It’s time to scare the NRA

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Since the election we have learned about the changing demographics in our country (more diversity in our future) and the static demographics of the Republican Party (lots of older, white faces). That uneven dynamic is having a powerful impact on the gun-control debate.

Think about it: Most of the guns in the U.S. are owned by older, white, Republican men (according to Gallup). The NRA is run by white men. Congress is run by white men, mostly. I would guess that the majority of gun manufacturers are white men, too.

What do the people who are hoarding guns and bullets have in common with the people who are blocking passage of gun-control legislation (and are so scared they can’t even allow debate on the topic)? They are both part of a shrinking subset of older white men, who are panicking in the face of a changing world and a probable loss of power.

We should not let a few fading politicians and some fear-mongering, overpaid lobbyists frame the discussion. The majority of Americans — 91 percent of adults and 88 percent of gun owners — want gun control, particularly universal background checks.

The NRA has only 4.5 million members. That’s less than 2 percent of our total population. They are far outnumbered by, say, the 40 million AARP members or the 40 million immigrants. (Hmm, do you think that last number scares Wayne LaPierre and John Boehner a little?)

Ignore the NRA, which is primarily a lobbying arm for the gun industry. (The NRA used to support universal background checks; now it just supports universal gun sales.) The NRA wants to keep us defeated, paranoid and clamoring for guns: “Security” for us, profits for the weapons industry, bigger donations to the NRA.

But buying a gun won’t give you any more security. A gun owner has a much greater risk of suffering a violent death or injury because of that gun (suicides, accidents, domestic abuse) than of foiling a crime with that gun.

The gun-control majority must claim its power and speak up. Loudly. Demand that Congress reject the NRA and its tainted money, and instead pass some real gun control.

We have the power of the vote on our side (plus a financial blast from New York Mayor Bloomberg’s wallet!). We need to aim that power in the right direction and scare the NRA, not let the NRA scare us.

Annie Capestany

Walla Walla

Comments

grammaphyllis 12 months ago

A.C. Beck Your tired arguments do not hold water. The Senate did debate and vote and defeated the flawed gun bill. There are about 14,000 gun laws in the US, many of which are not enforced. The NRA works to honor the 2nd amendment and provide gun safety courses, as well as sponsored shooting training for law enforcement and private citizens. Your statement that most guns are owned by old white male republicans is possibly correct because of the large number of "older" white males in the country. They have rights just as you do. However, I find your statement to be racist. It would be great to have you set a standard for any new gun law. Something along the lines of answering the question: "Will this law do anything to stop the illegal possession of firearms by criminals, those mentally ill, or bent on terrorist activities.?? Those people will not subject themselves to background checks because they know they would be stopped. We have nothing to fear from the NRA, but lots to fear from nuts who want to stop law-abiding citizens from lawful possession and use of firearms.

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stvsngltn 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Bull's eye, grammaphyllis. This is probably the most racist (some might call it reverse-racism) that I've seen out of this writer, who somehow thinks "older white American males" must be evil and that she somehow invented diversity in our country. (Heck, I learned about the amazing and wonderful US "melting pot" in grade school -- probably Baker or Sharpstein in the fifties. Guns are owned by every ethnic group in America and if more are owned by "older white people" (women own guns too) just perhaps that has something to do with demographics. I doubt Annie knows how racist her comments sound to others.

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wallyworldguy 12 months ago

Annie, WE get it,! you hate older white men, probably men in general, but why is it Boehners fault, Why are you not crucifying your boy harry reid??. He couldn't get his own ducks in a row to pass it in the senate. Maybe even the dumacrats knew the bill would have no effect on the real problem. Ya Think??

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PearlY 11 months, 4 weeks ago

I was curious what kind of person would write a piece full of so much bigotry.

Are you the same Annie Capestany who chaired the 2009 Multicultural Arts Festival, to increase "respect and appreciation while encouraging spontaneous, friendly interaction between people of all races and cultures"? All races and cultures, apparently, other than whites, other than men, other than older people, other than legal gun owners, and other than Republicans. Or is it only the combination that you can't tolerate and so obviously hope will be obliterated in the future?

