If you watched the recent Democrat debates, you could be forgiven for thinking that the United States of America is beset by an evil and malevolent force, the National Rifle Association. Candidate after candidate spoke of the NRA as a dark and sinister organization responsible for violence and death.
In the week after the debates, two tragic mass shootings, not to mention other “regular” gun deaths, spotlighted these remarks. As I write these words, my membership renewal notice from the NRA is on my desk.
I’d like to explain why I intend extending my membership. Of course, there is no amorphous blob “THE NRA.” It is a membership organization that represents millions of Americans. We are hunters and non-hunters, old and young, male and female, and made up of individuals belonging to many religions, colors, ethnicities and backgrounds.
Here’s the salient point: Leftist media and the Democrat candidates on those stages present a picture of a spectrum with kind, loving people who intelligently support gun control on one end. In this mistaken view, the opposing side must be made up of cruel, hateful and stupid people who support the NRA. (Alternatively, and since casting millions of Americans as Deplorable didn’t seem to work so well last election cycle, they present the NRA as if it has a life of its own, rather like Athena who sprouted full-grown from Zeus’ head.)
As I see it, the real-life citizens who advocate for and against increased gun control legislation are not actually far apart. Overwhelmingly, most of them are good and loving people who mourn innocent victims of violence (gun-related or not) and who want citizens to walk the streets, shop and sleep in safety. They want that safety to exist within a free society rather than under a tyrannical police state. The difference is only on how to achieve that wholesome and safe society. If politicians were truly interested in reducing gun deaths more than they are invested in growing their own power, the concerns on both sides could be addressed. Nothing people can do can make life 100% safe, but we could do better. Demonizing the NRA may send a thrill down the leg of Democrat primary voters, but it does nothing to make lives safer.
A search for NRA or guns on the home Musings page will show how many times I’ve written on this subject. I don’t have anything new to say. The tragedies are increasing as the responses to these events remain manipulative, sophomoric and ineffectual. We have long passed the point of being able to discuss difficult and complex issues in this country in an intelligent and honest way. I’m not the only person who dismisses out of hand most of what appears in news reports knowing, based on evidence, that bias outweighs fact. Sadly, many of the politicians and media self-servingly responding histrionically to these events perpetuate a divide that mitigates against wise and prudent action.
My tears and prayers are with those who are mourning this week. They are individuals who deserve better than being used dispassionately by self-aggrandizers seeking to lump these mourners together as a bludgeon with which to advance their own beliefs.
31 thoughts on “Nothing Positive on the Horizon”
I truly find it hard to follow your train of thought. You simply have to look to the continent of Australia, where our niece and her family live, for an example of how a society can significantly drop both its crime rate and gun-related deaths by removing guns from the general population and making them legal to a very limited few . I believe that the minimum wage of $23/hr, no tipping, and 12mos of guaranteed maternity leave also contribute to a happier society – but our niece feels safe anywhere in her country (except the ocean!) The same can’t be said of the country we live in.
Countries actually do have very different cultures and it is incredibly difficult to extrapolate from one culture to another. As many European countries have found to their detriment, bringing in huge numbers of people who do not share the values of the host country causes tremendous problems as well. I am not familiar with Australia, but I would be just as wary of assuming that the data you mention could be transplanted elsewhere with the same results as I would be at taking pieces from another family’s culture and adding them to our family routine without recognizing what differences there are between the two families. We can definitely learn from one another, but there has to be a widespread, far-reaching and honest conversation before thinking that picking and choosing specific features and transplanting them will yield similar results. Glad your niece enjoys where she lives.
Great post Susan. I appreciate your intellectual perspective of events rather than emotional. Perhaps Mr. Brittan believes everyone in the world should be like his state but is quick to forget it was English tyranny that caused the colonies to dissolve the bond that connected America with Britain. It is this same tyranny that threatens America today that makes gun control the volatile touch point it is.
Statistically, America ranks among the safer nations of the world and perhaps a happier people when measured in terms of suicide per capita. For a truly honest analysis of gun violence in America, one only need to research FBI homicide data to see where the issues lie.
Ben Franklin said the if you become sheep, the wolves will eat you. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot and other despots made their people into sheep and slaughtered them.
We have the usual argument of why you “need” a certain type of gun. They are tools just like the ones in my garage. Each is different. They are just as deadly as any gun if misused.
The media has always glorified people who commit murder to publicize their views. They get their fifteen minutes of fame and the politicians get another soap box.
Right on. My views are a match for you and your previous commentors so I won’t bore you with them. I would like to relate an incident that supposedly happened in our area. A mother and her young daughter were driving along a back country road when three men tried to car jack them. But in her words “they had a crow bar, I had a gun”.
Keep up the good work,
A quick pop onto the site to say the (happy) family tidings has me in charge of a bunch of grandchildren, so I am not able to respond to the comments as I like to do. Wishing you all a blessed weekend.
WELL done, Susan!! So glad you are wise and can see what the real deal is. Bless you and the Rabbi!! My husband watches you every day, and I do when I can!!
We love hearing from people who watch our Ancient Jewish Wisdom tv show http://www.tct.tv/watch-tct/on-demand-ajw
Thank you for voicing what the majority of us are thinking. Our family agrees wholeheartedly.
Tell me now when is the end coming and who is Israel?
