My Friend The NRA Member

My friend Pierre Atlas is a political science professor who teaches at Marian University, where he directs the Richard Lugar Franciscan Center for Global Studies. He is also a lifetime member of the NRA–and if survey research is to be believed, his attitudes are far more representative of rank-and-file NRA members than the lunatic positions taken by that organization’s leadership–not to mention, their “bought and paid for” Senators and Congresspersons.

Pierre writes a periodic column for the Indianapolis Star, and in his most recent one, listed a number of realistic, reasonable steps we could take to curb gun violence.

He began the column by recognizing the practical difficulty of simply eliminating AR-15s.

Some people want to ban AR-15 platform rifles. But even if this could pass constitutional muster, given that the AR-15 is possibly the most popular rifle in America and there are millions of them in circulation, doing so would be politically and logistically difficult, if not impossible. On the other side, we hear the standard refrain, “Now is not the time to talk about guns,” or “this is not about guns, it’s about mental health.”

Clearly, this shooter — who I will not name — had serious problems and telegraphed his violent intent on social media. But he didn’t commit his crime with a butter knife.

Pierre writes that America has a gun problem, and that it is always the right time to talk about it. He then offers a beginning prescription:

In addition to enforcing all the laws already on the books, here are 10 practical, pragmatic things Congress or state legislatures can and should do now, which I believe most Americans, including most gun owners, would support:

•Universal background checks

•Mandatory reporting of stolen guns

•Prohibit gun purchases for people on the no fly list

•Allow the Centers for Disease Control to collect and analyze gun violence data

•Ban the manufacture, sale and possession of bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to mimic full-automatics

•Require safety training for all carry permits

•Mandate that a purchaser of any firearm, rifle as well as handgun, must be 21

•With court orders and due process, remove guns from homes in cases of domestic violence or openly stated threats to others

In addition to these eight items, Congress should hold hearings with expert testimony to explore legislation addressing the following controversial issues: Reporting of potentially violent mental health cases and the building of a data base; and regulating social media content for threats of violence.

With 300 million guns in American homes, we aren’t going to enforce wholesale bans on categories of weapons, even if such approaches were constitutionally and politically feasible. But the only impediment to proceeding on the basis of Pierre’s list is political will; these steps are clearly both constitutional and practical.

The items on this list all address the stupidity of excessive solicitude for the tender sensibilities of the gun lobby, but two in particular are aimed at policies that have long infuriated me: the ban on CDC funding for research on gun violence, and allowing people on the no-fly list  to buy guns.

Evidently, people too dangerous to allow on a plane aren’t too dangerous to arm.

But it is the refusal to fund research that is particularly telling. Talk about legislation that “sends a message”! The message is, “We don’t want data. We suspect we know what that research might find, so we aren’t going to allow it. No evidence-based policy for us!”

These are sensible, “do-able” measures. Let’s make them happen. And then let’s work on changing the culture than has convinced fearful folks to amass personal arsenals.


43 thoughts on “My Friend The NRA Member

  1. I continue to be astounded that nowhere in the current gun debate is the morality of gun ownership brought to the forefront. “Thou shall not kill” is not a suggestion. Where is the moral leadership of this country? Why are the churches, temples and masques not publicly decrying the events of last week? Did MAGA mean giving up on morality along with ethical behavior and civility?

  2. Even if we couldn’t eliminate all the semi-automatic rifles already in circulation, we could and should stop the sale of any more such as the one recently purchased to commit the Parkland Florida massacre. If I had my druthers, I’d eliminate the sale of all semi-automatic weapons including semi-automatic handguns. We do not need any more guns in circulation whose purpose is to kill more people more quickly.

  3. I think the HS Kids in FL are on to the right solution:
    Eliminate the NRA owned legislators as soon as possible.
    We cannot “Deal” with these people.
    They need to GO. NOW.
    Only when the NRA owned legislators are GONE can we really make meaningful progress.

