Tag Archives: NRA

“A Shameful Display of Political and Civic Cowardice”

Those were the words chosen by NRA mouthpiece Wayne LaPierre to describe companies that have chosen in recent days to sever their relationship with the NRA in the wake of that organization’s resolute, absolute, unwavering refusal even to consider cooperating with the development of a new process for verifying the suitability of individuals who want to purchase automatic weapons.

The list of such companies is growing: Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Hertz, First National Bank of Omaha (which issues a special NRA Visa card), Avis, Met Life, Symantec, Chubb, Alamo car rental, National car rental, Wyndham hotels, and Best Western hotels along with others The Curmudgeon probably missed and still others that may reach similar decisions in the coming days.

But “political and civic cowardice”? When you think about it, hasn’t instilling “political and civic cowardice” been the absolute key to the NRA’s own success over the years?

Hasn’t the NRA thrived by raising vast amounts of money with which to make political contributions and mobilize its membership on behalf of favored candidates and then coercing those officials into supporting the NRA’s positions even though the vast majority of those politicians’ constituents oppose the very positions the NRA espouses?
So then isn’t elected officials’ refusal to act on their constituents’ strong beliefs because the NRA is paying them not to do so the very personification of “political and civic cowardice”?

Congratulations, Wayne LaPierre and the NRA: you’re now on the receiving end of one of the very tactics you’ve employed so successfully so often for so many years to subvert the will of the American people.

May payback be a long, painful, debilitating, ever-lovin’ bitch.



The NRA Speaks Out About Recent Shootings

The following statement was issued last week by the National Rifle Association in response to the shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota:

As the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights organization, the NRA proudly supports the right of law-abiding Americans to carry firearms for defense of themselves and others regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.

 The reports from Minnesota are troubling and must be thoroughly investigated. In the meantime, it is important for the NRA not to comment while the investigation is ongoing. Rest assured, the NRA will have more to say once all the facts are known.

A few observations.

First: “The nation’s largest and oldest civil rights organization? Are they kidding?

Second: Not even a mention of the man killed by the police officers? Is the NRA that indifferent to his life and those of the people he left behind?

Third: If the man the NRA found not worthy of naming had defended himself with a legally obtained gun and shot the police officer trying to kill him, what would the NRA have said then?

Fourth: “The reports from Minnesota are troubling”? Wow: those NRA guys are waaaaay smart, aren’t they?

Fifth: Since Castile reportedly had a gun and reportedly had a permit for that gun, isn’t “the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights organization” concerned that the response of the police to a citizen exercising his right to possess a gun constituted a violation of Mr. Castile’s civil rights? Where’s the NRA’s outrage over that?

Here is the NRA’s statement on the shooting of police officers in Dallas:

On behalf of the more than five million members of the National Rifle Association, and especially on behalf of our members from the law enforcement community, I want to express the deep anguish all of us feel for the heroic Dallas law enforcement officers who were killed or wounded, as well as those who so bravely ran to danger to defend the city and people of Dallas. With heavy hearts, NRA members honor their heroism and offer our deepest condolences to their families.

A few observations.

First, a lot of those more than five million members the NRA claims to be speaking for have expressed pretty strong displeasure over this and other recent NRA statements. Maybe the NRA needs to make it clearer that it’s only speaking for its more radical members and not for all of them.

Second, why no statement about how if more people were armed this shooting might’ve been prevented? After all, can’t people prevent something like a sniper attack by whipping out their guns and stopping a hidden sniper dead in his tracks?

And its statement on the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge?

Just one observation here: the NRA had no statement. Cops pinning a man to the ground, getting him completely under control, and then shooting him in cold blood is apparently the NRA’s idea of good – and appropriate – police work.

The NRA’s agenda has been completely discredited.  It’s time for the 295 million rest of us to wrestle control of our country away from these five million throwbacks to the 18th century.


Guns Don’t Kill; People Kill

Some interesting facts and figures about Americans and their guns, courtesy of Mother Jones magazine.

