Reaganomics, without a doubt, was the beginning of the end of the American middle class, where one patriarchal income could actually support an entire family. A decent factory job could enable a man to raise a family while the wife helped raise the children and groom them for an eventual college education. Women, though paid less, are now forced to work. The jump in working women has been especially prominent among those who are mothers — from 37 percent in 1968 to 65 percent in 2011. If men were always the sole breadwinners and now rely on women to help a family to simply survive, a seldom-discussed consequence of this is emasculation and resentment of women. Misogyny, known best by the label “Feminazis” (thanks Rush) has made many men turn to violence through guns, but not always against women. Guns are a substitute for the emasculation of their earning power.
Right in the heyday of Morning In America, 1982, Senator Orrin Hatch teamed up with the NRA-ILA to make Americans reexamine the 2nd Amendment, which was almost as irrelevant as the Third (the government cannot force citizens to house soldiers in their homes). Hatch’s viewpoint was an insurrectionist interpretation, in which the Second Amendment is thought to allow for a militia of armed citizens to protect themselves against government, not the original framers’ intent of preventing uprisings against the government by the states. Slowly but surely, the conversion of the middle class to the working-poor took its toll on the masculine psyche. There is no question, Reaganomics commenced the hollowing-out of the middle class.
The power and influence of the NRA, even after there was an assassination attempt on the Deity of the Republican party, Ronald Reagan, skyrocketed thanks to the Republican alignment with the gun industry. Gun ownership has always been fairly high for Americans, but the laws regarding gun-control legislation have become less and less popular. Because of insane contributions from the NRA-ILA, gun laws have been relaxed, even though most (78%) Americans are for stricter laws for the acquisition of guns.
If you look at the history of mass shootings in America, coincidentally, the count begins in 1982. Does this irrefutably prove the decline of the middle class causes more gun violence? No, not entirely. But it certainly seems suspicious the reinterpretation of the Second Amendment coincided with the evisceration of the middle class that began under Reagan’s tenure.
Las Vegas is an attractive destination for all sorts of expositions; with its abundance of convention space as well as the shows, gambling and adult entertainment. The weekend of November 2-3, 2013 was no different. This was one of the three Rocky Mountain Gun Shows, held each year in Sin City. Based out of Salt Lake City, held at The Southpoint Hotel, the show attracts a heavily conservative crowd with self-professed Libertarian values. In other words, these are not just gun collectors, these are radically right-wing ‘patriots’ wishing to stockpile weapons and ammunition. After all, President Obama is ushering in the End Times, and what better way to prepare for the battle between good (gun-toting, Republican patriots) and evil (any Democrat or supporter of liberal causes) than to arm oneself to the teeth.
I thought it was a a great opportunity to get a look into the minds of these folks by asking what they thought of the Second Amendment, Obama and guns in general. I wrote down some questions for a friend working at the gun show and, not surprisingly, she found a few folks more than eager to share their opinions on these topics.
Tables and tables of ammunition and powerful weapons fill the ballroom where folks can come and sell their guns and purchase others with only a minimum of scrutiny. The NRA and GOP seem to follow the same playbook, through their magazines, talk radio and internet publications, they provide stock answers to typical questions. I must mention the questions were geared to comply with the mindset of the typical gun show attendee. Here are just a few examples of the marching orders they receive from NRA-sponsored sources. It’s no surprise, these gun shows are a hazard to a functioning society as they legitimize armed insurrection against a democratically elected government.
The first question: I am concerned we are becoming a nation of big government. Are you afraid our gun rights will be revoked?
The government’s mindset is control. (except the government has not passed one new gun-control measure)
The anti-gun groups hated the Bill of Rights (how in the hell could they possibly know that? The guns at the time were muskets and bayonets)
The Second Amendment was designed to keep the government in check. (The Second Amendment reads:“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” This means owning a firearm is designed for the purpose of forming a well-regulated militia. With the help of Utah Senator Orrin Hatch (R), the NRA successfully marketed the second amendment to suit the greed of the gun manufacturers for whom they answer. He helped form the NRA-ILA,
Gun owners often compare gun deaths to other causes of death. They feel baseball bats and cars are valid comparisons to gun deaths.
Since some people have been beaten to death with a baseball bat and many have perished in auto accidents, why don’t we remove the right to use these items as well? Last I checked, there are millions of Americans who play baseball and millions more who somehow manage to drive every day without intentionally running someone over. This is a ridiculous comparison since a firearm is brandished only to render lethal force to harm and/or kill someone.
Next question asked: Why would an average citizen need a semi-automatic weapon?
Naturally, the first response was ‘self-protection.’ A family must protect themselves from home invasions. Because when you want someone dead, they’d better be really, really dead.
The media is giving these weapons a “bad name.” This statement is laden with so much stupid, I don’t know where to begin.
