The mind boggles.
On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously declared the National Rifle Association (NRA) a domestic terrorist organization. While a symbolic act, they are urging other governmental entities to do the same.
Apparently, support of the US Constitution (the 2nd Amendment in particular) is enough to brand you a terrorist in some circles.
I find myself in full agreement with the NRA’s statement (as quoted from the San Francisco Chronicle story):
“This ludicrous stunt by the Board of Supervisors is an effort to distract from the real problems facing San Francisco, such as rampant homelessness, drug abuse and skyrocketing petty crime, to name a few,” the statement said. “The NRA will continue working to protect the constitutional rights of all freedom-loving Americans.”
On the one hand, this is just one more example of unhinged California politics-as-usual; the inmates are running the asylum, and we’ve known that for quite some time. But it is also a perfect illustration of how many of our elected leaders try to shift blame from where it belongs to a simpler, more readily identifiable entity, and pretend they’re doing something constructive. It’s far easier to blame the gun than it is to actually unravel the whys and wherefores of a tragedy like Gilroy, or El Paso.
And because the NRA is the largest “gun-rights” group in America, and openly advocate in favor of private ownership of firearms (the 2nd Amendment), they have become the main target of the vitriol that follows a shooting. Never mind the actual circumstances of the crime, the NRA is automatically vilified, blamed for the “proliferation” of guns in our society, of wanting to arm babies and the mentally ill.
Nobody bothers to find out what the NRA position is, what they’ve done, they only see the NRA is “pro-gun” and it’s off to the races.
Surprise! The NRA is actually a pretty moderate voice on the subject. You don’t hear that because of all the shouting (and one-sided media), but they are – and that’s why I’m a member of this group instead of some others that are out there.
Did you know there are pro-gun groups that believe the Constitution gives anyone the right to own pretty much every weapon out there, fully-automatic military grade or otherwise? And that the right extends to convicted felons, and the mentally ill? That there should be no background checks at all? They’ve got a pretty good argument in their favor, too, which you’d see if you studied the Constitution.
Yeah, that’s probably not in our best interests, though; as I’ve said before, there are people who shouldn’t possess a dull soup spoon, let alone a semi-automatic firearm. The NRA believes likewise. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have pushed for the “instant-check” point-of-sale background check system that’s in use today. And you don’t hear the NRA bitching about not being able to own machine guns, since unrestricted private ownership of those was banned in 1938. Some gun groups think we should…
If you look carefully at the NRA positions on upcoming legislative actions you will note a common thread: the bills and proposals they oppose are the ones that only impact the people who aren’t the problem.
Do I agree with every word they say? Of course not – I was disappointed in their political endorsements in 2016, and some of the rhetoric that came out of the NRA the last couple of years has been cringe-worthy, to be sure. That’s why there’s some turmoil now; they’ve canned the outside group responsible for running some of the NRA media, and some of the most controversial NRA voices aren’t there anymore. But the underlying cause and focus has never changed: help protect the rights of Americans to defend themselves in the face of those who would strip us of those rights.
Apparently, that’s enough for some people to brand me a terrorist.