The NRA is getting ready to win.
It's not just that the NRA plans to win at the back end in its usual fashion, by forcing poison pills into any new gun laws we might pass that will render them toothless (as it's done in the past with laws intended to prevent felons and the dangerously mentally ill from legally owning guns). The NRA plans to win right now. The NRA and its allies are starting to throw massive amounts of what Ross Perot used to call "gorilla dust" into the air, in order to distract us from the gun aspect of horrible gun crimes.
Fox News has an "EXCLUSIVE" right now: if the story is to be believed, Adam Lanza went on his shooting rampage because he was angry about his mother's plans to have him involuntarily committed. When I woke up this morning, this was the lead story at Memeorandum, cited almost exclusively by right-wing bloggers. Why are they citing this so eagerly? For obvious reasons: it says that guns don't kill people, lack of mandatory institutionalization kills people! Insolent children kill people! "Creepy little weirdos" kill people! Just put "creepy little weirdos" in institutions against their will as soon as they start acting creepy and weird, and you've solved your problem! No gun laws necessary!
(UPDATE: It's now being reported that the hearsay this story was based on was inaccurate. Imagine my surprise.)
More gorilla dust: You know that the NRA has made a brief statement promising to comment on the shooting on Friday. Citing a Fox News story, The Atlantic's Elspeth Reeve tells us what to expect:
... the NRA is getting ready to "push back." What will its message be? Fox reports it will demand a fuller look at where gun violence comes from:And then there's Boehner:
"If we're going to have a conversation, then let's have a comprehensive conversation," said one industry source. "If we're going to talk about the Second Amendment, then let's also talk about the First Amendment, and Hollywood, and the video games that teach young kids how to shoot heads."This actually sounds a lot like what Joe Scarborough said on MSNBC Monday. The former congressman had an A-rating from the NRA, and called for taking on the gun lobby. But he also called for taking on the entertainment industry. "I say good luck to the gun lobbyist, good luck to the Hollywood lawyer who tries to blunt the righteous anger of millions of parents by hiding behind twisted readings of our Bill of Rights," Scarborough said.
Republicans need to "have a discussion on guns" in the wake of last week's grade-school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told his conference Tuesday....So -- unless enough fed-up Americans make enough of a sustained, relentless, ongoing effort to push back -- when we talk about Newtown we're going to talk more about Django Unchained and R.D. Laing than we do about Bushmaster, thanks to the gun lobby and the GOP and Fox News. So be prepared.
Boehner said the GOP's strategy would be to examine the reasons that the mass shootings of recent years have been carried out, almost exclusively, by young, white males with mental illnesses, according to the lawmaker in the room.
(And no, don't think Fox is going to soften its hardcore stance on guns just because the New York Post followed Rupert Murdoch's lead and questioned how America deals with firearms. The Post is being local here; it used to love Rudy Giuliani, never questioning his advocacy of gun control. So there's nothing new there. Meanwhile, Fox will continue to be Fox.)