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Sarah Palin, NRA's backward view of guns, 'politics of emotion'

May 04, 2013
  • Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin (Susan Walsh / Associated…)

It’s been kind of entertaining to see the world-class sophistry on display in Houston at the NRA’s annual convention.

The message is: If you feel devastated about the slaughters of Sandy Hook, or Aurora, or Tucson, instead of trying to prevent crazy people from acquiring weapons, you should do something constructive.

Like pray.

“Where we see tragedy,” said NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox,  “Barack Obama and Michael Bloomberg, they see opportunity. While we pray for God to comfort those suffering unimaginable pain, they rush to microphones and cameras, gather in war rooms on Capitol Hill and scheme about how to use that suffering to push their political agenda.”

Yeah, that makes sense.

I can definitely see where praying is much more effective than trying to pass universal background checks for gun purchases, limit the size of magazines or ban assault weapons.

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Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who once sipped on a Big Gulp during a speech to tweak soda-averse New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, delighted the NRA crowd when she threatened to open a can of chewing tobacco to protest Bloomberg’s attempts to limit cigarette displays in stores.

“The politics of emotion,” Palin said, are governing current attempts to enact common-sense gun restrictions. “It’s not just self-serving, it’s destructive,” she said. “And it must stop.”

It’s apparent that all the NRA speakers this weekend got the same talking point about using the word “emotion” against those who would limit gun rights.

“We must do everything we can to stop violent crime,” said U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “Everyone here has been horrified by acts of violence by deranged individuals that would take the lives of the innocent among us. And yet, in terms of how you actually stop violent crime, the president is fond of using emotion, and unfortunately disregarding the facts.”

Yes, emotion. Such a terrible thing. Particularly in the world of NRA leadership, which is known for its dispassionate, intellectual approach to the gun debate. It doesn’t get more lofty than Wayne LaPierre’s post-Sandy Hook analysis: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

On Planet NRA, only people who love guns are allowed to act on their emotions. Everybody else, not so much.

“Second Amendment rights are personal to me,” said Palin, who explained that her youngest son’s nickname is “Trigger,” her nephew’s middle name is “Remington,” her oldest son is a combat vet. “I could go on and on about the connections there.”

I bet she could.

However, if your first-grader died in a hail of bullets in the classroom, you, and the president who agrees with you about limits on gun ownership, are expected to shut up and grieve in silence.

You can’t be trusted to understand the gun debate.

You’re too emotional.

Twitter: @robinabcarian

Email: robin.abcarian@latimes.com

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