  4. As always your comments are to the point and make sense. I do believe, however, that as a nation we can and should follow the lead of Australia and ban all semi-automatic and automatic weapons in the hands of private citizens. Such weapons were not even invented, to my knowledge, during the time our Founding Fathers said we had the right to bear arms. Australia instituted a generous buy-back program, funded by a tax, and many of their citizens gave up these weapons. They have not mad a mass shooting since. Because the NRA and those citizens who believe that we should have the right to own and use any gun that has or will be invented, they are allowing people to acquire these guns and terrorize the majority of American citizens. Many of these people believe that if Muslim commits a terror attack, the solution is to ban all Muslims. If a Mexican commits a crime, we should build a wall and keep them out. If an American citizens commits mass murder with a semi-automatic or automatic weapon, we should pray. An inadequate, selfish and unrealistic solution to a problem that grows each day. The older I get, the more I value and appreciate the words of my father who always said, “Common sense is not that common.” Your suggestions, Sheila, represent common sense. Thanks you .

  5. I would add requiring a permit to purchase (required written and safety test), periodic recertification, banning online and private sales as well as sales at gun shows unless the buyer has a permit to purchase.

  6. I agree one hundred percent with your friend’s assessment. However, I am not and never will be (because of the organization’s leadership) be one of the NRA. I don’t care what they say, as long as they have nuts like LaPierre – rabid idiots – no way. And thankfully I live in a State and County that takes such things seriously and with much consideration, and that requires not just a background check but a safety course (which you CAN FAIL! and not be issued a permit) And I happen to like my AR style rifle for hunting, and that is just practicality to me. I can’t beat it up in the trees, it is easy to clean and I can use it for one of my enjoyments = target shooting at distance with iron sights. (Mine is a .308 otherwise known as an AR10.) It’s not for everybody, but then I am not ‘everybody’, we have lived now some 28 years in these Northwoods, and It just fits the scenario for me. Sorry if people find this offensive in anyway – but remember you don’t walk in these boots nor do you live where I do.

  7. We can’t fix a problem if we don’t know what it is, and I would argue that firearms violence isn’t just one problem, but a set of highly complex problems. Lifting the ban on research funding should be the first thing we do, especially if we want truly effective solutions, and not just legislative stop-gaps that are dismantled a session or two later. We should lift the ban before we loosen any more gun regulation. Any legislator that can’t consider than should indeed be voted out of office.

  8. Well, Manuel, I do find your take on guns offensive. For one thing, the AR10 is a NATO battle weapon! What are you hunting up there in the north woods? Tanks? An entire herd of does and fawn with their daddy? From a tree? Really?

  9. Theresa writes, “Where is the moral leadership of this country?”

    Even those politicians like Mike Pence who claim morality as the centerpiece of every decision they make, aren’t morally or ethically driven.

    They’re driven by power and money – the material world. The laws and policies they author and support only serve to increase their power and money raised from billionaire and corporate donors.

    Our entire culture is shaped by our economic system which is capitalism – only the strong survive. The only measure is profit. Period. Look what we’ve done to other countries in the name of “democracy” when the truth is we want access to their resources.

    Every single corporation formed in this country has one purpose – maximize profits to the shareholders. Period.

    Therefore, greed and corruption rules. It rules government and the private sector. Over the years, the power has concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Albert Einstein saw this in the 40’s and wrote about it in the 50’s.

    We’re all about competition, winners and losers, free markets, the individual over community, etc. Ayn Rand would be proud while the Pope weeps.

    Look at the size of our military and how it’s expanded into 170 other countries. We’ve been cutting programs for the poor and elderly, cutting taxes on the wealthy and boosting funding to an already bloated military. We promote fear worldwide.

    Our idea of globalization is MUCH different than other countries.

    When you live in a country full of individuals who resent the collective, fear is the most prominent emotion. It’s primitive. Einstein said our capitalistic core was “predatory” and unsustainable. Hunted and hunters. Fear rules. Guns balance those fears with the illusion of power.

    It’s not guns or mental illness; it’s how our society functions. It’s our fundamental structure. Guns and mass shootings are a symptom of the disease, much like a runny nose is a symptom of having a virus inside the body. 😉

  10. He forgot one:

    Repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, signed into law by George W. Bush in 2005, and which shields gun manufacturers, distributos, dealers and importers of guns and ammunition from any liability resulting from crimes committed with their products.

