If the National Rifle Association (NRA) were not so dangerous to the physical health and general welfare of the people of the United States, they’d probably qualify as some of the most unintentionally hilarious people on the planet. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
Take executive vice-president of the NRA, (the suspiciously French sounding) Wayne LaPierre. If you started from scratch and constructed an (at least theoretical in his case) human being, you couldn’t find a better movie villain. A man who foams at the mouth when fetishising about guns on national TV, attacks sitting Presidents in terms usually reserved for dictators and inaugural-lip syncers and has the look of a howling mad member of Alphonse “Big Boy” Caprice’s gang from Dick Tracy – replete with the beady eyes, vestigial rage and bad posture.
That Lapierre’s little gaggle of government-fearing, 1970s-Death-Wish-obsessing miscreants actually claim they’re trying to increase people’s safety can almost make your sides hurt from the hysterics, as it carries with it the legitimacy of Manti T’eo giving lectures on Nigerian bank swindles.
These are the guys who released an iPhone app for kids as young as four to shoot at coffin-shaped targets on the one-month anniversary of the Newtown Massacre. That little high-capacity-magazine of brilliance has probably jetted them right past Applebee’s on the sliding scale of public-relations brilliance, up next to Alex Rodriguez.
While the loony-tunes Lapierre and self-appointed She-Ra, Gayle Trotter (we’ll get to her in a bit) were busy testifying before Congress last week, NRA President David Keene was also in attendance. Keene, like LaPierre, doesn’t believe in closing the gun show loophole, which makes total sense as Keene’s son – who’s had a history of mental illness – was so responsible with his trusty six-shooter, except for the whole pulling it out and shooting at another driver on the highway thing and for which he went to prison. But, you know, we should still trust David Keene’s judgment on these matters.
Apparently, daddy still thinks his son should get to buy a .50 calibre rifle that can take down an airplane without the fuss and muss of a few-minute background check. Because, Freedom!
Mind you, after the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, the LaPierre/NRA solution included – wait for it, wait for it – closing the private-sale loophole! And more gun-free school zones! Which in current NRA lore exist only to provide irresistible Poison-Ivy-like pheromones to lunatics with assault weapons.
Because the guy who’s going to mow down a room full of toddlers uses regression analysis to decide where to start shooting. They may only come to this conclusion 33 percent of the time or less in mass shootings – if we use those crazy statistic things – but you know, it probably was due to some seriously screwed GPS the other 77 percent of the time. I know that happens to me all the time, when I attempt to drive to a (gun-free) movie theatre and the GPS in my car takes me to Ted Nugent’s farm.
Luckily, it didn’t accidentally take me to Gun Appreciation Day (yeah, that was actually a thing), when careful, NRA-adoring, firearms experts got together across the country to shoot themselves and their friends in a series of totally unpredictable accidents. If only there had been a “good guy with a gun” there to protect them! Am I right, Wayne?
Somewhere Darwin’s ghost is clearing his schedule for such future endeavours.
Perhaps, the most hilarious of all these cartoon characters, firearms-expert-based-upon-her-feelings-and-made-up-stuff, is Gail Trotter. She testified in front of Congress last week about how without AR-15s, mothers across the country would be just helpless to stop a siege by The Baseball Furies, Dead Rabbits and those dancing Gangnam Style. Because even if crime rates are falling rapidly, your chances of being violently burgled are non-existent (.23 percent) and women are seven times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner with a gun in the home than prevent an attack, there are obviously many scenarios these numbers don’t take into account.
For example, what if the snake from Anaconda, those nasty little guys from Mars Attacks! and Joe Pesci all break your door down and demand you feed them your babies for fuel in a machines-from-The-Matrix type move? Won’t you feel stupid then when you don’t have your 100-round-drum magazine?
Of course, what do I know? I’m a hater, just like the Methodists, Catholics, police officers, dead entertainers, shoe companies and baseball teams on the recently released NRA Enemies list.
Cliff Schecter is an author, pundit and public relations strategist whose firm Libertas, LLC handles media relations for political, corporate and non-profit clients.
Follow him on Twitter: @CliffSchecter