Log in

I forgot my password

Latest topics
Our latest tweets
Free Webmaster ToolsSubmit Express

Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by LornaDoone on Thu Jun 12 2014, 23:09

Nicky asked me a question privately that I'm going to give my opinion on here.  Anyone else in the US who cares to opine pleae do so.

The NRA - National Rife Association - in the US is an organization that advocates for the second amendment to our US Constitution which reads:  

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed


I believe this passage from wiki speaks to the background of why this amendment was put in the bill or rights:

The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common-law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state

So basically when this country was formed individuals were given the right to keep arms becuase they would be needed to defend our country.

As our country developed, having arms became very important in our very survival, from the need to hunt for food to defend ourselves from animal predators and from people who would do us harm.  This country was mainly wilderness when it was being settled so arms played an important part in our survival.

We still revere the Old West and the visuals of cowboys fighting not only native Americans but also the Spaniards and these visuals are often still played out in our movies.  Our country developed and those people were able to survive because they were able to defend themselves.

Now I'm not discounting that a lot of bad came with that even then.  The slaughter of tens of thousands of Native Americans is still a mark against us and still resonates with our Native Americans.

But the mindset seems to be that we have the right to bear arms, that it helped us to settle this country and to defend it.

We are in modern times and this right has become so entrenched in many American's minds (and taught from an early age in many cases) that no one wants to give up that right.  

The other thing we did when this country was being formed was to specifically state that the government could not use its military against it's own people.  We do have a National Guard and their function is to protect us but our military cannot be used against us.

See we have seen how so many other countries have suffered from that and from the fact that the individuals are often NOT allowed to own weapons.  We see protestors or others who are fighting against oppressors armed only with rocks or bottles while governments send in their military to kill their own people armed with assualt rifles and heavy weapons.  Individuals are immediately at a disadvantage when someone wants to become a dictator and can control the army to use against their own people.  

We've seen military coup after coup and I think that's why so many in this country are adament that we still be able to bear arms.

But it has gone too far IMO in that some here feel that assualt type weapons are necessary.  And they don't want anything, including background checks, to interfere with their "rights."  They also use the argument that criminals don't get their guns legally anyway so background checks wouldn't stop criminals from getting guns.

So the NRA is powerful because they have so many members who want to make sure we never lose our right to own weapons.  And they fund many of our politician's campaigns.

I believe though that background checks are NECESSARY and that weapons need to be registered.  We have made it much TOO easy for anyone to get a gun and the results are being shown over and over as people with serious mental issues or anti-social behavior tendancies are also able to get guns.

So until they invent a gun that when handled locks up and cannot be used because it immediately determines if the person is the legal owner and that they've passed a background check and that they are not some kook then we're still going to have these issues.

Where we err is in not having stronger gun control laws but until the majority of people start seeing it that way, we're going to continually have this fight and we are going to continually have these situations where someone with mental issues is able to get a gun and kill people indiscriminately.

LornaDoone
Moderator

Posts : 6692
Join date : 2011-01-06

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by LizzyNY on Thu Jun 12 2014, 23:36

Lorna - Well said. I think you explained the situation perfectly. The fact that the NRA and the gun lobby have been silent lately when we've had several school shootings and gun violence is rising, says it all. They don't give a damn.

I just wish everyone who has a troubled child would make it their business to keep guns out of their reach. If my child had problems, or was heading into gang activity, I'd be searching their room day and night. If I found a weapon, I'd turn it in to the police. I'm so sick of people who say "We knew something was wrong", but didn't do anything about it. If you are raising a child it is your responsibility to do whatever it takes to keep them safe and keep them from endangering others.

LizzyNY
Clooney-looney!

Posts : 3676
Join date : 2013-08-28
Location : NY, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by theminis on Fri Jun 13 2014, 00:39

Well said Lorna/Lizzy - I keep thinking of that directors child who had weapons and 400 rounds of ammunition, how is it possible that a 22 year old can purchase 400 rounds of ammunition, even if at different locales and that doesn't raise alarm bells? 

What good are background checks if someone is unstable yet hasn't been seen by a professional, there would be nothing on the background check to alert anyone to potential issues? Im assuming that in the US if you have been to a mental health professional it would be noted when purchasing a weapon/guns?

theminis
Moderator

Posts : 6088
Join date : 2012-02-29
Location : Oz

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by LizzyNY on Fri Jun 13 2014, 01:09

Theminis - I honestly don't know if it would make a difference, since there are many places where you can buy a gun with no questions asked. It just amazes me that no one ever sees the guns or the stockpiles of ammunition until it's too late. Then people come out of the woodwork to say how troubled the kid was and how tragic it all is.

LizzyNY
Clooney-looney!

