Sunday, October 14, 2007


The NRA and Gun Control in USA

I happen to be teaching my students right now, the role of pressure groups in society, so was fascinated to read the major article in The Observer on the National Rifle Association(NRA) in the USA. Shirley Katz, a teacher, has just taken to court her assertion that she has a right to carry a gun when she goes to her school in Oregon. We are chillingly familiar with stories like Columbine and Virginia Tech but we also heard a few days back of Tyler Peterson, a deputy sherif, who walked into a party and shot six former schoolmates in cold blood.

The availability of guns in the USA- all 215 million of them- must surely explain at least partly- why there are more than 14000 gun murders a year in the USA; 16000 suicides and 650 fatal accidents. We learn that since 1963, more Americans have died by indigenous gunfire than died as a result of warfare abroad throughout the whole of the 20th century. A gun in the house makes it 22 times more likely that it will be used in an accidental shooting a murder or a suicide than in self defence.

The NRA trades on the gun-toting pioneer history of the States but in reality this is a myth; guns were far too expensive for impoverished settlers to own. The NRA fights the slightest attempt to apply controls to the free purchase of guns in the kind of store shown in the picture. Few candidates feel they can oppose the NRA and even Democrats regularly adopt NRA platforms. All politicians run scared of the NRA.

Other nations have high gun ownerships- Canada and Switzerland for example- without comparable homicide rates but, as the Paul Harris in The Observer points out, it's the deprived urban areas where gun crime flourishes; rural areas can have high ownership without the fatal downsides. The NRA has managed to brainwash a nation that it needs something, that literally, it needs like a hole in the head. But maybe the point of no return has been reached in that there are now so many guns that to ban innocent purchasers will be to leave them helpless against criminals who will have no difficulty in acquiring any number of those over 200 million guns already available in the USA. Oh, nearly forgot to add: Ms Katz won her decision in court.

You are a teacher?

Sorry, but from someone in a country where the criminal is given the better judgement over the honest labourer when home defense of anytype is used, I can not believe you teach such inaccurate concepts.
It might help if you specified where my 'concepts' are inaccurate or say whether my facts were.
...guns were far too expensive for impoverished settlers to own.

Really? Tell that to all of my "impoverished" pioneer ancestors, who pioneered Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana and on westward. That's certainly not the story told by all first-hand accounts I've read - travel accounts, diaries, journals of pioneers. Everyone had a gun because guns kept you fed and safe from predators - animal and human.

I'd also like to know where you got your "22 times more likely" statistic. It smells suspiciously like Arthur Kellerman's fraudulent "43 times more likely" statistic.

And it's over 270 million guns in America.
"it's the deprived urban areas where gun crime flourishes; rural areas can have high ownership without the fatal downsides"
So? What's your point?
Get rid of the impoverished areas or the inhabitants?
And the reason that 'politicians ' respect/fear the NRA is because it represents at least 5 million active members, and possible 120 million non-NRA gun owners. So, please, before you decide to regurgitate more Brady Org. sound bites, act like a real teacher should, do some real research, don't read and quote one or two stories and try to pass your conclusions off as facts.
Wow I feel sorry for your student. I can't imagine going to school to become less intelligent.
I fear these comments only serve to prove to me that there are people who hear nothing, see nothing and learn nothing. I assume Michael Moore's film Bowling for Columbine was based on nothing more than his liberal prejudices? Boy, you people make me so glad not to live nearby.
Now that the guns are gone in the UK, you have the all-purpose ABSO.

ABSO's have done nothing to solve the crime problems in the UK and the gun laws have successfully disarmed the populace to the point where an ABSO knows that there's *nothing* a potential victim can do to them; there aren't even non-lethal options available to the average Bob because using tear-gas will get you the same punishment as using a gun!

I think you also need to give your class an American perspective on the ownership of firearms; it was enshrined in our Constitution to ensure that we would be able to overthrown a tyrant (King George was the first) and we are expecting to see our Supreme Court to affirm that as an individual right next year.

We are armed for self-defense, community defense, and to defend the Constitution.
Oh dear Chris, you worry me. I know all about your enshrined constitutional right and, following comments on this post, I begin to realise how George Bush and his neocon advisers were able to summon so much support in assuming he had a God given right to commandeer Iraq's oil reserves and impose his idea of how they should live upon them. With results upon which there is no need to elaborate.
Well, skipper, I see you seen the comments left by others of my type. We like to consider ourselve free.

I also see that what ever we say or point out to you will be scorned, so no point in my pointing out your inaccuracies.

I will ask you a few questions.

Has your crime rate dropped for the gun restrictions?

