Class Warfare Blog

September 9, 2017

NRA Quietly Backing Democratic Presidential Candidates

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 8:43 am
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The NRA has been quietly funding some Democratic candidates for president for the 2020 election, noted an inside source. The election of Donald Trump has been a disaster for the guns and ammunition manufacturers. Without the threat of a progressive administration “taking away our guns,” there has been no impetus to stock up and guns and ammo sales have plummeted.

While Mr. Obama was president, gun sales soared as repeated NRA campaigns focused on plans of the Obama administration to confiscate Americans’ guns. During Mr. Obama’s time, of course, no such plans were made, neither were there actions taken, with only a few mild suggestions to Congress for reforms. Mandatory background checks at gun shows or universal background checks were recommended, even a one gun per month limit on sales was suggested but none of these were acted upon. Still the threat of confiscation was a constant topic in the circle of gun owners.

Since the election of Mr. Trump, the sales of guns and ammunition have fallen dramatically. While the NRA will not admit it publicly, privately officials are saying that a Democratic president will be much better for business, hence the attempts to support candidates now. Early money is like yeast, our source told us.

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February 5, 2013

The Rain (Reign?) of Illogic

Filed under: Politics,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 7:11 am
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“This is a test! This is only a test! If this were a real emergency. . . .”

Some commenters, apparently of the Christian persuasion, have stated that recent horrific events involving children: the Sandy Hook Massacre, rampant pedophilia by Catholic priests, etc. are tests, that we are being tested. They don’t clearly say what the subject of the test is but I suspect it is not Star Trek Philosophy (e.g. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.) but is Christian morality (Suffer the little children . . . to suffer?). They don’t explicitly say who the “tester” is but by implication it is their god (or their god’s trusty servant, the Devil).

Obviously all logical thought has flown at this point. To go farther, one must ask what kind of a sick fuck god devises tests that involve the ramming of priest’s erections into the asses of little boys? Or that involve the shredding of five and six year olds with semi-automatic weapons fire causing them to bleed and die without the comfort of loved ones?

I am sure that these morality pundits would claim that their god was “just” and the embodiment of “love” and would say that these children would be enveloped in god’s love or god’s embrace in Heaven. Ah, so he specifically selects Christian children to abuse for these tests as surely he wouldn’t bring heathen children into Heaven (or, God Forbid, Muslim children), and this totally leaves out those Baptist children who don’t get baptized until they are adults, and, and. . . . Our hates always seem to outweigh our compassion or pity. And what about the raped little boys, the ones who commit suicide later in life? Are they brought into the glow of god’s favor? Or were they being tested too, and if they lost their faith due to being raped by a priest, then lost their minds and committed suicide, would they roast in Hell, forever and ever? (Sing it after me. . . .)

Do these people even see the pretzels they have bent their thoughts into to make these events part of “God’s Plan?” At least in the movie/book “Adjustment Bureau” you had an outside chance of seeing a copy of the plan. Only someone like Phillip K. Dick could make sense out of this.

If the debate over sensible gun controls is any evidence (So, Mr. LaPierre, you say universal background checks can’t work because the last time we tried it, . . . .) illogic reigns.

December 18, 2011

How the NRA Reflects the Current State of Our Politics

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 11:32 am
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The National Rifle Association’s cause célèbre is defending the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Here it is in all of its glory (although there are two versions of it, essentially differing only in punctuation):

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.

Now the problem is that most people interpret this amendment upside down. Most people think the constitution gives us our rights as citizens when, in reality, the Constitution limits the powers of government. So, this amendment doesn’t give us the right to bear arms, it prevents the government from infringing upon our right to bear arms.

But most people gloss over the “well regulated militia” aspect of the amendment. Basically, when this was written, people were quite worried about enemies to the new republic, both from within and without. Also, the vast majority of the founders were utterly opposed to standing armies (meaning full-time, permanent armies like we have now). Standing armies were anathema as they were seen as the coercive element of monarchies. And as additional proof, while this amendment was written just after the end of the Revolutionary War, the standing army of the U.S. had already been disbanded.

Even at the beginning of the Civil War, there were only a few thousand troops serving the Union, and most of them were in the West fighting the now infamous “Indian Wars.” So, if there were no standing armies, what were there? There were militias. Groups of citizens who trained under arms part-time, in case there was a need of a military force locally. Some of these were sponsored by states, some by private individuals, and some by organizations. When the Civil War began, President Lincoln asked each of the northern states to provide men at arms for the cause, which is why so many groups were called the “Maryland Volunteer Militia” or some such name. They were groups of men associated with a particular region. All the men were typically friends and/or neighbors in any one militia. (And we still have militia today.)

In order for a militia to be effective, they needed arms. These arms were typically personal as very few of the militia supplied them. So, if the government were to infringe upon individuals right to own or bear arms, the militias could end up poorly trained and poorly armed, which could be disastrous for the country.

One could argue that, now that this country has millions of men and women under arms (provided by the government) permanently, that we no longer believe in or support the idea of militias as a way to defend the country, etc. And since there is no longer a justification for the second amendment, it is moot. (There was only one justification supplied, that of the importance of well regulated militia.)

I don’t know whether this argument will ever be settled but let me get to my main argument. Current law requires that anyone selling guns remotely, e.g. through the Internet, that the seller must refuse a sale if they suspect that the buyer couldn’t pass the typical background check (to see if the buyer is in one of the categories that are not allowed to own arms: former felons, people deemed mental deficient to safely handle guns, etc.). The violation of this law is a felony. The NRA deems that this form of self-policing is fine and that it works very well and no further legislation is needed.

So, New York City hired an agency to purchase guns over the Internet, clearly stating during each transaction that the “buyer” could not pass a background check. What they found was that 62% of the sellers went through with the transaction, one infamously telling the buyer “You shouldn’t tell me that.” when the buyer indicated they couldn’t pass a background check.

Well, that should put the kibosh on the NRA’s resistance to new regulations, no? No. A survey of NRA members showed a majority of the members want better regulations in this area. That didn’t change leaderships position either.

This scorched earth resistance to any restriction on the “right to bear arms” by the NRA is typical of situations that are “no turning back” situations. Another is zoning battles where NIMBY stands are taken. If you don’t want a nuclear waster treatment facility in your community, you fight hard, tooth and nail, to keep it out, because if you lose, you lose big time and forever. There is no going back.

But regulations aren’t cut in stone, they often are changed back and forth over time until settling upon a reasonable set or people get tired of fighting over them. The NRA, though, doesn’t believe that our politics allows back and forth movement any more (or maybe never did). And the NRA isn’t alone.

Don’t you find it interesting that politicians are doing things that are virtually guaranteed to lose them their jobs at the soonest elections? There is a “now or never” push to “move the goal posts” on all kinds of fronts: environment regulations, business regulations, taxes, entitlements, etc. and politicians are being paid richly to do things that are counterproductive to the country and their political careers. These are all signs of “no turning back” behaviors.

As always in politics, if you want to know why “follow the money.”

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