Ever since the gruesome killings in Newtown, CT, there has been a rancorous debate over the 2nd Amendment and the role of firearms in our society. Last week was the six month anniversary of Newtown and most Americans have come to terms with a common sense approach that would subject prospective gun buyers to a simple and quick background check in order to assure that they are not violent felons or mentally unstable. Unfortunately, this rational initiative has been supplanted in the news cycle by a bevy of trumped-up scandals that don’t have nearly the real-world impact on the lives of average Americans.
The UN recently released for signatures an arms treaty that would curb access to weapons by terrorists and rogue nations, but the advocates of unfettered access to firearms are already circling the wagons to oppose it. They have abandoned all respect for reason and empathy. The magnitude of their fixation on the broadest possible interpretation of gun rights has exceeded all boundaries of rational thought. They promote a near-total absence of laws regulating gun ownership that amounts to what could be called gunarchy (gun+anarchy). To say that some of their arguments border on lunacy would not be an overstatement. The following examples reveal just how devoted the NRA congregation is to their mission.
The UN Arms Trade And National Sovereignty Abolition Treaty
The United Nations recently approved an international treaty aimed at prohibiting the free-flow of military-grade weapons between oppressive dictatorships and terrorist organizations. This treaty was supported by more than 170 member-states with only Syria, Iran, and North Korea dissenting. Nevertheless, the gunarchists in congress decided to align themselves with that elite trio of naysayers and blocked ratification in the senate. The reason given was that this treaty had the potential to infringe on the sovereignty of the United States, despite the fact that such an infringement was explicitly prohibited in the treaty. So while the UN attempts to make the world safer, right-wingers in the U.S. are serving the interests of defense contractors (even those in China), who favor unencumbered free trade.
Prevent School Shootings By Putting More Guns In Schools
The first response from the NRA to the tragedy at Sandy Hook was to propose the placement of armed guards at every school in America. The folly of this suggestion is all too apparent. The proliferation of guns will never be the solution to the problems they produce. It would merely turn every campus into a potential war zone. The gunarchists never explain how armed guards would prevent a mad man like Adam Lanza, who would still have had greater firepower than a school guard. Plus, he would have had the advantage of surprise and would likely have made his first victims the guard and any nearby teachers. This “solution” also fails to address the rest of our allegedly imperiled communities. There are also children at the beach, in shopping malls, at church, in restaurants, and parks, and playgrounds, and libraries. Would they propose to have armed security at every Chuck E. Cheese and Disney movie? Would they advocate that we have innumerable George Zimmermans patrolling our neighborhoods and slaughtering the innocent?
The NRA-Theists On Buying America
Earlier this year, NRA Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre, publicly rebuked New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for spending heavily to promote his campaign for gun safety legislation. Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns was reported to have raised $12 million for advocacy and advertising. LaPierre pounced on that disclosure accusing Bloomberg of trying to “impose his will on the American public,” and insisting that “He can’t buy America.” What LaPierre neglected to mention was that his own campaign had just spent more than twice that amount leading up to the November elections last year. So if Bloomberg is trying to buy America then the NRA is brazenly outbidding them. At least Bloomberg’s campaign is sync with what the American people already believe by huge majorities.
Let’s Disarm The First Responders
As gun safety activists started to make strides in state legislatures, the infuriated gunarchists struck back by taking their vengeance out on state and local police. Weapons retailers vowed to refrain from selling their wares to law enforcement agencies in states that strengthened their safety regulations. Clearly this was not very well thought out because the effect of this reverse boycott, in the unlikely event that it was successful, would leave police unarmed as they endeavored to protect the public from evildoers. That’s the sort of radical response that harms people who have nothing whatsoever to do with the issue under protest. Yet conservative media from Fox News to Glenn Beck’s The Blaze to Breitbart News, all bragged about how this was snowballing into a movement.
Comparing Gun Rights To Civil Rights
NRA board member, and washed up rock burnout, Ted Nugent, has never been at a loss for utterly deranged and offensive words. He has engaged in violent rhetoric suggesting his desire to shoot President Obama, and California’s senators Feinstein and Boxer. And were he more reliable, he would currently be either dead or in jail today according to his own promise. But if it’s possible for him to cross a line that he has not already thoroughly erased, he did so when he placed himself in the same heroic company as Rosa Parks saying “There will come a time when the gun owners of America will be the Rosa Parks and we will sit down on the front seat of the bus.” Never mind the obvious absurdity of juxtaposing the non-violent civil rights struggle for equality with the desire to hoard munitions. Nugent and his ilk even suggested that things would have been much better had civil rights activists been armed to the teeth. Of course that would have violated the principles of non-violent civil disobedience practiced by Martin Luther King. It would also have contributed to a blood bath in the streets if protesters were actually stupid enough to do what Nugent proposes.
The Heartbreak of Hoplophobia
Not satisfied with merely rebutting the arguments of gun safety advocates, the gunarchists have invented a psychological disorder that they can use to dismiss the heart-tugging appeals of real people who were victims of gun violence. Hoplophobia, which they define as a morbid fear of guns, is not recognized by any mental health authority, but it is now being used to assert that anyone who has undergone a traumatic experience associated with guns is psychologically impaired and unfit to participate in a policy debate. There is only one purpose for this made-up malady, and that is to try to get effective spokespeople like Gabrielle Giffords, Jim Brady, the Sandy Hook parents, etc., to shut up.
The advocates for unrestrained proliferation of weaponry of all kinds have simply stopped trying to make coherent arguments. They are pursuing an absolutist course wherein any opposition is tantamount to tyranny and justifies armed rebellion to resist. These are the immutable positions of the gunarchists who represent the arms manufacturers, but not the American people. Polls have repeatedly confirmed that even NRA members do not support the positions of the NRA leaders. And eventually our representatives in congress will have to recognize that their best interests are served by serving the people and not the lobbyists.