Guns & Gun Laws in America: A One Month One Day After Newtown

NRA Gun App

The scene out of Albany last night was one of common sense winning out, but sadly in today's electoral landscape that qualifies, as uncommon as political valor. New York Democrats, and a lot of Republicans decided that assault weapons designed for our military to fight wars shouldn't be stocked on the shelves of Wal-Mart in the Empire State. Among other things they said that it would be a good idea to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Yes America, even after Newtown these are legislative hills, okay for Albany, but too steep to climb in Washington. If anyone asks why, they haven't been paying attention to the three letters that speak loudest in our national debate over guns - of course I'm talking about the NRA.Sometimes in this amazing country I think we debate to just debate. Somehow, even the craziest argument seems to warrant a counterpoint. The National Rifle Association has managed to stake out a position, after 20 babies were massacred in their classrooms, that what America needs to do is arm the lunch lady and blame the media.Wayne LaPierre is a hypocrite, a man who puts gun manufacturers before his own members. Let’s start with the hypocrisy. LaPierre was upset by an obscure video game he managed to single handedly bring to the publics attention. So upset it turns out that AFTER Newtown his organization decided to sell a gun-shooting app to children. The App, downloadable through the iTunes store and titled "NRA: Practice Range" offers shooters the option to choose their weapon including an M-16 assault rifle with a 15 round clip. Originally the app was set for ages 4 and up, this means that nursery schoolers and kindergarteners could have selected their weapon of choice and aim it at targets that are shaped eerily like coffins on one of the game’s levels.Who is so warped that they could conceive of targeting children who aren't old enough to ride a bike and put an assault weapon on screen for them to aim at caskets after Newtown? Regardless, the leadership clearly doesn't care about kid’s safety or preventing the next massacre, but "we the people" and yes, even their members do. 3 out of 5 Americans want to ban assault weapons, 2 out of 3 Americans want to ban high capacity ammo clips, 3 out 4 Americans want an ammo background check and a gun sale database. And finally, 9 out of 10 Americans want mandatory background checks when you buy a gun. The public has spoken and the NRA's membership agrees more with them then their own leadership. But it's time they spoke up. Since Newtown the gun lobby has stoked panic with lies of a gun grabbing government and the crazies have taken the bait.Right wing radio and unhinged lawmakers have added more fuel to the fire, all the while gun lines grow and so do the pockets of the NRA. What will it take for this country to stand up for a sane conversation about gun laws? A conversation that is not about conservative verses liberal, Democrat verses Republican, gun owners verses non-gun owners but a one about protecting our children from violence. As all of us learned in elementary school, the answer to violence is not more violence; let’s try to practice the rules we teach our children.

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