Tea Party Assault-Rifle Give-Away, An Assault on America
Naveen Sultan about 10 months ago
Tea Party Assault-Rifle Give-Away, An Assault on America
By Amy Beeman
Right wing conservatives sure know how to pander to their constituents. Give them semi-automatic weapons.
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia, who is currently running for re-election to U.S. Senate is having a contest for his supporters to win the coveted AR-15 rifle. South Carolina State Sen. Lee Bright- R., running for re-election did the same thing (his winner was chosen on Feb. 15). Both campaign websites say that they're giving the guns away because President Obama wants to ban these weapons, and they're pro-gun so F- you Obama! That's paraphrasing, but you get the gist.
Not only are these Tea Party politicians pro-gun, they also call themselves pro-life. However, those two things are incongruous. If they were really pro-life they would call for better gun regulation, not give away deadly weapons to anyone who can fill out a form on-line. Of course they have to be at least 18 and pass a background check, to be fair.
Conservatives love to remind everyone that the Second Amendment's allowance for the right to keep arms is vital to our freedom, and was written in to the Constitution in large part so citizens could protect themselves against government tyranny. Okay fine. You never know. Perhaps the bigger argument from the NRA, gun-enthusiasts and the gun industry though, is that guns are important for personal self-defense.
This self-defense argument is largely a sham though, as proven in a 2013 study by the Violence Policy Center, called Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self- Defense Gun Use: An Analysis of Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Crime Victimization Survey Data, The study concluded:
The reality of self-defense gun use bears no resemblance to the exaggerated claims of the gun lobby and gun industry. The number of justifiable homicides that occur in our nation each year pale in comparison to criminal homicides, let alone gun suicides and fatal unintentional shootings...The devastation guns inflict on our nation each and every year is clear: nearly 32,000 dead, more than 73,000 wounded, and an untold number of lives and communities shattered. Unexamined claims of the efficacy and frequency of the self-defense use of firearms are the default rationale offered by the gun lobby and gun industry for this unceasing, bloody toll. The idea that firearms are frequently used in self-defense is the primary argument that the gun lobby and firearms industry use to expand the carrying of firearms into an ever-increasing number of public spaces and even to prevent the regulation of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Yet this argument is hollow and the assertions false. When analyzing the most reliable data available, what is most striking is that in a nation of more than 300 million guns, how rarely firearms are used in self-defense.
So if the Conservative, Christian Right-Wing group is really pro-life, then why fight so hard for these weapons that are continually used in untimely deaths? It's not logical.
If pro-life politicos think a fetus's life is so important, what about the innocents of the Sandy Hook shootings, or all the kids who found a gun at home and accidentally killed themselves or someone else? Or the unarmed young black men and boys who keep getting killed for being young black males? Yes, the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to own guns, but what about the rights of the innocent to not get shot?
It seems like these hard right leaning folks are so paranoid, or angry, or entitled and feel threatened that they are blind to reality. They are as self-serving as children, wanting to do whatever pleases them with out regard for anyone else.
Still, it's a historical truth that guns are part of the American culture. While many of us would love to see them irradiated from the planet, we know that's not going to happen.
Admittedly, once in a while they are actually useful for self-defense, and if you like to eat meat, it's more humane (and healthier) to eat a hunted animal than an animal born and raised for slaughter, so guns are useful there. But this juvenile insistence that there should be very little regulation because 'the forefathers said we could!, the forefathers said we could!' is only hindering a real solution.
In an article on longrangehunting.com called The Why of the AR-15 Semiautomatic, the writer explains the guns' uses and reasons to own it. He starts by saying, "There are several valid reasons to own these rifles, but riflemen do not have to explain their ownership." Really?! Other reasons include that it's basically a damn fine gun and it's fun.
Maybe that's true, but it's time to look at the cost of that "fun". We talk of moderation, in drinking alcohol, in eating unhealthy foods, in watching TV. We like these things but know too much of any of that can be harmful. This same logic applies to gun ownership.
Many of the people who have guns have multiple guns. It's a hobby, a sport even. But there are other hobbies, other sports, that won't lead to the possible death of innocent people. So what if responsible gun owners have to limit their precious guns because others aren't responsible with them. Nancy Lanza, the mother of Adam Lanza, the shooter in the Newtown Massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, seemed to be a good mother with a love of guns. She shared her hobby with her unstable son. Then he open fired in an elementary school.
Even in hindsight, no one says they saw it coming.
Now these two right-wing politicians are giving away the same kind of gun that Adam Lanza used to kill all those children and women in Newtown, probably to prove some twisted point. It's deplorable and a kick in the teeth to the families of those killed.
The right to life applies to more than just unborn fetus's, Mr. Senators. Innocent people's lives are far more important than someone's need to feel powerful or have a fun past- time by owning military grade automatic weapons. This freedom to own and carry firearms must be tempered with responsibility and caution. It is obvious that the wrong people get a hold of guns too easily. Can't we just all agree that we need to do whatever it takes to curtail these crazies?
Here is an idea for you Tea Party folks. Since it's okay for the government to make laws regarding women's bodies to save the unborn, in your view, why shouldn't the government also make better gun laws that would likely save those already born?
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