Winnie and Duck Explain the ‘NRA for Dummies’ Because the NRA Remains Clueless – Everyone Else Has Already Figured Them Out

When a person buys an assault weapon, legally or illegally, they’re buying it to USE it.  No one buys an automatic assault rifle without so much as the hint of a fantasy that they might get an opportunity to use that weapon to kill someone or something.  You don’t need an assault rifle to shoot deer or rabbits although it would increase your odds while leaving your meat not only “gamey” but full of shrapnel.  You don’t need to use an automatic weapon to do that, scatter shot does the very same thing.  It’s the “friendly” weapon of choice, ask Dick Cheney.

That said, there is nothing funny about the latest senseless mass murder and injury of innocent theater-goers in Aurora, Colorado.  Nor is there anything funny about the Columbine massacre or the horror of Gabby Giffords’ attempted assassination and the deaths of the people who came to hear her speak.  There’s nothing funny about Trayvon Martin.  There’s nothing funny about the body found riddled with bullets three blocks from the historic district here in Philadelphia where I live….  Or the 32 year old man shot dead for his iPhone six blocks in the opposite direction in the heart of Society Hill.  The horrific examples are without end….

What IS funny (but not in a “ha ha” kind of way) is how the National Rifle Association predictably circles the wagons every time the NRA’s own stupid, poorly thought out gun laws blow-up in society’s face.  I call those laws the “NRA’s laws” because that’s exactly what they are:  They’re the result of a massive influx of funding flowing from one of the most powerful lobbyist networks in the nation.  The data is irrefutable proving a home containing a gun, exponentially increases the chances of a gun-related death or suicide.  The statistics are all over the map but the one thing they all have in common is a clear indication that owning a gun puts you at a higher risk of death and does nothing whatsoever to insure your safety.  Now apply that thought to individuals unbalanced enough to seek out any variety of rapid firearms….  And you only have to reflect on recent history to realize the NRA is not merely “in the wrong” but dangerously and indefensibly so.

I saw a bumper sticker that read: “Real Men Fight With Their Fists” – and while I appreciate the incremental progress that phrase represents – I offer-up the notion that intelligent people resolve conflicts with carefully thought out words and the enforcement of laws.  That, of course, rules out the crazies, the inherently stupid and all of the backwoods mental cases hiding behind trees in America’s heartland.  I believe a retroactive gun law needs to be introduced that includes a 90 day waiting period and written proof of a full psychological work-up plus a certificate stating the prospective gun owner has concurrently completed 30 hours of professional supervised training.  Once the gun owner has completed this “driving” test, they can apply-for and presumably receive a gun-license recognized in the state of issuance for anything EXCEPT an assault weapon.  Furthermore, every time a crime or murder is committed using a firearm, if the police are able to determine the manufacturer of the weapon, that company should pay a mandatory minimum fine of $1,500 per incident which would be passed onto the consumer, substantially raising the retail price of guns.  That should be retroactive too now that I think about it.  The money collected can be used to help victims of gun violence and surviving orphans.

Gun shows have got to be outlawed and loopholes closed, sealed and the earth salted beneath them.  Offending merchants can spend quality time with their most hardened valued customers in state penitentiaries nationwide getting to know one another better.  And while you’re at it, stop prosecuting minor infractions like possession of marijuana so the prison system can make room for the genuine criminals: People who use and sell guns for wrongful purposes.  A person’s right to own a gun doesn’t trump an innocent individual’s right to live out the remainder of their natural lives without being left to die riddled with bullets.  There IS no morally acceptable opposing viewpoint.  End of story.

- Dissociated Press, 7/21/2012

13 thoughts on “Winnie and Duck Explain the ‘NRA for Dummies’ Because the NRA Remains Clueless – Everyone Else Has Already Figured Them Out

