After Newtown, I -- and many others -- said that despite the horrific-ness of what happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, the NRA and their fellow zealots were counting on one thing: That they could wait you out. That you would move on to other things before America would join the wide world of gun sanity.
Though the NRA had been tight-lipped about how the Newtown tragedy would affect their efforts, lobbyist Bob Welch, who represents the Wisconsin NRA group, was anything but during their yearly meeting.
"We have a strong agenda coming up for next year, but of course a lot of that's going to be delayed as the 'Connecticut effect' has to go through the process," Welch, a former Republican state senator, told the Wisconsin's NRA State Association during the legislative update. The group's president, Jeff Nass, had previously mentioned that they would push the Republican-controlled legislature to pass a Stand Your Ground law, the likes of which became famous following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.
Welch went on to bemoan the fact that the public's focus on Newtown was preventing the NRA from pushing such bills through the legislature, but his remarks soon turned to braggadocio about the NRA's legislative influence. He relayed an anecdote about how, following the Connecticut shooting, a pro-gun Democrat in the legislature had mentioned his desire to close the gun show loophole. "And I said [to him], 'no, we're not going to do that," Welch boasted. "And so far, nothing's happened on that."
It's quite simple, people. You. Cannot. Let. Them. Win. America cannot survive as a nation if extremism by a few can routinely trump the humane views of the many. It's good to see that so many advocates of stronger gun-safety and anti-violence measures will be at President Obama's State of the Union address tonight, but that's just a small start. Contact groups like Ceasefire PA to learn what you can do or simply tell your U.S. senator that we are better than this.
Look, it's getting to the point where a triple gun murder isn't more than a local news story. That's crazy. The response that most of us had to Newtown wasn't the "Connecticut effect"...but humanity. And humanity should be able to outlast the NRA.