Posts Tagged second amendment

People Who Advocate For Guns Really Want to Use Them

I have this theory, or suspicion really, that people who keep defending  the Second Amendment  – which allegedly gives every Tom, Dick and Harry the unlimited and unmitigated right to own guns (it does not) – and who keep advocating for gun ownership by citizens so that we may all “defend” ourselves against them evil government forces that may come after us, especially under Obama, and rapists, murderers, burglars, gays, lesbians, atheists, walkers, socialists and all those other bad, evil elements out there who try to get our guns and Bible and ruin our American way of life blah blah yawn, actually secretly hope that they really may have to use that gun one day.

All this “I want to be able to defend myself” crap is just that and a huge lie to cover the fact that these people are really secretly hoping that they may have to pull that trigger one day.

It is abundantly clear why the NRA is making people paranoid to get them to fight for more gun ownership: they have gun-industry backing and are pretty much the personal marketing/PR arm of gun manufacturers in this country.

But your average Joe who is all fired up about owning guns to allegedly protect himself from evil forces etc,  really just seems to be someone who loves guns and worse, someone who does see value in harming, injuring and even murdering people.

And such individuals have gotten into the habit, thanks to the NRA and its fear mongering, of using the Second Amendment and “safety” as an excuse to be able to carry around these deadly tools.

One such individual is Markus Kaarma, a man from Missoula, Montana who shot and murdered 17 year old Diren Dede after setting a trap for intruders by intentionally leaving the garage open and placing a purse in clear view.  After motion sensors detected someone in the garage, Kaarma shot Dede. While Kaarma has since been charged with first degree murder, he is already invoking a Stand Your Ground-like defense.

Kaarma is not the first to claim he was justified in killing someone after setting a trap. A Minnesota jury rejected Byron Smith’s argument that he was standing his ground when he made it look as though he wasn’t home, and waited in the basement with food and water until two teen intruders descended, and he shot them dead. Audio recorded by Smith depicted him toying with the victimsafter he shot them, according to the New York Daily News, saying “you’re dead.” He also likened them to “vermin.”

Both men said they had been victims of burglaries, and were aiming to protect themselves. And while Kaarma may fail in his attempt to claim that eliciting an intruder constitutes self-defense even under expansive self-defense laws that remove any duty to retreat, the emergence of traps is the latest example of the sort of vigilante justice individuals are attempting to justify under expansive self-defense doctrines pushed by gun advocates and the NRA.

The NRA-backed law passed in 2009 not only added a Stand Your Ground provision but it also expanded that law by allowing self-defense inside the home. While it once only authorized deadly force against an intruder who was acting in a “violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner,” the new law allows deadly force by an individual who “reasonably believes” the force is necessary to prevent assault or a forcible felony. The 2009 law also shifted the burden of proof and presumes that the shooter is innocent, according to Gary Marbut a Montana gun lobbyist who has written model state laws.

“Stand your Ground” laws and all the other lobbying for gun-ownership-galore the NRA has done to make gun ownership attractive and desirable, have created a culture where gun ownership and murder “in self defense” have slowly been turned into hunting licenses that allow people to murder for sport.

Not to trivialize the matter by drawing parallels to movies,  but this reminds of the move “The Purge” (which I highly recommend you see when you get the chance) where the active agenda has become not self defense but a “Pro-active” hunting scenario.

Setting up a  trap, baiting it, waiting for some “prey”, literally prey, to enter and then proceed to shoot and kill another human like some rabid dog while afterwards invoking the “Stand Your Ground” provision is a truly heinous and dangerous pattern that has been emerging.

The basic requirement of a civil society is that access to firearms and overwhelming force are limited by law and a social contract limiting the use of those forces. By allowing both unlimited access to weapons and a host of justifications for using them, we are breaking the most basic elements of our social contract that make us a “civilized” and democratic society.

The real tragedy here is that fear mongering and proselytizing  groups such as the NRA , militia style groups and vigilantes have constructed a mind set that signals to people that it is ok to shoot to kill with no accountability for our actions, which is exactly why Kaarma and the likes of him have been invoking Stand Your Ground laws to retroactively justify the murders they committed. When you set the groundwork and create all these provisions and loopholes under which it is “ok” and “legal” to kill, people will then also use those to live out and justify their actions.

Again, guns do not make us a safer, better society. Guns are for thugs, criminals and uncivilized peoples and societies and the idea that if law abiding citizens get to carry a gun around with them to church, school, government buildings, bars, night-clubs and a host of other public places, we would then all be a better, safer society is one of the biggest lies ever perpetuated by the gun lobby. Not to mention that carrying a gun would certainly not have helped someone like Diren Dede who was ambushed and trapped like an animal by a man living out his murder lust under the guise  of “self-defense” and the Second Amendment.

This heinous social experiment that is costing people their lives must stop.

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Stabbing vs. Shooting

On Tuesday, a 16 year old student at Franklin Regional High School in the Pittsburgh suburb of Murrysville went on a stabbing spree, leaving at least 19 students and a school security guard injured.

