I received an invitation from Wayne LaPierre in the mail today; he wants me to join the NRA, the National Rifle Association. Yes, an invite to liberal Heathen ole me. I was touched, as you can imagine, and was about to properly file the invite when I realized I could say a few words about it first, and then (ahem) properly file it.
Right off they want me to sign a petition “to protect our right to keep and bear arms.” Yes, because those rights are so in danger. Not so much…no, but that hasn’t stopped the NRA from preaching this since about the year firearms were invented. You’re familiar with the story of the boy who cried wolf, of course. So yes, you see what I’m saying. When President Obama ran, the NRA said he was going to take your guns.
To which, in 2008, Obama said, “If you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it.”
And he was good at his word. Nobody came to anyone’s house to take anyone’s guns. Observable data. Empirical evidence. Not only that, but repeatable evidence.
Yet a year later, a year in which nobody took anybody’s guns, we saw Glenn Beck and Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA get hysterical over “Obama’s evil plot to take away our guns.” The Constitution, they said, was under attack!
Why were they so upset? The talk at the time was about re-instituting the ban on the sale of assault weapons in the hopes that doing so would staunch the flow of guns from the U.S. into Mexico.
La Pierre’s response was that this practical solution to a real problem is, in his words, “bizarre” and that,
“It’s a delusion to say that diminishing the Second Amendment in America is somehow going to stop these ruthless drug cartels in Mexico.”
I don’t think the Second Amendment actually mentions assault weapons. And La Pierre’s hysterics aside, the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. Mexican criminals can’t buy guns in their own country. So they come to the United States and by them here. As USA Today reports,
Four months after the largest weapons seizure in Mexican history, U.S. investigators have traced 383 of the more than 400 weapons seized from a stash house in Reynosa, Mexico, to 11 states including Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Michigan and Connecticut, according to ATF records.
And what President Obama has said is that he wants to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. There is a vast gulf of difference between saying, as the President did, that we
“[S]hould be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few — dangerous criminals and fugitives, for example — from getting their hands on a gun in the first place.”
How does telling a man the army saw “as unfit for service; a man one of our colleges deemed too unstable for studies” that he can no longer walk into a store and buy a gun and use it “to murder six people and wound 13 others” infringe on gun owners rights? And how does legislating these restrictions, designed to prohibit mentally unstable and violent individuals from purchasing weapons and ammunition with which to murder us, the same as saying he wants to take away your right to keep and bear arms? But the NRA isn’t willing to make that distinction. It would interfere with the narrative. Must…control…the…narrative.
Unfortunately, the NRA seems able to cry wolf as many times as they want, and the whole town keeps on a running over to save him. It doesn’t matter how often he lies. Nobody has taken anyone’s guns away. Nobody is going to. As I said, a repeatable test. But that simple fact, confirmed by observable data, is not enough to keep the lemmings away.
Here are Obama’s own words with regards to gun laws:
Like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. And the courts have settled that as the law of the land. In this country, we have a strong tradition of gun ownership that’s handed from generation to generation. Hunting and shooting are part of our national heritage. And, in fact, my administration has not curtailed the rights of gun owners – it has expanded them, including allowing people to carry their guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.
He has reduced restrictions on firearms, by his own admission, and much to the outrage of groups that stand in opposition to the NRA. Yet here is what the NRA claims to be true:
Anti-gunners control the vast regulatory power of the Federal bureaucracy, the power to appoint anti-gun judges who can restrict your rights, and the legislative power of the U.S. Senate and many state legislatures to deny your Second Amendment freedoms. And, right now, they’re deciding the fate of your right to own a gun.
That this is a complete fabrication is clearly beside the point. No one is “deciding the fate of your right to own a gun” unless you’re a mentally unstable as Jared Lee Loughner or Mark David Chapman. As President Obama said,
The fact is, almost all gun owners in America are highly responsible. They’re our friends and neighbors. They buy their guns legally and use them safely, whether for hunting or target shooting, collection or protection. And that’s something that gun-safety advocates need to accept.
Does this sound like President Obama wants to come take our guns? On the contrary, he issued a stern rebuke to those who would perhaps like to do such a thing.
And what would a narrative be without those damned elitists? Without pointing out that the GOP now controls the House and that the Democratic majority in the Senate is slender, the NRA warns that pressure is being applied to the new Congress:
And at this very moment, they’re being bombarded by the anti-gun elitists in the media calling for gun bans…gun owner registration and licensing…fingerprinting of gun owners…criminalization of commonly owned firearm accessories…regulations on how you store your firearms…
There you have it: “Anything and everything to further erode your Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
The NRA even manages to call the Obama administration a “giant snake coiled around its hapless victim” (you gun owners, presumably) and complains that the “state legislatures are slowly tightening their grip around our Bill of Rights and smothering the life out of our most essential liberty.”
Ironically, this last would be true if they admitted the state legislatures are controlled by the Tea Party and that the essential liberties they’re stripping away do not have gun controls among them.
So what they want me to do, strangled victim of one of these Tea Party-controlled legislatures, is to “draw a line in the sand” and because rich corporations haven’t given them enough money, to fork over my hard-earned cash to help the NRA continue its struggle for my right to own all sorts of weapons no sane human being needs. Like 30-round clips, or assault weapons.
What truly offends the NRA is that the government – and President Obama – wants to enforce already existing laws. Sane, practical responses to a very real problem like enforcing existing laws and closing loopholes to protect all Americans from the Jared Lee Loughner’s and Mark David Chapman’s of the world are “bizarre” . Honest people have a right to own guns. Most people are not arguing that. The President is not arguing that. But what the NRA forgets to mention is that the rest of us have a right not to be shot by them. What’s truly bizarre is claiming we don’t have that right.
I’ve had my say. Now I can give that NRA letter the attention it deserves.
Image from The Truth About Guns