January 10, 2013 | Volume 43, No. 1

NRA view on gun violence is extremist

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is now on record: the public should pay for armed guards in every U.S. school to ensure that children and educators are safe. Extend this thought pattern and you have full-body scans and metal detectors in every Alaska schoolhouse. The NRA is also on record stating that violent video games are the prime culprit in the growth of mass murder by gunfire.  

Americans have a long-standing, constitutional right to own and use deadly firearms. I, too, am a gun owner and I like my guns. But the NRA stance is extremist. 

I don’t oppose their view that violent videos and video games contribute to social derangement and probably violence. But most nations allow violent video games and videos and don’t suffer the shocking frequency of mass murder by gun fire. Why? Other nations have better control of all guns. Does that make those countries unsafe? Not at all. The United States, despite our many high-power guns, is among the least safe of developed nations. The argument that the frequency of mass-murder is unrelated to easy gun access and firepower just does not hold water.  

The NRA seems to view any effort at gun regulation as a constitutional crisis. Their no-compromise posture is extremist and, ultimately, bad for America. I support our right to bear arms, but more assault rifles and semi-automatic handguns, in public or private hands, won’t make America safer.  

Burl Sheldon