The NRA Wants You(r money)

In early 2016, President Obama proposed certain minimal gun regulations aimed at reducing gun violence.  It was mainly aimed at making sure gun sales via the internet and gun shows followed the same regulations for background checks, etc., as those who had a physical nexus.  But, of course, the nation went ballistic, claiming that Obama was trying to ‘take their guns away’.  And what do you think happened?  Gun sales, which had been on the rise for the past decade, soared, of course.

Jeb Bush said Obama’s plan would take away the rights of someone “selling a gun out of their collection, a one-off gun”. Marco Rubio says Obama’s plan is to “take away our guns.” And in the light of all this mis-understood rhetoric, gun sales soared.

gun sales 2005-2016.jpgAnd then came Donald Trump.  As I wrote in a July column under Trump, gun sales declined by 17% during Trump’s first two months in office.  This, despite the fact that women and minorities were feeling less safe under Trump and therefore buying more guns!

American Outdoor Brands, alias Smith & Wesson, saw a decrease in revenue of $100 million, a 40% drop. This drop in gun sales has led to the gun lobbyists, specifically the National Rifle Association (NRA) resorting to scare tactics to try to stimulate the sales of guns.  One such method has been through a series of despicable video ads.

The text of the above ad:

“They use their media to assassinate real news.  They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again, and then they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance, all to make them march, make them protest, make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia to smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness and when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage.  The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fists of truth. I’m the National Rifle Association of America and I’m freedom’s safest place.”

gunsThe ad was played at the National Rifle Association’s Leadership Forum in April. NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre’s speech to thousands of members was characterized by a similar type of ‘us-versus-them’ rhetoric. “It’s up to us to speak up against the three most dangerous voices in America: academic elites, political elites, and media elites. These are America’s greatest domestic threats.”

LaPierre.jpgIn addition to the ads, the NRA is pushing for dangerous legislation, such as revoking silencer safety laws and making it easy for anyone to buy a silencer without a background check. Oh yes, we don’t want the neighbors to hear and call the cops when you shoot me in my home for writing against the NRA and advocating for gun safety!

The NRA also conjured up mythical threats from the so-called “alt-left” in the wake of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, suggesting that conservatives take up arms to fight back. “For those of you progressives out there on the far left who wonder why guys like me, conservatives like me, have an AR-15, the answer is, I have an AR-15 to protect myself and my family from you. From you.” – Television host Bill Whittle, 06 September 2017  Hello??? It was the uber-conservative, white supremacists who held the rally, stirred the violence, and were responsible for the death of a young woman, Heather Heyer!

So, the question comes to mind, after seeing the hateful videos, rhetoric and ads of the NRA … who, exactly IS the NRA?  Do they represent gun owners?  The answer is complex, but the short answer is that no, they represent nobody but the gun manufacturers.  Big businesses who manufacture weapons of mass destruction.  They pay big bucks to members of Congress to put forth their agenda, and they play on the fears of gun owners and advocates, always presenting a perceived threat to 2nd Amendment rights by those of us who see guns as an unnecessary evil.

I have given you the statistics a number of times in the past, so I shall not bore you with them again.  But the reality is that the U.S.’ gun regulations are virtually non-existent as compared to other western nations, and our gun-related crime rate is our eternal shame.  Since Trump took office last January, there have been moves to remove the restriction on gun ownership by mentally challenged individuals, revocation of the ban on assault-type weapons, and now silencers no longer will require a background check.

We know what the NRA does with its money, it makes donations to members of Congress who are in a position to knock down gun regulations affecting gun sales, and even strike down or reverse previous regulations.  Last year, the country’s most powerful lobby gave Donald Trump more than $30 million in campaign contributions.  He is now in their pocket.  Federal campaign finance records show that much of the NRA funds are used to keep pro-gun lawmakers in office

But where do they get their money?

People like you, perhaps.  Some donations, of course, come from the gun manufacturers and other companies who stand to gain from the NRA platform. But much of their funding comes from private individuals. Since 2005, the NRA Political Victory Fund has received nearly $85 million in contributions from individual donors. After the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, donations to this political action committee surged as gun owners worried that their rights to buy and own guns were at risk.

And now gun sales are down, and gun manufacturers are looking to the NRA to stimulate a renewed interest in purchasing guns.  And so we will continue to see obnoxious, untruthful ads such as the one above, as the NRA strives to convince the nation that they are not safe without their damn guns.  With the current level of divisiveness, with white supremacists and neo-Nazis coming out from the rocks every day, the last thing we need in this country is to increase gun sales.  If the NRA truly represented We The People, they would not exist, for We The People stand to gain nothing by increased gun sales. It’s all about money … not rights … money and power.

