Archive for April, 2013

Why I Joined the NRA

Monday, April 29th, 2013

When the news broke that Lance Armstrong would cop to doping, some commenters started to call the organization that he founded, the LIVESTRONG Foundation, into question.  Bloggers, talking heads, and bloviating pundits love to demonize both people and organizations. 

It’s true that some people and organizations are thoroughly bad and have no redeeming qualities, but you don’t get any Internet buzz by calling them evil.  The demonization industry depends on hiding or denying the good side of its targets.

At the time of Armstrong’s confession, I briefly commented that he was both a hero and a villain.  His bad deeds didn’t cancel the enormous service that LIVESTRONG has provided to cancer survivors.  I didn’t mention that I also made a contribution to LIVESTRONG that day.  One reason I donated was to make a tiny but useful (to LIVESTRONG) statement that the demonization industry can be ignored.

Ultimately, it was one of MSNBC’s ample stable of resident fools, Lawrence O’Donnell, who convinced me to join the NRA.  The demonization industry (of which Obama is the honorary President) has made the NRA its favorite target.  And there are times the NRA has made the demonizers’ job too easy.  Then O’Donnell claimed that

[the NRA is] in the business of helping bombers get away with their crimes [because their] effort to guarantee that American mass murderers are the best-equipped mass murderers in the world is not limited to murderers who use assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

I knew I had to join and make my tiny but useful (to the NRA) statement.  I don’t know if O’Donnell decided to be utterly ignorant of what the NRA actually does or if he decided to cynically ignore it in order get some cheap pub from equally ignorant/cynical fans.  In the end, it worked – both for him and, in a small way, for the NRA.

I don’t think I’m demonizing MSNBC or O’Donnell.  I honestly don’t know of any redeeming qualities possessed by either one.

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