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BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?

Riginslinger 04 Jun 08 - 06:18 PM
Slag 04 Jun 08 - 05:44 PM
gnu 04 Jun 08 - 02:48 PM
Jim Dixon 04 Jun 08 - 02:22 PM
gnu 04 Jun 08 - 12:51 PM
Bill D 04 Jun 08 - 11:50 AM
gnu 04 Jun 08 - 10:11 AM
Bill D 16 Apr 08 - 11:52 AM
Bill D 16 Apr 08 - 11:13 AM
Big Mick 16 Apr 08 - 10:27 AM
artbrooks 16 Apr 08 - 10:11 AM
Stu 16 Apr 08 - 09:36 AM
kendall 16 Apr 08 - 07:52 AM
Slag 16 Apr 08 - 01:44 AM
Big Mick 15 Apr 08 - 11:26 PM
Bill D 15 Apr 08 - 09:55 PM
pdq 15 Apr 08 - 09:04 PM
gnu 15 Apr 08 - 08:18 PM
pdq 15 Apr 08 - 07:34 PM
pdq 15 Apr 08 - 07:20 PM
Bill D 15 Apr 08 - 07:11 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 15 Apr 08 - 02:45 PM
Jack the Sailor 15 Apr 08 - 01:37 PM
Riginslinger 15 Apr 08 - 10:14 AM
Stu 15 Apr 08 - 03:23 AM
Slag 14 Apr 08 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,Chief Chaos 14 Apr 08 - 08:56 PM
Big Mick 14 Apr 08 - 07:36 PM
gnu 14 Apr 08 - 06:41 PM
Bill D 14 Apr 08 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 14 Apr 08 - 04:47 PM
kendall 14 Apr 08 - 04:45 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 14 Apr 08 - 02:48 PM
Bill D 14 Apr 08 - 11:39 AM
Stu 14 Apr 08 - 03:44 AM
Big Mick 14 Apr 08 - 01:42 AM
artbrooks 14 Apr 08 - 12:54 AM
Bill D 13 Apr 08 - 11:40 PM
Slag 13 Apr 08 - 10:04 PM
Big Mick 13 Apr 08 - 08:32 PM
Bill D 13 Apr 08 - 07:42 PM
kendall 13 Apr 08 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Chief Chaos 13 Apr 08 - 12:17 PM
kendall 13 Apr 08 - 12:15 PM
Bill D 12 Apr 08 - 11:33 PM
Bill D 12 Apr 08 - 11:26 PM
artbrooks 12 Apr 08 - 11:08 PM
Riginslinger 12 Apr 08 - 10:45 PM
Riginslinger 12 Apr 08 - 10:38 PM
Bobert 12 Apr 08 - 07:57 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 06:18 PM

Good!


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Slag
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 05:44 PM

Individual responsibility is the responsibility of, Hmmmm?...! the INDIVIDUAL! We all have an individual responsibility to use our rights and privileges, well, responsibly. I know I have just given you a double tautological argument but it seems the we (I) am explaining simple truths to, ... well, if you aren't getting it, I'm just sorry for you. The Constitution is not the cause of people who break the law. The First Amendment isn't the cause of liars, haters or traitors. How is the NRA "evil" if it promotes a right already enunciated by the Constitution? Unless the Constitution is evil? Is that the thrust of your argument? Then I suggest you change the Constitution...by Constitutional means which is to say by the will of the established, proper majority of the PEOPLE of the USA, not by a handful of judges who exceed their bounds by legislating from the bench.

So far I have not heard one factual statement as to how the NRA is evil or one of the "lots of 'bad' things. Just a load of emotional opinion and anecdotal stories about how some INDIVIDUALS have abused their rights.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: gnu
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 02:48 PM

Well... there are lots of "bad" things about the NRA, but I think there are some good things. Specifically, the legal and safe ownership of guns for self-defense. How far you take that is a grey area, but I believe that every person should have the right to defend themselves and their property, PERIOD!

On that note, I shall leave, as I have nothing more to say that I haven't said in a number of threads already. Unless someone comes up with some way to change my mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 02:22 PM

I think I was once a member of the NRA.

Technically, I might have been a "junior member," if there was such a thing.

It happened when I was in high school, sometime in 1961-65. My school had a target-shooting rifle team that competed against other schools. A change in rules was announced so that members of the team could earn an athletic "letter." I was a very non-athletic, nerdy kid who knew I had no chance to earn an athletic letter any other way, so I thought I'd try target shooting. (If they had offered a chance to win a letter by playing chess, I would have preferred that.)

It was harder than I thought. They used special target-shooting rifles that are heavier than ordinary rifles. They make them heavy on purpose because, theoretically, the extra inertia slows down the "wobble" that naturally happens when you're taking aim. That's assuming you have the muscles to support the weight. If you're rather weak, like I was, I think the extra weight made you wobble more, not less. The champion shooters also lifted weights.

After a year or so, I figured I'd never excel at target shooting, so I lost interest and quit. I did earn a couple of badges first. I can't remember what rank I achieved, but I remember the badges said "National Rifle Association" on them. That was the extent of my involvement.

