Sunday, December 23, 2012

For The Love of Guns

The NRA’s membership is composed of barely 2% of the entire population of the United States, however their power grip in Washington is well known and all politicians, regardless of Party affiliation, fear them. One has to wonder why this is and perhaps try to dissect what might be transpiring in the background. Other associations have much more members than the NRA, but none of them have the power to manipulate Congress as they do.

Today I am scrutinizing Mr. Wayne LaPierre’s* speech given last Friday, December 21st and which you can watch here if you have the stomach for it. I’m also including a link to the transcript. I am outraged and thought I needed to do this.

 To read the transcript, click here 

“…Until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment.”

The whole facts are not known yet but this didn’t stop the NRA from giving a press conference and of course, commenting. What they did was to abstain from making a comment until they could think of a way to remove the blame from their beloved firearms and place it on the rest of the nation. They dared to accuse others of exploiting the tragedy in Connecticut for political gain, when that is the single most important reason why they not only commenting but including the current administration in their comments.   

“No one – nobody – has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now?”

Where has Mr. LaPierre been? How can he say that with a straight face? That is the question that has been on everyone’s lips, from the citizens, to the media and all the way to the President. However, unlike Mr. LaPierre, those of us that care for our loved ones do not think the solution is more arms, and for the NRA not thinking that the solution is more firearms equals to not caring for our loved ones. Sickening! 

“We care about our money.”

This is the single, most truthful statement Mr. LaPierre has made up to date. He had to add in the phrase about the armed guards to “protect our banks” so we wouldn’t know that what they really care about is money. I do my banking transactions at two different banks and I have yet to see “an armed guard” in any of them. I can’t remember when I saw an actual armed guard inside a bank other than in one of those old gangster movies. I’ve worked for many years at large corporations with their offices at, you guessed it, “office buildings” and not once have I seen an armed guard, the most I’ve seen is a bored to death unarmed “guard” that is there to help you in case you don’t know where you are going and need directions.

“We care about the President, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers.”

Yes, the President of the United States and of every other country is protected by the Secret Service. But, if those highly trained officers that are the crème de la crème in their field couldn’t protect President Ronald Reagan when he was shot… What makes him think that a mediocre armed guard is going to perform any better at protecting our children while in school?

“The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them.”

Yes, there are many “genuine monsters” in America and I am sure, the world. But the United States is the only country that dispenses guns easier than it is to acquire Celebrex for arthritis. If you don’t believe me, go to a gun show and see what it’s required for you to walk out with a gun and try to buy Celebrex without a prescription at your pharmacy.  I bet you'll get the gun but not the drug.

Anyone can get their hands on firearms; there are so many guns in America that it is virtually impossible to know the real number of firearms in this country – legal and illegal. The data for registered firearms it’s staggering: 300 million firearms so far. The estimated number of adults in the United States is 247,518,325, which means that there are 1.2 guns for each adult. There are 2,000,000 house robberies a year and among the things stolen are guns that end up in the hands of criminals.

“And here's another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.”

Another unexpected blunt truth stated by Mr. LaPierre. We know that there is “a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people”: It’s called the National Rifle Association.

Mr. LaPierre also placed the blame on violent video games and movies. He mentioned among the games Mortal Kombat and Grand Theft Auto. These games are violent, but the United States is not the only country were these games are played. Japan has no bans against any video games and it’s the main producer of them. The number of homicides by firearms in Japan during the year 2008 (latest data) was 11 and the number of homicides (by any means, including firearms) during the same year was 582. The United States during 2008 had 9,484 homicides by firearms and the total of homicides, including firearms was 16,272.

Japan’s population in 2008 was of 127,700,000. Japan’s territory is 145,883 square miles, which means that there are 875 people per square mile.

On the other hand, the population in the United States during 2008 was 304,500,000. The United States’ territory is 3,717,792 square miles, which means that there are 82 people per square mile.

By the above we can deduce that in Japan, where there is no ban for any computer game regardless the violent content, where people are cramped beyond our wildest imagination and yet homicides by guns, compared to us are virtually non-existent. Why is this? The reason is because they have strict gun control laws. In Japan all handguns are banned, only police officer are allowed to possess one and only while on duty. Rifles are also banned, only those who owned one before 1971 can own one. You can still own a firearm for hunting in Japan (shotgun or air rifle), but in order to get a permit for that you must go through a few mandatory requirements: You must attend a full day class and pass a written test; you must have taken and passed a shooting range class; you must pass a mental and drug test taken at a hospital; after you have accomplished all of the previous requirements you must then go to the police and file your petition to own a gun, the police will then conduct an extreme background check. If you are approved, you must tell the police where the weapon and the ammunition will be stored in your house. And that’s not all; you must submit your weapon to the police for inspection once a year and undergo all the tests (no exceptions) every three years (to read more about gun control in Japan, click here). That is why there are basically no deaths by firearms in Japan, and there is not even one case of a death for accidental shooting. This means, strict gun control laws can make a difference, regardless of how many violent video games people play or what movies they watch. No weapon no problem.

