Monday, February 26, 2018

Wayne LaPierre, besides getting the Second Amendment wrong, denies people the right to be decent human beings

Is the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, the most dangerous man in America? No; for the time being that “prize” belongs to Donald Trump. But when Trump’s gone (hopefully before 2020), LaPierre will still be here to reclaim his crown. This psychopath outraged many outside observers with his speech at the recent far-right CPAC convention, where Trump also appeared, claiming that owning guns is a “God-given right” bestowed by God himself to Americans as their “birthright.” The speech’s mindless fanaticism so angered many that some businesses associated with the NRA felt it would be prudent to disassociate themselves from the organization, at least for awhile.

But before we go any further with that, let’s just take a look at this “right” under dispute. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states the following:

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.

Yes it is confusingly written as a matter of sentence structure, which seems to allow some manner of “interpretation.” If we take it into the context of the just won revolutionary war, it means exactly what it says: that the people, to secure a free state, have the right to bear arms in a “well-regulated militia.” How can this amendment be interpreted any other way? The phrase “to bear arms” has a decidedly “military” aspect to it. Back then, hunting rifles were actually used for hunting food to put on the table, and some “gentlemen” carried small pistols for gentlemanly pastimes like settling issues of “honor.” And nothing more. The weaponry of the time was extremely limited in practice; the time it took to load a gun gave any potential human target plenty of time to run away or knock-out his opponent. 

The framers of the Second Amendment certainly could not have imagined small arms that would have the lethality of the cannons of the day; if they had, perhaps they would have been less “confusing” about how they worded the amendment. But one thing is clear, regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court or gun fanatics have chosen to “interpret” it: the Second Amendment does not even imply that there is a “God-given right” for anyone to own a gun save as a member of a “well-regulated militia” in defense of a “free state.” Period. 

With that out of the way, LaPierre’s speech conveniently ignored super-sized mass shootings like that in Las Vegas by a white male, and gets right to the “point” by feeding into white racial paranoia:

They fantasize about more laws, stopping what other laws failed to stop. The truth is, laws succeed only when people obey them. That's what the law-abiding majority in this country practices. But once again, so many existing laws were ignored. Their laws don't stop illegal criminals from crossing our borders every single day. Their laws don't stop the scourge of gang violence and drug crime that savages Baltimore, Chicago, and every major American community. Their laws haven't stopped the plague of opioids, and Chinese fentanyl from Mexico, that floods American streets and kills victims every single day in this country. No wonder law-abiding Americans, all over this country, revere their Second Amendment freedom to protect themselves more than ever.

Of course, Barack Obama, being black, was a particular threat despite the fact that gun control has been a major issue for decades before he even became president (remember the Brady bill?). Hell, it was an issue in the 1960s; in one of his "public service" editorials on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Pat Paulsen intoned "If you're old enough to get arrested, you're old enough to carry a gun." Just because he is “black” doesn’t necessarily mean he was a socialist trying to take away “white rights,” but that is the mindset of the far-right. It is interesting to note in the following comments that LaPierre makes bizarre claims about Democrats being under the control of “socialists,” but predictably he fails to understand the drift into fanaticism by the greater part of the Republican Party, which some might call “fascism.”

But you know what, the shameful politization of tragedy, it is a classic strategy, right out of the playbook of a poisonous movement. In my three decades of leading the NRA, I've had the pleasure of working with a number of Democrats who believe America to be the greatest country in the world, because of our free market capitalism, and because of our individual liberties. But during the last decade, the Obama decade, many of those leaders have been forced out as a tidal wave of new European style socialists seize control of the Democratic Party.

No person in their right mind actually believes that Obama was a “socialist,” and his policies—even the ACA—benefitted American businesses just as much as they did the people, if not more so. Like his predecessors, Obama was as beholden to his corporate benefactors as anyone. Not only that, he did little or nothing to take away anyone’s “right” to have as many weapons as they don’t need for any meaningful purpose. But LaPierre provides evidence yet again that his mind is overcome with this insane fanaticism:

Obama promised a fundamental transformation of our country. And you know what, it began with his own national party. A party that is now infested with saboteurs who don't believe in capitalism, don't believe in the Constitution, don't believe in our freedom, and don't believe in America as we know it. Obama may be gone, but their utopian dream, it marches on.

That should terrify every citizen who values the American ideal in this country of individual liberty. They politicize the Department of Justice. They weaponize the internal revenue service. The EPA. Perhaps cripple the FBI. And the Intelligence Community. And seized an embedded leadership in all of them to advance their agenda. Absolute control in every corner of our government is their ultimate dream. These intellectual leads, they think they're smarter than we are. They think they're smarter than the rest of us. And they think they're better than we are. They truly believe it, and you know it.

LaPierre doesn’t seem to realize that virtually everything he is saying is only more proof of what his critics are saying about him and his organization’s “ideals.” His entire speech was a paranoid smear campaign against anyone who believes that no regulation of gun ownership (particularly assault weapons) is the reason why mass shootings occur in this country and not, say, in Canada and the UK.

You know it. Yes, the art of the smear. We do live in the socialistic age of the art of the smear. Doesn't have to be true. It just has to stick somewhere. Anywhere. It is designed to degrade, destroy, and it is all over the national media to serve their agenda. And socialism is a movement that loves a smear. Racist, misogynist, sexist, xenophobe and more. These are the weapons and vitriol these character assassinations scream to permanently hang on their targets and create a growing segment of victims. Because socialism feeds off manipulated victims. You name the group, and they will find a way to turn them into victims.

And then this hypocrite goes onward to prove (again) that he has race on the brain by just piling on more garbage onto his already foul-smelling heap, without taking one second to consider how many people he is offending by his ignorant statements: 

They keep their movement growing by finding someone to be offended by something every minute of every day. From the Occupy movement, to Black Lives Matter, to Antifa, they agitate the offended, promote uncivil discourse and ignore any sense of due process and fairness to destroy their enemies. The illumination of due process is the very gold standard of the socialist state.

And once guns are regulated, you will lose all of your rights, presumably because you have to have enough guns to “fight” for them. Oh yes, the socialist Armageddon is just around the corner, with the help of some of this insane shit coming out of LaPierre’s fever-plagued mind:

This growing socialist state dreams of manipulating schoolchildren, to squeeze and squeeze information about their parents. They'll be asking your kids if mommy and daddy spank them, or what mommy and daddy feeds them for dinner, they'll want to know what TV shows you watch, what magazines, newspapers you read, and, oh, yes, do mommy and daddy own a gun? And all that private information will be entered into that ultimate list that cloud of data storage that couldn't care less about due process and constitutional freedom and your privacy as an American.

And then it is just a short hop to the systematic destruction of our most basic freedoms in this country. And you all know what they are, but let me say them, family, faith, individual responsibility, and self-destiny, a free market economy, patriotism, respect for our national flag and national anthem, personal liberty, and justice for all.

Oh, shut-up. I suppose in LaPierre’s “defense” one could say he is deliberately going over-the-top to head-off any gun control that is actually “meaningful.” But his speech went well beyond that; what so angered many was that he was positioning gun rights as an “us”—meaning whites—versus “them” issue. The “socialist” element is part and parcel of this paranoia, since many whites see social safety net programs as benefitting almost exclusively “undeserving” and “lazy” minorities. Worse, LaPierre suggests that regulating guns will mean that white lives will be in “peril” from bloodthirsty nonwhite hordes. Yet he feels nothing when it comes to mass death at the hands of white men, whether on the streets of Las Vegas or in a school in Parkland. This man isn’t an “idealist”; he is a danger to the right to be a human being with any sense of decency.

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