Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The NRA’s $23 Plan to Determine the Presidency

Why The National Rifle Association’s Plan to Oust Obama is So Crazy, It Might Just Work

If there are less firearms, will there be less crime as a result? The answer is pretty obvious - of course there would be less crime, the same way there would be less traffic accidents if there were less cars on the road. Granted, this isn’t saying that gun control is directly effective as a deterrent to crime, but it’s a mathematically indisputable notion. Less food, less obesity, and less guns, less gun violence.

Before we go any further, I’d like to make several things very clear. I don’t want to “ban” firearms. Even if I did, I don’t have legislative powers to do so, and I certainly don’t have the financial backing to lobby for it anyway. If people want to stock pile guns - for whatever reason they deem fit - that’s perfectly acceptable to me. The only problem I have with the highly political gun owners is their belief that, somehow, a citizenry with heavier fire power somehow becomes a safer one…a presumption that has been statistically shot in the face time and time and time again.

This may come as a surprise to most people, but American citizens, as individuals, didn’t gain the official, Constitutionally-protected right to own firearms until just two years ago. The Supreme Court case McDonald  v. Chicago explicitly determined that individuals held the right to gun ownership via the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Of course, that doesn’t mean that one’s rights to firearm possession is completely unlimited - as the ruling didn’t overrule a number of pre-existing federal gun laws on the books, including the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act - but the legal framework is all but indisputable: in the U.S. of A, you’re going to be able to keep your guns, and nobody’s going to be able to take them away from you.

The reality is that - much more than in any other Western nation - United States gun laws are incredibly lax, and since organizations like the National Rifle Association have so much clout with legislators, it’s almost impossible to imagine any sweeping changes to the nation’s federal firearm laws transpiring anytime soon. The belief that gun owners are “under assault” by special interests groups seems pretty asinine - especially considering the massive discrepancies in 2012 PAC expenditures for the Brady Campaign and the NRA.

I’m not really sure how many ways I can emphasize the point here: pro-gun advocates have more congressional power and financial clout than gun-control advocates, and as a result, pro-gun advocates set the national dialogue on gun control policies. In other words, a majority of the “Our Second Amendment Rights are imperiled” rhetoric you’re hearing these days is, ultimately, just another example of the empowered pretending to be victimized for political gain.

On July 30, 2012 - just 10 days after the Aurora shootings and about a week before the Oak Creek massacre - Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legal Action, mailed out a flier to, presumably, the 4 million plus members of the nation’s largest pro-gun advocacy group. And if I didn’t know any better, I’d think these NRA people really, really don’t like the President.

“Right now, we have a president in the White House who thinks you and I are second-class citizens because we ‘cling to guns or religion,’” Cox states in the four paged mailer. He goes on to say that members of the NRA need to rise up - as voters - to counteract Obama’s “billion dollar war chest and fawning coverage from the mainstream media.” At one point in the letter, Cox claims that Obama’s presidency has been one “rooted in suffocating our liberty and giving the government more and more control over our daily lives.”

Personally, I find Cox’s assertions that gun-owners and religious folks could EVER be construed as marginalized people in the U.S. to be, well, pretty dadgum stupid, honestly. According to a 2011 Gallup poll, 47 percent of American households own guns, which means there are officially more homes in the U.S. with firearms than there are children. Hell, that’s even a higher overall percentage than the number of Americans that believe in creationism, for that matter.

But Cox’s spiel gets better, I assure you. “We have a President in the White House who, through his U.N ambassador, has invited countries like North Korea, Zimbabwe and the Sudan to help decide firearm policy here in America through a binding, international gun-control treaty.”

In case you’re wondering what the hell this Cox fellow is talking about, it’s a reference to a late July meeting regarding an international UN treaty that would have given UN troops the ability to yank away unlicensed, unregulated weaponry (and, it fell through, by the way.)

Cox’s assertion is just mildly irrational, seeing as how nations like Zimbabwe, North Korea and the Sudan are present at EVERY freaking UN treaty discussion, and the U.S. has a pretty impressive track record of not giving one shit what the UN thinks about anything. Even had the treaty passed, there’s no way it would’ve overridden U.S. laws and domestic politicking. Remember, the U.N. couldn’t stop us from invading Iraq based on manufactured evidence, so good luck getting a national legislators to abide by a mandate intended to curb violence in places like the Congo and Myanmar.

My favorite Cox quote, by far, is his claim that Obama is the “most anti-freedom President in American history.” You know, less pro-freedom than Abe Lincoln, who suspended habeas corpus. Or FDR, who sent Japanese-Americans into internment camps, just because he could. Or how about Lyndon Johnson, who with congressional consent, made up a reason for us to invade Vietnam. And then, there’s Andrew Jackson…I don’t know about you, but any executive-level politician that gives the A-OK for mass genocide seems pretty “anti-freedom” to me.

“I need you to understand that your NRA-ILA is fighting for freedom on more fronts this year than ever before,” Cox’s little love-letter continues. “We’re fighting to defeat 50 anti-gun bills across 14 state legislatures. We’re actively defending your gun rights in multiple courtrooms nationwide.”

Oddly enough, one of those very battlegrounds is in Hendersonville, Tenn., where Cox has declared fatwa on state representative contender Debra Maggart - which is quite peculiar, because not only is Maggart a Republican, she’s a member of the NRA itself. If you’re curious, the NRA is miffed it Maggart because she opposes a bill that would allow individuals to maintain firearms in their cars on business properties - even though the Second Amendment only applies to governmental restrictions and NOT restrictions in place by private organizations and property owners. So for all of you “concealed weapons carry” folks that think you have a guaranteed right to lug semi-automatic weaponry into Burger King…think again, muchahos.

Perhaps you’re wondering what Mr. Cox’s intent with the letter was, precisely. Well, to summarize - he wants your dough. The recently mailed spiel urges NRA members to donate at least $23 per person to the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm, as part of some grandiose strategy to derail the Obama campaign this November. Cox says the organization needs to collect at least $1 million…even though the math works out to about $98.9 MILLION if you presuppose that all 4.3 million NRA members send Cox $23 a piece.

I’m not quite sure if the NRA is going to be able to raise almost $100 million to kick into Mitt Romney’s campaign this fall, but there’s NO denying that the NRA is going to have some major, major clout heading into this year’s election. Is there an outside chance that the 4.3 million NRA voters could be THE pivotal mechanism that swings the election in favor of the GOP?

Not to be a soothsayer or anything, but I’m already getting flashbacks of when the evangelical base swung the presidency in favor of Bush’s re-election eight years ago. And  just remember, kids: these days, more Americans believe in Smith & Wesson than they do the Book of Genesis…


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