Posts Tagged AR 15
“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fall outs. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices. To be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy. And the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fall out all of its own. For the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is, that these things cannot be confined to the twilight zone.”
– The Monsters are Due on Maple Street – The Twilight Zone
One of the top “arguments” of gun advocates against gun control of any kind is that it helps protect ordinary citizens from a tyrannous government or government take over of any kind. The most cited example is the Holocaust and the (false) assertion that if the Jewish population in Germany had been allowed to own guns, the subsequent genocide would not have happened as clearly untrained civilians could have defended themselves against the military and thus when members of the SS and other military personnel marched into their homes to apprehend them.
Such an assertion is false and problematic for a number of reasons.
In the event of a coup, the first entity that takes sides is the military because whoever has the military on their side will be able to coerce people and thus has the power. Therefore, in such an event, the government essentially becomes the military and vice versa. AR15s or any of the guns currently owned by civilians are not going to save anyone vis a vis the military might of the government in charge. It was not going to save the Jewish population in their homes in 1933, and it would not save anyone in this country either if such a fantasy scenario were to ever take place.
The truth is that guns on the hands of civilians are simply no match, whatsoever, against military power and especially mean squat when the government has atomic weapons. Heck even today, if the National Guard and armed forces, in some fantasy scenario created by the NRA and other fear mongers, somehow decided to go after people, AR15s would not protect them. I mean really, what do people think they can do in such an even anyway? Shoot their way out of the country?
Such delusions, however, do not seem to bother gun advocates and fear mongers such as Tea Party Congressman Louie Gohmert who mumbled this unfounded and incomprehensible gibberish the other day:
“[The Second Amendment] is for our protection and the founders’ quotes make that very, very clear and including against a government that would run amok. We’ve got some people who think Sharia Law should be the law of the land, forget the Constitution. But the guns are there, that Second Amendment is there, to make sure all of the rest of the Amendments are followed.”
Let’s debunk and deconstruct this junk
1) The Founders did not intend to place guns in the hands of ordinary citizens and they did not want them to be used in public discourse. It clearly stated that people shall bear arms as part of a regulated militia. As Alexander Hamilton said about a militia:
“A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.”
The only entity that,
in all its wisdom, decided to extend the Second Amendment to mean that also ordinary citizens can and should own guns is the fucking Supreme Court in its 2008 ruling.
Shooting our way through this country was certainly not what the Founding Fathers had in mind. In fact, the founders of this nation created the Constitution and this very Nation to move away from the arbitrary rulers of Europe who used such unenlightened methods as an approach to governance. The use of guns as a tool in public discourse is unevolved, unenlightened and uncivilized.
The founders of this nation wanted people to resolve their problems and dissatisfaction through civil society and democratic means, such as grassroots, organizing and lobbying instead of by shooting opponents or those they do not like or whom they merely perceive as a threat, even though there really is not a real threat emanating from them.
True patriots support the Constitution adamantly and wholly. They have faith in the Constitution of the United States and the Rule of Law. Since we no longer find ourselves in the 17th Century where citizens had to fight for and stand up to oppressive monarchies, the use of arms in this country to protect against the government no longer applies and is ridiculous at best.
One should always question the actions and policies of one’s government and leaders demanding transparency and oversight But armed revolt? With guns? One cannot keep lawmakers in check by owning assault rifles. One cannot get the Supreme Court to enact policies by pointing a gun at them.
2) It is quite hypocritical, but completely expected, of Tea Partiers and conservatives such as Gohmert to talk about the government wanting to institute Sharia Law (a subtle nod to Obama and his alleged Muslim ties and connections as laid out by terrible human being Michele Bachman) when clearly religious based laws, albeit Christian, are what Conservatives like him want for this nation.
3) I am particularly disturbed by the fact that a law maker and elected official believes that this country, including its Constitution and its Amendments, ought to be protected by guns and by actually pulling the trigger on those who may threaten them.
