While there may be some people who have some reasonable arguments for owning a hunting rifle, it doesn’t help their cause to have the NRA espousing the most radical, irrational positions against reasonable regulations on gun ownership. And for those who attended the recent [May 2013] NRA convention, the crazy was on full display. AlterNet recently reported on the worst of the worst. Here’s AlterNet’s top five:
1. Armed children
The NRA wants to appeal to….children! The New York Daily News reported that at the convention, “two 10-year-olds took aim with air pistols, an 11-year-old gawked at a semiautomatic weapon and a 3-year-old soaked up applause for being the youngest member.”
That wasn’t the only instance of children attending the NRA convention. The Daily Mail Online notes that Will Marshall, a 12-year-old from Florida, “has been a member of the NRA for 11 years and owns four guns.” In other words, he joined when he was one.
The presence of young kids at the NRA comes as the problem of children holding guns has been tragically highlighted. One April week saw four people shot by toddlers. And in early May, a five-year-old boy in Kentucky accidentally killed his two-year-old sister with a small rifle.
2. A bleeding target that looks like Obama
For two days, a vendor at the NRA convention hawked a gun target that had an image that looked like President Obama bleeding on it. The vendor, Zombie Industries, was asked to take the product down because it looked too much like the president. Zombie Industries sells life-sized targets for gun owners to shoot at.
Asked by a BuzzFeed reporter whether the Obama likeness was intentional, a Zombie Industries worker replied: “Let’s just say I gave my Republican father one for Christmas.”
3. Guns and the Boston Marathon bombing
There’s plenty to parse in NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre’s speech at the convention. But what attracted the most attention is this remark: “How many Bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago?”
LaPierre continued by saying that Bostonians were “frightened citizens…sheltered in place with no means to defend themselves.”
4. Pink bra holsters
The NRA is an overwhelmingly male organization. But they’re trying to broaden their appeal to women–and so vendors sold bras that could hold guns.
5. Mayor Bloomberg as a Nazi
The Obama image wasn’t the only distasteful optic that occurred at the convention. In this case, though, the speaker wasn’t asked to take it down.
Glenn Beck delivered a speech to the NRA that was supplemented by an image of Mayor Michael Bloomberg looking like a Nazi, as New York magazine’s Joe Coscarelli notes. Bloomberg has been in the NRA’s sights since he started railing against lax gun laws in the country and funding candidates favorable to gun control.