Thursday, January 17, 2013

The gun thing. Again.

I haven't seen the NRA's ad regarding the President's daughters' Secret Service protection. I won't see it. I think the NRA stinks to high heaven, and I'm not the only one. The commentary about the NRA's ad is enough for me, and I don't think I'm burying my head in the sand about it by not listening to or watching it. Maybe I am, but I don't think so.

The following sentences sum it up for me, and I felt this way prior to the launch of their commercial:
"The NRA doesn’t give a shit about your kids. They don’t care about keeping Americans safe and despite what they say, they don’t really care about protecting the rights of gun owners. They care about protecting gun manufacturers. End of fucking file."
That paragraph came from Isobel at What a Witch. Isobel is radical and outspoken. She rants more than writes, and sometimes I can't make it through an entire post. She's wordy. She's also intelligent and thought-provoking. I'm a middle-class white woman. She's not. I read her blog to get her perspective and she's happy to throw it out there.

She goes on to accuse the NRA of being racist, and she presents a good argument for it. I've often wondered, had Hillary won the primary and election in 2008, would we – the 'United' States of America – be where we are now? We are not united, not by any stretch of anyone's imagination. It's a pretty word and a nice concept, but it's not who we are as a country.

Had Hillary won, would the Tea Party have evolved from an initial movement of sending tea bags to the White House to protest TARP to the well-funded political organization it now appears to be? Would Americans be wearing silly hats and flying flags with snakes on them and brandishing weapons at political rallies?

Would we have Sarah Palin? (Thankfully, it appears she may have run her course.)

It's a moot point, of course, because the Democratic Party powers-that-be figured a black man was more electable in 2008 than a white woman.

To be sure, the Republicans/conservatives/Tea Party have been attacking women as much as they've been attacking the President, so perhaps a Hillary presidency would have resulted in the same schism we have now.

One thing the Republicans/conservatives/Tea Party hasn't done is bring the President's children into the discussion. Presidential offspring have traditionally been off-limits, out of the picture, not up for discussion. The NRA crossed a line when they produced their vile ad suggesting the President cares more about his children than you do about yours.

The NRA is absolutely NOT interested in gun safety. It appears only to be interested in putting more guns into more Americans' hands, and insisting those Americans have the right to carry those guns wherever and whenever they like. That would make gun manufacturers very happy, indeed.

But I wonder how it makes the rank-and-file members feel, knowing the organization they've given their money to for the purpose of safety and education is now using it to question the right to protect THE PRESIDENT'S CHILDREN. I would love to see large numbers of NRA members burn their membership cards, as the Vietnam War protesters burned draft cards back in the 1960s. Hell, I'd just like to hear one or two of them say they disagree with LaPierre and his agenda.

Perhaps they are disagreeing. It might help if I watched the news.

I can't, though. I can't watch my country disintegrate. I can only do what I think is right. I can express my opinion, here, where both of you see it, and to my Congressman and my Senators, which I've done. They, of course, support gun owners and their "rights." They're Democrats in a state that is more purple than blue nowadays, and they want to keep those gun-totin' votes.

The reply I received from one of my Senators yesterday included this: "My words in recent days have not been an endorsement of an assault weapons ban …"

How could he NOT endorse an assault weapons ban? HOW COULD HE NOT? how could he not …

6 comments:

  1. I would like to see a statistic showing how many times a weapon was used in self-defense over the course of a year, and how many times a weapon was used for a crime. The number of accidents might be interesting as well. And throw in how many of those guns were legally purchased.

    I would love to own (and know how to use and care for) my own firearms. But I think it is a good thing there are extremely strict firearms laws in Germany. There have been a few incidents of people running amok with firearms in the last few years - and in every case the atacker came from a family who had the right to own weapons.

    (Mind, I am not saying that people owning weapons are bad people. But maybe, just maybe, there are people who would run amok if they knew where to get a weapon, and our strict laws alone keep us safe.)

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  2. I am glad I didn't see this ad. It would annoy me. Of course he needs his kids protected. Too many wacko out there who want to do harm to elected officials as has been proved too many times. I am saddened that they did bring the kids into it as normally as you say, they live the minor children some privacy.

    I read Isobel's blog and while I don't always share the same outlook, appreciate her convictions. Love that she stays true to herself and beliefs.

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  3. I work in insurance, so I may be biased here, but I think a great way to reduce gun ownership and improve gun safety would be to require liability insurance on all firearms. Each state has laws requiring a minimum amount of insurance for cars. Why not guns?

    Oh, but it will cost too much, gun owners would complain. Well, then maybe you should only own as many guns as you can afford to insure. And maybe you'll think twice about buying a semi-automatic if the liability costs 10x what it does for a hunting rifle. And people who don't store their guns in opaque, locking cabinets pay more. And, just like cars, people in different risk categories pay more based on demographics.

    The people who want all these guns mostly believe in free market capitalism. So let's use the market to provide some incentives to fix this problem.

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  4. It would have gone in a slightly different direction but yes, we still would have had something like a Tea Party. Rather than "how dare this black man act within his powers as president?" we would have gotten "how dare this woman?" You can kind of see that happening with Dianne Feinstein's assault weapons ban. Almost every far right outcry against it invokes her gender.

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  5. The NRA has had different aims and goals during its span. Its original purpose was to improve marksmanship after the Civil War, because observers felt that too much training was required for soldiers to become adept! They do seem to have lost their way in recent years, but I think one reason for that is because the NRA is the only organization advocating FOR "gun rights," which causes them to be zealots. They've become a little overboard in their philosophy, shall we say.

    I'm a 2nd Amendment supporter, but I'm also not averse to regulations that actually increase safety and prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook. The problem is, we're not entirely sure what that would be. As with every issue, you can find arguments/evidence for and against every proposal. People who are doubtful about proposed regulations aren't cold-hearted child killers; we're people who don't see the point of adding *ineffective* regulations to the host of existing regulations that aren't being enforced. That's a trick government does (both parties) - passing something into law and then not funding it.

    So although I personally will never own an "assault weapon", I can understand a senator being lukewarm about endorsing a ban. We need rational, independent studies about what are the most effective ways to prevent gun violence, and I don't think we have that yet. We don't know that this ban would achieve anything, and we shouldn't legislate - particularly on constitutional issues - just on a hunch.

    You know I am generally very liberal, politically, but when it comes to things like this, I'm reminded of how brilliantly the government has handled food safety and diet recommendations (e.g., food pyramid) - by kowtowing to industry interests and ignoring scientific data. So I'm not automatically signing on to whatever gun legislation is proposed; it's likely to be useless.

    I like Susanna's idea about insurance. I would buy it, even if it wasn't mandatory.

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    1. I like Susanna's idea, as well, and in fact I think it's one of the more sensible ways to control gun violence. I guess what I don't understand is that we once had a ban on assault weapons which was allowed to expire. Were sportsmen and women worse off because of the ban? Did it hurt anyone to have assault weapons banned? I'm not advocating rounding up everyone's weapons and dumping them in the ocean. But I just don't see how adding more to the collective arsenal can possibly be a good thing for anyone but industry - the gun manufacturers. Also, and for what it's worth, I've shot guns, many different ones and many times. It's such a complicated issue, layers and layers of questions. Thank you for your input. I respect your opinion, as always.

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