Think life is safer in states like yours where it’s easier to get a gun?  Think again:  the gun murder rate is 114 percent higher in states with the highest gun ownership rates.  In other words, the more guns, the more gun murders.  Seems logical, doesn’t it?

Disturbed by aggressive driving?  You shouldn’t be disturbed – you should be scared.  Drivers who carry guns are 44 percent more likely to flip you the bird and 77 percent more likely to follow you aggressively.

Nothing like a Smith & Wesson in the glove compartment to give a guy a little courage.

But the National Rifle Association helps address problems like these through extensive training of gun owners – something it’s long claimed to be one of its most important missions.  Well, if the NRA is so good at what it does and so dedicated to training gun owners to be responsible, how come 43 percent of homes with guns and kids have at least one unlocked gun?

Looks like the NRA needs some remedial gun education itself.

The NRA also points to video games as a cause of gun violence.  If that’s true, how come the Japanese spend more per capita on video games than Americans ($55 to $44) and there were 11,030 gun murders in the U.S. in 2008 and only eleven – that’s ten plus one – in Japan that year?

That’s all fine and good but you’ve got a gun and you know, absolutely, that having it makes you safer.  The thing is, what you think you know and the facts aren’t necessarily related; in fact, it turns out they’re not even kissin’ cousins.  A study in Philadelphia, for example, found that if you’re an assault victim carrying a gun, you’re four to five times more likely to get yourself shot and more than four times more likely to get yourself shot and killed than if you were unarmed.

So much for your gun protecting you.

But ladies, surely you’re safe if the man in your life has a gun, right?  Actually, that would be wrong:  you’re six times more likely to be shot by that same gun-totin’ husband, boyfriend, or ex than you are by a total stranger.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

The NRA spends a lot of time and a lot of money telling us – and telling us and telling us and telling us – how things should be, so maybe it just ran out of energy when it came to giving us the complete picture:  like how 74 percent of gun owners support background checks for all gun buyers; like how 67 percent support background checks for ammunition buyers; like how 55 percent support a ban on high-capacity clips; like how 45 percent support a ban on assault weapons; and like how 30 percent take a dim view of the NRA.

And finally, for you gun owners out there who are worried about the government coming to take your guns – you know, the latest NRA/Fox News-fueled craze – worry not:  you’ve got the government seriously, seriously outgunned.   The government – including all four branches of the military and all police departments – has about four million guns; youse guys – you god-fearing, flag-waving, gun-toting, second amendment-defending civilians – have 310 million.

Yeah, guns’ll keep you safe.

Or maybe not.

Mini-Rumination: Guns and Doses

Wanna pack heat when you’re in the hospital?

Seems like a silly idea, and the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association has expressed its interest in banning guns in hospitals and nursing homes.

Not so fast, says the National Rifle Association.

“NRA would oppose a bill that panders to the anti-gun political agenda of South Florida organizations,” an NRA spokesperson told the Miami Herald.

The Curmudgeon generally thinks the gun nuts are, well, nuts, but to be fair, he can envision a few situations in which people in hospitals might benefit from being armed.

“Doctor, why do you have a 38 strapped to your ankle?”

“Well, when the patient comes out of the anesthesia, if she doesn’t like the way I’ve fixed her nose, she could get violent, so I want to be prepared.”

Or maybe this.

“I think you came through the surgery well, Mr. Harper.  You have a lot of rehab ahead of you, but in a few months you’re going to love your new hip.”

“Thanks, doc, but I’m in a lot of pain now.”

“Well, that’s to be expected after surgery.”

“Do you think you can increase the morphine a little?”

“That’s not a good idea.  I don’t want to encourage any kind of dependence on pain-killers.”

Patient reaches under his pillow and pulls out his gun.

“Let me ask that question again, doc.  Do you think you can increase the morphine a little?”

The Curmudgeon has seen the light:  the NRA is obviously right.  People need their guns in hospitals, and no croissant-eating, loafer-wearing, chardonnay-sipping, BMW-driving, French-speaking pinko liberals have any business suggesting otherwise.