Sep 17, 2013 10:09 PM GMT
By Brian Beutler, Salon.com
In the hours after a mass shooting, all of a sudden, gun activists go quiet. It's all part of a calculated strategy
There’s one time, and only one time, you can count on the NRA to be more subdued than your average gun obsessive, and it’s the 24 to 48 hours after a mass shooting.
As of this writing, it’s been over 36 hours since the NRA issued any pro-gun public communication, and if past is prologue they’ll lay low until the jaded public accepts that nothing will become of the killing spree at DC’s Navy Yard, then return to their regular program of advocating for an armed society and stoking far-right paranoia.
Two entwined calculations motivate the temporary silence. The first is simple self-preservation. The gun lobby is at its weakest when crazy people use the weapons they’ve made so easily obtainable to slaughter innocents in public places. The second is more oblique. Mass shootings breathe new life into arguments for gun control, and one way to suffocate them is to feign propriety and indignation — to shame adherents into saying nothing until the public has moved on.
Thus, nothing is more offensive to a conservative after a mass shooting — with the exception, perhaps, of the killer’s action itself — than any effort to tie it to arguments about gun control.