If the NRA had a political agenda in those days, I wasn't aware of it.

Today, I don't own a firearm, and have no desire to.

If the NRA were to stick to promoting firearm safety, and promoting harmless sports like target shooting, I would have no objection to them. But since they don't, I think they're more evil than good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: gnu
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 12:51 PM

Something VERY simple. I said, "Fact is, they know they can do it with the gun laws we have." Our laws include locking up the guns and also locking up, separately, the ammo. Where is the deterrent against home invasion? How many elderly, or others, can afford one of those monitored emergency response alerts? What about those that live an hour drive from the police? Etc, etc....


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 11:50 AM

Uh-huh...and for gun safety, they recommend locking firearms, unloaded, in a cabinet. Do you suggest that old man (one year older than ME!) should have carried a pistol strapped to his waist? I can't imagine how anyone could prepare for such an assult except by being on continuous alert with loaded guns at the ready.

Explain to me what I'm missing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: gnu
Date: 04 Jun 08 - 10:11 AM

Here ya go, Bill D.

Fact is, they know they can do it with the gun laws we have. Less than 20 years ago, this was a RARE occurance. Not any more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 11:52 AM

Yes...it will be very interesting to see how the DC case plays out. I rather expect to us move backward, considering the current makeup of the court.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 11:13 AM

I agree, stigweard, but as you see, many of those who were raised with firearms choose to see that albatross as something else...a good luck symbol? A potential meal in hard times? I don't know. But it hangs about our necks and occasionally gets in the way, no matter what it is labeled.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

I do see the points Big Mick makes about honest recreational use of guns, and to a lesser extent, about 'protection' of home & family. But I am unable to translate those values into 'needs'. Many studies have been done about whether owning guns really are a deterrent to crime or good protection for the family. Statistics can be cited for both sides. I see as many cases where things went wrong as where someone was 'saved' by having a gun.
---------------------------------------------------------------

Mick...as a good debator, you obviously see the mechanism of semantically linking clear & obvious 'facts' that are not in dispute with various points that YOU wish to defend or assert in your thesis.

No one is arguing whether the Constitution says "right", or that some of it was directly inspired by the attitude of English kings, or that some uses of firearms have been beneficial......and *I* specifically am *not* suggesting any wholesale"...taking away the weapons from folks that are not violationg the law, (and who)are not responsible for any significant amount of the problems you see."...such as yourself.

I AM saying, once again, that the **USE** of 'right' in the 2nd amendment to refer to "bearing arms" is a different sense than that of the right to 'freedom', and that it OUGHT to be understood as a 'privilege'. (Of COURSE, you would not like this interpretation to be widely adopted....I quite understand.)

Now...if I am going to make such a claim, I ought to back it with something more than a 'feeling'....right?
   Ok...when the Bill of Rights was written, everyone knew what a 'militia' was, and that in times of crisis, men might be called on to defend their state or country against something like....well, England deciding to re-take the 'colonies. If they WERE called, they would have been expected to bring with them the weapon(s) they commonly used for hunting and self-protection against various dangers. You know...better than I....what these weapons consisted of. This continued up about time of the Civil War, during which many changes in firearms were occurring.

   Fast forward a couple hundred years....if the country is threatened or needs to go to the aid of allies, the 'militia'...now known as the Armed Forces, was NOT expected to bring their own weapons. In fact, I doubt they were allowed to...for various reasons. (standardization...etc..) Also, by this time, the country, most states & even down to many small towns had codified and instituted a trained and paid set of officials and/or soldiers so that it was not necessary to issue general calls to the citizens when help was needed! In special times, a draft was put in place, and the resultant 'militia' was ISSUED arms BY the government....for very good reasons.

Now, you toss in in passing...".... Some feel it is the government that has the potential, " to be the danger. And yes, there are illegal 'militias' who argue that scenario, and cache weapons 'just in case'. I hope you don't kid yourself about their efficacy or logic! They certainly have no 'right' to do many of the things they do....even by 2nd amendment standards!

You ask .." So what is it you will accomplish in whatever it is you would like to see happen?" Obviously, I wish for SOME change in the way we design laws and the way they are enforced...specifically, in what KINDS of firearms are allowed and how permits are issued for them, in order to begin reducing that 1.2%...which I stubbornly see as many thousands of deaths and many, many thousands of injuries and crimes committed with guns.

   I also still wish, from the honest, careful gun owners like you and Kendall, some better ideas and leadership in rational overhauling of the current system. Frankly, I am weary of righteous assertions that "..violators of the laws should be punished!" and " we DO have laws against automatic weapons." as if that is ALL that is needed.

It seems to come down to - You believe that all those deaths & injuries are regrettable, but part of the price we pay for clinging to a 'right' that even legal scholars differ about, while I believe that BECAUSE the world is very different now, those death & injury statistics are way too high. Being #1 in the world..even in the "more accurate way of measuring a problem" of using percentages, is not what I aspire to!

