Right Wing Militias and the NRA: Second Amendment Soulmates

Discussion in 'The Bar' started by mingmen, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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    Dennis A. Henigan

    Brady Center Vice President and Author of "Lethal Logic"
    Posted: October 8, 2010 03:40 PM
    Right Wing Militias and the NRA: Second Amendment Soulmates

    This week's Time magazine cover story on "The Secret World of Extreme Militias" sounds an alarm that cannot be ignored. The threat of terrorism is real, but it does not originate with Al Qaeda alone. The danger of homegrown right wing political violence is just as real.

    The Time article describes, in chilling terms, the proliferation of heavily armed, right wing militias engaged in paramilitary training to resist the perceived "tyranny" of government authority. Time notes that although the groups and individuals of the violent right reflect a "complex web" of ideologies, "among the most common convictions is that the Second Amendment -- the right to keep and bear arms -- is the Constitution's cornerstone, because only a well-armed populace can enforce its rights." For the militias and their ideological soulmates, "any form of gun regulation, therefore, is a sure sign of intent to crush other freedoms."

    The connection between the gun control issue and the threat of violence from the right is an important, but largely untold, story. The militias' view that the Second Amendment protects our other rights, by ensuring the potential for armed insurrection against the government, is indistinguishable from the long-held constitutional ideology of the National Rifle Association.

    For decades, NRA leaders have insisted that the Second Amendment is not only about duck hunting or self-defense against criminal attack. Rather, as one NRA official so colorfully put it, "the Second Amendment . . . is literally a loaded gun in the hands of the people held to the heads of government." NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre received loud cheers when he told last year's Conservative Political Action Conference that our rights as Americans mean little unless we are ready to defend them against the government by force of arms: "Freedom is nothing but dust in the wind till it's guarded by the blue steel and dry powder of a free and armed people . . . . Our founding fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules."

    The Time reporter asked one Ohio militia officer what government action the militia is defending against. He replied, "Most likely it will start when the government tries to take our guns." Of course, the NRA stands alone in its ability to inspire hysterical fears of gun confiscation. During the last Presidential campaign, the NRA maintained a www.gunbanobama.com website and its delusional rhetoric about the Administration's supposed gun-banning intentions has been unrelenting. Looking forward to the upcoming elections, LaPierre seeks to rally the NRA troops by warning of "dark clouds on the horizon," with Democrats "lying in the weeds in wait to pick their time to destroy this freedom."

    The determination of NRA leaders to generate paranoia and hatred toward the government has gotten them into trouble before. In a now-infamous fundraising letter sent on April 13, 1995, LaPierre warned his members about the "jack-booted government thugs" of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who have the "power to take away our Constitutional rights, break in our doors, seize our guns, destroy our property, and even injure or kill us . . . ." Six days later, as NRA members found this noxious letter in their mail, Timothy McVeigh, convinced that the time to resist federal tyranny had arrived, bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City that housed the local offices of the ATF.

    The Time article quotes a "self-described colonel" in a Kentucky militia, who channels LaPierre's incendiary rhetoric by predicting war with "the jackbooted thugs of Washington." LaPierre has made a career of spreading the nonsense that the "jackbooted thugs" are always "lying in the weeds" waiting for the chance to take away everyone's guns. It also is revealing that Richard Mack, one of the sheriffs recruited years ago by the NRA to challenge the Brady Bill in court, is now a hero of the violent right. In an interview with the Time reporter, Mack referred to federal agents as "America's gestapo".

    What is truly disturbing is that the political influence of the NRA has given its insurrectionist view of the Second Amendment a home in some very high places, particularly within the Republican Party. It's not just Tea Party Republicans like Nevada Senatorial candidate Sharron Angle, with her call for "Second Amendment remedies," to be used "when our government becomes tyrannical." As the Republican Party has become more and more ideologically "pure" in its support of NRA policy positions, insurrectionist talk has made some surprising appearances.

