Posts tagged "RKBA"

Guess which Conservative pundit just got a book deal? If you guessed the St. Louis-based radio talk show host Dana Loesch, you are right on the money.

Her first book, Defenseless, which will be published in September 2014, examines the issues of the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership rights from a slanted pro-NRA viewpoint with flagrant distortions.


Center Street on Loesch’s book:

In Defenseless, Loesch examines the motivations of the political left to grab the guns of law-abiding citizens, leaving vulnerable millions of Americans, especially women. She digs deep into the history of the Second Amendment, looking closely at the advantage a no-guns policy would give to murderers, rapists, and other criminals. She urges readers to fight back against what she sees as a hypocritical and unwarranted federal intrusion by policymakers who themselves rely on guns for their protection. The always provocative Loesch – who was once banned from CNN’s Piers Morgan for her support of self-defense — will present new reporting and offer surprising insights about gun control, while also offering a plan for reclaiming our rights and the security necessary for our peace of mind.  
The book will publish in September 2014 and will be released simultaneously in hardcover and eBook formats. 

Oh boy. Loesch’s going for the crazy gold here.

(cross-posted from DanaBusted.blogspot.com)

I’m a member of the National Rifle Association and a former Army officer with assignments in the military police, artillery, and operations research and intelligence at the Pentagon.

I’m also Ted Nugent’s older brother.

Ted and I recently attended the NRA convention in Houston, where he delivered the gathering’s final speech and continued his ardent defense of the Second Amendment. Ted and I have hunted together for decades, and we legally own a large number of guns. We both understand that guns constitute deadly force, so safety is foremost in our minds. It’s part of responsible gun ownership.

And I agree with Ted that our constitutional right to bear arms should not be undermined. I want all those who are qualified to purchase a gun to be able to do so. But — and here is where I part ways with my brother — not everyone is qualified to own a gun, so expanded background checks should be a legislative priority.

I believe strongly that expanding and improving mandatory background checks will keep a lot of people who aren’t entitled to Second Amendment rights from having easy access to guns. As of today, a convicted felon can find a gun show or a private seller and buy a firearm without a background check. That loophole should be closed. Every gun transaction must include a thorough background check. Why would responsible gun owners want to protect people who threaten not only our safety but our gun rights?

The NRA has it wrong: Irresponsible gun owners are bad for everyone. If you shouldn’t have access to a gun, then there should be no way for you to access a gun! Can anyone argue with that?

Consider the mentally ill, one of the biggest threats to firearm safety. How do we preserve their rights to health privacy while keeping firearms out of their hands? It’s a huge concern, given the role mental illness has played in recent gun-violence tragedies. While some states have made progress, it’s far from universal.

But convicted felons, people with restraining orders against them and those with a history of mental illness can still find ways to purchase weapons. No one should stand for this.

The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, and the gun violence that claims on average eight children per day in the United States, require us to think differently about what the Second Amendment really means.

Enhanced background checks need not threaten the Second Amendment. Why are the NRA and the elected representatives who support it so slow to realize this? Or do they fear a slippery slope toward greater restrictions on gun rights? If they don’t want to burden a flawed system, they should be part of fixing it.

Reducing gun violence and protecting the Second Amendment is not an either-or idea. I challenge the NRA’s leadership to partner with groups such as Evolve, which I recently joined, that seek to protect gun rights while creating a culture of responsibility, safe gun use and prudent access to firearms.

Can we imagine an NRA capable of taking that on? Or are we doomed to the uncompromising philosophy driving everything the organization does? I want to be proud of being a member of a proactive NRA.

I attended this month’s NRA convention to better understand what the organization is thinking and advocating. Speakers such as Glenn Beck and my brother are extremely articulate and connect with that audience, while Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, excels at creating a strident stand-and-fight mentality that does not speak for the majority of gun owners. Ted and I have talked about these matters over the years, but more often lately. I concede that he is right on some points: In some instances, cities and states with less-strict gun laws have less violent crime. But that does not argue for arming America. Ted is someone who speaks in extremes to make his points. It reflects who he is, and it works for him and his audience.

h/t: Washington Post

For much of its more than 140-year history, the National Rifle Association promoted gun ownership, shooting, and hunting as good, clean, constitutionally-protected fun. That changed in the past four decades as the NRA transformed into a hardline group closely allied with the gun industry and the conservative establishment whose only solution to gun violence is ever more guns. Watch the shift unfold in this collection of ads promoting the organization from the early 20th century to the present.