No doubt you would phrase that last paragraph differently, my friend, but if any of this ever gets to the Supreme Court or a revised 2nd amendment, you will hear experts use language similar to mine...at far greater length.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 10:27 AM

I suspect the DC case will be the first step in the resolution .... one way or the other.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: artbrooks
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 10:11 AM

And it has always had at least two, diametrically opposite, interpretations. More here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Stu
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 09:36 AM

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

This statement, and the way it is interpreted and applied here is living proof a written constitution can become an albatross around the neck of any country attempting to become civilised.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: kendall
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 07:52 AM

DDT was banned in the USA because of the harm it did to wildlife. So, what did we do? we export it to other countries. I will not buy grapes from Chile.

If you want to get real picky about the 2nd amendment, consider this; in those days, the militia was made up of men not over 45 years old. So, shouldn't that mean that if you are over 45 you have no need to own a gun?

...from my stiff, arthritic senile hands...


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Slag
Date: 16 Apr 08 - 01:44 AM

The thing that always puzzles me in debates such as this and for the typical arguments such as Bill D has voiced is, why are the "anti-s" so against the law abiding citizen? It always seems to be the focus of he debate. They never decry the criminal or the terrorist. Those folks who are intent upon harming others doesn't seem to phase them at all. They are excited about someone who would never harm anyone intentionally, with out just cause, owning a weapon. Why is that? Are they really saying something about themselves? That they don't trust themselves in possession of such power?

I know some people who are not suited by nature or by upbringing for the degree of freedom which is afforded to US citizens. The daughter of Joseph Stalin couldn't hack it here. Some folks feel the real need for others around them to keep them from??? they know not what. Is that what is going on? And by extension, or projection they cannot conceive of other ordinary folk not needing such structure or support to keep them in line? It's a real mystery to me.

Big Mick and pdq covered quite nicely the fallacy of the comparison of DDT usages with the RIGHT to be armed. I would only note for information that the main objection to DDT in North America is its entry into the wildlife, particularly in the thinning of the eggshells of preditory birds and their potential extinction. Rightly so, it was banned. Here it was (at least in the end) a question of economics. In Africa it is a question of the life or death of human beings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 11:26 PM

Bill, you continue with predicates that just aren't so, buddy. First, let me quote the Constitution of the United States:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


'Nuff said as to whether it is a right or privilege.

Farmers never had the right to use DDT. That simply fell under the area of law that acknowledges that people have the ability to do things that are not specifically forbidden. The use of pesticides is open to regulation, including banning its use. Furthermore, DDT is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, hence it has no special status. The "right to keep and bear arms" is specifically mentioned. So much for that analogy.

Bill D said, "I can't think of anything about firearms that should automatically put them in the same category as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". " To many that is exactly what firearms are about. Life and liberty, and the ability to live a life of happiness, exactly are dependent on the ability to protect their families from danger. Some feel it is the government that has the potential, others just want to not be unarmed against thugs, crooks, and those that would steal or threaten their families. The pursuit of happiness for many, such as my family, is found in the generations old enjoyment of the shooting arts for hunting and pleasure.

The essential point is that it really doesn't matter which of these is why I exercise my right, it is simply a right I have. And nothing you have said answers the central point I have made so many times. I will try it another way. By taking away the weapons from folks that are not violationg the law, are not responsible for any significant amount of the problems you see, what is you hope to accomplish? The numbers indicate that law abiding citizens are not the source of the problem. And law breakers will just ignore what is proposed. So what is it you will accomplish in whatever it is you would like to see happen?

As to your comment on what 1.2% translates to, I am disappointed. You know full well that I am not attempting to mitigate the loss of life. I was simply showing you that the tactic of trying to use a number because is perceived in a way that is beneficial to you is disengenuous. I merely used the more accurate way of measuring a problem, which is a pure percentage. In order to justify taking an action, especially something with the potential implications of changing the Bill of Rights, you must be able to demonstrate an overwhelming case for changing it. Another way to look at this is simply to use the abstract of this. Should we change the Constitutional right for an item that is not a factor in over 98% of the deaths in this country?

You opened that post with this, "Well, Mick...I know you will not see these points...." . Once again, my friend (sincerely said), you just don't understand me. I am known as a pretty good debator. That is because I challenge myself much harder on subjects I feel strongly about than anyone else ever could. As a left wing guy on most issues, and yet a hunter and gun rights person, I have worked this in my mind in so many ways. Ultimately where I come down isn't on the side of some "I've always had guns and I just don't want to give them up" type of place. I come down here because I don't see significant controls solving any of the problems that people are angry about. These controls being proposed will not control violent crime. They will not stop drive bys. They will have little or no measurable effect on the suicide rate. And they give the criminals a free pass.

BTW, I found your reference to England and her laws humorous. The primary reason for the Second Amendment was because of the English rulers. But that is simply an aside to all this.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 09:55 PM

Yes, I am quite aware that the use of DDT has been re-started in some nations. To my knowlege, it is still banned in the USA. I do know that this use WILL have sad effects on various aspects of the environment while it is killing some mosquitoes. I am not qualified to comment on better ways to prevent malaria, and have not read much either way.

I used the comparison because, off the top of my head, DDT was another example of something which has some good uses, but many problems.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: pdq
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 09:04 PM

More on the "twin boogeymen", guns and DDT:


Is There Something Better?

