Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Seriously? NRA Tries To Get Me To Join With Guns "Sweepstakes"

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Part of flyer I received in mail about prizes (multiple guns) to be won in NRA sweepstakes.

In the interest of full disclosure let me say first that although I have owned and fired firearms I've never had any interest in the NRA or joining its government-leery minions. That hasn't stopped the organization from plying me with "provisional" membership cards as well as other inducements to join. In the latest iteration I received a two page form letter from none other then Exec VP Wayne La Pierre with the end sign off "Yours in freedom".

The intro of the letter reads:

"Dear Fellow American,

This is YOUR  official call for entry in our exciting NRA sweepstakes and you don't have a moment to lose.  Because there will be over 700 WINNERS GUARANTEED and I want to give you a chance to win!

Don't wait. This is your shot at incredible gun, hunt and gear prizes - and best of all, you get to pick the prizes you'd like to win most.


You read that right!

You'll not only have a chance to win your First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Prize selections - you could also win EVERY SINGLE PRIZE you've chosen at each of thee levels if you're drawn as our LUCKY GRAND PRIZE WINNER!

Yep, and IF I was a rabid gun nut or collector or even NRA aficionado I'd no doubt place all the accompanying prize stickers on in a heartbeat.

But the problem is I am not a gun grabber or NRA fan. Indeed, I have written multiple posts before against this bunch, such as after James Eagen Holmes' Aurora theater massacre and the Newtown bloodshed. 

After the Tucson shootings by Jared Loughner with Gabby Giffords one of the victims, I explained the basis of the 2nd amendment in one January, 2011 post:

Let me cite again the Second Amendment to the Constitution:

"A self-Regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Now, one must understand and comprehend the era and period in which this was written. At that time muskets were the primary weapon, and no major organized standing army existed such as we now have. Indeed, the Continental Army of Washington, though it prevailed over the British, now had massive war debts to pay off. There was no way to keep thousands of men under arms for sustained periods, as well as clothing and feeding them - far less recycling them with newer equipment each year!

It therefore became necessary to authorize the basis for a non-centralized force or "Militia" in order to supplement any governmentally organized army called up. This "Militia" originated in the countryside, from citizens living across the land in various villages, towns and states. In effect, the 2nd amendment drafters were asserting the necessity for a subsidiary people's army to assist the main one. Citizens then became in effect, necessary to the security of the nation. One could then describe the state militias as "adjunct armies".

Indeed, some interpreters of the amendment believe the original content is really even more diluted than what I portrayed. They see the "well regulated militia" provision as actually devised as protections from any marauding, "loose cannon" generals. These interpreters insist the framers would never in a million years have envisaged people possessing permanent private weapons in their own homes - claiming it would have really detracted from a militia's effectiveness (E.g. who controls when they fire weapons at whom, and when? Or whether or not the owners are even trained in their use? DO we just let thousands of gun owners go off half-cocked to do their own thing?)

But there is NO way, not one bit, the framers would behold what we have now ....the most formidable organized military in the world - with more weapons than all the empires of all previous centuries put together, and insist that separate citizens' militias were still needed. And they certainly wouldn't confer any benediction on owning powerful automatic rifles or even semi-automatic Glocks that can spew off 31 rounds in seconds!


So what has happened? The NRA, with enormous political clout, has succeeded in vaporizing what few common sense controls were left and given us a very close version of the "wild West". It began when a federal law enacted in 1994 that restricted the sale of certain semi-automatics was allowed to expire in 2004. This expiry was sought by the NRA which put pressure on congress critters to allow it. (The NRA doubtless subscribed to the "slippery slope" fallacy: that if semi-automatics weren't permitted, then ordinary weapons would follow.)

The next major piece of follow -up idiocy was in allowing 'make my day' laws in many states from around 2006. Thus in Colorado now, a home owner who even thinks he's under a serious threat can open fire and use deadly force with barely a question asked.

