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Saddened and Angered by the Newtown Tragedy?: Join Me in a Simple Act

Over the years of writing this blog, I have resisted as much as possible the temptation to use this forum as a means of promoting my political views. But the mass shooting at the elementary school in Newtown, CT last week is a tipping point. My sadness for the families of the victims in this tragedy and my anger over a political climate where our country’s leaders cannot so much as hint at discussing gun control without fear that the National Rifle Association (NRA) will organize heavily against them forces me into action.

I am not going to use my blog to address specific arguments about gun control laws; it is my hope that such a discussion will take place in other, more appropriate, media outlets. But I am tired of the seemingly unfettered power of the NRA and how its logically fallacious “slippery slope” arguments have effectively limited political speech and discussion of gun regulation.

If you, like me, are angered by our current political environment–where both mass shootings and daily killings appear to be repeatedly tolerated in the absence of sensible debate over meaningful steps that we can take to limit such senseless gun violence–please consider following my lead. A one-year membership in the NRA costs $35.00, and a “Junior Membership” costs $15.00. In my humble attempt to provide an antidote to this powerful lobbying organization, I am donating the equivalent cost of a one-year membership to the NRA to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence for myself and for each of my family members.

BradyCampaign

One hundred percent of the money donated to the Brady Campaign goes towards passing gun control legislation (consequently, the money is not tax deductible). But $3.75 of NRA membership dues goes towards a subscription to a magazine put out by the organization; Junior Members receive a special subscription to a magazine called Insights, which is specifically written for those under the age of 15. In addition, NRA members receive an “official NRA members-only Shooter’s cap,” as well as an NRA decal. So I figure that because the Brady Campaign does not offer similar “perks” for supporting its lobbying efforts, the money I donate will have a proportionally greater influence on politicians than would a regular NRA membership.

My contribution is modest, but if more people join me in this simple act and encourage others to do the same, perhaps we can have an impact on changing gun laws so that all our families can live in a safer world. Please donate an “NRA equivalent membership” ($35.00 or $15.00) either to the Brady Campaign or to some other worthy organization interested in spurring debate on, or advocating for, gun control laws. The shootings in Newtown, CT and elsewhere demand action, or, at the very least, meaningful debate. Do not, like I have until now, sit on the sidelines and allow the NRA to set our country’s gun control agenda while more tragedies involving guns occur every day.

4 Comments

  1. Jeff Smith wrote:

    I follow the original concept our founding fathers set up for us. Far more important than worrying about the NRA are the reasons we have the Second Amendment. We already have many laws regulating firearms, but the goal of government is to ban them outright. Our government has changed dramatically over the last 25-years. We have far less civil and economic liberties than ever before. Democrats and Republicans are the cause of our ills so there is little hope for liberty. One of the main reasons for the Second Amendment was for the people to protect themselves from their own government. As we lose our rights, so too do we lose our ability to protect ourselves.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  2. Lise from Maine wrote:

    Hi!

    If the government has the delegation of authority to ban one kind of gun, then it can ban all of them.

    The general government nor the 50 States has the authority to ban any guns. They were NEVER given that authority under the constitutions.

    Thank you!

    Monday, January 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink
  3. Patrick Morris wrote:

    I joined the NRA and another gun lobby the RMGO in response to the shootings. The Newtown massacre was a tiny blip on the radar in terms of child deaths in America. A far more worthy cause would be the fight against drunk driving and aggressive driving, as well as the fight against child abuse in all it’s forms. Our right to keep and bear came on the heels of hard won independence and the fight against tyranny. That fight is never ending, and the first steps toward tyranny are the disarming of the people.

    I actually came to use your data for a pro-gun rally in my state, showing that crime in all its forms has been part of all societies, in very similar per capita numbers throughout time. It’s a real shame you have perverted a fine website with anti-gun rhetoric.

    Respectfully,
    Patrick

    Monday, February 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink
  4. Hi Patrick,

    I respect your opinion, and I agree that we can also focus on drunk driving, aggressive driving, and child abuse. But supporting one worthy cause does not negate others, and while the Newtown massacre may be a “tiny blip” in relation to child deaths, statistics show that guns are responsible for a far-too high percentage of childhood deaths on an everyday basis.

    I would also correct your position that “crime in all its forms has been part of all societies, in very similar per capita numbers throughout time.” This assertion simply is not true. While “crime” as a large category may always be a factor into societies, the specific crimes that people commit and what is considered criminal varies over time. Murder rates, for example, have gone up and down dramatically in our country’s history (sees “American Homicide” by Randolph Roth), and from WWII to the present, our murder rate has four times higher than any other industrialized country.

    And finally, my point in writing the article was to try to counteract the NRA’s attempt to silence dialogue on this important issue. One of the freedoms that our country’s ancestors also fought for was freedom of speech, and when an organization is powerful enough to silence and put an end to basic research on gun violence because it does not like the results that were coming from that research, then that organization has too much power. Our country should engage in dialogue on this issue, just like we are doing now, and have access to facts and statistics to support our various positions. I do hope, though, that you continue to visit my website and use its content, even we disagree on this particular issue.

    Sincerely,
    Anthony Vaver

    Monday, February 11, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

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