Saturday, December 22, 2012

NRA Scare Tactics Will Not Stop Gun Control Advocates

source: Scott Wooledge on Daily Kos

First of all, some of us learned an important fact yesterday from Wayne LaPierre himself: the NRA has 4 million members. That seems like an overwhelming number until you realize that President Obama won 63 million votes.

The United States has over 300 million people. So NRA membership constitutes a mere fraction of our population.

We can stop the NRA in its tracks. We can make our elected officials realize that the NRA is not a "majority" of Americans, no matter what they propaganda machines spews out. It's true that there are more gun owners than NRA members, but I'd like to believe that many responsible gun owners, hunters and sportsmen mainly, are rejecting some of the rhetoric, and that's why they don't join.

Still, what we learned is that the vast majority of Americans are NOT members of the NRA. So why are we so scared of them? Answer: We shouldn't be, even if they have more guns. We shouldn't be intimidated into silence. Obama won the popular vote by over 2 million votes - and most of those folks are NOT NRA members.

In 1995, the New York Times published a letter from President George Bush stating he was leaving the NRA because Wayne LaPierre called federal agents "Jack-Booted Thugs" implying they were Nazis. I never thought I would admire George Bush for much, but this letter expresses the kind of righteous anger that more Republicans should feel towards the NRA. Well-done, Mr. President!
To the National Rifle Association: May 3, 1995

Dear Mr. Washington,
I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as "jack-booted thugs." To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as "wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms" wanting to "attack law abiding citizens" is a vicious slander on good people.

Al Whicher, who served on my [ United States Secret Service ] detail when I was Vice President and President, was killed in Oklahoma City. He was no Nazi. He was a kind man, a loving parent, a man dedicated to serving his country -- and serve it well he did.

In 1993, I attended the wake for A.T.F. agent Steve Willis, another dedicated officer who did his duty. I can assure you that this honorable man, killed by weird cultists, was no Nazi.

John Magaw, who used to head the U.S.S.S. and now heads A.T.F., is one of the most principled, decent men I have ever known. He would be the last to condone the kind of illegal behavior your ugly letter charges. The same is true for the F.B.I.'s able Director Louis Freeh. I appointed Mr. Freeh to the Federal Bench. His integrity and honor are beyond question.

Both John Magaw and Judge Freeh were in office when I was President. They both now serve in the current administration. They both have badges. Neither of them would ever give the government's "go ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law abiding citizens." (Your words)

I am a gun owner and an avid hunter. Over the years I have agreed with most of N.R.A.'s objectives, particularly your educational and training efforts, and your fundamental stance in favor of owning guns.

However, your broadside against Federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor; and it offends my concept of service to country. It indirectly slanders a wide array of government law enforcement officials, who are out there, day and night, laying their lives on the line for all of us.

You have not repudiated Mr. LaPierre's unwarranted attack. Therefore, I resign as a Life Member of N.R.A., said resignation to be effective upon your receipt of this letter. Please remove my name from your membership list.

Sincerely, [ signed ] George Bush

I hope he speaks out on Newtown someday. I would urge he and his brother Jeb, if they want to repair their family legacy, this would be the perfect place to start.

Here's a good idea I saw on Twitter today:

If that was a Petition on, I would sign it, and many other people too.

Slate writer Asha Rangappa has a good idea: Let's Tax Guns Now
A federal excise tax on guns could change the social landscape. It would work like this: Everyone who can pass a background check to own a firearm would be entitled to purchase one weapon, tax-free. This would leave our right to own a weapon for self-defense unencumbered and would therefore be constitutional under the Second Amendment. After that, the government would levy an excise tax on each additional weapon owned. The amount of the tax would increase as the number of weapons owned increased. The tax wouldn’t stop anyone from legally owning as many guns as they like, but it would make the choice to accumulate personal arsenals – like the one owned by Nancy Lanza in Sandy Hook –much more expensive, and therefore less prevalent.
~More at Link~

Representative Steve Israel D-NY wants to stop the new high-tech threat of "printable guns" made on a 3D Printer, via Mother Jones:
On December 7th, the New York Democrat announced plans to introduce a bill to reauthorize the Undetectable Firearms Act, which prohibits the sale, transport, and manufacture of weapons that can’t be spotted by a metal detector. Set to expire next year, the law was originally passed in 1988 to stop the anticipated-but-never-realized spread of plastic weapons. This time, Israel has set his sights on something decidedly more sci-fi: "Remember 'Replicators' on #Star Trek?," he tweeted earlier this month. "Now gun parts can be replicated with 3-D printers. Introducing [a] bill to stop so-called 'wiki-weapons.'"

3-D printers, which "print" objects out of plastic by using digital blueprints, have exploded among DIYers over the last few years, fueled by the rise of companies like MakerBot. Thingiverse, an online library of blueprints hosted by MakerBot, holds tens of thousands of blueprints—for everything from engagement rings to glasses frames.
"It is just a matter of time before these three-dimensional printers will be able to replicate an entire gun," Israel said. "And that firearm will be able to be brought through this security line, through the metal detector, and because there will be no metal to be detected, firearms will be brought on planes without anyone's knowledge."

California Senator Dianne Feinstein says the NRA is trying to distract us from reality. More guns in schools wouldn't stop a shooter, since we know it didn't stop the Columbine killers:

Think Progress:
The NRA’s blanket call to arm our schools is really nothing more than a distraction. It’s a delay tactic,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said at a press conference Friday. “It’s a distraction from the availability of military style assault weapons…It is a distraction from the prevalence of large ammunition feeding devices that allow shooters to expel 20, 30, 60, 100 and even more bullets. And it’s a distraction from how easy it is to purchase weapons at gun shows, with no background checks at all.”
. . . She read from a police report on the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, detailing the unsuccessful attempts of two armed officers to derail one of the shooters, Eric Harris:
FEINSTEIN: Jefferson Country Sheriffs Deputy Neil Gardner, the school’s Community Resource Officer, seeing Harris walking with his gun, kneeled over the top of his car and fired four shots. He was 60 yards from the gunman. Harris spun hard to the right and Gardner momentarily thought he had hit him. Seconds later, Harris began shooting again at the Deputy. After the exchange of gunfire, Harris ran back into the building. Gardner was able to get on the police radio and call for assistance from another Sheriffs unit. ‘Shots in the building, I need someone in the south lot with me.’ Later, another officer shot back at Harris as the student shot out a window. Again, according to the Sheriffs transcript. Harris, leaning out of a broken window, on the set of double doors into the school began shooting a rifle. Jefferson County Deputy Paul Smoker fires three rounds at him and the gunman disappears from the window. Smoker continues to hear gunfire from inside the building as more students flee from the school.

And last night MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell called out NRA President Wayne LaPierre, who spoke just after the moment of silence for the victims in Newtown, Connecticut - great montage of yesterday's events at the beginning of this also:

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