STAYING SAFE ACCORDING TO THE NRA

What a shock! The best that our government could offer to Parkland were … you guessed it … thoughts and prayers and of course “it’s too soon to make decisions when we’re still trying to figure out what happened.”

We know what happened. We always know what happened.

2018 mass shooting in the U.S. — and it is only the middle of February

How many answers do you need? A school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead and another 14 wounded in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday. To no ones surprise, he used a military-style AR-15 semi-automatic machine gun. We don’t call them machine guns anymore. We have fancier names, but that’s what they are. Of course, rather than examine the gun issue, the spotlight is on Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who admitted the shooting.

It was interesting watching Wolf Blitzer try everything to pin Florida’s slippery governor to agreeing that in a state where an 18-year-old can’t buy a legal beer or a handgun, he can buy an AR-15. If you have a really dark sense of humor, you could enjoy the wriggling of the governor trying to find any possible way to say he was going to protect the kids, but not get rid of  the law that allows a troubled 18-year old to buy an AR-15. Because, well, y’know, there’s a second amendment. Moreover, we wouldn’t want to upset gun manufacturers or the NRA. They donate lots of money to politicians and money talks. In fact, ONLY money talks.

A rack of weapons of the same general type as the AR-15 rifle that the Broward Sheriff’s Office said was used in Wednesday’s mass shooting. Sue Ogrocki AP

It doesn’t matter how many kids get killed every year. Or how many adults and toddlers. The real, key issue is that gun manufacturers need to have the right to sell guns to everyone, mentally ill or nominally sane and the younger, the better.

And even though I would love to lay all the blame on our current administration, this problem has been with us a very long time. No president or congress in my lifetime has been willing to brace the NRA or give up all that money the NRA gives to candidates.  The Republicans are even worse having managed to eliminate what few laws we had and then acting like these killings are some kind of mystery. Like we don’t know that the AR-15 is the weapon of choice for those who prefer killing many people quickly.

And here we are. Again.

In Florida, almost any adult can buy a rifle so long as he or she is not a convicted felon — or unless he or she has a medical marijuana card. Because as we all know, marijuana is the drug of mass violence and overeating on chocolate cookies.

Most guns used in mass shootings across the United States were legally obtained — sometimes by the shooter, or from a family member who had  a gun permit. You should know that all of the deadliest mass shootings in this country involved an AR-15 or similar weapon. ALL of them. Every single one.

Don’t worry. The NRA is safe!

It is very difficult for me to find anything amusing about this, or find any way to excuse anyone for failing to change the laws to protect lives. Every other “first world” country has banned guns and they have as a result a hugely reduced rate of gun violence. No matter what nonsense the gun lobby spouts, the reality is incredibly simple. Limit the purchase and use of guns and gun violence goes away too.

But of course, it won’t happen. It has never happened. It doesn’t matter how many kids we slaughter. We will keep selling as many guns as the market will bear until we are all mentally and emotionally completely numb. Beyond anger and mentally dead.

I’m pretty close to that already.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

46 thoughts on “STAYING SAFE ACCORDING TO THE NRA”

  1. Gov. Rick Scott has learned well the fine art of waffling.., never answering the question posed to him directly. He’s a good republican scared to speak out for fear of being the subject of one of Trump’s Rants. These GOP guys need to grow a pair.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The democrats didn’t do all that much either. That money pays off democrats too. At least Clinton tried. Obama talked about it, but didn’t actually do anything much. Everyone likes that money far too much. ALL our pols need to grow a pair.

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    2. Ben, we watched Wolf Blitzer doggedly interview Gov. Scott who blatantly refused to answer the “what can we do now” and “Are you beholden to the NRA” questions. It was so damn obvious.

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  2. I could say a lot of things about this (and have before) but very few are in any way positive.

    It is also not surprising to hear the apologists say once again that ‘Now is not the time to talk about gun laws’ – just like it wasn’t just after October 1 last year and because you didn’t then this has happened now, along with the other 29 events this year and the 348 last year.

    If not now, exactly WHEN WILL be the time to fix this crap? How many more American lives will be lost to Americans with ‘legal’ assault weapons?? How many is ‘acceptable’ and how many too much for it to be ‘worth’ it?

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    1. There will, as far as I can tell, NEVER be a time to fix it … not as long you you can buy and sell American pols cash. It is very much like England was — 150 years ago. They fixed it — more or less — and we have to fix it — more or less. No political system is pure or perfect, but I don’t think it would be hard to make it better than it is now.