Think about that … remember that, in November 2018 when you go to the polls to vote for your senators and representatives.  Do your homework and find out just how much in donations your representatives have accepted from the NRA.

37 thoughts on “The NRA Wants You(r money)

  1. Dear Jill,
    I would love to figure out how to get around the power of the NRA.

    But I am thrilled that gun sales are down.

    I still think that the democratic party should pull a Murkowski by supporting centrist republicans in red states who are pro-reasonable gun regulations. These are the politicians who get primaried by a more gun toting conservative candidate. In an area where it is not likely for a democrat to prevail, why not back a centrist as an independent candidate.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the first step in tying the NRA’s hands lies with getting rid of ‘Citizens United’. We absolutely need to be able to make laws about how much lobbyists can contribute to a campaign. Unlimited contributions to legislators is corruption looking for a place to happen … and it doesn’t have to look far. The NRA is the single biggest stumbling block to even the most minimal gun regulation. As I was telling Roger, we cannot even make it illegal for somebody with a history of domestic violence to purchase a gun … all because of the NRA and gun makers. The majority of the citizens are for sensible gun laws, but it doesn’t matter as long as our elected officials are in the pockets of the NRA. Money talks, and the NRA has a lot of it to talk very loudly.

      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never felt the need to own a gun, or use one. I know how to shoot and when I owned property. Played with a bow and arrows. I have used a gun to kill a very large skunk, that killed all my hens. Not proud of that but it brought that down.

    I do support individual gun ownership. For if only the police have guns, then a citizen’s rights go out the window. Someone else once pointed out; that none of the incidents of running amok with a gun, ever happens at a shooting range? Point taken. I have peace in my heart and abhor the indiscriminate use of weapons of any sort. Wars were once fought between armies. Now the same armies, rain down terror on the citizenry. Killing and maiming. Demonic. Cheers Jamie

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with all you say except if it were up to me, I would make gun ownership illegal except for law enforcement. I do not fear a military takeover nearly as much as I fear a drunk or a bloomin’ fool with a gun. More guns are used to commit domestic violence than for self-protection. And more children are killed ‘accidentally’ than are used for self-protection. I own no weapon other than my kitchen knives and rolling pin. I shall keep it that way. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The politics of the Gun?
    Another symptom.
    So this has its roots in the ‘well-regulated militia’ and suspicion of a central and possibly dictatorial government (being 18th Century Britain?). OK….. but the militia is not very well-regulated is it?
    And what happens when one day some folk from the far-left decide to produce their own ‘regulated militia’?
    I can see why ordinary folk would buy a gun and learn how to use it, with heavily armed yahoos allowed to run about the place and I get why police can be touchy too for the same reason.
    The problem is a difficult one to solve because of the temperature of the debate. Wise and cool heads are needed (and a financial and cyber black ops team to cause a few of the big gun manufactures companies to collapse; that would help)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The ‘well-regulated militia’ does not exist and has not for a long time, if ever it did. It is the faux justification they use, but the reality is that many … the majority, I believe … of gun-related deaths occur here in domestic violence cases. So, one could say they buy a gun to shoot their spouse, significant other, or even children. And the NRA has even fought against regulations that would prohibit the sale of guns to anybody who has a previous history of domestic violence. “Oh, so you beat your wife every Saturday night when you come home drunk from the bars? No problem, sign here … here’s your Saturday Night Special … how much ammo would you like for the? I can give you a good deal on 1,000 rounds.”

      But to your point, yes, cooler heads and intelligent, well-reasoned conversation are called for. But until the NRA’s hands are tied and their teeth pulled, it will not matter. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds like another scenario for black-ops discrediting and public humiliation.
        It has its place in the governance of a country. Sometimes folk have to be led to the water and their faces pushed in to drink (See, I told you I shouldn’t be put in charge of a country)

        Liked by 1 person

      • There is a group in my area that calls themselves a militia. They spend weekends dressed in army fatigues, shooting, and doing other crap that they think will be helpful when whoever comes in to take over. Scary. I have a gun for home protection, although it would in no way help because of how everything is separated and locked up that I think about selling, but either way, I’d gladly give it up to prevent nutjobs and other abusers and jerks from having one.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, there are a number scattered throughout the country who call themselves ‘militia’, but in reality they are little boys in men’s bodies playing with their toys (guns). Remember the one in Washington State last year that took over a federal wildlife preserve? Sigh.

          And see, this is the difference between you and them. You are willing to give up your gun for the common good. They are not. I can think of only two scenarios in which guns will ever be taken from the average Joe, and neither are very pretty. Sigh.

