Rachel Maddow Asks What It Will Take To Fight The Gun Lobby

On her MSNBC show last night, Rachel Maddow went through the changes in gun laws, noting that they always get more permissive per the gun lobby. No matter what tragedy occurs, she says, we can’t even review these laws. Even the states that do not want these laws like “Stand Your Ground” are getting them forced on them, because we can’t seem to fight the gun lobby.

Rachel said, “I thought after Tucson we could have one tiny little tick toward regulates just the size of the magazines for ammunition in handguns. As a tiny correction for a nation that was shocked by the horror. I was wrong. Gun law changes go in one direction.”

Watch here via MSNBC:

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Transcript from MSNBC (with grammatical edits):

RACHEL MADDOW: After Jeb Bush signed the first stand your ground bill into law in Florida with NRA lobbyist beaming down over his shoulder as he signed it, nearly two dozen states have followed with their own laws. The NRA wants this to be a federal regulation that would force this on states that don’t want it. All the changes in law go in the same direction. All the laws go to more guns in more places.

Once one state stakes out radical ground, as soon as one state clears that ground like Florida did in 2005, all the other states rush toward that newly cleared law.

I thought after Tucson we could have one tiny little tick toward regulates just the size of the magazines for ammunition in handguns. As a tiny correction for a nation that was shocked by the horror. I was wrong. Gun law changes go in one direction. Now even in the midst of the national uproar over the Trayvon Martin shooting and the fact that Florida’s gun law says that shooter can’t be arrested, he says the Florida senate will be not reviewing the law.

Usually on policy issues like this we say, what would it take? What you would it take to look at this issue differently? What would it take us to shock us out of pattern we’re in. What would it take? In the case of gun laws, we have an answer. It doesn’t matter.

No matter what happens in the country in terms of gun violence or how we feel about it, there’s no outcry loud enough. We do not get to make these decisions about our laws in this country. We do not get to make the decisions about laws concerns guns. They do. They’re the gun lobby and they decide or at least that’s how they want it to be and that’s how they have had it so far.

Rachel pointed out that in the wake of the Tucson massacre, you would have thought we could at least have a dialogue about extended magazine clips, which were illegal until George Bush let the law expire in 2004. There is no reason why any non-law enforcement would need such a weapon.

But here we are again, post tragedy. And we can’t even force a review of the Stand Your Ground law, which from all appearances was misapplied by the Sanford Police Department. But this begs the question: If the police, who enforce these laws, operate under the misconception that the law means you can shoot anyone and claim self-defense and they can’t arrest you (the law, bad as it is, does not say that), can’t we admit that we have a problem?

What will it take?

Obviously, there is no tragedy big enough to push back against the NRA, now pushing these same bad laws on a federal level. What’s to stop another tragedy like this, and what comfort can citizens take when the police either willfully misapply the law or have been misled regarding its intentions and nuances?

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, even the co-sponsor of the law in Florida admitted that the law does not prohibit the police from arresting George Zimmerman, but he derided the notion that the law even needed to be reviewed.

So, we go from bad law to misapplied law to the death of innocents, and we can’t even get a review of the law, let alone a revision.

This law fell down in its writing, in its passage, and in its implementation. It is clearly being misused and was written so poorly as to allow such misuse. But we can’t get a review of it, because the gun lobby is so powerful.

Of course, there will be the usual screams about supporting the second amendment, as if that were the only right granted to us and as if it were the only sacred amendment. That strawman can’t face Trayvon Martin’s family.

What about Trayvon Martin, Gabby Giffords, little Christina Taylor Green and so many more? What about their rights? Are we really going to swallow that the second amendment is so precious that we can’t even discuss reviewing a gun law? That argument presumes that all gun “rights” are more precious than life. It also presumes that every more permissible gun law passed is so sacred that it is a right.

It is not so sacred that it should be allowed to stand alone, never being weighed against the other rights of citizens. Furthermore, gun rights do not grant the right to be a vigilante. No one has that right; and to argue so is to stand against the rule of law.

