Saturday, July 21, 2012

BILL MOYERS on the National Rifle Association (NRA)

"the NRA is the enabler of death - paranoid, delusional, and as venomous as a scorpion. With the weak-kneed acquiescence of our politicians, the National Rifle Association has turned the Second Amendment of the Constitution into a cruel hoax, a cruel and deadly hoax."

The NRA's Dark Gun Culture

Reader Supported News

By Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company
21 July 12

ou might think Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of and spokesman for the mighty American gun lobby, The National Rifle Association, has an almost cosmic sense of timing. In 2007, at the NRA’s annual convention in St. Louis, he warned the crowd that, "Today, there is not one firearm owner whose freedom is secure."

Two days later, a young man opened fire on the campus of Virginia Tech, killing 32 students, staff and teachers. Just last week LaPierre showed up at the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty here in New York and spoke out against what he called "Anti-freedom policies that disregard American citizens' right to self-defense."

Now at least 12 are dead in Aurora, Colorado, gunned down by a mad man at a showing of the new Batman movie filled with make-believe violence. One of the guns the shooter used was an AK-47-type assault weapon that was banned in 1994. The National Rifle Association saw to it that the ban expired in 2004. The NRA is the best friend a killer's instinct ever had.

Obviously, LaPierre's timing isn’t cosmic, just coincidental; as Shakespeare famously wrote, "The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves." In other words, people. People with guns. There are an estimated 300 million guns in the United States, one in four adult Americans owns at least one and most of them are men. The British newspaper The Guardian, reminds us that over the last 30 years, "The number of states with a law that automatically approves licenses to carry concealed weapons provided an applicant clears a criminal background check has risen from eight to 38."

Every year there are 30,000 gun deaths and 300,000 gun-related assaults in the U.S. Firearm violence may cost our country as much as $100 billion a year. Toys are regulated with greater care and safety concerns.

So why do we always act so surprised? Violence is alter ego, wired into our Stone Age brains, so intrinsic its toxic eruptions no longer shock, except momentarily when we hear of a mass shooting like this latest in Colorado. But this, too, will pass and the nation of the short attention span quickly finds the next thing to divert us from the hard realities of America in 2012.

We are after all a country which began with the forced subjugation into slavery of millions of Africans and the reliance on arms against Native Americans for its Westward expansion. In truth, more settlers traveling the Oregon Trail died from accidental, self-inflicted gunshots wounds than Indian attacks - we were not only bloodthirsty but also inept.

Nonetheless, we have become so gun loving, so blasé about home-grown violence that in my lifetime alone, far more Americans have been casualties of domestic gunfire than have died in all our wars combined. In Arizona last year, just days after the Gabby Giffords shooting, sales of the weapon used in the slaughter - a 9 millimeter Glock semi-automatic pistol - doubled.

We are fooling ourselves. That the law could allow even an inflamed lunatic to easily acquire murderous weapons and not expect murderous consequences. Fooling ourselves that the second amendment’s guarantee of a "well-regulated militia" be construed as a God-given right to purchase and own just about any weapon of destruction you like. That's a license for murder and mayhem and it's a great fraud that has entered our history.

There's a video of which I'd like to remind you. You can see it on YouTube. In it, Adam Gadahn, an American born member of al Qaeda, the first U.S. citizen charged with treason since 1952, urges terrorists to carry out attacks on the United States. Right before your eyes he says: "America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely, without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?"

The killer in Colorado waited only for an opportunity, and there you have it - the arsenal of democracy transformed into the arsenal of death and the NRA - the NRA is the enabler of death - paranoid, delusional, and as venomous as a scorpion. With the weak-kneed acquiescence of our politicians, the National Rifle Association has turned the Second Amendment of the Constitution into a cruel hoax, a cruel and deadly hoax.

