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Thoughts and Prayers from the NRA

American Exceptionalism

I’ve now written some version of this email, at least five times. Armed shooter, public gather, tragedy, terror, death. It’s a familiar, and at this point common, story, unique to modern American life. So common in fact that you can’t even tell which of the sixmassshootings in the last three days I’m talking about! The travesty is, that statistic only scratches the surface of the gun violence we endure. So far, just this year, we already had 38 mass shootings, a staggering epidemic only dwarfed by the suicide, homicide, and lest we forget, accidental deaths, from the over 400 million guns nationwide. The Onion truly said it best with their perpetually reused “’No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens”.

That satire cuts deep because of course we all know just how much can be done to prevent mass shootings and suicides. But no matter how many eloquent articles, with impassioned pleas are published, nor how many speeches decrying the violence by politicians are given, nothing changes. The purgatory Americans find themselves in waiting for gun reform is a microcosm of our entire corrupted political system. Gun laws in America don’t change because a vocal and politically active minority, principally represented in this case by the NRA have used campaign donations to buy off enough of our law makers. The eternal story of privatizing the gains, while the losses in lives are the “socialized cost” we all bear.

This endless cycle of violence and fear won’t end by piling up enough bodies, or by making better speeches. Desperately wanted reform will only come when the economic and political incentives change for the donors and politicians respectively, peddling in death must become unprofitable. As long as gun sales and profits soar after every killing the bribes and blood will keep flowing. To combat this violent greed we need to build an economic cudgel to wield on behalf of the American people. Only when economic power is combined with political and legal leverage will we defeat the exceptional American epidemic. So join us each Tuesday, in growing solidarity, as we work together to stop making this America's version of exceptionalism.

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