Some are calling the NRA's silence on last weekend's Tucson massacre restraint or respect for the dead. But the NRA's silence after gun massacres is nothing new.
The Politician Dilemma by Martha Rosenberg
After Sulejman Talovic killed five in Salt Lake City's Trolley Square mall and Vincent J. Dortch killed three at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard within days of each other in February 2007, the NRA was also silent.
Like Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech killer, Stephen Phillip Kazmierczak, the Northern Illinois University killer, Latina Williams, the Louisiana Technical College killer and Jennifer Sanmarco, the Goleta postal facility killer, Talovic and Dortch were legal gun owners.
Williams might have been living in her car, paranoid and delusional and giving her possessions away in suicidal gestures but she walked right into a New Orleans pawn shop and bought a .357 revolver and a box of ammunition the day before the shootings.
Sulejman Talovic may have been a Bossnian immigrant required to show a piece of second identification but bought the murder weapon at Sportsman's Fastcash, a pawn shop chain in Utah, with just one say investigators.
Other legal gun owners were Jiverly Voong, who killed 13 in Binghamton NY and was a frequent customer of Gander Mountain, and Richard Poplawski, who murdered three Pittsburgh police officers and bought his arsenal over the Web, according to his mother.
Other mass shooters who sailed through background checks were Terry Ratzmann, the Milwaukee church service killer, Chai Vang the Wisconsin hunter killer and Bart Ross, who killed a Chicago Federal judge's husband and mother.
It is easy to forget the armed nutters of recent years.
Who remembers Bruce Pardo, the Psycho Santa, who bought at least five guns within five months from a single gun dealer before killing nine on Christmas Eve in Covina, CA? Who remembers Michael McLendon's Alabama rampage in which he killed his mother, grandmother, uncle, two cousins and the wife and the toddler daughter of a sheriff's deputy? Or Terry Sedlacek who actually shot and killed a pastor through the Bible he held at an Illinois church service?
But the trend of amassing arsenals and targeting politicians is crystal clear.
Michael McLendon, Terry Sedlacek, Cathage nursing home killer Robert Stewart, Richard Poplawski, Jiverly Voong and Oakland cop shooter Lovelle Mixon were all "collectors" with weapons arsenals according to publisher reports.
And since Charles "Cookie" Lee Thornton killed two police officers, two Kirkwood, MO city council members, the city's public works director and shot the mayor, Mike Swoboda twice in the head at a City Council meeting in 2009, shootings of local politicians i are becoming commonplace.
Of course, officially the NRA disavows the violence.
"The media never reports on self-defense use of guns. They always report on criminal use of guns," said Glen Caroline, director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, hours before Stephen Phillip Kazmierczak's Northern Illinois University killing spree. Oops.
And, after the Sun Sentinel reported that Florida issued valid concealed weapon licenses to 1,400 probable felons including a man who shot his girlfriend in the head as she cooked breakfast, a pizza deliveryman wanted for fatally shooting a 15-year-old over a stolen order of chicken wings and six registered sex offenders, NRA lobbyist Marion P. Hammer said, "when you begin taking away the rights of people that you don't like, that's the slippery slope."
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