It is also deeply disturbing to see that gun owners zealously champion the “right” of people to own guns and all sorts of tools of murder, yet somehow seem to have forgotten about all the other civil liberties that are being continuously but surely eroded by the government such as with the Patriot Act and CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act), the latter of which would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and certain technology and manufacturing companies to allegedly investigate cyber threats. We see this with Guantanamo Bay and the erosion of the Fourth Amendment.
Incidentally, or ironically, the government being given all sorts of rights and powers in the name of national security – such as did happen after 9/11 and the creation of the patriot Act and subsequent legislation – is precisely what preceded the 6 million genocide in Germany. After the burning of the Reichstag, the finding of a scapegoat and instigation of fear, Hitler was able to ask people to give him full power to “protect the public“.
Citizens not being armed had nothing to do with it. The genocide occurred not because Jews didn’t have guns to defend themselves. It occurred because people, out of fear and paranoia, handed all their freedoms, and with it rights, over to a genocidal murderer who, much like Wayne LaPierre, knew exactly what tunes to sing and what kind of alarmist rhetoric to use to get people pumped up and boiling with paranoia and rage, to the point of committing genocide.
So this idea that gun ownership advocates have about the US being like Nazi Germany and that as citizens we need guns to protect against our Hitler, which for Republicans these days is a black man with the name of Barak Obama, is ignorant, uncivilized and pathological.
The real threat, right here, right now, is not a government take over, Sharia law, terrorists, Muslims, hurricanes, activist judges, black people, street gangs or any of the other scapegoats the NRA has been manipulating the public into fearing. These things do not plunder the Constitution or pose a threat to the very fabric of society. What does pose a threat to America, however, is the enemy within.
You won’t believe the shit I get to read sometimes:
“I hope everyone who watches the walking dead supports Firearms and disregards that phoney media crap like the Sandy Hook shooting…. Guns DO NOT kill people, PEOPLE kill people.”
This was actually posted on AMC’s The walking Dead comment blog by a reader a day after the mid season premiere.
The guy then followed his post by asking people who “have an open mind to spread the word” as this country “is in serious trouble.”
I don’t even…this asshole really believes that the guns in The Walking Dead and the ensuing zombie apocalypse make a good point for lobbying against gun control since clearly the outbreak of a zombie apocalypse is likely to happen and illustrates the need for guns galore, woohaaa.
You may laugh about this and dismiss this guy as someone from the lunatic fringe not really reflecting the “values” of gun advocates and lifetime members of the NRA. But incidentally that is kind of the same view professional jackass Wayne LaPierre, executive director of the NRA, holds when he says shit like:
“Before I tell you how the NRA and our members are going to Stand And Fight politically and in the courts, let’s acknowledge that all over this country, tens of millions of Americans are already preparing to Stand And Fight to protect their families and homes. These good Americans are prudently getting ready to protect themselves.”
The rest of his “speech” was racially tinged, unfounded, ignorant garbage about Obama wanting to take away our guns! Latin American drug gangs and criminals! Mexicans! Illegal Immigrants! Kidnappers! Criminals! Terrorists! Muslims! and how terrorists and Muslims will attack with Obama standing by and watching while us citizens with our guns the NRA is working so hard to place in our hands, will be left to fend for ourselves.
“Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival.”[…] Responsible Americans realize that the world as we know it has changed. We, the American people, clearly see the daunting forces we will undoubtedly face: terrorists, crime, drug gangs, the possibility of Euro-style debt riots, civil unrest or natural disaster.”
That’s right, peace loving patriots. The world is a scary, terrible and dangerous place and we have to be prepared to SHOOT THEM ALL. AAAAALLLL Whaaaa “to withstand the siege that is coming“.
Round them all up: Liberals! Socialists! The Mentally Ill! Gays! Homosexuals! Pacifists! Immigrants! Activist judges! Women judges! Women! “Bloomberg, Soros, and the rest of their ilk.” Renew your NRA membership! Donate more so we can champion your cause, oh so freedom loving citizens, because apocalypses of all kind are upon us – even the zombie.
