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Don’t Get Distracted By The NRA

by Stuart Shapiro

Tomorrow we get to hear how the NRA wants to address the Newtown massacre.  Kevin Drum gives us a preview of what to expect.

I know that everyone already knows this, but I suppose it bears repeating. When the NRA says, in response to the Newtown massacre, that it’s “prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again,” they mean exactly the opposite. They will hold a press conference on Friday and talk somberly about mental health. They will blame Hollywood and video games. They will insist that we need to enforce laws already on the books. They will proclaim a willingness to have a “dialog.”

But it will be a sham, as always. They will, as usual, do their best to distract pundits and talking heads with discussions of Xboxes, programs to help disturbed teenagers, and other shiny objects unrelated to firearms.

Now, I would be as happy as anyone with more money dedicated to mental health and I’d even tolerate some examination of our “culture of violence.”  But unless meaningful gun control comes out of this process, then we will have learned nothing from Newtown.

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart Shapiro Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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