The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

large

A man used a gun to kill himself on Saturday night at the NRA 500 — a National Rifle Association-sponsored NASCAR race that took place over the weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The medical examiner reports the man shot himself in the head, becoming one of the 20,000 gun suicides in the United States every year out of 30,000 total gun deaths.

The NRA sponsorship drew controversy when it was announced because of what many believe to be the gun group’s insensitive and tone-deaf response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting and their continuing opposition to the majority-supported gun safety measures proposed in the aftermath of the massacre, including the compromise expanded background checks amendment put forth by two NRA “A” rated senators — Democrat Joe Manchin (WV) and Republican Pat Toomey (PA).

Besides the embarrassment of a gun-related death at an event they sponsored, the NRA suffered two big blows in their opposition to  expanding background checks. The Washington Post reported Sunday that  the second biggest gun rights group — the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms — is splitting with the NRA by endorsing the Manchin-Toomey background checks bill. Also on Sunday, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) announced she will be supporting the background checks compromise, following Mark Kirk (R-IL) in endorsing the measure. John McCain (R-AZ) appeared to be leaning toward supporting the measure in comments he made on CNN Sunday.

The NRA opposes universal background checks despite the fact that a majority 92 percent of Americans and 75 percent of NRA members support the reform.

Three out of every five gun deaths in America are self-inflicted. A story in The Boston Globe published these stunning statistics: The majority of gun deaths since 1920 have been suicides, more people kill themselves with guns than all other methods combined, the number of people who kill themselves with a gun is four times greater in high-gun states than low-gun states. Public health researchers found that mandatory gun locks and proper gun storage reduces suicides.

The Globe story concludes that “no matter what we may believe about the Second Amendment, the debate over how to reduce the death toll from guns is, to a great extent, a debate about suicide prevention.”

AP Photo

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, left, and former President Donald Trump.

Photo by Kevin McCarthy (Public domain)

In the professional stratum of politics, few verities are treated with more reverence than the outcome of next year's midterm, when the Republican Party is deemed certain to recapture majorities in the House and Senate. With weary wisdom, any pol or pundit will cite the long string of elections that buttress this prediction.

Political history also tells us that many factors can influence an electoral result, including a national crisis or a change in economic conditions — in other words, things can change and even midterm elections are not entirely foretold. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, too.

Keep reading... Show less
x

Close