Find VIDEO and more on Reader Supported News  here
(Blogger's note from Journey Blog: I'm leaving some select comments from Readers Supported Media (RSN)
+13 # ronnewmexico 2012-07-21 08:56
Assault weaponry have no place in do extended capacity clips..but

the flip side of this is invariably on this thread will come response stating....all guns everywhere must be disallowed...which is unrealistic considering some rural environments and professions(cat tle or sheep ranching for instance)....

So the NRA uses support this....assault weaponry...any abridgement on a right to own a gun leads to outlawing all guns...which is a completely irresponsible position in some circumstances.

so they have support in rural communities....because in a sense the opposition to the NRA is so fervent in their ideology.

I don't like to blame the victim...but that is the situation in this national discussion.

The baby is thrown out with the the interest of urban safety the rural experience is discounted and rendered extreme is the position of gun control..when really it is not....

Even rural peoples singularly considered know...assault rifles with extended capacity clips...have not a place in america. Mix that with no guns at all and you for no restrictions on gun ownership.
+27 # Barbara K 2012-07-21 09:35
Too many people don't realize that the NRA is a political entity, and not needed to own guns. The NRA is there to raise money for the Republicans, and have been doing so for many years. People are gullible enough to send them hundreds of dollars of dues because they think they are making them safe. People don't need the NRA to be safe. I'll bet many of their "members" don't know where their money is going. NRA rakes in money all over the place to support the Republicans, that is why the Rs support every whim of the NRA.
+8 # WestWinds 2012-07-21 10:05
The Republican constituency take pride in their ignorance. They shovel millions to creeps like Pat Robertson, who entered the ministry with the lint in his pocket, but who now owns a diamond mine in the Congo. And what has he ever really done for them? Send them a prayer... wow, that's really worth millions. The Republican constituency are wrong-minded and wrong-headed but as Mike Papantonio says, "You'll never change them."
-3 # Glen 2012-07-21 10:14
I agree, Barbara. The NRA may be offensive but it is the individual that makes choices. The NRA does not make it for them. It is a national disgrace that citizens cannot seem to overcome societal and family breakdown. Education and gun training is utilized by only a few.

The flip side of it all is that the U.S. is producing, as I have said, psychotics, due to all manner of social ills and little parenting. Teachers have seen it coming for decades. How to overcome that?

Availability of guns would not be an issue if there weren't psychotics, angry unhappy individuals, and soon, very desperate people without jobs. Fear and anger are a deadly duo.
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-07-21 10:36
Why not give everyone their own tank? Why not an anti-aircraft gun?
+1 # DHa7763100 2012-07-21 10:46
good one
+4 # JSRaleigh 2012-07-21 10:21
Too many people don't realize that the NRA is a political entity, and not needed to own guns. The NRA is there to raise money for the Republicans, ...

I believe you have the relationship reversed. The Republicans are captive to the NRA, who are there for the gun manufacturers who actually fund them.
+16 # macrhino 2012-07-21 09:43
Assault weaponry have no place in do extended capacity clips..but

the flip side of this is invariably on this thread will come response stating....all guns everywhere must be disallowed...which is unrealistic considering some rural environments and professions(cat tle or sheep ranching for instance)....

Absolute nonsense. There is almost no one in the pro gun control community who is for a total ban on weapon ownership. It is almost unknown. I notice that no one in the comments are calling for total gun bans. This is a red herring and detracts from the real argument.

I grew up in the back woods. The rural argument is silly, again only the US has rural communities?

The problem is simply the easy access to guns. PERIOD.
-6 # WestWinds 2012-07-21 10:08
I don't know what you are talking about, "easy access of guns." I own three pistols and I had to go through gun courses, get finger printed in every state I have lived in, had to register them and pay fee after fee for them... You make it sound like you can pick guns off of trees. Nonsense!
+2 # Brooklyn Girl 2012-07-21 10:31
That's only because you chose to obey the law.