And let’s not forget all the other fun uses for guns. After all, “every year, shooting is becoming more and more popular, with more people engaging in the shooting sports for fun. […] Stand And Fight, let’s continue to make the shooting sports one of the fastest-growing recreational activities in America. By doing so, and by telling others about it, we’ll popularize and make gun owning and shooting more mainstream than ever before.” Shooting is so cool, especially chasing a helpless, innocent creature, cornering it and the blowing its brains out. It’s so much funnity fun fun. These are values we must instill in our children.
We gotta embrace guns and create an EVEN BIGGER gun culture. “We don’t want America to become like England” where only 155 people a year die of gun related injuries as opposed to 32,000 here in the US. Pah! “We have so much to be proud of as gun owners, shooters and freedom lovers. ” STAND AND FIGHT PATRIOTS.
Who’s Afraid of Wayne LaPierre?
I don’t know about you, but I am not really afraid of dying at the hands of an Islamic terrorist or a looter. I am, however, super scared of dying at the hands of a small, paranoid, frightened and law abiding NRA member pumped up by alarmist rhetoric and armed with deadly weaponry who shoots first and then asks questions. I am afraid of some disgruntled or unstable person deciding to take his anger, frustration and hate out on me by barging into a mall, bookstore, theater or any other public space I may occupy and empty several rounds of hot bullets into my body because the NRA has worked long and hard to insure that guns remain ubiquitous features of the American landscape and culture and are easier to obtain than a checking account.
It is also interesting to note the kind of fear the NRA is choosing to vest their efforts in.
I too am afraid, see. But it is not the same fear LaPierre and gun merchants are mongering us into.
I am not afraid of the zombie apocalypse, looters during hurricanes, or Mexican drug lords. I am afraid of the Patriot Act and that the government can spy on its citizens no questions asked; I am afraid of the hollowing out of the Fourth Amendment where people can be arrested and locked up without due process, like they did with Bradley Manning and countless others;
I am afraid of people being locked up in places like Guantanamo Bay and tortured based on suspicion or nationality;
I am afraid of the toxic waste in our waters, air and food and that cancer has become an epidemic;
I am afraid of some asshole in Washington violating my body without my consent by telling me what I can and cannot do with it and then have the audacity to not call it rape;
I am afraid of losing my job and not having a social safety net in place;
I am afraid of being at the mercy of corporations and banks for my livelihood and economic well being;
I am scared that I may wake up in a world in which Roe v Wade is history and women have to resort to backdoor alleys and dirty coat hangers to exercise autonomy over their bodies and get an abortion;
I am scared of oil companies and defense contractors plundering our nation’s assets and wealth while they keep getting subsidized bu our tax dollars and make record profits; I am afraid of banks that are too big to fail so they cannot be prosecuted thus effectively giving carte blanche to banks to engage in all sorts of criminal activity knowing that they will remain untouchable;
I am afraid that our corrupt Congress, which is mostly populated with millionaires, has sold us out to those lining their pockets and that Supreme Court thinks that nothing is wrong with that as it grants corporations citizen status;
I’m scared that unions 10 or 15 years from now will be a thing of the past;
I’m scared of Israel extending its war mongering paws to our shores and conning us into another war on its behalf, potentially leading to a global military crisis with devastating consequences for all of us.
I am scared that this precarious position we are sitting right now – economically, socially, politically, culturally etc – is going to come crashing down on us while the NRA stuffs every orifice with guns, “just in case”.
So I’m scared, alright. But unlike the NRA and the “patriots”, I understand that paranoia, othering, scapegoating, bigtory, guns and violence are not going to help us out of this mess.
The only thing that is going to get us through it, as a society, is cooperation, empathy and the fostering of peace. In fact, you can tell a lot about a society by the way it treats its vulnerable populations, not by how well armed they are. That is the litmus test of success for militant dictatorships under martial law.
People who believe that arming up is the solution and naturally the way a civilized peoples need to behave themselves in society and as a matter of public discourse are clearly more concerned with antagonism and isolation, than cooperation and peace as killing people who scare you is not the same as protecting oneself.