Hi. I’m British and we are not allowed to have guns unless for a very good reason – hunting – which very few of us do. Our police are also unarmed, for which I’m grateful in view of the number of innocent people killed by police in the USA. I understand that the right to bear arms is part of USA law, but I fail to see how an ordinary citizen could have need of aa automatic or semi-automatic weapon, both of which are capable of doing the damage we regularly hear about in your news. It makes sense that these kinds of weapons should be totally banned to the general public. And unless the media/Hollywood/tv etc stop glorifying murder by including gratuitous violence, there will be many more disturbed minds waiting in the wings for their opportunity to do what we’ve seen this week. And my prayer is that of Jesus, when he taught us to pray – “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…”
Automatic weapons have not been available in the United States for about eighty years. Also, Michael Brown of Ferguson fame was no innocent citizen. Pres Obama’s justice department found that he had assaulted the police officer. Very few innocent people get shot by police. It has happened but this is a nation of 330 million people and if only a tiny percentage are mentally unstable, that is a lot of dangerous people. But the main reason why banning guns is not the answer I provide in the current podcast. I hope you might invest a few minutes in hearing it right here: http://rabbidaniellapin.libsyn.com/dealing-with-death-deny-it-defeat-it-transcend-it-how-to-build-your-own-culture-of-life
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia recently recalled his poignant observations about gun violence he first made in 2013. Powerful and right on point. The problem isn’t an inanimate object it’s the wretched fruit of our culture. “…Only a fool can believe that ‘gun control’ will solve the problem of mass violence,” he wrote in his weekly column, which was posted on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s website, CatholicPhilly.com, and his Facebook page.
Archbishop Chaput further wrote: “The people using the guns in these loathsome incidents are moral agents with twisted hearts. And the twisting is done by the culture of sexual anarchy, personal excess, political hatreds, intellectual dishonesty, and perverted freedoms that we’ve systemically created over the past half-century.”
Well said, Archbishop!
Susan I whole heatedly agree with you and I’m at a loss for words when it comes to these situations. We have a serious problem in our country and we have no true leadership to get us through it. I have always believed that the leaders we choose reflect who we are as a society. If I’m right we are in a very sad place. America needs to do a lot of soul searching. Thank you for your insights. Stay strong in what you believe and pray for Godly leaders. God is still in control.
“Demonizing the NRA may send a thrill down the leg of Democrat primary voters, but it does nothing to make lives safer.” Well said.
Agreed. Hugs to You Susan
Despotic Governments exist by exerting all possible control over their populations. History is riddled with examples of the tragedy that happens when governments take the people’s rights to own and carry guns. It never ends well. Thus, our forefathers knew this and placed the second amendment to our constitution so the the people can protect themselves from government! We must never allow them to succeed in their efforts.
Howdy my FAVORITE Rabbi’s WIFE
Just to bring civilized conversations about gun control, have you ever studied ‘Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership’? I have on the back of my truck ‘Gun Control is not Kosher’. This organization goes much deeper about the insanities we will face with another Hitler, Lenin/Stalin, Fidel, Pol Pot, Mao, Edi Amine (OH he was just hungry). In conversations with people a little darker than me(Blacks) I will ask them to ask parents or grandparents about Jim Crow Laws(Yes, I live in the Deep South). Then I show them why Blacks were not allowed to own guns-When that group of ‘Crackers’ came to hang them or rape their daughters or wives they could not protect themselves.
Thanks again for ‘True GRIT’…..
I am an almost 60 year old retired Police Officer. When I graduated from High School I could have never imagined our country and world would be like this! Each day the left wing makes more outrageous false claims and millions of gullible people believe every word. Our country had become the very thing our ancestors fled from in the 1700s! I miss my job and fellow Officers but it is not a good occupation to be in any longer. I ask all your readers to pray for America and the world. There can be no doubt we are in the End Times!
Thank you, Susan, for once again explaining this viewpoint. I fear our younger generation has not been exposed to this logic enough, and brainwashed/indoctrinated to the point of forgoing God-given and constitutional liberties in the name of safety. (You remain one of our favorite writers, and we read everything, though we don’t comment every time. Blessings to you and the Rabbi!)
Thank you Susan for your words of reason.
Thanks for this memo. It’s always reassuring to hear leaders I respect, such as the Lapins’, give intellectual voice to the very feelings I have but lack such a platform.
Susan — I so appreciate yours and Rabbi Lapin’s truth and honesty. It is so refreshing as our country’s media paints a dark and dreary picture of anything they do not agree with. Thank you so much for all you do and all you stand for. God bless you both! Shalom.
Sheri, I am absolutely ready to have an open discussion on gun control, but not when it is isolated as a lone cause. The discussion would have to cover a range of things including drugs (including marijuana), mental illness, the destruction of the traditional family, abortion and the anti-Christian march of the past few decades among other things.
Such a sad truth, Leslie.
Once again, Susan, you are a brave one to say the least. I appreciate you trying to bring a solid word of peace to a vitriolic subject. It is hard to believe that there are many ready to overturn one of the original 10 amendments. I think this horrendous mess will only be solved by the one Isaiah declared as the “Prince of Peace.”
Dennis, I admit to being slightly nervous about being open with my thoughts, but silence is how people are kept under control.
Very well said. I agree wholeheartedly. It is well past time for the silent majority to put these dangerous clowns in their place before they create an environment where it will no longer be possible.
I do think more people are speaking up, Ric, and also recognizing that sources that used to be considered trustworthy no longer are.
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