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    2. The gun lobby is a big one, a rich one and the money flows like a river from it to those politicians who are wishy-washy (most) about giving an opinion that goes against constituents and party policy. I’ve come to the conclusion that the time for this has been and gone.., maybe 100years ago. It’s tricky because there are extremely responsible gun owners who far outnumber the one or two that commit a major crime. But all we need is ONE to bring the problem to light.., and we’ve had MANY. Why is it so easy for our legislators to sweep these incidents under the rug? How bad does it need to be before we take action.., complete anarchy?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That money pays everyone who wants it … and the more money they dish out, the more powerful they get. It corrupts everyone who touches it, regardless of party. Our whole system of making elections all about money corrupts everything.

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      2. Why is it so easy? Because it’s easier to do nothing but give lip service to their constituents than to get all of congress to agree to ignore the NRA!

        But to be ‘fair’ You touched on the real reason – by far the greatest number of citizens who vote and own guns are of no real danger to life and liberty ( until the day they finally crack and go rogue – and it could happen to anyone, anytime with little to no warning – which is why the US should do something about the love affair with your automatic weapons) and so there will always be resistance to the idea of restricting gun ownership. It’s too ingrained in the national psyche – and there is way too much money for manufacturers to lose.

        I think the best hope is to try and counter the factors than make people want to take their anger and frustration out by killing innocent bystanders. By giving all of us better tools to get rid of such disregard for the lives of others and respect all human life.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t hit “like”. I watch massacre after massacre in the US, in growing horror and sadness and confusion. In my little corner of the world where even the cops don’t routinely carry guns, it seems inconceivable that there can be a “right to bear arms.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No one wants to talk about it any more. We all know nothing will change. I felt I had to say something, but it is a shame and a horror. We are so deep in the pockets of the gun manufacturers and the NRA, we will keep letting people — CHILDREN — die rather than give up the cash.

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  4. Excellent piece. Perhaps the time has come for other major political donors to stop giving cash to candidates who accept NRA money. But it’s more than just a money issue as you point out: ” We will keep selling as many guns as the market will bear”. There exists a culture of guns that has grown exponentially and is even more difficult to harness with the existence of the Second Amendment.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. yep, yep. And the best our POTUS can do is pray for the living and mourn the dead. And he promises to make a royal visit to the scene to tsk tsk over it and look sad. Really really impressive.

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    1. But to be fair, this is pretty much what 90% of them have done through the years. Clinton made a serious try at fixing this and he almost did it, but his own party — everyone takes NRA money — couldn’t pass the bill either. Shame on us.

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  6. The politicians are following a carefully scripted plot worked out over decades of gun violence. One side says it’s a mental health issue and then do nothing (too big a problem so no money goes into fixing it) and the other side says it’s a gun control issue and then do nothing (no laws are ever passed to change them) and Americans are caught in the crossfire. Politicians that accept money from the NRA and the other gun-centric lobbyists have the blood of our children on their hands. They will wait us out and we will give up and then the cycle repeats itself. A well-crafted script and a movie we’re destined to see over and over again.

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    1. I would like to say it’s just a republican issue, but sadly, it’s not. The NRA money gets spread around and although it is kind of a 60-40 GOP-Dem thing, there are way too many people taking the money. Yes, there’s a lot of blood on ALL their hands and it is hard for me to stomach the people who keep finding reasons to never fix the problem. It makes me ill.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Having “enjoyed” “our” “president’s” comments on this sad story, I have decided to retire into a black bag for the duration. I blasted him on his twitter page and hung up my gloves. I’m pretty sick of this world right now. There is NO reason “never to fix the problem” particularly as it CAN be fixed.

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    1. I know what you mean. I think a lot of people feel that way. There’s more disgust and shame than indignation. Everyone knows that nothing will be done and the slaughter will go on. And apparently, there’s nothing we can do about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope. It’s like dog poop frozen to the ground, buried in snow, the snow melts, reveals the poop, but it has formed a chemical bond with the frozen dirt below and that’s it until a miracle happens.

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  8. Passing more laws on gun control will not stop the violence. Those intent on killing will ignore new laws just as they are ignoring the ones already in place. Our society practically worships violence and we pass that on to our kids with video games, TV, and movies. I could go on and on about the causes, destruction of the family, fatherless homes, etc. But, since I have no answers for how to instill in our youth the value of human life or simple morality, I think we must face facts. Schools are no longer safe. Burying our heads in the sand will not help. Passing a thousand more laws will not help. We must place armed, trained personnel in our schools (retired law enforcement and/or military veterans), and warn those that enter that if they try to harm the students or faculty, they will be met with deadly force and their actions stopped. At this point, how do we have another choice? How do we look at another coffin and not say “enough”?

