Class Warfare Blog

November 20, 2017

New Resource for Social Justice Found

It has been recently noted that most Americans do not own a gun, nor is there a gun in their household, rather there are many guns in the hands of a few. Apparently “… America’s gun super-owners, have amassed huge collections. Just 3% of American adults own a collective 133,000,000 firearms – half of America’s total gun stock. These owners have collections that range from eight to 140 guns, the 2015 study found. Their average collection: 17 guns each.

Really I think we need to start considering these people a national resource. Since they reject the idea that the Second Amendment to the Constitution refers only to militias, maybe each of these super gun owners could be tab as a militia of one, to help defend the country, you know, when the liberals attack.

Maybe we could have these militias patrol the streets of our most dangerous cities, where all of them mynoritees is.

Maybe we could have them fight ISIS. I would be willing to buy a one-way ticket for one of these guys, but we would have to get some sort of dispensation to allow them to take their own crate of guns and ammo with them.

Apparently the Second Amendment is not about allowing individual citizens to own a gun, but about a very small minority to own their own armories.

I wonder what happens to the NRA when these gun nuts run out of room to store their hoards and stop buying guns. Are they going to sponsor the building of secure, high tech, gun range and armory combinations on the lot next to their houses? Gotta find a way to keep those “collectors” buying.

Advertisements

November 15, 2017

Wow, Prayers Result in Speedy Response (Breaking News! Not Fake! Not Fake!)

In my post “Thoughts and Prayers” I showed that when a mass shooting occurs, the immediate response of “thoughts and prayers” by people has resulted in ever more mass shootings. I presumed that some of those prayers were to beseech the Deity to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future so they seem to be having a reverse effect. The more they pray, the worse it gets.

According to today’s NY Times: “A gunman rampaged through the small Northern California town of Rancho Tehama Reserve on Tuesday killing at least four people and wounding at least 10 others. The gunman — who was fatally shot by the police — had entered an elementary school but was unable to get into classrooms.” Since the most recent mass shooting to provoke an nationwide outbreak of “thoughts and prayers” was just two weeks ago in Texas, we now have evidence that prayers are answered and in a speedy fashion. While not instantaneous, a two week lag between cause and effect is not unknown in prayer analysis.

Now that this cause and effect relationship has been identified, it is hoped that the authorities will now seriously investigate this effect. At the very least, a national ban on “thoughts and prayers” should be put in place as a precaution. Whether the NRA will get behind this movement is unclear at the moment as how these events affect guns sales has yet to be determined.

October 4, 2017

Guns, Guns, and More Guns … But of What Types?

The guns of the Las Vegas mass shooter, used and unused, have been recovered and, once again, we have to ask, what use is there for these kinds of weapons?

There are legitimate uses for firearms that I will not argue against. Firearms used for personal safety is one such category, although I believe that the argument for their effectiveness is based more upon fiction (books and movies, etc.) than upon reality, so I am just setting this category aside for the moment. Guns used for hunting I feel are legitimate. But what possible use is there for automatic or rapid fire weapons, often called (misleadingly) assault rifles? There are just two uses I see: for recreation and for killing large numbers of people. The second reason was why those weapons were designed in the first place. Before such weapons were supplied to soldiers, who became familiar with their use, there was no recreational rapid fire market at all. So, seriously, those weapons were  weapons of war designed to kill as many people as one could, as quickly as one could, and for no other purpose.

So, starting with the recreational uses, I support their use recreationally but in authorized and regulated sites set aside for that purpose. Just as you do not need to own an RV to experience a vacation in an RV … you can rent one … you do not need to own an automatic or rapid fire rifle to experience one. I think it would be great fun blazing away for an hour or so, and this would be much cheaper than owning the weapon. You just wouldn’t have access to one 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Scattering thousands upon thousands of these weapons throughout our society is just asking for trouble, and that is exactly what we have gotten. (Note: from 2000 to 2010, approximately 2,000,000 rifles were manufactured “for domestic use” by American manufacturers, about 20% of which fit a description of “AR-15 type.” I also presume that foreign manufacturers haven’t decided to forgo the lucrative U.S. market out of the goodness of their hearts, so I can’t imagine how many “other” weapons of this type are in circulation. Do the math, people.)

