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Sunday, October 23, 2016

A few days ago, the NRA inadvertently said something reasonable.

This, in response to a series of protests in Texas. It seems advocates of the right to carry firearms openly have taken to showing up en masse at public places — coffee shops, museums, restaurants, etc. — toting shotguns and assault rifles. So say you’re snapping photos at Dealey Plaza, and up sidles some guy with an AK slung over his shoulder.

That sudden dryness of mouth and tightness of sphincter you feel is not reassurance.

“This is terrifying,” a visitor from Washington state told the Dallas Morning News. “We have guns in our house, but we don’t walk around with them. … This is shocking.”

The NRA seemed to agree. In an unsigned online editorial, it stated the obvious, calling the practice of bringing long guns into public places “dubious,” “scary” and “downright weird.”

Days later, having come, well … under fire, from Texas gun groups, the NRA was in retreat, apologizing and blaming this rare lapse of lucidity on a staff member who apparently failed to drink his full allotment of Kool-Aid. The organization assured its followers that it still supports the right of all people to bring all guns into all places.

One gets the sense, when people argue for these “guns everywhere” policies, that they see themselves as restoring some frontier spirit lost in the passage of centuries. A few weeks back, former senator Rick Santorum contended on Face the Nation that “gun crimes were not very prevalent” in the Old West because everyone was armed.

But they weren’t. In his book, Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America, UCLA professor of constitutional law Adam Winkler reveals that gun control in the Old West was actually quite strict. In Dodge City, you were required to turn in your guns when you got to town. The iconic Gunfight at the OK Corral was ignited when Wyatt and Virgil Earp tried to enforce a similar ordinance in Tombstone, Ariz. So the idea that everyone in the Old West was packing is a relic of TV and movie westerns, but it is not history.

And while the modern gun rights movement is usually regarded as a conservative construction, Winkler writes that it was actually born of liberal extremism. It seems that in 1967, a heavily armed group of Black Panthers showed up and walked brazenly into the California statehouse — there were no metal detectors — as a group of children were readying for a picnic with the new governor, Ronald Reagan.

  • charleo1

    Did you hear about the recent shooting in Las Vegas? Where it was a man, and woman this time, that walked into a Ci Ci’s Pizza restaurant, shot, and killed two Las Vegas Police Officers in cold blood. The Officers did not confront the couple, but were targeted. Each of the Officers left behind children, and wives. The couple then fled across the street to a Walmart. Where they shot, and again senselessly killed another person, out of the blue. For no other discernible reason, but because they were there, the person was there, and they could. The woman then reportedly shot the man, then herself, when Police moved in. Not many specifics as to motive this morning. But does it really matter? Does it ever?
    Last week a group of Right to carry any guns everywhere advocates, were protesting the State of Texas’ discriminatory carry policy. Where long guns may be openly carried, but pistols, (except some ancient, ball, and powder, models,) are not. Thus, they were openly carrying their long guns into restaurants, and other public places, as a demonstration of what they see as the ridiculousness of Texas’ obvious bias against handguns. And, if that bothers some people, as they conceded it might. Well, one said, “If you don’t use your Rights, you lose them.” These are the people, and this is the World, the NRA gun lobby wants to help them to create. To their credit, the protestors did not shoot anyone. And all seemed perfectly fine, at least for now, to allow the rest of us to live, and raise our children in it. I was going to go into this speal about how lobbyists, and big money are ruining the Country. But you know what? This is nuts. And it’s time we demanded, “our,” politicians grow a backbone, and stop this insanity now! Because, it’s clear there are two constituencies here. And one of them better have a brain, not controlled by the gun lobby.

  • pisces63

    This became extreme by the NRA because the right told lies about a black president. The first thing you heard was this president would take away the pin head’s guns and rights. They knew their base was too stupid to realize no president, from Washington to Obama can do this. Only Congress has that right and has to hold a constitutional Congress to change or amend anything in the constitution. Remember, congress makes the laws, not a president. yet, black man in office, blame him for everything. Let the NRA beware, there is one group who trumps them all, we the people. Let there be enough stupidity from crazy gun people, and we the people will go the route of NOW. It did not work for that legislation but it could actually work for some sort of gun control.