1920: “Rifle shooting is a mighty fine sport.” This Remington ad in Boys Life declared that the NRA was “a United States Government organization.” It wasn’t, but that gives you a sense of just how tight the gun group and the government once were—before the NRA entered its current state of perpetual freak-out about the feds coming for Americans’ guns. 

1970: “Hunters Beware!” Sounding more like the contemporary NRA, this ad warned about “powerful forces—possibly well-intentioned but ill-informed—working eagerly yet relentlessly to curb and eventually abolish the hunting rights, privileges and freedoms you enjoy today.” Bonus: A guest appearance by future pro football Hall of Famer Chris Hanburger.

1982: “I’m the NRA” This famous campaign, launched in 1982, was intended to demonstrate the NRA’s broad appeal. Ads included kids (such as eight-year-old BB-gun enthusiast Bryan Hardin), women, African Americans, cops, and clergy. A more recent version of the campaign has featured NRA celebrity board members Tom Selleck and Karl Malone.

i'm the NRA

Late 1980s: “Why can’t a policeman be there when you need him?” Fears about violent crime fueled these ads promoting concealed-carry laws. The notion that gun laws are ineffective because criminals break them remains a core NRA argument, as does the idea that armed citizens routinelyfend off attackers.

concealed carry ads

1995: Bill Clinton is “daffy.” With the number of hunters on the decline, you’d think the NRA would embrace high-profile recreational shooters. Yet in this poster sold to its members, the NRA unintentionally distanced itself from its longtime stance that hunting was central to gun rights, declaring that “Mr. Clinton, the Second Amendment is not about duck hunting.”

bill clinton ducks

1997: “Gun rights are lost on our kids.” Heston promised to lead a $100 million, “three-year crusade…to restore the Second Amendment to its rightful place as America’s First Freedom.” For the kids, of course.

charlton heston and kids

2013: “Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” All the anti-government paranoia, fear-mongering, and liberal-baiting of the past few decades culminated in this video, produced in the wake of the Newtown massacre. By opposing putting armed guards in every school in America, Obama proved himself to be “just another elitist hypocrite” whose kids are protected by the Secret Service.

H/T: Mother Jones

On Thursday, the senate will take-up a comprehensive gun bill that seeks to expand the background check system, enhance penalties for gun trafficking, and invest in school safety. The action will represent the first Congressional debate about firearm safety since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The vote to proceed to the measure will come just one day after Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) announced a bipartisan agreement to require background checks for gun sales at gun shows and online websites. Under their amendment, sales of firearms in these venues will be treated in the same way as gun purchases at federally licensed gun shops: individuals will have to undergo background checks that will be recorded with a federal licensed dealer. “All personal transfers are not touched whatsoever,” Manchin said.

h/t: Think Progress

As the Senate prepares to take up a comprehensive gun violence prevention plan later this month, gun advocates have amped up their already inflammatory rhetoric against any additional gun regulations. Ahead of President Obama’s visit to Colorado on Wednesday to promote the measure, one local gun organization promised to give him and other Democrats a hostile welcome.

In an interview with NPR, former NRA lobbyist and founder of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Dudley Brown compared deer hunting season with election season, when gun owners would be free to “hunt Democrats.”

The analogy between elections and hunting is a favorite among conservatives; former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was widely condemned for her website’s map placing crosshairs over vulnerable Democratic districts in 2010.

Brown left the NRA in the 1990s because he felt the NRA was “kissing up to politicians.” The NRA, at the time, blasted Rocky Mountain Gun Owners as an “extreme right gun group” and called Brown the “Al Sharpton of the gun movement” for his inflammatory approach. Since then, the NRA has been pulled much farther to the right and is much more aligned with the “extreme” beliefs of RMGO. 

h/t: Aviva Shen at Think Progress

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Following Jesus: The Best Gun Control Ever, Or How Conservatives Have Twisted and Molded Jesus’ Words Into Supporting Gun Rights

The Central Valley of California is similar to most of rural America. It’s an area with lots of traditional folks, many who love God and desire to serve Christ in all things. Places like the Valley at times carry the baggage of some sloppy theology, handed down from fundamentalism and the Religious Right. For this reason, I grew up believing that the will of God and the will of the conservative version of the United States were one in the same. I also grew up believing that the US Constitution and its Amendments were God’s gifts to humanity, including the law that gave us rights to own guns. In fact, guns were normal in my family and shooting shotguns at skeet is admittedly fun. I never considered myself a gun enthusiast, but I was certainly willing to shoot them when I was at a family gathering or with the guys.

