Senators Favor NRA Approval Over the Chance at Saving A Child’s Life

#guncontrol @gunregulation #nra

Here, never to be forgotten, is the list of the Senators who preferred to keep favor with the NRA rather than take one small step to protect our children. Listed below are the Senators who voted against extending background checks to include gun shows and other improvised markets.

1.            Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
2.            Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
3.            Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)
4.            Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
5.            Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)
6.            Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
7.            Sen. John Boozman (R-AR)
8.            Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
9.            Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
10.          Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN)
11.          Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
12.          Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)
13.          Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
14.          Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
15.          Sen. Michael Crapo (R-ID)
16.          Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
17.          Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)
18.          Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE)
19.          Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
20.          Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
21.          Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)
22.          Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
23.          Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
24.          Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)
25.          Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND)
26.          Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
27.          Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
28.          Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE)
29.          Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
30.          Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
31.          Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
32.          Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)
33.          Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
34.          Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
35.          Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
36.          Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)
37.          Sen. James Risch (R-ID)
38.          Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
39.          Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
40.          Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
41.          Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
42.          Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
43.          Sen. John Thune (R-SD)
44.          Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
45.          Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)

The NRA claims that background checks will not prevent another Sandy Hook. The real issue is whether extending background checks could potentially prevent one lunatic from acquiring a rapid fire* assault weapon. Doing so might save a child’s life. The horror is that a Sandy Hook is likely to happen again. There are too many guns unaccounted for among our citizens, thanks in no small part to the hysteria promoted by the NRA over the years on behalf of the gun manufacturers. But if one background check prevented one crazy gunman from killing one child, then it would be worth it.

People Use Guns to Kill People . . .

John J Hohn and his dog Jessie

John J Hohn and his dog Jessie

NRA members are quick to cite the fatuous and insulting argument that “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” Yes, people kill people. People use guns to kill other people. That’s the point. The truth is that if rapid fire semi-automatic assault rifles* stay on the market, the people who want to kill other people will be equipped to do so more efficiently.  Put a killer in a school with an semi-automatic assault weapon with a high capacity magazine  and more children will die. It’s that simple.

High capacity magazines assault rifles are not necessary for the defense of one’s home. At Sandy Hook, twenty-two children were murdered. Four teachers were  killed. Protecting a home does not require the firepower of a high capacity magazine in an assault rifle,  yet the fear is hyped by the NRA and ordinary people suspend good judgement and actually believe it.

The NRA discounts the call to pass rational gun control legislation by labeling it an emotional reaction to the recent tragedies. Of course it is. Kids were slaughtered at school. Teachers were murdered. Families grieved. Lives were changed permanently. If that doesn’t get an emotional response then we are in very serious trouble. The real shame is that we did not get an emotional response from our Senate who should have done everything possible to prevent another tragedy of such horrible proportions. 

Senators, Republicans for the most part, have shown more emotion over Benghazi than Sandy Hook. Members of the diplomatic corps know the risks of their profession. Children going to class should not be at risk at all.

NRA Unabashed in Hyping Fear . . . 

The NRA is unabashed in its use of emotion to hype the irrational fear that guns might one day be confiscated if gun regulations ever get on the books. They are playing the paranoia card with their membership. Several states have required registration of firearms for years, and none ever moved to confiscate firearms. The NRA wraps their intentions in the flag and invokes patriotic sentiment and emotion, repeatedly citing the Second Amendment. The argument for sane gun controls is not about either. The argument is for reasonable regulation of lethal weaponry. What could be more patriotic than making every effort to guard the nation’s future by protecting our children and the innocent as they move about in our communities.

The NRA gets its lackeys, like those listed above, to defeat any legislation remotely connected with firearms. It is a given that they would defeat any bill introduced to confiscate all the guns in private hands. Even non-NRA members would be opposed, including this writer. Using fear of confiscation is an obfuscating premise cited in opposition to legislation introduced to bring some level of rational control over the use and sale of firearms.  Registration does not lead to confiscation.

