The National Rifle Association is shifting blame for the shooting in San Bernardino county t0 President Obama and his administration's policies. In a letter in USA Today, the executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action uses principles of persuasion to focus on the tragedy.
Chris Cox uses strong language, accusing the president of "politicizing" the "horrific crimes." His argument is that our policies have made us less safe, so we need guns to protect ourselves.
California has the strictest gun control in the nation, so Obama's politicization of San Bernardino rings sickeningly hollow.
Just when we think that politics can’t sink any lower, President Obama once again proves us wrong by politicizing the tragedy in San Bernardino before the facts were even known. What we do know is that theAmerican people are heartbroken by these horrific crimes — and despite what the president would have us believe — America’s law-abiding gun owners are heartbroken by these horrific crimes as well. At the same time, we are sick and tired of this president suggesting the men and women of the National Rifle Association are somehow to blame.
The National Rifle Association is not to blame. Neither is our Second Amendmentfreedom. An act of evil unfolded in California. President Obama used it not as a moment to inform or calm the American people; rather, he exploited it to push his gun control agenda. Policy discussions should be intellectually honest and based on facts, not politics. And the fact remains that California has already adoptedPresident Obama’s gun control wish list: "universal" background checks, registration, waiting periods, gun bans, magazine bans and an expansion of prohibited gun categories. But those laws did nothing to prevent this horrific crime from taking place. Nothing.
Here's another fact: the president’s failed foreign policy has made us less safe. And his domestic gun control agenda would jeopardize our safety even further. In California, President Obama had what he wanted — the strictest gun control in the country — and it did not prevent this evil act. The plain truth is that the president cannot keep us safe. And his policies would leave us defenseless. That's why our Second Amendment right to defend ourselves must be protected. It’s not just a constitutionally guaranteed freedom. It’s a natural, God-given, human right.
Unlike the president, regular citizens are not surrounded by armed secret service agents wherever they go. When we find ourselves under attack, no one is there to protect us. That responsibility is ours and ours alone. The American people — including law-abiding gun owners — are scared these days, and for good reason. As a nation, we sit helpless and watch as innocent and defenseless people are slaughtered. President Obama's response is not one of unity, but rather a condescending lecture that we need more laws to restrict us from defending ourselves. Enough is enough with the self-righteous and self-serving demagoguery.
The NRA is calling on the president to stop exploiting tragedies to push his failed political agenda. It's shameful. Given the reality that he's unlikely to listen, however, we will continue to stand and fight for law-abiding gun owners who are both disgusted and heartbroken by these heinous acts — whether committed by madmen, gang members or terrorists. The NRA will neither accept the blame for the acts of murderers, nor apologize for fighting for our right to defend ourselves against them.
Of course, it's not just President Obama who is questioning the NRA's role in mass shootings, which, this year, have resulted in 462 deaths and 1,314 injuries. At the same time, now we know the shooters also had pipe bombs and links to ISIS, so have people blamed the NRA too quickly?
- Assess the NRA's USA Today letter. What examples do you see of pathos, logos, and ethos? Which arguments are strongest and which fall short?
- What's your view: is the NRA to blame for this and other mass shootings? Plan your argument carefully.