As part of a “man pact,” I even owned a shotgun for a time. About 6 of us agreed in college (prior to my transition into Anabaptist theology) to pitch in $100 each time one of us got married. What this meant was that we would end up with $500 to spend on a gun of choice. Some chose handguns, but because my interest in guns was minimal, I used the money for a shotgun so that I could shoot skeet on occasion (I only ended up using my gun 3 times total).

Now, having embraced the nonviolent ethic of Jesus and the early church, I no longer have such a strong appreciation for guns. Yet, because of my history and my close friendships/familial relationships with gun enthusiasts, I’m not willing to demonize all people who are members of the NRA or who like to shoot stuff. I would question why some people like to kill (non-human) creatures “just for fun,” as I don’t think it honors the Creator who cares for the birds of the air. I would equally question why any Christian would have a loaded gun in their house when Jesus clearly teaches non-retaliation, but now I digress.

As a follower of the way of Jesus, I do what I can to stand outside of political debates, at least as the media tries to set them up. Binary categories and false demonization does nothing to facilitate the kind of dialogue that brings life-giving results. In order for Christians to maintain their witness, we would do well to start thinking about better ways of talking about gun ownership. I’m not anti-gun, but I do believe that these sorts of weapons should have limited (if any) use for those who are disciples of rabbi Jesus.

Related: What Would Jesus Say to the NRA? by Shane Claiborne

Can we really imagine Jesus with a loaded handgun under his pillow or a concealed weapons permit? The only uses that make sense, based on what I see in Scriptures under the New Covenant, include: 1) sport (with no intention of harming life), 2) hunting (for those who choose to hunt their game rather than participate in the corruption of factory farming), or 3) protection from predator-animals (not killing animals for fun, but saving human life when no other option exists).

If we concede that these are the only uses for guns in the United States, then I submit that following Jesus would be the best form of gun control. Imagine if every Christian either gave up their guns or drastically reduced their intent for using these weapons; gun control would become a non-issue for us believers to argue about!

I realize that this one article is not going to convince those who are not pacifists, but I feel compelled to be upfront about my actual convictions on this issue. With that said, I do think that some important things need to be stated about the sort of things I see Christians reasoning in support of low-restrictions on guns. I invite fellow Christians to consider a life where we all simply decided to S-T-O-P… stop; stop using the following arguments or taking the following stances to justify positions on gun control.

#1 Stop appealing to the 2nd Amendment as if it were the lost ending to the Gospel of Mark.

Something that makes zero sense is how people who love God could EVER make the Constitution the center of their argument. For the past several years, I’ve been disappointed by this tendency that I see in many sectors of conservative evangelicalism. And when it comes to the 2nd Amendment, do we really have to elevate it as though it were holy writ? If you believe that gun ownership is a “right,” show us that through the Scriptures, specifically through solid narrative/historical exegesis of the New Testament. After all, it’s not like the Amendment is the lost ending to the Gospel of Mark that has kept theologians scratching their heads for centuries. This is a law made by a pagan nation – let’s treat it as such.

#2 Stop metaphorically connecting the loss of certain guns to the Apocalypse.

Let’s get practical for a second, friends. First, the book of Revelation is primarily about something that happened in the past, specifically during the reign of the Caesars of the first century. Avoiding the connection to the last book of the Bible is a simple matter of biblical integrity.

Interestingly, many people have gone on record saying that private citizens need guns in case the US government becomes even more corrupt and forms a tyrannical dictatorship (or the like). Even if we believe that Christians can justify the use of violence, do we really believe that semi-automatic weapons would even stand a chance against bazookas, rockets, grenades, or even nukes? I’m not sure that this fanciful thinking justifies an outcry for low-regulated sales of the most destructive of guns.

#3 Stop clinging to guns as if they are central to one’s identity.

We all have hobbies or things that make us feel alive. Some of us play sports. Others love underwater basket weaving. Still others can’t get enough of Dungeons and Dragons. But, as Christians, any time these things become central to our identity, we may want to consider doing some soul-searching. The same is true of guns. Many people love weapons, and I get that. But, based on the passion in some of the people I’ve observed, I wonder if guns (like any other hobby) can become too centralized in one’s own self-understanding?

