Who is to blame? The N.R.A.

There have been 136 mass shootings in the US so far this year.

After a gunman entered a school and killed 5 & 6 year old children, we did…. NOTHING.  No.  I’m wrong.  The NRA convinced the elected officials of this country to resist any increase in gun regulation.  So we did do something, we STOPPED any change from happening.

After San Bernadino, the NRA again convinced the morally challenged congress to avoid regulation on guns for terrorists.   You can’t bring hair gel on a plane, but according to the NRA, someone on a terrorist watch  list should not be deterred from buying a gun in U.S.  The NRA says we might deter someone who is accidentally on the watch list.  So… maybe a dozen people in a year might try to buy a weapon and be stopped erroneously.  THAT would be a FAR GREATER PROBLEM than hundreds of people dying from legally purchased weapons.   Because some people might be inconvenienced, so screw all the people who die or get wounded.

So let’s discuss why.

THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION is to blame.  Let’s not mince words.  I’m not even going to try and be nice about it.  It’s lost it’s original intention of being a group of like minded individuals promoting responsible gun ownership.  It’s become a political lobby that has lost all sense of morality.

The Gun Manufacturers are to blame.  They, and do not be naive and doubt this, are the real instigators of this problem. They merely use the NRA as their shill.  So when I say NRA – its important to remember – the NRA, despite being proud of its many individual members, is essentially a mask for the Gun Manufacturers.

Why use the mask?  Compare these two positions.  Large Corporation wants to make money and so wants to keep Congress from gun regulation.  VS Individual Citizens want to have the right to hunt and protect themselves.  Get it?

Gun Manufacturers cannot directly support the NRA’s PAC.  BUT they can support the NRA generally.  They can make sure those in charge of the NRA are… well funded.  Generally speaking that means buying “advertising”.  I imagine other exchanges of benefit happen for various executives, but I’m not going to spend time looking into it.  Based on the NRA’s general morality, I would frankly be shocked if that wasn’t happening.

The NRA then focuses itself in two areas:

  1. Recruitment through evangelizing it’s imperative to own a gun at any cost
  2. Using its membership dues and membership numbers to force its agenda on congress.

Why?  Well, suppose you want to sell guns – you don’t want people to have a hard time getting them, right?  All businesses lobby for their right to do business with their customer.  Except it’s not quite that straightforward.

The thing about guns is that in a normal life, people don’t want more than 1, maybe 2 if you have a rifle for hunting and a handgun for personal protection.  But see, that is not a good thing if you SELL guns.  It limits your potential market. The answer to this is to artificially inflate your market.

FIRST,  you must convince people that guns are about to be scarce.  How?  You create a terribly decisive controversy around them.  You make sure that every time 49 humans are killed in a nightclub, all of your customers get afraid that they won’t be able to buy another gun ever, and so they run out to a gun store and buy guns IMMEDIATELY.  They already have a gun, but they might never be able to get another one, and so it’s better to hoard now for the imagined future need.  That’s the way our monkey brains work.  Monkey brains don’t work on logic, they work on emotional fear of lack.  Marketers know this and will advise you wisely to create this fear to increase your sales.

SECOND: You turn guns into a hobby.  A collectible, like Beanie Babies. And so people like having multiple guns for no other purpose but having them is “fun”.  As a result of this mentality, the US has 101 privately owned guns per 100 people.   Innocent people are dying because a small group of people want to have the right to collect an unreasonable number of deadly weapons for fun.  And the NRA is there to convince both them and your congressman that they should have an unencumbered right to do it.  No matter how many people are killed because of it.

THIRD:  You make ownership of a gun an underdog pursuit. An excellent advantage to fighting  the apparently logical and ethical choice to regulate guns is that it creates the sense that a small group of people is being mistreated by the government.  You turn the idea of guns into an essential right and it becomes a battleground.

Then you create a narrative with this battle that makes people tie their identity to the gun ownership.  People don’t own guns, they are gun owners.  You see the distinction?  Now it feels like government is going after them personally, not their guns.   Now you have a tribe, a community, fans.  You’re just like Apple, but you know, with guns instead of tech.  Sure you did it with blood and death instead of pretty and useful tech, but the end result is the same.  A group of people who support you no matter what you do.

The NRA is the root of this problem.  We can all point to all the hate and paranoia and exclusion and mental illness.  Those things exist and they should not be ignored.  But the reality is that those societal factors would never have culminated in the death of 49 humans if the NRA had not been actively campaigning to protect the right of a few people to have a hobby. The NRA is the linchpin to this problem.  Without it, the gun manufacturers could not lobby a sufficient amount of sympathetic support.

They ARE a morally bankrupt group that has no qualms about the blood they feed off of to gain their advantage.  The NRA has caused the death of more than 1000 people in just mass shootings.  That doesn’t include accidental deaths, suicides and individual murders with legally obtained weapons.

Do not apologize for them.  They used to lobby for better gun regulation.  They used to have a moral center that was about responsible gun ownership.  But now they don’t do that.  Now they have taken this completely explicable turn toward fighting any kind of rational regulation.  And the explanation is that:

Gun Sales are improved by controversy.

The NRA killed 49 people this past weekend and so many many more before that.  They are as responsible as cigarette companies are over lung cancer.  Possibly more.

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60 thoughts on “Who is to blame? The N.R.A.

