The Money Behind the Gun Madness

Since the American Right succeeded in reframing the Framers’ “well-regulated militia” context for the Second Amendment, gun madness punctuated by frequent mass slaughters has become the U.S. nightmare. But the real motivation is money, says Michael Winship.

By Michael Winship

This is the way it goes, because this is the way it always goes. First, another horrific spree of violence and mass murder as we saw just last week in Santa Barbara, California, fueled by irrational fury, much of it perpetrated with guns obtained legally in the hands of someone who should never have been allowed one.

Then there’s mourning, the makeshift memorials of flowers and stuffed animals, candlelit processions and vigils, funerals. The families and friends cry out in despair and condemn a society that permits such things. They attack the National Rifle Association for preaching a libertine philosophy of unregulated firearms.

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.

This time, most prominent was Richard Martinez, grief-stricken father of victim Chris Martinez. “Why did Chris die?” he asked. “Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights, what about Chris’ right to live?”

The NRA observes radio silence for a few days, out of respect for the dead, they’ll say, but in reality just keeping a low profile until the coast is clear and they can reemerge with statements from Wayne LaPierre and the like saying that they’re shocked, just shocked by this tragedy but don’t you dare blame it on guns. We might need tighter mental health guidelines but keep away from my right to own my personal weapons of mass destruction and carry them wherever I want.

Noise and promises will be made, some legislation will be introduced and, at the state level at least, maybe even passed. (Since Santa Barbara, a bill is now in the California legislature that would allow restraining orders to keep “people with a potential propensity for violence from buying or owning a gun.” Yet The New York Times reported that while in the year after the Sandy Hook/Newtown killings almost every state passed at least one new gun law, “Nearly two thirds of the new laws ease restrictions and expand the rights of gun owners.”)

And forget about Congress. Although the House did approve some more cash for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System this week, there are no changes in the rules or regulations; any attempt is squelched by the gun lobby. So nothing much happens. Until the next time there’s a killing spree and the maddening cycle begins all over again. It’s like beating our heads against a wall over and over because it feels so good when we stop. Only it never stops. Because we keep letting ourselves be bullied into submission by loudmouths with guns.

As if on cue, here’s Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher of election ’08 fame: “I am sorry you lost your child,” he wrote to the parents of the Santa Barbara dead. “I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now. But: As harsh as this sounds, your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”

Yes, if brave Joe the Plumber had been there last Friday night, he would have shot it out with Elliot Rodger in Santa Barbara, or, more likely, offered to unclog his sink.

And check this out, just a couple of days before the Santa Barbara murders, Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist, went after the pro-gun control group Doctors for America. He wrote, “While doctors know medicine, as a group they don’t have any specialized knowledge of firearms or firearm policy.”

This is rich. First, any doctor who has ever spent any time in an ER and tried to help a gunshot victim who’s bleeding and near death, could be said to have a certain “specialized knowledge of firearms.” Second, the NRA has done its damnedest to prevent doctors and scientists from getting hold of the research necessary to evaluate just how much harm guns are doing.

As Lois Beckett reported in April for the independent, investigative news agency ProPublica, “For nearly 20 years, Congress has pushed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to steer clear of firearms violence research. As gun violence spiked in the early 1990s, the CDC ramped up its funding of firearms violence research. Then, in 1996, it backed off under pressure from Congress and the National Rifle Association. Funding for firearms injury prevention activities dropped from more than $2.7 million in 1995 to barely $100,000 by 2012, according to CDC figures.”

As for FY 2014: $0.

Yes, the Justice Department spent $2 million last year and is offering $1.5 million for gun violence research this year. And the National Institutes of Health have put out a call for new research, although it’s still uncertain how much money is involved. But for the NRA to oppose such work, dismissing it as “propaganda” and describing increased funding as “unethical,” while at the same time saying doctors don’t know enough to judge, is reminiscent of the proverbial kids who murder their parents and then beg for leniency because they’re orphans.

Cox and his associates say the ultimate goal of gun control advocates is “civilian disarmament.” Please. We’ve said it over and over: Go ahead and keep your rifles for hunting and your handguns for target practice and home security, even though, as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence repeatedly reports, “A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used to kill or injure in a domestic homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.”