Later, after the San Bernardino massacre on December 9, 2015 I wrote:

Who the hell needs a semi-automatic anyway? The Founders, for sure - including Madison, Jefferson and even Hamilton (himself killed in a duel) would have been aghast to behold what's on display as in the photo and allowed under a perversion of the 2nd amendment. In fact, they'd likely all re-croak if they came back to life and saw how that amendment has been disgraced by nuts and the NRA gun lobby.

The fact is NO one is taking away a person's precious right to own a proper, functioning gun by banning these high -powered weapons, which really were originally designed for MILITARY use in Vietnam, NOT for target shooting or protection. Jeezus Peace, you use a shotgun or 30.06 for target shooting or hunting a deer - you don't need a god damned AR-15!  As for home protection, get a shotgun or .38 special, you do not need a damned assault rifle. WTF are people expecting an alien invasion?

The Aussies surrendered nearly all their assault weapons back in 1996 after a massacre in which 35 were slaughtered in Port Arthur, Tasmania. Since then, the violent murders by assault weapon have been cut in half. Of course, there will still be those who get such guns and use them in malicious ways, that's not the damned point  - which the gunnies always distort. NO, it's to keep such weapons out of mass hands where even in a home dispute the disputants will not be tempted to just reach for their guns.

Highland Park (Illinois) ban is also spot on given how easily an AR-15, originally semi-automatic - can be altered to an automatic.  As yesterday's WSJ piece observes

"The AR-15 re-cocks itself immediately after firing. The only thing keeping the gun from firing again on its own is a sear, a piece inserted in the gun that stops the cycle from continuing. By replacing the sear and a few other key components, an AR-15 can be made fully automatic."

Ending with:

As for the professed love (by gun aficionados)  for these weapons, I attribute most of it to the "regressed kid" syndrome. You know, when kids could set off firecrackers om the 4th or New Year's Eve and get a bang out of the noise and distraction?  Today, these  powerful weapons are de facto substitutes and include "uses" such as reducing small trees to splinters,  blowing up melons in the woods and blasting tin cans. They provide  that 'bang'  (and demolition) attraction for baseline "entertainment' of modern day adults. Until they are used against a family member or on oneself in a suicide.

I say, enough is enough and it's time to put away the things of a child.  Back in the 1960s we didn't have such weapons and we got along just fine. Sure there were murders and homicides but not like the regular mass slaughters one sees today - over 355 now and counting.

Can sanity prevail in this country or will the people continue to allow a powerful gun lobby to hold them in thrall - and in fear?  The question will be raised often by serious people in the coming months and years and it may well come down to imposing local or state assault weapons bans since at the federal level there is no will to act. At that level, the NRA has most lawmakers - or at least their balls-  in its maw

My positions haven't changed since those posts. I still am convinced the NRA has twisted the 2nd amendment toward an interpretation never intended by the Founders.  Despite the debasement of too many brains with time, I still stand foursquare with the unanimous (1939) Supreme Court decision that affirmed:

"The Second Amendment grants people a right that is not one which may be utilized for private purposes but only exists where the arms are borne in a militia or some other military organization provided by law and intended for protection of the State."

While this sane and sober take prevailed for several more decades, it started to unravel by the 1970s as various Right wing (wouldn't you know?) groups coalesced to challenge gun control based on spurious "private gun ownership" interpretations, and successively overturned laws in state legislatures - much like the abortion opponents are now doing .

At the time Chief Justice Warren Burger responded that these lax state gun law interpretations comprised "one of the greatest pieces of fraud on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime."

What do we infer from these historical perspectives? That the REAL un-Americans are those who have twisted the meaning of the 2nd Amendment to their own ends, with the result that the fallout has created a never-ending sea of maimed, crippled and murdered gun victims

So how did the NRA get hold of my name and address to peddle their baloney? Most likely from a customer subscriber list  -likely provided by one magazine ('World War II History') to which I subscribe. Therefore, they made the erroneous assumption that because I am interested in World War II history I must also be a gun aficionado.

Bad mistake!

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