#4 Stop ignoring the rest of the modernized world as if American culture has the corner on gun control (or the lack there of).

One thing that I continue to discern is that most conservative Christians are quite content to view the world through an American-centric lens. Unfortunately, we often ignore our neighbors in all global directions, when in fact they may have some practical wisdom to offer. Why are US murder rates higher than many other Western cultures? I can’t claim to have the answer to that all sorted out, but we need to listen to voices that may expose our blind spots. Let’s avoid being so proud to be an American that we fail to recognize that this comes just before the proverbial fall. Maybe nations like the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and others have something to contribute to the gun discussion.

#5 Stop trusting guns as a source of personal security.

Many Christians have loaded guns in their homes. They honorably wish to protect their family against home invasion. I respect the motives of many of these good folks and refuse to cast judgments about their character. With that said, does this say anything about where our trust is rooted? I worry that if I had a loaded gun in my home for the protection of life and limb, that my source of security would be fixated in something other than God.

If we can stop the previous five approaches to the issue of guns, then perhaps we could start implementing several life-giving approaches to the gun conversation.

#1 Start appealing to the New Testament (which includes the Gospel of Mark, amongst other things).

I’m not suggesting that we should thump our Bible in the national political debate, but Christians would do well to posture themselves as humble, love-filled, Jesus followers. In order for this to happen, we really need to recapture the peaceful vision of the New Testament as evidenced in the life of the early church. Anything we say about our understanding of guns and violence ought to be informed by our only holy text! If we do so, we may find that much of the bantering that happens from Christians of various stripes may be rendered void.

#2 Start choosing to trust in God’s faithfulness to see us through even the worst of “apocalypses.”

No matter the circumstances, it seems to me that our freedom comes from the love of God, the self-giving of Christ, and the liberating power of the Holy Spirit. No nation or weapon guarantees this; for proof, just look at the church during the reigns of Tiberius, Nero, or Domitian. When Revelation was penned, the Christians had to choose to embrace the path of the peaceful Christ, even though it often led to persecution, and at times, death. God’s faithfulness, as we experience life in the Kingdom of God, can become the only thing we cling to, no matter the cultural conditions. Even if a new “beast” rises up and forces us to take the “mark” (of course I’m speaking metaphorically and not regurgitating futurist views of the “end times”), we can learn to trust the Father. Guns don’t save, only Jesus does!

#3 Start building one’s identity on the biblical and relational person of Jesus Christ and nothing else.

Our identity as followers of Christ can become immersed in the life of God if we relinquish ourselves to the reign of God. This is a lifetime sanctifying pursuit, but is indeed the life Jesus invites us into. This is something that I continue to struggle with, but I don’t want to give up. If our identity becomes dominated by hobbies, accomplishments, family, social groups, or even guns, we have a serious discipleship gap. Fortunately, we have a gracious God. Nevertheless, let’s strive to be the kind of people who avoid abusing God’s grace for our wants and agendas. Imagine a life where Christ is the center of our identity!

Also by Kurt: The God who Cries when Children Die

#4 Start recognizing that we are citizens of a global kingdom, not an isolated nation called the United States.

The reason that I named my blog “Pangea” is because of the vision of the Kingdom of God as one that transcends borders. In Ancient Greek, Pangea means – “entire” “earth.” It was the “super-continent” that was formed prior to the tectonic plates eventually shifting to break apart the world into the seven continents we currently know. Where this becomes a theological concept is the idea that God’s kingdom is one that unites the world under God’s perfect reign. We are united as a global church that takes our citizenship from a kingdom devised of every tribe, nation, and tongue. To this kingdom and to the King of Kings we give our full and primary allegiance, even as we sojourn in a land that is called America. Our identity as Christ-followers transcends the borders of any nation or anything else our culture creates to divide people. Listening to fellow Christians from other nations as legitimate sources of wisdom is the part of recognizing our true citizenship. This includes how we understand gun control.

#5 Start trusting that Christ is our only source of security and that our only weaponry is “spiritual” and never lethal.

