MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT The NRA is a religious institution for gun worshippers
You might think that the National Rifle Association (NRA) is the most extreme gun advocacy group in the nation. After all, the NRA is behind the infamous "shoot first" license to murder laws in many states. They have successfully lobbied for the right to carry guns into bars, churches and hospitals â€“ well let's just say anywhere â€“ in a number of legislatures. They defeated an extension of the assault weapons ban and support the continued sale of military sniper rifles that could be used to take down a plane when landing or taking off.
Today, the NRA shooter-in-chief, Wayne LaPierre, indignantly brushed aside calls for more gun control. As reported on NBC online:
LaPierre, who was interrupted by Code Pink protesters twice during a statement (during which he refused to answer questions), said that the students in Newtown might have been better protected had officials at Sandy Hook Elementary been armed. He said that putting a police officer in every single school in America might make schools safer.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," he said, asking Congress to immediately appropriate the money to put a police officer in every single school in the country.
The NRA executive's statement was nothing short of defiant in the face of mounting discussion of the need for tighter restrictions on guns â€” including renewing a ban on assault weapons â€” in the wake of last week's shooting.
The NRA has even held up an international treaty to stem the flow and profiteering from small arms traffic to war lords and rogue regimes, falsely claiming that it would lead to gun confiscation in the United States. According to The New York Times, "The treatyâ€™s backers say it will stem the flow of arms to abusive regimes and warlords in conflict zones and reduce the level of violence in a world where one person dies every minute as a result of armed violence."
Yes, the NRA may be the primary religious institution for gun worshippers and manufacturers, but there are plenty of other fringe cult offshoots.
Take the Oathkeepers as just one example. In a recent e-mail the founder, Richard Stewart, asked others to join him in a special pledge of resistance:
We need to call a spade a spade and teach our fellow citizens that taking away military style semi-autos is disarmament. And we need to throw down the gauntlet and take a hard stand against it, right now. When we, as Oath Keepers, pledged to not obey any orders to disarm the American people, this is what we meant. Any attempt to disarm the people of any arms currently in their possession is illegitimate and must be nullified, refused, disobeyed, and resisted.
And so, in response to this obvious assault on our right to keep and bear arms (as in military arms), I feel compelled to make the following personal pledge:
I Stewart Rhodes, as an American, as a military veteran, and as a father, pledge the following:
I Pledge to never disarm, and in particular, to never surrender my military pattern, semi-automatic rifles (and full capacity magazines, parts, and ammunition that go with them), regardless of what illegitimate action is taken by Congress, the President, or the courts.
I also pledge to pass on those military pattern rifles to my children and my children's children, as well as the full capacity magazines, parts, and ammunition to needed to use them, regardless of what illegitimate action is taken by Congress, the President, or the courts.
Stewart even affirms that he will resort to leading an armed uprising if they are banned:
Finally, I pledge to defend myself, my neighbors, my town, county, and state, against any attempt to forcibly disarm them pursuant to any 'assault weapons ban' or any other illegitimate 'law' passed by oath breakers within Congress, or pursuant to any illegitimate order, action, or decree by the oath breaker within the White House. We will not disarm. We will resist. And if given no other choice but to fight or to submit to abject tyranny, we will fight, just as our forefathers in the American Revolution fought against the tyrants, usurpers, and oath breakers of their day.
Welcome to the heartland of paranoid America: "In gun barrels and bullets we trust."
(Photo: Chris Waldeck)