  1. Your assessment of the group is spot on. Over the decades I’ve seen it turn from an organization intended to promote safety, skill, preserve hunting rights, etc. into a propaganda machine. It’s become little more than a marketing tool for the gun industry, using paranoia and fear to push the sales of firearms and ammunition.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Do you have a link for the source of your information? Last time we bought a gun, we had to fill out forms, provide SSI numbers, and have a back ground check. It would be very difficult for a non citizen, or someone with a felony to purchase through legitimate channels.
    It would be great if bad people couldn’t access fire arms. But the black market channels are too lucrative.
    I’d love to see the testimony that La Pierre would have given that encouraged the rights of terrorists. I’d would have to argue with him on that. The US constitution is to protect law abiding citizens, NOT terrorists.
    I carry a gun to protect myself from all the nut jobs out there who would harm. It’s hard to fight back if you aren’t on even ground.
    The poor people in Paris, where guns are banned, didn’t stand a chance. And let’s not forget. The initial onslaught that brought Terrorism to our door killed 3000 + people without a single gun.
    Guns in the hands of evil people is a Huge problem. But I blame the evil people. Not their choice of evil delivery.

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    1. The regulations vary by state. Which is ultimately defeating. Some states don’t even require a license. This is why it must be done at a Federal Level.

      Terrorism isn’t even a sneeze in the hurricane a gun deaths by legal firearms. Yes, a law making it illegal to buy a gun if you are a terrorist watch list would have saved 49 people, but many hundreds are killed by people who legally obtain weapons.

      Having a barrier to access would lower that death toll. And the only reason to not regulate appears to be ludicrous.

      It should at MINIMUM be regulated to the point of owning / driving a car. You should have to pass both a skill and a written exam. You should have to agree to provide a safe place for your gun (away from children) and I think all future guns should come with fingerprint triggers.

      There should be a limit on the number you own as well.

      Any history of mental illness means you cannot own a weapon and probably should surrender the ones you currently have registered.

      And obviously we need to get rid of assault weapons. Citizenry in need of protection do not need a machine gun. And hunters don’t need a machine gun.

      You can blame evil or mental illness or prejudice or sunny days. But those issues will remain with our society. Guns are a practical and manageable way to control the number of future deaths. Period.

      I list all of these things as the MIMINUM of what should be done. If I had my way, we would ban them entirely, but I don’t think that’s acceptable to a good portion of the population, and I’m willing to compromise.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_the_United_States_by_state

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The firearms don’t fire themselves. It takes the intention of an evil mind to make them shoot. Cars don’t kill people, there has to be a person behind the wheel.
        Current laws aren’t enforced. Current borders are open. Sanctuary cities harbor criminals, and the world has gone mad thinking more restriction on law abiding citizens will somehow stop evil people from harming others.

        Chicago has banned guns, and more people are killed by guns there on a weekend than in any other City that allows legally owned guns.

        Criminal control is called for overall. If we could enforce the laws we have on the books, the world would be a safer place.

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      2. Your Chicago example is the point I made about why it needs to be a Federal Law.

        The point of regulating guns is that when humans are human – when they are angry, ignorant or mentally ill, they should NOT have an easy means to kill someone.

        There are societal problems we will no doubt work on until the heat death of the universe but we can DO something practical. Something reasonable to stop people from dying.

        The NRA used to consider gun regulation to be a reasonable and practical way to handle responsbile gun ownership. They now have convinced millions of people that regulation is somehow a threat to people who own guns. Its an utterly unreasonable stance.

        WHY shouldn’t we make a reasonable barrier of background checks, fingerprint triggers and skill/knowledge exams to gun ownership? WHY?

        Its a small and reasonable step. But they block it. They block it because they want people who have guns to feel that such a reasonable step is a threat to them, when if you are normal law abiding citizen, it’s not.

        And they want people to feel that way because it INCREASES GUN SALES.

        You are being manipulated. We all are.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t agree, sweet heart.
        I like my freedoms, and I wouldn’t presume to tell my law abiding neighbor how to live within the law.
        Just like I wouldn’t tell you to buy a gun or 10, because that’s not my right. I can’t tell you what to do with your money. That would be wrong.
        I would rather live in a country where the good guys are able to carry guns, instead of just the bad guys. Bad guys will always break the laws, just like they are doing now in Chicago, and the locals there can’t control it. How are the Feds control it? They screw everything up.
        When law abiding citizens have guns, the bad guys have to think twice about who they attack. Crime goes down. Also, the 2nd amendment was designed to protect citizens from and oppressive government. It’s super easy to control unarmed peasants.
        Oh, btw. Machine guns have been outlawed in the US since 1923. The only way they get in is through Mexico, where the Drug Cartels still use them.
        The laws are fucked, unenforced and only restrict the rights of good citizens, but that’s because of the screwed up jerks in congress. And today, they punted the Gun Restriction decision back to the states.
        I can’t agree with the NRA and the watchlist thing either. There can’t be that many good people on the watch list impacted. That was stupid.
        I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one, and who is being manipulated.

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    1. An interesting statistic, but it doesn’t seem to correlate with the FBI report.
      https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-11

      In any case, knives have other more practical uses. Uses for which they are used far far more often than killing. Guns are designed to kill or wound people. That is their intended purpose.

      There is no comparison in either practical ability to control knives vs guns, or practical use of a knife vs a gun. It’s a bad rebuttal and doesn’t address the point. Its possible and reasonable to control guns with increased regulation.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I misquoted. Knives caused more murders than assault rifles, which seems to be at the center of the gun control debate. There are more reasons for guns than just for killing or wounding people. Guns are also designed for hunting, and for target practice. There are enough rules and regulation on the books right now and we don’t need more government intervention. This is a political flashpoint, just like abortion and its purpose is to activate the voting base. The real issue is stopping the black market. That would go a long way to prevent criminals from obtaining guns.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lets Unpack your reasons for guns. A gun is a weapon designed to Kill or Injure. That it is used as for target practice is irrelevant to its intended design. It is a dangerous implement and it is designed to be that way. It has always been designed to be dangerous. That why it exists. Period.
        The POINT of my post is that if it was left at just that – then you would only need one gun, possibly 2 if you hunt.
        But when you turn it into a hobby, into a fun game, you create a market for MORE guns.

