Tag Archives: NRA

Assault weapons have their place, but …

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This picture showed up overnight on my Facebook news feed and by golly it pretty much sums up what I believe about assault weapons.

They have their place. They belong in the hands of fighting men and women who are in battle against enemies of the state. They are built to kill lots of people in rapid fashion. Should our military personnel carry them? Abso(freakin’)lutely, man!

What role does a weapon that packs dozens of rounds of ammo have in civilized civilian society? None. Zero. They are used too often by lunatics to kill innocent human beings in fits of rage.

So it is that this debate has been joined once again in the wake of the Indianapolis massacre at the FedEx facility. Eight people died in that mayhem before the lunatic shooter killed himself with the weapon he used against his victims.

Gun-rights enthusiasts/fanatics continue to harp on the notion that the Second Amendment guarantees their right to own whatever weapon they want to own. Even those that carry high-capacity magazines that the weapon can empty in seconds. For what purpose?

As the sign I posted with this blog item declares, it ain’t to kill lots of critters in the forest. Their intent is to kill human beings in short order.

I’ll be clear on this point: We shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for Congress to exhibit any semblance of sanity by banning these weapons. Nor should we expect any sign of courage among those who are willing to stand strongly against the gun lobby that keeps lying about what the Second Amendment allows.

POTUS cuts his losses

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Believe this or not, but it appears that President Biden is taking the path of least resistance as he issues executive orders aimed at reducing gun violence in this country.

Biden signed off on orders today that ban what they call “ghost guns” and employ stricter background checks for those wishing to purchase a firearm.

What are ghost guns? Take a look at this link:

Ghost guns: Here’s what they are – CNNPolitics

The least resistance part? The gun lobby already detests Biden. The lobbyists detest even more any effort to enact legislative remedies to gun violence, contending that the Second Amendment is sacrosanct and cannot be monkeyed with in any form or fashion.

Indeed, nimrods such as 13th Texas Congressional District Rep. Ronny Jackson, tweet things like this: It’s your Constitutional RIGHT to own a firearm! We can’t allow Democrats to take that away! No one is talking about taking guns away from those who won’t use ’em to kill other human beings.

Meanwhile, general public opinion happens to be on the president’s side. Most Americans favor some stricter rules while also supporting the Constitution’s Second Amendment.

Is this executive action legal? My gut tells me that a president with extensive legislative and federal executive government experience already has done his homework. He knows the lines he cannot cross. President Biden isn’t about to be derailed because he made a mistake in performing his duties to protect us.

Hope for gun reform looks dim and grim

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The twin massacres in Atlanta and Boulder filled me with a fleeting hope that we might be able to get some gun control legislation shoved through Congress.

Then reality set in. That was when I realized that after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School when 20 first- and second-graders along with six teachers were gunned down by the lunatic with an assault rifle wouldn’t spawn some relief, then nothing would.

The Atlanta massacre involved a hate crime against Asian-American women. The Boulder massacre involved a loon who walked into a grocery store and opened fire.

It scares me at this moment to think that even shopping for milk and eggs at a grocery store now has become a hazardous endeavor.

Would those two massacres, along with, say, the Sandy Hook carnage or the tragedy that occurred at the church in Charleston, S.C., bring some relief? One would hope so. One might even believe so.

It didn’t happen. Indeed, after the Sandy Hook shooting, President Obama stood, with tears in his eyes, and implored Congress to act. It refused to stand up to the gun lobby, forcing the president to call it the darkest moment of his time in office.

I will say it repeatedly that I believe there exists a legislative solution that does not endanger the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The task, though, is to find lawmakers with the courage to stand up against the zealots.

Can we debate like grownups?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

We have begun to debate — once again — the issue of guns, the Second Amendment and whether we can find a way to stop the madness of gun violence.

I’ll have to acknowledge that it hasn’t started off well. Republicans in the Senate, namely Ted Cruz of Texas, already have begun demagoguing the matter into insanity.

In a span of a little more than a week, shooters opened fire in Atlanta and Boulder, Colo. Eighteen people died in both massacres. The suspects are in custody and have been charged with multiple counts of murder. I feel confident that justice will do its work with regard to these two individuals.

What gives me concern is whether Congress, President Biden and all the political interests involved in this matter will allow the debate to proceed without scare tactics, lies, and demagoguery.

As I have noted already, the first signals don’t bode well.

I believe firmly that there must be a legislative — or an executive — solution to the issue of restricting gun sales without infringing on the Second Amendment guarantee of firearm ownership. Ted Cruz seems to think that any effort to enact those restrictions inhibits “law-abiding citizens” from owning a gun. That, as I see it, is a preposterous notion, because citizens who obey the law would have zero cause for worry.

