For many, Friday morning's press conference was a clear shift in thinking and perspective on the causes of gun violence in the United States. Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the NRA, delivered remarks on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, blaming ongoing gun violence on numerous societal factors, without putting any blame on guns for the violence. In fact, LaPierre went as far as to say that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
So what exactly did LaPierre blame for the Sandy Hook shooting?
Blame #1: Deranged people "possessed by voices and driven by demons."
Yes, access to mental health services need to be addressed. But to condemn individuals with mental illnesses is unfair, especially when the country needs to focus more attention on improving access to services. LaPierre recommended the creation of "an active national database of the mentally ill" as the solution to gun violence.
Blame #2: A national media machine.
LaPierre has criticized the media for rewarding killers with "wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave" when they carry out mass killings. Yes, a shift in how we cover tragic incidents should be explored, but the media isn't the sole factor.
Blame #3: Vicious, violent video games and music videos
LaPierre claims that video games and music videos that focus on killing and murder are a huge problem with society, encouraging people to show signs of violence against their own people.
And the moral of the story, from the NRA's perspective: More guns in the hands of Americans will control gun violence. The problem is with the media, video games, music videos and the mentally ill.