        When you also manipulate people into forgetting the purpose of a gun and make them feel that rational control of guns is a threat to their own rights and freedom, you CREATE the political flash point that INCREASES gun sales.

        The NRA exists only to increase gun sales by promoting a sense of controversy. By inculcating its members with the sense that they are being demonized and restricted.

        There are clearly NOT enough rules and regulations. A man on a terrorist watch list, who couldn’t even fly across the country, bought a legal gun and killed 49 people and injured many more. That is a law that is necessary.

        In 2010, unintentional firearm injuries caused the deaths of 606 people.
        From 2005-2010, almost 3,800 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings.
        Some kind of training and safety requirements would reduce that – don’t you think?

        Firearms were used in 19,392 suicides in the U.S. in 2010, constituting almost 62% of all gun deaths. Don’t you think a background check for mental health would be helpful?

        Is it so awful to be mildly inconvenienced so that thousands and thousands of people will be saved?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I don’t need to unpack. Above all else is the US Constitution. I’m a strict constitutionalist and do not like the meddling of a liberal OR a conservative judiciary interpreting the constitution to fit their ideology. The idea that people die from guns is immaterial in this case. People die from all sorts of things. Over 32,000 people died in car accidents in 2014. It’s all about perspective. Of course there should be background checks. In my state there are these checks should you want a gun. However, I also believe in a states right to self determination and don’t like the feds imposing their will over the electorate.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Again, a bad example. Increased regulation has led to dramatic decreases in car deaths. Because we all cared about the fact that people were dying needlessly.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

        That constitution is not some infallible document. It was never meant to be static.
        As examples of its utter need for mending –
        It counts living human beings as 3/5th a person. That had to be mended. It only allowed men to vote. That had to be mended. It didn’t prevent slavery. That had to be mended.
        The constitution is not handed down from our infallible all seeing forefathers. Its a framework created by a group of white men who were FAR from perfect and who themselves recognized it would be changed over time.

        Stop treating it like a holy document and recognize it for what it is both historically, factually and ethically. A piece of paper with some ideas on it for how to run a country. Those ideas need work. Guns is just one place it needs work.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Not a bad example at all. There are LESS car regulations surrounding safety than guns. I would imagine that the real reason for improved safety was more due to costly litigation than sincere care for the driver. And there’s no constitutional guarantee to drivers rights. Remember, it’s a privilege, not a right. I’m curious as to your opinion that the Constitution was never meant to be static. Also, while they were white men, they were brilliant men. But I don’t really see how that really matters. I don’t feel it’s ‘just a piece of paper with some ideas on it’. Perhaps your low opinion of it colors your point of view. I find it to be a great document, and one that’s formed the foundation of who we are as a nation.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. You are going to have show me some documentation that shows that cars have fewer regulations. Cars are regulated from build to use. I’m not seeing that level of regulation on guns, but maybe I’m missing the evidence you have.

        My opinion of the constitution is based on history. Thomas Jefferson wrote ” Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of nineteen years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right. It may be said, that the succeeding generation exercising, in fact, the power of repeal, this leaves them as free as if the constitution or law had been expressly limited to nineteen years only.” That was the conversation that was happening when the constitution was written.”
        While re-writing it every 19 years was ultimately considered impractical, it shows that they did consider the constitution as malleable.

        They did not envision it as a hard and fast piece of concrete. They were indeed smart enough to recognize that the world changes. Indeed they were busy drastically changing the world’s view of government, so they were very unlikely to think changing governmental documents and laws was a bad thing.

        When a right is a detriment to the society it needs to revised. And owning guns without regulation is a detriment. The NRA continues to make this issue about rights and making people think that the right of human to not be murdered or injured by a firearm is of less consequence than the right of someone to collect said firearm. Then for a terrorist to buy a firearm.

        I will always consider a human life more valuable than right of someone to have a hobby without hindrance.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. “Thomas Jefferson wrote ” Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of nineteen years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right.” Then, since we now know more about life, why is Roe v. Wade still sacrosanct? It’s been much longer than 19 years. The reason? It’s a political issue, just like guns. It’s a way to get people to vote. Once the election is over, you won’t hear a word about gun control, nor abortion.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. The point of this post was that gun control is made into a controversy by the NRA. Its made that way to sell guns.

        Gun control comes up everytime there is a highly publicized mass shooting. And in many cases, as noted in this post, attempts are made to put some for form of regulation on it but the NRA has fed its congressman properly and so it doesn’t happen.

        The NRA. That crux of the problem. The N. R. A.

        Liked by 2 people

      9. The NRA is what is stopping the government from taking away a protected right. As has been stated, there are sufficient gun laws on the the books. All that is needed is enforcement of existing laws. The controversy arises from an left wing president, ( who – by the way – will be protected by gun slinging law enforcement for the remainder of his life) – continues his assault on the Constitution.

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      10. I’m at a loss as to how you define “sufficient” when those laws are clearly NOT working. And Orlando is just the most recently obvious example.

        But, to be clear – it is NOT SUFFICIENT when every state has a different set of regulation. In Alabama for example, you don’t need to register to buy or own a gun. In California you do.
        The variations go on for days.

        A country wide, consistent law needs to be implemented.

        I will admit that implementation of current laws is also variable by state. And since the NRA has been active in trying to defang the ATF, that is also not great. They make sure it is underfunded and that any policy it might use to control illegal weapons dealing is weak and ineffectual. Why? Because those guns got made by gun manufacturers and guess who the NRA is the mask for?

