Bill Moyers blasted the National Rifle Association (NRA) in a commentary released on Friday, accusing the NRA of devolving into political bullies and lamenting what he described as an increasing disregard for gun safety in Texas.
“So it goes: ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill,'” Moyers said on Moyers & Company. “But if you do, hide behind the Second Amendment, made holier and more sacrosanct by the NRA than God’s own commandment.”
Moyers also looked back to former NRA President Charleton Heston’s famous boast that gun safety supporters would have to wrest his rifle from his “cold, dead hands,” arguing that his rhetoric fed less into the beliefs held by Moses — who Heston played in The Ten Commandments — and more into the Wild West mythos the NRA has helped propagate.
“The good Lord seems not to have anticipated the National Rifle Association,” Moyers said. “Its conscience as cold and dead as Charlton Heston’s grip on his gun, the NRA has become the armed bully of American politics, the enabler of the gunfighter nation, whose exceptionalism includes a high tolerance for the slaughter of the innocent.”
In the year since the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, Moyers said, at least 194 children have died in gun-related incidents, the majority of them either by self-inflicted shots or at the hands of someone they knew.
But while other states moved to tighten up their firearms regulations, a disappointed Moyers noted that his native state of Texas actually passed 10 laws loosening restrictions for gun owners, such as the likes of Open Carry Texas, who gained national attention earlier this year after staging a “peaceful assembly” outside a restaurant where members of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America were meeting.
“They said they were there not to intimidate but to make a point,” Moyers scoffed. “Sure, as if real men need guns to make a point.”
Watch Moyers’ commentary, released on Friday, below.