Mr. LaPierre mentioned in his speech the movies Natural Born Killers, released on August 26, 1994 and American Psycho released on April 14, 2000.

From 1992 to 1993, prior to Natural Born Killers’ release, there was an average of 15,872 homicides by firearms a year, after the release of the movie, from 1994 – 1999 the annual average was of 11,883 homicides by firearm a year, an actual decrease of approximately 798 murders a year. In 1999 there were 8,228 homicides by firearms and 8,542 in 2000, the year American Psycho was released and while it is true that for the following three years there was an average annual increase of homicides by firearms of 356 one has to wonder why the same did not happen with NBK and what made in 2004 a sudden drop of homicides by firearm; in 2004 there were 275 less homicides by firearm than on the previous year. What happened on 2001 that may have caused an increase of homicides by firearms? The main event that happened at that time and that I can think of is nine-eleven.

“…the .223 round is one of the most powerful rifle calibers…”

Mr. LaPierre mocked the media for not knowing which is the most powerful bullet. I don’t care if a bullet is a .223 or .950 caliber, let’s face it… they both kill, all bullets have that particularity, when someone pulls the trigger the expelled bullet has the capacity to kill you regardless of the caliber.

“They [the media] perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban – or one more law imposed on peaceful, lawful people – will protect us where 20,000 others have failed!”

I wonder what 20,000 laws is he referring to. There have been many attempts to control the insatiable desire for guns that is an epidemic in this country, but the NRA has blocked or influenced to water down any attempt in Congress, just like they are doing now. A proper and strict gun control such as the one implemented in Japan will prevent atrocities such as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary from ever happening in this country again, but the NRA will never allow it and our Congressmen and women are too scared to go against the monster the NRA truly is.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

I truly believe Mr. LaPierre watches too many old westerns, where the “bad guys” wore black clothing and the “good guys” where in white making them easily identifiable. To begin with, there was an arm guard at Columbine that wasn’t capable to stop the massacre that occurred there. Mr. LaPierre fails to mention that an assailant has an advantage over the guard(s). An assailant has the element of surprise and while the guards are usually armed with a gun(s), the prospect killer is usually better armed than the guards. I suppose Mr. LaPierre will want for every teacher, janitor, and cafeteria personnel to be armed. Has he stopped to think that until a person goes “postal” they are usually functioning members of society? If one of these armed adults that are there to supposedly protect the schools “looses” his/her mind they will be inside a school, armed and the children will be at their mercy. Next, the children will need to carry arms to protect themselves from the teachers!

“…since when did the word "gun" automatically become a bad word?”

Since they were invented Mr. LaPierre, since they were invented. Guns were created to kill… I don’t think anyone buys a gun with the intention to use it as paperweight.

Placing armed people in schools is a crazy idea. It was crazy five years ago when Mr. LaPierre first proposed it, it is crazy today and it will be a crazy idea twenty years from now. The solution is not more arms and more violence; the solution is fewer arms and more restrictions.

“Will you at least admit it's possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared? Is that so abhorrent to you that you would rather continue to risk the alternative?”

The above question is not only offensive, but also repulsive. Mr. LaPierre is trying to coerce the people, without thinking of those parents that lost their child barely a week ago, to support the armament in our schools because if they don’t then we can assume that they rather see their children dead than accepting the NRA’s solution. This is despicable and conceivable only by a group without any moral values or decency such as the National Rifle Association.

Mr. LaPierre is unwilling to accept any responsibility for their actions, present and past that he feels the need to include the American gun owner in his statement about how Washington hates the NRA. Washington doesn’t hate the American gun owners, I don’t even think it hates the NRA, but Washington does “hate” the fact that the NRA doesn’t allow them to legislate and place restrictions on any gun. If the NRA could have it their way, machine guns would be a household item, just like a toaster.

