Saturday, April 14, 2007


Yes to gun rights. No to gun nuts.

Thank God I live in St. Louis. We have the '06 World Series champions, Budweiser, a big arch, toasted ravioli, the nation's highest crime rate and Nelly.

Now our latest edition to this already distinguished list of honors is this year's NRA convention, taking place as I blog. For the past couple of weeks, I've been treated on the way into work with a billboard on I-44 touting the convetion and its "acres of guns." Imagine that. Acres of guns, no doubt transforming the America's Center downtown into a veritable shrine to the Second Amendment. With this armada of law-abiding patriots visiting the Gateway City, the criminals don't have a chance. I bet we'll only be the third or fourth most dangerous city in America next year.

Sarcasm aside, you may be surprised to know I'm really not a hardcore gun-control advocate, beyond reasonable checks on gun ownership. On some level I do believe America would be a far better place without all these guns. But in the end, I can't turn my back on the Constitution, which clearly states that you and I have the right to own a gun (I don't buy that gun control lobby rationalization of the first clause about militias negating gun rights). Beyond that, millions of Americans perhaps legitimately believe they need a gun to protect themselves. Personally, I feel secure without a gun, but who am I to say no one else have one? And without a doubt, the battle over guns is a done deal, and the gun rights advocates have come out on top. As a result, most Democrats have wisely chosen to walk away from this battle and move on to others they have a better chance of winning. In fact, many Democrats are actively courting the gun lobby, which I find a questionable endeavor.

So does that mean I salute the NRA as a noble and worthy defender of all that's right with America? No way. I have about as much love for the NRA as B from D has for the ACLU. Just because I support the right to own guns in no way equates with support for a bunch of extremist gun nuts. I'm sure there are some very nice people who belong to the NRA, who haven't really considered what their membership dues are supporting. We're talking about an organization who squarely defends every white supremecist redneck residing in a fortified compound and every inner-city gang-banger who believes in his right to spray his neighborhood with automatic gunfire.

The NRA has been a true foe of assault weapons bans. These folks think the Second Amendment allows anyone to own a rapid-fire, military-style assault weapon. I suppose next they'll push for the right to carry a rocket launcher. They resent that business owners have the right to ban guns from their private property (So much for a belief in property rights), and they hate that schools, hospitals and churches also routinely maintain themselves as gun-free zones. They also staunchly defend manufacturers of cheapo guns directly and intentionally marketed toward inner-city thugs. They can't stand the idea of background checks, that the public might benefit from gun dealers making sure they're not selling to felons. And they're lobbying hard to repeal the doctrine that one must attempt to withdraw first when under attack, that firing in self-defense is only to be used as a last resort.

In addition to these highly questionable positions, the NRA has been keeping an enemies list of groups who have dared speak out against their goals. They include such dangerous left-wing zealots as the United Methodist Church, YWCA, and American Medical Association, as well as the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Royals.

How many average Americans, who otherwise believe that law-abiding citizens should own and carry guns if they choose, would really sign on to the NRA's extremist agenda? Most mature adults with a basic understanding of eighth-grade civics undertand that no right spelled out in the Constitution is absolute, that each comes with limits. Surely, you know that yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is not protected under the First Amendment. That eminent domain is an explicit exception to property rights. God knows that folks on the Right enthusiastically support limits on due process during this war on terrorism. Yet, there must be some magic to the Second Amendment, that makes it the single provision in the Bill of Rights lacking even the slightest check, or so the NRA thinks. Do you believe that? I don't believe most Americans do.

The NRA speaks
From the pro-gun control website

Ted Nugent
NRA board member and has-been rock star whose career peaked around 1978

"I'm a fun guy, not a sexist or a racist. I use the word nigger a lot because I hang around with a lot of niggers."
-Detroit Free Press Magazine

"Toxic c---. This bitch is nothing but a two-bit whore for Fidel Castro."
-speaking on Hillary Clinton. Westworld Newspaper

Kayne Robinson
NRA President

"If we win, we'll have a president where we work out of (his) office. "
- On prospects of George W. Bush winning presidency, closed meeting of NRA leaders, 2000

Rep. Barbara Cubin, R-Wyo.
NRA Board Member

"My sons are 25 and 30. They are blond-haired and blue-eyed. One amendment today said we could not sell guns to anybody under drug treatment. So, does that mean if you go into a black community, you cannot sell a gun to any black person, or does that mean because my..."
-Cubin's comments were interrupted at that point by Melvin Watt (D-N.C.) who demanded that her words be stricken from the record as inappropriate.

