Who the bleep is the NRA?

Who the bleep is the NRA?

And other social media DOHs.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

I find myself unable to express illuminating feelings and thoughts about the evil that has happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Or the loss and grief of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, family, friends and neighbors.

But worse than this, I fear that the evil is not finished. It stretches out from Newtown to all of the world.

The full horror and impact of this evil remains to be seen.

I fear that we cannot yet see how broken our world was broke by those terrible shots.

Evil, too, is difficult to speak about. It does not parse easily – regardless of the abounding interpreters, compilers and commentators. Perhaps, this is why evil always takes us by surprise.

Evil, itself, seems intangible and fictitious. Yet it is real as you. And me.

It has dreadful impact – even if a particular instance of evil has no real or apparent causalities.

And, evil, it ever lurks in all of our hearts, minds and spirit.

Beyond this fact, I do not understand much more about evil.

The National Rifle Association

What does all this have to do with the NRA?

Writes Gary Fields, Stephanie Blanchero and Colleen McCain Nelson in the Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON—The nation’s biggest gun-rights lobby called Friday for placing an armed security guard at every school, as it for the first time entered the re-energized public debate over gun laws in the aftermath of last week’s school shooting in Connecticut.

In fact, the NRA has pledged to immediately invest significant resources (money, know how, and people) in support of the creation of a national school safety and security program.

Who else has pledged themselves to today’s task of protecting American children?

CNN?  The Wall Street Journal? The New York Times?

None.

Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, decried the NRA proposal to be “irresponsible and dangerous.”

Irresponsible and dangerous as a bank, a government building, an airport, an embassy, etc.?

“Schools must be safe sanctuaries, not armed fortresses,” added Weingarten as he clicked his ruby heels.

There’s no place like home.

The NRA (a.k.a. The National Rifle Association) is a non-profit organization that represents the specific and express interests of millions of U.S. citizens. Those interests can be characterized as an interest in preserving a Constitutional right to own and bear arms for the purpose of defense – mostly against (but not limited to) tyranny. In 2008 and 2010, The United States Supreme Court expanded our understanding of the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller to include the individual’s right to possess and use a firearm in the lawful exercise of personal self-defense.

The NRA, in other words, represents the interests and beliefs of some Americans who especially hold dear the promises and guarantees of the Second Amendment, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution.

There are other Americans, however, that want you to think that the NRA is something else – the them. That the NRA does not speak on behalf of Americans who believe (rightly or wrongly) in the wisdom of the Law of the land, of the founding fathers, and the cornerstones of the Republic.

It is this kind of divisive propaganda (the us and them mentality) which we must all resist – a word-craft that reminds me of the past and terrible argument that ignored the imperative of the American Declaration of Independence and set brother against brother.

That all men are created equal in human dignity and providence.

What would Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, have said of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his Dream?

Americans may be divided in opinion about the relevance of the U.S. Constitution to the 21st Century. Or the relevance of the Bill of Rights and/or specific Amendments. A great and passionate debate may, in fact, be in the stirring. But let us not forget that we are all Americans in this debate – where ever you are.

It’s not about us or them. Or just about crazy Americans. The questions and debate belongs to us (the human species) and we must individually wrestle with them in the face of fear, pain, loss, and wisdom.

It is, yes, all about we. We the people (of the world) must seek good answers and truer questions – together.

Scapegoats, however, speak to none of our intimate questions about the meaning of life, liberty and our happiness. Scapegoats only fuel contempt, misunderstanding, ignorance, brutality, terror, loss, and hate. The Israel and Palestine problem is an illuminating example.

Yes, Virginia. Evil will grow greater – if and only if – you believe or act otherwise.

Stan Faryna
21 December 2012
Fairfax, Virginia

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4 Responses to Who the bleep is the NRA?

  1. Betsy Cross says:

    I called my mom yesterday and this was the topic she wanted to talk about.She was angry about the NRA’S response. I couldn’t understand her anger. She seemed to be disappointed. She thought there was a better answer than armed guards in schools. All I could say was, “People were waiting for their response and they got one. When you wait for an organization to fix a probelem, they will fix it from their point of view.” I had no problem with the NRA’s response because it gives me something to think about.

    I’m not a worrier. I’m a realist when I have enough facts. If schools aren’t safe places, why send my children there? I don’t want to homeschool., but I could gather enough resources to educate my children creatively.

    Kenny (7) was home sick for days and I finally said we’d have to get to work now that his fever had broken.
    He said, “We can homeschool!”
    I said, “What’s that? Describe it to me.”
    “We could have snacktime, lunch and recess!”

    THAT is how my children see school. LOL!

    So we read some books and he took a nap.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      “When you wait for an organization to fix a probelem, they will fix it from their point of view.”

      True that.

      I can only suppose your mother was disappointed for the lack of soothing platitudes. Perhaps, she expected the NRA to recant their mission to protect the Second Amendment, to ignore the unavoidable problem of evil and, yes, to speak to our fears and concerns with platitudes.

      My mother’s reaction was similar: no one needs guns and no one should kill people. And I have to say, it would be a better world if we lived in the promised land of Isaiah 11:16.

      “And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them.”

      But we (you and I) do not live in that promised country which has been put into order by divine providence and whole-hearted service to Divine will and law. Instead, we live in a disordered and restless state where evil flourishes more than the good. Nor shall we obtain to that country, it is said, until the king returns.

      Likewise, it is also said that we should exercise considerable caution regarding anyone that comes to us with soothing platitudes and beguiling charms.

  2. lillymaytree says:

    Wisely spoken, Stan. I can only add that someone famous once said that “evil flourishes when good men do nothing.” And I agree with that.

Speak from your heart!

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