Pro-gun group goes silent after US school shooting

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This 2005 photo provided by neighbor Barbara Frey and verified by Richard Novia, shows Adam Lanza. Authorities have identified Lanza as the gunman who killed his mother at their home and then opened fire Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, inside an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself. Novia was the school district’s former head of security and he advised the school technology club that Adam and his older brother belonged to. (AP Photo/Barbara Frey)

WASHINGTON — The largest US gun-rights organization — typically outspoken about its positions even after shooting deaths — has gone all but silent since last week’s rampage at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school that left 26 people dead, including 20 children.

The National Rifle Association’s Facebook page has disappeared. The NRA has posted no tweets. It makes no mention of the shooting on its website. None of its leaders hit the media circuit Sunday to promote its support of the US Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms as the nation mourns the latest shooting victims and opens a new debate over gun restrictions. On Monday, the NRA offered no rebuttal as 300 anti-gun protesters marched to its Capitol Hill office.

After previous mass shootings — such as in Oregon and Wisconsin — the group was quick to both send its condolences and defend gun owners’ constitutional rights, popular among millions of Americans. There’s no indication that the NRA’s silence this time is a signal that a change in its ardent opposition to gun restrictions is imminent. Nor has there been any explanation for its absence from the debate thus far.

The NRA, which claims 4.3 million members and is based in Northern Virginia, did not return telephone messages Monday seeking comment.

Its well-funded efforts to oppose gun control laws have proven resilient. Firearms are in a third or more of US households and suspicion runs deep of an overbearing government whenever it proposes expanding federal authority. The argument of gun-rights advocates that firearm ownership is a bedrock freedom as well as a necessary option for self-defense has proved persuasive enough to dampen political enthusiasm for substantial change.

Seldom has the NRA gone so long after a fatal shooting without a public presence. It resumed tweeting just one day after a gunman killed two people and then himself at an Oregon shopping mall last Tuesday, and one day after six people were fatally shot at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in August.

The Connecticut shootings occurred three days after the incident in Oregon.

“The NRA’s probably doing a good thing by laying low,” said Hogan Gidley, a Republican strategist and gun owner who was a top aide to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s presidential bid. “Often after these tragedies, so many look to lay blame on someone, and the NRA is an easy whipping boy for this.”

Indeed, since the Connecticut shootings, the NRA has been taunted and criticized at length, vitriol that may have prompted the shuttering of its Facebook page just a day after the association boasted about reaching 1.7 million supporters on the social media network.

Twitter users have been relentless, protesting the organization with hashtags like NoWayNRA.

The NRA has not responded to them. Its last tweets, sent Friday, offered a chance to win an auto flashlight.

Offline, some 300 protesters gathered outside the NRA’s lobbying headquarters on Capitol Hill on Monday chanting, “Shame on the NRA” and waving signs declaring “Kill the 2nd Amendment, Not Children” and “Protect Children, Not Guns.”

“I had to be here,” said Gayle Fleming, 65, a real estate agent from Arlington, Virginia, saying she was attending her first anti-gun rally. “These were 20 babies. I will be at every rally, will sign every letter, call every congressman going forward.”

Retired attorney Kathleen Buffon of Chevy Chase, Maryland, reflected on earlier mass shootings, saying: “All of the other ones, they’ve been terrible. This is the last straw. These were children.”

“The NRA has had a stranglehold on Congress,” she added as she marched toward the NRA’s unmarked office. “It’s time to call them out.”

The NRA’s reach on Capitol Hill is wide as it spends millions to defeat lawmakers, many of them Democrats, who push for restrictions on gun ownership.

The NRA outspent its chief opponent by a 73-1 margin to lobby the outgoing Congress, according to the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, which tracks such spending. It spent more than 4,000 times its biggest opponents during the 2012 election.

In all, the group spent at least $24 million this election cycle — $16.8 million through its political action committee and nearly $7.5 million through its affiliated Institute for Legislative Action. Its chief foil, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, spent just $5,816.

On direct lobbying, the NRA also was mismatched. Through July 1, the NRA spent $4.4 million to lobby Congress to the Brady Campaign’s $60,000.

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  • pugadlawin

    I’ve witnessed how gun ownership inflates one’s perception of self.
    Cowards become aggressive with weapons in their hands.
    US has a difficult culture from the rest of the world.
    Only in the US can one see children from good families get killed senselessly.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PZR7JI7G2WD2CTVMZ7LM667FD4 Ugly Bunny

    Tama yan, total gun ban, tapos gayahin din natin sila. Total gun ban!

  • WeAry_Bat

    Britain and Australia’s very tough gun laws are being brought up online, both in response to gun-related massacres around 15 years ago.  I imagine it would have a tough time applied to the US as the buy-back of guns requires lots of funding.