    • Allan Richardson

      As an intelligent progressive, I observed how the sales of guns went up the first few months of the Obama administration, and joked that a good economic move would be to leak a rumor that cars were going to be confiscated. If enough of those crazies believed it, the car industry would have recovered even before the stimulus arrived!

  • Grannysmovin

    What does the NRA have to say about their finding a loaded gun in the toy aisle in a South Carolina Target. For a moment imagine the devastation if it had not been found by a store employee, but rather a child.

    • Independent1

      Sadly, some law enforcement folks think that it may have been intentionally left there for just that purpose; so a youngster might pick it up, not realize it was real and loaded, point it at someone and pull the trigger.

      A similar sad tale was told in a recent article in the DailKos on some of the many shootings that have taken place over the past couple week that have injured and killed folks many times accidentally and even by law enforcement people.

      Two younger parents were moving into a new home, while they unloaded their car, they left their 2-year old waiting in it. Unfortunately, while unattended, the youngster found a loaded revolver in the console between the front seats, somehow pointed it his head and pulled the trigger.

  • FireBaron

    Folks who idealize Ronald Reagan also tend to forget he was a strong advocate for gun control laws. But just as people tend to forget that he raised taxes when he realized his trickle-down economics did not work, once put into practice, they also tend to forget that Reagan probably fired more blank-rounds as an actor (especially in all those mediocre WB westerns he made) than he ever fired in real life!

  • TZToronto

    I wonder how the open carry advocates would feel if some visibly Muslim people walked into Wendy’s with AK-47s. The NRA, in their wisdom [sic] would probably defend the comcept, but the rank-and file would probably not be very pleased.

  • kanawah

    Momentary sanity, and then it is back to the straight jacket. The NRA is nothing but a bunch if crazies running loose, tormenting and killing the rest of us.

    • DEFENDER88

      You need to stop fanning the ignorant flame.
      This kind of agenda driven drivel gets us nowhere.
      If you really want to be part of the solution/s – get real.
      The people running loose are the kids you have put on psychotropic antidepressant drugs and turned loose to go home then go back to their school or base and kill everyone in sight. And maybe their poor parents first. Then themslves when someone else with a gun confronts them.
      If you dont see that pattern – you have not been paying attention.
      Columbine, VT, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Calif, ad infinitum.
      When was the last time you heard of a NRA certified gun permit carrier killing anyone? Thats right – never.
      We have a real mental health systemic problem(“A clear and present danger”) in this country not a gun problem.
      We have always had the NRA and a lot of guns.

      • Independent1

        And more mumbo jumbo from one of those crazies who is running loose. Not that what you’re saying is wrong but the fact that you”re trying to suggest that it’s the primary cause of the lunacy we’re seeing is what makes you crazy!!!

      • JPHALL

        The same people who have pushed the gun agenda helped Reagan push to close most state run mental health facilities. It was too expensive to provide treatment. It is cheaper, for some reason, to put them in jails and prisons.

      • Allan Richardson

        There is nothing to stop someone from getting a gun permit (does the NRA still cooperate with states in helping to test people for those? I don’t think so) BEFORE going off the deep end. After all, even Lee Harvey Oswald was not ALWAYS a psychopath, and he even had gun safety training in the Marine Corps.

        In Georgia, it still requires a background check and fingerprinting to get an ORIGINAL carry permit, but no police officer can ask anyone carrying a gun to SHOW the permit, and fingerprinting is no longer needed to RENEW the permit (so that anyone who knows the permit number can impersonate the permit holder, renew it while reporting a change of address, and receive the new permit in the mail).

        • DEFENDER88

          So there are problems with the permit system/s – what else is new?
          Nor can you ask if someone is on antidepressants(psychotropics) ie “privacy laws”.
          But these are areas that can be fixed and we can reach middle ground on.
          NRA gun and safety standards form the standards for most conceal carry courses. And you have to 1st pass a NRA test to be a state certified instructor, here anyway. They also set standards for law enforcement tests.

        • DEFENDER88

          It should be acknowledged that a conceal carry man put his life on the line in Vegas after the 2 police were killed. And he was shot in the back and killed also trying to help. He also left a wife and 2 kids.