There is another use for these weapons, a use which is of a subset of “killing large numbers of people” reasons: that of opposition governmental tyranny. I feel I must address this as some folks are putting this forward as a reason why they need these weapons.

Seriously? If you think like this, you are saying that you, with or without your buddies, armed with the semiautomatic weapons available today, have a snowball’s chance in Hell of going toe to toe with the Fifth Cavalry … successfully. Ask the people in Ruby Ridge how that worked out. The “guvmint” has men and weapons in quantities that would … and should … overwhelm any such uprising in milliseconds. Imagine your doughty little troop of patriots and how they would feel when an armored helicopter showed up with a couple of M61 Vulcan cannons capable of firing 6000 rounds per minute. They would probably have to identify your remains through DNA testing as there wouldn’t be much in the way of bodies left to identify through dental records and the like. And, remember, this is the Fifth Cavalry and the tanks haven’t shown up as yet.

The idea of “we need these weapons to oppose government tyranny” is likewise based more upon fiction (books and movies, etc.) than upon reality.

So, there are legitimate reasons why people should be allowed to own and possess guns, but in civilized countries, those owners and their guns are heavily regulated … for the protection of the rest of us. When the Second Amendment of the Constitution was written (and I will point out that since it was an amendment, it was not thought important enough to include in the first version) the population of the US was under four million people. I currently live in a city in which there are roughly nine million people living in a fifty mile radius of here. A gun fired off in 1789, at a deer, or a marauder, was unlikely to hit a bystander (although more than a few did, consider the Boston Massacre). Now, a gun fired off is almost guaranteed to hit someone other than a participant in the original dispute. Imagine the scenario in Las Vegas, if all of the concert goers were “packing heat” and “returned fire” when they realized they were being shot at, what do you think the consequences would have been. (Note—most people “hit the deck” when they realized they were being shot at, unaware they were being shot at from high above and were still exposed. Where they may have returned fire is anyone’s guess.) The conditions which that Amendment was written for have changed substantially.

Also, we have to get a lot smarter at this. Allowing Americans to be mowed down so that gun manufacturers can keep their profits high is insanity. Having hunting weapons in New York City is insane. There is nothing to hunt except other people. Having hunting weapons in rural Montana is sane. All of the rules need not apply in all locations, but there need to be sane rules. The Swiss have gun rules up the yin-yang, and they have almost as many guns as we do, but nowhere near as many deaths due to gun fire. They are sane; we are not.

July 3, 2017

NRA Changing Spots?

Filed under: Culture,Morality — Steve Ruis @ 8:01 am
Tags: , ,

In a recent and controversial ad, the National Rifle Association’s spokesman, Dana Loesch accuses “their” ex-president of endorsing “the resistance,” a movement of demonstrators who “smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports — bully and terrorize the law-abiding.”

I never thought the NRA would turn against the Bundys (Cliven, et. al.) like that. Is there no steadfastness in that organization?

September 19, 2016

NRA Identifies New Challenges

Wayne LaPierre, the spokesman for the National Rifle Association, in a blistering speech yesterday took on one of the most dangerous challenges to freedom in the USA. Mr. LaPierre noted that gun ownership had expanded substantially over the last twenty years and finally there is now in circulation more than one gun per adult in this country. “Make no mistake about it,” said LaPierre, “this is a major milestone on the path to freedom.

“But,” he continued, “Americans aren’t free yet, because it seems that 130,000,000 of the 265,000,000 million guns in the U.S. are in the hands of just 3% of the populace.

“We must be vigilant in our efforts to ensure freedom in America, he said, and we will overcome this new threat, the threat of gun hoarders.

“If these people weren’t so selfish and weren’t stockpiling so many of our guns, we would have that state in which each law-abiding American, and yes, each criminal would have their own gun and disputes would get settled right where they happen. We would need far fewer police, fewer judges, and prisons if this were to come about, so the NRA is putting up $2,000,00 to study the problem of gun hoarding in the hopes to find a solution and hopes that every red-blooded American will support that effort.”

July 11, 2016

The NRA Between a Rock and a Hard Place Shows Its True Spinelessness

Filed under: Morality — Steve Ruis @ 8:43 am
Tags: , , ,

Imagine a white man pulled over for a traffic violation who was in possession of a gun, legally. The officer, seeing the gun, instead of asking for license and registration shouts “Gun, gun!” and blazes away killing the driver. What would the NRA say?

