Saturday, December 22, 2012

"A Good Guy With A Gun" versus The Critical Mom

Finally the NRA has taken a position.  Only to dig its heels in:

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A. vice president, said at a media event that was interrupted by protesters. One held up a banner saying, “N.R.A. Killing Our Kids.”  (The New York Times, December 22, 2012)

With its twenty-million dollar endowment, the NRA easily inflames wild West fantasies, intimidating Americans into believing they need guns to protect themselves, that real men can't leave home without them.  Follow the trail of NRA-inspired bumper stickers:

Guns don't kill people.  People kill people.
Can't outlaw guns 'cause then only outlaws have them.
If Guns kill people, do pencils misspell words?
If guns cause crime, matches cause arson
Guns don't kill people, abortion clinics do

 For centuries, China had foot binding--the systematic breaking of the bones a young girl's foot by folding the toes underneath to make a "beautiful" hoof-like "Lotus foot."  Sub-Saharan Africa has female genital mutilation, which six thousand young girls and women endure daily.

America has gun culture.   The idea that we need more guns, Gail Collins wrote, is "the fairy tale the NRA tells itself when it goes to bed at night."

Just like the fairy tale that a girl shouldn't marry if she's got good feet.  Or a clitoris.

It's easy to imagine Thomas Jefferson spinning in his grave.  He's often misquoted by gun enthusiasts, who claim that he asserted the following: 

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one."

Jefferson did not, however, write this.  He translated the passage from the original Italian, copied it into his commonplace book, and added the comment,  "False idee di utilità," that is, "False ideas of utility."  In other words, as far as he was concerned, taking along your one-shot flintlock meant good exercise when you were walking in the woods.   He never meant the freedom to pack a semiautomatic wherever you went.  The idea you need to carry an assault rifle to protect yourself is a "false idea of utility."  Likewise the notion that schools and churches and other places we used to go without fear need "a good guy" with a gun standing guard.

Write to the NRA.  Here's their Board of Directors.  Tell them that the Bill of Rights never gave American citizens the right to semiautomatic weapons of mass destruction.  Publicize the sources of NRA funding, and do not support those funds.  Boycott NRA money.  Stalk these people--not with guns, with your opinions--and with all peaceful means of depriving them of their formidable funding:

Frank R. Brownell, III
President and Trustee The Honorable Bill K. Brewster
Vice President and Trustee
The Honorable Joe M. Allbaugh
Ms. Sandra S. Froman
Mr. Steve Hornady
Mr. Eric Johanson
Mr. David. A. Keene
General P.X. Kelley USMC (Ret).
Mr. George K. Kollitides II
Mr. Wayne R. LaPierre
Mrs. Carolyn D. Meadows
Mr. Owen P. Mills
Mr. James W. Porter II
Mr. Dennis J. Reese
Captain John C. Sigler
H. Wayne Sheets
Executive Director
Mr. Wilson H. Phillips, Jr.
Mrs. Sandy S. Elkin


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