I took a sabbatical earlier this year because I wanted to focus my thoughts and work on more general political issue, in particular the 2020 Presidential campaign. But many of the stories which have shaped the campaign happen to revolve around guns. Think about all the pictures of anti-lockdown demonstrators running around legislative buildings with their AR’s, or the couple in St. Louis brandishing guns to protect their home from a BLM rampage, or the near-daily stories about the sudden increase in shootings here and there – you get the point.
But the incident which made me decide to begin again contributing my fifty cents to the gun debate was what happened yesterday when New York State’s Attorney General, Letitia James, announced that she was going to try to get rid of America’s ‘first civil rights organization,’ a.k.a, the NRA.
Now I happen to have been a member of the NRA since 1955, and I am currently a Patriot Life Member Benefactor member, which means I give them enough money each year so they can’t throw me out, no matter what I say. I recently renewed my Golden Eagle membership, and received a lovely, little pen-knife with the NRA logo. I also just chipped in some more money to the Joe Biden Victory Fund for which I received a picture of Joe. . Anyway, back to the NRA.
I knew the boys in Fairfax made a big mistake when they endorsed Trump at their annual meeting in May, 2016. The NRA had never previously endorsed a candidate until October, and they always endorsed the GOP nominee anyway. The gun group then donated $30 million to the Trump campaign, more than twice what they gave Romney in 2012.
I never understood these actions because what was Trump going to do? Come out against gun ‘rights?’ If anything, he used the 2nd Amendment as a leitmotif for his campaign, which only ended up putting the NRA in the cross-hairs of the other side. Prior to the election, the NRA had also done something really stupid by sending a delegation to a gun ‘rights’ conference in Russia, a country that has almost no civilian gun ‘rights’ at all. This stupid trip was the handiwork of a Russian, Maria Butina, who was ultimately arrested in 2018 and convicted of being a Russian ‘spy.’
Butina was a spy like I’m a spy. She didn’t register as a ‘foreign agent’ because she was just young, stupid, and dumb. But the way the law reads, if you’re paid by a foreign government to do anything political in the United States, you have to register with the DOJ. Because Butina went palling around in DC with this lobbyist and that government official, she was engaged in political work and was, therefore, a spy.
What was going on in D.C. during 2018? The Mueller investigation was going on. So the alleged Russian infiltration into American politics was everybody’s media headline every day. What a perfect time for the NRA to appear as yet another handmaiden for the Putin-Trump gang.
There’s a lot more to how and why the NRA ended up facing the New York State AG’s firing squad, not the least of it having to do with the stupid insurance scam the NRA tried to peddle to its membership, the bizarre decision to hire Oliver North as organizational President when he was already on the payroll of the NRA’s advertising agency, the public battle with the ad agency, Ackerman-McQueen, which brought all kids of sleazy behavior into view; there’s plenty more and you can read it right here.
That being said, I don’t think that the response of the gun-control community is necessarily the right way to go. Because putting up statements on the internet supporting a shut-down of Wayne-o and his gang doesn’t deal with the fundamental problem that confronts us in trying to reduce the violence that causes 125,000 deaths and injuries every year.
And that fundamental problem is that a majority of Americans, including non-gun owners, happen to believe that having a gun around the house is more of a benefit than a risk. And this viewpoint won’t go away even if the NRA goes away.