The NRA just got a new member. Here’s why this mom of two joined the group

As a mom of kids in elementary school, I became a proud member of the NRA for the first time last week. I did so because the absence of common sense that I’ve witnessed recently is alarming to me as a parent.

We’ve seen deeply misguided hatred and rage directed toward people who want to protect themselves with a gun rather than targeted at the heart of the problem. It’s time for reason and sound judgement to prevail.

Though it seems like an easy solution, the deep divide we’re facing in this country is not nearly as simple as “banning guns” equals “problem solved.”  This battle we’re facing isn’t about guns, it’s about evil. Evil in the hearts of those who choose to act with a gun.

However, for us to face that truth as a society means that we also must confront the culture we’ve created.  We are living in the midst of a depraved culture where right is wrong and wrong is right.  One where we’ve seen the breakdown of family values, and an overall morality that’s flexible.

When I joined the NRA last week it was because I was tired of being preached at by people who are unwilling to look at the problem and only want to treat the symptom. It’s easy to blame the NRA, and it’s easy to blame guns. It’s the new trendy target, but it’s not the solution.

That’s a much harder conversation, and not one many people want to have. It’s much easier to put a band-aid on the problem, take away everyone’s guns, and hope the problem goes away.

Until it doesn’t. Evil is no respecter of laws, and evil doesn’t need a gun.

Disarming people who follow the law isn’t going to stop another act of violence, it’s not going to make a person with evil in their heart obey the law, and it’s not going to make me as a parent feel any safer sending my kids to school.

Timothy McVeigh used fertilizer to kill 168 people in an Oklahoma federal building in 1995. Terrorists killed nearly 3,000 Americans by flying planes into buildings on September 11, 2001. And just last year a pickup truck killed eight pedestrians and injured 11 when it intentionally plowed into them on a bike path in New York City.

We’ve seen a number of failures exposed on the part of the FBI and the Broward County Sheriff’s office in the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  Without these failures the shooting may well have been prevented.

It was first revealed that the FBI received tips and didn’t follow proper protocols. It came to light that police were called to the school shooter’s home 45 times and did nothing, and since 2011 there were at least 30 reports of domestic violence and troublesome behavior against the shooter.

We’ve also learned that a Broward County deputy assigned to the school, and possibly two other deputies, didn’t go into the school while the shooting was going on, and instead waited outside.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was asked by CNN anchor Jake Tapper if he thought the shooting might not happen if his office had done things differently. The sheriff tried to be cute and funny with his answer:  “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, O.J. Simpson would still be in the record books.”  There’s no humor in 17 dead kids and adults whose lives could have been saved if people would have done their jobs.

In light of those revelations the last thing we need to do is disarm law-abiding citizens, send our kids to school, and hope for the best.  Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

We certainly need to do something, and I think most people can agree on that. However that something is not establishing gun-free zones. Criminals don’t care about gun-free zones.

If you read some of the hysteria lately, it’s the NRA who has blood on their hands. However, the NRA did not go into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and kill 17 people.

That was a deranged, sick, evil person who had a history of red flags that nobody bothered to address leading up to that day. Rather than putting the blame on him, it’s the NRA and anyone who supports them who are the target.

When I joined the NRA last week it was because I was tired of being preached at by people who are unwilling to look at the problem and only want to treat the symptom. It’s easy to blame the NRA, and it’s easy to blame guns. It’s the new trendy target, but it’s not the solution.

It’s hard to confront the real problem - the evil behind what drives people to pick up a gun, make bombs out of fertilizer, drive trucks into pedestrians, or fly planes into buildings. Disarming people who follow the law isn’t going to stop another act of violence, it’s not going to make a person with evil in their heart obey the law, and it’s not going to make me as a parent feel any safer sending my kids to school.

 

 

 

Lauren DeBellis Appell was deputy press secretary for then-Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., in his successful 2000 re-election campaign, as well as assistant communications director for the Senate Republican Policy Committee (2001-2003).