  • cgosling

    Before law enforcement came to the “Old West”, guns were needed for protection. When law came to town the guns were outlawed. Illegal ownership and the lawless use of guns is guaranteed by the lack of effective registration. The fear that federal, state and local government will confiscate guns is totally unfounded and propagated by those who make big bucks on guns and ammo and those too dumb to realize they have been taken.

    • ps0rjl

      I couldn’t agree more. Of course they’ve got Cletus convinced that he should buy and carry more guns to protect his 2nd Amendment rights.

    • jmprint

      That came directly from NRA propaganda. How do I know this, because I received it. I am not an NRA member, but a friend of mine was and signed me up to receive info, made me sick.

    • DEFENDER88

      You, like most others, “did not get the verbal memo” on registration to confiscation.
      When the Biden commission met after Sandy Hook, it was decided confiscation was “desired” after “registration” determined who has the guns. All verbal and behind closed doors. This was reported by a very Left Wing Rag. If it had been reported by the Right Wing/Repub I would have discounted it totally and not even mention it.
      Plus many in here have, in the past, called for bans and confiscation.
      This disarms only the honest gun owners. The criminals are not going to “register” their guns.
      There could be middle ground efforts that could be done to make things safer but most in here(like you) want to blame honest gun owners and the NRA for the crimes of criminals, gangs, and the mentally ill. So, no progress is made.
      The biggest continuing threats we face, on a daily basis, are the mentally ill(on psychotropic drugs) who we cannot ID and the gangs who are driven by poverty and drugs

      • Independent1

        What rot!! The paranoid just keep making things up as they go along!! You look crazier with every post you make!!!!!

        • DEFENDER88

          I sure hope you are not a gun owner.
          You are much too volitile and aggressive.
          You are getting so worked up your neck veins are showing.
          You should consider getting some help with your anger issues

          • Independent1

            Nah! Nothing that dramatic! I just have an intense dislike for trolls from the NRA/RSC who come onto the NM and spread the NRA’s and RSC’s lies and distortions just to create dissension!!!

          • DEFENDER88

            I see, you only want to talk to/hear from people who agree with you.
            And those, like me, who dont – are “Trolls”.

            There is a term for that kind of thinking – “Group Think”.
            Do I need to explain the potential problems with that?

            I can “Agree to Dis-Agree”. Seems you cannot without calling names.
            This behavior makes you appear Immature and childish.

            If I dont believe exactly the same as you, then I am totally wrong.
            A little like AlQaeda actually.
            They think that way too.

            And I was not even talking to you

          • Independent1

            I’m more than willing to talk to people who disagree with me, but not to trolls who come here with prefabricated lies and distortions like the idiot statement: “guns don’t kill”. When the fact is that guns are nothing more than “killing machines”. Which is why the states in America that not only lead the nation in “guns killing people” are the red states with the highest gun ownership.

            Which also proves that the NRA’s other propaganda “guns will protect you”, is also a blatant lie. Yeah! guns may be useful for protection in the hands of those who really know how to use them, but in the hands of the average American, their nothing more than a death trap.

            It’s a fact that when people are confronted in confrontations, whether on the street or in their home, if they’re carrying a gun, they stand a 4.46 bigger probability that they’re going to end up dead if they have a gun, than if the don’t. And it’s also a fact, that women and children in a home where a gun is owned, are 5 times more likely to be killed by a gun, than in a home where there isn’t a gun.

            And the NRA knows this, yet despite the fact that they know guns are a liability, not a true means of self-protection, (of 165,000 homicides from 2000 to 2011, only around 1300 of those homicides was for the purpose of self-protection, the NRA keeps spewing its lies just to sell more guns, get more members and feed the gun lobby at the expense of hundreds of thousands of Americans dying. The NRA is the most despicable, down right hateful organization in America. And being a troll for that organization, makes you nothing more than one of them; and therefore, as hateful as they are.