"The history of the 'Roll-Back Malaria' program, sponsored by the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and United Nations agencies, is proof that right now, there is nothing better than DDT for controlling malaria mosquitoes. (For the moment, we will leave aside the question of drug treatment for people with malaria, and the need for public health infrastructure.) These organizations and other donor groups came up with the idea of stopping malaria by promoting the distribution of bed nets impregnated with insecticides. No insect control measures, no swamp draining, no infrastructure improvement, no personnel training or increase in public health facilities, just bed nets.The goal of Roll-Back Malaria in 1998 was to halve the deaths from malaria by the year 2010. As the increase in malaria throughout Africa testifies, this program has been an abysmal failure."

                     read it if you dare


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: gnu
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:18 PM

Can you depend on the police to protect you?

In the 1930's, people thought they could. What is different?


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: pdq
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:34 PM

Yep, DDT:

             is a big bad meanie


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: pdq
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:20 PM

"and making & distributing DDT is most likely a crime..."

And you can support that statement, BillD, or are you just filling in the missing piece of the puzzle with your own prejudices and suppositions, as usual?


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 07:11 PM

Well, Mick...I know you will not see these points....but I'd like for them to at least appear as one dissenting opinion in the thread.

"In order to repeal a right, you must have a reason."
Indeed...

"That reason cannot, nor should it be, that someone might do something horrific."

No? Would that not depend on context? Let rephrase it a bit.
"...that something horrific might result."

Farmers used to have the 'right' to possess & use DDT to control pests, and we got great benefit for awhile...but then some horrific things happened, and DDT was banned. (No...the metaphor does not extend so far as to indicate 'banning' of guns)


"If they do, that is a crime and they should pay the price."
Yes, and making & distributing DDT is most likely a crime...but there are pretty weak laws pretending to control making & distributing firearms.

"But the hallmark of a free society, is that certain rights are considered automatic and repeal requires a very difficult standard be reached. This is one of our oldest rights."

And, of course, this is the crux of the matter, and an item of VERY wide disagreement. In THIS country, gun ownership is 'considered' a right...due to the vague phrase in the 2nd amendment. In England and other countries, it is NOT considered a 'right'. I can't think of anything about firearms that should automatically put them in the same category as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Of COURSE if a privilege has long standing and gets to be perceived as a right, then yes, "repeal requires a very difficult standard be reached." Do you not see that this is exactly the fundamental thing being debated?
I, and others, believe that history and technology have changed the situation so that "difficult standards" have been reached, and that that vague phrase in the 2nd amendment needs to be clarified and rewritten in order to allow restructuring of the firearms laws in this country.

Once again...*I* am not advocating anything like 'banning' of guns, nor do I think it is possible, but right now, nothing is working, and *I* think that minuscule 1.2%...which translates to 20,000-30,000 lives, is more than too much.

I am STILL waiting for any ideas on how to reduce the pain, and still preserve some of the 'privileges'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 02:45 PM

McCain at the NRA.

Note that there is a cockroach on the plaque behind him. My question, why didn't anybody shoot it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 01:37 PM

>>Yeah, there was a gun in the hands of Dick Cheney a while back<<

He was offered the NRA gun safety class, but he had other priorities. ;-D


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 10:14 AM

Yeah, there was a gun in the hands of Dick Cheney a while back, and...


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Stu
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 03:23 AM

""Many states, Maine included, have a law that prohibits any felon from owning a gun,"
"Stigweard, what's wrong with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals?"

Please tell me you can see the irony in those statements.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Slag
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 11:38 PM

C of C, the musket and ball was the "state of the art" military weapon of its day. And whether you believe it or not there were a number of repeating arms (read "semi-automatic") in common use in Europe as well as America. They were as multifunctional as today's military (type?) arms are. With very few exceptions (and those exceptions are quite controlled) all the full auto stuff, bombs, rockets, grenades, Hell-fire missiles and such are under the tight control of the national military groups, National Guards and State Militias.

"Assault" rifle has never been clearly defined. Most of what goes as a definition is nothing more than the cosmetic appearance of the weapon; things like whether the hand grip extends a given distance below the stock or if it has a bi-pod lug or a bayonet lug. I have never heard of a crime being committed with a fixed bayonet, have you? That would be a purely military application and would make no sense whatever for holding up the local 7-11 store. "Assault" for the most part is for the benefit of the ignorant who are afraid of the unknown (arms) in the first place. It's a "scare" word, a buzz word to signal the faithful that what ever it is linked to is surely EVIL, you know, kinda like the reaction you hope to elicit when you mention the NRA?!

How about those evil "fingerprint resistant" grips? You know, what is commonly known as "checked" grips which have been around about as long of firearms? Even longer as they were on swords and daggers, not to mention hammers and screwdrivers and all sorts of hand tools long before the day of firearms. And why are the really there? To disguise or hide the fingerprint identity of the user? NO! They are there to afford the user a better GRIP! Be real. Some thugee who is going to be conscious of his fingerprints on his weapon of choice, be it a knife, a gun or a screwdriver (I was once robbed by a screwdriver-wielding punk when I was in the Air Force) they will wipe off their prints. One is more likely to find a tell tale print on a cartridge casing or barrel than the grip. A diamond checked grip is more likely to provide you with a DNA sample.

