Monday, October 2, 2017

You are either with the USA or the NRA. You can't be with both.

I went to bed Sunday night having written a reasonably cogent first draft of this week's episode. I woke up to the Las Vegas massacre. 

Over-60-white-guy with no history of crazy, with a pilot's license, with a seemingly normal family, registers in  a  Las Vegas hotel, and then three days later, shoots up an outdoor concert from the 32nd floor. 

Law enforcement found a cache of 19 weapons and assorted accouterments of destruction in the hotel room. Keep in mind, Nevada is an open-carry state where semi-automatic machine guns and concealed weapons are legal. An unknown number of the semi-automatic weapons had been converted to fully automatic. 

Legally. With one of these.  And you can hide them under your coat. No prob. And you can fully automate the little buggers with with mail-order Slide Fire SSR you can order from Cabela's for less than $300.00. Yes, folks, you, too, can have all the fully automatic weapons you ever wanted...legally...pretty much without any questions being asked. 

Regardless of his motivation, the real truth is over-60-white-guy did not act alone. He had to have help, an accomplice. He had to have been aided and abetted by someone. The guns and the after market equipment had to be readily available to him. And they were. They were out there in every store that sells guns. From Cabela's to Walmart. Not to mention outta the trunk of any number of "gun show dealers." 

These are weapons of war. They are not hunting rifles. They are not sport rifles. These implements have one purpose and one purpose only: to kill people. 

Then, my cousin Howard posted this status on Face Book today: 

You are either with the USA or the NRA. 
You can't be with both.

And it got me to thinking. He's spot on. There is no half-way in this conversation; the NRA is the main purveyor of death in this country. They enable and encourage death by bullet. They are the handmaidens to every massacre we have seen in the last 42 years. 

The NRA made over-60 Stephen Paddock possible. They are the ones who act as his accomplice, who make sure over-60-white-guy can get the guns and the after-market supplies to automate said guns. Who else is out helping anyone and everyone to buy any kind of gun at any time? They are the suppliers and the fixers. They are the ones putting the bullets on the streets and into the bodies of bystanders. They hide behind their posh offices and pretend the are merchants selling a product. 

But it's not a product; it's death.

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
So what discussion should we be having? 
  • That over-60-white-guy has issues, maybe even a brain tumor that made him crazy and he's wasn't really responsible for his actions? 
  • That he should be labeled a domestic terrorist and rave accordingly?
  • That had more people been carrying guns, someone coulda taken this guy out from across the street?
  • That more than 4 dozen people are dead and more than 525 are wounded because he was not just able to buy semi-automatic weaponry, he was able to upgrade them to full automatic?
Or are we going to have a conversation, and ultimately a set of laws dealing with the ready availability of  semi-automatic guns ? Can we finally hold the NRA accountable for its active role in the continuation of mass murder in this country?

As desperately as we need that conversation, I don't think it's going to happen any time soon. The overly deep pockets of the NRA will continue its congressional purchase policy as long as they can. And they have successfully perverted the Second Amendment into something it was never meant to be: the right to kill.

Don't believe me....try this latest piece of destruction: 

The first responders in Las Vegas were able to find the shooter because they were able to triangulate initially by sound. They could hear the bullets, determine the direction from whence they came, and by using their ears and their eyes they were able to spot the window from which over-60-white-guy was shooting. 

Sound. Ears. Location. 

At the moment, the House is set to hear the "sportsman" bill that will make suppressors (aka silencers) easily obtainable. The NRA claims this is an "important safety-oriented aspect of the bill that will help protect the hearing of America's hunters." 

Sure it will. 

We cannot be a nation made up entirely of tootsie dicks. There cannot possibly be a significant segment of our population that really believes everyone should have access to  silencers, not to mention automatic weapons. There cannot really be people out there lobbying who actually believe adding a silencer to a gun is either sportsmanlike or will protect their hearing. These are the same people who roar around on ATVs and snowmobiles. They can't wear earmuffs like you wear on the lawn tractor or the home work shop? Really? 

I've written about the Second Amendment 5 times:
  1. July 23, 2012:             The Second Amendment ~ Stuff You Might Not Know         
  2. August 6, 2012:           The Second Amendment ~ Part 2                                    
  3. December 17, 2012:    The Second Amendment ~ Part 3: Enough Is Enough          
  4. May 6, 2013:               The Second Amendment ~ Part 4: Blown Away                 
  5. September 16, 2013:   The Second Amendment ~ Part 5: Gory, Gory, Hallelujah! 
I don't want to write about it again. Every year, we have a new "greatest mass shooting" in the US history. Makes it sound like a record to be broken, but it's not. It's a tragedy. Up until last year's presidential election, I actually hoped we might be on the path toward reasonable gun legislation. 

Apparently not.

Waiting for Congress to do something is what we do best. Expecting congress to do something is a pipe dream. The refusal to take up gun legislation has become a hallmark of our government. If the shooting was an "act of pure evil," then silence in the face of repeated mass shootings is an act of pure cowardice.

Of course, had over-60-white-guy been some other color or a practitioner of a different faith, well, that would be a very different story. The fallout would be spectacular. The conversation we would be having is not the one we need, but the convenient, divisive one that slapped label after label after label onto a human being regardless of applicability. Instead, we are wondering why a seemingly successful, reasonable human being like over-60-white-guy shot up a plaza. Already people are making excuses for him. 