        Laws have been proposed and have been handily defeated by any congressman who takes money from the NRA.

        And again. The NRA Used to support and even LOBBY for gun regulation. They used to be all about appropriate and safe use and ownership of guns. And then they changed tactics to support NO REGULATIONS at all.

        They do that because it creates controversy. Because it gets their membership to
        a. think there is something deeply wrong and controversial about saving human lives.
        b. which leads them to buy more guns because maybe the “left wing” people will win and they won’t have any guns anymore.

        I am baffled by the irrelevant and off point comment about protecting the president. Was there EVER a suggestion that the secret service or indeed any arm of the police or military, should not have gun? I’m not sure how that point relates.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. It’s exactly like our border laws. We have plenty of them, just not enough people willing to enforce them. I’ve read that there are over 2,000 gun laws currently on the books. 2000! The reality is that criminals don’t obey laws, to legislation won’t apply to them. Baffled? Irrelevant? It’s easy to adopt an anti-gun position when you and your family will benefit from their protection. Remember when Rosi O’Donnell went off about guns and we found out that her bodyguard had a gun? So, it’s do what I say and not what I do. More political hypocrisy, especially from this president who doesn’t seem to respect the legislative branch to pass laws. I completely disagree about your position that the NRA is trying to create controversy. They are here to protect our rights to own firearms, plain and simple.

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      12. Again, I will refer you to facts and logic. There may well be 2000, but it’s hardly surprising as EACH state has laws and many municipalities have laws. And again, this is part of the problem.

        And your rights are killing other people. But you apparently have no problem with that ethically or morally.

        And if I was forced to have a bodyguard to protect me, I think my position on guns would be WAY higher. There is little or no point in a world where guns are so incredibly prevalent in having a body guard who doesn’t carry one. Guns are the primary threat to her safety. Would you suggest that she find a magical spell to protect herself from the guns?

        AGAIN. I’m advocating for regulation, not a ban. I don’t pretend that a ban is in the cards. But universal, sensible and reasonable regulation would mean that 49 people would be alive right now and another 50+ would be healthy and whole.

        But your right have a gun without any encumbrance should delete their right to be alive, apparently.

        The NRA’s position is linchpin to this controversy. Without their evanelizing the “right” to a gun, our gun regulation and enforcement would be far more robust.

        In other countries, when a mass shooting happens the majority of the population gets behind a change in gun laws and things change. In ours we have a group called the NRA, who shill for gun makers and create controversy.

        Because money. That’s it.

        You are being manipulated for the profits of gun manufacturers.

        You have been convinced that thousands of people dying is OK just as long as you don’t get more inconvenienced. And all of it is hidden under the rhetoric about “rights”. Most of the laws proposed don’t ban all weapons. They don’t try to remove your right own a hand gun except in circumstances where you really shouldn’t have one.

        I think your “right” is ludicrous. And based on a notion that you should be able to incite a revolution to take over the government. I prefer voting.

        Liked by 2 people

      13. I’m getting a bit put off by your increasing acrimony. I’ve tried to remain polite through this, and all I’ve received is increasing insults. You are a political partisan, and that is impairing your ability to think rationally. I’m done.

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      14. Yes. I’m acrimonious. I’m not being political when I say that I think people should not have to die because other people want a right to a gun. I’m being just plain morally righteous.

        I cannot accept your position or your disregard for the lives of other people as anything less than morally wrong.

        I think that you have conceived of your position without considering it in the larger context of history or our civilization in general but have a rampant case of cognitive bias, ignoring anything you have read that doesn’t support your viewpoint.

        I have spent some considerable amount of time considering both views and researching the issue. I have considered my own moral compass and the various constitutional considerations.

        I may long for a world without guns, but I don’t for a second imagine it to be possible. What IS POSSIBLE is being thwarted by NRA. They don’t hide it. They are a political machine.

        I’m not mindlessly acting this way because I’m a liberal. I’m probably one of the very few people who wants to see the evidence on both sides and who will look at both practical and ethical consideration when weighing evidence.

        Based on your rebuttals, I don’t see much of that research or well considered ethical position. You have a heavy handed use of strawmen and no relevant evidence. I see rote responses gleaned from political allies.

        And finally – this is a political issue. Being a political doesn’t make a it a dirty thing. The solution to this problem is going to be decided by politicians. While I may lament the problems inherent to our political system, it is the system we have on hand.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Yes, indeed, if we consider all car accidents, and NOT just manslaughter. For example in 2010 – 32,999 were from car accident and ONLY 31076 were caused by firearms.

        However, when one considers it, itS probably because the total amount of time a human spends in a car vs the total amount of time a human spends with a gun are starkly different. You know the more time increases the odds of the death.

        Further death by car accident was reduced drastically by increasing government regulation on the manufacturer and on the drivers.
        In 1972 54,589 people died by car accident compared to 32,999 in 2010.

        Its hard for me to see how increasing regulation in that instance was not beneficial.

        Liked by 1 person

      16. Oh sweetie. Cars were still more.

        God bless you. Keep fighting. And let’s hope that we can get some national ID regulations on voting.

        I could bring up death by deer. Because deer kill more than any mammal. Want to go round on that?

        Keep trying to control your neighbor. It’s what all the “isms” are about. It won’t ever make you happy.
        Please, try to be happy without controlling someone else’s behavior.
        Write your congressman, oh…. They have already been bought. Never mind.

        What controlling government? We have controlling neighbors.

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      17. Yes. And still you manage to miss the point.
        They are higher and yet we still managed to make it better with regulation. A LOT better.