Fear is a powerful ally. And so is scapegoating. The NRA has a very real financial interest in promoting violence and death and they recognized a long time ago, 140 years ago to be precise, that they can do so by instilling fear in the hearts and minds of people; a fear that will boil over and make everyone want to pick up a gun to get the point across.
Amen. Thank you Mr. Carrey. At least someone has a good grasp of what kind of human beings all those with a pathological fascination with tools of murder are – especially when those tools have been used to massacre children.
Of course, this did not go over well with those who fear that a black President by the strange African name of Obama himself will, at any minute, walk through their front door and take away their precious guns.
Fox Nation referred to the comment as “nasty“, while Red Alert Politics writer Erin Brown wrote about it at length, decrying the tweet as a “careless remark … rooted in the shallow, parroted talking points so commonly espoused by liberal elites.”
Yeah, those damn liberal intellectuals always standing in the way of utter stupidity…I know.
Brown went on pissing and moaning about the popularity of Carrey’s statement: “Sadly, his divisive comment has received more than 3,400 retweets and more than 1,600 ‘favorites’ as of this printing, proving once again that the power wielded by Hollywood celebrities carries a very real influence.”
Other Right wing nut jobs have called the tweet “mean” and “cruel” and “unfair.“
I mean sure, we clearly have to worry about the feelings of those who react to the mass slaughter of children by immediately rushing out to purchase the types of weapons those children were slaughtered with. After all, there is absolutely nothing tactless, pathological, cruel and soul less about doing that. How dare anyone criticize them for the worthless human beings they are?
It is astounding. Really. Just about everything angers the Right: people having access to healthcare, fair wages, environmental protection, the poor, women, gays, racial minorities, immigrants, education, science, reducing gun violence, straight people who have no problem with gay people, minorities voting, liberals voting, atheists…everything is an ungodly offense to them.
I received a letter from a reader telling me that he lives in a small community where the local outdoor hunting and fishing store has been selling eight assault weapons a day all before noon. As soon as they get a shipment, people flock in to purchase the new AR-15s. That is adding over forty assault weapons per week to his community, he complained.
Anyone who owns, brandishes, and loves a high-capacity military killing device or guns in general has some serious mental demons that no amount of armor-piercing, cop killer bullets can kill. Gun fetish and worship is just another pathological mental disorder and those who advocate and embrace it, especially this shortly after such a horrific massacre, truly have nothing worth saving and protecting – under any amendment. What they did is like buying cyanide gas a week after people have been freed from gas chambers.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is owned and run by gun manufacturers who have a vested interest in keeping guns of all kind unregulated and in the hands of as many people, preferably Americans, as possible.
While the NRA leadership is known as much for its organizational secrecy as its absolutist interpretation of the Second Amendment, the Second Amendment itself – literally and in spirit – and the mantras the NRA throws around about “your rights” and “your freedom as Americans to defend yourself” have nothing to do with why they have been so adamantly and passionately opposing gun control despite even the massacre of children.
Much like anything else, the good old devil money is behind it all. Gun controls mean less gun sales; and less gun sales ultimately mean less profits and the-pot-of-gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow-dripping-with-peoples’-bloodforbid someone doesn’t make tons of money in this country so they don’t have to be those middle class losers who missed the whole point of the grand American dream.
Sartre’s assertion that hell is other people never rang truer. Forget about some literal two horned devil coming after you; that two horned monster is coming at you right now and has been for the past 30 years in the form of the NRA and the blood they have on their hands by continuing to make record profits placing all kinds of tools of mass murder into peoples’ hands under the guise of freedom. Short of actually pulling the trigger, the NRA stands behind every gun death in the United States.
NRA’s Strong Influence on Politics
The NRA is widely considered to be disproportionately influential in politics, operating more like a corporation or politburo than a typical nonprofit or lobbying organization. Its 76 board directors and 10 executive officers keep a grip on power through elections in which ordinary grassroots members appear to have little say.
With ties to the $11.7 billion gun industry and board members who are CEOs of said gun industry, the NRA’s agenda is controlled by gun manufacturers who make sure that any new laws at any level of government relating to gun control are rejected and that there are massive barriers for police and government agencies to enforce new and even existing laws.
