For many years Wayne LaPierre’s approach to gun control has been, in short, screw you—there won’t be any gun control.
It wasn't eloquent, but it was easy to memorize.
No matter what the situation, what the atrocity, what the slaughter, LaPierre has stood firm. Meanwhile gun control advocates have made meek suggestions and little inroads, come crawling with servile attitudes and prayerful suggestions—"oh please, Mr. LaPierre, can we ban photon torpedoes?
We can? Ah, thank you, O wise one!"
Through the years we've treated LaPierre like someone with humanity and common sense and been wrong on both accounts. That's changing.
Part of that change is evident in the “Peace Plan for a Safer America, a proposal from the Parkland shooting survivors. They have taken a different tack—a full on, in-your-face assault—not on the Second Amendment—but on LaPierre himself and all his sacrosanct palaver and specious nonsense.
The proposal, unveiled this morning, calls for
legislative action in Washington to create a national licensing and registry system;
a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines;
policies like a "red flag" law to disarm gun owners who pose a risk to themselves or others;
a permanent national gun buy-back program;
further investigations of the failing NRA including its tax-exempt status;
repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act;
the installation of a “national director of gun violence prevention” who would report directly to the president—kind of like LaPierre’s current position on Opposite Day.
Naysayers will claim the proposal is dead in the water: no doubt it will be controversial and raise the ire of Mr. LaPierre's personal lackey, Donald Trump. But it won't be ignored.
Of course the true bumper-sticker, back-window-decal gun nuts (as opposed to enthusiasts, collectors,and hunters) will claim that such draconian laws will cause people to buy more guns. Really? We have more than 300 million guns in the United States today. Would it matter if we had 600 million, a billion? If they blocked highways? collapsed buildings? Can it really be worse?
Erasing this fetish from the American ethos will not occur overnight. It will be a process, but it must begin sometime. Why not now?
And if it's radical and controversial, that's just the new way of negotiating. It's the Republican Way—like no Merritt Garland, no health care, no Muslims, no Mexicans; no abortions, no global warming, in short, no compromise. No reason it can't work on both sides of the aisle.
When Nancy Pelosi comes around to this way of thinking, impeachment proceedings may actually begin.