    For me, the most striking example surfaced in the legal briefs filed before the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Heller Second Amendment case. Bush Administration Solicitor General Paul Clement filed a brief which, paradoxically, both infuriated the "gun rights" crowd and endorsed the insurrectionist theory of the Second Amendment. The pro-gun folks were enraged that the Clement brief actually argued for reversal of the D.C. Circuit's ruling striking down the District of Columbia handgun ban. Clement's brief suggested that the case be sent back to the lower court for further fact-finding. Largely unnoticed was Clement's comment that the Second Amendment guarantees "an armed citizenry as a deterrent to abusive behavior by the federal government itself."

    This is a remarkable statement by a lawyer for the United States government. Does it not maintain that the potential for citizens to fire upon federal agents is an important constitutional value? Does it not imply that the greatest Second Amendment protection should be given to citizens who are arming themselves against the threat of government abuse, like the rightwing militias now training with assault rifles? Does this theory mean that Timothy McVeigh was engaged in constitutionally protected conduct as he built his bomb, because the threat of violence is "a deterrent to abusive government behavior"? It is noteworthy that Mr. Clement, as a private attorney, represented the NRA in the McDonald case, in which the Supreme Court struck down the Chicago handgun ban.

    It will, of course, be loudly protested that the Bush Justice Department did not advocate violence against the government, nor does the NRA and Sharron Angle. This misses the point. The issue is not whether they have advocated violence against the government, but rather whether they have constructed a constitutional justification for violence. When right wing militias, or lone extremists, take that justification seriously, and act on it, no one should be surprised.

    For more information, see Dennis Henigan's Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths that Paralyze American Gun Policy (Potomac Books 2009)
     
  2. GSD

    GSD Active Member

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    thoughts?
     
  3. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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    omg a reply
     
  4. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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    I don't know...do you have any? :drool:
     
  5. nazdrowie

    nazdrowie Sultan of Sweat Gold

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    what is this the mensa message board?
     
  6. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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    quiet. I'm hunting wabbits
     
  7. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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  8. GSD

    GSD Active Member

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    the wording of the second amendment is very clear to me
     
  9. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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    too bad you aren't on the supreme court
     
  10. bill

    bill Goofballa from Ding Dong U VIP Gold

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    Reminds me, I need to clean my side-by-side. Where I live everyone has guns. Even grannies. Particularly grannies.
     
  11. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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  12. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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    except for DC those are shall issue states topping the list :giggle:
     
  13. GSD

    GSD Active Member

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    damn straight i'd be the best SCJ ever

    you're using 1 chart results to make your point. that won't hold up in my court. overruled
     
  14. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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    there has been no contradictory evidence submitted. there goes your promising career
     
  15. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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    “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”

    “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

    “An armed society is a polite society.”

    Who hasn’t heard these engaging assertions, time and time again? Burned into the national consciousness by years of disciplined messaging by the National Rifle Association and others, they are just a few of the bumper sticker slogans that have defined the gun control debate in America. Long ridiculed by gun control advocates, they are, nevertheless, often the first words that come to mind when the gun issue is discussed.

    Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths that Paralyze American Gun Policy, is the first book both to acknowledge the profound and deadly impact of the gun lobby’s “bumper sticker logic” and to systematically expose the misguided thinking at the core of the pro-gun slogans. The book argues that the gun lobby’s remarkable success in blocking passage of life-saving gun laws is due, in large part, to its disciplined and effective use of these simple and resonant messages. Their persuasive power has been a largely ignored influence on the current politics of gun control, in which the gun lobby wields unprecedented power in the Republican Party, while many Democratic Party leaders see the policy benefits of stronger gun laws as not worth the political risk of standing up to the NRA. Indeed, the book contends, the current political stalemate over guns will never be broken until the pro-gun slogans are exposed as the cleverly disguised fallacies that they are.

