For every action there is a reaction, and one need not be a devotee of physicist Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion to understand its meaning. The country has learned that for every act of mass gun violence, the National Rifle Association reacts violently and assails gun safety measures as intrusive assaults on “law abiding citizens” dog-given 2nd amendment rights regardless they are hardly proposed much less enacted. However, in a state that has been ravaged by mass-shootings and passes weak gun safety measures, the NRA reacts with fear-mongering and outrage. Lacking dictatorial power to abolish the new laws and punish legislators who supported them, they have shown they will spearhead an effort to remove legislators for protecting their constituents. In fact, in Colorado, the NRA launched recall campaigns against four state senators and successfully put two on a special recall ballot to send a message succinctly articulated by Republicans who said, “Legislators should be scared” for opposing the NRA and voting for universal background checks on gun purchases and limiting most ammunition magazines to 15 rounds.
Colorado has hosted two of the nation’s most horrific mass shootings, and despite not acting after Columbine and Aurora, the Newtown gun massacre prompted Colorado Democrats to react and pass what most Americans believe are sensible gun safety measures. Last week it was reported that a convicted felon in Ohio who was banned from ever owning a firearm for killing one man and injuring two others was caught with 18 guns and 45,000 bullets that revealed why Colorado Democrats passed simple universal background checks for gun purchases. The Ohio U.S. Attorney, Steven Dettelbach, who prosecuted the case said, “I can’t tell you how he got all those guns and ammunition, it’s not that I won’t tell you; it’s that I can’t. This is somebody who should never have had one gun, one bullet. But he had an entire arsenal.”
It is interesting the Dettelbach cannot figure out how the felon stocked his arsenal, when any American with a pea-brain knows that he accumulated his cache because America lacks universal background checks for all gun purchases. The felon was able to amass a stockpile of guns and ammunition due to diligence of the National Rifle Association that has been on a crusade to shut down discussion and calls for background checks on private gun sales they claim creates a national registry of gun owners the government will amass to confiscate weapons and enact tyranny. The NRA’s war on sanity prevents law enforcement agencies from keeping records of gun purchases that allowed the felon in Ohio to avoid background checks if he purchased his 18 guns from an unregistered dealer, or if he bought them from a legal buyer because federal law demands law enforcement destroy a legal purchaser’s record of gun acquisitions.
Colorado’s new gun safety measures went into effect on July 1st, but the Republican (NRA) political opposition and legal challenges against the regulations began before the ink on the gun safety measures was dry. The NRA’s battle against background checks was joined by “55 of 62 Colorado elected Sheriffs” who oppose the new gun control laws that gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo boasts “brings a lot of momentum to the efforts to overturn these laws and to recall state Senators Morse and Giron.” It is not uncommon for law enforcement officials who should welcome keeping arsenals out of the hands of felons to rail against background check legislation as an act of tyranny. In California just six months ago, an elected county sheriff publicly announced that if Congress passed background check legislation, he would not enforce the laws despite that a month earlier one of his deputies and a locksmith were slaughtered by a mental gun fanatic with an arsenal when they served an eviction notice.
It is evident that the NRA fully supports putting as many guns, and bullets, into the hands of their gun-crazed zealots’ arsenals as possible regardless they are felons, racists, or insane. The gun fanatics, especially in Colorado, are willing to take extraordinary steps to maintain their ability to cache weapons even gathering support to secede and form America’s 51st state. In June it was reported that several county commissioners in Northern Colorado were taking steps to secede because they were incensed the state legislature enacted expanded background checks for gun purchases and renewable energy standards. As an aside, the Colorado recall effort drew the attention of the Koch brothers’ unlimited cash because the secessionists and recall supporters stated that besides rejecting background checks for gun purchases, their “whole purpose of doing this is to protect the energy sector that we feel is very much under assault.” The Koch brothers will never let an opportunity slip past to fund political efforts to protect the dirty energy sector, and if they help ALEC and the NRA enrich gun manufacturer’s corporate profits, then it is a value-added benefit.
Besides the NRA whipping up skepticism, anger and gun-lust among Colorado gun owners, the state’s gun dealers rejoiced that the new laws spurred residents to buy as many guns and magazines before the new laws took effect as they could afford. In fact, a Colorado gun magazine and accessory manufacturer took advantage of the NRA crusade and handed out hundreds of 20 and 30-round magazines for free in a typical fear mongering “Farewell to Arms” festival in Glendale, Colorado. The first 1,500 adults at the event received a free magazine, and latecomers were graciously allowed to purchase up to five magazines at $10 each. NRA supporters claim the organization is not intent on putting as many guns and bullets into the hands of gun-freaks waiting to wage war against tyranny as possible, but they can hardly argue handing out free high-capacity magazines serves any other purpose than stocking their anti-government supporters’ arsenals.
Americans have to face the fact that the NRA wields an inordinate amount of power over this country that is evident in their reaction to mass shootings and responsible efforts to curb the out-of-control gun violence plaguing Americans. The sensible gun safety measures in Colorado were passed by the legally elected legislature, and signed by the legally elected governor, but like Americans’ safety, the NRA cannot comport democracy and will go to any lengths to keep their gun fanatics armed waiting for an opportunity to use their guns. The Republicans in Colorado summed up the NRA recall effort succinctly; “Legislators should be scared” of the National Rifle Association because opposing their agenda will result in secession, recalls, and if those are unsuccessful, gun-crazed fanatics, including ex-felons who are sitting on well-stocked arsenals ready to combat tyranny.
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.