UPDATE: Yes, the video way too silly even for the NRA, so it's been removed.
Several weeks ago, we covered one of several bizarre new videos released by the National Rifle Association in which a "commentator" pitches one or more ridiculous ideas for how to expand gun rights in the United States. In that video, a hipster commentator, Billy Johnson, made a case for government subsidies for guns, including free ammunition, justifying his plea by suggesting that the government subsidizes healthcare, so why not? Johnson went on to suggest that a right to an education is the same as the right to a firearm, clearly forgetting that guns are intended to hurt or kill living beings, while knowledge is generally intended to help living beings.
At the time, it was difficult to imagine a more absurd video from the group that gave us Wayne LaPierre and pearls of wisdom like "guns make people's lives better." But wow, the NRA just released a new video and it absolutely tops anything from its previous repertoire. I can't imagine they'll ever top this one.
Yes, the new video suggests that blind people should be allowed to own and use firearms. Clearly when the NRA titled its previous video "Everybody Gets A Gun," he meant it.
Has it really come down to this? The NRA has reached a level of collective dementia in which all safety considerations should be jettisoned in lieu of making sure people who can't see should be allowed to carry and discharge firearms -- in public no less. This isn't meant to disparage the blind, but there are two basic requirements for successfully using firearms in public places: the ability to hold and aim the gun, and the ability to see the target. But now, according to the NRA and commentator Dom Raso, those qualifications are irrelevant.
I swear this isn't a parody video.
1) If you disagree with Dom Raso, "you don't take your rights seriously enough." I'm pretty sure I do. I'm just not interested in being shot in the face by someone who can't see me, or who can't accurately find "a bad guy with a gun" in a crowded mall. Besides, even though Raso is built like a brick shithouse and there's heavy metal music playing in the background, obviously to convey badassery, he might as well be dressed in a Gumby suit, squatting in a giant bowl of tapioca pudding. I simply refuse to take anyone seriously who's telling me that blind people -- people who have entirely lost their sight -- should be able to publicly carry firearms. Or run around swinging samurai swords. Or drive cars. Or perform neurosurgery. This video is a serious-free zone.
2) Again, no, this isn't from The Onion. John Rambo continues by asking, "Do you think that because they're blind, they're gonna start shooting in every direction and kill everyone?" Not everyone, and not in every direction, but again, they can't see and therefore they can't see their target(s). But while Dom Raso presents this somewhat plausible scenario, a graphic appears next to him of an old blind man wearing dark glasses, holding a white cane and flanked by a guide dog. The only thing missing from the stereotype is a tin-cup filled with pencils, accompanied by the sad music from the "soap poisoning" scene in A Christmas Story.
3) Better hearing solves everything. Raso makes with the science: "It's been proven that people who lack vision have an increased awareness of their hearing and spatial surroundings." Aside from the bad writing, how on earth does this make up for the total inability to see a target? Let's say gunfire breaks out on a college campus. How does a blind person know the difference between a criminal gunman and law enforcement (or another "good guy with a gun") who's firing at the gunman? I can't believe we're even having this discussion.
4) What if there's a rape? Raso presents a scenario in which you're being raped by an assailant who's "slowly squeezing your neck and yelling 'I'm gonna kill you!,'" then Raso asks if you need to see where you're shooting in order to save yourself. Realistically, if the attacker hasn't already taken your gun and shot you with it, maybe not. So perhaps there's an exception for home defense. In that instance, what could possibly go wrong -- I mean besides the myriad of cases in which a firearm kept in a home is used against the home-owner, blind or not, by an intruder? But something tells me the NRA would lobby against restricting gun ownership for blind people to home-defense only, so never mind. By the way, the recently passed Iowa law that Raso is ultimately defending with this video allows blind people to carry firearms in public.
5) ????????????????? I don't know what the hell this means: "Don't get me wrong. The safety parameters of which a blind individual is gonna have to follow in a close-quarter scenario with a firearm is a lot stricter than somebody that can see." So in this rape scenario, is Raso saying that there should be safety measures in place? Like what? Asking the rapist to wear protective goggles? I just don't... what?
6) Your Logical Fallacy is... Dom Raso builds a strawman: "If you can show me that just because they are blind, they're irresponsible and not allowed to take control of their own personal safety...?" No one is saying blind people are irresponsible because they can't see. But it's totally irresponsible for lawmakers in Iowa to allow the blind to pack heat in public.
7) The NRA is crazy like a fox. What's obvious throughout all of these videos is that the NRA doesn't care about being perceived as loony or overzealous. Unlike the gun control/safety movement, which measures its rhetoric and waters down its agenda, the NRA is, if nothing else, ballsy. In not accepting compromise while seizing the initiative, the NRA and its people are constantly pushing forward, not content to fight battles on the opposition's terms. In a twisted way, there's something admirable about it. They don't win every fight, but they win more often than they lose, even now when a string of public massacres might've otherwise jettisoned the NRA to the wilderness. And mark my words: Iowa wasn't the first and it won't be the last state to pass laws allowing the blind to open- or conceal-carry firearms.