    Talk about infringement of people’s rights.

  11. “let’s work on changing the culture than has convinced fearful folks to amass personal arsenals.” This week a big news item was the death of the 99 year-old Billy Graham, dubbed “America’s preacher”. Understanding the culture which has led to ‘personal arsenals’ must include the mind-numbing fundamentalist Christian theology of original sin, blood atonement, salvation from hell, heavenly eternity. This message, the enemy of reason, set the stage for American irrationality. The Puritans established it in our national DNA. Gun culture exists because of irrational fear. Fundamentalist Xnty perpetuates irrationality. The presidency consists of a person with no moral roots and a fundamentalist theocrat. Congress rejects a rational study of gun culture.

  12. It would also be helpful to ban the sale of armor-piercing bullets for semi-automatic weapons. Or, at least, the sale to anyone except law enforcement departments.

  13. I suspect the difference you see between Shelia’s friend – a lifetime NRA member who sounds quite reasonable – and the leadership of the NRA is mostly the hard right libertarian difference. One group believes they need guns for hobby, sport, and self defense and is capable of understanding the need for regulation. The other group believes they need guns to fight off the black helicopters and government troops coming to get them. You can’t reason with the second group and they’re more and more in charge recently.

  14. One quick (maybe) comment:

    So long as reasonable NRA members renew their memberships or remain as lifetime members, the people at the top of the NRA will believe their stance is just fine. George H.W. Bush once had the moral courage to publicly resign as a lifetime member of the NRA back when the NRA referred to federal agents in rather gestapo-sounding terms. If even a quarter of the sane NRA members would deprive the organization of their financial support, the NRA would get the message and perhaps be less influential.

  15. There are over 300 million guns in America, but the majority of households don’t own guns. It is unwise to sell to civilians guns whose sole purpose is to kill a lot of people very quickly. I agree with the rest of the professor’s solutions, but I maintain that there is no constitutional right to an assault weapon, semi or fully automatic. Even the revered Antonin Scalia thought the same. We could start with buy-backs, then confiscation of those weapons whenever there are felonies committed by owners who don’t participate in a buy-back.

  16. I am a former licensed to carry handgun owner; I support the 2nd Amendment as the founding fathers meant it but it is poorly written, leaving it open to individual and extremely dangerous interpretation. My Uncle Don of Don’s Guns, lobbied for years for the same background checks to purchase all long guns that Indiana required at that time for handguns. A 7 day waiting period requiring being fingerprinted by local police and agreeing to a FULL background investigation, local and NCIC. I had to undergo the same requirements to obtain my permit to carry. When the state of Indiana lowered its requirements for handgun purchases, Uncle Don went back to selling all guns as the law required an earned millions more dollars. As he pointed out in our many conversations on this issue; he could have been sued for violation of a customer’s civil rights had he denied them their right to purchase any weapon – the only requirement being cash or valid credit card to purchase all long guns. That is the reason the NRA and Republicans are fighting – and winning – the right to continue making money.

    It is illegal to convert rifles to fully automatic but it is legal to sell “bump stocks” and conversion kits to gun owners. The first day of Scalisi’s return to the halls of Congress after being shot by a “bump stock” converted weapon and almost died, undergoing numerous surgeries to save his life, his response to questions from the media was that he continues to support sale of “bump stocks” and conversion kits. With this mindset; we cannot expect logic or common sense to rule regarding the ongoing “gun battle” in this country. Human lives have less value than the sale of weapons and ammunition.