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    1. Excuse me — but do you know of ANY MASS SLAUGHTER DONE WITHOUT A GUN? ANY? Anywhere? Ever?

      You can say what you like and gun people always say the same old crap, but every single country that has controlled guns has seen a HUGE drop in gun-related violence. You can argue the point until you are blue in the face, but every statistic argues to the contrary.

      You want to have a gun for hunting? Fine. But does that mean every mentally unsound teenager — too young to get a legal beer, mind you — should ALSO be able to buy one?

      Shame on you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually,, yes. Starting with the Holocaust and ending with 911. But, I digress. My point is simply this… anyone who is intent on killing will find a way to obtain the weapons to do so. They will buy from a criminal who will supply them with illegal weapons and they won’t ask questions. My brother, who is a national champion in many areas of shooting, owns an AK47. The difference is, he is not going to use that gun to kill people. He collects guns and has used them competitions. We can argue for tighter gun laws. We can ban automatic and semi automatic weapons. Criminals will NOT CARE, nor will they obey the laws now in place. And when has laws against buying alcohol ever stopped a teen from getting their hands on some if they wanted it? The simple fact is that we have taught our youth that killing is cool and acceptable on TV, movies, and video games. Just as the military uses video to help train our fighters to kill, we have used these venues to babysit our kids and then expect them to hold life sacred. Since this is not going to happen, we must protect our kids. We must do as Israel does – their teachers are armed. No school shootings. I do not claim to have all the answers, but I know we must take drastic steps to protect the innocent and passing more laws won’t do it.

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        1. That may be true, but that’s really not the point, is it. The point is to make it impossible for every nutcase to get an AR-15. THAT is the point. If they find a knife or a bat or whatever, they aren’t going to mow down a whole schoolroom before they finish the clip.

          WE DO NOT NEED MACHINE GUNS. You don’t need them for hunting. You sure as HELL don’t need them for sports of any kind.

          I lived in Israel for 9 years. The teachers are NOT ARMED and never were. That’s an American myth.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Automatics are already banned. Any fool can take a semi-automatic and turn into an automatic. So we ban both. That is ok with me. While I grew up with guns, I don’t like them, don’t own one. I believe in BIG dogs. lol But, back to the point. We can most certainly ban them. But, how do you stop their ownership by people who are criminals? Just as in drugs. We have fought a war on them for many years. Do you see any real advances on that front? I really do not have a problem with banning auto & semi auto. I just know that it will not stop the insane young man from obtaining one and blowing the hell out of another bunch of innocents. We need to be realists and stop them at the doors. Blow their little sicko butts straight to hell before they can use their weapons. Laws, talks will not stop the insanity. So, we do agree in principal. No one needs an automatic or semi-automatic to hunt. My brother has a huge gun safe – and I mean a real safe. He is responsible. He would never shoot anyone unless they invaded his home…then heaven help them. Banning the weapons would stop him from owning one, but it would not stop the criminal…that is all I am saying.

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            1. Let’s start somewhere. Let’s start with tightening the restrictions on letting everyone buy weapons they don’t need and we definitely don’t need them to have. You’ve got to start somewhere or the slaughter goes on forever.

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          2. The AR-15 is only ONE of a wide variety of weapons, both domestic and foreign. It gains its notoriety due to its close cousin, the M16, being the military weapon of choice based on it. Banning these weapons will not stop questionable people from obtaining suitable models capable of carrying out mass killing. The big difference between the M16 and AR15 is that the M16 is fully automatic (machine gun) whereas the AR15 is semi-auto and will fire only every time you pull the trigger. The rub is that the AR15 can easily be converted to full-auto. So people buy these things and convert them, most for the fun of it.., then there are those individuals pursuing more sinister use. Our banning laws get bogged down in the technicalities.

            Unfortunately, banning is not the answer as the only way we will solve this problem is with a total re-make of our social attitude, which, IMO, ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. When we were in school our worst fear was the principal’s office or getting kicked out. But let us not forget those vicious water pistols carried by the school toughs. Yeah, getting wet was not cool and getting dead was not even on the list.

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            1. Every country that has banned these weapons has seen a huge reduction in violence by guns. I don’t care what name the gun has — no one needs one who isn’t in the military. You have to start somewhere.

