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Published: Friday, 6/13/2014


Weird and weirder

The pro-gun activists in Texas who brandish semiautomatic weapons in fast-food restaurants seem outside what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the Second Amendment. The National Rifle Association appeared to agree, at first: An article on its Web site criticized the “downright weird” antics of zealots who had “crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness.”

Since then, the NRA has disavowed its temporary bout of sanity. The post has been removed and replaced with a video of the association’s chief lobbyist reaffirming its dedication to open-carry and conceal-carry laws.

The about-face is a sad depiction of the warped politics of guns in the United States; not even the Newtown tragedy could motivate Congress to pass sensible controls. Since then, more than 50,000 Americans have died because of gun violence. Other developed countries have fractions of that number.

Yet the gun lobby still hasn’t found a gun-rights expansion it doesn’t like. The solution to school shootings? More guns. Stand your ground? Openly carrying assault rifles through the streets? Check.

This week, a 14-year-old student and his 15-year-old assailant died in a school shooting in Oregon. You might have missed that story; today, it usually takes more deaths to make headlines.

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