If someone is against the rule of law, they can hardly take honest refuge in the second amendment.

32 Replies to “Rachel Maddow Asks What It Will Take To Fight The Gun Lobby”

  1. The NRA bullies through the manipulation of fear. Hopefully, this election cycle shows us who we REALLY have to fear. Perhaps we’ll wake up to the need to change the culture that has taken over. See “The Sin of Violence, In A Culture of Hate” at http://thepoliticali.blogspot.com/2012/03/sin-of-violence-in-culture-of-hate.html. If we don’t reverse the trend soon, none of us will recognize the U.S. as the benevolent protector of human rights many of us imagined it to be.

  2. Great post! Agree w/all of it. After all, I’ve lived 71 yrs without a gun and lived to tell the tale. : )

  3. This is one of those topics that liberals have the fiercest debates on. It seems we can agree on the basics and general philosophy of most things, but man…when gun totin’ liberals and strict gun control liberals get in the same room, look out!!

    Rach is right. it’s insane to NEVER re-visit or look at appropriate alternatives to certain gun laws. I am not an NRA fan and I believe we need to have rational common sense legislation. However, I am in the “we still guns for our own protection camp” and always will be. It is a pipe dream to believe that completely outlawing firearms will have a significant effect.

    Remember, most of the people that are apt to do the most harm with guns, are the ones that don’t give a flip about gun laws. That includes criminals and right wingnuts that have a cache of stockpiled weapons. If they ever come for us ( the sane rational people) we need to protect ourselves.

  4. Maybe we can use the STand Your GRound laws to our advantage. Since handguns may be carried openly in Arizona, why not ask the NRA to help arm and train every co-ed in the state so she can protect herself against even the perceived threat of rape?

    And let’s extend that to battered women. Shouldn’t they have the right to shoot their batterers if they become fearful they might get attacked again?

    I think this would be a great protection against bullying as well. Imagine how the incidents of bullying would drop if kids were able to shoot when they feel threatened, instead of after they get attacked.

    If we’re going to have vigilante justice, we should at least give victims an equal chance along with gated community residents.

  5. Johnee,
    I would like to point out that handgun ownnership is strictly regulated in all European nations, and they have a far lower rate of violent crime that the US does. I wonder if the belief that we need to be armed to protect ourselves against all the violent people “out there” hasn’t been promoted by weapons manufacturers (Who hold several seats on the NRA board or directors) and the right wing fear mongers over the last 50 years?

  6. Rachel,

    Though I agree with everything you said,there is no resolution to this problem as long as a large segment of our society is having a love affair with their guns and are frightened that people like us want to take them away.We know this is not the case.We would just like to see some accountability and responsibility taken for the safety of all the masses.Do you have a solution? Our President whom I respect doesn’t.

  7. At this point it is really too late for any kind of gun laws. The USA is saturated with guns. Gun sales have sky rocketed since Obama came into office. There are more people crazy about guns than the other way around.

    I have never owned a gun and neither did my husband. But he told me once in Colorado that he could get a gun in a couple of hours illegally if he wanted. Therefore all the laws and restrictions at this point will do little, if anything at all. It is a shame. ‘Live by the gun, die by the gun’. If Colombine did not do it, the shooting in Arizona did not do it, several killed in Chicago did not do it, the recent shooting in Florida is not going to do it. Sad.

  8. I wish I had a nice protected and sheltered life like Rachael obviously has. One where there isn’t a good chance of someone trying to break down the door or shooting up your home because they don’t like your religion or politics (or burning your workshop or poisoning your pets or…).

    People need to remember: you get the best protection/care you can pay for in America. If you’re poor, the protection is non-existent, in fact, it’s a crap-shoot if the pigs are going to help you or hurt you (if you call them in the first place).

    If you’re well off, as Rachael obviously is, they’ll go over backwards to help you. If you’re middle class, you may get some of the dismissive treatment (“that’s what insurance is for” when someone breaks in and steals something important to you, for instance) but not the outright aggression and hostility.

