Thursday, January 27, 2011

What the NRA Really Wants

What the NRA is requesting of the government—make that demanding of the government—is the right to have the firepower necessary to overthrow the government. Does everything make sense now? If you have wondered why they oppose anything that would limit access to weapons, consider that most of the people who are interested in the aforementioned goal would be deemed mentally unfit to bear arms by the general populace. They consist of a minority of NRA members, but they are a loud, active minority. And of course the weapons manufacturers are just being good market-oriented capitalists

I came across this recently from William Falk in “The Week,” wherein he describes his moment of epiphany.
“Every time an armed madman fills a school or office or shopping center with bleeding bodies, the question is asked: Why does the National Rifle Association oppose restrictions on semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips? As a non-hunter who's never owned a gun, I used to puzzle over this myself, until I decided some years ago to pay a visit to the local gun club. I told the very friendly group of guys I found there that I understood the need for a handgun or rifle to protect yourself or to hunt. But why insist on legal access to weapons and magazines created for the military and police, with the capacity to massacre dozens of people in seconds? They smiled at my naïveté. One day, they explained, we may need weapons with serious firepower to fight the military and the police, in an armed rebellion against the government.”

“This is not a fringe view, held only by shaved-head militiamen in camouflage uniforms. Though not often discussed around hostile audiences, the belief in the "right of revolution" is a fundamental tenet shared by tens of millions of gun enthusiasts, and is at the heart of the NRA's determined — and successful — fight against gun-control laws. As actor and NRA activist Chuck Norris puts it, "If the government decides to become a tyrannical government, our guns are to protect us against that. And that's really what the Second Amendment is all about." In response to the latest bloodbath, gun-control advocates will once again demand limits on how much killing power citizens can purchase. But it’s "the right of revolution" that will stand in the way.”
My moment came a few years ago when a frequent source for the goings on in our cultural underworld, Joe Bageant, explained it so well. This is from his bookDeer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War. The occasion for his comments was his attendance at a Civil War recreation event at Fort Shenandoah in Virginia.
“Across rural and small town America any kind of gun control is seen as an attempt to take away citizens’ rights to protect home and hearth from the crazies and, increasingly, from an authoritarian government. Most of the people at Fort Shenandoah see gun ownership in this light—as a way of stopping the jackboots at their own front doors.”
Among the participants was a subgroup whose notions exceeded the bizarre and attained the scary.
“Most of these men were military gun aficionados and ‘personal weapons collectors.’ In other words, they bought and collected ‘antipersonnel firepower’—guns designed specifically to kill human beings. Without apology....and this is one of the more disturbing fetishes to be found in some dark corners of the gun culture. Hundreds of thousands of American men, maybe a couple of million, no one knows for sure, are obsessed with the micromechanics of lethality—the nuts and bolts and screws of killing human beings. It would be cheating to leave them out of a discussion of armed America, though everyone seems to do just that—pretending they are not there or are not aberrant. Of course, there are far fewer of them than there are ordinary American hunters. But they make up for their small numbers by their weirdness.”
The militia movement may have peaked in the mid-90s with as many as 60,000 participants in all fifty states. In March of last year nine members of a “Christian” militia were arrested for planning to kill police officers in hopes of fomenting an insurrection. Their stated goal was to prepare for a coming battle with the Antichrist. At about the same time a poll came out that indicated that 24% of Republicans suspected that President Obama might be the Antichrist. The crazies are out there. We don’t know how many they are, but we do know that the NRA never rests from its duty to make sure these people are armed and ready.

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