      • Allan Richardson

        These assertions are no more reliable than those written in “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” For those whose knowledge of history is wanting, this was a forged document created by the Czarist regime of Russia in the 19th century purporting to be the “minutes of the meetings” of Jewish leaders discussing their plans for world domination. Most of the anti-Semitic movements in Europe since that time, including Nazism, and American Nazis (who read the English translation published by Henry Ford, yes THAT Henry Ford), used this document to justify their prejudices, even up to the Holocaust. NRA and gun nut groups have fabricated the equivalent “liberal conspiracies” for similar reasons, namely to justify THEIR extreme agenda.

        • DEFENDER88

          Well I did not “make it up” and it Did come from a Progressive News organization.

          Salon is a progressive news website created by David Talbot in 1995 and part of
          Salon Media Group (OTCQB: SLNM). It focuses on U.S. politics and current

          Again, if it had come from the “Right” I would have discounted it totally.
          Maybe Salon was just “wishful thinking”?
          With all the pressure on the admin after Sandy Hook, I could see them saying that. Pulling it off would be uhh – problematic at the least. Most police I know, which is a lot(I help train them in firearms)(on volunteer basis), have told me if they are ordered to confiscate home weapons they will NOT.

  • jointerjohn

    For a brief moment there the NRA had the opportunity to reflect the overwhelming majority of the public and even their own members, but then they blew it. The U.S. public may appear to be politically quite polarized right now, but the fact is we still don’t go for absolutes. By taking this turn they risk never being taken seriously again. Absolutism does that, it cancels the validity of one’s opinions in any future discussions on matters in shades of gray. Oh, and also, EVERYTHING is a shade of gray.

  • howa4x

    I think the craziest thing that one of these open carry enthusiasts said was that now he had protection from bad guys, so if one of them walked into an eatery where he was he could fight back. No one asked him what it would be like to start a gun battle in an eatery filled with people. The press took his statement as fact. Right after that they had a member of the mothers against gun violence came on and told every one that people are fed up and mothers had to take to the street because their political representatives constantly cave into the NRA. Remember what Mother’s against drunk driving did? They changed laws everywhere. There is trouble brewing for the NRA , and its not from the open carry Texans, who are a minority of a minority but from millions of sane Americans who want this senseless violence stopped. This weekends carnage included the murders in Las Vegas, and 29 people shot in Chicago with 4 dead. For those with the tired cliché that guns don’t kill people,only people do. The reality is that unstable, vengeful and angry people who have unrestricted access to guns kill people.

  • herchato

    The gun fetish is a scary one.

  • Angel Perea

    THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: As the NRA says, Let’s arm-up! Give out more guns to anyone and everyone! So the NRA’s and its Gun Manufactures paid the political prostitutes in Washington to keep the insanity and killings increasing! As long as their money keeps flowing they could care less! Maybe the crazies should target them instead of our police officers and innocent young people since their voting record show that they just don’t care about us?

  • cgosling

    Defender88 – I assume your stockpile of guns and ammo will be passed down to your descendants or friends when you die. Eventually there will be an accumulation of so many guns and ammo owned by the public that they will find their way to the illegal and/or criminal market. Do you have any concerns what will eventually happen to your guns? Just curious.

    • DEFENDER88

      I have a few but not a lot but my daughter has “dibs” on them. So they are willed to her. She is a 1st Responder and has to carry a gun where she has to go.
      Mine are for hunting, home defense, and I shoot some competitions.
      Mine are kept where no kids or others can find them or get hold of them. That is part of being “trained” and an “honest” gun owner. So,No, I am not concerned about it.
      ps1 I am Highly trained, licensed, and insured for liability.
      I rarely carry in public however since I know I am likely to be sued by some in here even if I save their life. I do carry to church since I was “asked to” for security reasons.
      ps2 I dont agree with “open” carry. It just scares people and gives away your tactical advantage against the criminals.
      ps3 A concealed carrier tried to stop the madness yesterday. He pulled his gun and approached one of the killers but the other one shot him in the back and killed him also

      • Allan Richardson

        Thank you for being trained, licensed, and insured. If the law REQUIRED liability insurance, the insurance companies would take care of the background checks to obtain insurance, under the FREE MARKET (although I find it hard to imagine that any company would be so callous as to offer a “psycho special” policy for, say, five times the premium, which would be like offering a “DUI special” automobile policy).