For decades, hunters have been required by states to buy a license before taking to the field. Hunters own guns. Buying a license is tantamount to registering a gun. Yet nowhere in the history of the country has the requirement to secure a hunting license led to the confiscations of hunters’ guns.

Protection for Ducks, Yes; Our Children, No . . .

Further, for years, hunters have been required by law to modify the magazine capacity of their guns depending on the game being hunted. Waterfowl hunters, for example, must plug their magazines so that no more than two cartridges can be held at any one time. With a round in the firing chamber, in the interest of protecting wildlife, hunters can only take three shots before stopping to reload. Yet the NRA opposes legislation that will limit the size of magazines on semi-automatic weapons. A gunman in a school yard can fire as many shots as can be held in the largest magazine available. Duck hunters are limited to three shots. A maniac has no limit and can fire 30 rounds into a crowd of kids in a few seconds.

Bottom line for the NRA is not freedom. They may want the country to think so, but the bottom line for them is power. It is not the protection of our homes and families, but the protection of the arms industry to sell whatever they can and make money. The police of the nation have raised a voice against high capacity semi-automatic weapons, but the NRA will not respond. The NRA, however, will praise first-responders for what they do and at the same time back policies that make their work more hazardous. This isn’t patriotism at all. This is the irresponsibility of sociopaths–the same limited humanity and absence of conscience as displayed by people who wade into a movie theater or school playground with the most lethal weapons available and open fire. No wonder the NRA understands its market so well.

Boyhood home of the author in Yankton, SD, had a firing range in the basement.

I grew up with guns. Hunting pheasant and waterfowl with my dad when I was a boy are among my fondest memories. He cut down the stock of a Remington 20 gauge pump for me before I reached the age of 10. We had a firing range in the basement of our home. The backstop was heavy timber with a steel backing and cotton batten to prevent ricochet. At ages 8 and 10, unsupervised, my brother and I shoot away an afternoon with a Remington pump 22 rifle, my Benjamin air rifle, or a High Standard 22 automatic pistol. Mother tolerated the racket at all hours. I became good enough with the pistol to hit a coke bottle tossed into the air as a target. Dad and I would put on a show for a hunting party by knocking down clay pigeons tossed aloft by a member of the group.  Dad would take the first shot. I would bust the biggest piece remaining in flight after he first busted the target to pieces.

I don’t know everything about guns. I am not against guns. I am for the sane regulation of guns. I don’t believe in putting formula 1 race cars on our streets and highways and suspending the speed limit so that the drivers can go as fast as they want wherever they want. For the same reason, I am opposed to allowing ordinary citizens to take high capacity rapid firearms into any part of our country that they want and do whatever they please with them. This is not freedom. This is subtle support of tyranny by placing the tools of terror in the hands of the ignorant, the deranged, and the psychopathic;  supporting the rights of a few against the safety of all.

The NRA may lace their rhetoric with appeals to constitutional freedoms, but they enable terrorists.

Logic and Compassion Will Not Prevail . . .

Logic will not prevail against people like those who run and ardently support the NRA any more than it would have prevailed against committed members of the Nazi party leading up to and during the early years of World War II. They can only be turned back when our elected officials see the greater risk lies in supporting the NRA and the chances of staying in office greatly enhanced by listening to the will of the people. The American public needs to bring pressure to bear. We must define the issues as ours rather than let the NRA define them as theirs. The fight needs to be our own turf,  not theirs.  Stay active. Stay alert. Be unrelenting. You may save a child’s life, maybe one you know and hold dear.

*Rate of fire varies. Semi-automatic weapons fire a round every time the trigger is pulled and automatically eject the spent cartridge and replace it with a live round. With other guns, the spent cartridge must be ejected from the firing chamber and replaced with a live round manually by the shooter–usually by a pumping a slide mounted under the barrel of the weapon, a lever directly behind the trigger, a bolt slide on that opens the firing chamber, or, in the case of single action revolvers, cocking the firing hammer. The rate of fire is much slower with weapons requiring manual operation to eject/reload.

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