There's a new head at the NRA. Actually, it's an old head and it's made of wood. Lawrence Martin writes:
You might remember this lardhead from the 1980s when he almost brought down the Reagan administration over the illicit sale of arms to rebels in Nicaragua. A vanity-ridden zealot who somehow managed to avoid drowning in his own self-righteousness, Mr. North went on to be a Fox News commentator.
Now as America’s No. 1 firearms promoter, he maintains that it’s not guns but the woeful culture of violence that is responsible for mass shootings. This hasn’t stopped him from being a paid pitchman for the violent video game Call of Duty. Nor has he explained why other advanced countries with similar youth cultures don’t have mass shootings.
Like Charlton Heston, his view is that 300 million guns in America are barely enough. Donald Trump doesn’t object. He’s become an NRA lackey.
With Trump in the White House, marches on Washington won't be enough to break the NRA's grip on Congress. But Arne Duncan, Barack Obama's former Secretary of Education, has an idea -- boycott the schools:
Having spent most of his lifetime trying to get youth in school, Mr. Duncan will now devote his efforts to keeping them out. It’s a long-shot bid but worth a try. September is the targeted month. Gun devotees on the political right of course will be up in arms. They’re already running down Mr. Duncan. One rightie scribe went after him because his kids go to an elite school. How dare therefore that he participate in the debate?
But think for a minute:
Beyond the right’s rage, a school boycott, parent-driven, student-driven or both, would be a logistical nightmare. There are 50 million precollege students in the United States. Schools in rural districts likely wouldn’t take part. There would be practical problems such as working parents not being at home to mind their kids during the day.
Of course not all schools would have to take part for a boycott to be impactful. A goodly number in concentrated areas would do. You could imagine how the pressure would intensify for lawmakers to do something. Thus far, Congress has been pathetically idle. Not even a promise to do something about bump stocks, devices that make firearms fully automatic, has been fulfilled.
September would be a good time for the boycott because the midterm elections are two months later. Most Democrats would support the boycott. Most Republicans would not. The gun issue could become pivotal in the campaign.
Boycotts raise lots of potential problems. But, if they occur at the right time, they can change societies. The Montgomery Bus Boycott put an end to Jim Crow. And the boycott of South Africa took Nelson Mandela from prison to president.
The time is right.
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