Radicalized NRA stifles responsibility

Editor:

Conservative activist “Joe the Plumber” summed up the NRA’s and its members’ position perfectly when he posted an open letter to the victims’ families of the Santa Barbara, Calif. shooting: “Your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”

The NRA started out innocuously enough in 1871, but in 1977 they became radicalized – “No compromise. No gun legislation.”

In a fund-raising letter NRA executive Wayne LaPierre sent to the organization’s members, he said that the 1994 assault-weapons ban “gives jackbooted government thugs more power to take away our constitutional rights, break in our doors, seize our guns, destroy our property and even injure and kill us.” That’s an hysterical and inexcusably irresponsible rant.

A lot of these people (NRA and militia/patriot groups) are extreme across the board, being libertarians, staunch constitutional originalists, and devout Christians. Cult-prone groups. Cultures who are fallaciously wrapping themselves in the flag, patriotism, freedom and liberty.

Take, for instance, smart-gun technology (which sounds interesting, though I wouldn’t trust my life to one). Boom, the NRA came out against it railing about Big Brother forcing it down your throat etc., etc. So much so that when a dealer stocked the first smart gun he got about 2,000 threatening phone calls, ditto emails.

“One person threatened to burn down the shop, another person threatened that I would be raped.”

He quickly took it off the shelf. That’s the stifling cult power of the NRA. No freedom or liberty there, just fear and intimidation.

Take again: The NRA accused the Centers for Disease Control/Prevention of promoting gun control via its research into firearm injuries and deaths. So in 1996, the Republican-majority Congress threatened to strip funding from the CDC unless it stopped funding gun research. So it stopped and the Republicans have kept them from doing gun research ever since.

Obama lifted the ban in 2013, but the Republicans would not appropriate the money to fund it. Again, suppressing facts, hence data, to guide possible solutions. Suppressing knowledge. That’s no way to run a modern country.

And then there’s the Trump-Russia-NRA Connection: The FBI launched an investigation into whether the NRA illegally funneled money from Russia to help the Trump campaign. Because NRA has 501(c)(4), they don’t have to reveal donors, hence “dark money.”

The Second Amendment (1791) is an irrelevant relic. Shred it.

Militias were to augment the Regular Army, not to be government watchdogs. Thomas Jefferson never said: “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

I’d like to see NRA’s tax-exempt  501(c)(4) social welfare organization status revoked. It’s a sham. It’s a political lobbying organization that benefit a private interest: the firearms and ammunition industry.

Everyone failed Nikolas Cruz – from birth on.

NRA’s  LaPierre said: “We must immediately harden our schools,” How? Turn ’em into Supermax prisons? Ya never know when someone is going to go postal, so reducing access to guns and banning assault weapons is what you’re left with.

Arming teachers with bear spray has been suggested. How about keeping all doors locked at all times? Who’s going to pay for full-time armed guards at all our public schools?

The NRA and all the people who keep supporting its ever-escalating extremism are accessories.

Diane Daiute 

Sweet Home

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