An interesting ad appeared not long ago. Taped to the front doors of some central Florida businesses (including at least one popular family restaurant), it advertised NRA certification. Notable among the copious misspellings was the word "responsablity."
Sometimes accident can be more apropos than plan, and error can create a metaphor the size of a cannon. Either way, this one's bound to leave some citizens more convinced of what they had long suspected concerning a certain organization's knowledge of a word it shoves to the forefront of its every lofty-sounding defense.
Granted, most NRA members are smarter — and at least better spellers — than the nit who posted the ads, and a lot of NRA people have a lot of education and a lot of brains. I know one. He's no slouch in the mind department, and he is a responsible person. Notably, he had his son playing with deadly weapons before the boy was out of elementary school, but the boy grew up without ever attempting to turn his town into Columbine.
Nevertheless, the outrageous figures for murder in America go hand-in-hand with handgun-in-hand, and a most ignorant rendering of a very important word coming from guns' biggest proponent is an irony too poignant to miss.
The ad offers other gems from the NRA spelling bee when it touts the official "certifcate" that graduating gunners receive, and provides information on payment of enrollment "fess." But we all know what the big word is here, and while the spelling may be telling, it is far from the worst of the abuse.
Still, the oddly childish misplacement of the letters is intriguing. Maybe it comes from a word too often being shoved into battle. Maybe it has done too much duty as the Second Amendment's flack jacket to keep itself together.
Maybe word power has taken on its own volition, and a powerful word has tried to scramble itself in order to hide from people who keep fondling it indiscriminately.
In the hands of people who consider any and every firearm sacred, who think even automatic assault weapons are "responsable," it's little wonder that words get shot full of holes. It's too bad people wind up likewise.
Of course, computers don't abuse words; people do.
In this case, the abuse comes from people many of whom fight as unfair any attempt to impose any waiting period, any background check on any potential gun owner, any licensing of any gun seller at any gun show, any delay or condition applied to the right of any citizen to own any firearm any time, any place and by any lawful means that he or she wishes to do so.
This "responsable" bunch also remains opposed to a minimum age for gun ownership. Sure, it's "responsable" to tell a 12-year-old there’ll be no driving Mom's SUV quite yet. Hey, someone could get hurt.
There’ll be no drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, either, and absolutely none of that voting and full adult citizenship stuff. Without doubt, that would be "irresponsable.” After all, mature judgment is a few years off yet, and some of these things could be matters of life and death.
But the Second Amendment means business with handguns and hair-trigger assault rifles today. Happy backyard pics of the kid playing with Daddy’s big ol’ gun, fresh-squeezed lemonade in one hand and a thirty-ought-six in the other? Come on, ain’t it cute?
Talk about young guns. The quick and the dead is more like it.
Of course, the "poor little handgun that could" is blameless. At least the NRA is right about that. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of all "responsable" persons who ever shot off their pie-holes about the right to give their kids deadly weapons for Christmas before they have mastered any of the more socially significant requisites of adulthood.
Some self-described adults give kids guns before they (the parents or the kids) even know the spelling of a very important word, let alone the deeper implications of its 21st-century employment in the context of an 18th-century need.
And that, good people, spells trouble.