Guns in homes, coffeehouses, bars—where else can the NRA put them? Last month in the midst of postal reform, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced a gun rights amendment to allow them in the post office by removing a federal ban on them. That’s right beside postage rates, post-office banking, USPS employee pensions etc. Committee members suggested “more study,” but the National Association for Gun Rights, which views the NRA as too liberal, got very excited about it. Members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs may pick up Paul’s torch. No one has “gone postal” and killed people in a post office for the past eight years, but this law could change that.
The wealthy join “guntry clubs,” luxury gun clubs that provide “an experience.” Guns aren’t just for defense, according to Mike Pryor, the manager of Lock & Load Miami. VIP packages can have one-time initiative costs of $7,500 and $9,250. It’s sensory entertainment. Just one guntry club, the Frisco Gun Club in Dallas (TX) sold 2,400 membership before it opened and made $12 million. Marketing vice-president Brandon Johnson said it’s “like walking into a high-end department store.” Shooters have to be at least eight years old, but the club is planning a family promotion.
Families get free guns at church. The Kentucky Baptist Convention advocates giving away guns at celebrations across the state. Spokesman Chuck McAlister said the strategy is “outreach to rednecks.” Churches are offering a handgun, shotgun, or long gun as door prizes. One event in Paduca gave away steaks as well as guns, but people had to buy bibles if they wanted them. In upstate New York, Rev. John Koletas, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, raffled off an AR-15 assault rifle. Koletas has been arrested seven times “on disorderly conduct charges for loud and incessant street-corner preaching.”
Missouri law doesn’t let people carry firearms into bars but they can be armed in public while they’re drunk. They just can’t be negligent. When city councilors discussed a proposed Kansas City ordinance to comply with Missouri law, Councilman John Sharp explained his opposition: “It’s kind of like, ‘Well, it’s OK if you drive drunk, as long as you don’t hit anybody. You just have to be real careful.'” Voting against the ordinance doesn’t do any good: state law supersedes city ordinances.
Even the legally blind are protected by the Second Amendment, according to a Florida judge. After John Wayne Rogers, a blind man, was acquitted of killing his friend James Dewitt under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” statute, he got his guns back. Rogers claimed to be defending himself from a drunken guest in a 2012 shooting. DeWitt’s girlfriend didn’t quite agree. She testified that the two men had been “play fighting” when Rogers shot DeWitt in the chest. One part of Rogers’ history of violence was shooting at his cousin and roommate 15 times. He got probation which was revoked after he punched a woman.
Kansas has a law specifying that the blind can carry guns. Glenn Beck defended the law by explaining that God gave Stevie Wonder the right to pack heat:
“’Inalienable rights’ mean that they’re rights that come from God and cannot be taken from you. The right to bear arms is about protecting yourself and self‑defense as long as you are a law‑abiding citizen. It’s not about shooting sports but self‑defense. Is there any reason to believe that Stevie Wonder is not a law‑abiding citizen or insane? Who are you to take the right that was given by God away from somebody who is law‑abiding and a responsible citizen?”
NRA also wants terrorists and abusers to carry guns. After 9/11, the NRA persuaded then Attorney General John Ashcroft to stop the FBI and BATF from preventing the sale of guns to people on the U.S. terrorist watch list. They can’t fly, but they can buy as many weapons as they want. Between 2004 and 2010, people on the terrorist list were involved in firearm or explosives background checks 1,225 times, proceeding with the sales in 91 percent of the times.
In addition to wanting all women to buy guns so that they will be safe, the NRA wants all their abusers to have guns. The legislators who were recalled in Colorado voted for a bill that “prohibits gun possession from those convicted of certain felonies involving domestic violence or certain misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence (and) also prohibit guns from individuals subject to certain (domestic violence) protection orders.”
If you want to heat up your computer, check out the almost 1,000 comments to Mark Karlin’s article in Buzzflash, “Many American White Men Worship Guns Because of Sexual Insecurity, Entitlement, and Profit.” The premise is that the increasing multi-cultural society in the United States has inflamed the opposition to gun regulation causing the nation to move backward in its gun policy.
Karlin quotes Charlotte Childress and Harriet Childress’ discussion in the Washington Post:
“Imagine if African American men and boys were committing mass shootings month after month, year after year. Articles and interviews would flood the media, and we’d have political debates demanding that African Americans be ‘held accountable.’ Then, if an atrocity such as the Newtown, Conn., shootings took place and African American male leaders held a news conference to offer solutions, their credibility would be questionable. The public would tell these leaders that they need to focus on problems in their own culture and communities.
“But when the criminals and leaders are white men, race and gender become the elephant in the room….”
“When white men try to divert attention from gun control by talking about mental health issues, many people buy into the idea that the United States has a national mental health problem, or flawed systems with which to address those problems, and they think that is what produces mass shootings.
“But women and girls with mental health issues are not picking up semiautomatic weapons and shooting schoolchildren. Immigrants with mental health issues are not committing mass shootings in malls and movie theaters. Latinos with mental health issues are not continually killing groups of strangers.”
Gatherings of white men with guns are given the benefit of the doubt whereas a group of black youths wearing baggy clothes or Muslim men wearing headscarves carrying similar weapons would immediately bring the police. A black woman shoots wild to warn her abusive husband that she will defend herself, and she ends up in prison for 20 years with a possibility of another 40 years. White men who shoot and kill blacks are released because of “stand your ground” laws.
The NRA wants to train children as early as first grade in the use of guns. For white kids, it’s cute.
For blacks, it’s a menace. This photo produced outrage at gang members for exposing them to guns when they are so young. LAPD commander said about the picture of the black child: “It’s a culture of violence; When you grow up in a culture like that, violence becomes secondary. It becomes second nature. And that’s the cycle we’re trying to disrupt.”
What happens in Florida when a black man “stands” his ground? He goes to prison. Just after his second tour in the Middle East, U.S. airman Michael Giles was sentenced to 25 years after he shot his attacker in the leg. He couldn’t find his friends during a fight of 30 to 40 people outside a nightclub, he got his gun. He had a concealed carry permit. A stranger came up to Giles and punched him to the ground, and Giles shot his assailant in the leg. The bullet’s fragments injured two other people, no one seriously. During the trial, the man who hit Giles admitted that he was ready to hit the first person he saw. He’s free. Giles, with no history of violence, is in prison.
The prosecution’s own witnesses testified that Giles’ attacker had started several fights that night and was violently erratic. A friend of the attacker testified that she was afraid that he would seriously injure or kill someone. Other witnesses testified that Giles was trying to avoid the fights. That’s how “stand your ground” works. That’s how gun rights in the United States works.