It seems that we have a raging political fight between two polarizing mouthpieces. In one corner, we have NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre, known for staunch gun-rights advocacy and being a proponent of armed guards in schools, and in the other, we have New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the anti-soda billionaire.
On Sunday, LaPierre responded to yet another one of Bloomberg's anti-gun pushes, in which the Mayor will be using $12 million of his own fortune to create an advertising campaign that targets swing Senators and urges them to vote for tighter gun control legislation. In this Meet the Press interview, LaPierre said, "[Michael Bloomberg] can't spend enough of his $27 billion to try to impose his will on the American public" and that "he can't buy America."
Bloomberg, in his press conference last week, stood with Vice President Joe Biden to urge politicians to "do the right thing." Two days later, the advertising campaign was announced to prompt Senators to support his recommendation.
I'm curious as to how many Americans find themselves fully backing either one of these two. I'm a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but I find more often than not, LaPierre to be a bit too uncalculated in some of comments. I believe the issues that LaPierre needs to address are recommendations from the NRA as to what lawmakers can do to target criminals and not law abiding gun owners. Certainly, there will be some that gun control advocates can support.
I believe that both parties here ought to be real leaders and sit down to determine some kind of middle ground. NRA members, also, do not want innocent children to be shot to death in schools. Just like not all gun control advocates want to ban assault rifles or take away people's guns. Even if there are hundreds of major disagreements, there will inevitably be a couple of things that both sides can agree on. Shouting back and insulting the perspective of the other side is getting both sides nowhere.
Bloomberg needs to stop making it seem like anyone with an AR-15 is crazy and has no need for the firearm. As a gun rights proponent myself, I do see good reason for citizens to own firearms (yes, including so called "assault rifles"). LaPierre needs to recognize why so many people are concerned with the status quo of firearms in the nation. Bloomberg and LaPierre are polarizing enough to get one side to jump behind their closest advocate, despite disagreements.
Why don't we realize that the common enemy here is injustice, criminality, and the mentally deranged murderers who target innocent children? Collectively, let us all waste less time criticizing the semi-outrageous claims made by whomever has the news microphone at the moment and start trying to deal with the actual issues. Both sides are appealing to emotions that supercharge the argument. The NRA rallies support when it convinces supporters that the government wants to take away people's guns. The Bloomberg/Biden side seems to gather support when it makes the public worry that more psychopaths will walk into a school and gun down children. Fear is employed by both sides and used to gather support.
Ironically, the Bloombergs of the world end up giving more power and money to the NRA. As LaPierre said, many Americans are sending in donations to the NRA to help fight back against Bloomberg and the Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The NRA is powerful. For the gun-rights advocate, the NRA is the best chance at protecting and defending their Second Amendment rights from those who seek to limit them.
Either side could send a message to the American people if they would come together and do something that both sides might support; such as increased school security, a crackdown on illegal gun trafficking and more infrastructures to focus on the mentally ill. It might not solve all of the problems, but it sure would be a good start.