NRA heavy on emphasis, light on empathy

Denise Murray’s letter “Gun control only serves to enable criminals” (Herald, Sept. 20) amounts to yet another expression of the irrational mentality that plagues NRAers. Probably thinking she’s waxing brilliant, Murray cites “gun-free zones” and their vulnerability to criminal intrusion to support the silly NRA contention that more guns equals less gun-related crime. But come on! Really! How could any straight-thinking person construe that bans on assault rifles, limitations on magazine capacities and universal background checks amount to the extreme state of “gun-free zones”? The algorithm just ain’t there.

What Murray’s letter really discloses is the paranoid fantasy that NRAers can’t help displaying in exhibitionist mode: that any gun-control measures (I mean any) amount to a total elimination of guns from our society. These dipsticks can be amusing. On a more serious note, however, I’m beginning to embrace the notion that these NRAers are pathological: lacking in moral or civic conscience and utterly devoid of empathy.

Here’s the converse. I have a 23-year-old boy who did have a Bushmaster AR-15 that he used for varmint hunting. But, when he read about the NRA robocalls to residents of Newtown, Conn., he took his assault rifle to the local gun shop and sold it. The idea of having one, after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, made him sick. Later, two of his then-buddies, both NRA members, made fun of him. Edification and conscience were bestowed with emphasis, but without empathy because it wasn’t, in this case, deserved.

Thomas Wright


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