As I’ve already said, I believe nonviolence is clearly taught in the New Testament. Even if you struggle with my conclusion, we both can agree that the only time that a weapon is talked about positively in the New Testament is when Paul speaks of the “armor of God” (see this series). We have all we need in God’s own resources to execute justice in the world. The only weapons we actually need is God’s weaponry. God is the ultimate source of security for those who follow Jesus. And as followers, we need to get better at knowing the Spirit of God inwardly so that we are empowered to express the deeds of Christ outwardly. When Jesus went to the cross, he did not pull out a weapon to fight back. Rather, Jesus “entrusted himself to the one who judges justly” providing “…an example so that you might follow in his footsteps” (see: 1 Peter 2.21-24). By entrusting our lives to God, divine resources become ours in life and in death.

I believe that following Jesus is the best gun control ever. If we become a united people who choose Christ’s Kingdom over our agendas, I believe that much of the debate would be rendered irrelevant. May we stop giving in to the rhetoric of popular culture and start embodying the way of Jesus when it comes to guns.


Kurt Willems (M.Div., Fresno Pacific) is an Anabaptist writer preparing for a church planting project with the Brethren in Christ. He writes at: the Pangea Blog and is also on Twitter and Facebook.

(via gunnuts-r-us)

There is an epidemic taking hold in America that appears immune to intervention or therapy, and despite the best effort of the nation’s brightest minds to find a cure, it seems likely to remain virulent, but limited to a particular segment of the population for the foreseeable future. The disease’s symptoms are beliefs with the strong conviction despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and unlike beliefs based on confabulation, faulty or incomplete information, there are no known remedies for delusion. Unlike most severe mental disorders, this epidemic has a traceable beginning and a very predictable demise, but that is little comfort as it is just now reaching peak efficacy.

The current outrage and unfathomably ignorant claims from gun-fanatics that President Obama is sending federal forces to confiscate their precious firearms is a microcosm of the past four years of teabagger claims their liberties and freedoms are being trampled asunder. The fallacious claims go hand-in-hand with equally bogus charges the President is rending the Constitution apart in typical Fascist tyranny that leaves white, well-armed patriots little choice but to prepare for armed conflict to “reinstitute the basic tenets of the Constitution.” One might think the gun fanatics’ deluded claims the President is a dictator is the result of four years of tyranny, but the delusion began shortly after Obama’s inauguration and before the earliest stages of the healthcare reform debate. What is telling is that claims of tyranny, unconstitutional power grabs, and loss of liberty are the product of delusional thinking in that not one teabagger, gun fanatic, or real American can cite one instance of tyranny, loss of freedom, or unconstitutionality in any of the President’s actions. The overblown gun-control controversy is a perfect example of sheer delusion without a shred of proof the President is overstepping his Constitutional authority.

It is bad enough that functionally ignorant citizens are crying tyranny at the President’s gun control measures earlier in the week, but when Republican legislators co-opt the lies, it exposes that they either know what the President’s executive orders entail and are lying to incite gun owners, or are relating what they think the orders are revealing their delusion-based bias. A perfect example occurred in a very conservative area of a Western state, and the purveyor of pure fantasy was a county’s top law enforcement official.

In a letter published in the local newspaper, the sheriff angrily asserted “I refuse to take firearms from law abiding citizens, and I will not turn law abiding citizens into criminals by enforcing useless federal gun control legislation.” First, there is no “useless federal gun control legislation” in the President’s gun safety measures; useless federal legislation is the purview of the United States Congress. Second, there is no order for any law enforcement official, federal or state, to “take firearms from law abiding citizens,” but it is a recurring theme among gun-crazed malcontents. Obviously, either the sheriff is ignorant of the President’s executive orders, or he knows there are no “confiscate gun orders” and is lying to incite gun fanatics. However, his stark-raving mad assertions did serve to enrage ignorant teabaggers into staging a public protest to show their opposition to President Obama’s imaginary gun seizure order, and to celebrate gun appreciation day. The local Tea Party group is organizing the event to protest against impending weapon seizures, destruction of the Constitution, and tyranny.


The conservative movement cannot comport they are disallowed by the Constitution to impose their extremist agenda on the rest of the nation, and when their tyranny is thwarted by the nation’s founding document, they cite Presidential tyranny. The delusional conservatives’ real issue is they still cannot accept the results of the last two general elections, or the will of the people, so they fabricate imaginary sleights against the Constitution, their freedoms, and for the past month, belief the President is coming to seize their guns.


