I'm writing this on Friday, Dec. 21, after catching a recap of the National Rifle Association's long-awaited response to the shooting in Newtown, Conn.
I can't believe what I've heard.
The executive vice president and CEO of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, took the stage immediately after remarks from David Keene, the organization's president—remarks which basically boiled down to: "We, too, were upset by what happened, and we're not taking questions. Wayne, you're up."
From there, LaPierre launched into a speech in which he criticized American values, and whined that we protect banks, airports, stadiums and even the president with armed guards, while refusing to place guards at our schools—which is, I suppose, true, but a bit silly, seeing as some districts are too broke to keep some of their schools open.
What got me is the diatribe he launched against the media, pointing fingers at video games, violent films and music videos (which is interesting, since music videos haven't exactly been relevant since MTV's Total Request Live was a thing). Then, a minute later, he had the gall to say that the media demonizes gun owners—in other words, he claimed that the very same people who apparently celebrate gun culture are also against it.
He blamed the media for failing to look at its own shortcomings, for pointing fingers instead of looking in the mirror. Somehow, he failed to see the irony in that.
With every movie and game that celebrates America's gun fetish, the NRA benefits. Summer blockbusters don't regard negotiators as heroes; they celebrate the guy who kicks in the door and mows down everyone in his way.
What this speech tells me is that the leadership of the NRA is afraid to look into a mirror—likely because they're afraid of seeing the gun that's pointing back at them.
On The Range, we shined a light on "Da Great Gatsby"; mentioned Oscar, our representative in the "Wiener Nationals" dachshund race; shared our in-office fun with a vending machine; mentioned a new deli/grocery opening on Fourth Avenue; noted a pair of anti-Westboro Baptist Church petitions circulating around the Internet; noted editor-in-waiting Dan Gibson's preference for Miguel at the Pima County Fair; watched Cyanide Beach; laughed at "BroScience"; had the ending of Sherlock's second series spoiled for us in Danehy's TV-blogging venture; shared photos of a jaguar spotted near the proposed Rosemont mining site; and so much more!
On We Got Cactus, we watched a music video from local indie-rockers Roll Acosta; taunted you with a number of awkward sweaters that we'd get you for Christmas if we had the money; played around with a James Hetfield soundboard; kept up the Metallica theme by watching a wedding band play a bossa nova version of "Enter Sandman"; asked Hub and Playground owner Kade Mislinski a few questions; and kept on waiting for the streetcar with Can.
"If there was as much common sense as there are guns, we would all be better off."
—TucsonWeekly.com user "Alan Leibensperger" mentions one thing that this country seems to need more of than anything else right now ("In the Wake of Sandy Hook, Americans Have Lost Their Damn Minds," The Range, Dec. 20).
As many of you know, this is the last issue that Jimmy Boegle is working on as the editor of the Tucson Weekly, before the reins get handed over to Dan Gibson.
I've got mixed feelings about that—not because I lack faith in Dan, but because people like Jimmy are damn hard to come by.
I feel that I've been lucky to work with someone who's patted me on the back when I've earned it, kicked me in the ass when I've needed it, and mocked me when he felt like it—though never unkindly.
Other people could have done that, sure. But it takes a rare person to make someone feel comfortable while at the same time putting the fear of God into them.
So thanks for everything, Jimmy. And though you don't really need it, good luck with the Coachella Valley Independent—we're rooting for you.