Cruz then went after Democrats for chastising those whose only solution is to offer “thoughts and prayers,” suggesting that Democrats belong to some sort of Godless organization. Ridiculous.

I want to hear from constitutional scholars — from both sides of the great divide — who can tell us whether there exists a legislative solution that (a) limits the ability of nut jobs to purchase a gun and (b) doesn’t violate the Second Amendment’s constitutional guarantee that allows us to “keep and bear arms.”

I also want to stipulate that I do not have any solutions to this quandary. I know, though, that this great country is full of learned men and women who can produce a remedy to what I consider one of this nation’s existential threats.

Gun violence has turned damn near every venue that we all enter — churches, grocery stores, schools, playgrounds — into potential killing grounds. It has to stop!

Cruz misfires once more

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Leave it to the Cruz Missile to blast his way into raw demagoguery.

Sen. Ted Cruz was just so darn angry at Democrats because, in the wake of the Boulder, Colo., and Atlanta massacres, they seek to limit wackos’ ability to purchase firearms.

He said those attempts are just another effort to make it harder for “law-abiding citizens” to “keep and bear arms” as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Which begs the obvious question: If a citizen obeys and abides by all the laws, then what in the hell is the problem?

According to the Boston Globe:

“But what they propose, not only does it not reduce crime, it makes it worse. The jurisdictions in this country with the strictest gun control have among the highest rates of crime and murder,” Cruz said, reiterating a false talking point peddled by gun rights groups including the National Rifle Association.

In fact, research completed on the subject thus far points to the opposite conclusion. One study, led by Boston University School of Public Health researcher Michael Siegel, found that “states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.”

Cruz accuses Democrats of playing ‘political theater’ for proposing gun safety measures ‘every time there’s a shooting’ (msn.com)

Cruz, a Texas Republican, is among the many congressional GOPers who cannot bring themselves to buck gun lobby that opposes efforts to legislate remedies to the gun violence that kills tens of thousands of Americans every year.

What we have on our hands is a uniquely American problem, given the way our Constitution has been perverted at times by those who believe that bearing arms means we should be able to own any weapon we desire.

Is this the moment for action?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Barack Obama wiped away tears while talking to the nation about the massacre of 20 first- and second-graders and six of their teachers in Newtown, Conn.; he implored Congress to toughen gun laws.

It didn’t act.

Donald Trump took office right after Obama and vowed to end “this American carnage.” It didn’t end during his term in office. He had opportunities to demand action from Congress, but he never took the bait.

Now it is Joe Biden who is facing the dilemma of what to do about the continuing senselessness of random gun violence. So it goes and so it will continue to go, more than likely.

In the span of a little more than a week, eight people died in Georgia at the hands of a gunman and then 10 more died from a shooter’s evil intent in Colorado. The first tragedy appears to be inspired by hate of Asians and of women. The motivation behind the second incident is still a bit murky.

What in  the name of righteous indignation happens now?

My hunch? Probably not a damn thing!

The National Rifle Association has sunk its claws deeply into the hides of many members of Congress, where laws could be created  that might be able to stem the “carnage” that Trump vowed to eradicate. The NRA stands firm on this preposterous notion that any law somehow would deprive “law-abiding citizens” of their constitutional right to “keep and bear arms.”

I will not let go of the notion that there is a legislative remedy out there that can be enacted. I want Congress to act. I am tired of the inattention to a solution that well might put an end — finally! — to the heartache that has spilled over yet again.

Time to act … again!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden said the following today while commenting on the Boulder. Colo., massacre that left 10 people dead, including a police officer who rushed to the scene when the shooting started.

“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common sense steps that will save lives in the future and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act,” Biden said in remarks at the White House following Monday’s shooting. “We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again. I got that done when I was a senator. … We should do it again.”

OK. Do you think it will happen? Do you believe that lawmakers who snuggle up to the gun lobby are going to do the right thing?

Neither do I.

Which makes this latest plea for sane gun-control laws yet another exercise in extreme futility in this most recent moment of misery.

As The Hill reported: Biden called on the Senate to “immediately pass” two House-passed bills that would expand background checks for firearm sales, noting that both passed the Democrat-controlled lower chamber with some Republican support. One of the bills would close the so-called Charleston loophole by extending the initial background check review period from three to 10 days. The bill is linked to the 2015 shooting in Charleston, S.C., in which a white supremacist killed nine Black Americans at the Mother Emanuel AME Church.

Biden urges Congress to pass assault weapon ban | TheHill

Republican senators are likely to filibuster any effort at meaningful reform. It takes 60 votes to break the filibuster; that means a 50-50 Senate requires 10 GOP senators to cross over. They won’t do it.

