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Richard Crowson Commentary

Today's Bullies Aren't Throwing Cupcakes


  A senior bullied me when I was a 9th grader--a big, burley guy--as contrasted with my skinny little self. During lunch period, he told me to toss the remainder of my cupcake at my friend. I did it, jokingly.

I don’t even remember if I hit my friend. But what I do remember is the feeling I had for weeks afterward, of wanting to avoid the guy who had bullied me - walking the long way around him, feeling as if he was in charge and I was subservient.

I have that feeling today. If bullying is using superior strength to intimidate, then I know the source of my present feeling: The National Rifle Association. The NRA has guns. It doesn’t have to brandish them, though some members do nowadays. The NRA has a superior force and intimidates those of us who advocate and believe in sensible gun laws.

They don’t threaten to shoot us if we espouse gun control laws. They don’t have to. They have the firepower and we know it. And now we avoid them. Just like when I was in the ninth grade.

When deranged shooters with easy access to guns commit horrors, we’ve stopped speaking out. Guns used to slaughter kindergartners? We don’t pass gun laws. Guns used to slaughter in a Colorado theater? We don’t pass gun laws. Guns used to slaughter in a Charleston church? We don’t pass gun laws. On and on it goes.

Bullying is getting more attention now than it ever has before. But one of the most blatant examples of bullying just keeps on getting overlooked. And it’s not cupcakes that are being aimed at people anymore.