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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
Recent Incidents, According to Wayne LaPierre

NRA Weekly Press Releases

by CHARLES R. LARSON

Item:  Man dies at NRA-sponsored race at the Texas Motor Speedway, in Fort Worth, after shooting himself, following an argument with others.

Wayne LaPierre: “If all NASCAR fans at the event had carried guns, this death could have been avoided.  The NRA deplores suicide, but it is easily preventable if all people are armed.”

Item:  Lebanon, Tennessee.  Four-year-old girl kills wife of the town sheriff’s deputy, after picking up the deputy’s own personal gun and shooting his spouse.

Wayne LaPierre: “Children need to be trained how to use guns at an early age.  Some of our critics say that age should be sixteen.  But this incident demonstrates that gun safety can never begin too early in a child’s life.  Ideally, at the moment of conception.”

Item:  Lone Star Community College, Cypress, Texas.  Deranged man attacks fourteen people with a knife, attempting to kill them, though all are expected to survive.

Wayne LaPierre:  “As we have always argued, people will use many different methods to harm others.  If guns need restrictions placed on them, then so do knives—nail clippers, potato peelers, nutcrackers, nose hair trimmers.  Obviously, this is impossible.  Will newlyweds need to have background checks before they buy their first set of knives, forks, and spoons?”

Item:  Detroit man shoots and kills neighbor girl’s barking Chihuahua, complaining about the noise.  Say’s he couldn’t sleep.

Wayne LaPierre: “Most dogs that have been properly trained recognize the sound of a gun being cocked.  They perk up their ears.  Clearly, this dog failed obedience training.”

Item: Avalanche kills skier in Cascade Mountains, near Seattle.  Rescue was futile because man was trapped under fifteen feet of snow.

Wayne LaPierre: “This is where the NRA can lead the way.  If skiers carried assault rifles and extra magazines, all they’d need to do is shoot their way out of an avalanche or at least alert rescue teams where they are.”

In a related announcement, the NRA says that it is considering offering scholarships named for Adam Lanza, Seung-Hui Cho, and other recent mass shooters in order to call attention to the escalation of mental health issues in the United States.  LaPierre observed, “These people have done a genuine service by showing us just how sick Americans are.”

Charles R. Larson is Emeritus Professor of Literature at American University in Washington, D.C.