  1. On this one, Beihl, we are going to have to “agree to disagree”. Penalizing the gun manufacture because some moron misuses the tool they make is wrong. A gun is a tool no different than a crescent wrench. True, the use this tool is designed for is one that is hard for many to stomach. It requires a level head, calm, rational deliberation, and NOT heat of the moment passion. The person who uses a gun to take a life without cause is the one at fault, not the manufacturer of the tool he/she used to do it. Also with the records checking databases that are available a 90 day waiting period in ludicrous. That is just trying to penalize people because you do not believe in gun ownership. That is your choice, and I support it. However, I do NOT follow that same belief. I also am trained to do so properly, as is my wife. (proper and full training takes about a week, tops, couple hours a day).
    Yes, the right to bear arms does not trump a persons right to live. However the worst offender at that is our own military. Frankly, our military scares me more than George Zimmerman and his racial attack on Treyvon Martin.
    Reasonable, rational people can come up with a reasonable middle ground, where rational people who desire to own guns, and yes, that includes military grade weapons, can.
    Remember, the Second Amendment was written NOT so that we could have the National Guard, or to go hunting, or to defend ourselves from burglars, but so we could defend ourselves from our own government. And there is growing evidence that this may end up being necessary as more and more hateful rhetoric comes from the conservative side of the aisle, and is answered in near kind too often from the other side. I am sure that, GOP or Democrat win in November, there is going to be trouble, and our system does not include anything other than the Second Amendment to protect the average citizen.
    I agree that what happened in Aurora, Columbine, Tucson, Virginia Tech et al. were terrible. I also see that much of that was a failure of our laws, either by having no way to track outrageous like 6,000 rounds of ammunition and three guns in short order in Aurora, to the failure where a known mental deviant was allowed to get guns because of a failure in gun checks versus privacy laws in Tucson.
    The Bush Administration practically let the NRA write the laws, so the so-called Fast And Furious debacle happened, that has caused untold number of deaths in Mexico, and the death of one Border Patrol agent. But while the Cons are trying to paint it as a failed program of the Obama Administration, what it really was, was the failure caused by the DEA not being able to stop obvious illegal gun purchases without proof BEFORE THE PURCHASE that the buyer intended to give them to someone else (gun purchases require you to swear that you are buying them for yourself) In one case, a homeless, destitute man paid over $100,000 for guns only to immediately turn them over to a gun runner to take them to Mexico. BUT even though he had no means of legally having that kind of money, and gave the guns away, seconds later, right outside the gun shop, in full view of federal agents, they could do NOTHING because, legally, “he’d changed his mind”. And, even worse, they could not seize the guns from a Mexican national heading across the border with them, because they had no proof that he INTENDED to do anything illegal with them. Like someone running illegal guns to kill federal agents is going to advertize that they intend to commit murder with them.
    We need WORKABLE solutions, starting with getting the NRA money out of politics. We also need to have a database of all persons who have been shown to have mental issues that preclude the rational use of a weapon. This database needs to include anyone who has been convicted of any violent crime, even misdemeanors. And yes, the ridiculous drug laws need to be overhauled.
    So the knee-jerk ban guns, penalize owners and manufacturers post-traumatic event idea is too far one way, the NRA give everyone an assault rifle at birth idea is equally horrid. We need to do something Americans have a poor track record of lately – THINKING

    • My problem is that many poeple who are not liberals buy into the Obama worship.I don’t get this. When I listen to Obama speak, I feel…nothing. I’m not inspired, motivated, annoyed, offended,…anything. Ok, perhaps a little bored. For all his talk of hope, I don’t come away feeling all that hopeful. It’s as if he thinks that by simply mentioning hope often enough, that it automatically makes the speech inspiring. However, other speakers (e.g., Reagan, MLK, etc.), could make poeple feel hopeful without even mentioning the word “hope” at all.To me, he just sounds like another politician. Nothing to get excited about.

      • You’re entitled to your opinion, but I think you’re missing everything you need to know in favor of the propaganda you’ve bought into. Were Obama white, you’d love his words. You’re bored because you don’t comprehend what you’re hearing and you’re predisposed to dislike the messenger.

    • question: why do americans need guns/rifles?
      Question: if there there were no guns whatsoever in America, completely void of them, would incidents in Newport be avoided.? Would it be safer?

  2. Mark – If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s to WAY over demand when presenting a negotiation. I’ll stay with 90 days and 30 hours of training along with punishing companies that make useless death weapons. How else could there ever be wriggle room for compromise? the gun lobby isn’t familiar with the word “compromise,” so they should be clobbered with mind-boggling hurdles. Unrealistic as it is, morally I will never be convinced that anyone from criminals to all military forces to the average citizen really NEED to own guns. As a fairy, if I had a wand I’d “un-invent” them and lock them back-up in Pandora’s box.