The things criminals do are CRIMINAL. They modify guns for concealment. They make silencers. They are CRIMINALS. It's what they do. The NRA is NOT a criminal organization. If they were, they would have been put out of business long ago. They do NOT advocate ANY criminal activity. If they had, they would have been put out of business a long time ago. Nor do they endorse any criminal group or endeavor of any kind.

The NRA was created following the US Civil War because so many Union soldiers were simply awful marksmen. The Southern boys, though comparatively fewer in number were far better marksmen and they made every shot count and came near to winning the war do to that fact alone. The goal of the NRA was to train civilians in marksmanship and also in the hunter's ways. It has always had the best interests of the nation at heart and has always stood as a proud supporter of the Bill of Rights and in particular the Second Amendment. If you every study the Bill of Rights you will find that there was a debate as to whether to have what is now the Second Amendment the First. The two are so closely interdependent that they both vie for first consideration. This is also seen in the Great Seal as the Eagle carries both the olive branch and arrows but looks first to the olive branch.

I find that people who want to vilify and portray the NRA as something evil are either ignorant of who and what the NRA is or does or they actually want to change the political character of this nation and make it some it is not: something less than what it is, in my opinion. It isn't really the NRA they are opposed to but what they represent, namely the freedoms which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 08:56 PM

Big Mick,
I agree and support that individual citizens have the right to keep and bear arms even though I believe that the original intent was to provide for a state militia.
If you ever head to Williamsburg you'll find that the fire arms were all kept in a central armory under guard (except for those kept at the governor's residence).

Although the bombing of the Murrow bldg was indeed done with the materials you cited (I am being deliberately vague about this, no need to give any lurking malcontents any more information than they already have), trying to ban or limit these materials would be ludicrous. For one you'd have to ban anything that might be used to ignite/set off one of the materials. This includes just about every type of flammable liquid there is. For another the material in question can go bang all by itself. There is no way to really ban the material as it is a main ingredient in a multitude of other materials. I will be direct about this though...if you attempt to buy this material in a bulk amount without a good reason you will be under scrutiny - you just won't know it.

I don't believe that the founding fathers ever envisioned the types of fire arms that we have available today. In their time a fire arm was usually a one shot affair, hardly accurate without a good deal of training or experience even when the enemy was standing in front of you in a straight line! The odds of a shot going off were constrained by humidity and other factors affecting the powder(which also produced a considerable amount of smoke)and sometimes just plain luck. There were multibarreled weapons of course but I don't think that even the most barrelled weapon of the time was over four barrels (due to weight)and still had to be loaded in singular fashion.

Compare that to today with highly accurate weapons with multiple magazines which may contain up to 40 (so-called "banana clips" - don't get excited Chongo!)(and yes, these large capacity magazines are currently illegal) bullets of various types (bailiff wadcutters, hollow points, armor piercing, steel jacketed, lead ball, copper tipped)propelled at higher velocities by very much improved smokeless powder.

This is what makes me pause when someone brings up the "intent" of the founding fathers.

I don't have a problem with someone wanting to carry, with appropriate license, training, and care, a handgun for self defense or to defend their home and property. If you need a so-called "assault rifle" to defend yourself, home and property you are probably involved in an illegal affair to begin with.

My problem with the NRA is that they "appear" to me to want to do away with any regulation of the fire arms industry including allowing armor piercing ammunition, high capacity magazines, fingerprint resistant grips, concealed weapons (whether folding stock, sawed-off, or built to look like something they are not like cell phones) and ownership without license, permit or control of any kind (excepting criminals and the insane which as I've stated before often aren't until after the weapon has been brandished or fired).


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 07:36 PM

It is worse than punishment. And it is not about it being a privilege. It is the taking away of an existing right. I currently have the "right" to keep and bear arms. It is enforced in various ways by various States (and I hope the current DC case will resolve that mess). But it is in fact a right. And as I have said many times. In order to repeal a right, you must have a reason. That reason cannot, nor should it be, that someone might do something horrific. If they do, that is a crime and they should pay the price. But the hallmark of a free society, is that certain rights are considered automatic and repeal requires a very difficult standard be reached. This is one of our oldest rights. None of the reasons anti's give will resolve the problems they seek to resolve, and will simply result in the overwhelming majority of responsible gun owners not having their weapons. In fact the evidence is pretty good that it would result in more violent crime, deaths, and injury.

I repeat another fact. Fertilizer, kerosene, and a few other items were used by a decorated veteran to kill an awful lot of folks, including a bunch of babies in a daycare center, in the worst act of domestic terrorism in USA history. There have been a number of other acts or attempted acts that tried using the same stuff. Terrorist networks teach how to use these items. I have yet to hear the cry for banning or limiting access to these items.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: gnu
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 06:41 PM

JtS... yes, it is.

Bill.... keep them out of the hands of the rich? Or out of the hands of their "hired guns"? Make sure that only "good men" have access to guns? Men that we can trust? That we know will not abuse power? That will be fair and just to all? That will be tolerant of others, no matter their race, creed, colour, religeon?