I am beyond weary listening to gun lobbyists declare that any effort to strength gun laws somehow masks some nefarious plot to disarm Americans. I long have maintained that there must be a legislative solution that remains faithful to the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which allows citizens to “keep and bear arms.”

I am not alone in this belief. Sadly and tragically, the gun lobby with its big money and its bullying strategy continues to keep these remedies off the books. The result is inevitable: More Americans are going to die the way those 10 victims perished in Boulder.

Shameful.

Abbott welcomes crooked company to Texas?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Gov. Greg Abbott just couldn’t contain his joy at learning that the National Rifle Association has announced plans to relocate to Texas.

Why, Texas “safeguards the Second Amendment,” the governor proclaimed after the bankruptcy-bound gun rights group made its announcement.

Hold on, governor. The NRA’s decision to relocate to some still-undisclosed Texas location doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the Second Amendment. It has everything to do with allegations that the NRA’s top echelon has mismanaged donors’ money, spending it on lavish vacations and other perks that have no relation to the company’s corporate message.

Pardon the pun, but Gov. Abbott has missed the mark badly by throwing out the welcome mat to an organization that has been accused of being crooked to the core.

As Politico reports: The announcement came months after New York’s attorney general sued the organization over claims that top executives illegally diverted tens of millions of dollars for lavish personal trips, no-show contracts for associates and other questionable expenditures.

NRA declares bankruptcy, plans to incorporate in Texas – POLITICO

Suppose the New York AG’s investigation proves that the NRA is guilty of what’s been alleged. Is that the kind of company that Gov. Abbott wants doing business in Texas? Really … governor?

Don’t misunderstand me on this point. I consider the NRA to be populated by demagogues at its highest level. These individuals have bullied politicians for decades into keeping their hands off any legislative remedies to the gun violence plague that continues to kill innocent Americans. The NRA contends that anything — any law at all — would usurp the Second Amendment’s guarantee that Americans should be able to “keep and bear arms.”

I, too, support the Second Amendment. I also believe it can be preserved while Congress can enact laws that make it impossible for lunatics to acquire firearms.

As for the NRA’s decision to bring its alleged corruption to Texas, well … no thanks.

Don’t let NRA bully you, Lt. Gov. Patrick

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is baiting the National Rifle Association with a proposal that makes perfect sense.

The Republican politician is standing behind an idea that would require background checks any purchase of a firearm in what is being called a “stranger-to-stranger transaction.”

The NRA doesn’t like it. One gun lobby official called it a “political gambit.”

My hunch is that the NRA is going to apply maximum pressure on Patrick if he continues to push on this baby-step notion that seeks to make it just a bit more difficult for individuals to buy a firearm from someone they do not know. Indeed, Patrick is likely fueled by the carnage that erupted in El Paso and Odessa, where 29 people died in slaughters in those two West Texas cities.

I appreciate some of the concerns about this matter, such as … how do you enforce it? Still, it seems to make sense to me.

The question for me at this moment, though, is whether Lt. Gov. Patrick — who presides over the Texas Senate — has the courage to stand up against the kind of political pressure the NRA is capable of applying.

I don’t generally support Dan Patrick. I don’t know him personally. I only know of him through his occasional strong-arming of Texas senators.

On this matter, I stand with him. I hope, therefore, he stands firm against the National Rifle Association.

What? Lt. Gov. Patrick and NRA locked in a feud?

Hell must have frozen over during the night. Or … the sun rose in the west. Or …  something else totally out of the ordinary occurred.

I see that Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the National Rifle Association are supposedly feuding because Patrick has planted himself in favor of background checks on firearms transactions conducted between strangers.

That isn’t exactly a revolutionary notion. However, it marks at least a slight crack in the Texas Republican Party’s snuggly relationship with the NRA.

The nation’s premier gun owner lobby calls Lt. Gov. Patrick’s idea a “political gambit.” It says he seeks to “resurrect the same broken” policies pushed by the Obama administration.

The Texas Tribune reports: “In Texas, person-to-person sales of firearms do not require background checks, but after two mass shootings in Texas in less than a month — in El Paso and Midland-Odessa — the lieutenant governor has openly supported closing the supposed loophole. President Donald Trump also has endorsed the idea.” 

I need someone to explain to me why this is a bad idea. It isn’t, as far as I am concerned. It’s a small step. However, it might help prevent some idiot/moron/madman in the future from delivering the kind of misery that the two shooters delivered in El Paso and the Permian Basin. Not to mention what has happened over many decades in countless other communities across this nation.

Will the lieutenant governor stand firm? Will he be able to persuade Gov. Greg Abbott to join him in his feud? Or how about the GOP-controlled Texas Legislature, which sadly contains too many pro-NRA fanatics who are digging in against any measures to toughen gun purchases in the state?

Hold your ground, Lt. Gov. Patrick.