SBS Radio News
The SBS MP3 Player requires the Adobe Flash 8 Plugin. You can get Flash from here...
Radio News Bulletin
Weirdest Christmas messages of 2012
27 December 2012, 9:41 AM | Source: AP
Although it was a close run thing, there was only really going to be one winner when it came to awarding the clumsiest Christmas message for 2012.
The Israel Defense Forces can claim a quirky second place with its almost homoerotic, faux-retro effected, Merry Christmas “card” featuring two young men in uniform smiling with a very large weapon.
But while that is an amusing piece of masterful public relations – especially as it was distributed via Twitter – the sexy IDF can’t compete with some old school Christmas crazy from America’s favourite sons – the National Rifle Association.
You see, the thing with the NRA is that, like the very object it claims to advocate for, it is not a very subtle messenger. Yet in the spirit of the time, the spirit of the season, and almost a week to the hour since 20 children were cut in half by bullets fired from an automatic rifle, there was some optimism that its press conference to finally comment on the Newtown shootings would hit the mark and set the appropriate tone.
We got that wrong.
Let’s double down on that exact impact – 20 kids were killed by a gunman in a school – yet those expecting some kind of conciliation with the NRA would be greatly disappointed.
On Friday – seven days after the murders and four days before Christmas – the NRA Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre finally emerged to give us both barrels on his position on the Newtown massacre.
You can read the full transcript here.
It’s fair to say LaPierre left much of the audience stunned. In what must have been a carefully-crafted address, he took a take-no-prisoners approach to what was described as securing “the safety of our nation’s children”.
“How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order?” LaPierre asked.
The answer, it became clear, was not to keep guns out of schools, increase funding for education, demand school psychologists, or cut classroom sizes but to put more guns into schools.
Each school in America, LaPierre said, should protect itself from gun violence by hiring armed cops or security guards. Hey, why stop there? Why not also day care centres and kindergartens, too? You’ve got to admit, it’s almost genius.
LaPierre went on, blaming gun violence on the entertainment industry for promoting gun-heavy video games. An industry that, LaPierre forgot to mention, the NRA had previously partnered with to bring to produce its own shoot-em-up game for profit.
It would be too easy to pick apart the many impracticalities, hypocrisies, and absurdities in LaPierre’s address line by line. The New York tabloids did a good job fulfilling LaPierre’s prediction his views would be called crazy by the media. The papers ran with damning front-page headlines describing LaPierre as “the most dangerous man in America”.
The Scottsdale Gun Club poses with Santa Claus and several guns at the Scottsdale, Ariz. club. (AAP)
That’s easy to see why. The NRA’s position – and approach – to this issue was clear: there’s nothing to debate and the best defence against guns is more guns.
And as this very piece is being written, news comes in from upstate New York that two firemen – FIREMEN! – were shot and killed and another three wounded by yet another crazed shooter.
Congratulations and Merry Christmas, Mr LaPierre, from the 20 kids of Newtown – and from the other children killed by guns – who miss out this year.
We all await your IDF style Christmas card.