PLEASE NOTE: I support people speaking their minds freely. But while I welcome differing points of view, I do not welcome insults. Anyone responding in the comments, please voice your opinions, but keep it civil and don't attack each other. Let this be one place where people can discuss a very sensitive issue without turning it into another Internet slapfight. And yes, my ban hammer is set with a hair trigger right now.
It's called "burying the lead." I do it a lot because I'm trying to establish my point of view and back up my ideas so that people can understand where I'm coming from even if they disagree with me. Since it's going to take me a while to get to my point, I'll just let everyone know what I'm going to be writing about first so that they know where I'll eventually end up. It's about a video game called Bullet To The Head Of The NRA -- Fuck You!
Everybody still with me so far? That's good!
The National Rifle Association has been pissing people off for a lot of years.
The NRA's basic attitude is that the 2nd Amendment is holy and no one should interfere with their right to bear arms. Now, as I've stated previously, I don't have a problem with citizens owning guns as long as they are responsible, and I understand the whole slippery slope thing. And yet, despite supporting the 2nd Amendment, I refuse to support the NRA. Really, Peter? Why is that? Tell us more. Okay, I will.
My problem with the NRA is the unremitting arrogance and assholery they so proudly exhibit. Instead of realizing that their actions are little more than warmed over Objectivism, their devotion to the Constitution is used as proof that they are superior to everybody else. This conflicts with the whole point of democracy in general and the United States in particular -- we are a land of mutually agreed upon laws that enable us to do as we wish without interfering with each other. This means trying to keep the laws to allow us to be free without costing others their own freedom. There's an old Polish proverb that says, "Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose."
The NRA, however, is not interested in being neighborly. What, guns scare you? You don't trust that people acquiring guns maaaaaaaybe shouldn't be getting them? Well, tough! Anything you do to keep guns out of the hands of the nutballs interferes with us on a philosophical level! We are trustworthy, and should not have to do anything different! In many ways, NRA zealots are just like nutso Christians -- they believe they are right, and how dare anyone say otherwise or try to make them tone down the rhetoric they just KNOW is right! They overlook a basic fact of human nature -- if you tell people, "This is how it is, take it or leave it!", don't be surprised if they leave it.
The NRA has spent a lot of years telling people to take their fears and cram it. If you need proof that they have no philosophical points or relatibility with other people not as gung ho as they are, look at how they make a total balls up of every shooting disaster. Virginia Tech. Aurora. And now, Newtown. The web site went dark immediately after the shooting, and given their tendency to stick their feet in their mouths, that was probably the smartest thing they could have done.
(For example, Aurora. There were people holding it up as an example of why private citizens should be allowed concealed carry, because then, they would have been able to take out the gunman. You are talking about private citizens, not trained shooters, drawing their weapons in a darkened theater from a sitting position and trying to hit a guy in riot gear without shooting any innocents. Two to the power of one hundred thousand to one against and rising. There are examples where armed citizens could apprehend a shooter, such as the Gabrielle Giffords shooter in Arizona. But assuming it can be done in such a tight box scenario requires a huge leap of faith that I just can't manage.)
The NRA's suggestion to help prevent another Columbine/Newtown massacre was to arm the teachers. Yeah, teachers getting in a shootout with roving gunmen with a classroom of kids in the middle. That's WAY less traumatic. Do I want suggestions to curb gun violence? Yes. Do I support concealed carry? Yes. But I want to discuss these issues with rational people, not a group that refuses to acknowledge people are understandably jumpy.
Their responses to President Obama don't help. Were Obama's proposals and executive orders a little overreaching? Maybe. But here's the thing -- all proposed bills, whether for or against something, seem like good ideas to the person putting them out there. This is because the bills are informed by their own experiences and agendas. Pro-gun people feels loosening restrictions is a great idea because that is their belief. Obama's orders and proposals were informed by his beliefs. Obama believes the way he does for one very simple reason -- black people have a different relationship with guns than white people. For white people, guns are entertainment. We shoot cans with BB guns, we play paint ball, we play video games and watch movies where people use them to blow shit up. For black people, guns are what take their children away. Duh! Of course Obama is going to want to do something about gun violence!
The NRA continues to get it wrong. They decided to try to create a gun game to show they are all about responsible gun use. The result was NRA: Practice Range
. It's a free app for the iOS "for ages 4 and up." Oh, and it was released exactly one month after the Newtown Massacre. Now, the game itself is pretty innocuous -- it has target ranges for indoor, outdoor, and skeet, realistic sounds, and for 99 cents, you can unlock more powerful weapons. Strictly speaking, this is no more offensive to me than the Dick Tracy game on the Sega Genesis that let you pull out a tommy gun (a.k.a. a Chicago typewriter) and shoot the shit out of things in the background. If anything, it's a bit more responsible as between levels feature "gun safety tips" while Dick Tracy
just moved you to the next group of thugs to mow down. But the timing of the release, combined with their hands-off PR, got people pissed. They eventually upped the age requirement, but continued to bitch about people complaining. It's just a game! Shut up already!
And now, the NRA is getting a taste of their own medicine.
An Internet troll with the handle gizmo01942 recently made a game called, The Clown Prince Rises, based on the Aurora theater shooting. He decided to make one about Newtown. He did a demo of a bonus level that has you using a sniper rifle to kill the head of the NRA. He released it as a standalone demo, and urged people to send it in to the NRA.
The NRA is not amused. Neither is Shawn Hannity, Glenn Beck (yeah, THERE'S a fucking surprise... -- G
), and Wisconsin R Senator and NRA lapdog Frank James Senesnbrenner, Jr.
People have been making troll video games for years, so this is really nothing new. And there was not a peep about these games from the NRA until they became a literal target. Now, it's offensive and needs to be fought. I will remind you -- this is an Internet troll. All you're going to do is spawn a bunch of copycats making more games like this. Ignore Anonymous, and they will eventually get bored and move on. You're only prolonging your own agony here.
Here's what needs to be done -- the NRA needs to understand that people are upset and work with them, compromise, and defend their own rights as fellow citizens, not separatist assholes. We need to work together and respect each other. And the idea that everyone else has to do all the compromising and you don't have to because you are morally/ ethically/ philosophically right is offensive. Be part of the public before the public surrounds you and chokes you off.