Archives For NRA

Evangelicals and the NRA

February 12, 2015

I think everyone knows that a significant part of the NRA are evangelical Christians. To me that association seems to be a Jekyll/Hide thing. How can you be so irrationally in favor of all guns without ANY restrictions and the resulting violence that it brings and be a follower of Jesus who was anything but a violent man?  It is hard for me to fathom that association but I have to accept that it is there.

SlipperyOne thing that Evangelicals and NRA members hold very much in common is the idea of the “slippery slope”. It is very much engrained into the basic culture of both those groups.

The slippery slope for the NRA is that “if we allow any control/regulation of guns then we will slide into a total restriction of them and then the “State” will come in and take them away from us so as to make us powerless in resisting their demands.  In my mind this is a very dark view of our country. To think that they fear our government who does the people’s business so much that they are willing to accept any number of Newton tragedies  rather than allow any regulations on how and to who guns are sold.

The evangelical slippery slope goes something like this.  If any part of the Bible is not considered absolutely true and without the possibility of error then that will cause us to fall down a slippery slope that makes all of the Bible questionable and therefore it becomes a worthless document.  I personally went through an extensive round of discussions with a clergyman who espoused this idea. He simply would not begin to accept the idea that since the Bible was written by men it was therefore open to error. He simply refused to believe that with all the scientific evidence of the history of the earth that is was more than 6,000 years old.  To him and many like him if the Bible is not 100% true then it is worthless.

The slippery slope is very much a black/white thing. There is no grey area in that concept for its believers. Either you are for guns without any restrictions whatsoever or you are for the total ban of guns. Either the Bible is absolutely true and without any possibility of error or it is a worthless document.

Black/White, Either/Or, No Middle Ground.

But I do celebrate the fact that most who call themselves Christians realize that things are not that simple. There are grey areas of the Bible like there are in all other things of human creations.  To most Christians including me the Bible is a very cherished document but we recognize that it was written by men and therefore some in it is likely just stories/myth, some of it is allegory and meant to relay a message and some of it is likely very man-made. Yes it was inspired by God but was not tossed down from heaven by him.

The slippery slope is a dangerous concept for our society and for our spiritual beliefs….

Beam Me Up Scottie….

December 3, 2014

2014-11-26_09-08-20Ferguson has been dominating the news lately. Especially after the grand jury decisions. This post is not going to be about that except to say that needlessly taking another life is as tragic as all those lives lost previous to that young man. I thoroughly support a police officers right to defend himself and that is what the grand jury decided.  The way to defend himself is the matter of this post.

The point is that there should be a logical alternative to using lethal force against someone who you feel threatened by. That is especially true for our police officers who keep us safe. Reaching for a lethal weapon should be the last alternative, not the first one.

It seems that since the first episode of Star Trek was shown more than forty years ago we have come pretty far toward actually implementing many of the technological advances dreamed up in the series.  No, we haven’t got a teleporter yet, that’s the one I am waiting for, but we have accomplished much in other technological advances. One thing that is totally doable today but is being held back by an obsession is the phaser. You know the one that Kirk almost always said to set on stun.

Since we seem to have appointed ourselves as the policemen of the world we should be inventing new technology toward doing that job right. Why do we need to kill someone who may be threatening physical abuse on us? Whey is it necessary to take a life in order to preserve our own? I kind of think the total reason for it comes from our obsession with guns. If we found killing another person was as tragic as surely God does we would leave our weapons on stun and only use the kill setting for imminent death situations.

No police officer, or anyone else for that matter should have to decide within a split second to take another life when there are logical alternatives available. If we were able to disable someone attacking us without extinguishing another living soul I”m sure most of us would take that option. A taser is a good starting point but is just not that accurate and must be used close up. How about a laser guided wireless taser? We can laser guide our bombs so why not a temporary disabling beam?  I know the NRA would fight it as taking away our constitutional right to a “real” gun but isn’t it about time we told them where to stuff all their opinions. We have needlessly killed enough young men, especially it seems those of color….

Beam me up Scottie, or at least put our weapons on stun…..

 

Banner -In The News

gun ownersSource: Rate of Gun Ownership Is Down, Survey Shows – NYTimes.com.

The household gun ownership rate has fallen from an average of 50 percent in the 1970s to 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s and 35 percent in the 2000s, according to the survey data, analyzed by The New York Times.