    Here’s a story to illustrate the point:

    I remember an accident in St. Petersburg that I witnessed several years ago. There was an obviously well-off white woman in a fancy brand new car, who changed lanes suddenly and crashed right into an older car driven by a poor-looking young Latino (there were a few other young Latinos riding with him). I stopped because I had been a witness. The woman was completely at fault – she pulled right into the other car without any good reason, and yet she tried to blame the Latinos – said they were speeding and driving erratically (they weren’t) and caused the accident. They were about to be arrested when I spoke up and said I’d seen the whole thing and described it. Both the pig and the white woman were fit to be tied at me for speaking up (you could see the rage on their faces), but as a couple of other witnesses then spoke up, the woman ended up with the ticket. (I can remember the grateful looks I got from the Latino-looking young men.) The woman did her best to paint us in a bad light, but with three witnesses saying the same thing (the truth) against her, she lost.

    If I hadn’t spoken up, the poor Latino young men would probably have gone to jail (the driver was immediately cuffed) and a comfortable white woman would have gotten away with a crime. (I don’t think she was persecuted for lying to the police officer, however.) After our testimony to the officer, the cuffs were removed and it progressed more like a standard accident (I’ve seen many). Oh, and her insurance company did its best to try to get me to change “the story”, but all I had to do was play the accident over in my mind again – and they had three competent witnesses against them.

    This sort of thing is the norm… if you’re poor and hit by a rich person (and you don’t have witnesses), you loose. Even with witnesses, the system is still against you. I took a total loss on a really good car in 2005 – a woman was driving on the wrong side of the road and hit me head-on. The witnesses kept me from getting the ticket (even the evidence supported the fact that she was driving on my side of the road), but somehow she was able to keep me from getting notified of the hearing. Because of that (and because we couldn’t afford collision on our car), I took a total loss. The woman? When the adjusters for our insurance company went to photograph her truck, she’d already had bought a brand new truck and had arranged to have the thing towed off immediately – our company said it was very suspicious and they said that it seemed she was trying to hide evidence. When I tried to get justice because I hadn’t been notified by the county/courts, I was told “tough luck!” and “Someone dropped the ball”. All of the lawyers in central Florida told me that there wasn’t enough profit in it to interest them… I spent days on the phone trying to find someone who would help (and called every lawyer I could find in three counties).

    That’s the sort of reality the poor face in this country. I’ve got many other stories like that, all true, some of things that happened to us, and many more of things that have happened to people I’ve met or known.

    Gun ownership is about the only protection a poor person has against things like home invasion and being attacked (even by the dogs owned by better-off neighbors). So when people like Rachael speak out for gun control and against gun ownership, they scare me. I live in that real world, they don’t.

  9. Walkaway, your reply seems trigger happy in that you jumped the gun and are reading things that i dont even see in the article. Where in the show or article did anyone csuggest banning guns? Discussing gun laws does not mean banning guns but it’s great that you buy into the NRA’s bs.

    Gun ownership is not the same as owning assault weapons or tweaking a law that isn’t working.

  10. They have the right to own that gun and we have the right to have our lives protected from bad laws and mentally ill nut jobs. The statistics show we need better gun laws. End of story and anyone who whines about gun ownership is just choosing to miss the point. Where did your right to own a gun mean we can’t have better laws or innocent victims don’t deserve their right to life.

