- Posted December 21, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
NRA Misses Opportunity
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
The National Rifle Association (NRA) missed an opportunity today to become a vital and informed voice in the heightened discussion over violence, school safety and rational gun restrictions in the US of A. Making a call for armed guards in every school, the NRA took a simplistic approach that skirts the root problem of why American society has become so violent and desensitized to the effects of violence.
While the NRA made a good point about how we have armed guards protecting everything from banks to the President, but our children are left defenseless, Executive Director Wayne LaPierre missed an opportunity to actually have a real discussion on how to make sure that only those who should have guns have access to acquiring guns. LaPierre spoke of armed guards and educating people on the use of guns, but he did not talk about the glaring loophole that allows for the sell of guns at gun shows to go without any type of background check.
LaPierre also tried to shift the blame to everyone and everything except gun owners, gun possesors, gun manufacturers and the proliferation of firearms in our society. While I am a firm supporter of the 2nd Amendment, I am not adverse to rational background checks and licensing which requires owners to be proficient and knowledgeable about firearm operation, safety and responsibility.
Yes, I do believe that our society has become, as I said, desensitized to violence. I believe part of this falls back on parents who fail to make sure their children understand the differences between fantasy (games and movies) and reality and the fatal and dangerous consequences when fantasy is acted out in real life. Also parents who pay no attention to what their children are playing and watching is also an issue of concern.
I remember with my own son when he was little, we had conversations about fantasy versus reality. I made sure he knew what may happen in a game or movie was fantasy, but in real life it wasn't just a game that could be restarted as if nothing happened or an actor who gets back up and goes on living without any harm after the movie is over. I know not every parent discusses this.
I remember when it seemed he was getting too worked up over a video game, not being able to achieve a goal or pass a hurdle, I would give him a time out from the game and make him go do something else until he calmed down and understood that no game was worth getting so wrapped up in frustration or anger.
I am not talking violent games, but games with Sonic the Hedgehog or Mario and Luigi. There's no reason to let a child to get worked up over not getting or finding that secret cache of gold coins. Give that child a time out from the game rather let the child become angry and upset.
A mental health database similar to a sex crime registry is not the answer as suggested by the NRA.
There are problems with society's recluctance to deal with those afflicted with a mental health issue in the same way we treat physical illnesses and diseases. There is a shame and guilt associated with suffering from a mental condition by not just the one suffering, but by family members of a loved one so afflicted as well. We need to change this and take away the stigma.
But the NRA is not being realistic. The NRA is moving itself out of the conversation by shifting blame and not calling for responsible, rational background checks and laws.
Yet gun control alone is not the answer.
Simply putting armed guards in every school is not the answer.
Banning guns is not the answer.
In China the same week as the Newtown tragedy, a man wielding a knife attacked and injured up to 28 young children. This, after another knife-toting man killed children the month before in a Chinese school.
Sadly those who would carrying out such acts will find a way. We must be better at recognizing, identifying and helping those who may have these dark tendencies to receive the help they need before the switch is hit and they commit such atrocities.
We all want a quick fix. That's symptomatic of our society. But a quick fix is not the answer. We need a real discussion on what is happening which has resulted in four mass shooting incidents within one year. We need to root out what is happening and mount a concerted effort to eliminate as many causes as we can find, but do so rationally and logically.
The NRA today could have come out and admitted that the proliferation of weapons was a problem and offered to work on reasonable legislation and to close the gun show loophole. The NRA instead chose to act as if it were under attack instead of our children and our society.
From the Cornfield, I don't have the answer to all the problems confronting us in light of Newtown and too many other tragedies played out daily, mostly in our inner cities, but I know doing nothing and not discussing and talking will make matters worse not better.
If you missed the NRA press release you can read it here: http://home.nra.org/pdf/Transcript_PDF.pdf