On Tuesday, the National Rifle Association posted on its website its first comments on the Connecticut school shooting. The statement on the homepage of the NRA read, “The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.”
Pro-gun lobbies have been commenting this would not have happened if the teachers and the principal had big powerful guns, and anti-gun lobbies have been saying it’s time to take away guns from everyone.
The NRA’s stance until now could be summed up in the comment of NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre made to the New York Times after the mass shooting in Arizona in 2011 – “It shouldn’t be a dialogue about guns; it really should be a dialogue about dangerous people.”
However, there are people who believe that the right to bear arms is a part of the right to self-defense and that does not extend to owning assault rifles or weapons capable of killing large numbers of people when outside war zones – as these are typically weapons of offense.
Though the debate might rage on, in the meanwhile, President Barack Obama has called for a meaningful dialogue, clearly indicating that the line needs to be drawn. In his speech, broadcast nationwide, Obama had said, “Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year, after year, after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”
The President admitted, “No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society … But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this.”
The NRA’s statement says, “The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”
Commenting on its silence for four days following the massacre, the NRA said, “Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.”
The NRA says it will hold a major news conference on Friday, December 21.