MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Gun Cult Leader Wayne LaPierre
If I had a bulletproof vest, I would have put it on this morning based on many of the 300 plus comments (thus far) in response to yesterday's BuzzFlash at Truthout commentary: "Many American White Men Worship Guns Because of Sexual Insecurity, Entitlement, and Profit."
But the intense, paranoid, threatened, gun worship comments only prove the commentary's point: guns are not merely an "inanimate object" -- as the NRA likes to claim – to rabid gun owners; they are a symbol that satisfies intense psychological needs for many white males.
Otherwise, why did these same emotionally over-the-top gun owners -- and again there is a faction of firearms users who are not into needing the gun as a security blanket for their manhood and reassurance of white male power in a changing world -- buy out gun store and gun show inventories of assault weapons after Obama was first elected and after the Sandy Hook massacre? Is there anything but a lizard brain knee-jerk emotional sucking sound of loss of manhood here, or maybe that a black literally now in the "White House" will emasculate the white guys.
That is a long-term racial fear of a great many southern and rural white guys after all. There's no contesting that.
Moreover, to those febrile gun guys who took the time to attack the BuzzFlash at Truthout commentary we ask this: Why do you support gun lobby positions that are so bizarrely dangerous and pro-criminal that they appear to come out of a Monty Python skit. Instead of laughs though, they pose real dangers to individuals and the nation?
The examples of such harmful laws from the insane clown gun posse are legion, but here are just three:
1) The Right to Carry a Concealed Handgun Even if Blind
Take the first paragraph of a 2012 article from the Lawrence Journal-World of Kansas:
A little-known provision in Kansas law that allows the blind and other people with serious physical infirmities to carry concealed weapons in public places likely will not get reviewed by state lawmakers this session.
Kansas legislators are expected to debate a proposal that would allow concealed carry permit holders to bring their guns onto college campuses and into many public buildings.
But the chief proponent of that bill said Wednesday he has no plans to introduce legislation that would clarify a 2010 law change that removed the ability of the Kansas Attorney General to deny a concealed carry license based on a person “suffering a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a weapon.”
This support for blind persons carrying concealed weapons in public places is widespread among many of the more rabid gun owners as discussion boards prove.
Even Glenn Beck got in the action on this one as he oddly pondered should Stevie Wonder be able to pack heat? As Beck argued:
“Inalienable rights” mean that they’re rights that come from God and cannot be taken from you. The right to bear arms is about protecting yourself and self‑defense as long as you are a law‑abiding citizen. It’s not about shooting sports but self‑defense. Is there any reason to believe that Stevie Wonder is not a law‑abiding citizen or insane? Who are you to take the right that was given by God away from somebody who is law‑abiding and a responsible citizen?
Here's the crux of the problem. A blind person pulling out a handgun to ward off a perceived threat in a crowded subway station and shooting away is going to likely injure and kill a lot of people. Beck's argument – an echo of the thumbs up on gun fanatic discussion pages -- is based on religious faith in the divine power of the gun to point and kill the "bad guy" with special gun eyes.
2) The Right of Terrorists on the US Watch List to Buy Guns
After 9/11, the NRA couldn't wave the flag with more vigor than Bush and Cheney on uppers. Yet, the NRA got the then Attorney General John Ashcroft to prohibit the FBI and BATF from stopping the sale of guns to persons on the US terrorist watch list.
As a 2010 ABC News report stated (and there is much more extensive coverage of this outrageous gun lobby support of possible terrorists buying and owning guns):
An overwhelming number of individuals who are known to belong to a terrorist group or are on the U.S. terror watch list are being allowed to carry firearms and guns, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.
From Feb. 2004 through Feb. 2010, FBI data shows that individuals on the U.S. terrorist watch list were involved in firearm or explosives background checks 1,225 times, according to the GAO. About 91 percent of the time, or 1,116 of these transactions were allowed to proceed because no prohibiting information was found, such as felony convictions, illegal immigrant status, or other disqualifying factors, and 109 of the transactions were denied.