    Lethal Logic is the first book to comprehensively analyze, and systematically destroy, the bumper sticker logic of the gun lobby. Each chapter is devoted to dismantling one of the bumper sticker messages that, for too long, have impeded progress toward sensible solutions to gun violence and cost innocent lives. Lethal Logic lays to waste the gun lobby’s glib assertions that gun control can’t work because “criminals don’t obey the law,” that “more guns = less crime,” and that the solution to gun crime is to enforce the laws we have, not pass new ones.

    Lethal Logic also is the first book to address the impact on the gun control debate of the Supreme Court’s endorsement of “gun rights” in the landmark Second Amendment case, District of Columbia v. Heller. For the first time in our history, the Supreme Court ruled in Heller that the Second Amendment guarantees a personal right to own guns. Lethal Logic considers the impact of this ruling on the power of the gun lobby’s bumper-sticker messages. It reaches the surprising conclusion that, although Justice Scalia’s majority opinion is an unprincipled triumph of ideology over law, the Heller case will actually strengthen the gun control cause and weaken the NRA.

    Written by one of the longtime leaders of the American gun control movement, Lethal Logic dissects and dismantles the pro-gun arguments with clear explanations of the best scientific research, revelations from internal gun industry documents, the testimony of gun lobby whistleblowers, compelling anecdotes, and generous doses of reason and common sense.
     
  16. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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    Myth-busting Facts and Revelations from

    Lethal Logic





    The gun lobby says, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” But assaults with guns are twenty-three times more deadly than assaults with other weapons. Guns enable people to kill people – more efficiently and effectively than other weapons.



    The gun lobby dismisses the connection between gun availability and suicide, but 92% of attempted suicides with guns are completed, by far the most lethal suicide method. Since those who unsuccessfully attempt suicide with guns are actually less likely to try again than those who attempt suicide by other means, making guns less available to the suicidal will save lives.



    Most people assume that gun violence is almost entirely an urban problem, while rural areas have little gun violence though they have lots of guns. But, in fact, rural, high-gun ownership states like Montana and Mississippi have firearm death rates three times higher than urbanized states like New Jersey and New York. Why? Because the gun suicide problem in rural areas is as significant as the gun homicide problem in major cities.



    The gun lobby’s refrain is, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns,” conveying the idea that gun control will never be effective in preventing criminal access to guns. Leaving aside the red herring of “outlawing guns,” the one category of guns that has long been subject to a strict federal licensing and registration system – machine guns – is an insignificant crime problem, even though machine guns have an obvious appeal to criminals. The National Rifle Association has admitted that, after over 50 years of strict federal regulation, possession of machine guns “has never been a crime problem.” According to federal data, machine guns account for around 0.1% of guns traced to crime.



    The gun lobby insists that “An armed society is a polite society,” because in areas with more guns, criminals allegedly live in fear of law-abiding gun owners. But, in fact, residents of the states with the highest rates of gun ownership (like Louisiana and Alabama) are over twice as likely to become homicide victims as those in the states with the lowest rates of gun ownership (like Massachusetts and New Jersey).



    The gun lobby claims that “An armed society is a polite society,” yet surveys show that guns are used in crime 4-6 times more frequently than they are used in self-defense.



    The gun lobby claims that “an armed society is a polite society,” yet Florida, which in 1987 became the first state to pass a gun lobby-supported law making it easier to carry concealed weapons, has ranked as one of the top three states in violent crime every year since it enacted its concealed carry law.



    The gun lobby has relied largely on a study by economist John Lott in arguing for loosening restrictions on concealed weapons, yet Lott’s work has been ripped to shreds by more than a dozen independent scholars, and Lott himself has confessed to fraudulently creating a fictional former student – “Mary Rosh” — who he used, in repeated on-line postings, to praise his own work and his teaching.