        You can ignore that and you ignore the fact that people are suffering and dying to that people can have a hobby without encumbrance. I would, however, keep God out of the discussion. Asking God, sarcastically, to bless me while you defend your right to not be inconvenienced so that people aren’t killed… well if I believed in God, I think I would choose another way to condescend.

        Your refusal to make any effort to fix the existing problem with a certain amount of peaceful government regulation while claiming the right violently overthrow the government does indeed put us on two entirely different view points.

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      18. I’m not being sarcastic, and you are out of line saying I don’t care and don’t want to fix things. You don’t get a gold star today thinking you do more trying to take away people’s rights who are not breaking the laws of this country. You are enabling the oppressive government.
        We don’t agree, and I openly acknowledged that a couple of comments ago.
        This difference between us is I support the constitution, and will defend my freedoms. The government is supposed to by “by the people, and for the people”, but it’s not anymore. The founders recognized ho power corrupts, and were under an oppressive monarchy, and they didn’t want that to happen in the future.
        You don’t need to be angry at my comments, and fall back to accusing me of being a bad person. We can still stay agreeable, even if we don’t agree. Keep supporting the people that hurt in your way. I will keep supporting the groups that help hurting people. Not all people agree, which is why the 1st amendment is so important.

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      19. We could stay agreeable, but you called me sweetie and said God Bless you in the middle of a debate because you wanted to be condescending. And I’m fully aware of how God Bless gets used in the South. Sarcasm is the closest I could come to it.

        I called you on the moral consequences of your decision. People are dying. I’m tired of being nice about it.

        There are ways to prevent at least some of those deaths from happening. You don’t support it for reasons that have little logic, are often based on fallacy and that I consider morally questionable.

        Humans are dying because of the NRA. Humans are dying so that gun manufacturers can make more money.

        If you want my answer to the constitutional question, look at my answer to V-Pub.

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      20. You sad, sad creature. Sincerity is here, and you can’t see it.
        I will bless you in the name of the Lord. I will pray for you. I sincerely hope that you have receive only the best in life. Even if we can’t agree, our debate sharpened my attention to detail, but I don’t think you care about details. I will leave you to your ideology. God bless you.

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      21. Sweetie, your blessing is useless to me, but if it creates a sense of well being in you for me to know you have blessed me, I don’t begrudge it to you.

        Your projection of me a “sad creature” is a rather poor insult which you apparently feel is fine so long as you surround it with your blessing?

        You don’t like me being hostile. Being angry about this issue is considered impolite and makes me a “sad creature”. Well, the time for politeness ends when people die because of the ill considered position of gun owners.

        You don’t think I care about detail. I spent time, a great deal of it researching and considering this issue. Looking at details, which you didn’t. I’m not sure how I come out in your mind as not caring about details. But I guess it is all of a piece with the general lack of coherence to your position in this discussion.

        Your sincerity is of little use to those who suffer and die. Having the strength of mind to research your position, question your beliefs and define your morality would be of more value to them. You clearly have not done that, as you didn’t even bother to fact check the information fed to you by like minded people.

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      22. Oh dear friend. God bless you again. May His Favor surround you and His peace fulfill you forever. May everything you touch prosper and grow forever. You will be daily in my prayers. I’m so grateful that you keep responding. It keeps you ever in my mind.

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      23. As I said before, if your personal well being is maintained through passive aggressively telling me that you are praying for me. I won’t begrudge it. There are few enough places in this world to find any form of self worth.

        I get the impression you have changed tactics because you have found no ground to stand on in your position on gun regulation. Most people have NOT considered their opinions. They formed them from an emotional reaction and then just gathered a blanket of confirmation bias around themselves whenever the issue enters their lives.

        We often feel a thing is right, but we don’t actually look into. We think we know, we think we understand because we have seen lots of things on the internet or talked to like minded people and these thing seem to support our position.

        But you don’t really know if you are right until you understand why someone else thinks differently. You don’t really know until you have checked evidence on both sides of the question. You don’t really know until you can identify why you felt an emotional reaction to it in the first place. You don’t really know until you have defined your own moral guidelines to check where this idea fits in it.

        We have to be strong enough to change our own minds after doing our own research. To recognize an error in thinking or to at least recognize the basis of our thinking.

        We have an obligation to ourselves and to society to stop and recognize where our emotions stand in our position and whether those emotions are worthy or merely our monkey brain reacting.

        Liked by 1 person

      24. You might have facts, but you’ve come to the wrong conclusion. So like I’ve said we disagree. I find your thought process fascinating. It’s so twisted off, and negative. Your conclusions about me are so far off, it’s amazing. So thanks for reminding me to pray for you. Have a great evening, if you can.

        Like

      25. What you call negative, I call compassion. Or do you refer to me openly recognizing your lack thereof. Yes, I suppose in a certain light my continuing disregard for politely letting you feel OK about this interaction is a form of negativity.

        However, I’m not the one who included in her catalog of things she considered “oppressive” things that were government being compassionate. I’m putting you in a glass house on the negativity thing.

        I think compassion, true compassion, is when you exhibit concern and pity for others. And I have serious concern and pity for the victims of guns. Enough that I want to make sure we try to address it. That we do something as a nation to reduce the rate of gun deaths.

        I can’t see compassion or empathy in your position on guns. Which is why I keep telling you to transfer your pity to people who need it.

        My conclusion in this issue is based on facts and my own moral compass. I looked hard at the issue and myself. You reacted to it from a position of comfort and when I unseated you from comfort you decided to tell me how much you pity me.

        Since you cannot adequately defend your position, you have deflected by constantly telling me about your prayers. As though telling a nonbeliever that you are praying for them would be of any value to them. No, you tell me because its of value to you. It’s how you keep yourself from looking to hard at this issue and how it reflects on you and what you believe.

