Sunday, April 27, 2014

NRA Not Welcome in Indianapolis

It is sadly fitting that the NRA is holding its convention in Indianapolis. We have a city government that pretends to worry about the preponderance of weapons. But, in fact, we are a city of gun shows and gun stores, a horrifying number of murders, and home to a state legislature that is getting dangerously wackier by the session when it comes to gun laws.

I am sickened that our city’s convention and visitors’ bureau bid for the NRA convention. I am also repulsed that 70,000 gun nuts (c’mon, if they’re so invested in the NRA and its agenda that they attend its national convention, they deserve that name) are in our city. Most of us don’t want them here, but our voices are drowned out by the politicians who are strongly supported by the NRA.

Talk often centers on keeping guns out of the hands of young, irresponsible blacks (a good idea), but nothing is said about keeping them out of the hands of NRA members (also, a good idea). They are, after all, the ones who control the legislators who won’t stand up for requiring background checks, making semi-automatic weapons illegal, or reversing the alarming trend to allow guns to be almost anywhere.

The Indianapolis media gets hysterical about guns only when one is used by a young black to kill a young white (a very recent occurrence). While our hearts go out to the victim’s family for this senseless killing, if the races had been reversed, instead of the feeding frenzy we witnessed, we’d have a two-column-inch story in the back of the paper.

And, founding yet another anti-gun group, as Shannon Watts did, is part of the problem, not part of the solution. If you are finally angry enough to get involved, you should have put your time, money, and energy to work for an existing organization. (Even your collaboration with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn't erasing the fact that you should have avoided the founding of your own group.) Then immediately seek, as many of us are doing, to get all of the gun-control groups to merge to become one, large opponent of the NRA. That will begin to change the political climate and give us a safer America.


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