    Trump came up with the unoriginal suggestion to arm teachers to protect students. Bullets miss the intended targets most of the time but they ALWAYS hit something or SOMEONE; whatever happens to be in their path. They also go through walls into other rooms where other people are hiding, believing they are safe. Neither weapons or ammunition have the ability to think; obviously neither do the mass shooters who have by now killed hundreds of Americans. That is not to say they are all mentally ill; most are simply filled with hate for reasons real or imagined and need a target – or targets – to vent their hatred. The Sandy Hook killer, Lanza, was known to be mentally ill but his mother amassed weapons and trained him to use them, he began his killing spree by killing her. Zachary Cruz was reported to the FBI who ignored the report(s) and local police who, as the father of one of the Parkland victims so wisely stated – the local police did NOT HAVE LAWS ALLOWING THEM TO ACT ON THE INFORMATION THEY HAD ABOUT HIS DANGEROUS CONDITION. I believe the Parkland police made 39 home visits regarding those reports but no law allowed them to act and Cruz’s foster parents stated he had a right to own that AR-15. The foster parents were correct regarding their knowledge of the law but allowed him full freedom to act on his mentally deranged intentions.

    Common sense gun laws, full background checks and banning the sale of assault weapons to the general public will NOT stop all dangerous people from arming themselves. But suppose; just suppose, Florida laws had allowed the Parkland police to arrest Zachary Cruz and confiscate his many weapons – there would be SIXTEEN STUDENTS AND THREE TEACHER/COACHES still alive and with their families in Parkland, Florida.

  17. Even if new laws could not remove ALL excessively lethal weapons from the population, those laws would REDUCE the population of such weapons.

    Any insurance actuary would tell us that such reductions in people-killing weapons would REDUCE (the word is “reduce” not “eliminate”) the number of people-killing in America, as would any odds maker in Vegas. Sane Americans would like to go with the odds.

    Superstitious Americans would treat the problem in the same way they pull the handle on a slot machine–with the losers’ unreasonable faith in his or her special luck, presumably because they think they are special.

    Go with the odds.

  18. Odds makers in Vegas would think it the absolute of stupidity and sanity to enact laws prohibiting the collection and analysis–the study–of numbers pertaining to wagering. Which likely expresses their opinion of gun supporters who suppress and lie about gun death statistics.

  19. Todd gives us an excellent backdrop on Sheila’s topic for the day and PJ is right on in recommending repeal of legislation that shields gun manufacturers from liability, a bill signed by Bush in 2005. However, the immediate problem is having AK-15s and other such lethal gunnery in the market available for sale. Such guns are killing machines and should be available only to the military, and a teacher at a school armed with a handgun, for instance, would have little chance of killing a killer before being killed in a spray of bullets, especially since if teachers were armed, they would have a target on their backs and would likely be the first to be shot.

    I am hearing that there are 300 million guns in this country and that a recall task is hopeless and probably unconstitutional. I disagree. There are not 300 million AK-15s or similar killing machines out there and I have no interest in buybacks of hunting guns etc. I do have an interest in buybacks of AK-15s and their ilk, and if ever we could get a Congress and a president who would come up with a program ending sale of such machines and establishing a buyback of such lethal weapons (a program that would pass constitutional muster), then we could start to limit our exposure to the slaughters we are enduring.

    Would such a program be perfect in recalling all such weapons (as the NRA and its lackeys are sure to note)? Of course not, but the removal of only one AK-15 is that much, and we can’t just sit here paralyzed by inaction due to the resistance of the NRA and its stalwart backers (politicians who depend upon NRA contributions for their election and/or reelection such as Rubio, Cruz, Grassley, Ryan, and other opponents of public safety). I claim no monopoly in how to stem the tide of such weaponry on the market and how to remove such weaponry already sold, and welcome anyone’s idea on how to accomplish the task, but we need to do something and quickly before the next bloodbath if at all possible.

  20. It takes a special kind of mind to look at the problem of assault weapons and determine the best solution is more weapons. Surely, the public can demand more of its “leaders” than that. The NRA lobbies for the weapons manufacturers, under the guise of second amendment protection. There is much more to the constitution than the second amendment; all of which is ignored while defending our “right to bear arms”. Doesn’t “militia” mean army, not individuals with weapons? The NRA and a few other organizations seem to be making our public policy without input from the rest of the public – and with the approval of our congress and administration.