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  4. I am glad that firearms are not legal in the UK (except for special police and armed forces). While the criminal element do find and use them (on each other mostly, as despite recent terror attacks, the percentage of guns is low), Britain’s can generally feel safe that someone will not suddenly pull a gun on them.

    It is a sad fact that Hollywood films generally have romanticised the use of firearms and made their use the subject of bravery and machismo by sex symbol hero’s with superhuman powers to take at least six bullets while running and not fall down. It is a ludicrous image as just one bullet will fell a commando and incapacitate him immediately.

    I for one, am fed up with movies that promote violence, crime and hatreds as entertainment. They make our children callous, angry and likely to resolve differences in violent terms. Enough! 😠

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree more! I wouldn’t object to seeing them outlawed altogether except in the hands of law enforcement, but that is not likely to ever happen. People here will fight for their guns quicker than they will fight for their children (see my comment to Kertsen). And yes, both the film and video game industries must bear some of the responsibility. But the thing is that the majority of citizens actually support some sensible gun regulations, but it doesn’t matter, for the NRA is a powerful lobby with lots of money to dole out to our lawmakers.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ‘ Fight this violence of lies with the clenched fists of truth ‘ it’s almost like a cry to sign up and fight in the war. Clenched fists are rarely seeking truth and the writer has not heard the old school chant ‘ sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’.
    ‘ Blessed are the peacemakers I hope they will inherit the earth’. My apologies to any Christians for adjusting scripture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There was a case I wrote about a while back, and I cannot remember the specifics, but a family had their children removed from the home because there had been incidences of violence involving guns, and the couple refused to give up their guns … they gave up their children instead. That says it all, doesn’t it? Sigh.

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  6. I’ve been told many a time to M.Y.O.B as I don’t live in America . Instead of my usual rant on guns and how many you need I want to say one thing. In other countries in the West there are no guns allowed, there are crimes, there are murders but not in numbers that America suffers and gun crime is rare still even by percentage of population. Give someone a gun and there’s a good chance they’ll use it.
    The NRA are political and driven by arms manufacturers wanting sales. They’re not out to help you.
    xxx Cwtch xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well I, for one, would never tell you to MYOB. For one thing, you are a friend, but more to the point, I have found that often people outside the U.S. see our events, our issues, much more clearly than we do. Rather like us not being able to see the forest for the trees.

      Yes, give someone a gun and the odds are that they will use it. I mean, why else would they get one to start with? I don’t buy peaches just to sit and look at them. John Doe doesn’t buy a gun just to look at it. And even if John Doe doesn’t use his gun, he isn’t right bright, and keeps it loaded in his night table, where his 3-year-old kid gets it and kills his baby sister.

      Most people in this nation actually DO support stricter gun laws, but the NRA is the third most powerful lobby in the nation, and until campaign finance rules are changed, they will continue to call the shots.

      xxx Cwtch xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Words fail me. I remember years ago on one of our regular visits to Texas my husband telling me not to get angry when out driving as you never knew if there was a gun in the other guy’s car and pointing ot the gun racks on the back of many pick-ups. To this day it makes me feel sad to think that death is so easily at hand. To children, mothers, innocent passers-by. And this demonisation of the other is truly frightening. Academic elites, media elites, political elites. Anyone who is educated, aware of the rest of the world, sensitive… great. Time the metaphorical pitchforks came out en masse. Prayer dosn’t seem to be working!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have had a few deaths due to road rage in the UK . A rather slow old man , namely myself , was told in biting terms he was not fit to be on the road. Road rage is a most curious phenomenon mild mannered men can become raging lions behind the wheel , could it be the power of the car or the gun which changes the character? Put some men into nature with a gun and they must kill whatever moves.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Car plus gun is perhaps the worst combination! I too have had rage directed at me – when I was in my 30s a man in a car pulled right in front of me and stopped dead in a busy dual carriageway because I had flashed my lights at him … I’m always dubious about people now.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, the U.S. has the highest rate of gun-related deaths in the western world by far, and yet these fools are against even sensible gun regulation. if it were up to me, I would make it illegal for anyone not involved in law enforcement to own a gun. They won’t even sit still for a ban on assault weapons that can take out dozens of people within a minute. I saw a man with a gun tucked into his waistband at the book shop the other day! And earlier today I read of a young child shot through the head as his mother was driving. Sigh. Any lawmaker who even has the gall to suggest a few regulations, like competency testing, enhanced background checks, etc., is doomed, so they just don’t. Besides which, they are getting money from the NRA to vote pro-gun. Sigh. Might just have to move to your side of the pond after all! 😉

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