Dear Charles Cotton,
I needed to reach out to you, Mr. Cotton, because there are few things in life that cause me so much shock that I am speechless for a moment. My friends will tell you that this RARELY happens. I admit the last time I was speechless was when Roseanne Barr belted out the National Anthem in 1990.
As a National Rifle Association Board Member, you said this about the pastor who was killed in Charleston and I was speechless after reading it,
“And he voted against concealed-carry. Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead. Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.”
Translation – The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Gee where have I heard that before?
You immediately did damage control saying you made this statement as a “private citizen” and not representing the NRA.
Chuck, lets address this private citizen to private citizen. I’m just a snarky blogger who writes a lot about gun control. I’m not paid by any gun control association. I don’t get any money for writing this blog except about a few bucks on ads that amount to a nice dinner at Applebees. I’m just a writer fed up with gun deaths in America.
<cue Arena Rock Music>
Chuck, buckle in for the ride, because here is the deal. You and I both know in your “official capacity” as Mr. Cotton, Board Member for the NRA, that your organization has lobbied against federal studies on gun deaths in America so it’s hard to even know how bad the real problem is. The NRA has lobbied the state governments against background checks, permits and safety training for gun owners. Your organization has made sure that laws are in place guns can be gifted to family members or purchased at gun shows without much over-site at all.
So technically, some might say that your organization could be to blame for the shooter obtaining his weapon from his family member after two arrests.
But I’m not going to blame the NRA for the Charleston shooting. I’m going to keep the blame with the shooter, because that’s where it belongs. You, however, are going to take that insensitive step and blame the victims in this whole massacre saying they could have been armed to prevent this.
Oh Chuck….here is where you are not only insensitive jerk, but also wrong.
From the Washington Post,
“A recent report from the Violence Policy Center, a gun control advocacy group, analyzing FBI data found that “guns are rarely used to kill criminals or stop crimes.” In 2012, there were 8,342 criminal gun homicides, compared to only 259 justifiable gun homicides, according to the report.”
Translation – more guns aren’t stopping homicides. More guns are increasing homicides in this country.
And finally this is called the icing on the cake –
“And last year, an FBI report on mass shootings found that unarmed citizens were three times more likely to successfully stop an active shooter than armed private citizens. Armed civilians stopped only 4 percent of the mass shooting incidents in the FBI’s study.”
You can continue to kid yourself as a Board Member of the NRA or as a private citizen. I don’t care what hat you are wearing when you decide to spout of this nonsense, but at the end of the day it’s just that – complete nonsense.
You owe the families of the shooting victims an apology. With or without a gun, that shooting was going to happen that day. That shooter accomplished his mission and now we are left as a nation to mourn, comfort the survivors and figure out how to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future. The lives of our citizens depend on it.
Yours for not blaming gun victims for their own deaths,