It's ironic that within a couple of paragraphs, you can gleefully predict the total marginalization of this group, and then chastize them for fearing exactly that. You and white supremacists seem to share the same vision of the future. They should thank you for giving them more ammunition to fuel their own hatreds.

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PearlY 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Annie, while you're gloating in anticipation that more Democrats means more gun control, the NRA is educating a million young people a year in the shooting sports, welcoming growing numbers of women into its membership and programs, and challenging anti-gun owner bigotry from the local level through Congress.

The NRA is open to men and women of all races, ages and political parties who have an interest in shooting sports, hunting, firearm collecting and/or the protection of the fundamental right of self-defense against individual attackers or tyrants, as reflected in the 2nd Amendment. I've heard it said the NRA and gun fanciers generally only recognize four colors: blued, stainless steel, case-hardened, and parkerized; and only two main orientations, the Isosceles and the Weaver (shooting stances), but with plenty of variations.

Democrats may have voted for Obama, but they didn't trust him on guns - their rate of gun ownership shot up from 30% in 2009 to 40% in 2012. One out of every four women personally owns a gun (and another 20% live in a household where someone else does).

The six plaintiffs in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of District of Columbia vs. Heller, who helped restore 2nd Amendment rights to the residents of D.C., were three men and three women, four whites and two blacks, five straights and one gay, the latter of whom had used a handgun to defend himself and a friend against a homophobic attack.

The demographics of this plaintiff group only makes sense. Women and older people are physically weaker than the average violent criminal, and gays and minorities are more likely to live in crime-ridden inner cities and face hate crimes. These demographics have the most to lose from anything that impairs their ability to defend themselves. In fact, the first gun control laws in the early 1830s were specifically designed to keep guns out of the hands of black people, whether slave or free. The NRA has long recognized this. Founded by two Union Civil War veterans, it fought such laws for decades. It even chartered a chapter in Monroe, Alabama, in 1957, at the behest of the local NAACP President (a dedicated leftist) to help train its membership in rifle shooting as protection against KKK threats to local civil rights workers.

As for who has done the most for gun industry profits, it's not the NRA. Blame Obama, Pelosi and Feinstein. Their threats to make gun ownership more difficult, inconvenient and expensive have fueled a huge growth in gun and ammo sales, far exceeding the pre-2008 scale. As an Obama-inspired gun owner myself, I can attest that many of us, once we acquire our first gun, learn to enjoy shooting sports, acquire yet more, and become even more committed to the protection of 2nd Amendment rights.

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namvet60 11 months, 4 weeks ago

FYI - I normally don't catch any of the Sunday morning talk shows but this morning was a little different. I was watching one with Chuckie Schumer (D-NY) and low and behold it came out. Mr Schumer exclaimed that the Senate would not be held back from this immigration reform bill due to the exploitation of the Boston Marathon bombing by the individuals trying to delay its getting to the floor for more investigation. But as a good Democrat never let a good tragedy go to waste. Why were they in such a hurry to pass a gun control bill without much thought unrelenting from the nauseaous massacre from the Sandy Hook school.

BTW - the present Administration cut the homeland terrorism budget by 45%.

Annie - you are a very hateful person and I'm hoping you don't have any firearms in your household due to mental challenges that you are experienceing through the Opinion column of the U-B.

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paco1234 11 months, 3 weeks ago

So far so good...until namvet started the typical, disrespectfull and tasteless personal attacks...to a lady?

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namvet60 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Well paco I would tell you where your taste lies but the UB wouldn't allow it. This woman is as whacko as you are and that is not being disrespectful - that's the truth!

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paco1234 11 months, 3 weeks ago

You just turned unglued with the truth. Sorry, namvet, you, and your dear friend carcrazy are not going to drag decent people into the mud where you guys are seemingly very, very comfortable indeed. You guys have the advantage there. Stay there my friends. Other than this I have no response, not now nor in the future.

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namvet60 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Trust me - I won't lose any sleep over it!

