In light of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre, I'm bumping this up. It was originally posted on May 7, 2011. I've included another video of Rachel Maddow and Meghan McCain at the NRA convention from the same time period.
Original post with quotes added in:
Please watch the videos all the way through.
This is the single most effective, touching, infuriating documentation of the NRA's negative influence on this country that I've ever seen, and of course, it took Rachel Maddow to expose these gun zealots in the most gut-wrenching and understandable way-- by putting a human face on it.
And that human face belongs to Pittsburgh councilman Ricky Burgess, who suffered personal loss after personal loss with family members shot, neighborhood kids shot, businesses in his district closing, beautiful homes abandoned, all a result of violence decimating the Homewood area. Just watch:
"If you have guns on the street, then a fist fight turns into a shooting."
"What would it take to get business back to Homewood?"
"You gotta stop the shootings. You have to stop shootings."
"If you see it once or twice, it'll change your life forever."
At about 12:12, Rachel asks the councilman:
"If you could talk to the bigwigs at the NRA to explain to them the connection between what they're doing downtown at the convention center right now [see last video of Rachel at the NRA convention below] and what has happened here in your community, how would you put it to them?"
Long thoughtful silence. Then Burgess responds:
"I have watched people who I love-- my own family, my immediate family...-- I've watched them walk out the door and not come home. I've seen kids that grew up in my church who I baptized, who I taught, who I tutored, who ate candy and pizza with with me in my youth group, I've had to do their funerals, watched them shot... We're not hunting rabbits... These guns- are - killing - people... people who I love.... Tell me how many people in your family have been shot and killed by guns, and maybe if you lost 4-5 family members through gun violence, maybe you'd see it from my position."
"But for them it's fun. But for me it's life and death."
"Tell me where it says we have a right to pack an AK-47."
"Certain guns should not be on the street, period."
"There should be ... responsible laws so that a handgun owner has a gun, maintains a gun, and is qualified to have the gun..."
"I believe their interest is more political... well, their interest is not the lives of these people."
The NRA "absolutely control our state. And so any responsible gun law hasn't been passed..."
"I challenge them to come here... I will show you the victims of gun violence... and you tell me what good your lobbying has done for my community."
VIDEO ADDED, Rachel and Meghan McCain in a segment called "Two tickets to the gun show" in which Rachel pointed out that two of the NRA's members actually manufacture high-capacity magazines: