Holy Michael Dukakis in a tank! What was Wayne LaPierre doing today? It wasn’t the press conference equivalent of the Hindenburg landing and he wasn’t drawn and quartered but it was a disaster nonetheless. Mr. LaPierre should not have been within 500 miles of a television camera for the next year. If his goal was to draw the venom from the snake so it could not strike again, well, let’s just say all he accomplished was ticking the snake off.
It has been mentioned on this blog that sending cultural aliens in front of a strident and irresponsible press is asking for trouble. The NRA should have found this lady in Dallas who took out two intruders that were attempting to rob her home. Or this lady in Fort Worth who rescued herself from a thug.
Rather, they went the traditional route and tried to talk reason to a mob. It was a predictably spectacular Bad Move and the NRA got the mouthful of hot gravel it deserved. When a lynch party is outside shouting your name don’t go out and greet them holding fifty feet of rope.
The NRA has people. According to its website it trains over 700,000 gun owners a year in firearm safety. Among them are mothers, fathers, single women and senior citizens. They are the best character witnesses the NRA could ever have. Let the good works done for ordinary Americans represent the importance of maintaining our Second Amendment freedoms. One hundred people saved by gun owners would be a more impressive front than a lone lamb before media wolves.
Wayne Lapierre is a decent man and a patriot, I’m sure. He made the obvious point that a vulgar society is more apt to produce monsters capable of the hideous carnage that has sent a nation into an emotional free fall but this was not his moment. That should have been left to the people who have had their lives and property saved by the responsible gun ownership the NRA promotes.
Conservatives should not be defending anything. We should be on offense. For example, why doesn’t the NRA have a cable channel? If Al Gore could cobble together a studio for ranters and discontents surely the well funded NRA could televise hunting shows, gun safety shows and a reality show or two. Political lobbying, at which the NRA excels, wins votes. No doubt. What Mr. LaPierre needed today, though, was friends, not votes, and the way to get them is to engage the nasty culture he derided at his ill fated presser.
The American mind is shifting. We’re likelier to see a Harriet and Harriet spin-off than an Ozzie and Harriet remake. Individual gun ownership is embedded in American society and the Left is busy encouraging Americans to toss it. Conservatives have to come out of our intellectual cul-de-sac and engage the new and emerging America. We need to communicate our principles in a way people can understand and in places where they hear us unfiltered by Left wing propagandists. We need the ability to make the cowards with microphones and news columns understand there will be an electoral price to be paid when they reveal their malice for America.
Author Wendell Talley