  11. not to be a muckraker here, and as a stone cold socialist liberal, i want the right to own a gun. and i do. but do i need a 50cal semi? no. do i need a 30 mag in my glock? no. see to the NRA there is no middle ground, if you ever hit the south and hit a gun show, your eyes will pop out over the amount of stuff you can buy without a bg check… i am for bg checks, and i think you should be qualified in a gun range every few years. by the way good folks here a politicus, there are left minded folk like me, as i do go to the gun range often, and here in the left coast i dont run into the yahoos like i do in the south…..

    until you can erase that image of charleton heston raising that rifle doing his moses rotiune, the NRA will be a major lobby force…. hey look at all the NRA shills at that tbagger show in dc today.

    http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTf2t87K2w3WF1AfU_oyIeq8FtFy8Tn66id7gjV14319Y9PineGRQ

  12. Prior to this incident, I had no knowledge of the “Stand Your Ground Law”. It’s a license to kill anyone you feel threatened by at any time whether real or imagined. I would like to hear the statistics on how the law has impacted so called self defense killings in different states and what were the circumstances. It would also be interesting to see how many deaths have been undetermined because of this law. It’s highly dangerous in this current climate of hate and bigotry. Racism is often strongly reacted to even when it’s obvious. No one ever seems to be able to acknowledge that it is what is taking place. Since the election of President Obama, racism has risen it’s ugly head with a vengeance. You hear it everyday from the GOP leaders. The Right wing nuts live and breathe it. I hope with the reelection of President Obama, we can really review and revise these gun laws. When Obama was running for President, he took an enormous amount of heat for simply stating the citizens in PA that he had talked to were only concerned about their guns and their religion. I think if reelected, that would change. A lot has happened since then. There’s a major increase in Militia groups which are extreme by nature. We need more investigation by the Justice Dept. as well. With reelection of President Obama, and a Democratic majority in the Senate and House, there’s so much more we can accomplish as American citizens. And one of the most important things, is to be able to appoint Supreme Court Judges that are not controlled by the Koch Bros and the Tea Party that will impact our lives for decades to come. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the Healthcare Law this week. The majority is conservative. What will that mean? Please remember that in November!

  13. I understand the point that you are trying to make. However, the stats speak for themselves. My reasoning is based on a few fact based observations, A) repeat offenders under the law, are not allowed to own guns. This does NOT stop guys in organized crime and gangs from getting a gun, B)our enemies, the redneck righties, will NEVER turn over their guns, C) I can get a gun on the black market as easily as I can buy a bag of weed, and D)the fact that we literally have hundreds of millions of firearms in the U.S. contribute to making all the points above possible, and making it IMPOSSIBLE to completely outlaw guns.

    I am a fan of the European model on many things. They are enlightened and rational. The Northern European model of public and social programs within a capitalistic framework is a STUNNING success, and shows that liberals have been right all along. However, in the case of firearms, comparing Europe to America is a false equivalency. (The proliferation of guns being one of the reasons that make it so).The 2nd Amendment is one of the unique things about America that I want to keep.

  14. Tweak the law? If you’d read you’d learn that the law was broken. It doesn’t need fixing. It just needs to be properly enforced.

    Most of the “Tweaking” I’ve heard were calls for repealing it. Or gutting it.

    I haven’t read anything by the NRA in a long time. I don’t belong. I, however, live in the real world. A world where the pigs will find any excuse to arrest a poor person. A world where self-defense (for the poor) is considered to be a bad thing. That law protects me if someone forces their way into my home (or car) and tries to kill my wife or myself. Before that law was passed, I was determined I wasn’t going to let any monster kill us, even if it meant going to prison.

    Before that law, I’d been threatened by the pigs… as one put it, there had to be proof that the home invader was coming at me with a weapon WITH the intent to kill, before they’d accept “self defense”, otherwise I’d go to prison for murder… even if the person had smashed down my front door and was armed. The pig said I had to fear for my OWN life… and it had to be somehow provable that the perp had the intent to kill so it was a “reasonable fear”.

    BTW… it’s happened. One night a guy tried to smash down our door. He thought his girlfriend was hiding out in our home and he was in a rage. He only backed off when he realized I was armed and ready to kill – and then the half-drunk jackass got it in his head that (1) no, I wasn’t going to allow him to search my home, and (2) I said that the only people living here were myself and my wife, and (3) if he didn’t get off my property post haste (including his noisy pickup) there were going to be some BIG problems.

