The National Rifle Association (NRA), the biggest and most powerful pro-gun rights group in the United States, is finding itself as the number one villain in the aftermath of the brutal shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the town of Newtown, Connecticut. Almost 30 people have been killed. Adults killed included some teachers and the beloved principal of Sandy Hook Elementary. However, the adults were some of the casualties. The rest of the casualties were children ranging from five to ten years of age. Due to the severity of and circumstances surrounding the shooting, there has been an increased call for US President Barack Obama and members of the US Congress to talk about gun control legislation.
Keep in mind that this is the 2nd deadliest shooting in the US as Virginia Tech of 2007 remains at the top of the list. However, VT didn't ignite the gun control debate. There were even mass shootings in public early this year such as Colorado, Wisconsin, and Oregon. However, none of those greased the wheels for gun control legislation talks. With Sandy Hook, gun control talks are inevitable. Unfortunately for the NRA and pro-gun rights advocates, it seems that the growing public opinion isn't on their side.
In a New York Times blog, people from across the world are taking to Twitter and bringing up the global arms treaty by the United Nations. They feel that what recently happened at Sandy Hook Elementary justifies the need for an Arms Trade Treaty
. While it wouldn't hurt domestic sales, it would hurt international sales according to the blog report.
The idea of a global arms treaty is something the NRA has been fighting.
When on CNN's Piers Morgan, Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler of New York called the NRA as a group that enables mass murders.
With these renewed ignited talks about tighter gun-control laws, the NRA has grown silent
since Friday, December 14. That was the day the Sandy Hook shooting took place. At the moment, the NRA has declined to comment on what happened.
Salon reports of conservative outcry
against people using Sandy Hook as a means to discuss gun control. Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and a former GOP presidential candidate, took to Twitter and said MSNBC should be ashamed of itself for bring up the politics. Michelle Malkin, a Fox News contributor, felt “disgusted.”
One video that made it onto YouTube talks about how liberals are equating NRA members to the Ku Klux Klan.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the former VP-running mate to GOP Senator John McCain of Arizona in 2008 & Tea Party figure, gave condolences. But, she didn't talk about guns or gun control.
So far, the NRA and other political conservatives aren't getting much love from the general public as of late. Twitch US Politics reports on people taking to Twitter and making tweets that condemn the NRA
. There are tweets calling for members of the NRA and its president David Keene to be shot. At the same time, supporters of the NRA are tweeting that the liberals want to fight violence with violence. Gun-control and gun-rights advocates are taking their battle over social media.
In the wake of Sandy Hook, the NRA had canceled its country music concert
which starred Colt ford. The New York Daily News reports of the NRA's Facebook page having to have “vanished” all of a sudden
. Its National Firearms Museum, as reported by The Daily Beast, was pretty silent
over the weekend. Other pro-gun organizations and politicians were relatively quiet
with the increased calls for gun control as reported by the Christian Science Monitor (CSM). While they are quiet, it doesn't mean that notable conservatives are going to keep quiet about it.
An article on The Guardian Express aggressively attacks the NRA
. At the end of the first paragraph, the author calls the NRA a group of liars and ignorant profiteers. Near the end of the article, the author says the NRA has brainwashed the masses of Americans and indoctrinated them into the belief to own a gun in regards to 2nd Amendment rights.
Clarence B. Jones, a professor at the University of San Francisco and a scholar writer at Stanford University, wrote a piece on the Huffington Post. Jones writes that it isn't just about the NRA
or the leadership of President Obama. He starts that that the NRA becomes the whipping mule every time where a horrible event happens in which people are killed through the use of guns. Jones writes that it is simply pointing fingers at the NRA. Furthermore, he writes that by pointing figures it keeps other people from taking responsibility and taking part of the talks of guns in this country's society.
He goes in-depth on gun violence let alone when children are the victims. Jones points out that many victims of gun violence are African-Americans killed by other African-Americans. Despite that, nobody really addresses it; not even President Obama. Jones talks about how other children have been killed in before that; but, nobody flew a flag at half-mast for them.
Simply put, Jones writes that it's very convenient to point the finger at other groups let alone the NRA in such tragedies. He said that there's culpability that needs to be directed at other groups and people.
For the most part, the NRA is a convenient scapegoat.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is one of the people leading the nationwide call for tighter gun control laws, spoke on NBC's “Meet the Press.” Bloomberg took this opportunity to throw a few jabs at the NRA. In regards to the NRA's political power, Bloomberg said that the group's power in politics is “overrated
Matt Barnette, a former ESPN Outdoors producer, wrote an article
on Deadspin that puts NRA members in a more positive life. Barnette writes about when he used to work for the website called ESPNOutdoors.com and several ESPN Outdoors TV shows. He talked about covering one major event called SHOT which is short for “Shooting, Hunting, Outdoors Trade.” They shared an office with those of NRA Radio.
He recalls meeting Wayne LaPierre, the vice-president of the NRA at the convention. LaPierre made a speech for the group's weekly address. It was revealed that he didn't write the speech and that someone else wrote it for him. At the end of the article, Barnette writes that many people in the NRA don't believe in a lot of what the group is saying. Unfortunately for those members, they're on the receiving end of public anguish just like the other members of the NRA and especially the NRA leadership.
At the moment, the NRA and other gun-rights groups are silent. It is unknown how long they remain silent for. Once they break silence, how will they respond? With what happened at Sandy Hook along with both the media and political attention, it seems highly likely that gun laws will be a major focus for 2014 and 2016.