The National Rifle Association has added its voice to the present discourse about gun violence by issuing its first public statement since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The organization — which is frequently evoked during conversations concerning the source of this breed of tragedy — has directed its own accusations toward the entertainment industry. During a Washington D.C. press conference held Friday morning, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre placed blame for atrocities like the one to befall Newtown, Conn. upon violent movies and video games, calling them “the filthiest form of pornography.”
Deadline reports factions of LaPierre’s statement, in which he singles out films like American Psycho and Natural Born Killers and what he calls “vicious, violent video games” like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, and Splatterhouse. LaPierre refers to the video game industry in general as “a callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people.”
Still, LaPierre felt it appropriate to highlight the merits of gun ownership. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun,” the organization’s VP said, “is a good guy with a gun.” As such, the NRA is fostering the National School Shield program, which would place what LaPierre calls “qualified” armed guards within schools. Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson was named by the organization as the driving force behind this movement.
The press conference met with a team of protestors dubbed Code Pink — described as “a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations” — vocalizing blame with the NRA for the Newtown shooting. The protestors, who challenged LaPierre’s speech with banners identifying his organization as a party centrally responsible for gun violence, were forcibly removed from the premises by security.
In the effort to rectify any standing problem that faces our nation, we’re often compelled to highlight a responsible party, as tangible enemies are far less frightening than intangible ones. However, blanket accusations in either direction are rarely conducive to progress. What’s important is the very opening of discussion, and the contending of merits, or lack thereof, in either side’s perspective.
[Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images; PAUL J. RICHARDS/Getty Images]
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