Indeed. In 2005 then Senator Larry Craig, who is no longer a senator because he couldn’t control himself in men’s rooms, helped pass an NRA bill protecting gun companies from liability if their products were used in a crime.
According to the Huffington Post, since then the NRA has received over 38 million dollars from gun makers, including Beretta USA, Glock and Sturm and Ruger, according to a 2011 study by the Violence Policy Center, a group that favors gun control.
Today Larry Craig is a member of the board of the NRA.
The Violence Policy Center study cited an NRA promotional brochure about the corporate partnership drive, noting that LaPierre (NRA’s current President) promised that “this program is geared towards your company’s corporate interests.”
Despite the millions of dollars it has collected from the gun industry, the NRA’s website still says “it is not affiliated with any firearm or ammunition manufacturers or with any businesses that deal in guns and ammunition.”
Today We are Going to Unmask Some of the Gun Industry Leaders Inside the NRA
For your consideration we got Ronnie Barrett of Murfreesboro, Tennessee ‘s Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, which makes a 50 caliber military style sniper rifle that has a range of one mile and can pierce armor. He gets richer from legal sales of his legal killing machines in every state except California because even (former) Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger did not believe that Barrett’s products belonged in the hands of everyday civilians.
Next we have Pete Brownell who also sits on the NRA board. He heads Montezuma, Iowa based Brownell’s Inc, which makes high capacity magazines. In fact, the Brownell family has a long, proud tradition of trafficking in the instruments of gun death for generations: Pete Brownell is the rich grandson of Bob Brownelle who was the founder of the company that is now one of the largest suppliers of fire arm parts and accessories. The Brownell Company has also been awarded the Ring of Freedom in the NRA Corporate Donor Program – a designation reserved for the largest corporate donors to the NRA.
Even though since 2005, people associated with Brownell’s company have donated as much as five million dollars to he NRA, murder profiteer Pete Brownell himself has actually claimed that he has no financial interest in the positions of the NRA.
Also on the Board is the CEO of Freedom Group (I know right?) George Kollitides who runs the company that owns Remington and Bushmaster and that made the AR 15 rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, costing the lives of 20 first graders and six educators who came to their aide. The Freedom Group has donated between $25,000 and $49,000 to the NRA’s corporate effort.
The NRA’s most generous gun industry backer is Columbia, Missouri based MidwayUSA founded by Larry Potterfield and his wife Brenda who served as a VP of the NRA’s board of trustees.
Midway distributes high capacity magazine clips like the one used in Newton’s Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. These clips increase the lethality of weapons by allowing dozens of shots to be fired before the shooter has to reload.
MidwayUSA’s gratitude to the NRA for doing everything they possibly can to keep Midway’s completely unnecessary products legal has been expressed in $7.7 million in donations to the NRA. Customers who buy Midway products are asked to “round up” the price to the next dollar, with the company donating the difference to the NRA.
Isn’t that generous?
Although the gun industry has its own lobbying arm, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, based – ironically enough – in Newtown, Connecticut, its influence pales in comparison with the NRA, which grades lawmakers on their fealty to the Second Amendment, and runs attack ads against candidates it perceives as on the wrong side of the fight. In the wake of its last major defeat — the 1994 assault weapons ban — the NRA mounted a successful campaign to push many of the ban’s supporters, especially Democrats from rural areas, out of office.
These are the people who pay NRA President La Pierre’s salary (which was $960,000 from the NRA and related organizations in 2010; Kayne B. Robinson, the executive director of general operations, earned more than $1 million) and deliver the funds to get the job done – which is to fabricate a whole culture consisting of fear, intimidation, scapegoating and scare tactics of some government take over evoking freedom and the Second Amendment in order to basically expand their market base and with it profits.
As the debate about gun control moves forward, some analysts say the NRA’s hard-line rhetoric benefits the gun industry in another way: it boosts sales.
“The NRA is generating fear,” according to William Vizzard, a former agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “The industry has learned that the more controversy there is about guns, the more guns sell — whether it’s a legitimate controversy over a bill, or a trumped-up one like, ‘Obama’s been re-elected, they’re going to take away our guns.'”