  21. I suggest those who support the continued sale of AR-15 and all assault weapons as our right, Google “The Atlantic” and read the article, “What I Saw Treating the Victims of Parkland Should Change the Debate on Guns”, February 22, 2018. I strongly suggest all members of Congress be required to read the information and to see actual color photographs of the blown apart victims, body parts and shattered heads of adults and children. They are, in a sense, the jury on this criminal case and need to see the actual crimes committed by one person against many innocent victims which would not be possible without availability of these legal weapons of destruction.

    I apologize for my error on the number of dead students in my earlier comments; it should read “FOURTEEN STUDENTS”, not sixteen. But if my error regarding numbers matters to anyone, you are part of the problem. Think of the condition of the tiny TWENTY FIRST-GRADERS at Sandy Hook after reading the Atlantic article.

  22. It’s a complex and emotional issue that will not be resolved until we can all first agree that we have a problem that is not going away and that we need a realistic solution. Arming teachers is not the answer. There was an armed, trained officer cowering outside the school, probably because he knew he was out-gunned by the shooter. Do we really think teachers are going to fare any better? And can we in all seriousness expect our teachers to be willing to take a bullet because we can’t come up with a better answer.

    The answer is not just banning people with mental health issues. First of all, most people with mental health problems are not violent and not prone to violence. We still have no idea what motivated the Las Vegas gunman, who was by all accounts normal. There are a lot of people who are just one emotional crisis away from going over the edge and committing some horrific act. How do we reach them? How do we even know about them? They may not even realize themselves how fragile their sanity is. Do any of us?
    We have to first admit that the unregulated use and ownership of firearms is not a good idea no matter what the Second Amendment says or what we think it says. There’s been so much debate about what the Founding Fathers meant that we should give serious consideration to amending the Constitution if we cannot even agree on a rational meaning for what it says. I know that proponents of Second Amendment rights will argue that if the government can take away or limit one right then all of our rights are in jeopardy. But we are the government. We are the people who formed a government that would promote life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for its citizens. The government is the expression of the will of the people. We can change things if we have the desire and the political will. I pity those who have lost faith in our system of government to the point that they feel the government is the enemy of the people. The only way government of the people, by the people, and for the people will perish from the earth is if people refuse to get involved. That’s why it’s heartening to see students getting involved in this issue.

  23. For those who may not be aware, a firearm purchased online does involve a background check. The item purchased will be shipped to the nearest holder of a Federal Firearms License, whether it be a gun store or gunsmith. The gunsmith/gun store runs the online background check, for a fee, before handing over the firearm. Obviously, if you don’t pass the background check, you don’t get the firearm.

  24. I was stunned to learn that it’s been against the law for the federal government to build a database in any way:

    “That’s been a federal law, thanks to the NRA, since 1986: No searchable database of America’s gun owners. So people here have to use paper, sort through enormous stacks of forms and record books that gun stores are required to keep and to eventually turn over to the feds when requested. It’s kind of like a library in the old days—but without the card catalog. They can use pictures of paper, like microfilm (they recently got the go-ahead to convert the microfilm to PDFs), as long as the pictures of paper are not searchable. You have to flip through and read. No searching by gun owner. No searching by name.”

  25. With all of this churning and churning the one thing that keeps coming to the surface (not in this group) is “But now they will come for my guns” Where did this paranoia come from? Has the NRA brain washed so many so successfully that we truly believe that if even one iota of one step is taken to protect anyone via legislative change then that automatically means all hell will break loose and groups of lockstep marchers will find and retrieve all we have worked so hard to collect? Seriously, I see fear in some eyes.

  26. Most of these “practical” solutions (meaning not inconvenient to NRA members) are based on the government’s ability to sort 7.4 billion people into those crazy enough to mow down strangers vs those who aren’t. Then professional psychiatrists tell us how manipulative such people are.


    Then we know that there are lots of private gun sales (make more money regardless of the impact on others).

    We also know that most other countries in which that government isn’t owned by the NRA have solved the problem of this crazy variant of terrorism.

    Why do we have to tiptoe around business to keep our kids from being violently and regularly slaughtered? We know for sure that it will keep happening!

