NRA leader blames murdered pastor for Charleston killings

It takes an evil sick mind to blame innocent murder victims for their own demise.  Such a mind clearly belongs to NRA board member Charles Cotton who blamed Pastor Clementa Pinckney for the death of  his eight fellow worshipers, as well as his own.

“Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead,” Cotton posted online (his post has since been deleted). “Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.”  As a state senator Pinckney had voted against a law allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Given Cotton’s rationale, one can presume he supported the 21-year-old Dylann Roof’s decision to carry a concealed weapon into the church in the first place, without a permit or background check. 

I, and many others are a victims of gun violence. I was held up and shot in the head at point blank range and live with the bullet lodged in the brain. I don’t at all mind meaningful and thoughtful discussion about the implementation of responsible gun control measures (the absence of a universal background check is pure insanity).  As far as I’m concerned, The NRA – which, at this point, ought to stand for Not Really American – leadership has blood on its hands. It’s support of law enforcement is nothing more than lip service. Keep in mind, this is the same group that opposed the ban on selling Teflon piercing bullets to the public, cop-killer bullets, Their efforts on that and other fronts are always underscored by the simpering, utterly disingenuous mantra, if we give an inch they’ll take our guns away. That’s rubbish and they know it.

If the NRA leadership (I know quite a few decent NRA members) has an iota of conscience, they’ll throw Cotton off the board immediately. I would say to send him packing but given Cotton’s warped being, he’d like take that the wrong way.

This country, my country, a country I love with all my heart and soul, is gun crazy. It’s addicted to violence crazy. Too many of my fellow Americans still believe that the more capable you are of killing your fellow human beings, the stronger you are.

Really? Then here’s a question they might want to think about. If walking towards nonviolence is an act of weakness, then why is it so hard for them to do it? 

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NRA admits to country’s gun problem

By proposing a program of armed guards for the nation’s schools, the National Rifle Association’s executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre today acknowledged there is a problem with the proliferation of guns in today’s society. After all, you can’t proclaim a need for armed guards in the nation’s schools and deny there’s a gun problem in the same breath.

In proposing the National School Shield Program, LaPierre, who would not take questions from the press, said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Not surprisingly, LaPierre did not address how easy it is for the “bad guys” to get guns. He uttered not a syllable about the country’s lax gun law’s nor did he say a word about the gun show loophole, itself a major resource for the “bad guys” when it comes to buying weaponry. There are an estimated  5,000 gun shows a year; in 33 states private gun owners can sell guns and buyers are not required to undergo federal background checks.

Now why, given that gun shows are an easy way for the “bad guys” to get guns, did LaPierre not say anything? Because, for the NRA leadership (and the gun manufacturers they worship), access to guns for anyone and everyone, “good guy” or “bad guy,” is more important than the safety of our citizens, including our most precious citizens, our children.

How LaPierre remained straight-faced when he said, “The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters, people that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them,” while at the same time knowing the NRA is perhaps the leading perpetrator in blocking any reasonable effort to make it harder for the so-called evil people to get guns is beyond me.

Bill Moyer’s was right when he said, “The NRA is a killer instinct’s best friend.” Let’s not forget that the NRA opposed a bill that sought to block the sale of Teflon (cop-killing) piercing bullets to the general public.

There is no question a tapestry response is needed to address the underlying causes (violent video games and movies) for mass murders like the one in Newtown, Connecticut. But to do so without addressing the need for responsible gun control measures is like trying to address the challenge of lung cancer without addressing (or mentioning) smoking.

The NRA does not seem to care about facts, only posturing, and any excuse under the sun to add more guns to an already gun-drenched society.

If our leaders show a tenth of the courage the staff of the Sandy Hook Elementary School did in protecting the children with their lives, then perhaps responsible gun control measures, like a real assault weapons ban, closing the gun show loophole, and limiting the number of rounds a magazine can hold, to name three, might come to pass. If not, there will be many more Newtowns.

Gun violence, facts & a prayer

Damned if I understand why some seemingly decent people are about as responsive to facts as a cluster of tree stumps.  On top of that, there is a disturbing instinct in some to protect guns before children. On top of that, there are some who seem to think knives are as much if not more dangerous than  guns (that must be why so many of today’s modern armies are throwing away their firearms and replacing them with steak knives).

I do understand that we are a culture addicted to violence. We are a culture that has come to believe that an accurate measure of one’s strength is one’s capacity to inflict violence. We are also a culture that has taken the Second Amendment and morphed it into meaning something it doesn’t mean. The Second Amendment does not mean the founding fathers, had they known, would think it would be just peachy for citizens to own assault weapons, that it would be okay to buy thousands of rounds of ammunition at a time. They would no doubt be troubled by the fact it is easier in some areas of the country to buy an assault weapon and thousands of rounds of ammunition than it is to get a driver’s license.

As Bill Moyer’s said, and I quoted in a recent commentary for Independence Today, the NRA is “a killer instinct’s best friend.”

The penchant for some to blame the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School solely on mental illness, or medication (anything but guns),  is disheartening. Yes, without question, the issue is more than simply guns and the desperate need for responsible  gun control measures, but the other elements of the issue must not be used as a reason  to turn our attention away from the need for gun control.

For those who cling to the utterly misguided belief that knives are just as dangerous as guns (assault weapons), consider this: knives are not want these mass murderers of our innocents are choosing, they are choosing assault weapons. (Note to reader: I do not expect this fact to make one iota of difference to those clinging to the knife-worse-than-gun myth. Nor do I expect the following facts to make a difference to those who seek to protect guns before people, but, perhaps in some cases, I’ll be wrong. Let’s hope.).

  • More Americans suffer gun deaths by homicide and suicide in a six-month span than have died by terrorist attacks in the last 25 years and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.
  • In one year, 31,224 people died from gun violence and 66,769 people survived gun injuries (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)). That includes:
    o 12,632 people murdered and 44,466 people shot in an attack.
    o 17,352 people who killed themselves and 3,031 people who survived a suicide attempt
    with a gun.
    o 613 people who were killed unintentionally and 18,610 who were shot unintentionally
    but survived.
  • Over a million people have been killed with guns in the United States since 1968, when Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated (Childrens’ Defense Fund, p.20).
  • U.S. homicide rates are 6.9 times higher than rates in 22 other populous high-income
    countries combined, despite similar non-lethal crime and violence rates. The firearm homicide rate in the U.S. is 19.5 times higher (Richardson, p.1).
  • Among 23 populous, high-income countries, 80% of all firearm deaths occurred in the United States (Richardson, p. 1).
  • The estimated  cost of gun violence U.S. citizens $100 billion annually
    (Cook, 2000).
  • An estimated 41% of gun-related homicides and 94% of gun-related suicides would not
    occur under the same circumstances had no guns been present (Wiebe, p. 780).
  • Higher household gun ownership correlates with higher rates of homicides, suicides, and
    unintentional shootings (Harvard Injury Control Center).
  • Keeping a firearm in the home increases the risk of suicide by a factor of 3 to 5 and increases the risk of suicide with a firearm by a factor of 17 (Kellermann, 1992, p. 467; Wiebe, p. 771).
  • Keeping a firearm in the home increases the risk of homicide by a factor of 3 (Kellermann, 1993, p. 1084)

For those who care about facts, you’re in my prayers. For those who don’t care about them or believe them, you’re in my prayers too, and that’s a fact.