The NRA’s fallen and it can’t get up

Call him the Six Billion Dollar Man.  Because that’s how much money NRA chief Wayne LaPierre’s nutty plan to put an armed guard in every school in America may cost on an annual basis. And how did the country responds to LaPierre’s proposal?  With a heart laugh.  Even Republicans are staying away:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a conservative from Utah, said on NBC he was worried about arming educators since he “had science teachers in high school who can’t negotiate a Bunsen burner for goodness sake.”

It’s rather extraordinary how quickly the NRA’s star has faded. The organization used to be looked at as invincible, and the gun control issue overall, untouchable.

Now, not so much.

It’s hard to know what was more disastrous: NRA executive vp Wayne LaPierre’s disastrous press conference this past Friday morning, in which he suggested that the answer to people with guns mowing down children was to put a whole lot more guns near children, or LaPierre’s Sunday morning appearance on Meet the Press in which numerous commentators noticed that LaPierre was quite literally “foaming at the mouth.”

First, the reaction to Friday’s press conference was swift and vicious.  New York’s two quasi-tabloids, including one that tends to veer right, perhaps said it best:

NY Daily News on NRA

A vicious piece in the Daily News by Mike Lupica:

So now Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, who attacks the mental health system in this country even as he sounds like he needs to be in it, goes on “Meet the Press” and continues to double down on his notion that the only way to keep our schools safe is to put armed guards at the front door and the side door and in every home room in America and maybe on every school bus, too.

LaPierre is the type who lies to stay in practice, as he continues to pass himself off as the front man for responsible gun owners when he actually is a front for their lunatic fringe. To say that the NRA represents mainstream thinking for gun owners is the same as saying that the Tea Party represents mainstream thinking in the Republican Party.

NY Post on NRA

Then there was the rabies episode on Meet the Press:

NRA head Wayne LaPierre foaming at the mouth

Perhaps the chyron should have, “NRA SPITS UP.”

Adding to the crazy was NRA head Wayne LaPierre suggesting that most of the American media travels around with bodyguards. Which came as a surprise to most of the American media that has never traveled around with a bodyguard. From Erik Wemple at the Washington Post, who presumably does not have a body guard:

A suitable expert regarding media expenditures on armed protection is Martin Baron. He’s the outgoing top editor of the Boston Globe, the incoming top editor of The Washington Post and the former executive editor of the Miami Herald, among other editing jobs. So what about this armed-protection thing? Writes Baron via e-mail: “Never once heard of this, never authorized it, never paid for it and don’t for a second believe it. The only exception I can recall is, at times, for some security in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

More such sentiment comes from a CBS News source: “I can tell you definitively that the bureau and the CBS Broadcast Center guards are NOT armed. (Trust me, you wouldn’t want guns in the hands of some of those folks!) … I can’t speak for the correspondents who travel in dangerous areas internationally, but my guess is even they aren’t accompanied by armed guards.”

Apparently, the NYT doesn’t have armed guards, even in Kabul.

But, as always, the mass-murder of innocent Americans is always a boon for our country’s fetish with violence: ammo sales are through the roof, lest some sane politician decide that the presence of nearly 300 million guns in America, when that’s a little less than our entire population, might just suffice.

The NRA's fallen and it can't get upAt a Denver gun show this weekend, ammunition for the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle — the style of weapon used in the Newtown attack — sold out within an hour.

“We’re worried we’re not going to be able our guns for our safety and we’re not doing anything wrong,” said one attendee, Crystalin Benedetto.

Yeah, you lost the right to cry about your “safety” when one of your fellow gun nuts decided to mow down 20 children a week before Christmas.  Your safety is killing us.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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