  3. Bill, I agree in part with dragontech. I’m a gun owner and well trained in its use and I know the laws concerning under what circumstances I can use it. If this were a country where criminals on practically every corner didn’t possess a gun, I’d agree that not every needs a gun. But if someone breaks into my home and I can shoot them before they harm me or my family, why shouldn’t I have one, rather than be a sitting duck? I do agree, though, that our laws are so lax as to be laughable, if it weren’t so tragic. I don’t think ANYONE should have a gun without FIRST taking a gun safety class, a class on the law (even security officers I worked with were idiots who did not know the laws), and they have to qualify their gun, at least initially, to prove they even know how to handle and shoot it. They should also be required to show proficiency in breaking down their gun and cleaning it. The background check is a joke and at this time there is no way a gun seller can find out your mental health history. The information is not there for them to find. I also agree that gun shows need to be shut down. There are too many unscrupulous people at these shows who will do whatever they can to get around the gun laws. Also, in the case of the Aurora shooting, there were so many red flags that it makes my blood boil. This guy bought thousands of rounds of ammo (red flag), bought a lot of tactical gear online (huge red flag), and an assault rifle, along with other guns at different places and times, but within a couple of months. We need a national data base that tracks a person’s purchases of guns to see how many and what type they’re buying, and the time frame. If they’re buying an exceptional amount of ammo and/or tactical gear and are not part of law enforcement, they need to be checked out immediately. It appears this guy also got tear gas. The average Joe Blow citizen isn’t going to buy tear gas for daily use. Had we had a system in place to track these kinds of purchases and then to act on them, the Aurora tragedy likely would not have happened. I think we need much tighter laws on owning guns in this country. If you’re using it for sport shooting, prove it. If you’re a hunter, fine, but you don’t need 20 different rifles to hunt. If you want a handgun for protection, fine, but in all cases you have to show you’re not an idiot and go through training with your weapon and learn the laws. We go through more to get a driver’s license than we do to get a gun. I have a gun and I took it upon myself to learn all I could, even managed to get my boss when I was a truancy officer to get us more training because I was shocked that the people I worked with who carried a gun for 20 years had no friggin’ idea what the laws were…some weren’t even very good at the target range (70 is a passing grade). I score consistently in the high 90’s, with 94 being my lowest score ever. I know my gun, I know how to break it down and clean it, I know not to pull it out unless I strongly believe I may need to use it (which I’ve done only once and never showed it, just kept it close but never brandished it or made threats with it.) We can’t solve our problems 100%, but we sure as hell can tighten the laws, have a data base where we can flag purchases, and then follow up on those that are concerning. And I also agree that we need to just make drugs legal…I’m not too keen on the chemically made ones, but natural drugs like marijuana shouldn’t be illegal…and I might add, does a lot more good for people with mental health issues than big pharma drugs. And I’m one who has no desire to use any drugs. Our priorities in this country are so screwed up it’s scary.

    So, Bill, I do understand where you’re coming from and I understand the anger and frustration. But like I stated previously, as long as there are so many guns in the hands of criminals (who often are back on the streets over and over again after violent offenses) I want to be able to protect myself rather than wait to be killed because someone said I shouldn’t have a gun. The difference between me and many others is I have a cool head about it and I know the consequences of stepping over the line. We’ve got to get the NRA out of politics once and for all, too. I personally think they get giddy when horrendous things like the tragedy in Aurora happen. They love violence.

    • Where I live asking sonomee if they own a gun would get a “yes” about as often as asking them if they owned a car. The truth that when secnds count the police are ony minutes away is quite obviouis in rural America.I bought my first pistol a few weeks ago, primarily for home protection and to carry on walks and bicycle rides. You never know what kind of animals my pop out of the woods. Bears and mountain lions have been reported in my county. I’ve seen a bobcat on my back porch and in my front yard. Plus a wild dog or coyote is always a possibilty.As for doctors, my doctor made enough mistakes in my treatment for me to go elsewhere. Simple stuff like incorrectly running glucose test and such. We could save a lot of lives if doctors policed themselves better.I think I’ll use Trey’s response if asked. I keep my gun unloaded but the clip and gun within reach of each other.

  4. You both make good points, but people, even those who are well trained, aren’t necessarily trained to react well in panic situations. Fear and panic all too often result in the weapon intended to protect the honest citizen all too often backfire – pun intended. For example: A late aunt of mine kept a gun in her store. She was trained on how to use it. When the store was robbed she fumbled to get the gun, the assailant (previously unarmed) managed to wrestle it out of her hands and she was lucky to only be cold-cocked by the weapon. Then there was one more illegal gun on the streets.