If you want to go hog hunting, you can kill many more hogs in a shorter amount of time. Apparently, wild hogs travel as a family unit, rarely seen in large groups of that would justify 3 rounds a second. If you need a semi-automatic weapon to kill hogs, you must be feeding a large village. Don’t we have supermarkets in America?
Every gun owner needs to have proper training on each gun they own as each gun has unique features. That statement unfortunately omits the thousands of untrained children who find a firearm and accidentally kill or injure someone.
Finally, most folks refer to the Democratic Party as the “Democrat Party,” which is an insult started by Senator Joe McCarthy to make sure they implied the party was anything but democratic. Every gun owner interviewed at this show said they were afraid the “Democrat Party” was interested in grabbing their guns.
It completely blows my mind how people think a Black President hasn’t sparked a resurgence in gun violence. When Right Wing Hate Radio encourages people to forget about calling 911 and try to handle emergency matters on their own or by urging listeners to take up arms against their government, we will most assuredly see an uptick in gun-related homicides. They are pathological psychopaths and they are a danger to society. The acquisition of lethal weapons by an angry, bitter segment of the population surely won’t result in a peaceful, logical society. Simply consider the George Zimmerman types who frequent these gun shows and what they have in their personal arsenal. Hate groups have doubled with the election of President Obama peaking at an all time high in 2012.
There is a false perception in America that there are more gun owners than there actually are. The number of households owning guns has declined from almost 50% in 1973 to just over 32% in 2010.
This misconception that most Americans are proud gun owners just isn’t true. It has helped bolster a political narrative, emboldened the National Rifle Association and left politicians worried about losing elections if they try to do any of the following with regards to guns: increase regulation, increase taxes, restrict sales, legislate in favor of safety and sensibility or ban any particular type of deadly firearm or accessory. The NRA, whose affiliated organizations include the Institute for Legislative Action, the NRA’s lobbying arm, and the NRA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, which provides “a means to raise millions of dollars to fund gun safety and educational projects of benefit to the general public.” Like this group, religious institutes, namely the LDS Cult, enjoy untold savings from their tax-exempt status. So why not partner up and make it doubly tax-free?
I’ve tried to steer clear of dissecting the Mormon political, social and economic culture since the defeat of Willard Romney, but I can’t seem to shake the connection between matters that are egregiously wrong with our society and that cult. Researching the history of the NRA’s rise to power pointed me in an unexpected direction. The perpetrator of this lobbying travesty is none other than Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Ut). Today, the NRA had the audacity to say Congress is “jumping on every tragedy to ban guns.” Not this Senator, he’s been a champion of “gun rights” rather than championing the rights of innocent people to live life without the threat of dying by the hand of a gun-crazed lunatic.
Tracing the ascension of the NRA’s obscenely powerful lobby leads us right to Hatch. This opportunistic Mormon was responsible for authoring the 1982 Senate subcommittee report, “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms.” His partner in crime, NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, asked him what were his objectives in writing this report. He responded:
“There were really two goals, I suppose. First, we wanted a definitive account of the history of the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. For decades – maybe even longer – people had tried to pretend that the Second Amendment was somehow ambiguous, (they did?) that the intent of the Framers, when it comes to this one amendment, was simply unknowable. Of course, it should be noted that most of the people making this argument tended to believe that the meaning of the entire Constitution changes over time. But, with the Second Amendment, they’d been more than willing to simply read it out of the Constitution entirely. Our second goal with the report was to change the dialogue on gun rights. Instead of arguing how far the government could go to keep people from buying guns, we wanted to get people thinking about doing more to facilitate lawful, reasonable gun ownership. I think we were successful on that count as well, though it took a number of years for the debate to be where it is now…..Even into the 1990s, it was fashionable for Democrats to demonize guns and gun owners on all sides. Guns became a scapegoat – and, by extension, those of us who supported the rights of gun owners were also scapegoats.
Leading the charge for the poor, persecuted gun owners is the same man who, earlier in his life, served as a missionary for the LDS Church in the Great Lakes region, and later as a bishop, presiding over a congregation of 600 people.
Utah is leading the charge to arm its citizens. A town proposed mandatory gun ownership for every household in a Utah city. They’ve also topped the list of crazy ideas gone mainstream by trying to arm every single teacher. This is how they respond to Sandy Hook! The National Rifle Association countered with “arm the teachers.” Gun clubs claim hundreds of teachers are applying for free weapons training. Two hundred people showed up for a class in West Valley City, Utah, outside Salt Lake City, on December 27, 2012, for example. Not all of the people who took the course were teachers. But some were, including Carolyn Cain, who teaches special education kids in kindergarten to the 6th grade in Utah County, Utah. Utah County is home to the headquarters, ironically, of the Crossroads Gun Show. How fortuitous for their bottom line!
The LDS Church and the NRA are both profit driven groups, which I’ve certainly ascertained during the presidential campaign. Both are predominantly Republican. Both seem to care little for the poor and defenseless of society. Both facilitate murder and pay not one cent to promulgate their violent agenda.