On December 14, 2012, 20 year old Adam Lanza went to the Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, and murdered 20 five and six year-old children, along with six members of the staff. All of America felt surely that the U. S. Congress would finally find the courage to stand-up to the NRA, and implement some rational controls over gun ownership. But here we are, three and a half years later, with multiple acts of gun violence since, and still nothing whatsoever has been done!
The stumbling block in this savagery is the National Rifle Association. It claims to represent the grass roots American gun owners; however, only a small percentage of gun enthusiasts even belong to it. In reality, the NRA is rally the voice of the Gun Industry, and uses its horde of cash to influence—read bribe—the votes on gun legislation of mostly conservative members of Congress. The NRA is also active at Republican-controlled statehouses, as well.
An overwhelming percentage of Americans are in favor of rational gun legislation—including background checks, cross-referencing purchasers names even with inactive FBI investigation lists, banning (military-style) assault rifles, high-capacity ammo clips and what’s called the “gun show loophole”. Even a large majority of gun owners and NRA members are in favor of this legislation. Such controls will also help protect hunters, target shooters and gun collectors from mentally unstable people.
Following Sandy Hook, the response by Wayne LaPierre, the President of the NRA, was that the only way to stop a “bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun”. He suggested arming some teachers and administrators, especially those with military experience. No military-trained person is prepared to take action in a frantic civilian shooting incident. I certainly can personally vouch for that!
Fast forward to the recent massacre at the Pulse, a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where a person who had been investigated by the FBI in both 2013 and 2014, killed or wounded 103 people. Consider the following: the Orlando killer had been on an FBI No-Fly list, but his status was de-activated; in gun-happy Florida, the chances of no one in a crowded nightclub having a concealed weapon is completely ludicrous; and will we ever know how many club patrons were killed or wounded by specially trained Police SWAT Team officers?
The NRA regularly updates its registry of politicians who support its gun-friendly agenda. Many of these politicians, mostly Republicans, happily boast about their favorable NRA Ranking, and proudly display them on their web sites. So, I wonder why some other national group, which espouses rational gun control legislation, does not have a similar registry—and list the gun-friendly legislation that various politicians have voted for. I’m sure that many Americans would like to take those rankings into account when they go to the polls.
Mr LaPierre, please answer this question: How do we identify a “good guy with a gun”, as being willing to protect anyone, if there are no background checks to verify his goodness? Also, if the NRA wants to protect the Second Amendment Rights of gun-owners, shouldn’t you also be willing to assure the Constitutional Rights of others to: “…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”