The National Rifle Association has become a liability to the safety of all Americans
I am a mother and this mom is pissed off. I have had enough of the gun control measures being voted down by Congress. There’s been enough domestic shootings, mass shootings, school shootings, police shootings, unintentional shootings involving children, and police officers getting shot. Recently, felons with illegal firearms have murdered officers in Idaho, Mississippi, and New York. Much of the blame for this can be laid at the feet of the NRA.
In 2013, of the 25 officers killed by gunfire, 50% of the shooters were individuals barred from owning a firearm. All were felons with prior convictions or mental health issues. Although most people assume these firearms are stolen, they are more often obtained through straw buyers or even more commonly, trafficked from states with lax background checks, either through the Internet and/or unlicensed gun dealers.
Although federal gun laws stay the same in every state, each state has their own laws and some of them are very “gun friendly.” These states are: Alaska; Florida; Arizona; Idaho; Kentucky; Montana; New Mexico; Texas; Utah; Wyoming; Louisiana; Wisconsin; North Dakota; Kansas; Georgia; and Mississippi. The NRA has their fingerprints all over these pro-gun states.
Gun shows are a huge problem when it comes to straw purchases. Although gun show dealers are ostensibly supposed to run checks, many don’t, and will sell guns to buyers without even checking ID. This practice is so common that terrorist leaders overseas call for their followers to just go get guns and begin opening fire on people.
Thanks to the National Rifle Association, background checks have become cursory and the waiting period is much shorter in these states. Not only that but background checks at gun shows are basically non-existent. Since 2013, 102 officers in the line of duty were killed from 2014-May 15, 2015. That’s up from 76 police fatalities in 2013 or 20% increase. Of that 20% increase, 38% are from gunfire with illegal guns.
How is this actually happening? How have these cop killers actually obtained their illegal weapons? Guns are from all over the country are smuggled into areas where there is a demand. This includes rural and urban neighborhoods. They are used to barter for drugs and other contraband, and are even cheaper on the streets than from licensed gun dealers in many cases.
For a good example, look to the recent killing of Officer Moore in New York City. The murder weapon was traced to a gun shop in Georgia that was broken into, with those same firearms traveling up the “Iron Pipeline” to NYC. Even though New York’s gun control laws have resulted in it being one of only four states reporting a drop in gun homicides from 2003-2013, the lax gun laws in Georgia, where there’s been a marked increase in gun deaths, have directly affected the Empire State in lethal ways.
Similarly, Chicago suffers from a plague of gun violence. The NRA and other pro-gun advocates point to this is an example of how firearms restrictions, as that city has in place, do not work. But this is a fallacy.
Gun laws in one relatively small geographical area are rendered ineffective if the surrounding areas don’t share those restrictions. This is the case in Chicago. It’s easy enough to step outside city limits, get firearms illegally, and drive right back in.
New York City enjoys effective gun laws due in no small part to the fact that its outlying areas share the same legislation. It’s a little tougher to acquire guns illegally in The Big Apple, but it’s certainly not impossible. Felons just need to go farther, like to Georgia.
Oh, that Georgia gun shop that got robbed? All it took to get inside it was a crowbar. How’s that for safety? Real responsible gun ownership there, huh?
After the Sandy Hook tragedy on December 14, 2012, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg started a group called Every Town for Gun Safety. Bloomberg pledged to raise $50 million dollars and tightened gun control issues.
The President of Everytown, John Feinblatt, has also had enough. Feinblatt previously served as Chief Policy Advisor to New York City Mayor Michael R.Bloomberg. He previously served as the Criminal Justice Coordinator for the City of New York and was the founding director of the Center for Court Innovation, the country’s leading think tank devoted to problem solving justice.
In a statement, Feinblatt said, “Police officers are on the front lines of protecting our communities each and everyday – we owe it to them to close the loopholes that make it easy for criminals to dodge background checks an easily get their hands on guns.” Feinblatt went on to say that, police officers are, “vulnerable because of the weak gun laws in our country.”
