A Word From the NRA Chief

Like I said in previous posts, I am all for gun control. However, I do like to look at issues not just from my perspective, but from opposite perspectives as well. So if I’m all for gun control, then the oppposite would be all against gun control. That best perhaps fits Mr. David Keene, president of the National Rifle Association. Here is an op-ed by him on CNN:

NRA Chief: Why We Fight For Gun Rights

After President Lyndon Johnson signed the Gun Control Act of 1968, many anti-gun politicians looked forward to the day when they could completely ban the sale and ownership of firearms and perhaps even confiscate those already in private hands.

After the draconian legislation imposed restrictions on “dealing” firearms that resulted in the prosecution of countless innocent gun collectors, and recordkeeping on ammunition sales so useless that federal law enforcement agencies supported their repeal, Sen. Ted Kennedy wrote to the NRA to demand our support for a national gun licensing and registration system. A few years later, a Nixon administration advisory commission proposed that all side arms be outlawed and confiscated in about a decade.

The NRA was founded in 1871, but until the passage of the 1968 legislation had never been much involved in politics and didn’t even have a lobbying office. That changed as the men and women the organization represented demanded that the NRA step up to defend their rights in the frenzy of the late 1960s.

Within a few years, many of those who had so fervently believed that the public would welcome their sponsorship of “gun control” were defeated and before long Republicans and Democrats in Congress joined forces to pass the “Firearms Owners Protection Act” of 1986 that rolled back many of the restrictions adopted in 1968.

Since that time, the NRA has continued to devote more than 85% of its resources to its traditional mission of providing civilian firearms training, teaching firearms safety and working to introduce new generations of Americans to the shooting sports, but has taken on the added role of protector of the right of law-abiding Americans to own and enjoy firearms.

That role has become especially important as some, unfortunately, have sought to exploit December’s incomprehensible murders in Newtown, Connecticut, to impose further restrictions on honest people.

The organization’s political strength rests on the bipartisan and diverse make-up of its membership and of the millions of nonmember firearms owners who look to the NRA for leadership and their willingness to step up to the plate and the ballot box when their rights are threatened.

It is that second attribute of Second Amendment supporters that has surprised the president and his allies. The Obama administration has attempted to demonize the NRA and cow gun owners into accepting restrictions that they know won’t make anyone safer but which will interfere with a citizen’s ability to acquire, keep and rely on firearms to protect their families or participate in the shooting sports.

David Keene

David Keene, NRA Chief

But gun owners have been energized rather than cowed. They are presenting a truly united front as they rally to fight for their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Anyone who doubts this need only look at what happened in the literally bankrupt city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, last week. The organizers of the largest outdoor show in the country, the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, announced that they would not allow the display or presence of the firearms the president likes to demonize as assault weapons. Within days, more than 300 vendors withdrew in protest as the NRA and others urged Second Amendment supporters to boycott the event.

Soon after, show organizers announced it was beingpostponed indefinitely. This was the largest outdoor show in the country. It draws a huge crowd every year and according to local estimates, about $80 million won’t be arriving in the pockets and coffers of the pro-Bloomberg, anti-gun mayor of Harrisburg now.

As the battle over restricting Second Amendment rights continues, other elected officials under pressure from the Obama administration to ignore the feelings and deep beliefs of some of their constituents will learn a similar lesson.

Hundreds of self-proclaimed gun advocates didn’t believe Obama was anti-gun based on his first term and wrote the NRA saying we were using scare tactics to have our way: Now they know.

Second Amendment supporters are in no mood to give those who would deny them their rights a pass and will vote in the next election in the same united way they responded to the insult leveled at them by the organizers of the Harrisburg show.

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A Political Cartoon On Gun Control

Recently in the ongoing political news in Washington is the issue of gun control. Sparked by the Newtown tragedy, it is now gaining fire through President Obama taking advantage of this tragedy to push through gun legislation. Because of this, America is now divided into two factions: one for gun control and one against it. Here is a cartoon that is sort of representative of this situation.

First of all, let me make clear that I am all for gun control. Yet, I still like this anti-gun control cartoon, because it is true in certain cases.

