Niagara Gazette

Columns

January 1, 2013

CONFER: The NRA's inconsistent message

Niagara Gazette — Sometimes the best friends of the liberty movement are its worst enemies. This problem is created by organizations and people who are single-issue oriented. Quite often they call for the sacrifice of rights in order to strengthen the rights that they deem most important. This was made evident again over the past two weeks during which the protectors of the Second Amendment – the National Rifle Association (NRA) – have offered solutions to the issues that led to the Newtown massacre. 

Among its cures is the deployment of armed guards on school campuses.

Putting armed guards on school grounds does not offer a direct threat to the rights of the individual. It does, though, offer a secondary effect in that it indoctrinates Americans to an ever-present police state.

As it stands now, seemingly-intelligent adults have been conditioned to sacrifice liberty (and the Fourth Amendment) for alleged safety at the airports; for that, Americans willingly subject themselves to sexual assault at the hands of TSA agents. Now, think of how their children will be conditioned to seeing that in their travels and the armed government agents roaming the halls of their schools and how they will come to accept as the norm such constant, overreaching babysitting by Big Brother. As they age, thanks to such ubiquitous exposure to the police state in their formative years, they will come to accept — even desire — the anticipated expansion of Homeland Security as it brings TSA agents to bus depots, football stadiums, shopping malls, parks, and other public places. They will also accept without question the ever-growing network of surveillance that saturates our biggest cities and smallest towns. They will never know – or expect - anything different.

While the attack on the individual is subtle, the NRA’s plan is a more direct assault on the 10th Amendment and states’ rights. Nowhere in the Constitution does it mandate the federal policing of local municipalities and public places. That power is left to the states. The NRA, on the other hand, sees it the other way. Their Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said as much in his Dec. 21 comments to the media: “With all the foreign aid, with all the money in the federal budget, we can’t afford to put a police officer in every school?” and “I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school.”

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