At the beginning of his offensive speech, Mr. LaPierre pointed the finger at everyone accusing them of trying to “politicize” last week’s sinister event. However, he doesn’t miss the opportunity to politicize it. Ever since President Obama was elected, the NRA has campaigned on the false pretense that the President was going to go after the weapons of every law abiding citizen, even when the President didn’t. For the 2012 elections, the NRA donated large sums of money to the Republican candidate with the hopes of getting rid of President Obama, even when the President didn’t ask Congress, not even once, to pass any bills making any changes in the law regarding guns. That didn’t matter. Now, he is once more blaming President Obama because the “Secure Our Schools” was scrapped from the budget. Where has he been? Doesn’t he recall the fiasco the debt ceiling was in 2011? Isn’t he following what is happening in Congress with the Financial Cliff? Doesn’t he know that is the GOP and the Tea Party, the politicians that the NRA supports, are the ones that want a government that can fit in a bathtub?

Politicians might not have the authority to deny anyone the right to own guns, but the government surely can. The government (a very young government and for reasons that do not apply today) gave the people the right to bear arms and the government can take that right away. Article V of the Constitution allows government to do precisely that. Nothing on earth is a given right that lasts an eternity. Back in the 1700s, people were able to own not only guns but also human beings, who they could buy and sell without a problem. Women were not considered full citizens and had no rights whatsoever. Lynchings were common, people were burned at the stake accused of witchcraft and Native Americans were savages that anyone could kill. All of it, through the passage of time became crimes under the law because we evolved… in almost everything except those damn firearms that are untouchable!

The NRA is calling for retired police officers, retired military personnel, security personnel, firefighters (since when firefighters come to rescue us with a gun?) and CITIZENS to patrol the schools, then he wants the “brave men and women of America’s police force” to make our schools safer and he wants that now. While he acknowledges that the budget of the police departments are strained, the NRA wants them to be full time at our schools; hasn’t he heard that the GOP and Tea Party asked for a reduction of government and that among those were policemen and women, teachers, firefighters, etc.?

There are 132,656 public schools in the United States, assuming that we place only one police officer in each and every school and assuming the police officer makes the minimum wage of $40,000 a year, we will need to add to our debt at a minimum another $5,306,240,000 every year and that is not counting equipment.

It seems obvious to me that Mr. LaPierre doesn’t watch much news since he is calling for Congress to approve his plan and implementing it before children are back to school after the holidays, he doesn’t seem to know that Congress will be on vacation during that time, making good use of the tax payers money as they have done for the last 4 years… where they have been on vacation, vacation and more vacations.

“Every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation.”

According to his logic, every school will know what they will need to secure their pupils. Each school will know if they are targets beforehand, how they will be “attacked” and what will they need to prevent this from happening.  I guess that is why they will get protection "according to their own unique situation." Really? So it will be security a la carte? Since when schools are experts at this and if they are, why has there been any mass murders in our schools if the schools knows so much about security?

The false pretenses of the NRA are so obvious that I don’t know why I haven’t heard anyone in the news mentioning this. The fact that the NRA dares to claim that they will visit or study all 132,656 public schools (not counting private schools, who can be subjected to these crimes as well), create a plan of action uniquely designed for the “needs” of each and every school and implementing such plans in two weeks it’s outrageous. All they care about is securing that Congress doesn’t try to restrict or control firearms.

“If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained – armed – good guy.”

Once more Mr. LaPierre uses the tactic of emotional blackmail to coerce people to agree with him. He makes sure that we don’t forget that the trained personnel must be armed and if armed, then he or she is “a good guy”… if we don’t agree, then it must be because we don’t care or cherish our children. This man is an abomination.

“We can't lose precious time debating legislation that won't work.” 

The legislation will work if the NRA is kept out of it.  We must not allow the NRA to interfere or bribe the politicians to go against gun control. The solution is not more weapons; the opposite is the solution.

“Join us in the National School Shield Program and protect our children with the only line of positive defense that’s tested and proven to work.”

Where has this been tested and proven? Columbine proved that having an armed security in school didn't deter the murderer, the Secret Service were not able to protect President Ronald Reagan when he was shot. Hundreds of police officers die every year in gun confrontations, and they were armed and trained. So, Mr. LaPierre I have a question for you... where has this "wonderful” program been tested?

* Used instead of SOB.



  1. I truly agree with the author's thoughts but the article needs proofreading, grammar correction and better sentence structure.

  2. Thank you so much for your comment.

  3. We care about our money.”
    This is the single, most truthful statement Mr. LaPierre has made up to date.< this nails it on the head. Another great article/post Indie! It's really all about money, blood money.