At 10:45 this morning, the NRA is going to hold "a major news conference" and "offer meaningful contributions to help make sure [a massacre like Sandy Hook] never happens again."
Based upon all the talk about mental illness that Fox News and other Republican surrogates have been pushing since last week, I think it's safe to say that part of the NRA's "meaningful contributions" are going to involve addressing the availability of firearms for those who have some kind of mental handicap. While this is certainly needed, the larger issue of the availability of firearms as a whole is going to be, I predict, mostly ignored. The gun industry and gun crazies are the oxygen that keeps the NRA breathing, after all.
A couple problems with the above.
The political party that the NRA aligns itself with has done its best to reduce mental health services in its rabid quest to downsize government. In Florida this year, massive cuts by the Republican-controlled legislature were avoided but still...
Florida is 49th among the states — only Texas spends less — when funding for mental health agencies like Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, based in Gainesville, is measured on a per-capita basis, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan, health policy think tank.That same political party has also tried like hell in Florida to keep doctors from asking patients about guns but, fortunately for us, they've failed.
So unless the NRA does a complete 360 on its recent positions, which is highly unlikely, any talk of supporting mental health initiatives is disingenuous and duplicitous but is totally in keeping with the NRA's feigned concern for victims of gun violence.
Their true concerns are twofold: self-preservation and promoting the gun industry while wrapping themselves in our flag.
Human bodies are distractions and collateral damage.
And that is all.