NRA Blames Newtown Tragedy On The Movies, Of Course
The NRA finally broke its week-long silence after the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut today with a press conference — technically a speech, as no questions were answered — that proved once again that reactionaries are as terrible at popular culture as they are at generating positive outcomes from their preferred policies. The real culprit to blame for tragedies such as Newtown, according to NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre? Movies.
In Washington, D.C., LaPierre delivered an obtuse tirade to assembled journalists in which, per the current fashion, he blamed numerous video games like Bulletstorm and Grand Theft Auto before laying into the movie industry. “We have bloodsoaked films out there like American Psycho, Natural Born Killers,” he said. “They're aired on propaganda loops called Splatterdays, and every single day.” Yes, he said 'splatterdays,' a word no one has ever used.
LaPierre also offered the organization's prescription for solving the problem of frequent mass killings: stuff our schools with guns. LaPierre claimed that rules prohibiting guns in public schools contribute to these killings, suggesting that “We need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work — and by that I mean armed security.” He then announced that the NRA will be funding a "safety" program for interested schools dubbed the “National School Shield Emergency Response Program” which, if implemented as described in the press conference, would significantly militarize the educational experience.
Far be it from me to point out the ridiculousness of blaming films from 12 and 22 years ago for violence which occurred last week — though for what it's worth, I can't recall seeing any 24/7 marathon of any of Oliver Stone's lesser movies. We'll just note instead that, as if to add a particularly grim punchline, at the same time LaPierre embarrassed himself and his organization on the national stage, another unspeakable tragedy happened: Three people were killed by a Pennsylvania gunman who then took his own life. Notably, guns are not prohibited on Pennsylvania roads. I'll wait with bated breath for the film the NRA will blame for that.
Ross Lincoln is a LA-based freelance writer from Oklahoma with an unhealthy obsession with comics, movies, video games, ancient history, Gore Vidal, and wine. Follow him on twitter (@rossalincoln).
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