National Rifle Association’s CEO responds to Washington Navy Yard mass shooting

Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, speaking to the Washington Navy Yard mass shooting that took place last week. Photograph by James Warren, NY Daily News.

So before/while you read this post, check out this article from CBC: 4 quotes from NRA’s Wayne LaPierre after Navy Yard shooting

Now, let’s get one thing straight… America’s gun laws are “freer” than Canada’s, and Americans have easier accessibility to guns (and other firearms) than Canadians do.

Agreed? Okay. Now let’s see…

If you missed the news a few days back, a man (briefly: he was ex-navy, then got a job in the IT department for the navy) killed 12 people in a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

The article mentions Obama’s response from the memorial speech he gave to honour the victims of the mass shooting succinctly: “Obama said he fears these kinds of shootings are ‘the new normal’ and that Americans ‘cannot accept this.'”

But another key person that America heard from was Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association in the USA, and the posted CBC article covered 4 key quotes from his interview.

The first thing highlighted in the article was that LaPierre “blames [the] Navy Yard’s poor security.” Although I don’t know how accurate or inaccurate this is, I deem it irrelevant for the purpose of my immediate evaluation. What I would like to jump to is the fact that LaPierre believes that the Navy should let “the men and women that know firearms and are trained in them do what they do best which is protect and survive.”

Check out this website real quick: Naval Support Activity Washington. Does this seem high-security? Does it seem like a place where the army men and women would carry around the firearms with which they have been trained? The same firearms which they use in fierce battle between nations, and the same firearms that supposedly defend but sometimes brutally kill civilians of torn countries? In a facility that has on their website “We hope this [visitor guide] information will help make your vacation, visit, or weekend interesting and enjoyable,” I really don’t think armed men and women would/should carry around firearms for the sake of LaPierre’s suggested protection and survival.

Another thing that was brought to my attention was when LaPierre said to the question about people with mental illness being able to buy guns: “They need to be committed is what they need to be, and if they’re committed they’re not at the Naval Yard.” In a way, LaPierre is blaming the Navy Yard for admitting individuals that may have mental illness into their facility, placing the Navy Yard at fault… but he succeeds in neglecting the issue that people with mental illnesses can still purchase firearms in America, just the same as any other person can. Equality! He insists on calling it a “broken system” because there is no background check on mental illnesses and that if the background check said the person has a mental illness, he wouldn’t be let in to the Navy Yard. But regardless of whether or not the background check shows the mental illness, and regardless of whether or not the Navy Yard lets the person in or not, The question remains: why would a person with a mental illness be allowed to purchase a weapon of potential mass destruction if he/she is not in the right state of mind as to how to use it “appropriately.”

Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about any of this in Canada. And I’m glad it is so.

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