Since you are studing America's culture of death did you compare the deaths by automobile to guns? How about simple drownings? Did you even look for those times when a gun was used for self defense?
OK Jerry, let's see how we shape up:
1. Gun crime represents 0.5% of all recorded crime in UK last year.
2. I assume from what you have written you mean have our restrictions reduced gun crime? Well it has been increasing over here and that is worrying but the number of deaths caused in 2005 by gun crime was 73- just a little short of your 14,000.
3. Auto deaths: I think you have over 40,000 deaths a year but you are not comparing like with like. Death by gun involves someone pointing a gun and pulling the trigger; a road death can be caused by carelessness or pure accident- ie not by design or intent.
4. The same thing applies to suicide.
5. Self defense: no I don't know how many time s a gun was used in this way. Have you got the figures?
6. Finally, I rather thought it was I who was being scorned with scathing comments on the quality of my teaching and much else besides. In argument at least, I do believe in self defence.
A road death can be caused by intent. There have been many murders and other intentional committed by vehicles. As for like for like, a person killed by an automobile is just as dead as a person killed by an automobile. The main difference is that it is easier to disguise an vehicle death as an accident.
I'm sure there are murders caused by intentional car driving but do we have any ideas of how many there are? Surely most road deaths are likely to be accidental. It's not a like for like comparison. Loads of people die of heart attacks. Some may be induced intentionally but we have no idea how many. This, I fear, can scarcely be adduced as an argument against gun control.
I know your background from your website and your discussions above. So it is only fair for me to describe my background. Since I am 60 years old, that is a lot of information. So I will summarize. I bought into the myth of the benefits of gun-control when I was in high school in about 1963. I supported increased gun controls through a variety of methods until about 1992. During that period, I graduated from the US Naval Academy and served as the Electrical Officer on a nuclear fast attack submarine. While in the Navy, I became qualified in the use of the 45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, the M-1 semi-automatic rifle and various nuclear weapons. Since I left the Navy, I have worked as an engineer. During that period I never considered myself an enemy of the inherent, universal individual human rights recognized in (not conferred by) the Ninth and Second Amendments of the US Constitution. But, when the so-called “assault weapons” ban was signed into law, I recognized that some of my fellow gun-control advocates were dedicated enemies of the Constitution. At that point I changed my position. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member or monetary supporter of the NRA. I do not now and never have owned a firearm. My wife owned a handgun before we were married and I talked her into selling it. I have come to believe that the NRA is too weak in their defense of the Constitution. I more closely share the beliefs of the American Founders, the Supreme Court of Vermont, the Gun Owners of America, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Jews for the Protection of Firearms Ownership. I have studied this issue extensively for many years. If you have any questions on my background, I would be happy to provide you with additional information. My intent is to be as open and honest as possible. Based on my experience, that is the exact opposite of the concept of operation of anti-gun organizations and many of the more active gun-control advocates.
The "deprived" urban areas huh? You are right on the money, the urban areas have been "deprived" of guns (thanks to all the wonderful idiots at the Braty Campaign.) I laugh at anyone who is anti-gun, they are like sheep before the slaughter, they don't know what's coming. I think it's safe to say that ANYONE that supports disarming the people is no more than a Nazi. I'm all for civilian ownership of machine-guns and any other weapon, people have free choice in this country (the liberal scum say this every time they defend abortion) so I the individual have a choice to what I can own! If Law-enforcement can own short-barreled rifles, that shows you how good they are with their girlfriend (lol!) All I can say is FUCK GUN-CONTROL IT DOES NOT WORK IF YOU SUPPORT IT YOU ARE A NAZI!
D Kosloff
Thanks for your interesting comment. I'm not really clear why you ceased to support gun control and are some of these bodies you mention the 'militias' dedicated to extreme libertarianism? If so, I'm amazed at your political journey.
I think the tone, not to mention the content of your comments says a lot about you and your fellow supporters: aggression, disrespect and seething anger. To call someone you don't know a Nazi so casually says a bit too much about you I fear.
Hi, I work for BBC World Service radio in London and today (Friday) between 1.30pm and 2pm East Coast Time in the States we will be talking to Shirley Katz live in our international discussion programme, World Have Your Say. She is the Oregon teacher who wants to be able to take a gun to school for her own protection. If you would like to take part in the discussion, please email your phone numbers to or call me on +442085761720.
Many Thanks
Martin Vennard
Well, here I am again. Just wanted to share this fine example with you. Hope you enjoy it.,2933,303429,00.html

Just incase the link doesn't work, the story is about an Ala couple who force a crook to clean up the mess he made trying to rob there home. You should be able to find it on our Fox news website.
Until they exposed themselves with the so-called “assault weapons” ban, the U.S. anti-gun organizations liked to pretend that they wanted only to control handguns. That is, they pretended that they did not want to outlaw guns and that they did not want to eliminate the Second Amendment. Those make-believe positions were consistent with my personal beliefs. But the so-called “assault weapons” ban was incompatible with support or acceptance of the Second Amendment. So my choice was between defending the Constitution and continuing to support organizations who were (and are) enemies of the Constitution.
As for militias, the Founders were the only ones who were associated with a militia, but they have been dead for about 200 years. I don’t know how the Supreme Court of Vermont could be construed to be a militia group. I thought their name is self-explanatory. You can check out the other three for yourself at their linked websites below. They are educational and lobbying organizations.
Skipper, this will be my last for this item on your blog. I've read the responses, some are more intelligent than I am. Certainly I am not a master at the art of debating. Please permit me to share one more website with you. If you'd like to continue communication I'm pretty sure you can find my email through your blog's register.

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Hello all!
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Good job!
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actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.
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Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.
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Build a watch in 179 easy steps - by C. Forsberg.
What is a free gift ? Aren't all gifts free?
Oops. My brain just hit a bad sector.
Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.
What is a free gift ? Aren't all gifts free?
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