I did not know what the exact circumstances of the incident were, but I do recall that I was relieved beyond description when I noted the words “knife” and “stabbing” in the headline. I knew, even without having to read the article in detail, that a knife attack most probably meant no massacre and that no one was actually brutally killed, which would have been definitely the case had the perpetrator owned a gun of some sort, which he then could have easily pointed at a crowd to pull the trigger to cause a carnage.

I’m sure that in the next few days and weeks we’ll be hearing all sorts of familiar refrains by gun advocates who, undoubtedly, will take this incident to “prove” to us that the issue is really not guns but a violent culture in general and how gins can save us and that the gun is being unduly vilified blah blah blah.

The thing that people who advocate for guns galore seem to absolutely not get (or refuse to get) is that no one is arguing that limiting and severely regulating guns is going to make us a less violent society.

The issue is, however – and I cannot repeat that often enough – that guns make the violence that occurs in society bloodier and deadlier. Case in point, the incident above:  if that kid had a semi-automatic on him, the NRA can bet its gun-holding King James Bible that we would be counting bodies now, not injuries.

And that, in a a nutshell, is the difference between guns, on the one hand, and knifes, a fist, an ax, a chainsaw, a car and whatever other tools out there than can be used to hurt someone, on the other hand.

Guns are dangerous because it is so easy to point one at a crowd –  from a distance no less – pull the trigger and cause devastating damage.

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The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

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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:

Louie Gohmert

Louie Gohmert

[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.
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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

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Actual Quote From A Walking Dead Fan Regarding Firearms

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

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

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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.

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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;

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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.

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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. 

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Today in Kuntrashian World: Guns are Cool

The gun Kim K tweeted

The gun Kim K tweeted

Kim Kuntrashian, fame whore and useless, “reality” TV parasite extraordinaire, uploaded the image of a diamond encrusted .22-caliber revolver to her Instagram page on Saturday – weeks after 26 people lost their lives in the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut and less than a month after she asked on her Twitter page that people sign a pledge to help combat gun violence in the US following the massacre.

She swiftly removed the picture from her page after a flurry of angry comments from followers but alas it was too late, as the picture made the rounds on the internet regardless.

Normally I would not waste a post pointing out the obvious, namely what kind of a useless and shameless famewhore Kim Kuntrashian and her family of equally useless, gold digging, shameless fame whores are. But this is impressively terrible even by this bitch’s baseless standards. 

She just has too much influence to be this blind and ignorant towards what she puts out there, although there is no doubt in my mind that she really doesn’t care about the criticism as even bad publicity is still publicity  – which is exactly what she  and her family crave.

What Ms. Kuntrashian  – and sadly her fans and followers – do not realize when posting and admiring the picture of a diamond encrusted or designer gun is that no matter how pretty the gun is, it still shoots a hot bullet through flesh causing severe damage.  It is not like only ugly looking guns kill and pierce through flesh while pretty designer ones don’t.

It is also deeply hypocritical – not to mention just cruel – to be, on the one hand, signing an anti gun pledge while on the other hand being seen flaunting a diamond encrusted, fancy gun prefaced with the words “bang bang” just a few weeks after a horrific shooting where children had their faces blown off with guns. Bang, Bang.

kim k tweetWhen Kim’s followers see someone popular do it and flaunt it and embrace it and bang bang make it a casual thing, they wanna do it. too – just like they want to do everything else she does. Only that this isn’t hair and make up tips, but a fucking gun.

Kardashian knows perfectly well who and how old her fans and followers are and that they will take this message from her to mean that guns are cool, that shooting is cool – all of which just fucking makes this an incredibly irresponsible act at best.

And that is the problem ultimately, isn’t it: peoples’ irresponsible attitudes towards guns. Not usage, but attitude – in addition to the pathological fascination with guns and thinking that they are cool.

Posting this image ultimately underscores the problem with the gun culture in this country where people are fascinated with tools of murder so much so that they carelessly and casually fancy such tools without thinking about the implications such behavior, such fancying, has on gun violence.

These mass shootings and other gun deaths do not happen in a vacuum  There are a host of actions, behaviors and imagery  – perceived or actual – ultimately contributing to a reluctance on the side of the public to push for a ban on guns. I mean why should they? Kim K is posting one on her Twitter so it must be sexy – slaughter of children or not.

Bang, bang.

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Blood Money in Numbers: How the Gun Industry Finances the NRA

NRA support XV

NRA support XIVNRA support XIII

NRA support XII

NRA support XINRA support X

NRA support XIINRA support VII

NRA support VINRA support V

NRA support IXNRA support IV

NRA support IIINRA support IINRA support I

Source: Blood Money – How the Gun Industry Bankrolls the NRA from the Violence Policy Policiy Center, April 2011.

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The NRA’s Strong Ties to Gun Manufacturers

gun-flag-money

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.

Blood MoneyIn 1999, Right wing actor and NRA president Charleton Heston told the gun industry “your fight is our fight“.

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

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Ronnie Barrett

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.

pete14

Pete Brownell

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.

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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.

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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.

Too big to be jailed

Too Big To Be Jailed

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.

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