The scare tactics work, however, as they have managed to scare people into buying more of their instruments of murder, actually having convinced everyone in, what I consider a masterful manipulation and gaslighting strategy, that in fact more guns lying around is desirable and exactly what the Founders of this nation and its Constitution had in mind when they inserted the Second Amendment into the Constitution. They have convinced everyone that not only is the government after them but that in fact, leading a life like that is what a good life is all about – namely being armed to the teeth, walking around with assault rifles hanging from our shoulders to be ready to stand up to and shoot anyone from the government who wants to “take over”.
It’s the fact that for so many people, for the masses that make up the bulk of the NRA, the above is a reality. They really do believe that the government, especially now so that it is lead by a black man, is gearing up to come and get them and take away their rights. What rights they are afraid will be taken away, no one knows. Not even they.
These are the same people who kept screaming I Want My America Back, with which they meant the America of the Leave it to Beaver/Father Knows Best kind with its white and male privileged society, one where a black man knew his place in society, namely at the back of a bus or at the least not in leadership positions and where women desired nothing more in life than to be good, agreeable and obedient housewives and mommies who make breakfast, lunch, dinner and pies in crepe and chiffon dresses with perfectly coiffed hair and with always a smile on their faces, being the voice of reason but only if hubby approves.
The efforts of the NRA have really little to do with the fact that they and gun manufacturers actually give a shit about either the Second Amendment or anyone’s constitutional rights and more to do with them caring about the bottom line.
Self Defense and Freedom Have Nothing to Do With Any of it
The idea of the US government turning on its own citizens is nothing but the NRA stoking the fears of its ignorant, easily fooled and molded herd of bigots and minions who have convinced themselves – with the aide and under the guidance of the NRA of course – that not only is the government going to come after them, especially when it’s lead by a black man, but that it, in fact, was every citizens’ civic duty to accumulate a little arsenal (or even a big one- or especially a big one) to defend against said government.
Targeting the Mentally Ill
In all this, it is utterly sad and extremely unhelpful for the government, lead by President Obama, to start tackling gun control by proposing background checks and databases of people with mental health issues, which, if I may add, only marginalizes a group that is already marginalized, discouraging them from seeking help out of fear that they end up on some national database branded as mentally ill for everyone to see and judge. Because remember, not all mentally ill people are violent – in fact a few percentage of them are – and not all violent people are mentally ill. Background checks also won’t help us when there are still metric tons of guns lying around in society just….being there. It’s like trying to evade a nuclear war by stocking up on nuclear missiles.
How devoid of common sense do you have to be, even if your motive is really not money, to not see that and instead go after the things you know are not the problem?
This government has a knack for repeatedly going after the wrong entities when attempting to fix a problem. We saw that and continue to see it with the financial industry that, among other things such as a few fraudulent wars and such things as oil subsidies and support of terrorist nations such as Israel, caused the recession and subsequent meltdown. Instead of going after the root cause of the problem – Democrats and Republican alike – have been going after what everyone dismissively calls entitlements: Medicare recipients, the poor, the elderly and college students have all become the fall guys being asked to pay for the mess the corrupt banking and financial industry deemed too big too fail and thus ultimately immune to persecution, caused.
The same is happening with gun control: instead of going after the root cause of this, which is the NRA’s stronghold of the government as a result of gun manufacturers lining their bloody pockets, they are going after the most vulnerable segments of the population: the mentally ill and “those criminals“, as if the criminals weren’t using the guns gun manufacturers built and distributed to carry out their killings and mass murdering.
Nothing will change, however, until we address the real issue, which is the motif of profit and greed and the gun lobbyists whose job it is to protect the “rights” of corporate interests in their unending pursuit of putting all kinds of tools and accessories of murder in the hands of Americans.
Unfortunately our government, whose role should be protecting the interests – not to mention life an safety – of the common man, has become the handmaiden to big business, and all this supposed “debate” about violence, Second Amendment and Constitutional rights is just window dressing.