So while the NRA may be a bloated, possibly corrupt, excessively powerful lobbying force, partly staffed by horrible racists, it’s also the mouthpiece of a fandom more widespread than Bronies, Trekkies, and Furries combined and multiplied by a hundred. Gun ownership is almost inarguably the single most popular hobby in America, and the NRA is a consequence of that.
 
Even popular gun-control efforts that failed, like the 2013 bill, would have been nothing more than tiny, symbolic changes, such as making background checks more ubiquitous, or eliminating high-capacity magazines. Elliot Rodger passed his background check and didn’t use high-capacity magazines. The presence of the NRA makes real reform so far-fetched, nothing has even been proposed, let alone voted on, that will get us anywhere close to Richard Martinez’s “Not One More” promised land.
 
And meanwhile, there’s shooting after shooting. When these things happened, the president used to fly out to the grieving town and give a speech. Now we don’t even fly our flags at half mast. They’ve become an ongoing problem we can’t take the time out of our day to be individually upset about, like Adam Sandler movies.
  Matching shooters gun-for-gun isn’t a solution anyone takes seriously, not even the NRA. The real answer is that we, the American people, see that there are school shootings, and we all agree that they’re tragic, but then we’ve done the David Foster Wallace thought experiment in our heads: Gun control would mean an America with fewer school shootings, but we would lose some of our gun freedom.
 
And apparently we don’t want to live in a place like that.
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