Friday, September 09, 2005

The NRA's conundrum

Recently, it came to light that the civil authorities, while getting those who remained in New Orleans to leave, began confiscating firearms from everyone. Everyone, except those working as private security for the wealthy or for businesses. The bottom line is that the police have decided that if you're not wealthy, you're a criminal and you will be disarmed.

The cry goes forth, "Where is the NRA?! Why aren't they doing something about this?"

Well, folks, it's like this: The NRA is a political organization first and a defender of rights second.

This is an unpleasant reality. But, it is also a necessary one. In order to win a war, sometimes individual units must be sacrificed. So it is with gun rights. To maintain an effective presence in D.C., the NRA cannot allow itself to be portrayed supporting a grossly unpopular position. Such is the situation now in New Orleans.

As in most of human activity, the 80-20 rule obtains. 80% of the people stuck in New Orleans are decent and law-abiding. 20% are the trouble makers. However, by focusing its attention on the lawlessness, the media has conveyed the idea that all these residents are looters and savages.

For the NRA to stick up for the rights of these people would be seized on by anti-gun forces as "proof" that the NRA wants criminals to have guns. You know that's not true and I know that's not true, but even the appearance of siding with the looters is simply an unacceptable political risk.

Let's remember another thing as well, we are in a state of emergency and the usual rules simply don't apply. If the government of New Orleans or Louisiana is using extra-constitutional methods to deal with an extra-constitutional situation, what gives the NRA the right to get involved? Would the descent of a flock of NRA lawyers on New Orleans help the overall recovery work?

Make no mistake, what is happening is class-ist at best and racist at worst. It is a gross violation of civil liberties; but in New Orleans right now, clean water is a necessity: civil liberties are a luxury.


Post a Comment

<< Home