The NRA and their willing allies — denial, deception, and deflection — are working overtime in the nation’s newspapers, and our Valley dallies are no exception.
Denial does its part to insure that reliable data on gun violence cannot be obtained from any agency of the federal government. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta is barred from collecting data on gun injuries and fatalities. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is likewise prohibited from collecting or sharing any kind of data, as is the FBI and on down the line. Why? Over time, the NRA and its monied lobby worked these prohibitions into congressional amendments while destroying the effectiveness of all previous attempts at gun regulation. President Obama could claim that more than 1,000 Americans died of gun violence since Sandy Hook, but the NRA can counter that verifying data is unavailable.
Denial now hands the baton to Deception. An NRA sympathizer wrote in a recent Letter to the Editor, “The facts are that between 800,000 and 2 million crimes are prevented by civilian access to guns annually.” What could be the source of these numbers? The NRA abounds with such stats after having seen to it that it is the only resource left standing. The gap between 800,000 and 2 million is laughable in itself!
For a local example of Deflection, we turn to the most recent, oh so predictable column by Linda Turley-Hansen. The evils of alcohol are one of her favorite topics, but she can put them to good use against gun regulation advocates, so why not? Better, dear reader, to fear the drunk behind the wheel than the man with the gun. This is a favorite Deflection of the NRA, unless you pause to think about it. If I am in a crowd at a Tucson parking lot, and I have my choice of threats between a lunatic firing thirty shots in fifteen seconds and a speeding automobile, which would I take? Let’s see, thirty bullets I can’t see, traveling at twice the speed of sound versus a vehicle I might see and hear doing 80 mph. Sorry, Ms Turley-Hansen, I’ll take my chances on the car.
We are bound to see the 3Ds of the NRA almost daily in our nation’s media. What must disturb the NRA Board of Directors, each member an executive from domestic armaments corporations, is that we may be kept from seeing the actual numbers, but we know the total of dead, wounded, and those who suffer their loss; too many.