Many gun owners don't.
+3 # DHa7763100 2012-07-21 10:52
Well you can go to Arizona and buy any type of gun you want...walk out the door and sell it to somebody in the parking lot. That's were all this fast and furious crap come from. Arizona Prosecutors will not prosecute someone for selling guns to the cartel because it is LEGAL. An 18 yr old can buy 200 assult rifles, and because he owns them, he is FREE to sell to whomever he wants to without prosecution,
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-07-21 10:37
Why do you need three of them?
+1 # JTHinSD 2012-07-21 10:37
So, what, exactly, is "easy" access to guns? Do you have one? Have you gone through the steps to legally procure one?
-18 # WestWinds 2012-07-21 10:01
You don't take into account home invasions everywhere, especially for a certain class of people, the elderly. You have no idea what it is like to be old and at the mercy of every wiseacre sociopath that is running around with the blessings of the police. I favor the "Castle Law" and weapons are what makes the difference between having enough security in the house at night to sleep and NEVER being able to sleep knowing that your neighborhood home invader lives only a few streets down.
+5 # Brooklyn Girl 2012-07-21 10:32
Locks and window alarms work just fine.

Personally, I wouldn't trust an elderly person with a gun. I'm 62 and I can't see clearly without my glasses.
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-07-21 10:37
Statistically, you're more likely to kill yourself with your own weapon than you are likely to use it in self-defense.
...The NRA has done a fantastic job of scaring the Stupid People that their 2nd Amendment Rights are being taken away just because they can’t have magazines with 20, 30, 50 or 100 shells.
+3 # paulrevere 2012-07-21 08:57
Psychotropic drugs have been a factor in the majority of these mass murders...and the drug companies have actively surpressed the have the families because it reflects on them personally...Fort Hood, Columbine, Virginia, Arizona...just do a search for 'psychotropic drugs and mass murders'...for there is a ton of articles and studies making that point.

It ain't the guns, it those who use 'em!
+21 # SearchingfortruthSarah 2012-07-21 09:14
But what legitimate need is there for an assault weapon the fires so many bullets that it can kill 'en masse'? Besides war?
+5 # WestWinds 2012-07-21 10:14
Why does the US government need six thousand nuclear bombs when two will completely destroy the planet?
Ask these bloody corporations when is enough enough?
+2 # SearchingfortruthSarah 2012-07-21 09:16
According to your premise "it aint the guns but those who use 'em" If those who use psychotropic drugs have such easy access, does that make easy access responsible?
+1 # paulrevere 2012-07-21 09:57
Can't argue assault weapons personally...

If those who use psychotropic drugs get so loosened emotionally that they see insanity and violence as their deal, then maybe those who use them should be more closely monitored by those who prescribe the drugs...ey?

You propose to take away a privilege/right of tens of millions while the 'drug inhibited' walk the streets?

How about a law that states that if a doctor prescribes a psychotropic, then they MUST meet with the patient once a week and monitor their behavior?
+1 # WestWinds 2012-07-21 10:15
The easiest access is a stolen weapon. No fees, no classes, no registration, no limits.
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-07-21 10:38
And with so many weapons available, it's pretty easy to steal them.
+3 # WestWinds 2012-07-21 10:12
Finally! Someone with some common sense! The bad guys will ALWAYS get guns, and penalizing a whole country of law-abiding citizens for the disturbed acts of a few is just as INSANE! Stop going after the low hanging fruit. If you really want to stop the gun attacks, ask what is motivating it... and you'll probably find that it is the insane way the adults are running this country and the behavior coming out of the kids is just a symptom of the insane adult behavior kids have to grow up with. Stop the wars, take care of the planet, pay people livable salaries, put in good health care. When the parents stop bouncing off of walls, so will the kids!!!
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-07-21 10:41
Do you think England has fewer bad guys than we do? Bad guys are EVERYWHERE. What makes you think we have more of them in the U.S.? With so many bad guys walking every corner of our planet why are so many of the bad guys able to commit murder in the U.S.? I would argue that it's much easier to murder someone with a gun than it is without one. It seems pretty obvious.

