The homie Adam Weinstein with the update:http://www.thetrace.org/2015/10/nra-mas ... -lapierre/
The Silent Season of Wayne LaPierre
What is the National Rifle Association, if its leader no longer bothers to publicly address or try to redefine the mass shootings that shock the nation?
October 21 - 2015
After the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999, the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre responded by telling Congress that his group favored “mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. No loopholes anywhere for anyone.” After mass shootings at a Tucson, Arizona, strip mall, the Washington Navy Yard, and a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, LaPierre and his representatives offered statements of condolence to the victims and exhorted Americans to permit more “good guys with guns.” After 20 children and six instructors lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School, LaPierre famously held a press conference to call for armed guards in schools, advocate rigorous mental health checks for gun-buyers, and blame video games and rap music for creating a culture of violence.
The urge to do something in the wake of mass murders with firearms is so natural and widespread that the NRA has historically felt it, in its way. This year, that national interest in doing something has returned, over and again. There was the shootout between armed bikers last May at a Waco, Texas, restaurant that killed nine and injured 18. In June, there was Dylann Roof’s racially motivated murder of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina. There was the Chattanooga, Tennessee, recruiting-center shooting and the Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theater shooting and the late August killing of two Roanoke, Virginia, TV reporters by an ex-colleague, posted online for all to see. There was the Umpqua Community College shooting earlier this month, the deadliest in Oregon’s history, and the deadliest in America since 2013.
Amid this relentless carnage and a growing call for action, LaPierre has said…nothing.
Certainly, other, lesser outposts of the empire have chimed in: A member of the lobby’s board blamed the Charleston victims for being unarmed; after Chattanooga, a spokesman argued that military recruiters should be carrying. NRA News has made cursory mentions of the Umpqua massacre to the organization’s faithful, among them a mercurial video segment, a week after the shooting, titled “Heroism in the Age of the Beta Male.” And the NRA’s Twitter feed has been a fire hose of agitated partisanship since last week’s Democratic debate, culminating in its excited painting of Hillary Clinton as a gun-confiscating fascist after she suggested that Australia’s post-massacre gun buyback model could be worth looking into.
Perhaps -- probably not, but perhaps -- I was wrong about assuming 2012 had no effect on him. I'll have to dig and verify he's really been silent, seems dubious.
Something has changed this year. In terms of speaking to a broader American audience, the organization that also calls itself “a major political force” and “America’s foremost defender of Second Amendment rights” has been uncharacteristically silent. Its absence from the stage raises real questions about the organization’s identity and potency. What is the National Rifle Association’s place in American culture and politics, if it no longer bothers to address or define a national event like this?
First question that springs to mind: what if everyone involved on an operational level knows for a fact they don't even have to?
There is a school of thought in crisis communications that says you don’t feed a story with unnecessary public comment when you have nothing new to say. It’s possible this is the situation the NRA finds itself in today: Having gone from agreeing to close background-check loopholes to proposing more, not fewer, guns in schools in the span of two decades, the gun lobby may have reached the terminus of its product pipeline. Its policy position now seems so extreme that there’s nowhere else to go.
Meanwhile, the NRA finds itself challenged from the right, where more radical groups such as Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights have emerged to compete for the affection and dollars of “gunnies.” On this farther fringe, LaPierre’s calls to entrust school safety to designated armed personnel is apostasy, an unacceptable infringement on the individual’s right to bear whatever arms he wants, wherever he wants to bear them. After the NRA’s Sandy Hook press conference, Philip Van Cleave, a representative of another of those fringe groups, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, vented his frustration with LaPierre’s call for an armed elite. “Utah allows everybody with a permit to carry in a school,” Van Cleave told a local TV station. “How many school shootings have you heard of in Utah?”
To such Second Amendment absolutists, unfettered firearms possession is an intrinsic good, an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. These activists can brook no restrictions, however small. And if they sense the NRA is not advancing that agenda, they can be sure the insurgents will.
Aye, and in several directions besides. More at original link