  27. First I would ban the sale of any AR-15 or it’s variant, and ban devices that convert a semi-automatic weapon into a virtual automatic mode. We could also have a buyback program, the weapons collected should be destroyed. We could use some of the money allocated to an already bloated Defense budget. I would agree with the other points Pierre Atlas mentioned.

    Wayne LaPierre of the NRA, pulled out all the stops with his dog whistles about European socialists and the “socialist enemy”, here in the USA at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Nothing like some red baiting to fire up CPAC.

    Side Bar- I would like to see demonstrators in front of Wayne LaPierre’s house. I suspect it is mansion and not a three bedroom ranch.

    So the simple question is: Why do we have so many mass shootings and homicides by firearms in the USA?
    We can readily see the difference between the firearms homicide rates by comparing the USA to Canada, Japan, Australia or countries in Western Europe. These countries have people with mental illness. What is different is the availability of firearms to the public.

  28. Great comments. Here is the voice of the NRA lying for public consumption and arguing with a media host:

    There is no reasoning with people like this, because it’s their paid position to resist all resistance to their paymasters’ desires. We don’t need any more data. It’s being collected every day and every year. The problem and the evidence are obvious and in our faces. The kids have it right: Vote out the whores of the gun lobby.

  29. I normally read whatever Pierre Atlas has to say largely since I’ve always been deeply interested in international relations and national security policy. I must say this piece that you alluded to Sheila is a departure from that but that’s OK and also very timely. I didn’t know he was a member of the NRA and since I know many folks that do belong to the NRA and are not totally nutbars he gives me no sense of alarm. What he proposes makes good sense and is something that should’ve been done a long time ago.

    When I was a kid I was in the NRA’s Young Shooters Program, supervised by two police officers, both of which were expert marksman as well as an uncle that fell into this same category being a member of the U.S. National Pistol Team. I would receive my bullseye targets in the mail from the NRA along with if lots of information on firearms safety that but trust what I was being taught by my father, my first cousin and his father, my uncle. I learned at this very early age that there is only one way to shoot and that is safely and on a rifle or pistol range. I have never hunted in my life other than at Kroger’s. Back then the NRA was all about firearms safety and had no truly discernible political bent to anything it did as far as I remember.

    Now, they have become a monster, a true monster. The spectacle that I saw on television yesterday featuring the NRA’s CEO, Wayne Lapierre, and his sidekick, Dana Loesch, putting on their dog and pony show at CPAC was absolutely horrifying. I immediately thought of Adolf Hitler and, if it’s possible to imagine, of a female version of Josef Goebbels, railing at the crowd on topics that really didn’t have much to do with firearms but rather making truly obscene statements about politics in this country. It was like our dear friend Wayne was on steroids and perhaps his sidekick on a heavy dose of bull testosterone. Apparently from what I heard this morning a large part of the audience they were speaking to remained silent through their dog and pony show which is probably a good thing.

    Their conduct, coming so soon after the tragedy in Florida, along with the efforts to discredit the survivors of what had to have been akin to a massacre, is one of the most from rancid and despicable things I’ve ever witnessed. I’m not prone to compare conservative speakers to Hitler and Goebbels lightly. I hear them out because we all need to, no matter how far off the beam they are the what I saw yesterday amounted to a rallying cry to every diehard crazy in the country that their government was under attack by a whole litany of people including Karl Marx which just blew my mind.

    If what’s fascinating two is how the NRA has pivoted in regard to its message to condemning what it likely refers to as “the deep state” from its normal railings in regard to the second amendment since they have no Democratic administration to go after sense the Republicans have everything sewn up. Lapierre and Loesch seemed to be channeling Steve Bannon as well, who likes to push the same destructive ideas and in doing so are way, way off their normal reservation.

    Personally, I think they’ve crossed a bridge too far and I hope that the negative reaction they’re already getting in regard to their remarks continues to build with corporate sponsors dropping them and real conservatives questioning whether or not they should be aligned with these crazy people anyway. We can only hope because the longer of LaPierre and his ilk rule the roost at the NRA the harder it will be to come up with common sense gun control measures for this country.