Good luck with that.

Ah, history... but, I said that in the past, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 06:12 PM

Punish, Kendall? Is limiting availability of arsenic...or dynamite..punishment? Both do have uses.

...but they aren't nearly as interesting to collect, are they?

Yes, I'm being a smart-alec, but guns are craved by people who have little use for them simply because they have such a history and ....ummmm..'panache'. For WAY too many folks, just 'having' a gun makes them feel.....something... important? safe? powerful? It differs, but I have seen it work. It doesn't make everyone who has one feel that way, but kids 'find' them and take them to school, and 'play' with them among friends.

Ask yourself...if we could collect *ALL* guns,and start over, just distributing them to qualified and sane people who need them, what might we do different? And how might we approach that ideal from where we are now?


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 04:47 PM

Keeping people from owning guns is not punishment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: kendall
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 04:45 PM

Bill, my friend, you can't punish a person for what he/she MIGHT do.

Stigweard, what's wrong with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals?


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 02:48 PM

I think Bill has hit on a good point here.

There is something about US politics that polarizes, divides, draws lines and has otherwise responsible, rational people drawing lines and picking sides.

People defend "their side" rather than arguing over what is right and rational. Responsible gun owners should be leading in the way in the debate over what is right and reasonable rather than helping the NRA constantly try to expand what is allowed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 11:39 AM

Obviously, Mick, we will always have different views on the matter. I hardly think that moves my 'aside' comment into the category of demagogic.

You do a calculation of the % of total deaths caused by gunshots, and get 1.2%. That sure looks like a nice, small number compared to 25,000+. Even the number 4, as in ..."injuries from firearms are the 4th leading cause of accidental death for children between the ages of 5 and 14." doesn't look too big. Even "six" in
"A youngster between the ages of 10 and 19 commits suicide with a handgun every six hours" might not seem impressive.

To enlarge on what I said earlier, it may just be that we have a different threshold of tolerance for statistics about death & injury. And noting that the US seems to always rank 1st in the world in death by firearms, indicates to me that we have a problem.

You'll note that, even with my pretty dim view of the cost/benefit value of allowing those "...10 others that are responsible owners who obey the law" to have guns, I am NOT damanding, as you seem to imply, that "The notion that even one death is reason enough to ban them .."
Where did I ever say anything like that?

I am quite aware that "...Law abiding citizens who responsibly own, and use, guns are not causing the deaths."....but I am also aware that some of the deaths result from guns being stolen FROM those law abiding citizens and from accidents, even among those who TRY to be careful.

The original question here was about the NRA, and by extension I suppose, about the spirited defense of 'legal' firearms by folks such as yourself. What I see & hear from the NRA is a basic resistance to almost ANY restriction of firearms, lest those 'responsible' folks lose a few privileges. (That's PRIVILEGES, Slag...not rights. I should have made that point earlier.)

In my post at 12 Apr 08 - 05:07 PM, I suggest that the situation needs a lot more rational study...simply BECAUSE we do have so many weapons "out there" that are not easily going away, even if we tried!

I admit, I do not have a simple answer...but I do not believe the 'answer' is to let things go as they are and go thru the motions of "enforcing existing laws". THAT system has gotten us that seemingly permanent place on top the charts of deaths by gunshot. All you 'responsible' gun owners need to work a bit harder to REDUCE the problem, not just argue that 1.2% is not very big.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Stu
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 03:44 AM

"Many states, Maine included, have a law that prohibits any felon from owning a gun,"

Oh Christ.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 01:42 AM

Well..... let's see here. First thing that jumps out is that the total deaths by guns that Bill cites comes to about 1.2% of the total deaths for the year (gun deaths according to Bill's source = 29573 divided by total deaths in 2002 of 2,443,387). Hardly a terrible crisis, given that the numbers that the good prof is hardly trying to be objective and did not seek to balance the numbers for a number of factors, such as violent crime deterred, stopped, or lives saved BY THE LEGAL INTERVENTION (The study indicates that legal intervention caused 300+ deaths). Second, the numbers include deaths from guns that have nothing to do with the NRA being good or evil, such as unspecified, or accidents. Thirdly, the fact that a number of them were suicides, it seems fairly obvious that those folks were committed to killing themselves and would have done so anyway. The study cited was being used by this person to imply that this is a raging problem. This person clearly was trying to sway opinion by throwing every kind of death that occurred, whether it would have been prevented by some form of gun control or the outright banning of private ownership of weapons or not.

I knew you couldn't resist the demagogic comment, "If that doesn't move you, come see me, and I will introduce you to a few..." comment, and I would simply point out that it doesn't mean much. But I would be happy to show you, for each of these folks you show me, 10 others that are responsible owners who obey the law and aren't wackos running around shooting their wives, children and folks out for a Sunday drive. But as I said, that really doesn't mean much. As an aside, there was just a case of an armed man in Grand Rapids, Michigan, caught on a gas station security camera as another man picked up a heavy metal lid with the intention of doing him great bodily harm. The man pulled his weapon and shot and killed the assailant. The police department and the prosecutor, reviewed that tape and came to the conclusion that he was completely justified and that the implement could have killed or very seriously injured him. Of course had he not been armed, and had he been hurt or killed, you certainly wouldn't be suggesting that it is too bad he wasn't armed so he could protect himself. This is exactly why there is an inverse proportional effect as to the number of deaths/injuries from violent crime and strict gun control laws. Where citizens have the right to carry arms, under very strict rules of training and use, deaths/injuries from violent crime are demonstrably lower.

