Thursday, June 28, 2012

It’s time to reboot the NRA

The National Rifle association (NRA) has been around since 1871 and will no doubt be here for at least a few more years.  It started as a reasonable organization, founded for the purpose of teaching marksmanship and gun safety.  It has evolved into a gang of unreasonable lunatics demanding that anyone should be able to own a gun and take it anywhere they want to.  Led by the head wacko Wayne LaPierre, it has power most of us can’t comprehend.

Charlton Heston, one of the original NRA kooks

As a recent example, the NRA has joined up with the GOP in the drive for contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder re. Fast and Furious.  They are pressuring Democrats now to join Republicans in the fight to make Holder the first sitting cabinet member to receive such a charge.  Whatever the outcome to Fast and Furious, it is not about the issue but rather the fact that this group of fanatics can bring down such pressure on Congress.

The time has come to stop this nonsense.  I have been reporting on gun violence by documenting the monthly numbers of U.S. shootings, those killed, and those wounded since March.  There was a 37.5 percent increase in gun violence in April over March and another 30.4 percent in May.  June looks to be coming in with another increase and one wonders just how long this country will put up with this before taking some kind of action on gun control.

This has to start by eliminating the power of the NRA that is conducive to the rights of sane gun owners—yes, there are some of those out there—but restrictive of this radical philosophy of guns for everyone, everywhere.  It is time to reboot the NRA.  The term means restart, begin again, in order to correct errors that have occurred.  Precisely what this out of control bunch of extremists needs and the process of change must start soon or more will die from guns.

The excellent gun control blog, Common Gunsense, recently posted an article on the fact that guns are now responsible for raging fires in Utah and Colorado.  It is the result of target shooting, a right that the NRA demands for its members, your rights be damned if it starts a blaze that destroys homes and precious forests.  CG says the NRA doesn’t trust government, adding:

“The NRA wants the minority of folks who own guns and carry guns to determine public safety rather than the people who are actually charged with doing so for the good of our communities.”

Gun control today
Richard Aborn of the Washington Post made this statement, “The debate about guns in the United States has always been between David and Goliath. Last year, the gun lobby outspent advocates of gun control by 11 to 1, or $2.9 million vs. $260,000.”  The NRA is well known for spending 46 percent of donations on fundraising, only 54 percent on charitable efforts while most major 501(c) charities spend 75 percent on the latter.

Aborn continues, “…the United States leads its post-industrial peers with an average of eight times as many annual deaths as a result of gun violence.”  He cites a decrease in gun control support in the United States, comparing this at a level of 52 percent in 1994 with a recent November Gallup poll indicating it is currently only at 1 percent.  The apathy is likely to continue as long as millions of Americans are out of work and losing their homes.

With those figures in mind, the author charges all of us with three factors in taking back control of guns:

Number one, don’t believe it; the battle against violent crime has not been won.  “More Americans were killed by gun violence last year than all American troops who have been killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.”

Two, “Ninety percent of gun owners support reasoned measures to keep guns from criminals and the mentally unbalanced, bipartisan polls show.”  Gun control and gun rights groups must come to an understanding.

Three, the NRA has successfully worked to prevent government funding for scientific research on the effectiveness of gun control measures.  Aborn says we should look at other countries for the plunging number of gun deaths with reasonable gun control.  You can see an example in my recent post, Canada laws prove that gun control works.”

Numbers don’t lie and my monthly documentation of gun violence should be a wake up call for all of us, especially those out there I call the “Apathetics.”  You have to care and somehow make a contribution to efforts that put a reasonable control on who owns guns and just where they are allowed.  If not, many of you could be one of my future statistics.

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