Let's Leave the NRA Alone, Target Real Roots of Crime

By Reed, Fred | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 11, 2000 | Go to article overview

Let's Leave the NRA Alone, Target Real Roots of Crime


Reed, Fred, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The National Rifle Association held a large meeting in Rosslyn this weekend and, being a member, I went for part of it.

Any time I go near the NRA, I am struck by one fact: These folk are, from a crime-writer's point of view, the most deadeningly dull, boring, unproductive people on Earth. As individuals, they are like anyone else - variegated, of both sexes and all ages, from every job and walk of life. Crime-wise, they're a bust.

They're not just law-abiding. They support the law, disapprove strenuously of crime, believe in personal responsibility, and believe (I don't think I'm misrepresenting them) that criminals ought to be in jail.

Which, if you think about it, is interesting. If you were to believe the mainstream media, you would get the impression that members of the NRA were, if not criminals themselves, at least somehow responsible for crime. Aiders and abettors perhaps. They're not. They're as dangerous as Rotarians.

So why the enormous hostility in some quarters toward the NRA?

Now, people who detest the NRA will tell you that they oppose carnage committed with guns. (Whoopee-doo. Who doesn't?) They want to make society safe, especially for children and other politically potent symbols.

Well, there are at least two ways to reduce the murder rate. One is to get rid of weapons - guns, knives, ball bats, pipes, screwdrivers, straight razors, bricks, feet and so on. If you could get guns out of the hands of criminals, which you can't, I suspect the murder rate would drop a good bit. It wouldn't come close to going away.

Another way to reduce the crime rate is to enforce the laws. The problem here is that the overwhelming majority of violent crime in the District is committed by blacks. The anti-gun folk are overwhelmingly Democratic.

Both for practical political reasons - the black vote is crucial in presidential elections - and for powerful emotional and ideological reasons, they cannot favor enforcement. The prisons already bulge with blacks.

A third way to reduce crime by blacks might be to put decent schools in black neighborhoods, change the laws to favor marriage, and try to prepare the black downtown population to compete on even terms in what is, after all, a complex society. This would be my approach. …

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Let's Leave the NRA Alone, Target Real Roots of Crime
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