By Matthew Rothschild on December 21, 2012

At its tardy press conference today, the NRA finally opened up about the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school.

And instead of acknowledging the danger of assault weapons, Wayne LaPierre, the group's executive vice president, blamed video games. And he insisted that the solution wasn't passing any kind of gun control. No, the NRA's solution was more guns, right now.

"The only way -- the only way -- to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection," Mr. LaPierre said. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

He didn't explain how having an armed guard would have prevented the killer at Sandy Hook, who could simply have shot the armed guard before continuing with the carnage. The logic of the NRA's argument is not to have a single armed guard but to have a whole swat team at every school. (The other logic is to arm the teachers and the principals, which would make the school a free for all.)

Gun-free school zones identified by signs, LaPierre said, serve only to "tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to effect maximum mayhem with minimum risk."

The NRA is a huge obstacle to sanity and to safety in America. It consistently opposes reasonable gun control laws.

Meanwhile, whenever there is a mass shooting like Sandy Hook, it benefits.

As Fox News reported, the NRA has seen a surge in its membership over the past week.

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, more than one million Americans have died by gunfire since Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated in 1968.

Now we have 20 more children and six courageous adults to add to that grisly total.

And still the NRA refuses to acknowledge that there is even a gun problem in this country. Its answer to every hideous massacre is the same: more guns.

For shame!

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Obama Hits Right Notes in Response to Conn. Horror."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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