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namvet60 11 months, 4 weeks ago

I almost failed to recognize the great law enforcement units of our great country. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

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paco1234 11 months, 4 weeks ago

The great law enforcement units of our great country are, by all definitions and representation, the great GOVERNMENT of this great country. I'm so glad that the conservatives, who have great disdain for the government, are capable of recognizing those who enforce the laws of the government of our great country. These conservative guys are the ones who will start shooting with their dear guns at the law enforcement units once they determine that the government is tyranical, as they erroneously believe the second amendment gives them the the "right" to do so. Wait a second, I suspect there is a contradiction (mental challenge) in there! Do you? Thanks guys, from the bottom of my heart!

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carcrazy 11 months, 4 weeks ago

Wow paco, maybe you should get some professional help. Your comments are becoming increasingly bizarre.

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paco1234 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Norman, you just can not stand the truth! You seem to love the word "bizarre" and so far you conviniently has tossed it around as a shield to cover up your not so smart imagination. Your contributions to a civil discourse are more of a platform to display your disgust for others who happen to opine differently. I can see you salivating at the next day UB to pounce with your personal attacks and to gleefuly hurt the feelings of decent people. I do not mind your vituperous and gratuitous insults to liberals in general. Birds of a feather flock together, and you, Rush and Gleen's cheap shots only help us win elections. Please, say something smart worth debating...if you can.

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carcrazy 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Norman, he called me NORMAN! No seriously paco, please get some help, you are decompensating daily and I am concerned about your welfare.

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paco1234 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Sorry, should I call you NORMAL?

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carcrazy 11 months, 3 weeks ago

You may call me whatever you like, as I'm sure you have used several choice words alongside my moniker. As for me being the only person posting to the U-B that you are following, are you stalking me?

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namvet60 11 months, 4 weeks ago

You know paco - I don't know what kind of so-called MD you are but obviously your type is the reason I didn't re-up. In my day there were officers that were supposedly going to college and were able to go through ROTC for 90 days and became officers. We called them 90 day wonders and it is a wonder they lasted 90 days. So you take that anyway you would like but the law enforcement units are supposed to be following laws on the books and not following the deprecating ways of the current Administration of which you so wholeheartedly approve of . As far as mental challenge you seem to have plenty of fortitude in that area. It's really to bad you don't have a clue what a conservative is.

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paco1234 11 months, 3 weeks ago

There you go again. You have to go with personal attacks, as if you are grasping for whatever to save your day, in the face of lacking inteligent arguments. ROTC officers are college graduates. Of course they deserve the rank given. Do not feel bad about changing your mind about re-upping. Not every one can put 26 years in the military like me. Two of my sisters are conservatives. My best friends are conseravtives. I know what a good conservative is. They are respectfull, inteligent and gracious in entertaining a liberal's point of view.

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namvet60 11 months, 3 weeks ago

There is no problem with serving 26 years in the military as long as your a yes man as most liberal progressives are. I wasn't grasping at anything other than your lifeless post trying to explain the government entities which you still have not translated! As far as being given the rank of an officer does not qualify a person to be a leader.

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PearlY 11 months, 4 weeks ago

paco, conservatives don't have disdain for government when it is doing its duty of good and faithful service to its citizens, as law enforcement was doing in Boston last week. They have disdain for government when it tries to pretend it is supreme over the citizens and tramples on their fundamental rights.

And it isn't the Second Amendment that gives people the right to fight a tyrannical government, its the right of all human beings to do that. The Second Amendment merely tried to preserve to Americans the means to do so.

The U.S. government is far from being a tyrannical one yet, but it's not for lack of trying on the part of the left-wing of the Democratic Party, and it's surely closer than it was when I was born.

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namvet60 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you PearlY - very good!

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stvsngltn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

PearlY, I give you a salute and standing O regarding that long note in defense of the NRA -- bravo! Would like to make one comment, however, on the Boston (Watertown) police incident. I've always been a staunch supporter of law enforcement and do understand this was an unusual case with the two "American Jihadist" terrorists. But I must question VERY strongly that they apparently went on a house-to-house warrantless search, forcing all law-abiding residents out of their homes, searched them thoroughly outside then entered their homes and searched each residence. That could not be more unconstitutional and -- in my opinion -- intrusive way beyond the pale. I think there should be a dialogue about that. There is a video available that shows a residence's occupants being forced out at gunpoint, frisked a number of times and run down the street, gauntlet-style while the home was searched. Amazing that behavior is allowed in our supposedly-free country, much less applauded.

