Protests, Buying Votes, the NRA, and the Big Gun Controversy
Mario Marcel Salas
There are more than a few reasons why people support the Second Amendment or want access to all types of guns. Some people believe that Americans should have a gun(s) to protect themselves from people with bad intentions. This number would probably be most of us. Some folks are hunters and enjoy the outdoors while having the ability to kill various animals from a distance thus eliminating the problem of being hurt. A few people still hunt for food though that number is small depending on cultural factors, location, and resources in the food chain. Some people run criminal enterprises and need the weapons, of all types, to enforce their rule and commit crimes. Some people are collectors and historians that maintain an abundance of weapons as collector items, and some of the outspoken big-mouthed supporters of “gun rights” are racists and belong to militias that are preparing to kill people in some sort of racist white revolution. There are others that see the American government as totally dictatorial and want to create a new government for racial, political, and cultural reasons. There are those that are intent on some sort of revenge, and then there are those that never think about any law or U.S. Amendment but suffer from a mental illness.
The shootings that have taken place across the country have been motivated by racism, intolerance, and insanity. The killing by Dylann Roof in 2015, of black worshipers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church , was clearly motivated by a young man inspired by racists that are still living in a bizarre Nazi and KKK world. Roof once said that, “Blacks were taking over the world.” Mr. Roof was clearly a white racist terrorist who believed that through some crazed act he would join the ranks of crazed killer heroes. When his place was raided by authorities, they found the numbers 1488 and 88 scrawled in places. These are numbers associated with praise for Hitler. Dylann Roof was inspired by racists that saw the murder of Trayvon Martin as justified and were angry at the protests against George Zimmerman. Mr. Roof, obviously a crazed racist, was able to legally purchase a gun to carry out his lunatic attack. He was able to do so because of FBI lapses in background checks. Mr. Roof was a reader of racist propaganda and supporter of racist white nationalist websites.
Then we have the mass shooting at schools, where our youth are trying to get an education. Young people are being traumatized by racists and mentally ill people because there is a concerted effort by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to make available all kinds of weapons without restrictions. One point stands out; you don’t need an automatic weapon to kill a deer, but do need one to kill scores of people as you prepare for a terrorist act! Who has the NRA given money too? The NRA in 2017 has spent almost $5 million dollars in lobbying elected officials. These efforts aimed to keep dangerous excessive weapons available. The market for such guns obviously directly benefits the weapons manufacturers so that the NRA becomes a direct arm of the gun makers. The dollar figure for Lobbyists for gun rights, which includes ridiculous interpretations of the 2nd Amendment, exceeded $9 million dollars in 2017. Politicians are being bought out left and right.
According to New York Times (NYT), “Most Americans support stronger gun laws — laws that would reduce deaths. But Republicans in Congress stand in the way. They fear alienating their primary voters and the National Rifle Association.” Republican Senator Marco Rubio has received over $3 million dollars and gives no indication that he is willing to listen to the victim’s call for him not to accept any more money from these political gun maniacs. On the lower end of NRA spending spree, of not so free money, is the buying of a vote from Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas, who only got $158,111 from the NRA, but still enough to keep this bought-out politician from doing anything the NRA does not want.
In wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting, which resulted in 17 deaths, students are walking out of school and organizing massive protests against the NRA, but political clowns like so-called rock star Ted Nugent, said that the students that were concerned about their safety “have no soul.” Nugent is on the extreme fringe of political thinking and many are calling for consumers to stop buying his recordings, boycott his concerts, and protest against him wherever he goes. To disrespect young people like this is over the top and points to a savageness that smells of time warped frontier ideology. Weapon fanatics who glorify guns and have no sympathy or empathy for those that died in Florida are beyond the understanding of descent minded people. No doubt, human compassion is beyond the understanding of the worshipers at the altar of gun fanaticism. Maybe Nugent is trying to get his name branded on a gun!
Hundreds of thousands of students and protesters rallied and protested across the country recently and according to the NYT, “At the main event in Washington, survivors of mass shootings, including the one in Florida, rallied a whooping crowd — “Welcome to the revolution,” said one of the student organizers — and spoke of communities that are disproportionately affected by gun violence. ‘It is normal to see flowers honoring the lives of black and brown youth that have lost their lives to a bullet,’ Edna Chavez, 17, said of her South Los Angeles neighborhood.” The Times went on to say that, “More than 800 protests were planned in every American state, including in some gun-friendly cities, and on every continent except for Antarctica.” More is yet to come. Clearly the NRA is no longer a safe haven for gun fanatics. One local protester told me that if gun fanatics “want to be macho why don’t they go hunt bears with a knife like a real man would do instead of hiding in the bushes or in a deer blind.”
President Trump has done little to support our youth, and is pretending concern about the safety of our students. The most recent bill Trump signed did very little to shore up “background checks” and ban “bump stocks.” Over 1 million young people have blasted the NRA and are pledging to vote Republican politicians out of office as soon as they turn 18 years of age. If Trump is still around in 2020 he is in deep trouble. Most protesters support the 2nd Amendment, but not what the NRA and other gun-altar boys have said it means. Thousands across the country have called on voters to “fire politicians not guns.” One is left with more than a rhetorical question, “Why would anyone support a policy that allows racists, or anyone for that matter, to purchase war weapons with large magazines?” These weapons are weapons of mass killing, and are not hunting rifles!
We ought to be supportive of our youth. They have to go to school every school day fearful that some racist, some right wing fanatic, or mentally ill person is going to kill them with a war weapon. Why are law makers so supportive of the NRA and its heartless bribery of lawmakers? Most of us support the 2nd Amendment, but many of us do not support the sale of devices that that can turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons. The age for buying a weapon should be at least 21, and the loop holes that allow people to purchase weapons at gun shows without any rules should be outlawed. Criminal background checks should be enhanced, and people with known mental illnesses should be prevented from purchasing weapons. Those that have made terroristic and racist threats should have their guns taken away, and those that want magazines (clips) that contain large amounts of ammunition should be prevented from buying them. The power of the NRA must be curtailed and politicians that receive money from them ought to be removed from office.