Nearly every organization has a person that stands, speaks for, or acts on behalf of the group either though delegated authority or as a popular spokesman if they are regarded as an unofficial representative. Ever since the Newtown school massacre in December, the NRA’s representative, Wayne LA Pierre, has been the official spokesman for the organization and claims to represent millions and millions of truly patriotic Americans who believe that unrestricted access to any firearm defines what it means to be an American. The NRA has another spokesman representing gun-zealots that serves on the NRA Board of Directors and represents the maniacal wing of gun owners and typifies Republican Senators threatening to block any debate and discussion of gun safety measures; particularly background checks.
Ted Nugent, washed-up rocker, pedophile, and draft dodger spoke out again on Monday on behalf of gun fanatics during an interview on NRA News where host Cam Edwards explained that President Obama’s proposal for universal background checks should be called “the Ban Ted Nugent Act of 2013,” and elicited a typical rant from Nugent. Edwards explained to Nugent that “any time somebody went to your ranch and you loaned them a gun to do some hunting or to do some plinking that would be a five-year felony?” Nugent’s extremist reply revealed that he does not represent all NRA members or gun owners; “that is so indicative of how callous and disconnected some are, because you are talking about arbitrary, punitive, capricious draconian felonies,” and that the federal government was engaging in “freedom-stomping and jack-booted thuggery.” Then Nugent went off the rails and lashed out at President Obama calling him a “Chicago gangster, ACORN rip-off scam-artist-in-chief” who was the real radical and asked “when I kick the door down to the enemy’s camp, would you help me shoot somebody? Just help me clear the room.”
Nugent’s extremism is not representative of all NRA members or gun owners, but he does represent 26% of NRA members who oppose simple, common sense, background checks for gun sales. In fact, 92% of all Americans are in favor of universal background checks, and that includes 89% of Republicans and 74% of NRA members. Still, with an overwhelming majority of Americans supporting checking a prospective gun purchaser’s background before selling them a firearm, a group of senators is standing firm and threatening to filibuster to block a debate on the merits of gun safety proposals aimed at staunching the epidemic of gun violence ravaging America.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled a vote for Thursday to overcome the gun advocates’ filibuster and it is possible he will have trouble securing 60 votes to begin a debate. President Obama weighed in on the filibuster threat on Monday in Connecticut and said, “I know that some of these proposals inspire more debate than others, but each of them has the support of the majority of the American people…All of them are common sense. All of them deserve a vote … If our democracy’s working the way it’s supposed to, and 90 percent of the American people agree on something, in the wake of a tragedy, you’d think this would not be a heavy lift. And yet some folks back in Washington are already floating the idea that they might use political stunts to prevent votes on any of these reforms.” The NRA’s representatives in the Senate threatening to filibuster are not just preventing votes on gun safety reforms, they intend to prevent the Senate from even debating them under any circumstances.
It is unclear why any sane American would oppose requiring every prospective gun purchaser to undergo a background check, but obviously the NRA’s puppets in the Republican Party have a stake in unrestricted sales of guns, especially assault rifles better suited for the battlefield than home protection or pheasant hunting. Shortly after the Newtown massacre, in a Central California sporting goods store, a man picked up 15 AR15 assault rifles after submitting to background checks and going through the mandatory waiting period, so even with background checks, Americans will be able to stock their armories in preparation for war and that is only one of the problems background checks will not stop. Regardless, there are still Senators loyal to the gun industry who will filibuster to stop any discussion of expanding the background checks to include the entire nation, and their callousness toward gun violence victims is as reprehensible as Ted Nugent’s appeal for other maniacs to “help me shoot somebody? Just help me clear the room.”
One Senator, Republican James Inhofe, told reporters the President was being unfair by hurting Newtown parents of children slaughtered by a crazed gunman because gun safety measures have nothing to do with them, or their tragic losses and that President Obama was manipulating them for political purposes. Inhofe is one of 14 senators who pledged to block consideration of the bill, and unsurprisingly earned an A+ rating from the NRA and Gun Owners of America. Another Republican and one of the leaders working to block the gun debate said conservatives will prevent Obama from rushing legislation through Congress “because he knows that as Americans begin to find out what is in the bill, they will oppose it.”
Three Republicans delivered a letter to Majority Leader Reid on Monday promising to block the Senate from “beginning to consider” gun safety measures because Democrats were attempting to violate the Second Amendment and warned that they were fulfilling a valuable role and cited “history’s warning about the oppression of a government that tries” to be in all places at all times. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who sent a fear mongering email to gun owners in Kentucky in January warned that Democrats were coming to confiscate their guns and will join conservatives’ efforts to prevent the measure from being debated.
The Republicans advocating for unrestricted gun sales are not defending Second Amendment rights or an oppressive government; they are protecting gun manufacturers who have made a “killing” off the NRA and maniacs like Ted Nugent and Mitch McConnell’s fear mongering. The “Obama is coming for your guns” mantra began during the campaign for the presidency in 2008, and has been ratcheted up throughout the 2012 campaign, and each time gun and ammunition sales skyrocketed. Even though most gun owners, NRA members, and Republicans support universal background checks, there is a contingent of gun fanatics who are willing to join maniacs like Nugent and “start shooting somebody” regardless of gun safety measures. Their opposition is not necessarily about guns, the Second Amendment, or government oppression, but about an African American sitting in the Oval Office as evidenced by Nugent’s “Chicago gangster, ACORN rip-off scam-artist-in-chief and freedom-stomping and jack-booted thuggery” comment aimed at the President.
The issue gun fanatics oppose so vehemently simply extends the background check requirement to nearly all gun purchases, strengthens laws against illegal firearms purchases, and modestly boosts aid for school safety, and 92% of Americans agree they are common sense public safety issues and not an assault on the Second Amendment or a prelude mass gun confiscations regardless fear mongering by Ted Nugent, Mitch McConnell, and Wayne La Pierre whose real opposition is to a Black man as President.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.