1871 was a banner year for the NRA. That's when it was born. Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown during the Civi War, two Union Officers, Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate, thought it was high time our guys learned how to shoot accurately and safely. In the words of Col. Church, we need to "promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis."
By the mid-twentieth century, the NRA had expanded to become an educational force and network for America's hunters. On the surface, that's still what the NRA would like you to believe. Insert "cough" bullshit.
Judging by the NRA's activism it seems infinitely more interested in selling guns and ammo than anything else. Duh.
As the clock ticks on, I find it frightening that the 72% of NRA members who support universal background checks and the like have been murderously silent. That silence is helping to kill our loved ones. Hey, you 72 percenters of the NRA -- what's up with that?
- Centralizing records regarding federal firearms dealers. SERIOUSLY??
- Keeping FBI data background check data for more than 24 hours. REALLY???
- Disclosing firearm trace information and data maintained by firearms dealers and is even off limits to FOIA requests. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???
- Using state-generated data to draw broad conclusions about gun-related crime. HUH???
- Preventing the importing of shotguns the ATF had determined to be "non-sporting" because they had features such as pistol grips, folding or collapsible stocks, laser sights and the ability to accept large capacity magazine feeding devices. YOU'RE KILLIN' ME!!! LOTS OF OTHERS, TOO.
So where does the NRA stand on keeping the guns out of the hands our kids? As far away as possible.
Commendably, a number of states have CAP laws -- Child Access Prevention laws. Their purpose is to hold parents and other grownups responsible if they leave a loaded gun around, a kid finds it and uses it. Sounds sane and logical. After all, what sensible group of people would want our little bundles of joy and giggles to get their hands on Mommy's Glock and crank off a round or two? The NRA seems to think that's OK.
The NRA feels these laws aren't needed because the parents have "suffered" enough. Insert another "cough" bullshit. What about the victims of their kid's bang-bang? That must not be "suffering." That must be a lighthearted moment. So the NRA works tirelessly to keep CAP laws, among others, from becoming laws.
As of now, approximately 28 states have some sort of CAP law. But enforcement is spotty at best. Take the case of gun-lovin' Jamie Gilt. She's merrily driving along when her 4-year-old son finds a loaded .45 in the back seat of her car. What kid isn't going want to check that out? And check it out he does by shooting his mom in the back while she's driving.
Seems like an open and shut case of Florida CAP law. So it's jail time for Jamie. Actually, not. Remember, it's Florida. Some call it the "Gunshine" State. So all Jamie has to do is give some gun safety speeches and take a gun safety class. NOW she had to take that class? What class? Firearms training in Florida is often just minutes in length. I guess that's just the way the NRA likes it. Get'em into the gun store, get'em out, and get on to the next customer. Just another good guy/girl/little kid with a gun waiting to have a bad moment.
So how interested is the NRA in saving lives? Well, they've blocked the ATF from computerizing their system to help solve crime (searches are done by hand through boxes). And we're not talking a handful of law enforcement requests. We're talking on the order of some 344,000 requests a year. That's a search through millions and millions of documents. They've cut off funding for the CDC to research gun violence as a public health issue. And the NRA seems to have no problem with very young children getting their hands on loaded guns and shooting people. So in asking how interested is NRA in saving lives? The answer is, I guess they're not. How interested is the NRA in selling guns no matter what the cost in human lives? I guess the answer to that one is ka-ching, ka-ching.