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    Posted December 21, 2012 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
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    NRA Misses Opportunity


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     k3vsDad says the NRA lost an opportunity when it did not address some of the gaps in the current gun laws, such as gun sales at gun shows and other loopholes, in its statement on December 21 in response to the Newtown school shooting. 'There seemed to be little sympathy for the victims of Newtown, but rather a defensive posture,' he said when watching the NRA deliver its response. 'I found the statement by the NRA unsympathetic. While I understand defense of the Second Amendment, which I do support, to me there was too little empathy expressed,' he said.
    - 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


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