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Exploiting Tragedy -- Again

Friday, May 4, 2007

Almost immediately following the horrific shootings on the campus of Virginia Tech, the anti-gun machine was revving into overdrive.  Anti-gun politicians and gun control groups were having a field day jostling for an opportunity at any available microphone or in front of any camera. 

Amid the frenzy, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine made a statement that seemed to fall mostly on deaf ears.  He said, "People who want to take this within 24 hours of the event and make it, you know, their political hobby horse to ride, I've got nothing but loathing for them. To those who want to, you know, try to make this into some little crusade, you know, I say take that elsewhere. Let this community deal with grieving individuals and be sensitive to those needs."

NRA agreed, and proceeded accordingly.  Unfortunately, groups such as the Brady Campaign refused to heed Governor Kaine's sound advice.
As the editors of National Review noted in their May 3 editorial:  "A week after the massacre at Virginia Tech, gun-control advocate Sarah Brady distributed a letter seeking contributions of $32 - one buck for each of Seung-Hui Cho's victims."  While "the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence saw the horror at Virginia Tech as an opportunity for fundraising and publicity," the editors wrote, "most elected officials, however, have responded with appropriate caution."

As NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre recently said, "We've been debating gun control in this country for decades now.  What does it hurt to pause for a few days in the midst of a tragedy to let the families of the victims grieve in peace, without being turned into a poster child either for gun rights or gun control?  The answer, frankly, is it doesn't hurt anyone.  Sure, you might not get to appear on national television to promote your agenda, but there's a time and a place for that.  Even the brightest television studio lights can't hide the fact that you're standing in the shadow of an enormous tragedy in order to further your cause."

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.