    That was pre-stand-your-ground and so I didn’t report it, after all, I DID have a loaded gun in my hand and feared being arrested for that.

  15. Actually the cops could have still easily arrested the trigger happy racist idiot in Florida. The excuse that the cops couldn’t have arrested the shooter under the law was B.S. Rachel is right though. This doesn’t mean the law shouldn’t be re-examined for anything troublesome. However, people do need to be able to stand their ground inside their home against an oppressor or violent intruder, especially women.

  16. Also your car. My sister-in-law was nearly kidnapped by a probable rapist quite a few years ago, who forced his way into her car.

    In her case, unless she had some pretty good training, it probably wouldn’t have been good for her to have a gun (especially as it happened)… she froze and panicked.

    Luckily there were other cars (and drivers) around and the guy was scared off.

    Women, btw, don’t have any more or less need of a gun then men do IMO. Some of our womenfolk are tiny, but I’ve seen one lift the tongue of a trailer that most men couldn’t budge (and for her, it was nothing) – at the time I was still quite strong and it was difficult for me to move. In fact, our worst threat to our enemies (in the “olden days”) was to turn them over to our women. Most invaders would much rather take whatever the men threw at them than face our women.
    (We also used to believe – and most of us who aren’t steeplejacked still do – that women are generally more logical and capable at leadership than men.)

    There are men who aren’t strong or capable of self-defense for any number of reasons, same with women. There are women (like some of ours) who are probably more dangerous than men if riled.

  17. I am torn about the gun laws in this country. For one, guns definitely have the capacity to cause harm in the hands of dangerous people. They also have a genuine purpose of protecting us from criminals that would do us harm. I also feel very strongly that guns are important on the basis that Americans reserve the right to overthrow our government. This is probably the most important point in my mind. People that are comfortable believing that the government is always right or that the government would never do anything to cause insurrection are dead wrong. It is our duty as Americans to defend our country from hostiles, but when our own country is hostile to us and we are unarmed, where does that leave us. I am not advocating overthrowing the government, although I fear there will be massive civil unrest in the not too distant future.`23

  18. “I am a fan of the European model on many things. They are enlightened and rational. The Northern European model of public and social programs within a capitalistic framework is a STUNNING success, and shows that liberals have been right all along. However, in the case of firearms, comparing Europe to America is a false equivalency. (The proliferation of guns being one of the reasons that make it so).The 2nd Amendment is one of the unique things about America that I want to keep.”

    BRAVO!

    100% agreement there. I’ve only been in Europe for about a month and a half, but I strongly admired the things I saw. Even poverty was different there… poor people had far more self-esteem and self-worth, and they actually had things set up so that with even a ~ 75% (unofficial) unemployment rate in the area where we were, most of the people were still surviving if not marginally comfortable. They had good water, good food, shelter, reasonable clothing, medical care, and affordable transportation (if they needed it). The only homeless people I saw were in the big cities, and they were few – and they looked a lot better than the homeless I’ve seen in America (healthier, for one thing).

    What you describe is almost a dream IMO. A good one!

    (I might add that violence and crime was still a problem I was on guard for. We were warned about pickpockets, gangs of kids, outright theft, and so on – and the staff made sure our students were under watchful eyes at all times. I noted a few people who were out for trouble… but they backed off when they noted I was aware and ready.)

  19. I think you’ve hit on a critical point. What happened if the dominionists won the election and declared the constitution to be null and void… or immediately started re-writing it so it stripped all of the non-Christians and women of their rights and giving them the right to micromanage everyone’s lives? We would be defenseless in such a case if gun control were enacted, and while friends of mine have insisted that the military would resist such a move – all I had to do was point out the dominionist presence in the military.

    I’ve long said that the 2nd amendment is the guarantee of our freedom (and protector of the constitution)… it gives us the right to resist tyranny.