    The NRA says we don’t need new laws, we need to enforce existing laws, but the NRA itself has a rather casual attitude toward law-breaking. During the time he was on the NRA’s Board of Directors, Maryland gun dealer Sandy Abrams was cited for over 900 violations of federal firearms laws, for which his dealer’s license was eventually revoked. During this period when he was, in the government’s words, a “serial violator” of federal gun laws, Abrams was reelected twice to the NRA’s Board.



    The gun industry claims licensed gun dealers have nothing to do with illegal guns, yet cannot explain why almost 60% of guns traced to crime originate with 1% of licensed gun dealers.



    The gun industry claims gun manufacturers cannot know which of their dealers may be supplying the illegal market, but internal industry documents show that when federal authorities offered to provide gun makers with crime gun data that would have identified the dealers selling high numbers of guns traced to crime, manufacturers like Taurus and Sturm, Ruger declined the offer.



    Gun manufacturers claim they know nothing about the role of their dealers in supplying the illegal market, yet documents uncovered during litigation show that manufacturers were constantly warned by legitimate dealers that there are “felons hidden among us.”



    Gun manufacturers claim they could do nothing about the problem of corrupt dealers, yet industry whistleblower Robert Ricker has stated, in sworn testimony, that the corrupt dealer issue was repeatedly discussed during meetings of industry lawyers, who eventually terminated the meetings because the discussions were too “dangerous.”



    Gun manufacturers claim they were unaware of the problem of corrupt dealers, yet an internal 1993 industry trade association document uncovered in litigation suggested a “proactive industry strategy” to address the problem of “unscrupulous” dealers. The document was filed “for future reference” and no action was taken.
     
  17. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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    Paul Helmke
    President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
    Posted: October 8, 2010 06:37 PM

    Make Concerns of Gun Violence Victims a Priority

    Pat Craig is the aunt of Ryan Clark, a wonderful 22-year-old who was killed in the Virginia Tech Massacre on April 16, 2007. She recently sent a message to elected officials in a video. "Being in a leadership position is an awesome responsibility," she said. "But when you stand up to say 'I will,' then those of us who put you there expect you 'to do.' "

    Craig, an outspoken Brady Campaign supporter, continued, "If you're unsure of what it is you can do, should do -- ask any of the victims..."

    Craig appealed to elected officials to talk to gun violence victims because she understands that, too often, our lawmakers forget about the struggles of the people who put them in office. Her appeal resonates especially now as we reflect on the troubling trend of the "guns everywhere" lobby to force loaded guns into more and more places. Four states that passed laws this year allowing people to carry loaded, concealed firearms into bars and restaurants provide a fresh example.

    Most Americans don't want to eat, drink, or socialize next to people packing heat. Surveys indicate that 70 percent are unnerved by this reckless idea. Restaurant and bar owners, as well as their employees, are opposed as well. A waiter in Tennessee recently sued the state for creating an occupational safety hazard with its new law agreeing to guns in bars.

    And yet, Arizona, Georgia, and Virginia lawmakers also ignored their constituents' concerns, along with the objections of our law enforcement professionals, and sanctioned the carrying of concealed guns in places that serve alcohol. The requirements that have to be met to carry a gun vary widely among states. Some demand hours of face-to-face training. Others don't. No state requires passing a Brady criminal background check to obtain a concealed carry permit, and sadly, it is all too easy for a gun to be sold legally without doing a Brady background check.

    What's also fairly consistent is that gun carriers are forbidden from drinking alcohol. (Georgia is one exception.) But that caveat seems to have been added with a wink and a nod. Just weeks after Virginia's law took effect, a Lynchburg man went into a bar and ordered a mug of beer. His hidden gun fell and discharged, accidentally shooting him in the leg. Luckily, no one was killed. But hardly a day goes by in America without some "law-abiding," gun-toting citizen breaking the law and snuffing out lives.

    Richard Poplawski, a white supremacist armed with an AK-47, was arrested for murdering three Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania police officers in April last year on his front porch. He was a concealed carry permit-holder.

