement, gun retailers, entertainment executives, video game manufacturers and mental health officials in the coming weeks to come to some type of comprehensive solution to this problem. We are all culpable, and we can all contribute.
“I am proud that the NRA is the first organization to reach out and offer some type of viable solution, and we look for other organizations to follow our lead.
“We look forward to working with the White House, Congress and any other organization entity as allies in in the future.
“Thank you for your time, and God bless America.”
We can dream, can’t we?