How much longer are we going to put up with this?
How many more innocents have to die before we start standing up to the National Rifle Association? How many more concert-goers have to be massacred? How many more party-goers? How many more children? How many more kids on the street? How many more policemen?
The massacre in the Harvest Festival concert in Las Vegas is no isolated event. A staggering 30 Americans are murdered with guns every day.
Every. Single. Day.
That’s 11,000 a year. The equivalent of a 9/11 every 14 weeks.
And that’s not even counting the people who use a gun to commit suicide. That’s just the murders.
And yet we do nothing.
Developing story: Read all the latest news on the Las Vegas shooting
Those who say the NRA is a subsidiary of “big gun manufacturers” couldn’t be more wrong. The NRA is a giant, lucrative business on its own. It raked in $345 million in its most recent reported year. It made $33 million in profit. But it paid no tax because it is organized as a “charity.”
Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre was paid $5.1 million in total compensation, more than the CEO of gun maker Sturm Ruger RGR, +3.48% . The NRA has tens of millions of dollars in assets, including $5 million held offshore in the Caribbean.
After a recent, stupid online argument with NRA trolls, I realized once again that the association’s public voices are, in the main, an unholy alliance of liars, morons and sociopaths. And it’s about time everyone stopped giving them more credit than they deserve.
Did you know that drivers’ licenses were the “thin end of the wedge” of a secret government plot to ban all cars and force us all onto collectivist trains? Of course you didn’t. But that’s the kind of argument the NRA regularly wheels out to oppose any laws at all about who can buy which guns.
Did you know that because a bottle of opioids sitting in a cabinet won’t kill or hurt you, opioids aren’t remotely dangerous in the wrong hands, and that therefore we shouldn’t restrict or regulate their sale?
Of course you didn’t. But that, too, is the sort of logic they use about guns.
How about this? Gee, if only everyone at the concert in Las Vegas had been armed, they could have “defended themselves” against the crazy person on the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel.
Do you know anyone stupid enough to make an argument like that? Anyone at all?
Of course you don’t. But that’s how the NRA rolls.
Oh, and here’s my favorite: Do you know a single person who said in 2001 that we shouldn’t “politicize” the “tragedy” of 9/11 by passing new laws about airline safety, or new laws about terrorism? Or that we shouldn’t even talk about any new laws following the attacks?
Do you know anyone who said anything so utterly moronic, ridiculous and grotesque?
Of course you don’t. But that’s exactly the kind of thing the NRA says after each shooting massacre. Let’s not “politicize” this “tragedy” by talking about how to prevent it happening again.
And that’s what its fellow travelers will be saying today and this week in response to the tragedy in Las Vegas.
Here’s one thing we should remember: Only a tiny percentage of Americans are members of the NRA. The association’s annual membership fee is $40. Last year its membership dues came to $160 million. So that’s 4 million members. Out of an estimated 55 million gun owners.
Most Americans, including most gun owners, aren’t liars, morons or sociopaths.
But the NRA wants to grow its business and keep the dollars flowing in. Wayne LaPierre wants to keep banking his paychecks.
And so the NRA works hard to keep spreading lies, hatred and stupidity. It does everything it can to muddy the waters, to turn American against American.
Only a tiny percentage of Americans are members of the NRA.
If you’re a normal NRA member and you’ve been listening to their propaganda, I have some shocking news for you: You’re being lied to. Lied to, lied to and lied to again.
Hardly anyone wants to take away your family shotgun. Almost no one cares about it. If you turned up in a liberal enclave and offered to “hand in” your family shotgun, people would look at you like you were a nut and tell you to go home.
And almost no one wants to take away your hunting rifle, either. Most don’t care about it at all.
You’re just not that interesting. Not even to liberals. Sorry.
And, assuming you are a normal, mentally stable individual, hardly anybody wants to take away the pistol or the handgun you keep for home defense.
Sorry if that makes you feel neglected or ignored. Sorry if that offends you.
The claim that “libs” (yeah) are plotting to take away all guns is a deliberate lie spread by the NRA to keep you sending in your checks.
(Incidentally, this caricature of “libs” and “liberals” and “elitists” is a textbook propaganda tool for depersonalizing “the enemy.”)
Sure, I can find some people who will say they want all or most guns banned, just as I can find some people who will say the Earth is flat, the moon landings were fake, and so on. I can find some left-wing extremists to scare you, just as liberals can try to tarnish you with the brush of some right-wing extremists. I can find people to say anything, if I look.
But as someone who’s spent plenty of time among those evil “libs,” I can tell you I don’t know anyone who cares about responsible gun owners and normal guns. I know a few who argue that having a gun in your home makes you more likely to become a victim: But they’d add that, ultimately, that’s your choice.
I’d also add that Supreme Court rulings about the Second Amendment mean no one can “ban” guns like this anyway, even if they wanted, and tried, to.
All most “liberals” want to do is make it harder for the mentally or emotionally unwell, like the shooter in Las Vegas, it would appear, to get hold of the kind of guns that make it really easy to kill lots of people quickly, like the guns he used.
And yes, we all know we can’t make the system perfect. But we can surely do things to make it safer. Surely when we suffer a new 9/11 every 3½ months, it’s not unreasonable to see if we can take some simple steps to reduce the death count.
No other country in the world considers something so obvious to be “controversial.”
But the NRA doesn’t want you to know this. If you did, you’d stop being afraid of “liberals” taking away your family shotgun. And you might stop sending your membership renewals. And Wayne LaPierre would stop banking $5 million a year.
So they keep spreading lies — and hate.
As long as normal gun owners keep paying them money, and drinking their Kool-Aid, and politicians in Washington keep taking them seriously, these massacres will keep continuing. It’s time for normal gun owners to decide where their loyalties lie: with the NRA, or the USA.