On June 20, 1994, I was training on my bicycle at Spokane Raceway Park. There on the oval I watched overhead while helicopters screamed low and fast, to and fro. The Fairchild Air Force Base massacre was unfolding just a few miles from me.
Twenty-seven people had been shot; five died, and one disturbed man was also put to his final rest. One survivor eventually became my student.
Our response? Speaker of the House Tom Foley, a strong National Rifle Association supporter, pulled his support of assault rifles. With much fanfare, the NRA then spent $114,710 to malign and defeat one of the greatest sons of Spokane. George Nethercutt was proudly “elected by the NRA.”
President Bill Clinton wrote: “The NRA had a great night. They beat both Speaker Tom Foley and Jack Brooks, two of the ablest members of Congress, who had warned me this would happen. … The NRA was an unforgiving master: One strike and you’re out.”
Enter Sandy Hook: For all its benefits and strengths, the NRA is using its sword to fight and, save change, the NRA may be holding the hilt of the sword that they die by.