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April 17, 2013

Guy Kills Self at NRA-Sponsored NASCAR Race Days Before Senate Kills Gun Control. Nobody Notices.

NOTE 8/18/13:  Before I revised the post title (“What Is the Sickest Thing That Could Have Happened at the First NRA-Sponsored NASCAR Race?”),  my aim was for you to look through the photos first, then look at them again after hearing what happened. I know the new title upends that process. In retrospect though (especially with the gun control legislation going down to defeat today), I felt like being more direct. The original copy is as follows:

I culled these photos from over a thousand by Getty of the NASCAR race at the Texas Motor Speedway this past Saturday. After you look through them, I’m going to tell you what happened so you can look at them again.

Wayne lapierre NRA NASCAR

Here, the President of Texas Motor Speedway and the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre announce the NRA’s one-year title sponsor agreement for the Texas race. “No limits.” Keep that in mind.

NRA NASCAR infield

The logo on the infield.

Nascar nra come and take it

Sort of self-explanatory.

Nra nascar rights responsibilities

Clint Bower’s #15 Gander Mountain Toyota. Literally self-explanatory (though could use a grammar check).

Nra nascar billboards

Campers parked on the infield on the backstretch of the track.

Nra nascar infield during race

Campers on the infield enjoying the race.

Kyle Busch NRA 500 Shooting

Winner Kyle Busch celebrates by shooting revolvers in Victory Lane. This is the reverse view. The photo leading the post is the front view.

And what happened? Having reportedly gotten into an argument with other race campers, an inebriated fan by the name of Kirk Franklin committed suicide in the infield by shooting himself in the head near the end of the race. The act took place in the back seat of his truck parked near the middle of the backstretch at 10:48 pm.

…With rights come responsibilities?

(Photo 1: Chris Graythen/Getty Images Caption: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates by shooting revolvers in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo 2: Tom Pennington/Getty Images Caption: Eddie Gossage, President of Texas Motor Speedway, announces a one-year agreement with the National Rifle Association to serve as the title sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo 3: Tom Pennington/Getty Images Caption: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, and Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, pass National Rifle Association (NRA) signage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 12, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo 4: Tom Pennington/Getty Images Caption: Fans hold up a sign in support of gun ownership during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo 5: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images Caption: The #15 Gander Mountain Toyota of Clint Bowyer sits in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 12, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo 6: Tom Pennington/Getty Images Caption: Billboards for O’Rielly Auto Parts, Cinch Jeans & Shorts, Coke Zero, the NRA and Winstar World Casino are displayed above campers parked on the infield and the backstretch of the track during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo 7: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Caption: Timmy Hill, driver of the #32 OXY water Ford, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo 8: Chris Graythen/Getty Images Caption: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates by shooting revolvers in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas.)

  • psychohistorian

    The NRA propaganda machine is showing the public how money talks about aspects of our social agreement. When combined with the insidious FIRE industries’ propaganda that is more “accepted” because the carnage is less visible the NRA push will be successful in our fear driven world.

    And besides, there is all that ammo to be shot off……sick but true sub push by the MIC.

  • bystander

    A wrenching national search for solutions to the violence that left 20
    children dead in Newtown, Conn., in December all but ended Wednesday
    after the Senate defeated several gun-related measures. – WaPo

    Those who would choose to limit/constrain the ownership of firearms need a different strategy.

    The poor soul who committed suicide in the infield probably would not have fallen under any of the currently discussed – now torched – legislation guidelines. I agree that privilege carries responsibility, but whose sense of responsibility failed here? The individual who committed suicide, or the people who surrounded him? Some of whom probably had no clue about his intent? We can look at the firearm with which he killed himself, or do we look at the substance by which he lowered his own inhibitions? As a gun owner, I don’t think guns and alcohol belong in the same place at the same time. But, clearly, they were allowed in Franklin’s circumstance.

    Maybe there are clues in the anti-abortion movement, or prohibitionist movements of yore; lessons to be learned about legislation that constrains choices people might make. Not sure what those are… But, it’s clear Newton isn’t enough. Veteran suicides aren’t enough. Franklin in his inebriated state isn’t enough. Maybe we go back to the states and tax the holy living hell out of ammunition or firearms sales. If states are looking for revenues, maybe this is one route to obtain them. Maybe like the legalization of marijuana this goes back to the governors.

    If we can make drivers of automobiles responsible for their passengers wearing seat belts – subject to penalty if they don’t – maybe there is a corollary for people in your presence with firearms. Savvy hunters are among the first to say they’re very selective with whom they hunt. There is a reason for this.

    I don’t know what the answers are, but in these cases where powerful financial interests (read:campaign contributors) line up behind legislation, we’ve seen that legislation repeatedly doomed to fail. A Gay Rights-type movement isn’t going to work wrt guns. We need a different strategy… and that strategy will not be opposed by all gun owners, either. Lots of us have no patience for the NRA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jan-Marra/1139453450 Jan Marra

    I look at all these garish photos and feel very sad that someone in the midst of that Hunteresque carnival atmosphere chose to off himself. It’s even sadder that not one of the hundreds of newslinks I Googled through chose to identify the man beyond his name and current residence. The guy never even knew he’s being used as an example . . . of something. Depends on where you stand, I guess.

  • bill

    I’m only guessing but I’ll bet this is how it went down: the victim lost an altercation, verbal or otherwise, with another race fan, quite probably in front of a girlfriend, and for a few seconds of what should have been a normal billion-second life, the sadness of embarrassment coupled with the easy availability of a gun resulted in a lost life. I think it’s the 800# gorilla in the room…your gun is more likely to kill the demon within than the demon Home Invader outside the door. Sure you can kill yourself with a bottle of whiskey or by driving to the nearest tall bridge, but that extra 100 seconds is all it takes for most people to re-consider that the temporary depressions of life are far outweighed by the future possibilities of joy and value to others.

    Let ‘em keep their 2nd Amendment rights but bring back another relic of the era: the armory. If these guys kept their guns locked up just a mile away, it would probably prevent half these spur-of-the-moment suicides.

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