    Another friend I know kept a gun in his apartment. When his apartment was robbed while he was out, the gun was stolen (jimmied out of a locked drawer) and taken along with all his other valuables. That gun was later used to kill someone in a street shooting. I believe we frequently bring-on our own worst fears by playing to them. Then again, I have an odd philosophy wherein I’d prefer to be killed than kill – even in self defense. That is my personal philosophy. I’m not advocating the repeal of the 2nd Amendment – but as we all agree – stronger gun laws need to be stridently enforced. I was appalled that the shooter was able to acquire so much ammo online along with so many suspicious purchases…. And NO alarms went off alerting authorities.

    • ” I’m not advocating the repeal of the 2nd Amendment – but as we all agree – stronger gun laws need to be stridently enforced. I was appalled that the shooter was able to acquire so much ammo online along with so many suspicious purchases…. And NO alarms went off alerting authorities.”

      This is probably the most reasonable statement made by all of us here so far. The Second Amendment is well written and still stands as the last line in the sand against our own government. BUT, that same government MUST work to ensure that the weapons industry is better tracked. You can track and see what happened with your car from the day it left the factory. We can track a cow (that turned out to have mad-cow) from “cradle to grave” after the fact. We should be able to tie online credit card purchases of vast quantities of ammo and tactical protective gear, and have it tie to in-store purchases of firearms and have alarm bells going off SOMEWHERE. We don’t enforce the laws we have, and even they are too lax, especially in the realm of tracking who has shown mental instability, in a firearms background check.

      Bill, maybe I am closer to our animal ancestors, I don’t know, but the old “kill or be killed” instinct is still alive and strong in me. I would rather, to paraphrase George Patton “make the other SOB die” rather than die for my country, or principles. Yes, I’d die for my principles, but I think it furthers them more to have the assailant die for theirs. I appreciate peace and not causing harm. Is it not better that one who will not WILLINGLY cause harm to another lives and one who relishes harming perish? I am no “Dark Knight” out to find the evil doer and deal with them, nor am I willing to let the evil doer to evil to me. Like Trish Harmon, I am rational, unlike far too many who the ATF feels are fit to own a weapon.
      WE must take it into our hands to work to force our government to resist the blood money of the NRA and enact LOGICAL, reasonable gun legislation. But by the same token, that is logical, reasonable legislation, not panic anti-gun over-reach.There is a broad path between these extremes. I am sure rational people can find a sane path through it.

    • I would no more tell my doctor if I owned friraems than I would tell the local busybody bureaucrats if I owned 6 pit bulls! Such omissions can have consequences. Like a visit from an armed government team of one sort or another. What worries me about the dismissive tone of the linked post towards those who worry about invasive questions from physicians is that they have too much power, and it is growing — thanks to insurance companies. Hence the above comment:He did apologize, but claimed that he was required to ask by the insurance companies.We are fast approaching a point where lying to a doctor is insurance fraud if it isn’t already. Insurance fraud is a crime. And when a doctor is required to ask, how far is that from the patient being required to answer? When doctors have that kind of power, the only redress people have is with legislation. So I am not inclined to dismiss out of hand the concerns of people who feel they need a law. They may!

  5. It all boils down to reinstating the assault weapons ban and tracking and retrieving what’s out there illegally. No one needs an assault weapon. There’s no justification for it.

    • One would hope that Obama’s proposal rrefes to cases of obvious neglect. A gun owner is responsible for securing his or her weapon. To me, that means when you’re around it’s under your control and when you’re not around it’s locked up where nobody can get it. Guess it depends on how Obama would define “securely stored.” Unfortunately, I have to agree that in gun control parlance, “securely stored” probably means “always locked up where nobody can get it, including the owner.”I’m also wondering how many firearms used in crimes are actually burglarized from private homes, stolen from cars, or (the liberals’ favorite scenario) taken from their “overpowered” owners during self-defense situations. Anybody have statistics?

      • I don’t have those gun theft statistics, but I’m aware of two such incidents among people I know. One was a gun acquired when a friend’s home was robbed, the other was an elderly woman who was over-powered and her gun taken from her. She was lucky not to be killed. Curious how countries with tougher gun laws have fewer incidents of intentional and unintentional homicides. Americans just love to shoot each other. Stupidity is their birth right.

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