  20. All true. My comment wasn’t really a “weaker sex” comment. I just meant that statistically speaking, that women, like your sister in-law, are often the ones that are targets for sexual predators and stalkers. This doesn’t diminish the fact that us fellas need protection too!!

  21. Exactly! Liberals have this stereotype as being “pro-government”. No, we’re pro GOOD government. Huge difference. Hello? Who were the first people to jump on the governments case when the “Patriot Act” was signed into law… while all these so “small government conservatives” were gung-ho about it?

    Same thing if our government gets hi-jacked by a bunch of whack jobs. Counting on state and federal authorities to protect us will be useless, because they will be the enemy! And please don’t anyone give me that “people with small arms fire will be useless against military and state militia might.” We have seen over and over in the middle east, in Ireland etc. what local armed resistance can do to “superior” military might.

  22. Hi,

    Actually, many of the writers here are gun owning liberals. I am one of them. I keep my gun safely out of harms way and available to me in case I need it. I’m a great shot and enjoy target shooting. But I would only shoot to kill if I felt my life was in imminent danger and if the other person escalated force in such a manner that I had no other choice.

    I am anti-irresponsibility and deeply concerned that Americans can’t even have a dialogue about this issue — anyone who suggests there is a problem with current gun laws is silenced with outrage. That is endemic of ideology trumping rationality, and it reminds me of the post 911 shame tactics used to silence critics of the WMD lie.

    If the reasoning behind these laws is solid, they should stand up to scrutiny. If scrutiny is called for by results (as it is in this case), why is the senate refusing to even revisit the law and the intentions of it as opposed to the implementation of it?

  23. You can bet that in such an event, selective gun control would be enacted: only white, male, native-born non-Hispanic Dominionists would be allowed to own arms, namely, anything they chose, and the Second Amendment would no more protect us than any other amendment they chose to repeal.

    I’ve said this before: anyone who has not been arrested, Bakered, or committed for violent conduct, and who can demonstrate sufficient proficiency, should be able to own a handgun, a hunting rifle, a shotgun, a varmint gun, or a target gun, or a combination thereof, with NORMAL round capacity. Telescopic sites should be allowed only to people with hunting permits. As for Kalashnikovs, Uzis, and other mankiller weapons capable of being converted to aurtomatic fire…those need to be tracked and controlled. I once saw the cutest miniature Gatling gun that shot .22 short ammo, but in the wrong hands, it could have painfully strafed a lot of zippers. We need both fairness and common sense in this matter, and the present rhetoric shows precious little of either.

  24. Oh, please. “If they ever come for us” with their stockpiles of war grade guns, what chance will we have even if we all had legal weapons? You’re like the butter side up crew in the Butter Battle Book….more and bigger because what if the other side is building more and bigger than we are? Where does it stop? When we go back to the lawlessness of the 18th century west? When we become Third World? Is that really what you wnat? Because when we allow this kind of vigilante law to stand, we are saying that the biggest gun wins…not that law and order will keep us safe, but that your Uzi is the only thing between you and the cemetary. And that is not the America I want for my grandkids….assuming they aren’t shot in Texas the next time they wear a hoodie when it’s raining.

  25. Who the heck is talking about Uzi’s Sally? I clarified that I am for common sense regulation. However, I am not for laws that will completely disarm the public at large. If you aren’t either, then there is a misunderstanding and no argument.

    If you are saying that all guns should be banned, then you need to explain to me how that would be practical when we have hundreds of millions of firearms here in the U.S.

    As far as not being able to withstand an assault from “war grade weapons” I dealt with that in my last post below. Suffice to say local armed resistance to supposedly “superior” fire power is completely different than an army to army battle, and it’s done ALL the time. It is extremely difficult to take a town when the local populace is armed, as we have seen in the middle east and Ireland in recent years.

    I really don’t get the last portion of your argument, because I don’t want my kids to live in that kind of world either. BTW the story you refer to by Dr. Seuss is one of my favorites, and I don’t think that laying down and being led to the slaughter, is the theme he had mind when he wrote it. This whole idea of leading by example because golly gee, someone’s gotta take a stand and say “I’m never gonna own a gun” is not going to protect your kids. “THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH.” Yeah, six feet under.