The good news is the malcontents in the population, and cretins in positions of power decrying tyranny and unconstitutional power grabs by the President, are in the minority. It is true that the Revolutionary War (Gadsden) flags claiming “Don’t Tread on Me” are adorning gun-fanatics’ homes and vehicles, but they are not garnering support from the great majority of Americans who support common-sense gun controls, tax increases on the wealthy, and a balanced approach to deficit reduction championed by the President. The timing of the cries of tyranny so early in the President’s first term before he proposed any legislation or agenda inform that the real source of discontent is not gun control, healthcare reform, or economic policy, but the color of the President’s skin, and if it is not a matter of race, then it is purely delusional thinking.

h/t: PoliticusUSA

In an email sent to National Rifle Association members on Thursday, the head of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) warned that politicians in Washington D.C. were “closing in fast on your Right to Keep and Bear Arms.”

“President Barack Obama and anti-gun politicians are on an all-out crusade to pass new laws that would: BAN tens of millions of rifles, shotguns and handguns…make it more difficult, expensive, and in some cases, ILLEGAL for you to purchase ammunition…and even FORCE you to register your firearms with the federal government,” NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox wrote in the email. “Some are even talking about a mandatory gun confiscation and ‘buyback’ program - where you would be forced to hand over your guns in exchange for a government check!”

The NRA-ILA is the lobbying arm of the NRA. Cox’s email came a day after President Obama announced 23 executive actions he plans to take to reduce gun violence in response to the massacre in Newtown, Conn. last month. Neither confiscation nor buybacks were on Obama’s list, nor were they part of the sweeping legislative proposals the President made on the subject.

Read the full text of the email here:

There are political fires raging across Capitol Hill right now and they’re closing in fast on your Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

President Barack Obama and anti-gun politicians are on an all-out crusade to pass new laws that would: BAN tens of millions of rifles, shotguns and handguns…make it more difficult, expensive, and in some cases, ILLEGAL for you to purchase ammunition…and even FORCE you to register your firearms with the federal government.

Some are even talking about a mandatory gun confiscation and “buyback” program - where you would be forced to hand over your guns in exchange for a government check!

NONE of this would have the slightest impact on making our children, our homes, or our communities safer. And that’s sad, because now more than ever, we need our elected officials to take serious steps toward improving public safety… particularly in our nation’s schools.

But the fact is, despite their statements, the main goal of the gun banners in Congress is not to make schools safer, but to ban your guns and abolish every last sacred right you have under the Second Amendment..until they reduce your freedom to ashes.

Your NRA-ILA is fighting every hour of every day to hold the line, but there is no way we can win without your full and active participation RIGHT NOW.

President Barack Obama recently pledged to raise $20 million to ram his gun ban agenda through Congress. And Obama’s got plenty of rich, gun-hating friends in Hollywood, along with anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who will shower him with the money he needs to strip you of your gun rights.

I don’t have friends like that. I’ve got something much better…YOU. You know what’s at stake. You love your freedom and your country, and I know you’re willing to STAND AND FIGHT to save both of them.

So please, whatever you can afford to give NRA-ILA right now, I need you to do it.

Whether it’s as little as $10, or as much as $150 or more, every single dollar will go toward winning this once-in-a-generation battle to save our Second Amendment freedom. AND EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR YOU GIVE TODAY COUNTS!

Your contributions to NRA-ILA support our fight on your behalf in the halls of Congress and across the country. Your contributions are the lifeblood of our legislative and legal initiatives, research, educational pieces, press activities, and all of our pro-gun advertising and grassroots activism.

There is no other way to put it: Our strength comes from you. Our ability to win comes from you. That’s why I’m asking you to help save our Second Amendment by making NRA-ILA stronger than ever before.

Thank you for everything you do to support NRA-ILA and defend freedom.

Please help as soon as you can.

Sincerely,

Chris

H/T: Eric Lach at TPM

Gov. Jay Nixon expressed opposition Monday to legislation that would let Missouri teachers carry concealed guns into classrooms, describing it as “the wrong approach” after the recent deadly shootings at a Connecticut elementary school.

Nixon said in a publicly released letter to school superintendents that he has “serious concerns” about the legislation, which already has more than two dozen sponsors in the Missouri House.

“More can and should be done to enhance school safety, but this legislation would put our children at risk and limit the ability of local school districts to keep their schools safe,” Nixon said. “Putting loaded weapons in classrooms is quite simply the wrong approach to a serious issue that demands careful analysis and thoughtful solutions.”

