What's that we hear from pro-gun advocates?
A whole lot of nothing.
In the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has been quiet. Eerily quiet if you ask me.
It's surprising, you see. The NRA has a history of being overzealous with their message, even after mass shootings when they should otherwise be sensitive to the grieving families.
Back in May of 1999, the NRA still held their annual meeting to revel in the triumph over Colorado gun-control measures, pictures of their gun-toting president plastered around the city like movie posters (after all, former president Charlton Heston was an actor). This was only days after the April 20, 1999 Columbine shootings. (In their defense call, they said that this meeting had a fixed date).
The organization has been relentless and almost menacing in their quest to maintain the stronghold they have on both their guns and the government. Members are extremely vocal about their right to bear arms and the NRA's stake in government is as equally scary; among federal candidates in the 2012 cycle, the NRA gave $804,000 plus in funds to both Republicans and Democrats. Most of the 290 politicians who took money from the NRA were House Republicans. And the fact that this country was built off of guns, just like slavery, is a dirty little secret that we can't just wash away.
That makes it hard for anyone who wants to pry handguns and assault rifles from pro-gun advocates "cold dead hands." But it makes it harder for Obama, who the NRA desperately wanted to get out of office.
Or does it?
Last week I talked about the infamy of the NRA and their chokehold on America. I suggested we "Norquist" our way into gun-control regulations. Two days later Newtown happened. And just a day later, politicians are finally calling for some real change.
This time it's different. This time there has been an immediate call for action. This time the tears and hurt have continued. They didn't die when the television went off on Friday. The reality of the massacre hasn't lost traction. We didn't just mourn and then turn our head like we did the first seven times this happened this year. This time. This time, it's a reality.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is both challenging the President to take action and pushing his signature message of gun-control advocacy. California Senator Dianne Feinstein pledged Sunday that she would introduce new gun-control legislation. Even Joe Manchin, gun-toting West Virginia senator who is a top NRA sponsor, spoke out against high capacity clips. And then there is President Barack Obama...vowing to make sure that he doesn't have to attend a fifth vigil in the aftermath of a mass shooting.
Are the dominos falling?
The NRA has silenced their Facebook page. They haven't sent a tweet since Thursday's boast about their 1.7 millionth like on Facebook. The only statement has been a short retort saying until they know the facts, they aren't saying a word. The fact is, that 27 people were killed with an assault rifle in an elementary school. The fact is, that the youngest victim was shot 11 times. The fact is, that this is the arguably the 62nd mass shooting in America since 1982. The fact is, there have been over 10 this year alone. That fact is that was 88 deaths this year from mass shootings, this not including gun-related deaths overall. You don't even want to see those numbers. The fact is, that the NRA doesn't know what to say. But they do know their days are numbered.
It looks like we won't have to Norquist our politicians to start having the discussion. It looks like the blood of 20 innocent children is enough to start some real dialogue and hopefully action on gun-control regulations. It looks like...the time is now.
Truth is, it's really just too late.
Christina Coleman is the News and Politics Editor at GlobalGrind. As a previous science writer, she is obsessed with NASA and is a self-proclaimed foodie with a crush on Anthony Bourdain.