Our beloved Brew.

Our beloved Brew.
R.I.P. Big guy.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The NRA Releases It's Christmas Fantasy Wishlist

The NRA is a manufacturers' lobby group not a defender of Second Amendment rights of the American people. If you are a member of NRA you are contributing to the funding of the agenda of manufacturers, not your right to own guns.

In response to the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the NRA's only recommendation is to place armed guards in schools. Of course, this is their recommendation. To a man with a hammer, every problem is a nail. Consider it just a coincidence that their solution would sell more guns. Oddly, they made no mention of the irresponsible conduct of the shooter's mother who left weapons available to her deranged son. She went so far as to teach him how to shoot. The NRA, in its press conference listed nearly every condition known to man which they claim contributed to this tragedy but did they lay any blame on guns and irresponsible gun owners? No, that didn't come up. Did the NRA mention the readily available assault style weapons or magazines/clips that carry multiple cartridges? No, that didn't come up. Did the NRA mention stricter gun registration procedures or a process for keeping guns out of the hands of individuals known to have severe mental health issues? No, that was missing, too. How about focusing on gun storage issues? No, they didn't cover that, either. Did they suggest either guns or ammo should be taxed higher? Not hardly.

Here are a couple of ideas I've seen elsewhere and really like, but the NRA will definitely not like: Every gun owner should be required to carry insurance based on their personal risk factors. We do it for car ownership, we do it home ownership, why not guns? The insurance industry has proven to be really good at calculating premiums for policyholders based on risk assessment. If you want to own a gun you should be responsible for any consequences including the future illegal use of it.

The public isn't allowed to own live hand grenades, bazookas, or Browning Automatic Rifles, so why is it okay to own firearms that were designed for military uses? We should have two classes of firearms: limited capacity handguns and hunting weapons for public use and all others weapons such as assault style guns should be restricted to military and law enforcement use.

If bringing down the NRA and its unholy control of Congress and society requires us to engage in a democratic battle and possible reinterpretation of the Second Amendment to clarify the real intent of that right, I'm all for it. Bring it on. Let's have a good, old-fashion, bare knuckle public examination of what is in the best interest of the people. The Founding Fathers didn't have any idea technology would advance the lethal and mass killing capabilities we have today. Own your gun if it's important to you but nothing gives you the right to own ANY weapon of your choosing. A video making the rounds on the Internet shows a bystander who thwarted a possible violent event when he turned his gun on two would-be criminals. Despite the old codgers wild west display of rampant shooting that might have just as easily harmed a bystander, I am not opposed to carry and conceal laws. If wearing a gun makes you feel more secure, be my guest. Misuse it, and face the harshest penalties we would impose on any criminal doing the same.

Years ago, a family member of mine legally carried a handgun. To avoid possibly injuring himself or someone else as a result of an unintended discharge while traveling in his car, he used to tuck the gun, barrel first into the space between seat cushions. One day, while driving to visit his girl friend, a trip he's made countless times, a fellow ahead of him slammed on his brakes at a stop sign, jumped out of his car and before my relative could react, pointed a pistol in his face, angrily demanding to know why he was being followed.

In that moment, my relative didn't know if he was about to be shot by a total stranger for a weird misunderstanding or if he could withdraw his gun fast enough from the seat cushions to defend himself. He chose to try to calm down the individual and explain he was not following the guy. The angry motorist withdrew and the incident was over. From that day on, my relative has not carried a weapon, but keeps his guns locked in a gun safe. In the moment of truth, he realized he was as likely to die with or without the gun he had previously carried for his own protection.

Manufacturers are probably downright giddy in light of recent developments. President Obama gets reelected (Buy your guns now before he bans them!) and the slaughter of innocents at the hands of a sick person and his mother. With gun sales soaring, what a festive time it must be in the homes of gun manufacturers this Holiday Season. Merry Christmas NRA.

The battle lines have been drawn and I am hopeful in the new year, the NRA will be recognized as Public Enemy #1. I for one, know where I stand. If they don't want to support effective, responsible and meaningful gun legislation, we the people can bring them down the way Big Tobacco was pared back. Gun owners, like smokers, will learn to respect the rights of others, limit their infringement on the space and health of others and pay an appropriate price to enjoy the choices they make to live life as they choose.