Mayor Cory Booker on sensible gun policies and surrendering the idea that democracy is a just spectator sport . . . .

by faithgibson on January 16, 2013

From an interview on the Rachel Maddow Show today, January 16, 2013, on the topic of President Obama’s speech on sensible gun policies:

I am constantly buoyed by the testimony of American history that when we come together as a nation, there is nothing that we can’t do, as the old African proverb says: “When spider webs unite they can tie up a lion”.

So on these issues, I am a prisoner of hope. The evidence says it, but we all have to say ‘there is something we can do, something as individuals’.

. . . . we have to surrender this idea that politics is a spectator sport, which it is not — it is a full participatory endeavor that necessitates all of our action. If we just sit back and watch on TV and give color commentary, nothing will happen, we all have to step up. 

Cory Booker, Mayor, Newark, NJ

My take on the current NRA controversy

Based on my Quakers and Mennonite ancestry  and personal religious beliefs, I am a pacifist.

However, my father, brother, husband and son have all served in the US military. Obviously military service requires knowledge and experience with guns. My son is a loyal member of the NRA and goes to a shooting range and gun shows with some regularity.

My own position is straightforward — I support sensible gun policies.

When it comes to the National Rifle Association, it’s clear that sensible policies are not part of their agenda. This is a relatively new policy for the 142 year-old organization. In past and present, gun education of civilians, the military and police officers and holding shooting competitions was the object of the organization. However, in 1934, they organized a legislative lobbying arm devoted to influencing government policy — in particular, defending an ideology of Second Amendments rights that

The contemporary issue for the NRA isn’t guns, its money – promoting fear to increase the rate of gun purchases.

The object is both gratitude and renumeration of gun manufactures, who in return contribute generously to the NRA’s many financial entities and its 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt foundations. This money is used by the NRA to manipulate the political process for its own goal, which is to keep the money game going — constant fear prompting gun purchases that in return keep their coffers filled by grateful patrons. This perpetuates a cycle in which promoting public fear is a get-rich-quick scheme for the NRA. 

The NRA achieves its economic goals through what I describe as a ‘be afraid, be very afraid’ campaign. This is the idea that gun ownership is necessary for self-protection or that people should rush out to buy guns, because future government regulation may make purchasing a gun harder or could outlaw certain types of guns.

Here is the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the NRA scam:

First, any exploration of the topic must factor in the political problems of NRA. The  NRA promotes the narratives that their organization is the major advocate for gun rights in the American political arena. With millions of membersWith a $300 million budget — money that comes primarily from gun manufactures and political action committees, they believe themselves to be a formidable player and unmatched ferocity in advancing its political and legislative interests. However that money did not buy them much in this last election, as only 0.83% of the many millions they spent backing pro-gun candidates and opposing candidates with anti-NRA position achieved its desired political result. Yes, Virginia, the Emperor has no clothes!

Most American are not all that interested in the issue of gun right, so its no surprize that we didn’t realize the pressure the NRA under —  competition from other gun-rights groups even more hard-core in their demands — is forcing the NRA to fight for its political supremacy. As evident from the stand taken by its executive vice-president, the  its is afraid of appearing ‘soft’ on the issue of unbridled gun rights as an absolutist position, lest they loose political clout. So the NRA finds itself in position very similar to Just like the push-back from the TEA Party forces Republicans to take on most extreme of political position,

The issue is money — a lot of it — and the kind of political influence that brings in more and more of the big bucks. The gun-rights groups with the largest membership and is most effective in convincing its members and other gun enthusiasts that their right to own guns is in jeopardy is in the best position to start a ‘run’ on gun purchases. This massive increase in gun sales earns them the unbridled appreciation of gun manufacturers, who contribute liberally to this   support of ample deal with is able to best position itself to pull in more money from political contributors and more The current, volatile policy position of the NRA does not reflect the position of its own members but is posturing in an effort to out maneuver its own

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