Or imagine a white man pulled over for a traffic violation and the cop did ask for license and registration, but the driver—with his hands on the wheel—tells the cop that he has a permitted firearm before reaching for his wallet and the cop shouts “Gun, gun!” and blazes away killing the driver. What would the NRA say?

We now know what the NRA said in the cases in which legal possessors of firearms were killed because of that possession … in the cases in which the drivers were Black.

Nothing.

The letters N-R-A stand for No Reason at All.

The NRA is not about gun rights. It is about making money for the gun and ammo manufacturers and sucking up to the mostly conservative gun buyers in this country.

April 25, 2014

Amend the Second Amendment?

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has come up with a new book, containing six ideas of how to amend the U.S. Constitution. The one that drew my attention most was he wanted to change the Second Amendment (I guess you can you amend an amendment) to read thus (the new words in italics):

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

And as the Justice points out, up until very recently the Second Amendment of the Constitution was interpreted by the Supreme Court as a collective right and not an individual right. When the Court changed its tune is when we got into our current “gun nuts in charge” phase.

I have no doubt that the learned Justice knows more about the law than do I but I find this puzzling. First it would throw gun control basically back onto the states or it would allow the federal government to regulate the heck out of the use of firearms by individuals.

Having the states more in charge of gun control would result in a huge variety of regulations from state to state. We have some of that now; for example, consider Georgia’s new law that makes it okay to take concealed guns into bars, and airports, and churches, and public buildings so you can defend yourself and your property. Step across the state line, though, and you may just get arrested for the same behavior. So, it might be better to have consistent laws by having the federal government create the laws, the federal government being an arm of the people of all of the states.

I see only one problem with Justice Stevens’ idea. He offers no definition of “militia.” As soon as this amendment were enacted, the number of militias would skyrocket as gun nuts from all over would be seeking immunity from federal gun control laws by joining one. I am sure that the NRA would become the sponsor of a militia in each of the fifty states in a hot minute.

I think the end result is better served through a political process. Currently the radical NRA policies carry political clout not because of the many rabid members of the NRA who vote, but because of the amount of money the NRA gathers from the shooting sports industry to shill (aka lobby) for them. In this manner, only the NRA has “dirty hands” and not the gun and ammunition manufacturers. Ex-NY Governor Bloomberg is forming an organization to counter the NRA’s political money. If enough people donate, Mr. Bloomberg is donating $50 million as seed money, it may offset much of the power the NRA currently wields.

In addition, if the radical conservative majority on the Supreme Court can be broken, we may get the court to reverse its radical shifts in judgments back to what they were before they went collectively insane (corporations are people, campaign finance limitations restrict free speech, the second amendment is an individual right, etc.)

So, politics may be a better way out than trying to amend the Constitution in a way that will be ineffectual and hence convince people that the status quo can’t be changed.

February 26, 2014

NRA: “Mission Accomplished!”

This is the title and first paragraph of a recent NRA press release:
U.S. Firearm Production Sets Record in 2012: AR-15 Production Up Over 100%
“The number of firearms manufactured in the U.S. for sale to American customers hit an all-time high in 2012, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (BATFE) new Firearms Manufacturers and Export Report. American firearm manufacturers produced roughly 8.3 million firearms for sale in the U.S., a new record, up 33 percent from the 6.2 million produced for American customers in 2011.”

Wikipedia says this about the AR-15:
“The AR-15 is a lightweight, 5.56 mm/.223-caliber, magazine-fed, air cooled rifle with a rotating-lock bolt, actuated by direct impingement gas operation or long/short stroke piston operation. It has been produced in many different versions, including numerous semi-automatic and selective fire variants. It is manufactured with extensive use of aluminum alloys and synthetic materials.
“The AR-15 was first built by ArmaLite as a small arms rifle for the United States armed forces. Because of financial problems, ArmaLite sold the AR-15 design to Colt. After modifications (most notably the relocation of the charging handle from under the carrying handle like the AR-10 to the rear of the receiver), the new redesigned rifle was subsequently adopted as the M16 rifle. Colt then started selling the semi-automatic version of the M16 rifle as the Colt AR-15 for civilian sales in 1963 and the term has been used to refer to semiautomatic-only versions of the rifle since then. Although the name “AR-15” remains a Colt registered trademark, variants of the firearm are independently made, modified and sold under various names by multiple manufacturers.”