        Also, – Matthew 6:5-6

        Liked by 1 person

      26. Oh, sweet pea. This is my last response to you. God bless you, you sad, sad, sad, creature.
        You have more compassion for the terrorist, than your fellow citizens who own guns. You blame the NRA and gun ownership for the evil, not the terrorist. You blame guns for evil not the ones holding the guns. You want to dictate what your fellow citizen can do with their money to own guns within the current law.
        You reject my compassion, my facts, and have done your best to belittle me, and label me. I could not agree with your negativity on any level.
        You are a modern day Nazi that has confused rationalization for logic, and has a narcissistic tendency to want to control any behavior you don’t agree with, and you consider that compassion. You have run down me, my country, its founding, its constitution, and act like you have it all right? You don’t. And nothing you could ever say would convince me that you do.

        You need prayer, and I will pray for you, daily, and every time you reply. I will lift you up, and pray for your prosperity, peace, and wholeness.

        Every time you respond, I will keep praying. So I dare you, keep me praying for you. You need it.
        Matthew was written to the Jews before Jesus ascended, so check your context before you start spouting things you don’t believe.

        I bless you in the name of Jesus. I pray for your health, happiness, and wholeness, and that you would find true Peace.

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      27. Wow. Am I to thank you for calling me a racist with genocidal tendencies? Did that horrific insult occur to you before or after the prayer for my health, happiness and peace?

        I have don’t recall at ANY point suggesting sympathy for terrorism, but since you have projected it on me without any evidence, I will take a moment to deny it. I have NO sympathy for terrorists. I really never thought I would have to say that.

        Part of my desire for gun regulation would be to keep legal guns out of the hands of a terrorist. That would be the law that the NRA fought last year and they won. I’m sure they are very proud now. 49 dead because the NRA won that fight and terrorists are buying guns legally and killing people.

        Compassion for victims is NOT compassion for terrorism. I’m not sure how that got conflated but I do feel it needs to be stated in case you are confused.

        I didn’t run down the country in this post, you did. Again I refer you to your catalogue of problems with what you consider our oppressive government. Personally, I think you should look up some historical and current information on what “oppressive” government is before you call this one oppressive, but I’m willing to allow that you just employed hyperbole on that.

        I admit, that I have concerns and am troubled about many of things this country has done and continues to do. It doesn’t mean I hate the place though.

        I didn’t run down the constitution either. I merely pointed out its historical context. I’m rather fond of many parts of the constitution.

        I don’t think I said anything at all negative about the founding.

        Finally, I’m not the one who wants to reserve the right to overthrow the government with guns. I really don’t feel like I should be the one who is called on the floor for hating this country.

        Sweetie Pie. Of course the bible is open to heavy interpretation, but I’m really NOT sure why you feel that those words QUOTED FROM JESUS are not relevant to you and only to those Jews at that time. Because it strikes me as a record that Jesus wasn’t fond of people making sure everyone knew they were praying. Indeed I think we can take from the context that Jesus found people praying for the sake of having people know them as “good people” repulsive. But, as a nonbeliever, I may be projecting my own opinions on the thing. Your views are certainly more relevant to your belief. I merely pointed to it, so you knew I thought you weren’t being all that holy with the praying announcements.

        I do ask that you stop commenting on praying for me.

        Not because the act itself is a problem for me. Obviously it has no effect on me. It’s the attitude you carry with your announcements of it. You bludgeon me with the news of your prayer as though to force me to recognize some superior position you own because you prayed FOR ME. You intend to belittle me by suggesting that my anger at the needless deaths of humans is an unworthy negative emotion.

        You continue to suggest that my life is somehow sad and pathetic which I assume is because I refuse to give you quarter on incoherent arguments. Essentially, you pretend to pity me to give yourself an emotional victory because you cannot defend your position on guns coherently.

        You would be better served and get a whole lot more of my respect if you just did the research necessary to defend and hold your position on gun control. I have no time for passive aggressive religious faff. I have time for reasoned thought backed with legitimate evidence. You assume it exists. Find it, learn to present it with coherence and then we can have a reasonable conversation instead of exchanging insults.

        Liked by 1 person

      28. Well, that was indeed hateful and negative. I suppose we found your true nature before we finished.

        I’m sorry you couldn’t find it in you to just research and defend your position instead of pulling out a stereotypical response of hateful insult.

        Maybe I shouldn’t have expected otherwise.

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      29. I apologize for saying ” I suppose we found your true nature before we finished.”

        I’m sure that isn’t your true nature. I should have left you alone far earlier. It was not well done in me to make you respond like that in anger.

        I don’t imagine that is your normal behavior or representative of who you are.

        Please accept my apology.

        Liked by 1 person

      30. Are you expecting an oppressive government? Because you have the opportunity to vote against it. The risk of oppressive government is handled by voting.

        And as I mentioned before – I’m proposing regulation not bans.

        The NRA is creating this extreme dichotomy that says additional regulations is bans. They have convinced their members that reasonable attempts to manage guns are a risk to the country. Which is nonsense but they have most of their members quite sure of it.

        They are doing this for money. They aren’t doing it for any other reason. You defend the right of gun makers to sell more guns, ie to make more money.

        Liked by 1 person

      31. You are going to have to be explicit. I’m more than aware that I’m not fond of many of things this government does, but I continue to feel that voting is still a better option than a gun.

        It would certainly have to be extreme oppression for me to consider armed violence against my government.

