“Japan is very homogeneous and has a very different culture than we do,” Keene argued. “The fact is that in the last couple of decades, as we’ve relaxed our gun laws, the murder rate has dropped. The relationship is not always what people think it is … According to the FBI statistics in 2010, in this country more people were beaten to death than died as a result of being shot by any long-arm weapons—assault-like weapons or hunting weapons. If you’re dead, you’re dead. Statistics can tell you anything.”

Like LaPierre, Keene warned against imposing quick, simple solutions to solve a problem—i.e., the cause of mass shootings in schools, movie theaters, and other vulnerable public places—that is dizzyingly complex and difficult to define.

“You don’t want to overreact,” Keene said. “This is a country which likes its problems solved right away. Schools get shot up and everybody has their solution, and we often overreact. So you’ve got some people saying, ‘It’s the guns. Get rid of all guns.’ Or, institute a so-called assault weapons ban. Well, there is an assault weapons ban in Connecticut, and the gun that kid used is legal in Connecticut.”