Friday, January 25, 2013
by Pa Rock
Vice President Joe Biden is the President’s point man on the on the politically sensitive issue of gun legislation, and Biden, being Biden, is not backing down or sounding demure in any way. (The man ain't no wallflower!) The Vice President has begun doing “Google Fireside Chats” over the Internet and also going on the road. Today he is scheduled to meet with experts who have been working on gun safety issues following the mass shooting at Virginia Tech a few years back.
Much of the Vice President’s fire has been directed at assault weapons and large ammunition clips. One participant at yesterday’s fireside chat stated that a need for assault weapons might exist in the event of a natural disaster – presumably to protect oneself against looters or hungry neighbors. The ever-practical Mr. Biden responded that a shotgun was much better protection than an assault weapon, being easier to aim and more likely to hit the target. He suggested investing in the double-barreled variety.
The Vice President also pointed out that police officers and police organizations support a ban on assault weapons because America’s cops feel “outgunned” by the bad guys who are benefiting from the proliferation of these weapons.
The remark about being “outgunned” set the Internet on fire with comments from readers of various news sources which ran the statement – and many of the responses were less than complimentary of America’s police. It would almost seem, to the cynics among us, that “outgunning” the police was the primary reason for owning assault weapons.
The National Rifle Association, a lobbying group for the gun industry, reports that its current membership is “4.2 million and rising,” but, as with any information emanating from the NRA, that figure has to remain suspect. However, the organization obviously has many members, and they appear to be steeped in a level of near-religious fervor and paranoia that would make an Ayatollah proud. The NRA exerts political pressure for the benefit of its gun-manufacturing and gun-selling masters by cranking up their membership to lobby legislators – often with noise and veiled (or unveiled) political threats – and, as with other lobbying groups, they also grease politicians with good, old-fashioned cash. It’s an ugly business whose primary purpose is to sell more guns.
So who are the members that form the muscle of the National Rifle Association. Well, it’s a private organization (that functions in a very public arena), so that information is private. Based on the Internet howlings disparaging America’s brave police, it would be interesting to see some research on the percentage of NRA members who have criminal records or have been diagnosed with mental issues.
Not accusing, just saying…