        Liked by 1 person

      32. Oh my, where to start.
        Did you know that your elected officials can withdraw from their pension, 401K, and IRA’s without penalty, where you cannot. You lose 50% no matter what before age 65.
        Did you know. That your elected officials are not subject to Obamacare but can have unlimited, no-deductible healthcare and security for life?
        Did you know that your elected officials have a lifetime pension, and vote themselves raises?
        OK…maybe not.
        How about we talk about the most current events, like no one in the US government….(H. Clinton) was not held responsible for the debacle in Benghazi. No one has been indicted for the government stand down to help Ambassador Stevens.
        Did you know that No one has been indicted for the IRS debacle of discriminating against conservative groups (over 700) for tax exempt status, even though there was overwhelming evidence, the US Attorney’s office did nothing?
        How about the Syrian refugees being “blessed by our government to receive” $52,000 a year in subsidies to reside here without ever working or assimilating.

        Oh, of course, how about the US Border patrol being commanded to stand down while tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors enter the county (while passing illegally thought Mexico by train).

        What about Sanctuary Cities that allow illegal activity by illegal aliens without interference by US authorities.

        Oh, and there were the 40,000 plus visas that expired last year without any deportations.

        How about Henry Paulson, and his usurping of the US government with his bail outs. General Motors, THE US BANKING SYSTEM, except poor Lehman brothers….they didn’t make the cut.

        What oppressive government? really?
        Did you vote for that? Oh yea.

        What about Obama’s executive orders…who voted for those?

        Hello?

        Like

      33. Take a few minutes to fact check. Look into a thing and think about it. Because this list is both confusing as far as being a list of “oppressive” actions and is quite often just plain incorrect.

        Elected Officials and tax penalties: Actually, so far as I can find Congress does pay the penalty and are under the same rules we are. https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30631.pdf
        Early withdrawal penalties apply to age 59 1/2 not 65. And its 10% plus normal income tax on any portion of the funds that have not been previously taxed or are not part of a ROTH.

        On the IRS front – the FBI has indeed declared that no enemy hunting was done. It will be interesting to see how the lawsuit pans out. But it does feel a bit like political pandering.

        I have no idea where you got the $52K number, but I will link you to this so you can get some facts. http://www.factcheck.org/2007/12/refugees-dont-get-1800-per-month/ We do however provide them with some welfare. I’m at a complete loss as to how providing welfare of any kind, and in particular to refugees is oppressive but that might just be us having different outlooks on what the moral and practical obligations of accepting refugees are.

        With regard to unaccompanied minors, I’m against shooting kids in any circumstance, so standing down seems like a good plan. Although, to be honest I didn’t know anyone was advocating for it. And as to addressing the problem of unaccompanied minors, I would again point to where the compassion of this country is. Can you imagine how bad life is when you are willing to send your children away to another country without you? I can’t. I think we can find room for them.

        It is my understanding that Sanctuary Cities are solely not prosecuting people for for being undocumented immigrants. While being undocumented is illegal, your statement makes it sound like they are robbing banks and shooting up nightclubs. They just don’t have to afraid to reach out for help from the law for fear of being arrested. They can get medical attention or emergency assistance. Again, I’m really unsure how that is “oppressive” government. It sounds like compassionate government.

        Car Bailout Prevented the following losses – $39.4 billion: The hit to federal and state governments, from lost tax revenue and jobless benefit payments, if just GM went under.
        $105.3 billion: The hit to federal and state governments if the whole auto industry had collapsed.
        Cost to the US taxpayer was about $12 Billion. The ROI looks fairly good on that one.

        Most analysts agree that the financial sector bailouts worked in that they prevented major depression. We stabilized. It was costly, but the point was to bring back the economy from the brink.

        Do I think all those who bankers who caused it should be languishing in jails instead of drinking martinis on golf courses. Yes. And I do think that the fact that they are not is a sign of corrupt government.

        And finally – executive orders. Perhaps you should review this chart. Obama is not actually going heavy on the executive orders. That’s just one of those things people like to accuse him of.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_federal_executive_orders

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post. We have stopped thinking like parents. The AR-15, which is the weapon of choice of mass murderers, is designed to fire 30 shots, three bursts at a time. Its bullets are designed to move within the target to inflict as much damage as possible. It is designed to brutally and efficiently kill as many as possible.

    The Orlando doctors said the wounds on the survivors are not normally seen in civilians – multiple and large. But, let’s go back to Sandy Hook. Seven and eight year old kids were mowed down by an AR-15. I do not mean to diminish or harm their memory, but I want parents to realize what this gun is designed to do and can do.

    Then, ask yourself – is this the kind of gun we want Americans to own? It is not designed to hunt, as it would decimate the meat. Is this kind of gun we want people on a watch list from traveling to own? What about what Americans have said they want in several surveys – background checks on all weapons and extended waiting periods, especially with 2/3 of American gun deaths being suicide. And, what about fingerprint triggers, which will keep the four years old from killing Grandpa or their sister or cousin.

    This is beyond poor stewardship. It is shameful that we have so little political courage to do the right thing. Of course, the reasons are more than gun access, but make no mistake, gun deaths are causally related to gun access. A knife is not designed to kill 30 people at one time.

    Absent doing something on gun access, there is very little we can do (beyond citizens and police being observant) to stop a motivated lone wolf from buying an AR-15 or the like and wreaking havoc. It should be noted, there was an Indiana man who was arrested on his way to a Gay Pride event with assault weapons in his car last week. Like Dylan Roof in Charleston, he did not appear to be Muslim. Otherwise, we would have had two tragedies.

