“If sizable numbers of NRA members become gun-victims themselves,” Joyce Carol Oates told her Twitter followers, “maybe hope for legislation of firearms?”

Some of Oates’ fans must have expressed disillusionment, because she weighed in Thursday with this: “Sorry for any misunderstanding! I’d said the other day that, if ‘sizable numbers of NRA members were themselves gun victims’ they might be more sympathetic with victims & with the effort to regulate guns. I meant this seriously– not ironically.”

Well, okay. I guess some people would find it ironic if a member of the gun lobby was killed in a random attack by a murderer. But that deliberately ignores the point gun-rights supporters are making. Their view is that being armed lessens their chances of dying in that manner.

The NRA claim may be folly, but hoping that they are proven wrong by forfeiting their lives or those of their loved ones isn’t ironic, it’s barbaric. Here’s an actual example of irony: Supposedly peace-loving gun-control advocates who consider those on the other side so unenlightened that the main arguments they can muster are to call their opponents names or express the hope that they die violently.