By the use of these studies, in the manner in which you are citing them, it speaks exactly to what the real agenda is. And it is ridiculous. Law abiding citizens who responsibly own, and use, guns are not causing the deaths. The notion that even one death is reason enough to ban them flys in the face of all intellectual reason. And I can assure you of one thing.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: artbrooks
Date: 14 Apr 08 - 12:54 AM

Once again, the question of whether or not the "right to keep and bear arms" is universal or subject to some connection with "a well regulated militia" is currently under review by the US Supreme Court.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 11:40 PM

Mick...please see my earlier post with specific figures on how many folks who are not qualified to have guns there seem to be. If that doesn't move you, come see me, and I will introduce you to a few.

Perhaps we just differ on how much "wholesale slaughter" is too much.

And perhaps my assertions are not totally 'Gratuitous'.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Slag..."Wheels are "old". Shall we stop using them?"

If you don't see the flaw in that comparison, I can't explain it to you.

It was that OPINION and all that followed it that established the GREATEST NATION the world has seen to date."

and again...bad logic. Because they were 'great men' it does not follow that everything they did or said is automatically appropriate forever.


"A "right" does not have to be spelled out.

I must disagree. Some rights are matters of convention, and are different in different societies. And if YOU do not see the basic difference between the fairly basic right to be free and the declared right to own and bear firearms, we have quite a communication problem. Even legal scholars do not all agree that ownership of firearms is precisely what the founding fathers meant...and many agree with me that it should be a LIMITED right, if allowed at all.

If it is so obvious that ALL the 'rights' given by our Constitution are so obvious, why aren't they that clear to other cultures. (Yes, I do think our system is better than most...but only a fool would think it can't be improved.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Slag
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 10:04 PM

Bill D, What kind of argument is:

"As I have pointed out before, the Bill of Rights is old. Especially the part about 'bearing arms'. I cannot imagine it being written that way knowing what we do now about society and considering advances in modern arms." ?

Wheels are "old". Shall we stop using them? What a ludricrous statement! Brrr.

"The Bill of Rights ENUMERATES our inalienable rights. It does NOT create them." To which you wrote:

"Such an interesting idea....it is very easy to argue that it does create them. Why is not a list of 'inalienable rights' just an opinion of one group of men at one point in history?"

Well, yes, I guess that it was just the opinion of one group of men at a point in history. It was that OPINION and all that followed it that established the GREATEST NATION the world has seen to date. It is THAT opinion which protects your ability to make such hare-brained statements. You ought to be thankful for the opinion that:

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent from the Governed..."

A "right" does not have to be spelled out. You have the right to be here because you ARE here. You have a right to breath the air and drink the water. You have the right to protect your life. The fact that these rights are written out is not what establishes them. We hold these Truths to be SELF-EVIDENT, SELF-EVIDENT!

God help us all and save us all from those who would see our rights as just some old idea or opinion that has had its day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 08:32 PM

Bill D said: Why do I keep harping on this theme? Because there are so many careless, unstable & just plain mean guys out there who haven't YET flipped out or decided to use a gun to settle some imagined grudge.....besides all the potential criminals who think it might be easier to get money if they have a gun.

We call that a gratuitous assertion, podnuh. These can be just as gratuitously denied. So, no there aren not so many. But you can correct me by providing a cite or two on how many "unstable & just plain mean guys outh there" there are and how you know they are just waiting to flip out. Careful now, buddy. No demagoguery, or one off "I knew a guy..." kinds of stories. I am after substantiated, not manufactured stuff. And while you are at it, perhaps you can explain how the number of guns out there already haven't led to this wholesale slaughter you are so worried about. And perhaps you can explain how the police authorities in the State of Michigan are very satisfied with the effects of the "shall issue" CCW laws.

Just wonderin',

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 07:42 PM

"Any man who beats a woman or child does not deserve to own a gun."

absolutely!



But until they are caught and convicted, they may have one!


Why do I keep harping on this theme? Because there are so many careless, unstable & just plain mean guys out there who haven't YET flipped out or decided to use a gun to settle some imagined grudge.....besides all the potential criminals who think it might be easier to get money if they have a gun.

I don't know how to make legal guns available to honest, careful, sane people without opening things up to idiots.....I'd sure be glad to hear ideas!


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: kendall
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 12:20 PM

Many states, Maine included, have a law that prohibits any felon from owning a gun, and recently, domestic violence has joined the list of offenses that will cost you your gun. I am all for this. Any man who beats a woman or child does not deserve to own a gun.
There is a big difference between freedom and license.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 12:17 PM

My point was not that the NRA mag carried the ad for the parts and pieces but accepted advertising revenues for other items that the same company makes.
I believe responsible gun owners don't want plans, parts or pieces to turn a semi-auto into full auto available to criminals and therefor are willing to forgo them themselves.
Unfortunately all too often the sanity question is only asked after someone has pulled the trigger.