Talk about white privilege. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Normal people don't send "warm" condolences; that's just weird. 


  1. You said, The first responders in Las Vegas were able to find the shooter because they were able to triangulate initially by sound...
    Time is everything is this type of crisis. Sound and sight only lead to the general area. SWAT teams were able to find the shooter because the gunpower caused the fire alarm to go off in his hotel room.

    1. Thank you for the additional information. Much appreciated. My understanding from listening to the tapes broadcast, and subsequent commentary, they were able to determine the building he was in from the sound, but the specific room came from the smoke detector. Either way, hearing the shots was crucial.

    2. An unlikely coincidence may have been more important than either the sounds or the fire alarm:

      An open door a few rooms away from the Las Vegas suite of the gunman set off an alarm that prompted a response from a security guard, Clark County Undersheriff Kevin C. McMahill said Friday.
      Authorities believe that the guard drew the attention of the gunman away from the chaos below and toward the hallway outside his room.
      The guard was shot in the leg while checking on the alarm and according to a police-reported timeline, the gunman never fired on the crowd below again.
      The alarm from a room "a number of doors down" from the gunman's likely was a coincidence, McMahill told CNN. The door was not forced open, had been open for a while, and the gunman didn't have the keys to that room. McMahill said that door either had been left open or didn't shut completely.

    3. It sure was an unlikely coincidence. Now it appears the security guard lied about when he was shot which causes one to question the credibility of information coming from LVPD.
      According to the LA Times: "Police have dramatically changed their account of how the Las Vegas massacre began on Oct. 1, revealing Monday that the gunman shot a hotel security guard six minutes before opening fire on a country music concert — raising new questions about why police weren’t able to pinpoint the gunman’s location sooner."

    4. Curiouser and curioser. I've not seen any news at all today. Hmmmm

  2. As you commented - time is everything especially when weapons are full or even semi-auto with high capacity magazines and not single shot as were the weapons at the time that the second amendment was written.

  3. Dear Susan, this blog was well worth waiting for. I have contacted our state senator Ale Franklin , to introduce a gun bill. I will show it to you tomorrow.

  4. The NRA should be labeled a terrorist organization and dealt with accordingly. Can't we form an anti-NRA (equal but opposite) lobby and raise a truck load of money to pay off Congress? Sadly, it's all about the money. What a country.

  5. This is wrong on so many fronts. The NRA does not sell guns nor gun products. The NRA fights on behalf of law abiding citizens. The NRA does not fight to put guns in hands of gangsters and thugs like in Chicago where hundreds are killed every month. Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, yet has the highest gun crime, wonder why. It is because criminals do not obey the law. We have laws making it illegal to murder someone, yet it happens daily. If you ban weapons, the only ones that will follow the law are the good guys. criminals will still get illegal weapons the same way illegal drugs are pouring into this country, via the southern boarder. So, in order to fight for new gun legislation, the first step you should be promoting is a southern boarder wall

    1. Sorry, Anonymous, that dog don't hunt.

      The NRA FACILITATES the ease of availability and sales of guns that have no business being on the market. They are accomplices to Las Vegas and the other mass shooters because they pay NOT to have reasonable gun laws.

      As for the long have your people been in America? Unless you are a bona fide member of an indigenous people, Anonymous, you are the result of immigration.

      Nope. Not buying even one smidge of your argument.

    2. I never said one thing about immigration, I called for a secure boarder to further enhance laws regarding illegal drugs and weapons from coming from Mexico. As far as immigration goes, a wall will not stop legal immigration. The NRA fights laws that go against the constitution nothing more. If a law is passed that infringes on an American's right to own a firearm, the NRA steps in. Much like the ACLU does when it comes to civil liberties.

  6. I also used to think gun control was the answer. An independent statistical analysis by an independent researcher shows otherwise:

    Leah Libresco is a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site. She is the author of “Arriving at Amen.”

  7. We have changed our Constitution before and we can change it again. The second amendment is not written in stone - if the people have the will to change that amendment it can be done. And in my opinion, it should be done. My family is one of the statistics - my brother-in-law was shot and killed in cold blood by a man who should never have had access to weapons. My brother-in-law was on duty, working to protect the citizens of this country.

    To hear Thune state that we must now think about how to protect ourselves when out in public venues, and "make ourselves small" is just outrageous! How about the rights of the law abiding citizens who want to feel free to send their children to school (grade school to college), people who want to attend movie theaters, night clubs, concerts, without the fear of being murdered? Do we not have rights that are being infringed upon by the NRA and the majority of Congress who promote gun rights at any cost?

    Personally, I would like to see a total ban on guns. Their only use is to kill - either people or animals. Both are appalling thoughts. Baring that, how about enacting sensible solutions like no semi-or automatic weapons, no assault rifles, no silencers, stopping the ability to amass a ridiculous and dangerous amount of guns and ammunition, close the loops on gun show purchases, prevent mentally ill from purchasing guns, heck, how about preventing those on the frickin' no fly list from purchasing guns? I think if we put this to a popular vote in the country, we would have much safer and saner gun laws.

    I don't understand this country anymore. We seem to lost our way and lost our ability to come together to promote ideas and solutions that will make us a safer and more peaceful nation.

  8. Since Congress has talked openly about regulating these devices, they've been flying off the shelves. Gun dealers can't keep them in stock. What does that say?