By Richard Feldman
Rindge, NH -(Ammoland.com)- This past Tuesday WGBH (PBS-Frontline) aired a one hour story entitled “Gunned Down: The Power of the NRA”. (click for complete video) Looking at the rise to power of the NRA.
My book, “Ricochet Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist” was an attempt to separate the different power centers and analyze how they interrelated and meshed.
The problem we humans have is always context and perspective. When a gun is used properly and someone uses it to defend themselves properly it is rarely a story – nor should it be one.
However when the same gun is misused and multiple lives are senselessly stolen we focus on the instrument rather than on the highly complicated and multidisciplinary problems – the criminal or the psychopath. When that doesn't conveniently fit we effortlessly blame the organizations that represent the owners or manufacturers of the tools that were criminally misused.
This demonizing of people, groups and goods never brings us closer to understanding or even solutions. It does inflame passions. It's great for politicians and fund raising on all sides. We never move on to discuss the nuanced issues and the many opportunities for agreement.
Here are three thoughts for your consideration as you watch the video now on PBS:
1. “The gun is NEVER the problem“, the question (we avoid) is, “In whose hands are the guns?” Michael Bloomberg's position is well known, yet he travels the country with more armed security than most gun owners will ever purchase, why? Because he correctly understands that guns in the hands of HIS security team can be VERY effective in protecting HIS life! Duh! That's exactly what another hundred million Americans have figured out who can't afford the paid 24/7 protection he can afford. Why have I never heard any politician say, “I want to dispose of my guns to make my community safer”? rather they tell us why, “You should give up your guns to make them safer”! Is it any wonder that gun owners see, feel and smell the disgusting odor of hypocrisy when politicians bluster on about “more gun controls”?
2. “NRA is too powerful!” What NRA has succeeded in achieving, is what we all say we're in favor of, namely freedom of assembly and freedom of speech! When the story line is that “NRA has too much power”, what is meant by that is “they (NRA) have been highly successful in organizing their members and motivating them to vote on election day while the “anti-gun rights” crowd has failed miserably in their mission”. The whining never stops – “Oh the NRA has too much money, too many supporters” blah, blah, blah!
Get over it! Money doesn't vote, but angry, sometimes scared gun owners really do vote their gun rights over every other issue. Don't like it? Simple, put an end to democracy!
3. The relationship between our “War on Drugs” and gun violence has been touched upon but never debated as a matter of public policy. In April 2013 during the heat of the Newtown tragedy on MSNBC's Morning Joe I asked Vice President Biden if he thought it was time for an adult conversation about the interrelationship between that “war on drugs” and gun violence? To his credit he not only agreed but identified in great detail many aspects of the problem. Where is the journalistic community following up on such an important moment? Why don't we have this dialogue? I remember Sarah Brady asking all the time “If it only saved one life – it would be worth it.” Legalizing drugs allows society to control and regulate drugs oh and by the way would save tens of thousands of lives – but we don't want to talk about that when we can continue having a tried and true food fight? Right?
Richard Feldman, Esq.
President Independent Firearm Owners Association, Inc.
PO Box 340
Rindge, NH 03461