The phrase “adopted as the M16 rifle” means adopted by the U.S. Military. In other words, this is not a hunting weapon or a self-defense weapon, this is a weapon designed to kill a great many people as fast as possible, a military weapon. The rate of fire of the fully-automatic AR-15 was 800 rounds/min. The rate of fire of the semi-automatic version, the only version legal in the U.S., is indeterminant because it depends on how fast you can pull the trigger. Some say it is as low as 12-15 rounds per minute and that if you go faster, the barrel will overheat and the gun will jam. This seems a preposterous claim for a weapon designed to shoot 800 rounds/min. Also, a technique called “bump firing,” was devised that, while inaccurate, allows the trigger to be pulled at a very fast rate.

To make matters worse, while the interior parts of the commercial AR-15 have been redesigned so that the fully automatic parts from a military AR-15 cannot be just dropped in, consider this comment from January 2013 (Source: This Simple, Legal Add-On Lets an AR-15 Rifle Fire 900 Rounds Per Minute, Slate.com, 1-7-13):
“. . . a company called Slide Fire Solutions introduced a replacement rifle stock called the SSAR-15 that, for $369, allows you to bump fire your AR-15-style rifle from your shoulder while still retaining accuracy and control. The stock, in the simplest terms, is the part of the rifle you hold and brace against your shoulder. According to the Slide Fire website, “unlike traditional bump firing, the Slidestock allows the shooter to properly hold the firearm and maintain complete control at all times. As a result of the forward movement required to discharge each round, the shooter naturally corrects their point-of-aim for each shot and prevents recoil from pushing the firearm’s muzzle upward in an unsafe direction.” Or, as the subhed more concisely puts it, the SSAR-15 lets a shooter “unleash 100 rounds, in 7 seconds.” A product review at a site called Guns America notes that the SSAR-15 “installs in one minute with no special skills.”

Ah, that’s more like it. The NRA is crowing about record sales of a rifle that for a fraction of its original purchase price can be converted in just a few minutes to a fully automatic weapon capable of killing hundreds of people in just seconds.

Why would anyone think this was a good idea?

Ah, according to the Christian Science Monitor, “The estimated economic impact of the US firearms industry in 2012 was $31.8 billion, according to data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. That’s up from $27.8 billion in 2009.” You can always determine the “whys” of American politics by following the money.

The NRA is a shill for the U.S. firearm manufacturers. When they make money, the NRA makes money. The next time you hear of a mass murder, remember it was not a crime of passion, but of greed.

Postscript Many people claim being able to fire automatic rifles is great fun. I agree. I have done so myself. This can be enjoyed by one and all at licensed establishments designed for such pleasures. There is no need for individuals to own such weapons.

February 19, 2014

“Legally” Killing Americans Willy-Nilly

We are told the President and his staff are debating killing another American citizen overseas using missile-equipped drones. To such has the “due process” promised by the Constitution been reduced. And this is only possible because the “War on Terror” has a defined battlefield of the entire effing planet. Back when wars had limited scope, someone plotting to do harm to the U.S. might be convicted of conspiracy, but they certainly would get a trial of some kind and all that that implies (counsel, rule of law, jury or judge). Only by taking action upon a battlefield could they be killed outright. Hell, this country broke with precedent and tradition to actually try all of the Nazi leaders after WWII in Nuremburg. So far we have fallen. And our President is a Constitutional Law professor, apparently not a very good one. Maybe the NRA has convinced the White House to take a shoot first and ask questions later approach. Think about it: Global Stand Your Ground (Oooh, they threaten us, kill, kill!)

If you are one of those who think all bad guys need to be punished, I suggest you could find targets for your drones much closer, say on Wall Street.

January 5, 2014

Gun Nuts and “Conservatives” United!

Filed under: History,Politics,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 11:43 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have posted before that much of the current conservative ideology is driven by racism. The GOP’s support for the NRA has always been characterized as a political necessity for fear of the backlash of that organization but . . . check this out.

www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/24/the-history-of-the-nra-is-really-interesting/

It may well be that the movement conservatives with their neocon brothers and the NRA wing nuts are “fellow travelers.”

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.