This is an exact quote from Friday’s NRA statement: “This is the beginning of a serious conversation. We won’t be taking any questions.”
The National Rifle Association stayed eerily silent after the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School killings that left 26 Newtown residents dead, 20 of them small children. The gun rights group stayed quiet for five long days, but then it informed the world it had “meaningful contributions” to make in the ensuing debate. On Friday we learned the NRA has no clue what the phrase “meaningful contributions” means. None.
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, ahead of his appearance on Meet the Press this coming Sunday, stepped up to the podium and blamed the media, blamed video games, blamed the mentally ill, blamed violent movies, blamed gun-free zones, blamed foreign aid and blamed … sports, maybe? Why not just blame Canada? This was an unmitigated disaster.
Read the full statement here. Here’s an excerpt:
The only way to answer that question is to face up to the truth. Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them.
And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.
How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order? Think about it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses — even sports stadiums — are all protected by armed security.
We care about the President, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers.
Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family — our children — we as a society leave them utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predators of this world know it and exploit it. That must change now!
Put aside the fact that Columbine had armed guards and that tragedy still occurred, Twitter wasn’t having the rest of LaPierre’s statement:
Shorter NRA: Literally every other thing in the world is responsible for gun violence except guns
— Dan Amira (@DanAmira) December 21, 2012
— Slade Sohmer (@SladeHV) December 21, 2012
How does the NRA reconcile opposition to a national gun registry with support for a national mental-illness registry? bit.ly/UNxFZe
— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) December 21, 2012
LaPierre’s big idea: Armed guards or cops assigned to schools. Like the cop who was assigned to Columbine? slate.me/Udw7d4
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) December 21, 2012
I played a ton of Mario Kart as a kid, which is why I’m always throwing bananas out of my car.
— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) December 21, 2012
Congratulations, Clint Eastwood. You no longer gave the most tone deaf political speech of the year.
— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) December 21, 2012
Lets get real folks, Mortal Kombat is responsible for the national plague of bare-handed beheadings. #finishhim
— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) December 21, 2012
NRA’s Lapierre blames media, mentally ill, video games, Hollywood and media again. This absolutist script is tired.
— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) December 21, 2012
I think we just learned why the #NRA is normally quiet after a mass shooting.
— Elon James White (@elonjames) December 21, 2012
That press conference is exactly why I’m a *former* NRA member.
— Andy Levy (@andylevy) December 21, 2012
What LaPierre shld have said: Sympathy 4 the affected; commit to protect 2nd amend; willing to listen to sensible ideas that don’t violate
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) December 21, 2012
RT @delrayser: If the NRA thinks everyone’s safer with guns around, why did they have a security check to get into their press conference?
— Don Millard (@OTOOLEFAN) December 21, 2012
NRA is imagining Marshall Will Kane guarding every US school. I’m imagining an armed Barney Fife.
— davidfrum (@davidfrum) December 21, 2012
I kind of missed how “sports stadiums” got brought into this but, OK, ARM THE SPORTS STADIUMS, TOO!
— Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox) December 21, 2012
NRA: The best way to make schools safer is to turn them into battlegrounds for shoot outs.
— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) December 21, 2012
You’ve got to admit that this press conference is in tune with a day many projected to be the end of the world.
— Michael Roston (@michaelroston) December 21, 2012
If the NRA got money from land mine manufacturers, guess what would be included in LaPierre’s proposal?
— Philip Bump (@pbump) December 21, 2012
Good guys w/ guns vs bad guys w/ guns is, ironically, the moral cosmology of a small child.
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) December 21, 2012
In Wayne LaPierre’s defense, tone-deafness is a serious condition that afflicts hundreds of thousands of Americans.
— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) December 21, 2012
True gun rights advocates should start an organization that, unlike the NRA, isn’t totally intelelctually dishonest and morally shameful.
— Ryan J. Davis (@RyanNewYork) December 21, 2012
NRA plan to reduce gun violence: Schools will be fortified. Everyone else is fucked.
— Dan Amira (@DanAmira) December 21, 2012
LaPierre’s vision: A nation of Plaxico Burrises.
— David Waldman (@KagroX) December 21, 2012
Plan B is no longer the most derided plan on Twitter.
— John Dickerson (@jdickerson) December 21, 2012
Oh, and there were protesters, too, which did a disservice to everyone at home, because it took away from LaPierre doing damage to himself.