The Littleton Massacre And The NRA

In another example of the pure stupidity that has become the NRA, the National Rifle Association is refusing to cancel its planned annual convention being held in Denver, Colorado next week just miles from Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Just 48 hours after twenty-five children were murdered by two classmates carrying guns and homemade bombs, the NRA would only promise to, in the words of the heartless and obviously senseless leader of the NRA, Charlton Heston, "stand in somber but unshakable unity, even in this time of anguish."

Just quoting that garbage turns my stomach, gentle readers. I admit that there may have been a time when the NRA had a use in American society but it has long since gone beyond simple human kindness and common sense in its idiotic chase of arming every single citizen and causing the deaths of hundreds of people every day.

In fact, the NRA was planning on having a party during this year's meeting over its nearly completed victory in Colorado's legislature. Amazingly, the group is acting so gleeful over three bills that will make crimes such as the killing of twenty-five students even easier to commit.

The first would bar Denver or any other Colorado city from enacting gun control laws that are stronger than the already watered down and spineless state laws that the NRA has been allowed to push through. (Remember, gentle readers, that Colorado is the ultra-conservative state that tried, unsuccessfully, to pass laws basically decriminalizing any discrimination or even assaults on gay or lesbian Americans in the state.) The second bill that the NRA is so happy about would force local sheriffs to let "law-abiding" citizens to carry concealed weapons. The two children in Littleton were, until this last Tuesday, "law-abiding" citizens just a year shy of the age that this bill would have required law enforcement to allow to carry those guns legally. The final bill, and possibly the most disgusting of the three, would prohibit any local governments from suing gun manufacturers.

Three of the conservative's poster boys expressed their inability to understand the effects of their pro-gun, anti-life policies. First, Texas governor George Bush, Jr., who is the front runner in the Far Right's run for the Presidency, showed his true colors when he jabbered that "love, not gun control" is the best way to prevent events like those in Littleton. Vice-President Danny Quayle blathered on with, "I hope we don't try to use this as an excuse to go and try to take away guns." Finally, that epitome of imbecility Gov. Jesse Ventura of Minnesota said the shooting demonstrates the need for, "loosening restrictions on concealed weapons."

Folks, these events make it painfully obvious that the NRA no longer deserves to be taken seriously. Their arrogance in the face of the slaughter that they and their members carry some very heavy responsibility for and this must be the last time that any government official gives this Nazi group even a second thought. During the eighties and nineties, the Right has knelt in worship of these lovers of death and violence and those Americans who still dream of a nation where one doesn't have to fear every stranger. I have always found their argument that arming every citizen will somehow make the streets safe for women and children one of the most asinine beliefs I have heard. Their desire to return to the wild west will only cause the murder of more and more innocent children and bystanders.

In fact, the easy accessibility of guns was a key ingredient in the massacre in Littleton. , Denee Taylor, a classmate and friend of the two children responsible for the massacre, was quoted as stating that the group that the boys belonged to, the so-called "Trench Coat Mafia", centered their interests on guns. In fact, she reported that for an economics class assignment, the students were to create and sell a company's products. The leader of the group, whom she declined to identify, chose to create a gun factory.

Now, please understand that I do not, in any way, blame the massacre on guns or those who own them. I, myself, own guns and support the right town them. I am not, though, in love with guns in the same sick and poisonous way that Heston and his ilk are.

I am, because of this huge difference, vehemently against allowing anyone not affiliated with law enforcement to carry concealed weapons. I am also adamantly against automatic weapons in the hands of citizens as the only purpose of these weapons is the mass killing of the maximum number of human beings. There is no other reason to own one whatsoever. The right to own weapons for self protection or for hunting is a long tradition in America. The right to own weapons made only for taking the lives of other human beings is nuts and reprehensible.

The tired argument that the Second Amendment to the Constitution gives every American the freedom to own as many weapons of any type simply isn't a point that intelligent Americans should continue to take seriously. The exact wording states, " 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." This is not the clear cut statement that the NRA wants us to believe. The opening words regarding a "well regulated Militia" does not mean an entire nation carrying concealed weapons nor does it speak to the possession of weapons of mass destruction such as automatic weapons. We have a well regulated militia and it's called the National Guard. The National Guard answers first and foremost to the government of the state in which it was formed.

Personally, I am writing all of my so-called representatives and I am demanding that they tell the NRA that they are no longer welcome in the halls of our government. Until this group finds a soul it must never again be allowed to keep this nation in fear of the many, many crazy individuals with high powered weapons that the NRA so adore.

Look around you, folks. Consider a world where anyone who has only to show that they are a "law-abiding citizen" is carrying a concealed weapon. How many of your friends and neighbors and co-workers would you want to be armed and angry? How safe would you feel changing lanes on the freeway or parking your car in a crowded lot with others vying for the same spaces? How about taking a walk at night and having to pass a biker bar at about one in the morning? Take a few minutes and think about your everyday chores and travels. How many times every day of your life do you find yourself in situations that are dangerous enough as it is without the specter of a bunch of armed idiots making it even more menacing? The entire nonsense of arming every civilian in America could become a reality unless you, too, begin to speak out against the horror that the NRA has in store for your and your children's futures.

I'll add a link to the letter that I plan on sending to my representatives so that you can all use it as an example, should you choose to also speak out against the NRA. At the very least, I urge you to think about the future that they want to inflict upon you and yours. It won't be pretty unless, of course, you love the color red. (1, 2)

If you choose to send the letter to your representative, here are the addresses you'll need for the federal level. Look them up, then send them your message at:

President Clinton

Vice-President Gore

You can look up your Senator's e-mail address

You can look up your House member

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Copyright 4/23/99