Posts : 3676
Join date : 2013-08-28
Location : NY, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by theminis on Fri Jun 13 2014, 01:41

Sure seems that way Lizzy.  When I first started work many moons ago in a huge global organisation, I worked with another EA who was increasingly showing signs of instability, often drunk on a weekly basis at her desk, (we all were like that on a friday afternoon, it was the late 1980's), however she would begin the day at work drunk - she had been ringing me at home and threatening suicide, lots of big and little signs that she was becoming unglued - I had told senior management and HR about all these occurrences, but no real action was taken, they thought that since they warned her she would lose her job that she would stop this at times manic behaviour - it was only when nearly the entire office saw her outside on the balcony 13 stories high that it dawned on them that yeah there might be a real issue to be concerned about!.  Luckily for her she climbed back in the window, got some counselling, a nice redundancy package and moved on with her life -


When I have thought about that situation since have always been grateful that her husband kept his shotguns locked up, as who knows if she had access to weapons, anything could have happened!

theminis
Moderator

Posts : 6088
Join date : 2012-02-29
Location : Oz

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by LizzyNY on Fri Jun 13 2014, 03:56

Theminis - I'm curious. What kind of gun laws do you have in your country? Ours are so lax.It seems everyone else's laws are more sensible.

LizzyNY
Clooney-looney!

Posts : 3676
Join date : 2013-08-28
Location : NY, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by theminis on Fri Jun 13 2014, 04:48

Well as best as I know, though not illegal Gun ownership is very restricted here - you need to meet certain criteria such as policework, hunting, member of a target shooting club, etc.  There has always been gun control as far as Im aware but its been modified in the last 20 years due to multiple shootings etc such as below:


The Port Arthur massacre and its consequences

The Port Arthur massacre in 1996 transformed gun control legislation in Australia. Thirty-five people were killed and 23 wounded when a man with a history of violent and erratic behaviour beginning in early childhood[13] opened fire on shop owners and tourists with two military style semi-automatic rifles. Six weeks after the Dunblane massacre in Scotland,[8] this mass killing at the notorious former convict prison at Port Arthur horrified the Australian public and had powerful political consequences.

The Port Arthur perpetrator said he bought his firearms from a gun dealer without holding the required firearms licence.[14]

Prime Minister John Howard immediately took the gun law proposals developed from the report of the 1988 National Committee on Violence[15] and forced the states to adopt them under a National Firearms Agreement. This was necessary because the Australian Constitution does not give the Commonwealth power to enact gun laws. The proposals included a ban on all semi-automatic rifles and all semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, and a tightly restrictive system of licensing and ownership controls.
Some discussion of measures to allow owners to undertake modifications to reduce the capacity of magazine-fed shotguns ("crimping") occurred, but the government refused to permit this.

The Howard Government planned a series of public meetings to explain the proposed changes. In the first meeting, on the advice of his security team, Howard wore a bullet-resistant vest, which was visible under his jacket. Many shooters were critical of this.[16][17][18]

Some shooters applied to join the Liberal Party of Australia in an attempt to influence the government, but the Liberal Party barred them from membership.[19][20] A court action by 500 shooters seeking admission to membership eventually failed in the Supreme Court of South Australia.[21]

The Australian Constitution prevents the taking of property without just compensation, so the federal government introduced the Medicare Levy Amendment Act 1996 to raise the predicted cost of A$500 million through a one-off increase in the Medicare levy. The gun buy-back scheme started on 1 October 1996 and concluded on 30 September 1997.[22] The buyback purchased and destroyed more than 631,000 firearms, mostly semi-auto .22 rimfires, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns. Only Victoria provided a breakdown of types destroyed, and in that state less than 3% were military style semi-automatic rifles.

So Lizzy basically your average citizen here is not permitted to go out and buy a weapon for protection purposes and keep it at home or anywhere for that matter.

theminis
Moderator

Posts : 6088
Join date : 2012-02-29
Location : Oz

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by LizzyNY on Fri Jun 13 2014, 05:14

The article says the government "forced" the states to adopt the new laws. How did they do that? In this country each state has its own gun laws - some very restrictive, some very lax - and the Federal government can't seem to pass any kind of national law to restrict the sale of semi-automatic weapons. Even if they finally did pass one, they probably would have a hard time enforcing it in some states.

I wish the people in this country would react the way you Aussies did. There are many people here who would be happy to see gun ownership completely outlawed, but that will never happen. Sensible laws would be the next best thing, but it doesn't look like that will happen either.

Unfortunately, the NRA has many members and a lot of money. They lobby our congressmen and help them get elected - or defeated if they are in favor of gun control.It's a real mess, and the only one benefitting is the gun industry.

LizzyNY
Clooney-looney!

Posts : 3676
Join date : 2013-08-28
Location : NY, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by theminis on Fri Jun 13 2014, 05:22

I have no idea Lizzy just how John Howard forced the states to adopt the new Firearms Agreement, perhaps withheld financial incentives etc.  I know it was very contentious and not everyone in the Australian parliament agreed with the then Prime Ministers decision.  Found some interesting statistics that I guess our politicians use to confirm that the change in gun laws was necessary.