  • buttones

    Wish PH had ‘tough’ gun Laws- in fact I wish we had any sort of gun Laws that made any sense…. Political advisors carrying assault weapons? Maybe PNP are just not that effective in keeping the Law….

  • Philcruz

    If they continue to allow the selling of these high capacity guns to just anybody, the time will come when the gunowners will form their own militia groups to challenge government authorities. They can even call for individual states to secede as they have done recently but do not yet have the power to do so. Not yet.

    • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

      But that what the 2nd amendment is all about. 

      When you read thru US History, the militia forms a large part of the organization that freed them from tyranny. It was the fear that the government turn itself into another tyrannical dictatorship, (a colonial king) that kept them ever vigilant to be able for the people to repel all forms of subjugation. And so, its purpose.

      Not many americans remember that, somehow were born into freedom they did not help in creating, made some of them week, and unable to remember its importance.

      Yet still, some remember, the very purpose the 2nd amendment was created.

      • buttones

        I maybe wrong but this 2nd amendment was brought in at a time the west was opening up, George had long gone, it was about self protection, the west was pretty wild at the time, families hunted for food, they were given license to kill the indigenous population as well, and over time the US forces hardly relied on a civilian militia, and now that concept is irrelevant. It has been so for years… An idea that the civilian population should be armed to support one of the most powerfully armed nations on earth? That’s bizarre.

      • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        “I maybe wrong but this 2nd amendment was brought in at a time the west was opening up, George had long gone,”

        Ummmm.

        wiki says “It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.”

        from 1776 (independence), a decade and a half later.

        “US forces hardly relied on a civilian militia, and now that concept is irrelevant.”

        Thats the debate. Some say they have been complacent and that they know longer know the meaning of ‘vigilance’ or that of ‘fighting for one’s independence’ and that the framers of their constitution always had it in their mind that one day the government will oppress the people.

        The idea is not far fetched really, half the world lives in a government where the government itself oppress the people.

        Simply, the framers of their constitution thought that even with the 3 branches of government equally divided, a tyrannical leader still may arise, and that the FINAL hope to fight this lies on the people itself.

      • buttones

        Had not George lost it all in 1766? Yes it was adopted in 1791, poor old George was out of the loop, and some say out of his head as well by that time. You mention complacency of a nation, and the framers of the Constitution preempting this, maybe eventuality, by passing an amendment that everybody has the right to be armed? Against the government and the Constitution? It’s a point of view but I really don’t think that was the idea…. When you look at what you are saying , or theorizing , it means if push comes to shove, and a dictatorship arises, our right to bear arms will quell this ? No I don’t think you are right, the framers of the Constitution of the USA, given their track record, and adherence to their inalienable rights of it’s citizens have produced one of the most successful countries this world has ever seen….

      • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        Perhaps, if your view is that of complacency with the belief that nothing wrong can happen, then you would be satisfied with surrendering your arms, your capacity to defend yourself to the government or any other entity.

        And that is fine, if you favor security.

        What I am saying is that, part of some people’s vigilance is to keep arms, as a last resort. To watch laws being passed, to question authority when circumstances warrants it. Be vigilant that at any time freedom may be lost.

        These are the intents of BFranklin and other nationalists had in mind.

        “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” – Benjamin Franklin

      • buttones

        Well that was BF’s view, another trite saying, history is littered with these so called aphorisms from dead people. Am I to live in constant fear of my government? My fear is not from a force of arms, and my arms are pretty much impotent to the threat, that is fairly evident anyway. There is in PH a far more insidious enemy than government, it lies over the water, and all the guns in the world will not abate this, it’s economic threat, cohesion, call it what you will, it is knocking on my door, my silly little gun will make no difference… Yes I prefer a secure life, a bit of liberty lost? It depends, would I rather live on my knees than die on my feet? A question I hope none of us have to answer- because the answer to that is up for debate….now that is really Orwell’s room 101.…….
        By the way, when does ‘nationalism’ turn in to jingoism?

      • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        My understanding is that jingo pertains to treatment to a 3rd party. anyway.

      • buttones

        It simply means extreme patriotism, Well of course, nationalism is self centered anyway, third parties hardly count…

      • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        No.

        Its patriotism extends to the 3rd parties, such that of the US attacking Iraq, or Afghanistan, because of patriotic fervor beyond reason.

        I believe a gunboat diplomacy would be another example. It usually focuses on 3rd party countries rather than government (1st party) vs its people (2nd party).

