Posts tagged " NRA "

Vegas Afterthoughts

October 4th, 2017 Posted by Susan's Musings 63 comments

This week’s carnage in Vegas was shocking and horrifying. I put aside my previously written Musing because it seemed wrong to write about anything other than what had happened. But, I didn’t think I had anything unique to say that would be of value to most of the people who read what I write. Then, I was browsing one of the liberal-leaning sites I like to visit and saw that the equally shocked and horrified women there mostly saw what happened in Las Vegas as a reason to double down on calls for gun control. I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and leave a comment on that forum. Here is what I wrote:

It is never comfortable expressing a view in a forum in which yours is a minority opinion. Let me lay it on the table: I am an NRA member and have been for years. I am also a mother of seven and grandmother of many more. I consider myself, and think others would consider me, a loving, kind and giving person.

I did not grow up in a home with guns or where guns were discussed. In the Jewish enclave in which I grew up no one hunted. Guns belonged in cowboy movies and on signs and billboards found around the large city where I lived that said, “Use a gun, go to jail.” Those signs had no relevance to anyone I knew.

After studying both sides of the issue and after some first-hand life experience, I became a Second Amendment supporter. If I may say, very few people who agitate for gun control take the time to meet, talk to and understand those of us who are wary of it. There are corrupt politicians on both sides of the issue who see this topic as an avenue to power; there are opportunities for money on both sides of the issue. There are perverted ideologues on both sides of the issue such as the fired attorney for CBS who said that the she had no sympathy for the people who died in Las Vegas because they were probably “Republican gun-toters.”  I’m sure you can find her mirror image on the other side. But when it comes to real people, everyone shudders and mourns not only when mass shootings take place but when smaller numbers are affected. Everyone decent wants all types of carnage to stop.

The art of conversation and debate is dying in our society. There is a lot of shouting and very little listening. The bias of most media outlets is growing more propagandist and each side on many issues only sees data that has been manipulated and studies that have been picked to support its already established views. Sometimes a token “opposing view” is thrown in which is either so wishy-washy or so ridiculous that it just confirms previous biases. That isn’t healthy.

The NRA is not a “thing.” It is made up of many Americans, and increasingly women, who see gun ownership as the only way they can protect themselves and those they love from attack rape, and/or murder. They include women who have been told by police that the police cannot come in time to help them so that they need to be ready to defend themselves. One NRA magazine has a column called The Armed Citizen that gathers reports from newspapers around the country about people, male and female, old and young, handicapped and able-bodied defending themselves. These reports don’t make national news outlets.

Others who support the Second Amendment do so because of a study of history and what happened to societies that imposed gun control. Other supporters have different reasons. America is a huge country and what is true and necessary for one area is often the opposite of what is true and necessary for another region.

As I see it, based on many examples, the political debate is not about “common sense gun laws.” The political debate is about more extremist positions where any concessions of second amendment rights will become a step in the road to a very bad final stage. There is an agenda and it is different from the agenda of most Americans who want to do something that will actually be effective rather than to “just do something” or to take advantage of a crisis situation.

Real people, however, can meet in the middle. We share the bottom line, “What can we do to make things better.” The first step is acknowledging that those on the other side of the issue are good, sincere and intelligent people who might have something to teach you. This website skews towards one group of women. Other websites skew differently. Imagine how much more good we could actually achieve if we respected each other, shared our views and stopped seeing those who disagree with us as evil, warped or stupid.

I very much want to hear your comments and hope you will write. Please note, however, that our offices (and store) will be closed from sunset Wednesday night PT (Oct. 4) through Saturday evening, so many comments will not be approved or answered until later. 

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Please Read My Book, You Evil, Hate-Filled NRA Member – originally published 1/1/2009

October 31st, 2010 Posted by Susan's Musings No Comment yet

My reading list tilts heavily to the past. I recently finished The Minister’s Wooing, a pre-Civil War Harriet Beecher Stowe novel. Leaping over decades, I then moved onto A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich, written in 1931.

But as I listen to the radio and read current newspapers and magazines, I often jot down contemporary titles that sound intriguing. Every once in a while I log on to the library’s computer system and go down the list, placing holds on those titles. Over the next few days (or weeks, depending on how popular or obscure the book is) a computer generated voice on the phone lets me know that I have books waiting at my local branch.
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Occasionally, I find a gem, as I did this past week-end when I had an extremely enjoyable time reading Ruth Reichl’s depiction of her life as the restaurant critic for the New York Times.

But way too often I don’t get past the first few pages of books that were praised as intriguing, humorous, thought provoking, etc. It seems that the reviewer neglected to mention that the book was also downright vulgar. Am I the only reader left in America who finds profanity on every page a surefire reason to stop reading? Somehow, I don’t think so; but clearly enough readers consider four letter words to be necessary for meaningful and/or witty repartee so that their inclusion is distressingly frequent.

There’s another common denominator to a great deal of modern writing that I’ve discovered. It is the inclusion, often in otherwise good books, of throwaway lines that are totally irrelevant to the plot. These lines attack conservatives, Republicans and the great big evil, the NRA. It seems as if the author, in the middle of doing what he or she is supposed to be doing, namely writing a book, was seized by a paroxysm of hatred that necessitated a venting of feelings before getting back to the topic at hand.

I admit to finding this jarring as well as depressing. For example, in an otherwise enjoyable book I looked at recently on a totally non-political topic, the author felt it necessary to betray his unquestioningly acceptance of anti-NRA propaganda. I don’t assume that people who support gun control do so because they believe that only criminals should have weapons, and I admit to being confused as to why any intelligent person would believe that people support the NRA because they enjoy seeing innocent people killed. The author’s seemingly uncontrollable need to insult NRA members also suggests a belief that the millions of Americans who support the second amendment are all illiterate rather than potential readers. I do find the naiveté and close-mindedness in terms of actually seeking to understand the issue quite shocking, but does the author realize how he’s limiting his readership? I really do not tend to buy books that insult me (and when I read something from the library that I really like, buying it is not infrequently the next step).

My suggestion is that these authors do two things. First, stick to their topic without being sidetracked by ideology. Second, they might want to take the time to research their positions rather than assuming that NPR or the New York Times gives balanced and broad information. I imagine that expanding their universe will only make them better writers.

As for me, Arthur Ransome’s 1936 masterpiece (I’m prejudiced. I love Arthur Ransome’s writings) Pigeon Post is on my bedside table next to Barbara Tuchman’s Bible and Sword from 1956. Before attempting to read the next batch of current literature, I need a break from profanity, intolerance and prejudice.

 

 

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