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Standing Guard

By Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President

No New Gun Control

Whatever gun-ban schemes morph out of the evil assault in Tucson—whether from the anti-Second Amendment axis in Congress, from the media, from New York City’s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg or from a full-blown Barack Obama White House campaign—the nation’s innocent gun owners can count on one thing:

NRA’s unalterable opposition to any further erosion of our unique American freedom. No new gun control. Period.

Here we are again, with a random mass murder, facing the same gun-obsessed publicity hounds who always show up in the aftermath of an unspeakable tragedy. Their disrespect for the American people and our free society is beyond shameful.

Tucson: 13 innocent people are seriously wounded, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; six people dead, including a gifted 9-year-old child and a respected U.S. District Court judge. For this horror, gun owners are told that we must pay the price with an incremental loss of our rights and freedom.

Nothing is new here: Columbine; Virginia Tech; the political assassinations that marked the ’60s—all aberrations. Yet we are blamed.

By all accounts, the accused Tucson assassin was a publicity-seeking, twisted, loner-loser who terrified his community college classmates and teachers to the point of being taken into custody by campus police and banned from school unless he cleared a psychiatric exam. Reportedly his parents had been warned by the police. He had a death shrine in his back yard. His former friends were frightened over what he’d become.

Students in his classes—long before he joined the ranks of other loner-loser mass murderers—said they were afraid for their lives. Yet, nobody did the right thing. Nobody with the authority to seek mental observation and treatment for this “deeply disturbed” young man took advantage of the law. He was a prime candidate. Had the authorities acted appropriately, Jan. 8, 2011, would have been just another day in Tucson.

Instead, the sheriff nonsensically blamed talk radio and political activists. That theme was picked up by a lynch-mob media that desperately wanted to reverse the nation’s new political dynamic.

When it became clear that the accused killer never cared one whit about politics or conservative talk radio, the big media rounded up the usual suspects.

Usual suspects? You and me. Our freedom. We are being blamed for the acts of a deranged madman, who sent signal after signal that he was dangerous.

The carnage in Tucson was committed by one sociopath with one gun.

That horrific event has nothing whatsoever to do with you or me, or any of the 80 million citizens residing in 50 percent of American households who privately own 300 million guns, of which there are 100 million handguns. This bears repeating: we are 80 million decent Americans who would never contemplate, much less commit, a violent crime.

That’s why there is not a single gun law that would have “prevented” this murderer from committing his crimes. The threat of capital punishment didn’t stop him. The FBI found evidence on his computer that he studied and accepted death by lethal injection. He was prepared to pay that price. He was obsessed with other assassins.

Of all of the vitriol aimed at us in the aftermath of the Tucson rampage, perhaps the worst came from HBO’s Bill Maher during a profanity-laced January appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno.” Maher’s diatribe began: “First of all, the NRA should just change their name to the Assassins Lobby… stop the bulls–t about the Second Amendment in the Constitution.”

Leno, for his part, unthinkingly repeated the gun-ban mantra that “nobody needs” a large capacity “clip.”

I would ask Jay Leno, who owns one of the finest collections of rare automobiles, to turn that argument on himself: “Speed kills. Nobody needs a Duesenberg, or a Ferrari, or a Shelby Cobra with all that horsepower. Think of the carnage were an insane or unstable driver to get hold of one of your super-fast cars.”

And don’t tell me that an automobile didn’t figure in the Tucson murderer’s plans. He got to his killing zone in a car.

Nobody would buy that. So why should anybody buy the same argument about innocent people who own guns?

Yet the self-anointed elite ruling classes have pounced on the Tucson rampage to demand enactment of a magazine ban that would make transfer of any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds a 10-year federal felony.

But there is a single “nobody needs” argument that every free American should embrace. Nobody needs a phony “solution” that would make the innocent pay the price for the guilty.

Gun control doesn’t work. It has never worked. Legislation doesn’t stop evil. Bad people do bad things that can be stopped through their swift removal from our civil and peaceable society.

We must work together in the coming months to fight the onslaught of gun-ban bills that this tragedy has spawned. We must keep the pressure on the Congress and state legislatures with a simple message: No new gun control! And each of us must do our part to educate others as to the dangers to American freedom inherent in that indefensible phrase “nobody needs,” especially when it comes to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.