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Mythbusting the NRA: Current Events Don’t Fit Into NRA Dogma [OPINION]

Guns, Handguns
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It has been a bad week for the National Rifle Association. We get conspicuous silence from the NRA when the news can’t be easily fit into their mythmaking media machine.

Recent headlines aren’t doing them any favors.

Take the senseless murder of Australian Chris Lane for example; randomly picked and shot in the back from a passing car. Would he still be alive today if he had been carrying a gun, or if the sidewalks had been filled with armed bystanders?

Of course not; but had the three teenagers charged with the crime not had access to the rifle used in the killing, it seems pretty likely he would be.

An organization aimed at promoting responsible gun ownership would be leading the discussion about parental responsibility, the need for guns to be locked away from children, and fingerprint safety locks on the guns themselves.

However, the NRA isn’t an organization aimed at promoting responsible gun ownership. It is lobbying tool for gun manufacturers who care nothing about the social and personal consequences of their product and simply want to sell as many guns as possible.

Nothing in the Chris Lane case except for the fact that the “wannabe gang” of bored teens is half black, fits in with their “be afraid, be very afraid” gun sales pitch, so the NRA has nothing to contribute.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Remember that little nugget of “wisdom”? Well, Antionette Tuff had no gun when she talked Michael Brandon Hill into laying down his AK-47 and surrendering to the police.
If you have been following the story, it seems pretty clear that Hill didn’t intend to shoot children when he forced his way into the school, but instead to provoke a televised confrontation with the cops.

What isn’t at all clear is what Hill, who was off his medication, but on probation for threatening his brother’s life, was doing with an assault weapon and close to 500 rounds of ammunition in the first place.

Luckily, no one was hurt in this incident, but obviously things could have gone a whole lot worse had Tuff not been able to get through to Hill. The blame for the lack of universal background checks and the expiration of the assault weapons ban land squarely on the NRA’s cadre of Congressional Representatives, but there is more to this story than that.

Gun nuts will tell you that American citizens need to be armed to protect themselves from their own government becoming tyrannical.

Yes, most people who think that way are fairly out of touch with reality, but when they say such things most of them are not so far gone as to believe that they stand a chance against the US military. With tanks, smart bombs, and drones at the armed forces’ disposal, everyday citizens, no matter how many guns they have stockpiled, wouldn’t stand a chance.

What the crazies mean when they talk of being able to resist the government is being able to outgun law enforcement. Sound familiar? It is the same thing that Michael Brandon Hill was apparently trying to do.

This is no accident. All this 2nd Amendment thumping, “got to preserve our freedom” talk is code to turn distrust of authority into arms purchases.

Have you ever read the 3rd Amendment? It was written at the same time as the 2nd one, and is just about as useful today.

We don’t need to worry about being forced to quarter soldiers these days for the same reason we don’t need to call a militia to order whenever harm might arise. Unlike at the time those amendments were written, we have a standing army now, with their own barracks and weapons and everything.

Seriously folks, there is such a thing as historical context.

The best NRA news of the week though, is that they are doing the very thing that they spend so much effort scaring their membership into believing the government might do. The NRA doesn’t want the government to have a national gun registry, but they are doing everything they can to put one together themselves.

Apparently, the NRA has been buying the names and addresses of subscribers to gun magazines, the members of shooting clubs, and attendees of gun shows to put together a database of gun owners.

Such a list would of course be very useful in mobilizing political efforts, but oh so terribly frightening if ever fell into the hands of the government. Mind you, the NRA will sell the list of its own members to anyone who wants to do some marketing, so you can trust them, right?

Whatever it might have been or aimed to be in the past, today’s NRA is a sham designed to channel fear, racism and flat-out paranoid delusions into political victories for gun manufacturers.

Reasonable gun owners who support commonsense regulation need to take their membership dues elsewhere.

Previous: Chris Lane – Murder, Race and Reality

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John Gossom and do not reflect Results Radio, Townsquare Media, its sponsors or subsidiaries.

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