Another Voice: Here’s what the NRA could do if it’s serious | Opinion

The timing was pure luck, really.

The National Rifle Association was holding its national convention in Houston, just days after 19 children and two teachers were shot by a teenager at a Texas school and less than two weeks after 10 black people were shot by a teenager in Buffalo for , well , being black.

The NRA, of course, responded with their usual tropes that people, not guns, kill. Also, he says, people would be safer if more of them were able to fight back.

So here I would like to modestly offer, in the spirit of Jonathan Swift and Rod Watson, an idea to help the NRA see its way in these troubled times.

First, they could stop spending their money buying the souls of Republican politicians and put their money where it’s really needed: they could buy guns for downtown residents and for school kids.

Let’s start with Buffalo. It’s time for the NRA to flood the East Side with guns. Instead of paying costumed lawyers to fight gun laws, they could make sure every home and apartment in Buffalo’s black community is well armed and able to defend itself.

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And don’t go cheap. Give them the good stuff: AR-15 style rifles.

Some handguns for concealed carry would be nice too. That way, when members of the black community see a white man walking down the street, they can tap the gun hidden in their shoulder holster and feel safe.

When it comes to providing elementary school children in Texas, it gets a little trickier. Nine-year-olds are going to have a hard time dealing with the recoil of your typical .45 or .38 caliber handgun, not to mention these things are pretty heavy to lug around. This could create some tough times on the jungle gym. But children are people too and they need to feel safe.

Maybe the NRA could try a cute little derringer, much like the “pocket gun” John Wilkes Booth used on Abe Lincoln. Maybe cut it down to .22 caliber for kids, with blue models for boys and pink ones for little girls. It wouldn’t do much good against body armor, but it would give them a sense of security and reduce their anxiety.

Opportunities like these don’t happen every day for the NRA.

This is a chance for the NRA to prove that it is not some kind of racist organization preying on the fears of white people, who are afraid that if they are no longer in the majority, other groups might begin to treat them the same way they have been treating others for centuries.

It seems like it might be time for the NRA to put its money where its mouthpieces are.

Former journalist and editor Elmer Ploetz is a journalism professor at SUNY Fredonia.

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