In 2012, the share of American households with guns was 34 percent, according to survey results released on Thursday. Researchers said the difference compared with 2010, when the rate was 32 percent, was not statistically significant.

The findings contrast with the impression left by a flurry of news reports about people rushing to buy guns and clearing shop shelves of assault rifles after the massacre last year at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

“There are all these claims that gun ownership is going through the roof,” said Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. “But I suspect the increase in gun sales has been limited mostly to current gun owners. The most reputable surveys show a decline over time in the share of households with guns.”

So, it seems that all the recent increase in gun sales is to those who want to increase their arsenal and not those who are bringing the first gun into their homes. That is good news indeed!  To actually see an almost 40% decrease in gun owning households is very contrary to what some would have us believe. It seems, all the vitriol rhetoric from the NRA aside, that most of us just don’t buy into their bunker mentality of needing a gun to stave off the imminent home invasion. We sensibly see that if we buy a gun we are 42 times more likely to kill ourselves or a loved one than someone invading our homes.

Now if we can just get our beliefs aligned with these numbers and pass some sensible gun regulations in this country we just might be able to reduce our murder rates and other type statistics more in line with the rest of the world. Since even a good percentage of current gun owners are also in favor of regulating firearms it seems like a no-brainer to get this done.

Let your congressmen know that you are one of the vast majority who want sensible gun control.

Before I leave this post we need to consider another possibility for all the recent gun purchases. We know for a fact that there is a thriving and very lucrative business of buying guns in this country and then selling them at a big profit to the drug cartels of Central and South America. If gun control legislation is achieved it is almost certain that this “guns for drug money” will be addressed.  Isn’t that yet another reason to put in some sensible gun regulations?

Source: What We Don’t Know Is Killing Us – NYTimes.com.

Gun ViolenceThat Mr. Obama had to make such a decree at all is a measure of the power of the gun lobby, which has effectively shut down government-financed research on gun violence for 17 years. Research on guns is crucial to any long-term effort to reduce death from guns. In other words, treat gun violence as a public health issue.

But that is precisely what the National Rifle Association and other opponents of firearms regulation do not want. In the absence of reliable data and data-driven policy recommendations, talk about guns inevitably lurches into the unknown, allowing abstractions, propaganda and ideology to fill the void and thwart change.

I find it incredibly hard to understand how we as a people can allow a single organization that is primarily funded by gun manufacturers to tell us that we can’t even study why so many die every year from violence each year. Surely my Republican friends out there are not really against studying gun violence. That is the only way we will ever get at the source of this almost overwhelming problem. Continue Reading…

via Gun control: Why the US military is fighting with the NRA – CSMonitor.com.

US military commanders are trying to cope with an epidemic of suicides within the armed forces.  Officials say they are frustrated by a recent law, backed by the NRA, that makes it difficult to talk to soldiers about personally owned firearms.

The NRA typically comes out in the full attack mode anytime they come across someone who disagrees with the total unfettered right of people to have as many and any type of weapon they might desire.  It is quite amazing that the NRA is picking a fight with the largest holder of guns in the world and that is our military establishment.

There is a rash of suicides in the armed forces now and they want  to be sure that soldiers that show signs of killing themselves do not have ready access to a gun. I just don’t understand why those supposedly five million people who are members of the NRA are not complaining about the leaders of that organization?  I certainly don’t think all five million of them are nut cases who have multiple stashes of weapons and ammunitions.  If they are, as some suppose, mostly people who just enjoy hunting and killing animals as recreation why would they be supporting such radicals as their leaders.

Another thing I can’t understand is why the NRA has so much supposed power. Their total membership make up about  1.5% of the population? Why are so many afraid of them. I imagine that Michael Bloomberg alone has more money than these guys ever dream of having so where does their might come from?

Banner - Aside 2Source:  NRA press conference: Put armed guards in schools (+video) – CSMonitor.com.

Mr. LaPierre offered the NRA’s assistance in putting together safety programs in schools that include arming security personnel.

NRAVery  the long-awaited response from the NRA relative to the Newton Conn. massacre is more guns.   With the American flag on one side and the NRA flag on the other the NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre also said that it was the media’s fault that guns are so misunderstood in the country today. Continue Reading…