The Tragedy Litmus Test – Another Failure of the Anti-Gun Culture
by Gerard Valentino
The tragic events in Arizona are an unfortunate litmus test to see if the anti-gun community will truly use any tragedy for political gain. Based on the actions of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, it is clear the anti-gun community failed such a test in a horrible fashion.
Just a few hours after the massacre in Tucson the OCAGV, which is led by Toby Hoover, sent a mass email blaming the National Rifle Association and other gun groups for pushing an agenda of death. Just as sad was the choice made by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence when they posted a message on their website expressing sympathy for the victims of the tragedy and tainted it with a call for more gun control.
Josh Horowitz, Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, also chose to dance in the blood of the Arizona victims by posting an article to the Huffington Post that blamed right-wing ideology, militia groups, the National Rifle Association and a host of unrelated groups for the actions of one deranged man. His article was posted so quickly, it makes us wonder if he saw anything but political gain in the moments after the news broke.
The anti-gun movement is always quick to blame the gun as well, but don't see that doing so is the equivalent of blaming the airplanes or the box cutters for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Unanswered questions about why accursed murderer Jared Lee Loughner was not given the help he clearly needed are sure to be answered, and there will a time to dissect the events that led to the death of six innocent people. But, that time is in the future.
Now is the time to support the victims, because they were thrust into the situation against their will.
None of them asked to be at the center of a political debate and deserve a chance to recover in peace. Such logic is lost on the likes of Toby Hoover, Sarah Brady and Josh Horowitz, who seem devoid of the common decency needed to let victims begin their recovery before using their pain for political gain.
Last Friday, even as the American people were finally pushing back at anyone who continued to try and play politics with other people's misery, the OCAGV chose to send yet another anti-gun diatribe that clearly stepped over the line. The press release titled, "Have You Had Enough of Insane Gun Laws," was not only in poor taste, but was insensitive to anyone with a mental illness.
Using the mentally ill as a political battering ram reflects how the anti-gun leadership's single-minded obsession consumed any sympathy they once had, just as ignoring societal norms by playing politics while families have yet to bury their loved ones show the unfortunate result of seeing every event as a way to push a failed agenda.
It is clear, based on the actions of America's anti-gun leadership that their hatred of guns burns so deeply that instead of feelings of sympathy for the victims, they only see human suffering as a political opportunity.
A choice to exploit the suffering of others to make political hay forces us to wonder what else they will do to push their anti-gun agenda. Seeing their action after six people were killed makes it hard to imagine they can lower their discourse even more.
Sadly, just as we were shocked by their actions after the Arizona massacre, after the next tragedy they are likely to shock us again.
Gerard Valentino is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and the author of "The Valentino Chronicles – Observations of a Middle Class Conservative," available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store.
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