It strains credulity, it strains common sense, it strains one’s assumptions that there are no aliens among us.
Was it not just a couple of weeks ago that the NRA told us that everything BUT guns was responsible for gun violence? Did they not pin some of the blame on video games that glorified shooting at people? Did they do that? Huh? Or have I simply slipped as I am wont to do into another universe again?
This is THEIR new video game. If you can believe it, it is “suitable for children age 4 and up”. The initial game is free, but to go up in firepower, you gotta pay a buck for each level of deadliness you are wanting to use. Yes you can get the AK-47 version. Yes, there are a few “safety lessons” squeezed in between the shootin’, and no there are no “people” just strangely shaped objects that resemble COFFINS and a red zone where a heart or head would be. This according to Forbes Magazine, hardly a bastion of liberal ranting.
Is this the last straw yet? Is it? Okay, let us proceed though the FACTS and let us do it slowly so the most moronic of people, if they read slowly with a dictionary for the big words, might finally GET IT. As to the 2nd Amendment:
- A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Okay, what does that mean? The Founders did not like the idea of a standing army. They wanted every man to be part of “state militias” that would be ordered up to repel any attack upon the country. Get that? the militias were the best means to PROTECT the STATE, not to protect people FROM the state. The fact that the Founders did not want a standing army is reflected in Art. I, Sec. 8 where in Congress has the power to raise money for an army but ONLY for a term of two years. No such appropriation restriction is placed upon the militias.
- New Hampshire offered an amendment that would have confiscated the weapons of anyone IN REBELLION or who WAS IN REBELLION to the fledgling government.
- It was REQUIRED that each man in the militia buy his OWN weapon and his own ammunition (for all those who claim that it is a horror that they may have to purchase health care–how’s that strike you?)
- During the first administration, some citizens took up weapons against what they considered a tyrannical government. President Washington called up 13,000 militia men to put down the rebellion. It was called the Whiskey Rebellion and it occurred in 1794.
- Today in the case of Washington DC v. Heller, the Supreme Court has held that 2nd Amendment protects the rights of individuals to own guns for their protection. Justice Scalia admitted that that did not mean that guns could not be otherwise regulated and the types of weapons might be controlled. Although I don’t see this as proper under the “original intent” argument, at least the most conservative Justice agrees that control of weapons is appropriate.
As to the reports that one of Hitler’s first acts to gain control of Germany was to disarm the population, and implying that gun control is the first step to confiscation and thus dictatorship:
- At the end of WWI, as part of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was ordered to disarm COMPLETELY. Everyone was ordered to turn in their guns. The Weimar Government, in 1928, relaxed those restrictions to allow for limited ownership of rifles and shotguns by hunters. The Nazi party did not come to power by force. It was ELECTED by the population.
- In 1938, Hitler and the government amended the 1928 law, significantly relaxing it again, lowing the age for gun ownership and allowing guns for more purposes and with less exacting background checks and reducing the need for yearly re-licensing.
As to the history of Gun Control in this country:
- In 1934, Congress regulates fully automatic weapons.
- in 1938, the sale of all firearms is regulated. Sellers were required to obtain a license and to keep records of all sales. Sales to felons was prohibited.
- Gun control act of 1968, designed to keep guns out of the hands of felons, the underage, and incompetent. Importation is regulated, record keeping by sellers is enlarged. Handguns are restricted and the list of ineligible persons is expanded.
- The bureau of firearms, alcohol and drugs is created to oversee in part, gun law enforcement in 1972
- Federal penalties for illegal possession are increased in 1986. “Cop-killing” bullets are banned.
- Semi-automatic weapons are banned, and gun-free zones are created. in 1990.
- A 5 day waiting period and background checks are required in 1994.
The NRA as the protector of the 2nd Amendment:
- The organization began in 1871 in order to train marksmen in preparation for war.
- In the 1920’s and 30’s the organization is instrumental in helping to write gun control legislation.
- For the vast majority of its existence, the NRA was a sportsman’s club dedicated to the environment, wildlife preservation, and the safe enjoyment of guns for sporting purposes. They had NO interest in political matters other than those that pertain to hunting.
- The NRA indorsed fully the legislation enacted in the 30’s. Then leaders of the NRA saw absolutely no conflict between reasonable gun control and the US Constitution.
- NRA leaders endorsed the 1968 law in its totality, though they thought some portions were overly onerous. Still they supported the bill and then law.
- Up until the Presidential race involving Ronald Reagan, the NRA had been non-political, endorsing no candidates. But a growing minority within its ranks wanted to take the organization in a new direction.
- When in the late 60’s Black Panthers in California began openly carrying loaded weapons, Reagan and the NRA supported legislation that disallowed the carrying of loaded weapons. (Mulford act of 1967.)
- A bloodless coup was accomplished in the NRA, just as it was preparing to close its DC office and return to Colorado and the original purpose of the organization. Under new leadership under Harlan Carter, it became an active lobbyist and began the argument that the 2nd amendment prevented any controls being imposed upon gun ownership.
- Law enforcement is now seen as an arm of the government and suspicious for that reason alone.
- The NRA is now largely a lobbying group who speaks for the benefit of gun manufacturers and sellers. It is the purveyor of scare tactics, always warning that confiscation and dictatorship is “right around the corner” and that therefore everyone should buy up all the guns they can while they can. The gun manufacturers and sellers are pleased with this.
As to public opinion:
- 88% favor background checks for all buyers whether from brick and mortar sellers, gun-show sellers or private sales.
- 75% believe similar checks should be made for ammunition buyers.
- 71% agree that we need a federal data base to track gun sales
- 65% favor banning high-capacity clips
- 58% favor banning assault weapons
- 55% favor armed guards in classrooms
- 51% favor banning semi-automatic weapons
- The first 4 categories include majorities who live in gun-owning households.
- Majorities confirm that their support can be categorized as “strong”.
NOTE: Forgive the inordinate length of this post, but I thought this information was important. You know how I feel about this issue, but I have endeavored in every way to state the actual facts. While a few of the references are decidedly left of center, I have double, triple, and quadruple checked the actual facts stated and confirmed that they are correct insofar as to records kept and quotations. I hope the facts speak for themselves. I hope the conclusion is clear.
If there is one lesson we should learn from our history it is this: peaceful protest has changed America. It ended segregation, it ended the Vietnam war, and whatever ills are perceived will be ended not by the 2nd amendment, but by the 1st–the right of free speech, a free press, and the right to freely assemble.
The Nation (history of the NRA Pt 1)
The Nation (history of the NRA Pt 2)
- The Suprising Unknown History of the NRA (alternet.org)
- The NRA Hates Gun Control Unless You Are A Black Panther (addictinginfo.org)
- Scarborough: NRA is protecting gun manufacturers, not the Second Amendment (tv.msnbc.com)
- The NRA once supported gun control (salon.com)
- My Guns Are Less Regulated Than My Uterus (readersupportednews.org)
- The NRA shoots logic (shoutsfromtheabyss.wordpress.com)
- How Crazy Is The Gun-Crazy Right? (ken_ashford.typepad.com)
- Mendenhall: Mistranslating the Second Amendment (metrowestdailynews.com)
- Andrew Reinbach: The NRA’s Lie About Guns, the Constitution, and History (huffingtonpost.com)