According to the study from Every Town for Gun Safety, there are a total of 665,129 law enforcement officers in the United States. Of those officers, 322,163 live in states that require a background check for private handgun sales. 342,966 officers live in states that do not require background checks for private handgun sales. Nationwide, a total of 676 officers were killed in action and 551 involved a firearm.
The officers from States with stricter background checks had 272 fatalities compared to states with no background checks and 404 fatalities. Law enforcement officers killed with a handgun that was not their own was 114 and 233 respectively. That is a difference of 48%. That’s huge. Feinblatt calls this a “loophole big enough to drive a Mack truck through.” FBI data indicates that the number of officers killed feloniously with firearms rose 77 percent since 2013.
We need to restrict the right to bear arms so that those who are convicted felons, people who are psychiatrically distressed, or proven hotheads have this right revoked. As an example, when a domestic abuser is given a restraining order to keep him away from his wife or girlfriend, his right to keep and bear arms should be revoked. Too many women have died because men like this retained their access to guns. Ideally, they should have all guns confiscated and go a in a database preventing from getting new ones, from any source – gun shows included.
When a person demonstrates reckless behavior or brandishes a gun, he or she should lose the right to own it. Just as we do with cars, to borrow a favorite comparison tactic from the NRA and other gun lobbies. The right to bear arms is not absolute, and must be revocable in cases in which the individual displays lack of responsibility. That seems to be common sense.
Unfortunately, common sense goes right out the window once the NRA becomes involved. They lobby constantly to repeal and undermine gun laws nationwide, and they’re responsible for the uneven patchwork of laws and regulations from State to State.
In short, the NRA works to make sure gun laws can’t work, in order to say that gun laws don’t work. See how that works?
It is no secret that their money has bought them nigh unlimited power in Congress, and their spokesman, Wayne LaPierre, stated his organization’s direct opposition to Hillary Clinton while making thinly veiled racist jabs at President Obama.
Think about that for a moment; the NRA is openly announcing that they will decide the Presidency of the United States. All the while they claim to be representing patriot Americans but that’s a smoke screen. The NRA actually represents gun manufacturers, not regular Americans. They wave a flag, play a recording of Charlton Heston, and their followers swallow it hook, line, and sinker.
Slowly but surely, people are beginning to shrug off the rhetoric of the NRA. More and more Americans are realizing the need for greater restrictions of firearms. Organizations like Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America have gained a lot of traction in the last few years. And while their critics love to point out how small the movements can seem to be, it can’t be denied that resistance to the NRA was something considered impossible not very long ago. The times are changing. People are pushing for expanded background checks, tougher gun laws, and universal enforcement of all of this.
Still, it won’t be an easy thing for America to shake itself loose from the influence of the NRA. Their supporters rabidly harass anyone speaking out against gun lobbies. Facebook fanpages dedicated to gun culture will direct swarms of trolls to articles they don’t like, or to skew online polls about gun laws. The NRA commonly cites the fraudulent John R. Lott, as well as others who say what they like to hear, regardless of their lack of credibility.
But it’s the NRA’s money which is their greatest weapon. They have bought and paid for politicians at every level, the majority of whom are Republican, to pass gun-friendly legislation at every opportunity. Just as an example of the type of madness they push through, did you know that Iowa allows the blind to carry guns? What could go wrong with that?
The Second Amendment was written as being necessary to the Security of the State. As defined by the NRA, it is Contrary to the Security of the State. The irresponsible are being enabled to own firearms. Criminals use their rhetoric to flaunt their guns under the guise of Open Carry groups. Gun laws are weakened, repealed, and the nation is kept under the thumb of gun manufacturers. That is not freedom.
Americans need to resist the lies, intimidation tactics, and propaganda forwarded by the NRA. We will never be truly free until we do.
Additional material provided by Chad R. MacDonald.