Most people can’t understand the American fascination with guns – in the face of all available logic regarding their safe and proper use.I originally wrote this article after the Orlando nightclub massacre, which was perpetrated by a wife beating, ISIS supporting, on FBI watch lists lunatic, who legally purchased and owned his firearms – and I wrote back then that the gun lobby will still fight tooth and nail from any laws that are attempted to be passed in the face of this.
It’s sad that this blog post keeps staying topical but here we are.
Justice Scalia from the Supreme Court said it best:
“Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”
So here’s the million dollar question:If it’s such basic logic, and arguably the most conservative Supreme Court judge agrees with me, then why isn’t it happening? Are there really that many gun nuts in the US? And are they really that organized?
In my opinion the answer is no and no. I also wholeheartedly believe that the NRA does not give two shits about the second amendment.
If you’ve been kind enough to have read my earlier post about the North Carolina LGBT Bathroom fight you may have an idea where this is going.
Let’s look first and the actions and laws that have been passed on behalf of the pro gun lobby:
Issue 1: Restrictions on the sale of weapons: (needs a ton of references, we can add later tho)- The ‘Firearm Owners Protection Act’ (FOPA) reduced the falsification of records by gun dealers to a misdemeanour (?).- FOPA also prohibits ATF agents from making more than one unannounced inspection per year of licensed gun dealers (so if you are inspected once, you get a free ticket for 12 months, no matter what the findings).- FOPA also put in place vague language defining what it meant to “engage in business” without a gun dealers licence.- The Tiahrt amendments, named after a Republican congressman limited the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – the Federal Agency empowered to enforce the laws regarding the sale of weapons’s (ATF) ability to share tracing information on firearms linked to crimes with local and state law enforcement agencies and with the public (???). This would identify the sellers of weapons that were used in crimes.- Tiarht also required that records of background checks of gun buyers be destroyed within 24 hours of approval (so let’s just say for example that a gun dealer falsified their reasons to sell a weapon to someone; they are bound by law to destroy all evidence of such. I’d be very interested to understand the logic behind this one).- The NRA inserted a legal amendment in 1993 that allows gun sellers to proceed with a sale if they have not heard back from the FBI regarding a background check within 3 days. This loophole allowed the Charleston mass murderer to purchase a gun and has been hotly defended by the NRA ever since and has been dubbed ‘The Charleston Loophole’.- The ATF is not allowed to create a centralized database of firearms. When a police department orders a search on a serial number like you see on tv, it must be done manually and more than half the time there is no record to be found (see the legal destruction of records above).- The Republican controlled Congress has blocked every appointee to head the ATF, and as such they have been leaderless for six years.
Issue 2: Restrictions on the sale of assault weapons:- In 1986 Congress specifically banned any and all scientific studies that look at the relationship between gun ownership and any kind of violence.- The NRA successfully blocked the introduction of bills that would ban ammunition magazines that hold more than ten rounds.- The NRA has also successfully blocked the introduction of any law that would ban any type of assault rifle.
And get this: the gun industry is the only industry that is protected from a judge determining liability should they be found to be negligent in who they sold weapons to and/or knowingly making or selling weapons that cause lethality. THEY ARE THE ONLY INDUSTRY THAT GETS THIS PROTECTION. If you eat a bad burger at McDonalds and you get sick you can sue them and a judge or jury will determine if you deserve anything for your suffering. If a gun company was shown to have knowingly promoted and sold their guns to terrorists/mass murderers who then went and killed your family they would have no civil liabilities. (Insert source)
So let’s look at what the laws actually say and do:Issue #1:All laws passed make it very easy for unscrupulous weapons dealers to sell their weapons to anyone they want with little to no government oversight and jokingly low penalties for doing such a thing. Total volume as well as traceability to crime is gutted. Issue #2:Government funded scientists aren’t even allowed to study gun ownership in any meaningful way. All weapons, even those specifically designed for nothing other than mass murder should be sold to anyone and everyone who wants one.
So who do you think benefits most from unrestricted and untraceable access to heavy weapons, as well as the destruction of any data that would point to overall sales volume or actual use of said weapons?
I have a few ideas, and I’m willing to bet this is who is actually funding the NRA and the pro-gun lobby. Occam’s razor is pretty simple for this one:
- American gun manufacturers. They know that a huge amount of their sales are leaving the country to supply cartels, terrorists and third world despots. According to U.S. Justice Department figures, 94,000 weapons were recovered from Mexican drug cartels in the five years between 2006 and 2011, of which 64,000 — 70 percent — come from the United States. These numbers are hotly debated by the NRA as being inaccurate – the same people who oppose and shut down any efforts to properly trace weapons after they have been sold. Here’s a great first person article from someone who worked at a small gun store near the Mexican American border: (insert article)
- Cartels. They need access to high grade military grade weaponry. It’s not at all unreasonable to think that they would fund the NRA to keep the data quiet so that nothing would stop the Iron Railroad (insert Wikipedia link). If a Russian operative could fund the NRA (insert link), a Cartel could as well. Along the same lines I suspect the Cartels have funded a lot of the anti-marijuana legislations. It only makes sense.
And so my conclusion is this advice:Any time you see something that doesn’t make sense that persists, understand that anything that persists actually does make sense when you dig deeper into why the actual thing is happening. In politics it’s usually quite banal, you just have to read the fine print and then follow the money. The secret is also found in the discrepancies between what people say and what they do. Pro-gun politicians only talk about the 2nd amendment and the individual right to bear arms. But when you look at the laws that they pass, they are clearly designed to protect the gun industry and not the individual gun owner. Arguing about the 2nd amendment just has them win, it’s a straw man argument (insert wikipedia link), as well as bear bait and it distracts everyone from the true agenda.
I find that most of society is fundamentally really boring. At its core, it’s still mostly about money. Money represents things, we need/want things and whenever I look under the covers of what is really happening I generally only ever find money.
My simple formula for determining what is really going on in the world:1) identify an area in which ‘Things Don’t Make Sense’2) do some research into What Is Actually Happening3) from this, determine who is most likely to benefit using Occam’s Razor4) write a bestselling book exposing this to the world; or5) write a blog post no-one outside of your friends will probably ever read