Niagara Gazette

Opinion

January 6, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Guns: Beyond control or out of control?

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

It’s also time to identify those elected officials who are in a death grip of indebtedness to the NRA, and due to that indebtedness, slavishly vote the NRA line in return for campaign contributions.

Less than 15 percent of gun owners are members of the NRA. And 75 percent of NRA members support toughening current gun sale laws. These are statistics the NRA doesn’t want you to know as they spread the lie and stoke the paranoia regarding “the government seizing your guns.” Paranoia and lies work wonders for gun sales among those who are inclined to believe lies and experience paranoia.

The number of gun owners in the US has been dropping since the early ‘70s but the number of guns sold has been skyrocketing. That’s because 20 of gun owners now own 65 percent of the guns. The suggestion that every American wants a firearm is false. Fewer individuals want guns but those who want them are obtaining them at an increasing pace and in greater quantities.

If this were a simple matter of the Second Amendment the fix would be proportionately simple. But it’s not and it isn’t. Instead, this is about this nation’s relationship to firearms, a disturbing fascination with firearm firepower by a certain population segment, parenting, mental illness and individual responsibility.

Guns are very much a part of our national DNA. Born of revolution and suffering through a Civil War that claimed over 600,000 lives this nation grew out of a land-grabbing Manifest Destiny that took the continent away from the natives at the point of a gun. No insult intended, just the facts. Our west was the “Wild West” where “gunslingers” engaged in “gunfights” and “gunplay” and the legendary “Peacemaker” pistol was a trusted problem solver. In our lifetime “lone gunmen” have changed the course of national history three times in major ways as they “gunned down” JFK, MLK and RFK.

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