Officials from across the country are considering policy changes after 20-year-old Adam Lanza, armed with an assault-style rifle, killed 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on Dec. 14. Some congressional Democrats want to reinstate a federal ban on the sale of assault weapons. Last week, the National Rifle Association proposed placing trained, armed volunteers in schools to guard children.

Missouri law allows concealed guns to be carried by people age 21 and older who have no felony convictions, are not mentally incompetent, and pass a firearms training course and a background check. But state law prohibits concealed guns from being brought into schools unless approved by the local school board or a school official.

Legislation filed last week by Rep. Mike Kelley, a Lamar Republican, would let teachers and administrators with concealed-gun permits bring their weapons to school without need of local approval. It has the support of several top lawmakers, including House Speaker Tim Jones, a Eureka Republican, and Majority Leader John Diehl, a Republican from the St. Louis area.

Rep. Stanley Cox, a Sedalia Republican, has suggested that people might think twice about attacking schools if they knew teachers or administrators could be carrying guns.

Nixon described the current law allowing school boards to bar guns in classrooms as “a time-tested and solid foundation that we should reinforce, not undermine.”

The Missouri School Boards’ Association also objected to the legislation.

“We think that a school board ought to be able to set policies on which employees should be able to carry weapons, just as any other employer would in the private sector,” said association spokesman Brent Ghan.

h/t: KC Star

Pro-Gun, Anti-NRA and Anti-Gun Owners Of America.

Victoria Soto, 27, was buried Thursday under a cold winter sky. Soto, as you may know, was the teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary who stood in front of students in a vain attempt to save their lives.

Jack Pinto, 6, another victim, was buried on Monday. Tragically, that promising young man will never know if his favorite football team made the playoffs. He was laid to rest in his New York Giants football jersey:  Number 80, Victor Cruz. (For Jack’s sake, lets hope God hates the Dallas Cowboys.)

And now, with twenty-six fresh graves filled or to fill, what do the most strident gun-rights advocates want to discuss? What do Second Amendment absolutists (those who say the right to bear arms cannot be infringed) suggest that we do to protect innocents like Jack Pinto?

Of course! We arm people like Ms. Soto. We arm teachers.

Why is this idea stupid, you ask? As a former teacher, allow me to explain: first and foremost, it won’t work. It won’t guarantee the kind of safety our children deserve. And we, as a nation, can no longer afford the luxury of wishful thinking where these kind of attacks are concerned. We owe the victims of this horrendous attack better. We owe it to all of our children, both living and dead, to face reality and craft sensible national policies. Here are a few reasons why arming teachers is an absurd place to start:

1. If we place a gun in the office, ready to a principal’s hand (or to the hand of some other school defender), as some absolutists are now suggesting, what happens if the heavily armed intruder shoots his way in through a different doorway?

2. What if two maniacal killers are involved? Then one defender isn’t enough (See: Columbine, 1999).

3. If the psychopath has a semi-automatic weapon clearly the defender will require (at minimum) a semi-automatic weapon. How exactly does this gun vs. gun strategy play out if the attack occurs at the start of the school day, or during a class change, when halls are crowded with children? How many bullets do the absolutists want to see flying around our schools?

4. How do we protect kids on a playground during recess if a psycho shows up and starts spraying fire? (That’s already been done. See:  Stockton, 1989)

5. What if the psycho lurks by the roadside and waits in the morning until a bus loaded with children passes by? What if he opens fire at that them? (Same idea:  end of the day.)

6. What if the killer forces his way in through the kitchen and into the cafeteria at lunch? (Arm cooks with guns? At least they already have knives.)

7. How do we defend if the perpetrator calls in a fake bomb threat and the children empty out onto the lawn; and then he arrives to start shooting?

8. What do we do if the psycho pulls up in a car in front of any school, which is exactly what happened at Sandy Hook, and jumps out and starts shooting as students enter some morning?  (Same idea, exiting:  afternoon.)

9. What if the perpetrator parks his car, walks up to just about any first floor classroom in America and starts firing through windows?

10. Suppose a killer approaches a high school soccer field during the first period of a tie game and starts blasting? (Same idea: track meet, softball game, tennis match, marching band or cheer leading practice.)

AND LET’S NOT FORGET PSYCHO PLAN B:  What if the killer can’t get into the school. What if he heads for a college campus, a theater, a Sikh temple or mall in frustration? (We do know that’s been done, do we not?)