    Michael McLendon was the "suicide shooter" who went on a rampage through the small towns of Kinson and Samson, Alabama in March of 2008, murdering 10 people before killing himself. He, too, was a concealed carry permit-holder.

    We've also seen that what happens in the states doesn't always stay in the states. In July 2009, Congress took up a vote on the so-called Respecting States' Rights and Concealed Reciprocity Act. It would have let people from states with the weakest gun laws carry hidden, loaded weapons in states with much stronger gun laws. When it comes to who is too dangerous to legally carry a gun, it seems as if state decisions on the matter got no respect.

    Sen. John Thune of South Dakota brought us this mind-boggling legislation, known as the Thune Amendment. It was attached to the Department of Defense appropriations authorization bill. We thank the many senators, including Richard Durbin of Illinois, Dianne Feinstein of California, Charles Schumer of New York and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, and our supporters, who helped block it.

    But senseless bills like this are pressed repeatedly in Congress by lobbyists for the gun-pushers. Granting untrained, under-trained, emotionally unstable or impulsive people permission to carry loaded handguns in public jeopardizes our safety. It also makes it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs -- and I.D. the real perpetrators during a shooting.

    More guns in more places mean more gun violence. As the former mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, I enthusiastically join Pat Craig's plea to elected officials on the Hill, and at every level, to consider the awesome responsibility of the jobs they've been entrusted to do. Talk to victims, survivors, and law enforcement about the all too pervasive and underreported tragedy of gun violence. And then do something, something meaningful, to halt it. The Brady Campaign and the American people are here to help you get started.

    Paul Helmke is president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Follow the Brady Campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
     
  18. tomtom

    tomtom Well-Known Member

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    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/crime/gun-violence/aquired.htm
    * Many juveniles and young adults can easily obtain illegal guns; most claim to carry them for self-defense.
    * A study of persons arrested for a wide range of crimes showed that a higher percentage of arrestees than regular citizens own firearms. Arrestees are also more likely to be injured or killed by gun violence. Within a community, this amounts to an identifiable group of "career" offenders.
    * Surveys of offenders have found that they prefer newer, high-quality guns and may steal or borrow them; most, however, acquire guns "off the street" through the illicit gun market.
    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/crime/gun-violence/trafficking.htm

    Many successful gun violence interventions, including Boston's Operation Ceasefire, also go after illegal gun trafficking to reduce the number of guns available to youth. The Ceasefire Working Group looked at both the issues of supply and demand: Where were youths getting guns, and why were they acquiring them? In a nutshell, the answers were largely: Youths get guns through a ready supply of illicit firearms sold on the street

    Percentage of L.A. High School students who say they could obtain a gun for less than $50: 25
    (Source: ACLU report: From Words to Weapons, 3/97)

    Percent increase in juveniles arrested for weapons violations from '85-'94 : 113
    (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1995, pg. 276)



    Take guns out of the hands of convicted felons, gang bangers and yewts and watch crime drop drastically. I wouldn't feel so compelled to have a gun. Also what punishment do you suggest the government impose for possession of an illegal firearm? What punishment do you impose for committing a crime with a firearm? A murder with a firearm? Do you believe a person has the right to use deadly force in protecting their property? I'll totally understand if you don't answer any of the questions and instead opt for snidely remarks.
     
  19. mingmen

    mingmen New Member

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    :words:

    going somewhere with this, "tomtom"?
     
  20. tomtom

    tomtom Well-Known Member

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    See I didn't expect much and I wasn't disappointed. To answer your question, yes I was going somewhere with this, until you can show me a good strategy to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals, the people committing the majority of gun crime, I don't see any reason for me to give up my gun. Do you have a suggestion to curb these illegal gun ownerships or do you just post random threads about gun violence? Most people killed with guns are 18 to 24 year old gangbangers so that is a good thing.