What This Cartoon Got Right: Notice the last quote: “You shot him? We’ve got to do something about guns!” as opposed to the other situations, where the blame fell on the murderer himself. The fact that the cartoonist drew the same characters in the same positions but with just different weapons emphasizes this fact. And it is very true- I do think that society does place too much emphasis on the guns. I mean, I just go on the Yahoo! Politics Page and all it talks about is guns, guns, and guns. No mention of mental illness at all, at most rarely. What we need to understand is that mental illness is perhaps an even more important cause of shootings than the guns themselves. Those shooters are victims of mental illness themselves, so if we cure or treat mental illness, we can perhaps eliminate a large percentage of shootings from happening.

What  This Cartoon Got Wrong: I feel as if the cartoonist is saying that guns are just like knives, strings, and sticks; we should just let guns be what they were. Essentially, I interpret this cartoon as trying to tell me that the people who shoot are the only problems behind these shootings. That is definitely wrong. Although mental illness is a more important problem, guns still contribute to this shooting epidemic. The best solution to prevent these shootings from happening is to focus on guns and mental illness at the same time. This solution cannot be just a black-or-white solution, but rather a mixture. What Obama is doing right now is giving the guns more time, and what the conservatives are doing is opposing many gun restrictions. Both, in my opinion, are wrong; what should be happening is an equal amount of attention concentrated on mental illness and guns. I also think that the analogy between guns and knives/strings/sticks is an unfair analogy. Think about it: compare a maniac barging onto a school campus with a knife with a maniac barging onto campus with a semi-automatic gun. More than likely is the latter maniac going to kill more people. Knives are easy to fend against; all you need to do is just run away. Whereas with guns, running away won’t help because you can still get shot. Basically, guns cannot be compared to knives because guns definitely do cause more deaths. Think about World War 1 and 2- they were the first technological wars, and they sure resulted in a lot more deaths than previous wars fought with swords and no guns.

Well, guns or no guns, at least we are still working towards a solution on trying to prevent future shootings like the one in Newtown. There may be a lot of disagreements, but as long as we are moving in the right direction, then we can all hope for the best.

Connecticut Tragedy

It’s going to be the end of the world supposedly. But for 26 people, with 20 of them children, the end already came. This is the recent infamous Connecticut shootings, where a mentally ill 20-year-old named Adam Lanza murdered his mom and then drove to a nearby school to start a massacre. All this occurred in the town of Newtown, generally a quiet and peaceful place. Now, all its citizens are in shock, and trying to recuperate.

This of course made national headlines, being the 2nd worst school shooting. Throughout the past week, it was a time for mourning for Newtown citizens, and even President Obama came to comfort those who had lost someone. Below is a video of Obama making a statement about this shooting.

Notice that in the video, Obama said that we have to take action. To many people, it meant gun control. Apparently, many gun advocates were too embarrassed to talk about guns. All pro-gun senators but one came out to defend gun rights. The NRA (National Rifle Association) refused to comment. Contrary, gun control advocates were proud of speaking up. New York mayor Bloomberg even slammed Obama on not taking gun control as a serious priority. Perhaps the reason Obama doesn’t take gun control seriously is maybe because he fears the political damage the NRA could do. But hey, isn’t the NRA in its weak state due to the shooting?

Shooter Adam Lanza, who was mentally ill

Of course, however, still many people say it’s not about the guns, it’s about the people with the guns. And now, the issue of mental illness has come out of the sidelines. One should note a pattern in which all the previous mass shootings were caused by mentally ill people. Gun advocates say that if we could fix this problem, then this gun issue should be no big deal. The question is how do we fix this problem? Establishing a ton of psychiatrists in America is not going to help that much. I guess that this shooting is a wake-up call for America to start putting more emphasis on fixing mental illnesses. Usually, this issue is put off to the side because nobody likes to talk about it, but if we don’t do anything about this, than more shootings will be occurring.

Politicizing a tragedy is usually not a good thing, but in this case, it might be. Because by politicizing this, we can put more focus on the issues of gun control and mental illness, thereby preventing future tragedies like this. May God bless those children who died, and may God prevent any more children from dying like they did.