Gather 'round, because I am about to tell the National Rifle Association to fuck off.
Now, keep in mind, even though I don't like guns, I support the right to keep and bear arms. And the reason I do is because the NORP (Normal Ordinary Resposible Person in law enforcement lingo) who gets guns isn't some wacko who sleeps with a copy of Soldier Of Fortune under his pillow. They are regular citizens who are responsible and considerate and as long as they are like that, if they want guns, let them have them.
The problem is the NRA. Modern politics is not about cooperation, but polarizing and leveraging the resulting camps into power, influence, and money. And while there are plenty of people looking to compromise so that people who want guns can have them while those who don't like guns won't feel they are living in a war zone, compromise doesn't raise contributions. Compromise doesn't allow people to claim a mandate. Compromise, by its definition, doesn't allow anyone to impose their will on all they survey.
This will not stand. So the people have to be divided and pitted against each other. And the NRA is well versed in how to do it. Well, sort of...despite there being 50 million gun owners in America, only 4.5 million of them belong to the NRA, and most of them are members just to get into the better shooting clubs and ranges. The NRA is a collection of cats watching you talk about how you are the master of the house while waiting for you to hurry up with that wet food, will ya?
(Side note: for you 2nd Amendment absolutists who keep telling me that the Constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, you guys misunderstand your sacred text as much as Fundamentalists misunderstand Christianity. Read it again, it says it guarantees a WELL REGULATED militia. That means, subject to laws and regulations. That means, for the folks who came in on the short bus, THE 2ND AMENDMENT DOES NOT TRUMP GUN LAWS. You want absolute gun rights? Fine. But don't build your foundation on sand.)
So what am I bitching about? Well, today (Saturday, that is, God knows when you are reading this) was the NRA's annual meeting in Nashville, TN. Among the speakers was Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who was putting on a totally-not-biased two hour presentation called "Sheepdogs! The Bulletproof Mind For The Armed Citizen." He explains, "Sandy Hook is just the beginning. We’re raising a generation of mass killers.” Do tell. "Can we take the lessons learned in Columbine and Jonesboro and Virginia Tech? Can we take the lessons learned on 9/11 and in Sandy Hook Elementary School? Or do we have to wait until our kids die?” Grossman told the assembled crowd that “you’re going to see daycare massacres and school bus massacres.”
Wow, that is some scary shit. But what can be done about it? The first step is simple -- create a police state. He advocates having armed police officers in schools. Yeah. THAT'LL go over well. But like I said, that's the first step. His real solution, the only solution he can see, is to arm all of our citizens. This is not a novel line of thinking for the NRA. Hell, the NRA was using Sandy Hook to push that everyone should be armed. NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said at a press conference after Sandy Hook, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." He also said, "Why is the idea of a gun good when it’s used to protect the president of our country or our police, but bad when it’s used to protect our children in our schools? They’re our kids. They’re our responsibility. And it’s not just our duty to protect them, it’s our right to protect them.” (Uh...technically, it's a RESPONSIBILITY to protect them, not a RIGHT. -- G)
So, like I said, this claptrap is nothing new. And those statements from the days of Sandy Hook and Grossman's own words simply prove what I've been saying about the NRA for years -- that they are lying about having the public's best interests at heart. They have a very specific agenda that they aren't really hiding because nobody is paying attention to it.
People like to think the NRA is about protecting the citizens' right to bear arms. Wrong bongos, the NRA exists to protect the marketplace of guns. They represent manufacturers, not the end consumers. There are a lot of suspicious connections between the NRA and gun manufacturers, with many NRA lawyers also working for the gun manufacturers on the side. Including cases where gun owners are injuried by faulty firearms. Think about that. If your car is defective and it injures or kills you, a lawsuit can be filed. If your stove is defective and it injures or kills you, a lawsuit can be filed. Hell, if the coffee you get from McDonald's is too hot, a lawsuit can be filed. But if your gun is defective and it injures or kills you, well...them's the breaks. Not only have NRA lawyers represented gun manufacturers in product liability suits, but they also constantly lobby for exemptions in the law to shield gun manufacturers from such lawsuits.
The NRA exists to help protect and bolster the bottom line of gun manufacturers. And now, here's the NRA saying that every American citizen should be strapped. Those guns aren't going to be given away for free, they have to be purchased. Which means the NRA reps are proposing public policy that benefits a private enterprise. And you don't get much more unAmerican than that.
There's a lot of money to be made in keeping people afraid. And in this case, the sinner is selling his own indulgences.