Bobert - unfortunately you have a segment of the NRA that would like to overturn any regulation that bans fire arms from churches, universities, sporting events, etc.

As far as a sheathed sword preventing another sword from being drawn that's just plain idiocy. Lots of people got holes poked through them when both "fencers" were plainly "carrying".

Funnily enough, the only time any of my men came into any danger (from guns) was when they were plainly carrying themselves! In both cases even though they were plainly armed, the people they were dealing with (who were up until then "legal" gun owners) decided to "go for their weapons". In neither case were my officers being jack booted thugs that these folks needed to defend themselves against. One was a drunk boat owner (my officers were there to ask him if he was planning on cleaning up an oil spill his fishing vessel had created) and the other was a retired military officer that pulled a loaded and cocked .45 out of his desk drawer and idly pointed at my officers. My officers were there to let him know they were there in his public marina and to tell him how nice it was. Other than that it's been nearly twenty years without having guns pointed at any of my people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: kendall
Date: 13 Apr 08 - 12:15 PM

The definition of "Belly gun" is that it has little or no accuracy and must be very close to the target.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 11:33 PM

More: "In the U.S. for 2001, there were 29,573 deaths from firearms, distributed as follows by mode of death: Suicide 16,869; Homicide 11,348; Accident 802; Legal Intervention 323; Undetermined 231.(CDC, 2004) This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S. The number of firearms-related injuries in the U.S., both fatal and non-fatal, increased through 1993, but has since declined steadily.(CDC, 2001) However, firearms injuries remain a leading cause of death in the U.S., particularly among youth (CDC, 2004)."

read the rest of it (with chart showing our 'special' place in world rankings!)

And you wonder why, even as I recognize how difficult it is to regulate firearms, I still think we should keep trying?! Current systems and laws are...lemme think of a word....ummmm..."pathetic" comes to mind..or "laughable".


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 11:26 PM

"...We don't let babies and kids play wiith them... We try to keep them outta schools and, for the most part, do that rather well..."

awww..Bobert, my friend..We only have a 'few' school shootings each year?

and is THIS 'doing pretty well'?: "Richard Aborn, a national gun control advocate and former homicide prosecutor, cited the following statistics: Across the U.S., 15 kids die every day from gunshot wounds. Injuries from firearms are the fourth leading cause of accidental death for children between the ages of 5 and 14. A youngster between the ages of 10 and 19 commits suicide with a handgun every six hours. Hospital emergency rooms treat four kids for gunshot wounds for every one that is killed by gunfire."

(that was from the N.Y. Times


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 11:08 PM

Riginslinger, I am a liberal. I believe that anyone who is not a registered loonie or a criminal has a right to own and carry (if they are properly trained) handguns and long arms. I believe that the (local) government has an obligation to register these firearms and ensure that proper training is conducted and received. I do not believe that the US Constitution has a single thing to do with this. I do not think anyone outside the military and (maybe) law enforcement has any business carrying assault weapons, automatic or not, rocket launchers or hand grenades.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 10:45 PM

"This is what the right wing does... It... uses the BIG THREE: abortion, gays and guns to keep it's base mobilized... And they do it very well, I might add..."


                      I don't disagree with this at all, but this formula is where some of us might very well begin to feel a little uncomfortable.

                        I don't want to make somebody else's decision related to an abortion--it's none of my business. And I think it's totally wrong to involve myself in someone else's life style choices--gay or straight. But I have a real problem with liberal ideas about gun control.

                      In the first place, when I see most of them talk about the issue, it becomes very apparent very early on that they have no idea what they're talking about. Maybe if they fact-checked their material before the opened their mouths they'd have better luck with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 10:38 PM

"A "Belly gun" at best."


                      But it still chambers .45 Colt, which generates over 400 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy, more than a .38 special, 9mm, or a .44 special, though one might question its accuracy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Debate: NRA good or Evil?
From: Bobert
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 07:57 PM

Let's get real here...

As I have pointed out before, we have gun control... Lots of gun control... We don't let babies and kids play wiith them... We try to keep them outta schools and, for the most part, do that rather well... We keep them outta church and sports arenas and lots of places... We restrict some adults access to guns based on past behavior...

So let's get beyond whether or not we should have gun control becuae we have it, everyone knows it and that is a non issue...

Where the rub comes into play is in the NRA, which is a multi-million dollar lobby and being so it has to create subterfuge to keep it's memebers sending in their dollars...

Where the rub cames in, part B, is that the Republican Party has taken ownership of the NRA and used it's subterfuge as a wedge issue to keep the NRA's rather right winged and redneck base all fired up at election time... Nevermind that Joe Six-Pack has just6 lost his job because it was ent overseas... Joe-Sixpack is ready and willing to blame the liberals who want gun control for all of his woes...

This is what the right wing does... It takes the Epsilons of our society and uses the BIG THREE: abortion, gays and guns to keep it's base mobilized... And they do it very well, I might add...

B~


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