Dear Sir or Madam,
I am so sorry that you lost your (son/daughter), among many other children, in a school shooting today. I understand that he or she was the apple of your eye, the love of your life, your everything, your reason for existence, yada, yada, etc. I regret that a young man who couldn’t get health care before he slipped into violent schizophrenia loaded an AR-15, a Glock 9 mm and a 12-gauge shotgun with 150 rounds of ammunition. I feel really bad that he then drove to (Insert Name) (Elementary/Middle/High) School in (Insert Name of Typical American Town) where your child was a student. It’s regrettable that he then stalked the halls of your child’s school with a semiautomatic assault rifle spitting dozens of rounds a minute. I feel bad and dismayed and whatnot that your child’s liver was pulverized, his/her jaw was found in the hallway, and pieces of his/her intestines were sprayed onto the walls. I feel totally awful that your child slowly bled to death in excruciating pain surrounded by dying classmates. That must be tough.
I realize that you may have thought that you live in a democracy, or even a republic governed by laws. But today, we have proven that to be questionable. The gun industry made $31.8 billion last year. This number climbs steadily every year. And we will stop at nothing to make sure that number continues to climb. I am aware that 56% of Americans support an assault weapons ban. I understand that Americans were horrified by what their culture has become when schoolchildren can be mowed down senselessly in a Connecticut elementary school.
Yes, I know that there was finally some political will to curb the epidemic of 30,000 gun deaths a year in America. But the millions that the NRA spends in lobbying ensures that your “democratically elected Congress” can do nothing without the gun industry’s permission. We at the NRA opened our wallet and made damn sure the entire GOP and most Democrats in red states subjugated the will of the people to the interests of corporate profit. Because of us, the assault weapons ban bill failed in the Senate. We made sure that corporations continue to be able to ignore the Second Amendment with impunity. We made sure that guns will never be “well-regulated” in this country as long as they are well-profitable.
Through your grieving and whatever, I want you to understand one thing. I realize that the child who you kissed goodbye just this morning as you dropped him/her off at school now resembles ground beef, but that is not relevant. In the end, only one thing matters in life: profit. No one should care that your little Billy, Janie or Joey or whatever you called it died after spraying three gallons of blood all over a 2-foot high desk this morning.
The market value of your child’s life pales in comparison to the value of millions of firearms. This is especially true when mentally unhinged people are buying entire arsenals of weapons. The GOP has gutted mental health services across the country to balance state budgets. And we at the NRA have advertised aggressively to stoke the paranoia typical of mental illness. For us, it doesn’t matter who buys the guns, as long as they are bought. It doesn’t matter who dies as long as $31.8 billion grows to, say, $34.6 billion this year. Your child, for whose funeral I’m sure you are busy preparing, was a tiny, insignificant cost compared to the billions in profit that the gun industry will make this year.
Don’t even think about trying to use this “tragedy” of the death of your son/daughter or whoever else to change laws. Don’t even think about becoming civically engaged or trying to work with the system to improve society, curb the ongoing slaughter or regulate machines that are only designed to kill dozens of people in seconds.
You do not own this country, because you did not buy it. We bought it. We own your government. You will get nothing.
I’m sure you’re sitting there, emotional because you lost your child. But imagine how much the gun corporations would cry if they had lost some profit? Imagine how emotional I would be if I didn’t get paid around $1 million a year to lobby for the gun manufacturers? Look at you, sitting there, thinking only about your “child” and not about MY MONEY! You people make me sick.
NRA Vice President