        You have made some good points for reasonable regulation. It is too bad that the NRA management (is it really a member managed association? does it have elections for officers?) is opposed to EVEN THE MOST reasonable regulation.

        • DEFENDER88

          For what it is worth.
          I think I know what the NRA Strategy is.
          “Back when” I spearheaded an environmental battle against the Fed Govt.
          Took a few years.
          Sued them in Fed Court. Lost the case but got an act of Congress passed on the issue.
          My initial position was to be reasonable and try to talk reason with them(the Feds) about the issue.
          Until I happend to call a pro in the enviro business in Calif.
          He advised me to not do that – “No – You Cant Do That” “Take a hard line and do not give/compromise one inch at this point in the game”.
          Only “give” some when the right time comes, down the road.
          And “that” I think is the NRA “strategy” at this point so far.
          Also the NRA IS the primary source for gun safety training and certification in this country and has been for over 100yrs. If everyone followed NRA taught rules strictly, no one would be shot even children accidentally.
          Part of the problem is people go out and buy guns and get no NRA training.
          Plus, as we agree, flaws in the Bkground check system.
          If NRA training was required “before you could buy a gun” it would actually help a lot with the accidental shootings. We call them AD’s(Accidental Discharge) which will get you, chastized, thrown out of a match and likely the gun club. They stress, strongly, keeping guns out of reach/hands of children, the untrained, mentally ill, etc.
          The 2 biggest problems I see are gangs with guns(ie violent criminal behavior) and young people on psychotropic drugs doing most of the mass killing and I expect that to continue until we straighten out the now broken mental health system problems.

      • cgosling

        Defender88 – Thanks for reply. You sound like a responsible gun owner and user. I wish more owners were sensible like you.
        Still, I wonder about the mass of guns and ammo accumulated by private citizens. When they die the guns will be inherited by their descendants, or sold or given to friends, who may resell them over and over. Guns often have long lives. Most start out being used for sport or protection, but eventually they end up being sold or used illegally. Do you have any fear that this huge number of legally privately owned guns will eventually be sold illegally and fall into the hands of criminals, or given irresponsible persons? The NRA and gun manufacturers want people to buy more guns than hey can possibly use except in a revolution against the state.

        As a teenager working on a cattle ranch in Wyoming, my boss bought a gun for me. I paid him from my salary. I carried a long barreled revolver to shoot varmints. When I moved to the city, I needed money and sold the gun to someone, whom I found out later, sold the gun again. Seldom are guns thrown away, usually they pass from owner to owner or are stolen. I worry about this as do many people. What are your thoughts? While autos wear out and are junked, most guns have a longer life.

        I own several guns now and have no kids or family to give them to. When I die, I plan to turn them into the police station. Any suggestions?

        • DEFENDER88

          That is a problem I do have some concerns about. The bigger problem is usually people not properly storing their guns and thieves/robbers break in and steal them and/or children can find them. The gangs get a lot of guns this way. Keeping them in a heavy safe(one thieves cannot pick up and carry off) is a good method. I store some inside my walls that no-one can find. As for selling guns, I dont think you should be able to buy a gun unless you have had some training(say at least a “permit”) so I know you have some training and a background check. And get their Permit ID name and address etc in case it is mis-used you can tell the police who you sold it to.
          As for “your” guns – I would talk to my local police in your area or the closest gun club and tell them what you have told me and see what they say. They may have some ideas about your guns that would be workable for you in your passing. You may make a new trusted friend who would like to have them, who may need them. I know at my gun club you have to have a permit and a lot of police are members. We also have gun sale days to sell to each other with the knowledge that you are selling to someone who has been background checked and as a club member knows how to handle and shoot a gun safely.
          As a last resort I would rather see them go to the police than fall into the wrong hands. The police can usually sell them and help with their budgets

  • The core defining feature of the 2nd Amendment Purists is their complete inability to have any debate of any kind. These people are literally not capable of having a rational discussion; they only know how to threaten violence against anyone who disagrees with them.

    Which is exactly what these “open carry” protests are meant to do: Threaten. They’re not exercising their rights — they’re indirectly threatening to murder anyone who even looks at them funny.