By Quad-City Times
The National Rifle Association’s pre-Christmas assault on American sensibilities isn’t fooling anyone.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, seemed to parody his prestigious organization by suggesting the answer to assault weapon attacks is buying superior firepower for American schools.
“Saturday Night Live” writers couldn’t have skewered the NRA as effectively.
LaPierre urged property taxpayers to provide assault weapons as part of the standard operating equipment in American schools, inviting a firefight and, not so subtly, boosting sales for the weapon makers who ardently support the NRA.
Our business operates solely by the power granted in the same Bill of Rights that provides the freedom to hold and bear firearms. American law grants wide latitude to those exercising First Amendment rights, but there are limits.
Americans who recklessly and maliciously rely on the First Amendment to publish damaging and inaccurate information are held accountable. Americans who rely on the Second Amendment to recklessly and maliciously distribute high-power firearms that regularly are used to commit crimes are not.
We believe America can respect the Constitution and regulate Second Amendment rights, the same way our country respects the Constitution and regulates First Amendment rights.
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed by Congress in 2005 shields gun makers and distributors from any liability for damage caused by their products. Vehicle makers don’t enjoy this privilege. Neither do alcohol makers and distributors. Certainly, journalists aren’t afforded this massive exemption to liability.
We agree with the NRA maxim that guns don’t kill; people kill. But unfettered marketing of assault weapons and ammunition has provided people with the means to turn their personal anger and emotional detachment into double-digit casualty lists. LaPierre’s preposterous suggestion — firepower escalation — will contribute to the body count.