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:
- Recruitment through evangelizing it’s imperative to own a gun at any cost
- 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.