Jeff Cooper
NRA Board Member, Guns & Ammo Editor-at-Large and Columnist

"The consensus is that no more than five to ten people in a hundred who die by gunfire in Los Angeles are any loss to society. These people fight small wars amongst themselves. It would seem a valid social service to keep them well-supplied with ammunition."
- Guns & Ammo

"Already a couple of the faithful have sent in checks for a foundation memorial to the innocents who perished at the hands of the ninja at Waco. ... I have been criticized by referring to our federal masked men as "ninja" … Let us reflect upon the fact that a man who covers his face shows reason to be ashamed of what he is doing. A man who takes it upon himself to shed blood while concealing his identity is a revolting perversion of the warrior ethic. It has long been my conviction that a masked man with a gun is a target. I see no reason to change that view."
-Cooper's Commentaries (self-published newsletter)

"It is certainly difficult to render a calm and compassionate view of our current system of justice. After a legal friend of ours had his car trashed on the street, apparently just for kicks, he suggested that the proper solution to our inner city problem might be the mass drowning of street punks. Every month in a different big city we should sew up a thousand of them in a huge sack and dump it into the Mississippi. Such ideas may appear fanciful, but the decent people of this country are increasingly driven against the wall. ... While the federal ninja drive around in their black uniforms and face masks, we note that they never seem to bother the street gangs."
-Cooper's Commentaries

Paul Blackman
NRA Head Researcher

" In fact, studies of homicide victims -- especially the increasing number of younger ones -- suggest they are frequently criminals themselves and/or drug addicts or users. It is quite possible that their deaths, in terms of economic consequences to society, are net gains."
From "The Federal Factoid Factory on Firearms and Violence: A Review of CDC Research and Policies."

Leroy Pyle
Former NRA Board Member

"That ugly cackler. She pulls her husband around like a pulltoy on a string. My friends and I say that if that ever happened to one of us and our wife did that, somebody would slip into the house one night and slit her throat."
-On gun-control advocate Sarah Brady, husband of Reagan assassination attempt survivor James Brady. Quoted in "Under Fire: The NRA and the Battle for Gun Control"

John Lott
Pro-gun advocate and researcher

"Allowing teachers and other law-abiding adults to carry concealed handguns in schools would not only make it easier to stop shootings in progress, it could also help deter shootings from ever occurring."
- The Wall Street Journal

Charlton Heston
Former NRA President

"Mainstream America is counting on you to draw your sword and fight for them. These people have precious little time and resources to battle misguided Cinderella attitudes, the fringe propaganda of the homosexual coalition, the feminists who preach that it is a divine duty for women to hate men, blacks who raise a militant fist with one hand while they seek preference with the other... I find my blood pressure rising when Clinton's cultural shock troops participate in gay-rights fundraisers but boycott gun-rights fundraisers and then claim it's time to place homosexual men in tents with Boy Scouts, and suggest that sperm donor babies born into lesbian relationships are somehow better served and more loved."
-Speech to Free Congress Foundation

David Duke
Avowed White Supremicist and 1992 Republican Presidential Candidate

"I was astounded to read these courageous remarks by Charlton Heston. I am thankful to hear a man with such high esteem say essentially the same things for which I have been reviled by the liberal media. His words should be reproduced and put into the hands of every American."
-Responding to Heston's speech

I was reading you blog and got most of the way through it, but then THE SENTENCE BELOW caught my eye and completely ruined the message. Sorry, but whenever I notice a lapse of common sense or just an outright lie, I don't waste anymore time reading.

"...the NRA,... We're talking about an organization who squarely defends every white supremecist redneck residing in a fortified compound and every inner-city gang-banger who believes in his right to spray his neighborhood with automatic gunfire."

Yep. That was the sentence that ruined it.

Better luck next time.
Aw shucks, Libertarian. And I was so badly hoping we could be best friends.
I'm guessing libertarian is a card carrying NRA member who believes in everyone having the right to carrying oozie's around.
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