GUEST POST BY BOB SCHNEIDER – I OWN A GUN…
I OWN A GUN AND THE NRA DOESN’T REPRESENT ME
By Bob Schneider
Glock, Pixabay Images
I own a gun. I own a Glock G30S, and I own it for personal protection. I receive many threats because I’m frank in stating my political opinions. Some say I’m more than frank. They would characterize me as harsh and abrasive.
Whether my style is frank, or harsh, I’ve collected my fair share of haters. Some have threatened me with harm. Are they just keyboard warriors shoot off their mouths? I don’t know if they are or not. I do know they give every appearance of being unbalanced mentally and I’m not taking any risks.
Before anyone says, “Bob has rediscovered his GOP,” save your breath. I’m a proud gun-toting Democrat. If the threats didn’t exist, would I own a gun? I might. Target shooting is a lot of fun. I doubt I would be shooting targets with a .45 caliber handgun. I would go with something smaller. God willing, I hope I never have to use it. I hope the threats I get are just keyboard warriors full of themselves.
How big is the gun industry in the USA?
According to NBC News, in 2015, the latest year we have industry figures for, the gun business earned 16.6 billion dollars. Of that number, 13.5 billion went to gun manufacturers. Gun stores and the ammunition business earned 3.1 billion dollars. That is big business.
In 2013, 10,847,792 pistols, shotguns, and rifles were built in the USA. Of those weapons built, only 4% were exported. That means 10.4 million of those firearms stayed in the USA. Pew Research estimates there are 270 to 310 million firearms in The United States. That is nearly one firearm for every person in the country. The figures represent legal gun sales in the USA. There is no way to track the illegal street sales.
The Pew research found a minority of people own all those guns. Collecting guns is a popular hobby in the USA. Sport shooting is also popular as is hunting. Not one Democratic proposal on gun control will affect any of those activities by law-abiding citizens.
I don’t need the NRA to protect my 2nd Amendment rights and neither do you
The National Rifle Association used to be a wonderful organization. Their focus used to be gun safety. They still offer gun safety courses. That is no longer their primary focus. The NRA of today are shills for gun manufacturers and have little to do with protecting the rights of gun owners. The great irony is that through fear and propaganda, the NRA has convinced gun owners to pay for the lobbying for gun manufacturers.
The NRA is one of the biggest, and best propaganda organizations on the planet. Anytime a common-sense gun law is discussed, the NRA starts the fear mongering. How many remember Actor Charlton Heston’s performance at an NRA gathering when he uttered the words, “My cold, dead fingers,” to the delight of the audience? There was a standing ovation.
The NRA is fond of fairy tales. The NRA loves to tell their membership the Democrats want to ban guns. It is a flat-out lie. I looked at their Twitter feed the day of the Las Vegas shooting. They went silent but in reading early tweets, they are still harping on President Obama taking guns away. Not a single gun ban was proposed, or a gun taken away by President Obama during his two terms. Deeper background checks and closing any loopholes in checking who is buying guns is not “banning” guns. That’s being smart.
Outlawing the kits people can buy to make a semi-automatic rifle like the AR-15 fully automatic is not banning guns. That is being smart. Selling machine guns to civilians is illegal as it should be. Making the sales of kits to convert rifles into machine guns should also be illegal. Will it stop the practice? Maybe, maybe not. I do know it will slow it down.
The same goes for silencers. Silencers have one purpose and that is to try and muffle the sound of a shooter so they won’t be detected. If the NRA tries to sell the idea it is to protect the hearing of the shooters then they should get out of the gun racket and go into comedy writing.
The people who protect your rights as a gun owner work in the building in the picture. The Second Amendment to the US Constitution exists and by that fact alone, our guns will not be banned. Chicago and Washington, DC banned all guns a few years back. In the DC case, The District of Columbia vs Heller, and MacDonald vs Chicago, the US Supreme Court struck down the laws banning guns. It is the law of the land and unless there is a new Amendment to the Constitution nullifying the 2nd Amendment, that is not changing.
What the NRA does is dangerous for America. They aren’t protecting Second Amendment rights. They stop common sense gun laws that will protect us. The NRA likes to say all we are doing is inconveniencing legal gun owners. As a legal gun owner, just let me say, feel free to inconvenience me. It is for the greater public good.
What the NRA is right about
Gun owners are fond of saying we don’t do enough about the poor mental health in America. Know what, they’re right. We do need to do more for those afflicted with severe mental health issues. One thing we can do for them is to help them, and ourselves, by making sure people who are psychotic can’t buy a firearm. The NRA opposes this idea. If someone has epilepsy they can’t have a driver’s license. I don’t see a major lobbying organization holding meetings saying, “Pry my car keys from my cold, dead fingers.”
The gun control isn’t a debate; it’s a shouting match
Have you noticed there never seems to be the right time to discuss gun control in the USA? The NRA accuses the left of dancing on the graves of the dead. The left accuses the NRA and gun owners of putting people in their graves. Neither case is entirely accurate. The NRA does block laws that may save lives. The left is correct about that. I emphasize “may” because there are no guarantees. The NRA didn’t pull the trigger in any of the shooting sprees in recent years. They argue new laws would not have made the outcome any different. That is an assumption they are making that is subject to debate.
I’m tired of reading the words “Prayers for the victims” on social media. I want a safer America. I don’t want to ban guns but I sure want us to use some sense about who gets them and who doesn’t.
The NRA is abusing the Second Amendment, and gun owners are being used as their patsies. If the NRA wants to really be useful, host a summit between the two sides of the debate and instead of shouting at each other, figure out what we can do to head off the next tragedy.
I realize the NRA will only advocate for the gun and ammunition manufacturers. That is what they do. As representatives of a large business sector, their voice should be heard too. It shouldn’t be the only voice.