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              1. You miss my point. I mention the AR15 only because we are most familiar with it and it comes up more often than any other, but it’s a complicated path based on the history of this country. We could as easily talk about the Russian AK47 or any of the sophisticated German, Belgian, Dutch, French, Italian or Brazillian weapons any, and all, of which are available here in the US. My brother was a cop and a collector so I got an education back when he was alive. We are bathed in a culture based on the possibly mistaken impression that we are entitled to keep weapons by a questionably interpreted amendment right. Slogans such as “Guns don’t kill people, People kill people” runs ramped thru our society as a justification for ownership. The AR15 is not full-auto, the M16 is and is put in a different classification.., a banned classification.Therein lies the technical complication and from my former comments, lies the social problem. It would be simple if one party was for gun control and the other not, but truth be told both Republicans and Democrats are deathly afraid to broach this subject as it involves MILLIONS of normal citizens, not bent on murder, who are gun owners, and, who happen to be their constituents. Also, what do we do with the many millions of guns already owned? My point is that, unfortunately, there is no simple solution, no matter what other countries have done.

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                1. Congress just made it legal to use the thing to make the AR-15 automatic. Not to worry. Everyone has been doing it anyway, but now it’s legal. Did you hear? They are making silencers legal too. I KNOW not all gun owners are murderers, but NO one needs a machine gun to shoot a deer. The only use for those guns is to slaughter a lot of people.

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                  1. You’ll get no argument from me. It’s horrible, So now criminals who were obtaining these things anyway can now do it without question. Silencers? Bad dudes make those things from pieces of pipe.

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  9. It’s awful that I don’t even feel shocked when I read these stories any more. I just think “Oh no, not another one.”. Saying “Now is not the time.” is just plain stupid. This massacre is no different from any of the other mass shootings that have occurred over the past few decades. What’s to learn?
    I still don’t see why any private citizen needs to own a machine gun. I personally don’t like the idea of citizens keeping hand guns in their homes for self defence either but leaving that aside you don’t need a machine gun to protect your home, hunting with one seems unfair to the animal and must render them impossible to eat which to my mind is the only good reason to hunt anyway.So what reason could anyone possibly have for wanting one except to kill a lot of people efficiently.
    Of course we still have mass shootings in Australia even now that we have better gun laws. It doesn’t fix everything but I do believe it makes a difference and most people seem to understand why the laws are necessary.

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    1. Eventually, we will all be mentally numb. It’s so freaking STUPID too. The gun companies are all losing customers anyway because as it turns out, they aren’t continuing to sell guns at the rate they were. I suppose even gun nuts eventually have enough. Have you ever seen how EXPENSIVE these guns are? A lot of the crazies who buy them are not even middle class, much less rich … and they have a HOUSE full of guns. They may not have enough food on the table, but by golly, they can kill. It is really stupid.

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      1. I actually have no idea how much guns cost. I assume they are not cheap especially these mass murder type machine guns. They seem to be so accessible, how do people afford them? Probably as you say by not buying food or anything else that makes life worthwhile.

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    2. Sadly, many of us have adjusted to, maybe even accepted, the fact of these horrible incidents being now a fact of life. There are as many arguments as there are gun owners. Here is a couple of popular ones 1. Criminals will get hold of guns regardless of laws. 2. Criminals, especially home invaders, are hoping that gun laws DO go into effect, it means they can now invade homes with little fear of the occupants shooting back. Hunting for sport is deplorable, hunting to eat is almost a normal fact of nature. It’s just that humans, in civilized societies, should have little need to hunt. For many, a machine gun is just another gadget to play with. I’m not condoning ownership, but most of those owners are not bent on the destruction of human beings. Finally: owning a machine gun, legally, is complicated requiring an extensive registration procedure. So why can’t it be as extensive for less devasting firearms.., I don’t know, but it seems a similar process could go a long way to curbing firearms getting into the wrong hands.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Make it exactly like registering and driving a car. Tests, licence, purchase, registration, insurance. JUST LIKE CARS. I don’t hear anyone complaining that’s too complicated, so why should guns be MORE complicated?

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        1. It just is. Look deep into our societal mindset. I agree that it shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Those that want these things for fun and games, only, don’t seem to have a problem with the registration process. They’re not afraid of the government knowing who and where they are.

          While cars can be lethal and have, sometimes, been used that way.., we don’t think of them in the same way.

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          1. No, because from the beginning, pretty much as soon as there were paved roads, cars required licenses and registration. Even when there were only a few of them on the road. Wyatt Earp would approve.

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            1. A gun, any gun.., is not a car. Guns have been around far longer in a “No License” condition. Cars also were driven for a while with no license required. It’s when the roads got crowded and folks couldn’t seem to control their vehicles that laws were passed. Guns, on the other hand, were only licensed in denser populated areas. People living in rural, or wilderness conditions, where police were not around enough to answer a call for help, kept guns as a means of protection and for practical purposes like hunting for food. You can say it all you want to, but it’s still not as simple as you try and make it.., and not anywhere near “exactly like car registration.”

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