  26. I too find it hilarious when people say they are armed so the gubbermint cant get them. Little do they know, they have short penii and they would last all of 20 minutes +/- 10 against the government

  27. The interesting thing here is that as the gun laws get looser and looser, who do they really play against? 2 choices

    One the unarmed public

    and Two, those who have guns against those who have guns.

    In time, our gun laws will drag us down into a third world society. Those who want no gun laws will help that along. Guns will lead us to a power broker situation with territory’s being the premise for death.

    And Europe will continue to move along, enlightened

  28. Hmmm. I can’t tell if your in agreement with me or not on this one Shiva. My original point was that we should have a rational approach and common sense regulations like Rachel said. However, I don’t think we should ban handguns and rifles. We need to protect ourselves from criminals AND the very same rednecks that say they want protection from the gubbmint,

  29. In the 80’s the NRA started targeting state electoral districts, they have now had thirty years to scare off any liberal minded politician and keep then out of local politics. When you pick off the opposition at the bottom it kills the discussion at a national level.

    Back to Public Campaign Finance. Nothing gets fixed until we get the money out of the discussion.

  30. That is based on the premise that gun owners are violent or are desirous of conflict, when nothing could be further from the truth (for most – dominionists and the extreme conservatives are a different story).

    I think you know I’m not a gun-toting right wing nutcase wanting to take over the world by now. The fact is, this is not a nice country or a safe place to live for a good sized portion of the population. Eliminate the danger, and you’ll find people will own guns for plinking/target shooting (which is fun), or for hunting. Change society, and the need for self-protection will go away. This will become a far safer place to live – not because you’ve reduced the number of guns, but because you’ve reduced the real problem which is greed, selfishness, and the violent tendencies of some people. Make life easier and fairer for the poor, and poor youths won’t be nearly as likely to pursue crime as a way to survive (actual problem). They won’t give up on life because they will actually have REAL hope. Reduce the incredible stress caused by our greed-driven 1% top-down authoritarian society, and people will be less likely to “snap”.

    REALLY make an effort to eliminate bullying from the schools, and see things like Columbine vanish into the pages of history.

    You see, a lot of gun owners, including myself, remember the attitudes of the 70s, which was “Ban guns!”. I remember “Guns of Autumn” (About as bad and lying propaganda as “The Clinton Chronicles”). A lot of the same arguments flowed around at that time, and people were just as blind to how bad life could be in this country. I remember the “Assault Weapon ban”… under the terms of which my 22 rifle could have gotten me in trouble because it was semiautomatic, used clips, and I had a couple of 15 round clips. I remember the “Saturday Night Special” thrust, which actually tried to make self-defense too expensive for the poor – who are usually the real targets of criminals (the rich have too many resources that make them dangerous – for one thing, the pigs DO protect them).

    That was also the era when I started learning that the pigs didn’t care about things like justice or doing the right thing, they were only interested in asserting their authority and protecting the interests of the rich. That they were actually at heart bullies and loved to push people around. In other words, they couldn’t be trusted or relied upon to protect people and indeed, could be a problem for the victim who called them for help (been there, done that, have the t-shirt and will never forget the aggressive and hostile attitude).

    Change that too, and people might be less inclined to feel that they need to defend themselves.

  31. Willful and Purposeful Misapplication of LAW…

    It is the most common form of police abuse inflicted on citizens.

    Police openly assault peaceful protesters with no consequence.

    Police confiscate and destroy video evidence, and misapply federal wiretap statute, OVER AND OVER AGAIN, with no consequence.

    The police do not want citizen’s to have guns; so, just let a guilty man go free for murder and the panicked public will do more work for them that billions in lobbying dollars.

    The police routinely ABUSE IMMUNITY that we’ve given them.

    Purposeful misapplication of law by police must be a federal crime.

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