One of the traits that separate human beings from machines is a conscious mental reaction such as anger or fear that is subjectively experienced as a strong feeling directed toward a specific object or an event. An emotion nearly every human being has felt is guilt when they believe they have violated some societal standard, and it is intricately tied to culpability that describes the degree of one’s blameworthiness in the commission of an offense. The failure to face up to one’s guilt is cowardice driven by a person’s excessive self-concern that overrides what is socially deemed as right, and cowards fail to demonstrate mental robustness and courage in the face of a challenge. There have been a plethora of emotional responses ranging from blame to open rejoicing in the wake of the massacre of 20 innocent children and 6 adults in Connecticut last Friday, but the people most responsible for the firearms that contributed to the tragedy have shown nothing but cowardice.
Most Americans were saddened beyond description at the news a gunman forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire on 6-7 year old children and school employees that has given way to sheer outrage that another mass shooting occurred. In a show of respect for the victims and their families, the day of the atrocity was set aside to grieve and support the devastated parents and loved-ones left behind after their worlds were torn asunder in a senseless act of gun violence, but most Americans recognize that now, the time to demand America join the civilized world and put an end to the blatant proliferation of guns cannot wait another day. Many gun enthusiasts quickly reverted to their normal response when mass shootings occur, and promptly informed the nation that raw emotion was not conducive to intelligent discourse about gun control, or that more guns in the population was the proper response to another tragedy. However, it is hypocritical for gun advocates to assail emotional responses when emotion is the National Rifle Association’s favorite ploy to encourage its members to stockpile guns and ammunition.
The argument that after a national tragedy is not the time for discourse and action belies the nation’s response to the terror attacks of 9/11 when the government and nation was consumed with preventing terrorism. The only reasonable conservative in America, David Frum, said “if discussing gun control insults the victims’ memories, then after 911 was not the time to talk about terrorism, or after the Titanic disaster was not the time to talk about lifeboats” was prescient, but one group has been conspicuously silent after the horrific Connecticut massacre. Shortly after news of the shooting broke, the NRA’s Twitter account went silent and their Facebook page went offline. One theory is that many of its fans were openly rejoicing that the shooting proved bans on guns in schools does not work, but it is more likely even NRA leadership is guilty for their culpability in the proliferation of guns in America; particularly battlefield weapons whose only function is stalking and killing human beings.
The only statement by the NRA in the direct aftermath that proves they are clueless and that the nation felt they were culpable was a Twitter remark that “Until the facts are thoroughly known, NRA will not have any comment.” The facts were thoroughly known immediately. A man shot his gun enthusiast mother in the face with her own gun, and then drove to the elementary school, shot his way into the school, and murdered six adults protecting their students and then murdered twenty 6 and 7 year old children to death before turning the weapon on himself. The professional gun lobbyist, racist fear-monger, and leader of the NRA, Wayne La Pierre, is never at a loss for words, or millions-of-gun lobby dollars to promote arming the entire nation, but he has been silent in the aftermath of his handiwork and it is because he is a coward. La Pierre is not the only culpable coward to avoid answering for their part in the tragedy because invitations to 31 pro-gun Senators to appear on Meet the Press went unanswered out of fear of facing questions about their support and allegiance to La Pierre and his gun lobby money.
La Pierre has been instrumental in frightening gun enthusiasts by warning them President Obama did not take away guns during his first term because he was secretly planning to take them away during his second term. La Pierre has promoted the idea the President had designs on the 2nd Amendment all along, and he claimed on the Glenn Beck show less than two weeks ago that, “The media in this country hates the Second Amendment rights of American citizens and they’ll do anything to try and take that freedom away from average citizens.” His tactic to bolster gun sales was claiming “the media will team up with the Obama Administration to carry out a siege on the Second Amendment in this country like we’ve never seen before.” His ploy thus far has worked out well for the gun industry because before and after the election gun sales went through the roof as nervous gun fanatics flocked to stock up on firearms and ammunition ahead of what La Pierre has been warning about for over five years; a second Obama term. He has not uttered a word since the tragedy in Connecticut, but some of his gun rights acolytes have spoken volumes.
Fanatical evangelical preacher and Fox News personality Mike Huckabee said the massacre was retaliation by god for “kicking him out of public schools and the public square,” and that gun control would not have changed the tragic outcome. Texas congressman and perennial nutjob Louie Gohmert repeated what many NRA members and Republicans believe that if the Sandy Hook Elementary School principal kept a gun in her office, the shooting would have had a far less tragic result. “I wish to God she had had an M4 rifle in her office locked up and so when she heard gunshots… she takes his head off before he can hurt those kids,” and his sentiment was echoed by another evangelical nutjob, Bryan Fischer, who remarked on Friday that, “Shooters attack an elementary school in CT. – another “gun-free zone.” Makes children sitting ducks.” The insane idea that more guns equals less carnage is an oft-repeated notion that inspired Texas Republicans to push for guns in classrooms, and the evening before the Connecticut massacre Michigan Republicans passed a bill to allow concealed weapons in schools, churches, bars, and other public venues. They have all been silent since the latest in a string of mass shootings that will continue unabated until the people of the nation say enough.
Americans are finally saying enough, and they are not showing cowardice like the NRA and their paid legislators in the Republican Party. There are many, many Americans who feel guilty they have not spoken out sooner about gun control, but after seven mass shootings within a year, the people cannot be silent any longer. It remains to be seen if there will be repercussions for the NRA and the gun lobby for promoting a Wild West mentality in 21st century America, or if La Pierre and his sycophants will break their silence and take responsibility for their part in these horrific tragedies. Americans can only hope the mood of the nation, and legislators, remains repulsed at the degradation of civilized society because the cowards calling for more guns will not stay silent for long and with their gun lobby money, will not rest until there is war in the streets, shopping malls, theatres, and schools that appears to be the NRA and god-fearing evangelicals end game, and the end of America as a civilization.