Source wiki

Between 1991 and 2001, the number of firearm-related deaths in Australia declined 47%. According to a 2011 report from the Australian government, "...the number of victims of homicide has been in decline since 1996".

There were 354 victims in 1996, but only 260 victims in 2010, a decrease of 27 percent. Also, "The proportion of homicide victims killed by offenders using firearms in 2009–10 represented a decrease of 18 percentage points from the peak of 31 percent in 1995–96 (the year in which the Port Arthur massacre occurred with the death of 35 people, which subsequently led to the introduction of stringent firearms legislation)."

theminis
Moderator

Posts : 6088
Join date : 2012-02-29
Location : Oz

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by theminis on Fri Jun 13 2014, 05:24

Found this article that explains Australias gun laws better than I could.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2012/12/19/blog-how-did-australia-successfully-control-guns

theminis
Moderator

Posts : 6088
Join date : 2012-02-29
Location : Oz

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by Nicky80 on Fri Jun 13 2014, 07:51

Thanks Lorna for the explanation  Give Flowers  Interesting.....

Nicky80
Casamigos with Mr Clooney

Posts : 8561
Join date : 2013-05-01
Location : Germany

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by LizzyNY on Fri Jun 13 2014, 22:08

Theminis - Thanks for the article. It explains a lot. He's right about the difference in attitude of gun owners here. They have been so brainwashed by the NRA and conservative politicians and media that they see all kinds of threats under every rock and behind every tree. Heaven help them if they haven't got the firepower to defend themselves! The fact that it is often their children who are the threat, or are threatened, doesn't sway them at all. They just go out and get more guns. Now there's even a company making bullet-proof clothing for children! I don't know when, or if, this will ever be resolved.

LizzyNY
Clooney-looney!

Posts : 3676
Join date : 2013-08-28
Location : NY, USA

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by theminis on Fri Jun 13 2014, 23:03

Restricting the type of weapons that citizens can own would be a good start, I cant see any reason why anyone needs machine gun type of weapons that fire multiple rounds, Im not very cluey on guns, I don't know the technical name for the weapons that fire multiple rounds at once before reloading. 

I think this issue gets put in the too hard basket for many, which is understandable, pretty sure the US would have a revolution on their hands if the government amended the Constitution

theminis
Moderator

Posts : 6088
Join date : 2012-02-29
Location : Oz

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by Missa on Sat Jun 14 2014, 01:07

Great discussion, just a few points to add:

The best discussion I've seen of Australian gun control laws and why we can't seem to make it work here was done by the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  The video is https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOKWcH1zBl2kfnCwyyZWk5MW28lgaNa7L  There are three parts, but it's only about 15 minutes total, well worth the time if you're interested.  One of the interesting points made is that Howard and the other politicians who voted for the legislation did so even though it was terribly unpopular.  Most of them lost their jobs in the next election cycle.  And when you get right down to it, THAT'S why we'll never get it in the US.  None of the cowards in Congress would ever risk losing their positions for the greater good.

Also, there has been a so-called "smart gun" invented that only fires if the owner is wearing a wireless watch.  The NRA is against it, because it threatens the Second Amendment.  Rolling Eyes  Again, the Daily Show has a great piece on the whys: http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/snqfxc/shooters

To be fair, polls do show that the majority of NRA members support common-sense gun regulation.  The problem is that every time one of these shootings occurs, the NRA leadership sends out fundraising material of the "THE KENYAN BOOGEYMAN IN THE OVAL OFFICE IS COMING FOR YOUR GUNS" variety and raise a ton of money.  The fight against any sort of legislation is more financially rewarding than would be a reasonable compromise on regulations.  Money always wins, even if compared to 20 dead first-graders.

Missa
Clooney-love. And they said it wouldn't last

Posts : 1778
Join date : 2011-10-16

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by theminis on Sat Jun 14 2014, 04:14

Thanks Missa, great points and yes you are correct, it was more than a contentious issue at the times between various Politicians, more than 80% of the general public I believe were behind the initiative. 

Thanks for the vids will now go watch them

theminis
Moderator

Posts : 6088
Join date : 2012-02-29
Location : Oz

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by theminis on Sat Jun 14 2014, 04:46

Wow thanks Missa, I learnt something.  I never knew that it took only 3 months from when the last massacre happened to create/debate and implement the new gun laws in this Country.  Ex Prime Minister John Howard may not have been popular but he did do a lot of right things legislatively. 

I still remember that awful day which precipitated all these changes 35 people enjoying their day at a tourist attraction and in the blink of an eye their lives were taken from them.  A very courageous man who lost his wife and 2 young daughters founded an organisation in their honour called the Allanah and Madeline Foundation, and all these many years later this organisation is still going strong and helping children in so many ways - even my own children know all about this foundation as their school is heavily involved in it - so I guess after such sadness a lot of good came from it.

theminis
Moderator

Posts : 6088
Join date : 2012-02-29
Location : Oz

Back to top Go down

Re: Why Is The NRA So Powerful?

Post by Sponsored content Today at 01:04


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum