This past Memorial Day I was reading a piece from the indefatigable Charles P. Pierce at The Politics Blog at Esquire about our nation's most recent gun massacre and these words rang as true as a Presbyterian Bell Choir:
"Wayne LaPierre gets paid when his masters sell guns to the bad guys. Wayne LaPierre gets paid when his masters sell guns to the good guys because of the guns he's already arranged to sell to the bad guys. Wayne LaPierre is the strange white man in the Congo who knows where he can get you some AK's. He's the shadowy fellow in the coffee shop in Kabul who knows where RPG's can be had, cheap. He's the well-dressed, silken-voiced operator, sipping his tea on a cool and breezy veranda outside of Bogota, who smiles at you and shows you on the map where you can pick up your order, because it is time once again for you to make war and him to make money. His look is the smooth and shiny black of the vulture's feathers. He feasts on the carrion of nations."
- Charles P. Pierce
Continued below the fold.........
LaPierre is the natural result of a very unnatural evolution of an entity that once was devoted to gun safety and sportsmanship and has now morphed into the marketing tool of gun makers. In other words, the modern NRA's sole function is to market guns. Harken back to the days of yore when pharmaceutical companies couldn't directly market their drugs to you on television - thus allowing you to sit on your couch and self-diagnose your medical problems - gun manufacturers are forbidden this tool. As they should be. Believe me, they would literally kill for the chance to sell you the latest in flesh ripping engineering on your electric teevee machine. I for one don't want to see anyone marketing the killing prowess of an AR-15 in a slick, formulated, dramatic ad during the SuperBowl.
So, we get Wayne LaPierre. He and people like him exist for one reason and one reason only:
To frighten people into buying a product for protection against the people he's already sold the very same product to in the first place.
This is the gun manufacturer's only marketing tool. And it works.
I, on the other hand, I am with the 90% of Americans that believe that common sense gun regulations are not only needed, but needed post-haste.
Here's what I would suggest to a congress that had the interests of the American people in mind instead of on the lookout for an envelope with a check:
If you want to own a gun, fine. Own a gun.
If you want to own an assault rifle, fine. Own an assault rifle.
But with owning this hardware certain requirements should be mandated at the local, state and federal level.
First, if you've been convicted of a felonious violent crime. You're out.
Secondly, if you have a history of mental illness, you will have some hoops to jump through.
Third, if you have a conviction of domestic abuse. No dice.
We would regulate the purchase and ownership of every gun just as we do every automobile.
You can own one, but you have to register it.
You also have to license it and pay property tax on it.
Every 5 years, you have to pass a test to continue to possess and operate this piece of machinery.
Safety and competence would be paramount.
And last but not least, if you want to open-carry your gun. Knock yourself out. Go right ahead.
Do all of these things. Own, operate, and open carry.
However, none of this happens without proof of at least liability insurance.
Again, 90% of Americans want these massacres to end.
We as a nation want something done.
Hell, 70% of NRA members want stronger regulations.
This just makes sense.
Wayne LaPierre doesn't' want these things to happen.
Wayne LaPierre gets paid to sell you guns. That's his job.
He's very good at it and, because he's a sociopath, he has no trouble sleeping at night.
Charles Pierce is right. We are at war with ourselves. And Wayne LaPierre is the arms dealer.
Cross posted from North Iowa Today