    There also needs to be a realization of what the Second Amendment was actually drafted and adopted for: the raising and equipping of a militia akin to the “Minuteman” of the American Revolution to backstop our traditionally very small Regular Army in times of emergency. They were federalized at the outbreak of the American Civil War, becoming volunteer regiments with this state, Indiana, supplying more volunteers than any other state in the Union. When that war ended they all went back to civilian life, being mobilized again as State Militias and federalized once again for the Spanish American War, and after that became the basis for what we now know as the National Guard. That was the true reason for the Second Amendment to the Constitution, drafted when most people in this region of the country still hunted for food and also when the weapons of choice were muzzle loading rifles and single action pistols, not semiautomatic Armalite AR-15’s or Kalashnikov AK-47’s.

  30. Welcome aboard, Elisa. Tie a knot and hang on!

    A close relative sent this oh-so-simple bit of wisdom that came out of a college campus discussion this week. I want to share it with Sheila’s followers. “When my kid hits another kid with a stick, I blame my kid…but I still take the stick away.”

  31. Just a reminder:

    Gun Laws at Military Installations:
    “Military installations are technically “gun free” zones meaning that military and civilian personnel are prohibited from possessing weapons without special authorization. This policy includes those living on military bases who are not allowed to keep personal weapons in their domiciles. Regulation 90-114 regulates firearms on military bases and was implemented by President Clinton in 1993.”

    Fort Hood Massacre: November 5, 2009; THIRTEEN dead, more than THIRTY wounded

    Washington Navy Yard Shooting: September 16, 2013; TWELVE dead, THREE wounded

    But any member of the general public with cash or credit card can walk in off the street and walk out with an assault rifle and Trump wants to arm 20% of our school teachers. Of course he didn’t specify if that includes all school systems; public, charter and/or voucher schools.

    Maywin; “But now they will come for my guns.” is an old accusation against liberals which became a highly popular war cry against Barack Obama during his presidential campaign and a frequent warning after his election. Under Trump’s White Nationalist administration with Pence’s religious mania waiting in the shadows; Marv’s recent reminder of that old song, “Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition” will be at the top of their hit parade in 2020. And gun sales, I am sure, are again soaring at this time due to the most active public gun reform demands in many years.

  32. Excellent post and comments. Some thoughts while reading this.

    Removing the ability of the NRA to blackmail government officials is absolutely critical. Voters are key to this. Also agree that if people who belong to the NRA drop their membership NRA power will be reduced.

    JoAnn – It’s good to point out that it’s not just schools that have seen mass shootings. Here are a (very) few other examples. Each category has way too many other examples. Theaters (Aurora CO 2012). Cultural events (Las Vegas 2017). Churches ( Charleston 2015; Oak Creek WI 2012). Work (San Bernardino 2015). Home (Isla Vista CA 2014). Clinics (Planned Parenthood Colorado Springs 2015). Roads (Santa Monica, CA – 2013). Political events (Tucson 2011; Washington DC 2017). Government offices (Binghamton, NY 2009). Shops (Omaha, NB 2007). Restaurants (McDonald’s San Ysidro CA 1984; Orlando FL 2016).

    As for the FBI – I can’t even imagine how they are able to stay on top of all the reports they get. This guy had been investigated before. Could be that in triaging reports they prioritize new reports.

  33. 104 guns were found by TSA in the past week.

    We can’t even have a conversation about this subject without voices raised so I say, ban them all. Yes, I’m just a dreamer but honestly, I live in AZ. I live with open carry is everywhere unless prohibited by the owner of the business. I have errands to run today and I hope I make it back home alive and in one piece.

    JoAnn, that article about what those bullets do to bodies is something everyone should read. Horrible.

  34. 1. Just days after my son was shot, we received a letter from the NRA inviting us to join. They must run quite a data base of information.
    2. We can’t ban AR-15s? There are countries tackling problems like bride burning, honor killings, female genital mutilation, and making progress at eliminating these ways to kill or maim innocents. What is wrong with this country that we can’t attack a problem that kills and maims the innocent?