Unless you think England is a magical land of fairy princesses and unicorns where bad guys never tread...
-1 # WestWinds 2012-07-21 10:22
Asking about more effective gun control is closing the door after the horses have left the barn. The questions to be asking are:
Why are kids being attracted to this? Are the video games and all of the murder they watch on TV programming their brains? Do we glorify war with marching bands, medals, parades and ribbon stickers on our cars? Do we buy our kids toy guns for play? Who is raising out kids, parents or the TV? Is this country in such a state of fear and anxiety because of the clowns in Washington that this toxic atmosphere is affecting our kids? Are the kids witnessing massive amounts of for-profit dysfunction everywhere they look? Isn't their behavior a sign of adult dysfunction? Our kids aren't growing up with peace and love, they are growing up with hostile dysfunction and you wonder why they are going on shooting rampages??? Wake up!
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-07-21 10:43
They have video games everywhere in the world. Japan LOVES video games and ESPECIALLY the violent ones. Look at Japan's murder rate. Look at how many guns they have.

+1 # Billy Bob 2012-07-21 10:45
That's right. The community - not the individual. Regardless of what Scalia says, the 2nd Amendment isn't a license to buy a nuclear warhead and keep it in your garage.
+2 # paulrevere 2012-07-21 10:01
Not until the psychotropic drug users are differentiated as a 'must monitor on a short window during use' basis.

Do that research on the connection between psychotropics and mass sheds an entirely different perspective on the issue.
0 # paulrevere 2012-07-21 10:05
I agree about the 'tyranny' needing potential for personal defense, but ANY ref to open carry and all that testosterone paranoid delusion is out of the question.

The odds of anyone being struck by lightening or hit by a golf ball are about the same as anyone being around a psychotropic drug addled mass murderer.

All this knee-jerk about being safe is just a psycho-trick to keep Americans in's just not all that relevant in the true scheme of how life unfolds.
0 # paulrevere 2012-07-21 10:45
F.E.A.R. ='s False Evidence Appearing Real

+1 # Billy Bob 2012-07-21 10:49
Actually Colorado has some of the most lax laws in the country regarding concealed weapons. Maybe the other people were aware of the statistical likelyhood that you're more likely to kill yourself with a gun accidentally than be murdered by a stranger.

Ask my cousin who was a competitive shooter and had won several trophies. Oh that's right. You CAN'T ask him. He accidentally blew his head off in his garage after he tripped. That may sound cold, but it's the honest truth. We were close and I don't think he's offended by me mentioning the truth of what happened to him.
+4 # macrhino 2012-07-21 09:48
The "Psychotropic drugs" comment from paulrevere is even more nonsense. This is called "all the world is the US" argument. There are places with much easier access to Psychotropic drugs that do not have nearly the number of shootings of this type (Holland, Germany, Denmark). This is not to say it is unknown but it is very rare.

The it ain't the guns "argument" is a good indication of why we have these problems.

The logic error expressed here is better stated, “the inanimate object is not a significant part of the equation.” This is the "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" argument.

This argument is over-simplistic. The "human factor" in this "equation" is a constant, not a variable. If we want to change the outcome of the "equation" we have to change the variables.

Here is a thought experiment. Imagine 2 separate groups of ten men each. These groups both have an equal desire (human factor) to clear a large forest that is situated next to their respective villages. But only one group has access to chainsaws or power saws. The other group only has knives. Which group (of equal motivation) will be more successful at clearing the forest? CHAINSAWS DON'T CLEAR FORESTS, PEOPLE CLEAR FORESTS.

Guns are power tools for killing. They are enablers. The argument is, "How do we severely reduce killings?" One very effective way is to reduce access to these power tools for killing.

1 comment:

Peth said...

Guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people. One of the possible solutions is return to the morals of yesterday. Before TV, videos games, and instant access to the hideous and atrocious. Not easy in a society ruled by greed and gain. Probably impossible.