In business, the idea that a new product would catch on and proliferate throughout the population is a company’s dream because it means for a time period, there would be a rapid growth in demand and sales for what could be the newest fad. However, a fad product’s popularity is usually driven by mass media programming, emotional excitement, peer pressure, or desire to not be left out of a group, but typically, demand generally falls off after the product’s novelty wears off. Despite America’s fascination with firearms, and an overabundance of guns in the population, there has been a resurgent proliferation of firearms driven by the emotional excitement, media programming, and peer pressure from the National Rifle Association that gun ownership is a necessity to be a patriotic American. As far as the NRA is concerned, there will never be enough firearms in the population, and recent events revealed that according to the NRA, there are no Americans who should be restricted from owning guns and no reason for any American to destroy the guns they have.
It is unclear, and without logic, why the NRA and their gun fanatic supporters object to the idea of conducting a background check on prospective gun purchasers except that they believe that criminals, terrorists, and mentally unstable Americans should have unrestricted access to as many firearms as they can afford. According to gun zealots and the NRA, conducting background checks is a direct assault on Americans’ constitutional rights, and yet most Americans are subjected to background checks throughout their entire lives but they never complain they are an attack on the Constitution. Any American who buys a home, car, or appliance on credit goes through a background check, and students applying for admittance to a college or university must submit to some form of background check. It is a common practice for prospective employees to be asked to submit a department of motor vehicles background check before being considered for employment, and obviously few unemployed people go running to courts complaining their Constitutional rights are under assault when they apply for a job. However, guns are different because groups like the NRA are duty-bound to push gun purchases to enrich the firearm and ammunition industry regardless if prospective purchasers have a criminal record or are mentally unstable.
Although the NRA claims addressing mental health issues is the answer to stopping mass shootings such as those in Aurora Colorado, Tucson Arizona, and Newtown Connecticut, their opposition to background checks defies their own argument because the only way to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill Americans is a background check that may prevent them from buying them in the first place. The NRA does not want to keep the mentally ill from purchasing firearms any more than they want to prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing them and they have adhered to that belief and policy for at least five years.
In 2009 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an audit to demonstrate how people on the government’s terrorism watch list were able to successfully purchase firearms over a five year period from 2004-2009. The GAO reported that people on the list purchased firearms 865 times in 963 attempts, and those who were denied purchases were disqualified for other reasons such as felony conviction, a drug violation, or being an undocumented immigrant. In one case, a known terrorist was allowed to obtain an explosives license, because being on a terrorism watch list is not a legal reason for denying gun or explosive purchases.
The NRA’s argument in 2009 was precisely the same as it is in 2013, and although they claim to oppose terrorists having access to firearms, “lists can possibly be erroneous,” and “law-abiding Americans should not be treated like terrorists,” according to NRA chief lobbyist Chris W. Cox who continued that “to deny law-abiding people due process and their Second Amendment rights based on a secret list is not how we do things in America.” The GAO report was released by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) along with legislation to give the U.S. attorney general authority to stop the sale of guns and explosives to terrorists. Lautenberg said of the NRA’s prohibition on banning firearm and explosives sales to terrorists, “the special interest gun lobby has so twisted our nation’s laws that the rights of terrorists are placed above the safety of everyday Americans, the current law simply defies common sense.” Common sense and NRA attempts to saturate the population with firearms are unrelated, and they even enacted a law in Arizona that prohibits unwanted guns from being taken out of circulation.
Last January on the anniversary of the Tucson Arizona mass shooting that injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Tucson Police Department held a gun buyback with the intention of melting down 200-plus firearms citizens turned in, and the NRA vowed to put a stop to the practice. The NRA reminded Arizona legislators that they were beholden to follow the model legislation enacted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Koch brothers called the “Firearms Destruction Prevention Act,” to prevent residents from turning in their unwanted firearms to be destroyed. Apparently, ALEC and the NRA controls Arizona the same as they control Washington, and their slaves in the state senate followed orders and passed a law preventing local municipalities from destroying firearms that residents turned in to be destroyed. It is unclear yet if the measure gives law enforcement and the courts power to imprison individual citizens for destroying their own unwanted firearms, or if the NRA will be grant firearms 14th amendment personhood protections, but with the NRA running the nation, it cannot be far behind.
According to an NRA board member and lobbyist, with agreement from State Sen. Rick Murphy (R), the new law is meant to “protect taxpayers,” as well as stop gun buybacks from creating predators according to Republican state senator Judy Burges. Burges said that it is dangerous to limit the proliferation of firearms and that doing so ignores a fact of nature; she said, “There are two types of animals: predators and prey. When we take away individuals’ right to defend themselves, we create more predators.” It is beyond the pale that the NRA gun fanatics conflate a resident’s unwanted firearm being destroyed with “taking away an individual’s right to defend themselves,” but anything is possible with people that equate owning a human-killing inanimate object with being an outstanding American. One fanatical gun group, the Armed Citizen Project took destroying precious unwanted guns seriously and set out on a campaign “take back the city” by distributing free shotguns and ammunition to Tucson residents to make sure that residents who cannot afford to purchase an unwanted gun, will be provided with one free of charge. The Armed Citizen Project did not elaborate on what they meant by “take back the city,” but arming everyone, even criminals, terrorists, and mentally ill people free of charge implies they either intend to create shotgun wielding predators, or join their uber-patriot cohort clamoring for revolution to stop the senseless destruction of unwanted firearms and assault on the Constitution borne by proposing background checks.
The NRA and their crazed gun zealots will not be satisfied until every American is required to own, and carry openly, a loaded firearm at all times. Three weeks ago, city council members in a Georgia city passed a Family Protection Ordinance requiring every head of household to own a gun and ammunition to “provide for the emergency management of the city,” (read vigilante law) and to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants.” There were similar ordinances in several American cities that did not reach fruition, but at the rate the NRA is pushing for every American, whether they are on terrorism watch lists, criminals, or mentally disturbed, to possess a firearm, open-carry requirements will soon be the law of the land because in America, what the NRA says is the law of the land.
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.