NRA Reacts To Arkansas School Shooting
By Jonathan Karl/CNN
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 25) -- The Jonesboro, Ark., school shootings have created something of a public relations disaster for groups that oppose gun control.
"What we have to do, again, is take a step back, take a deep breath," says Jim Fotis of the Law Enforcement Alliance of America.
As a former lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, Fotis has seen again and again how tragedies involving guns turn into calls for more gun control.
"It's another reason that some politician that wants to make a name for himself will come out with some piece of feel-good legislation," Fotis said.
The most famous example is the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan that led to Jim Brady's crusade for the Brady Law.
As for the Jonesboro shootings, within 24 hours the calls for gun control could be heard in Congress.
On the House floor Wednesday, Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, "I'm begging every parent with a gun in the home and every gun manufacturer to please, please listen.
"You lock your car, you lock your home, you should lock your gun. Every gun should be sold with a child-proof safety lock that only the parents know how to unlock. A borrowed gun, a stolen gun should be a harmless gun," Schumer said.
In response to a flood of media inquiries about kids and guns, the NRA has responded with a statement: "We are horrified, shocked, and full of heart-felt remorse for the community and the victims. It extends beyond any political tit-for-tat. This is not a gun issue, it's a society issue and it's troubling."
For several years now, the NRA has had a program to keep guns away from
kids featuring the animated character "Eddie the Eagle."
Eddie sings a song for kids encouraging them to stay away from guns they might find: "Stop, don't touch, I'm Eddie Eagle and I like you too much. That's why I'm here to say, if you spot a gun just walk away."
But even this campaign has been criticized by gun control advocates who say Eddie the Eagle actually encourages kids to use guns.