If the idea of arming teachers is dumb, what about doubling down on the dumb? After all, the Second Amendment is scared, according to absolutists, and all gun-control is wrong. What choice, then, do we have other than to arm everyone in schools? Every teacher and, yes, the nurse too. Drop that mop, Mr. Janitor.

From now on you’re patrolling the halls with an Uzi.

Is that really the sad state our nation is in? Are we too cowardly and too blind to face hard American-made facts? Can’t we at least be honest about where we stand? If we have 300 million guns in private hands and those aren’t enough, then guns for all educators is but a first tiny step. Next we need to issue every public school employee body armor. And there’s the whole idea of child-size bullet-proof vests for kids to consider.

If we can’t pass reasonable legislation, hell, let’s just give  up and armor the buses! Place guards on board, riding shotgun beside drivers, like stagecoaches of yore. Seal those first floor windows. Cancel outdoor school activities (maybe forever). Come on, we want kids to be safe. So let’s create schools that resemble bunkers. Screw it. Let’s add 12-foot high walls. Let’s require our teachers (when they’re not preparing for standardized tests) to take turns guarding the perimeter instead of wasting time grading and creating lesson plans.

A conservative friend of mine suggested recently that I should stop “prattling on” about gun control. Maybe I am prattling on. I don’t think so. I think I’m just pissed because Jesse Lewis, on the day he was murdered, told his father in an excited voice before heading to school, “Dad, this is going to be the best Christmas ever.” I’m pissed because that little boy believed what he said and we as a nation allowed a killer to prove him wrong. I’m pissed because Ms. Soto, possessed of “captivating blue eyes,” is dead. I’m pissed because Grace McDonnell is no longer with us and can never follow her dreams. I’m pissed to know that Anne Marie Murphy, another teacher at Sandy Hook, died cradling Dylan Hockley, 6, in her arms.

I’m pissed because all of them died in a “firestorm of bullets.”

In the wake of great tragedy, is hard to imagine that gun-toting absolutists refuse to admit that it’s an indictment of a gun-loving culture if teachers and children are swept away in a “firestorms of bullets.” 

h/t: AddictingInfo.org

 So it’s worth reviewing five made against regulating gun ownership in the United States:

MYTH #1: More guns don’t lead to more murders. A survey by researchers at the Harvard University School of Public Health found strong statistical support for the idea that, even if you control for poverty levels, more people die from gun homicides in areas with higher rates of gun ownership. And despite what gun advocates say, countries like Israel and Switzerland don’t disprove the point.

MYTH #2: The Second Amendment prohibits strict gun control. While the Supreme Court ruled in D.C. v. Heller that bans on handgun ownership were unconstitutional, the ruling gives the state and federal governments a great deal of latitude to regulate that gun ownership as they choose. As the U.S. Second Court of Appeals put it in a recent ruling upholding a New York regulation, “The state’s ability to regulate firearms and, for that matter, conduct, is qualitatively different in public than in the home. Heller reinforces this view. In striking D.C.’s handgun ban, the Court stressed that banning usable handguns in the home is a ‘policy choice[]‘ that is ‘off the table,’ but that a variety of other regulatory options remain available, including categorical bans on firearm possession in certain public locations.”

MYTH #3: State-level gun controls haven’t worked. Scholars Richard Florida and Charlotta Mellander recently studied state-to-state variation in gun homicide levels. They found that “[f]irearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun control legislation.” This is backed up by research on local gun control efforts and cross-border gun violence.

MYTH #4: We only need better enforcement of the laws we have, not new laws. In fact, Congress has passed several laws that cripple the ability for current gun regulations to be enforced the way that they’re supposed to. According to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, a series of federal laws referred to as the Tiahrt amendments “limit public access to crime gun trace data, prohibit the use of gun trace data in hearings, pertaining to licensure of gun dealers and litigation against gun dealers, and restrict ATF’s authority to require gun dealers to conduct a physical inventory of their firearms.” Other federal laws “limited the ATF compliance inspections” and grant “broad protections from lawsuits against firearm manufacturers and retail sellers.”

MYTH #5: Sensible gun regulation is prohibitively unpopular. Not necessarily. As the New Republic’s Amy Sullivan reported after the series of mass shootings this summer, a majority of Americans would prefer both to enforce existing law more strictly and pass new regulations on guns when given the option to choose both rather than either/or. Specific gun regulations are also often more popular than the abstract idea.

H/T: Zach Beauchamp at Think Progress Justice