Where in the world is Wayne LaPierre? The latest mass murder of 20 children in Connecticut has sent the head of the National Rifle Association into hiding.
On Tuesday, the NRA released a statement announcing a “major press conference” for Friday and promising to offer “meaningful contributions to make sure this never happens again.” It’s only fair to feel skeptical about this promise.
For decades the NRA has sought to silence anyone in public office who introduced legislation to place even the most innocuous and commonsense restriction on the sale of guns, magazines, bullets, etc. So it’s fascinating that in the wake of a truly shocking mass shooting, the leader of the NRA has yet to say a word, while deactivating the organization’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Aren’t these the big, bad gun owners who fear nobody? Isn’t this the organization that spends millions of dollars during every election cycle either trying to elect pro-gun candidates or defeat those who favor gun control? Isn’t this the same gang that repeatedly frightens its members into believing President Obama is going to come for their guns? Yet they don’t have the guts to show their faces when the type of weapon they love so dearly is used to shoot and kill 20 children on a Friday morning at school. Perhaps most horrific is the fact that each of those children was shot multiple times. In other words, the gun worked exactly as it’s designed to work. So why isn’t the NRA out defending both the weapon and those who profit from its sale?
They have screwed a silencer onto the barrel of their own public relations machine because they have lost all credibility and they know it. They can no longer simply repeat the old bromide “people kill people, not guns.” They know full well how that would go over with the parents in Newtown who had to shop for caskets instead of Christmas toys.
After all these years of intimidation, it looks as though New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had it right when he said the NRA is just a paper tiger. Like the neighborhood bully, they talk tough, but once someone finds the courage to challenge them, they can’t be found. Like all bullies, they run away and hide rather than deal with defeat.