    Like

    1. Congress is sucking the teat of the NRA. And the fact that its blood money is apparently of no consequence to them. The NRA is the stopping point of us taking care of this problem.
      The NRA needs to be stopped. I have little doubt that we would have a reaonable modicum of regulation if they were no longer pushing their agenda on Congress.
      And that agenda is entirely to create sales to guns. Period.
      They pump up their membership with the idea that they are holding up a constitutional right and that people will be limited in their freedoms. But what they really want is controversy.
      Because controversy increases sales.

      Like

      1. The NRA began as a much more responsible gun organization interested in safety. It has lost its path. In response to other comments, the second amendment verbiage speaks only of a well regulated militia being given the rights to bear arms to protect our freedom. It has been interpreted more broadly, but the intent was to help fight others, not your own government. The other comment I add when I hear “good guys with guns,” is how can you tell who is who? Especially, in the context of an escalated argument, which now ends in death instead of hurt feelings or a fistfight.

        Finally, the greatest number of victims is due to suicide. So, the good guy with a gun shot the good guy with the gun. Elongated waiting periods, which are wanted by over 70% of people and a majority of Republicans per an Elon University survey in 2014, will help some. Of course, more civil behavior, mental health access, less poverty where crime fills a void, curbed entertainment violence, etc. all are issues that need to be dealt with

        Like

  4. I’m not going to get into any extended debate with anyone on the differences between an AR15 and an M16A3. I’m fully aware of what a Colt AR15 and/or a Smith and Wesson M&P15 can and cannot do when compared to an M16A3. I’ve had more CATM courses than I care to think about and have fired all three weapons.

    What I do find disturbing is reading just how easy it is in several states to obtain a weapon like this. I don’t get how the states can make it easy to buy these. You have to have either a Permit to Purchase or a Conceal & Carry Permit in the state of Minnesota to buy something like this. This requires filling out a form, taking it to a local police station or county sheriff’s office, producing identification to prove who you are, signing it in their presence and then waiting for a background check. a Permit to Purchase is only good for one year and you must repeat the process to obtain a new one. my background checks typically take 2 weeks to accomplish because I show up on FBI and NSA and that slows things down. this is usually due to security clearances that I’ve had in the past and since I had a clearance then I’m on record with both. even then I have to produce the Permit to Purchase if I wish to buy a handgun, I still have to fill out paperwork at the gun dealer and I still get ran thru a check once again.

    I personally don’t have a problem with this process since I view the checks to be in the best interests of public safety and for the common good. But that’s just me and that’s just my view. I personally think that the Government should implement:

    Universal background checks: I have to get a background check anyway for this state anyway so I see little difference (my opinion again). However, bear in mind that anything printed by Government can be forged by man.

    Mandatory wait times: I bought a hand gun when I was stationed in South Dakota years ago. I had to wait three days for a sheriff’s office background check before I could pick it up and oh yeh, no approved background from the sheriff meant you didn’t get to pick it up until it was. so I think it’s reasonable in the interests of public safety to wait.

    no one is being deprived with the above two and no rights are infringed. at the worst you’re being inconvenienced. I find that reasonable if it can somehow help keep little kids from being gunned down.

    the mental health issue poses a different problem in my view. I’m retired military, so I’m used to the notion of giving up some rights for the good order of the military. civilians aren’t in most cases. you see a lot of people on WP alone that have some type of mental health issues and they actively blog about them. so what are we saying here? are psychologists and psychiatrists going to be mandated by Federal law to report all patients that they are serving? what about people seeing ministers, priest, rabbis etc? I foresee several ACLU challenges in this area not including organized religion invoking the separation of church and state.

    I’m also a bureaucrat by trade. I know from first hand experience that it’s a lot easier to get on a list versus getting off of a list. I also know from firsthand experience that it’s far too easy to falsely or incorrectly report someone and then that person has to go thru a great expense of time and money to clear their name.

    I learned a fair number of truths during my military career. one truth was that there is evil in this world and it will somehow find a way to manifest itself. if you take away one avenue, it will find another. another truth is it’s far easier to take away a right than it is to get it back.

    just saying …

    Like

    1. It is very reasonable to fill out forms and wait. However, because of variation in state regulations it is quite easy to bypass those rules.

      It is also dependent on the implementation of the gun regulation. Many states vary in how well the implement their own gun laws.

      A federal law that controls all of it would be better. And probably be more efficient.

      I maybe easier to get off a list than get on a list, but comparing the inconvenience of a very few people to many lives saved, it is far better to make it impossible to get a weapon if you are on the watch list.

      I’m not even fond of the lists, but if they exist, then use them for something practical.

      I think the mental health thing is indeed a tricky step. I’m not sure where or how it should be handled, but if you have been hospitalized for mental health issues, not having access to a gun seems like a easy and obvious thing. Perhaps there can be a process to be given it.

      I’m also concerned that people might avoid getting mental health help in order to avoid losing a gun. But I”m not sure.

      However, the number of suicides by gun is high. And frankly, for me, its the only one I could see myself doing. Its the most likely to be painless and instant. So I’m very aware of the risk..
      Still I see your point and it is a consideration.

      Like

      1. Great post. I’m also hugely impressed by your ability to argue calmly, logically, rationally, and tirelessly when faced with condescension and uninformed ‘arguments’ from some in the comments thread above.

        Like

      2. Thank you! In end, I think I went to far with her in the comments. She was pushed to say some nasty things that I seriously doubt she would have said if I hadn’t kept pushing an argument she didn’t have the ability to keep up with.

        It’s a fine line. Pushing someone out their tree of misinformation is beneficial but standing over someone and pushing mud in their face after the fall is not. Or at least it’s not who I want to be.

        I didn’t like her use of thoughts and prayers and so I didn’t let go when I should have. And as a result she threw all decency to the wind.

        I am as much to blame for that insult as she is.

        Like

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