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PearlY 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Steve, thanks for the kind words, and thanks also for calling the details of the search to my attention. I obviously haven't followed the details of the search well enough; I can't imagine what constitutional basis there could be for the kind of behavior you describe. It's appalling.

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wallyworldguy 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm so glad that the conservatives, who have great disdain for the government,

Paco, could you explain your reasoning for this comment? I am conservative, but certainly hove no disdain for govt. no conservative I know feels that way at all, so please explain in detail what truth there is in that statement.

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pdywgn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Paco-1234, You claim Enlisted and Officer, I appreciate that, but your posts seem to contradict both the Oath of Enlistment and the Officers Oath. Have you changed your mind since retirement or did you just recite it as a means to further your career?

All officers of the seven Uniformed services of the United States swear or affirm an oath of office upon commissioning. It differs slightly from that of the oath of enlistment that enlisted members recite when they enter the service. It is required by statute, the oath being prescribed by Section 3331, Title 5, United States Code.[1] It is traditional for officers to recite the oath upon promotion but as long as the officer's service is continuous this is not actually required.[2] One notable difference between the officer and enlisted oaths is that the oath taken by officers does not include any provision to obey orders; while enlisted personnel are bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice to obey lawful orders, officers in the service of the United States are bound by this oath to disobey any order that violates the Constitution of the United States.[3] Upon enlistment the enlistee swears to uphold the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Police Officers also defend the Constitution.

Paco-1234, I suggest you go to the Oath Keepers website and read their 10 Oaths before you even think about what you know about Law enforcement or the military's mindset on disarming the population on any scale. Neither one gives a damn about magazine size or deer rifles.

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pdywgn 11 months, 3 weeks ago

  1. We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people.

  2. We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects – such as warrantless house-to house searches for weapons or persons.

  3. We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to trial by military tribunal.

  4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state’s legislature and governor.

  5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.

  6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps

  7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.

  8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control” during any emergency, or under any other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our people to be an invasion and an act of war.

  9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext whatsoever.

  10. We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

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namvet60 11 months, 3 weeks ago

For the NRA bashers who claim that the organization is making all of this money for the gun manufacturers. WHY: does the Department of Homeland Security find it necessary to stockpile over 2.5 million rounds of ammo which is 1000 rounds more per person than the US Army? It seems that the gun control lobby as taxpayers are helping out with the profit as well. This government wants to utilize drones and then what - use the ammo for clean up?

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campbell_rd 11 months, 3 weeks ago

If you really want to scare the NRA it's quite simple. Promise to uphold the Second Amendment and not take guns away from legal owners. But you'd also need to promise no gun registration which ALWAYS leads to confiscation! History doesn't lie only Liberals are good at that issue.

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lgbfishing 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Looks like you all shut Paco up good job what a dumb BTH.

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lgbfishing 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Looks like you all shut Paco up good job.

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paco1234 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Sorry to disapoint you! I just refused to be dragged into the mud hole where some poeple role over in a delight of joy.

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carcrazy 11 months, 2 weeks ago

No, his ego won't let him stay away. It even has a reserved parking spot with his name on it.

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sohcammer 11 months, 2 weeks ago

"Since the election we have learned about the changing demographics in our country (more diversity in our future) "

I am disgusted by the large number immigrants coming to this country, making the pledge to the flag or skating under radar, then forcing America to cater to their cultural heritage(ie. bi-lingual State assistance workers and social assistance forms printed in foreign languages). Between them and the idiotic religion of Liberalism, the Constitution has never been under so much pressure as now. Oh how I wish stupidity was painful.

People everywhere are embracing multiculturalism.

Multiculturalism has been the downfall of every major civilization in history!!

The US is no different. The US has become weak - not militarily, but rather of purpose. It has allowed itself to become diluted with all kinds of demographics that disrespect the Constitution. Spiraling out of control with debt and cultural division, leaving the government scrambling for control of the people with things like the "Patriot Act" and gun control legislation.

As far as this letter and the person who wrote it. I am once again disgusted. It is a very serious thing, and all true Americans should be very afraid of a government that says guns are for the government alone, and you the law abiding public are not allowed to have them.

Gun control is not about guns, it's about control.

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