      • buttones

        You do have a point, – the actions of Congressmen, wound up with nationalist fervor, attacking a singer? It doesn’t HAVE to be another nation does it?- although it seems the word did originate from foreign policy- but I think it’s fair to use it in the context of the above? And yes there has to be a third party…the singer in this case- agree

      • buttones

        As an addendum to this, my interest regarding nationalism, to a point of jingoism as well was piqued by another article in this newspaper that told me I had been insulted by the actions of a Canadian songster [whose name I forget] regarding one of our national boxing heroes [whose name I hardly remember also] and all this came from members of House of the Representatives of the Republic of the Philippines, who collectively had decided I had been insulted, and this songster should not be allowed to sing his songs on Filipino soil. Firstly I was not aware I had been insulted, the subject just brushed the whole thing off anyway, meanwhile I have people deciding on what is an insult to me personally, and even worse what is a insult to PH [other than the fact these people actually sit in Congress of course- that goes without saying]

      • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        bieber has an opinion which I have to respect, just as I respect yours. Naturally, people, in turn should offer the same about my opinion that bieber does not deserve to be castrated simply because he is a girl in the first place.

        The lower house expressed its opinion coupled with a threat of png (if ever he tries to come) which, in my opinion is over the top.

        like i said in my previous post, those reps are like ‘pigsa’ na masyadong sensitive.

        “I was not aware I had been insulted”

        I agree.

        Stating the fact that Pacman failed is exactly just that. That is no better than when we told tales of Morales and Hatton’s KO.

        Going back to the main topic of the upper thread, i expressed my concern on the importance of bearing arms (2nd amendment) was because of the mentality of their forefathers to maintain the possibility of resetting their government.

        They do not have a constitutional monarch, like UK whose ultimate power can dissolve the erring parliament, and so that is their opinion, which I tend to agree with. Even today, arms play an important part in overthrowing governments by the people, or for freedom fighters to repel oppression.

        I feel as if you do not subscribe to the same Idea as that of the purpose behind the 2nd amendment, to which, I respect. Since the topic of insult came above, I believe I must clarify that in our conversation, I never meant to throw insult or sarcastic tenor. It just comes out that way….lol.

        Anyway, I enjoy your replies, and would like to hear from your point of view on different topics in these forums.

      • buttones

        Thank you for your post- I can’t see any ‘insult’ in your comments! It was the Congressmen who told me that the entire nation had been insulted- anyway we agree- how these people, these Law makers can make some sort of collective national statement like that is beyond me.
        On the topic of the second amendment, or the right of US citizens to bear arms, I can accept that maybe at the time, when the US was in it’s infancy and with constant threats from other nations, with an immature national force, a nation that was basically bits and pieces, it may have been in the minds of the formers of the Constitution to arm it’s citizens, along with the other things I mentioned about opening up of the west, hunting and so on- but is this relevant today?
        On the UK system [jumping around a bit] I don’t think the Queen can dissolve Parliament, only Parliament can do that by a vote of no confidence it the House and a Election has to be called. Cromwell put an end to monarchial interference in Parliament- I think the UK have a good system, would it work in PH? No! In the same way a jury system wouldn’t either [another subject]
        Anyway nice to chat- on ’sarcasm’ no that’s not really clever, now satire is another matter!

    • Christian Alis

      That is precisely the reason for the second amendment. So that the citizens can curb the power of the (federal) state.

  • buttones

    Not even the bland – “Well, er’, doh’ – guns don’t kill people, people kill people?” OMG the rednecks need a new PR guy….

    • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

      how bout…. spoons make me fat.

      • buttones

        I think our American cousins rather favor a fork- but yes, I do get your point….

      • http://twitter.com/syrilcool Syril

        Guns are not in the same league as spoons – you don’t need a spoon to eat. You don’t need a gun to kill – yes. But with guns you can kill a lot more. The Ampatuan massacre would not have happened with spoons, or forks, or even simple knives….It takes a gun to do these things

      • http://www.dafk.net/what/ Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

        Lets analyze that.

        “Guns are not in the same league as spoons.”
        OK, premise accepted.

        “you don’t need a spoon to eat. You don’t need a gun to kill – yes.”
        OK, premise accepted.

        “But with guns you can kill a lot more.”
        But with a spoon, you can eat more.
        Hence, the point that its the people who uses the gun illegally that must be stopped, just as people who use the spoon to get fat must be stopped. Guns by itself is neutral and serves a purpose. Just as spoons do not determine one’s appetite.

        “The Ampatuan massacre would not have happened with spoons, or forks, or even simple knives….It takes a gun to do these things”
        ahahahah.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Boycott.Made.N.China Val Sor

    So what’s the point?  Americans will always bear arms.

  • joboni96

    yan ang epekto ng
    unlimited guns and rifles with
    unlimited ammunition purchases

    epekto rin yan ng imperialist culture nila
    1000x more foreigners ang pinatay nila

    from indians to iraqis
    and many more nations in between
    including million+ pilipinos

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