"Membership in a terrorist organization does not prohibit a person from possessing firearms or explosives under current federal law," the GAO report states. "However, for homeland security and other purposes, the FBI is notified when a firearm or explosives background check involves an individual on the terrorist watchlist."
"We are simply not doing all we can to stop terrorists from buying guns," said Lieberman, a Connecticut independent.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., introduced legislation last year to prohibit people on the terror watch list, or who are known to belong to a terrorist organization, from purchasing guns. The bill would authorize the attorney general to deny sale or transfer of firearms to known or suspected terrorists. But it has been struck down by gun rights advocates who said it would breach citizens' constitutional rights.
Okay, if you are the so-called "responsible gun owner," what are you doing supporting the NRA's pressure that got Ashcroft to "protect the rights" of possible terrorists to buy guns, including the infamous .50 caliber sniper rifle that can shoot down airplanes taking off and landing or assassinate a public official from a mile away?
If this is about "reasonable gun ownership" and not about a love affair with guns, why are the NRA groupies not giving the organization hell for putting the US in jeopardy?
As a 2012 Palm Beach Post editorial noted: "People who are on the federal government’s terrorist watch list can’t fly on airplanes. But they can buy guns. Why? Because the National Rifle Association says denying them the right to buy guns is a denial of their Second Amendment rights."
3) The Right of Alleged Abusers of Women to Own Guns
It has been the standard policy of the NRA and other gun groups to oppose taking away the right of men charged – and in some cases even convicted or under a restraining order -- with abusing women to own and possess guns. There is a long history to this stance, although the NRA uses obfuscation in public statements to make it appear that they are actually on the side of protecting women. Don't believe it for a moment.
As David Sirota writes in a March 1 Salon article: "New GOP plan: Guns for domestic abusers: As president Obama visits Colorado to discuss guns, state GOP launches fight to protect batterers' gun rights":
But in a coincidental turn of events, the president’s visit will occur at the very moment the Colorado Republican Party is making a high-profile effort to derail Democratic legislation that would disarm domestic abusers….
In terms of just sheer extremism, if ever there was a succinct, simple-to-understand bumper-sticker-ready metric for understanding the fringe-iness of today’s Republican Party, the fight in the Colorado legislature over gun rights for domestic abusers is it. As the Denver bureau of the Huffington Post reports, the Colorado bill in question simply “prohibits gun possession from those convicted of certain felonies involving domestic violence or certain misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence (and) also prohibit guns from individuals subject to certain (domestic violence) protection orders.” According to a recent statewide poll in Colorado, that is a concept supported by 80 percent of voters – yet Republicans are opposed.
To truly appreciate the radicalism of that opposition, understand that longtime federal law already technically bans most of this. According to the New York Times, however, that federal statute “is rarely enforced” to the point where in 2012 prosecutors were willing to invoke it fewer than 50 times. In light of that negligence, state legislation to reaffirm the federal law would seem to be an easy way to do as the Republican Party so often rhetorically demands and better enforce existing gun statutes. Yet, that same GOP is nonetheless taking the side of domestic abusers and opposing the state legislation on the grounds that the restriction “is ripe for abuse.”
What’s amazing – and what evokes Democrats’ “war on women” meme – is the fact that Republicans don’t seem to see that what’s really “ripe for abuse” is guns in the hands of domestic abusers.
If you don't think the Colorado GOP marching orders on behalf of gun ownership for domestic abusers comes from the NRA, you've been on meth too long.
So here's the challenge to all those who wrote scathing attacks on yesterday's BuzzFlash at Truthout commentary.
Will you support the right of states not to issue carry concealed permits to blind persons? Will you give the FBI and BATF the legal tools it needs to stop potential terrorists from buying firearms? Will you stand up for the safety and security of abused women and keep guns out of the hands of men who abuse them?
If you can renounce the NRA's detrimental position on these three issues of public safety and security, then maybe you have a right to say that you don't worship guns, or that they aren't a talisman for your manhood.
Otherwise, just admit that happiness is a warm gun.
(Photo: Gage Skidmore)