Friday, June 8, 2018

Robert Kennedy shooting pulled NRA's chain

Typical NRA gun nut
Robert Kennedy was assassinated on June 5, 1968, and, while some have raised doubts recently about who the assassin was, Sirhan Sirhan is still the choice of most historians. John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King had been killed in 1963, all by guns. Bobby Kennedy had just won the California primary in the 1968 presidential election. Reactions were quick...
"President Lyndon B. Johnson called for a sweeping gun control law. Anti-gun protesters picketed the Washington headquarters of the National Rifle Association as public sentiment zeroed in on guns as a major problem."
Sirhan was 24 at the time and in the passageway through the kitchen, he shot Kennedy numerous times from a snub-nosed revolver. The presidential candidate was hit in his brain, his neck, and one shot grazed his forehead. Conspiracy theorists were abundant in a copycat of John Kennedy's killing. Journalist Jules Witcover, who was there with Bobby Kennedy at the Ambassador...
“His hour of political triumph became another hour of mindless tragedy in a nation that cannot or will not keep weapons of death from the hands of madmen who walk its streets.”

It was four months after Robert Kennedy's assassination and, having waning powers with Congress, primarily due to the Vietnam War, Johnson was able to pass a watered-down gun control bill. Key provisions like national registration of guns and licensing of owners was missing, thanks to the National Rifle Assn. lobbying. And then it happened...
"The 1968 bill marked the beginning of the NRA’s transformation from a gun enthusiast organization focused on marksmanship and gun safety to a political lobbying group focused on opposing gun control."
The gun nuts stumbled along for several years until Wayne LaPierre joined the NRA in 1977, becoming the head gun nut in 1991. It is LaPierre who has championed the 2nd Amendment crusade with success in convincing his gun hugging membership that the government wants to take away all their guns. The organization is responsible for keeping assault weapons on the street, which makes the NRA culpable for the 346 mass shootings in 2017 alone. Worse, there have been 23 school shootings in 2018, one a week, again thanks to LaPierre's proliferation of guns.

So, it was a combination of Bobby Kennedy's assassination and President Lyndon Johnson's determination to pass meaningful gun control legislation that prompted the bizarre demands of Wayne LaPierre's National Rifle Assn. today, an insistence that has caused the loss of thousands of innocent lives. With so much blood on their hands, you would think the NRA would be a leader in some form of responsible gun control. But it's not going to happen, and I am coming to the conclusion the only answer is to take away all guns and start over again.

Read more: The Shooting of Robert Kennedy and the Transformation of the NRA
                    The Biography of NRA Director Wayne LaPierre
                    Mass shootings in the U.S.: 346 mass shootings occurred in 2017
                    There has been, on average, 1 school shooting every week this year

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