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Living in the NRA's `hellish world'

The destructive sweep of Hurricane Sandy was such that it took some days for outside relief agencies and the news media to arrive in force in southern Brooklyn, where I live. During that time, relief efforts sprang up locally through houses of worship and neighborhood organizations, providing emergency food, shelter, clothing and supplies. It was a time when the community came together, aided by police, firefighters and ambulance workers - a moment to be proud of, really. After news reports spread word of the devastation the hurricane had caused in this part of the city, help poured in from the outside.Leave it to the National Rifle Association to view this through a lens more distorted than a Coney Island funhouse mirror. NRA executive Wayne LaPierre wrote a column - really a piece of post-apocalyptic fiction - about this that was wrong and self-serving:

No wonder Americans are buying guns in record numbers right now, while they still can and before their choice about which firearm is right for their family is taken away forever.After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all.Anti-gun New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had already done everything he could to prevent law-abiding New Yorkers from owning guns, and he has made sure that no ordinary citizen will ever be allowed to carry a gun.

It is true that there was an uptick in burglaries since so many homes were abandoned, and that quite a few people lived in soaked, unheated buildings so that they would not be unoccupied. But, as the New York Daily News reports, crime was down. There was some looting initially in Coney Island, but police quickly stepped in and made arrests. Early news reports turned out to have exaggerated the looting. The NYPD maintained order.The work of the police would have been immeasurably more difficult and dangerous if LaPierre had his way and had armed every citizen with the firearm of his or her choice. That, indeed, would have made for a "hellish world."

About the Author

Paul Moses, a professor of journalism at Brooklyn College/CUNY, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009) and An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (NYU Press, 2015).



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Well, if more people had had more guns, Sandy never would have dared to make landfall there. Mother Nature respects citizens who take care of theirselves. It's the unarmed communities that get hammered. I suggest arming fishermen.

Fun House mirror is right. There was also that craziness earlier this week when the Wisconsin NRA was distributing a right wing extremist newsletter calling for secession and armed rebellion.

Wayne LaPierre graduated Siena college {Franciscan] and a Masters at Boston College [Jesuit]This causes grandpa to wonder what you get for $40K a year in Tuition.. Franciscan empathy and Jesuit logic... not much.

I love "which firearm is right for their family." Like it's a health-insurance plan. Or a breakfast cereal.

Like its a health-insurance plan.Precisely.

Great remarks, "but seriously, folks..." although "Wayne's World" is a terrible dystopic distortion and may even alienate many other NRA members (and legislators!), the continued apocalyptic strain and concealed gun permit legislati0n seems to be increasing...and our long range solutions to counter this dysphoria appear lilmited... how this will all pay out with the Zimmerman trial for Trayvon's death will be intersting.

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