  35. Ban assault weapons, do a buy-back. After that , seize any weapons used during a crime and destroy said weapons. We must recend the NRA’s tax exempt status NOW! Any crimes committed using a gun has a manditory 5 years prison sentence attached. Raise age to 21 to purchase ANY gun and extend waiting period.

  36. Why aren’t these questions being asked?

    If the NRA can give millions of dollars to politicians, why can’t they fund our healthcare?
    or the healthcare of those that are victims of gun violence? Or their funerals?
    Or the security and safety of our schools?
    Or pay to the teachers?
    Or pay to the physiologists that need to keep guns away from citizens that shouldn’t own them?

    Where the hell is all of that money coming from? And why isn’t that money helping our citizens that don’t own guns and are victims? Do they only support gun owners?

    And another question I would ask is where do they get their membership numbers?
    We already know that if you buy a gun, you are entered into a database. Just because you’re a gun owner, doesn’t make you a member of the NRA, just because they sent you a membership card! We want to know their exact membership numbers. /rant off

  37. There are so many guns in the US because of lobbying efforts. That’s one thing I’ve tried to point out among my posts here at the forum. We have a governing body,local and national –and the problem is bipartisan–that responds damn near exclusively to lobbying interests. Legislation solely by think tanks and lobbying money.

    Btw,Donnelly is a puppet of the NRA. Don’t expect change from Donnelly when you re elect him this next time around. Speaking of the NRA,meet the lobbyist in Florida that has the politicians under her thumb. Yes,you’ve come a long way baby.

  38. I am an 88 year old man who grew up on a farm in Dearborn County. My father owned two guns , not weapons. We had a 12 gauge doubled barrel shot gun that we used to hunt squirrels and rabbits for food. There was a 22 caliber rifle used to shoot a beef and two hogs for food. The only purpose for a pistol or a semi or full automatic weapon is to kill people.

  39. Thank you for the article. It is courageous of you to admit to having a friend in the NRA. In response to your courage, let me say that I belong to the NRA and NMLRA and I appreciate your courage, reason, and the restraint in your writing.

  40. MG,

    ” We can’t ban AR-15s? There are countries tackling problems like bride burning, honor killings, female genital mutilation, and making progress at eliminating these ways to kill or maim innocents. What is wrong with this country that we can’t attack a problem that kills and maims the innocent?”

    The answer is very simple. WE ARE IN AN UNDECLARED WAR and show me a war that didn’t involve the killing of the innocent. The fact that most of the movement is SUBSURFACE doesn’t minimize the REALITY. Until the SUBMARINE WARFARE waged by Nazi Germany, in the Atlantic, during the early years of W.W. II was thwarted by SONAR, it continued unabated. The same goes for what is happening in the U.S. right now. It will continue NONSTOP unless it is effectively deterred.

    Our only answer is a CRASH PROGRAM that can develop what amounts to an OPERATIONAL “POLITICAL SONAR.”

  41. Guns are the problem! We as a nation are the worst in the rationally developed nations by far for having our citizens killed by guns. We can continue with that reputation or do something about it. There is a choice, believe it or not.

  42. Perhaps people don’t understand how the no-fly list works. This is not a gun issue but a due process issue. Unless the no-fly list is fixed to enable due process I will continue to be against it.

    Anyone can be put on the no-fly list by anyone, even an anonymous tip. This is bad enough but once you are on the list there is no way to get off of it. If you are denied boarding on a flight because you are on the no-fly list where do you go to challenge it? If you call the FBI to see if you are on the list they won’t tell you. This is the part about due process that really bothers me. If it was just terrorists on the list that would be fine but it is not. If anyone doubts this go ahead and try to find out if you are on the list. Then ask how you get off it. I inquired with my congressman to validate this. He confirmed that my description was correct. Check with your own congressman and senator.

    If we start using these kinds of lists for purposes other than what they were created for I see huge potential for abuse by the government. We would then start to really look like a totalitarian State. This why the NRA is against using the list for gun purposes. Instead of just taking the the word of media or other activists do your own homework and then your own thinking. A free society is an educated society.

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