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Friday, December 19, 2014

Gun worship has gone too far

opinion@dailylobo.com

2013: Meh. I wish I could offer some positive message of encouragement that things will soon get better, but that is clearly not the case. Despite President Obama’s re-election, the outlook for the survival of our republic is incredibly dire, and things are only going to get worse as our political discourse becomes more and more extreme. Every year our options as engaged and informed citizens become more limited. Nothing in this world is as it should be. Where to start?

I was kind of looking forward to the apocalypse last month.

Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. If ever there was a civilization that deserved to be wiped off the face of the Earth, this is it.

Alas, our backward society is apparently doomed to die a slow, agonizing death rather than a quick, painless one. Maybe that’s what the Mayans really meant. The same thing happened to them, after all.

Over the winter break, I watched with morbid fascination while our society continued to tear itself apart as yet another senseless mass murder gripped the nation. This time, 20 innocent children were the victims of a random shooting spree by another angry white guy. The same questions were asked in the media: How could this happen? Who could do such a thing? How can we prevent this from happening again?

As usual, the answers were not forthcoming. The issue of gun control is far too complex, say the experts. This seems to be the only problem for which there is no “simple solution” among the Tea Party crowd. Go figure.

It’s fascinating to me when the gun worshippers so loudly proclaim that the government is coming to take away their guns when they’ve been able to amass huge stockpiles of high-powered, semiautomatic weapons with absolutely no interference from the government. The irony of this fact is clearly lost on these people.

I have an important message for all the gun worshippers out there: No one is coming to take away your guns, OK? No one is coming to take your guns. The government has no plans to limit your right to hoard as many dangerous weapons as you want. Calm down already.

I’d like to see them try to take away your precious guns, America.

Good luck with that. Forty-seven percent of Americans reported owning firearms in a recent Gallup poll. The United States has by far the highest rate of gun ownership in the world. We also have the highest rate of gun-related homicides among the industrialized nations. Only the willfully ignorant fail to see a connection. Gun sales have predictably skyrocketed since the Sandy Hook massacre.

The National Rifle Association is the most powerful lobby in Washington. The organization is far too influential and morally bankrupt to allow any sort of balanced debate on gun control:

They’ve promised to use every bit of their massive resources to fight any new legislation, and they haven’t been afraid to use their clout in the past. For example, the Centers for Disease Control is now forbidden from studying the effects of gun violence on families, thanks to the NRA’s successful lobbying efforts to defund government research on gun-related health issues. The CDC’s statistics consistently showed that having guns in the home increased the risk of accidental death by firearm. Seven children are killed by guns every day in America, according to a recent report by the Children’s Defense Fund.

The NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre is an irresponsible lunatic who should be muzzled, and the NRA needs to be excluded from any further public debate on gun control.

LaPierre’s press conference following the Sandy Hook massacre resoundingly proves that point. People forget that LaPierre is a lobbyist for the gun manufacturers — not the average NRA member.

His motive is simply to sell more guns, period. If he had his way, everyone in America would be walking around with concealed weapons, carrying grenade-launchers to school.

The NRA’s solution to the gun control problem is to ensure that all the good guys have guns so that they can defend us against all the bad guys with guns. Just like the wild west. Legislation has already been passed in Ohio which requires arming and training custodial staff to carry weapons on school grounds. The Montpelier Village School Board voted 5-0 to allow handgun training for custodians to tote guns on campus as a security measure to protect the students.

So once again the people on the lowest rung of the social ladder are being asked to sacrifice their lives to protect “our way of life.” We send all the poor kids off to go die in our wars; it’s a logical step to ask them to do the same back home. Now, if a crazed gunman attacks the school, it will be up to those brave janitors to put their bodies in harm’s way.

Representatives from the NRA defiantly walked out of Biden’s hearings last week, claiming that they “will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment.” I question who the real “criminals and madmen” are in this case.

The NRA’s press release continued: “We will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of Congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works — and what does not.”

Translation: “We now plan to increase the amount of bribe money we pay to our lackeys in Congress in order to further obstruct any meaningful dialogue on gun control.”

And here’s something else you wing-nuts need to understand: the Second Amendment is not going to be repealed any time soon. Not now, not in a million years. That just isn’t going to happen.

Sorry to burst your paranoid bubble, but if you believe that nonsense you’re as delusional as the psychos who go on killing sprees.

A perfect example of what we’re up against was revealed last week in a television interview with Tactical Response CEO James Yeager.

Yeager is the head of a Tennessee-based company that specializes in military-style defensive training. He said he would “start killing people” if current gun control efforts went “one inch further” in an interview with Nashville’s WSMV-TV last Friday.

“I’m telling you that if that happens, it’s going to spark a civil war, and I’ll be glad to fire the first shot. I’m not putting up with it.”

Yeager isn’t the only one who feels that way, unfortunately.

The Biden committee’s goals are meager, and they don’t go nearly far enough: required background checks for all gun buyers, funding for more police officers and first responders, a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, a more comprehensive federal database on gun violence and gun purchases, measures to deal with gun violence in popular culture, and a push to improve mental health services.

I doubt any meaningful gun control legislation will be passed in 2013. Not if the gun worshippers have their way. You can sleep well tonight, psychos — the NRA has your interests in mind.