Just explain why you have a need to possess an arsenal similar to that of an emerging nation-state, and give me a good reason that ultimately doesn’t have to do with insecurity about your manhood.

The NRA, which has the nerve to call itself “America’s longest-standing civil rights organization,” says it’s about freedom. Wrong. The bottom line is that it really is the bottom line: money. The NRA and its gun lobby pals keep the market jumping.

So firearms and ammunition manufacturers, including Remington Outdoor, Smith & Wesson, Sturm Rugar, and Olin (Winchester Ammunition), give the NRA millions. Depending on the company, this includes direct contributions, percentages of sales and sometimes even free NRA memberships with a purchase.

According to a report early last year by Walter Hickey in Business Insider, “Since 2005, the gun industry and its corporate allies have given between $20 million and $52.6 million to it through the NRA Ring of Freedom sponsor program The NRA also made $20.9 million, about 10 percent of its revenue, from selling advertising to industry companies marketing products in its many publications in 2010, according to the IRS Form 990.”

Charlie Pierce, prodigious political blogger over at Esquire magazine put it well: “This is a country at war with itself for profit. This is a country at war with itself because its ruling elite is too cowed, or too well-bribed, or too cowardly to recognize that there are people who are getting rich arming both sides, because the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, so you make sure that it’s easy for the bad guys to get guns in order to make millions selling the guns to the good guys.”

You’ve no doubt heard that this doesn’t happen in countries like Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada where the gun rules are strict and lives are saved. But here the cycle of death, denial, resistance and madness goes on. Leave it to The Onion, the satirical news site, to speak the truth. Its headline, after the heartbreak in Santa Barbara:

“‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”

Michael Winship, senior writer at the policy and advocacy group Demos, is senior writer of the weekly public affairs program, Moyers & Company, airing on public television. Check local airtimes or comment at Follow on Twitter @MichaelWinship.

23 comments for “The Money Behind the Gun Madness

  1. Abe
    June 3, 2014 at 12:45

    I think Mr. Winship has fallen right into the trap of divide-and-conquer.

    The .01%, those wreaking inconceivable doom and suffering all around the world, the ones who reportedly want to reduce the earth’s population of a half-billion who are essentially slaves – they are the ones who manufacture WMD and own virtually all corporations including those who manufacture the smaller firearms that we’re allowed to own.

    And yet, the propaganda always tells us to either take the side of “They want to take our guns away” or “We shouldn’t have such easy access to non-utilitarian guns in the first place.”

    OK, stop a moment. We’ve got a small cadre of Evil Ones who could in a moment’s notice simply nuke us all to kingdom come – or unleash biological or chemical weapons or heaven knows the directed-energy weapons that simply dustify things.

    Who in their right mind thinks that even if every single citizen had a machine gun, we could stop that from happening?

    So this needs to give us pause, to make us realize that, once AGAIN, they’re just pitting us against each other. If they can divide us, it’s SOOOOO much easier to keep us from turning against THEM.

    To sum up: the people (the bankster/corporate-controlled “government”) who supposedly want to take our guns away are the very same people (the bankster/corporate-controlled “government”) who profit by selling us those guns.

    Please, let’s open our eyes to how they control us via propaganda. The liberals are fed “reasoning” that’s easily attacked by the conservatives, and the conservatives are fed “reasoning” that’s easily attacked by the liberals, and we jump right in and do what our controllers then sit back and guffaw about.

    • Kenny
      June 11, 2014 at 09:13

      The best argument you made is that the people should be allowed to own WMD, not just the government.

  2. John Steinsvold
    June 2, 2014 at 00:20

    An Alternative to Capitalism (since we cannot legislate morality)

    Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no alternative”.
    She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

    I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider.
    Please click on the following link. It will take you to my essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published in the OPEDNEWS:

    John Steinsvold

    “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
    Pogo quotation by Walt Kelly.

    • elmerfudzie
      June 2, 2014 at 22:23

      John Steinsvold , your arguments have not been made clear enough. We’ve met the enemy and it is the misuse of lawful incorporation, granted by our state governments. For example; uncorrected and persistent legalistic loop holes
      that defeated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. How can the public be best served by duopolies, price fixing, unrestrained trade and corporations working to form unreasonable concentrations of economic power and thus weaken healthy competition. I include in this nightmare, a recent Supreme Court decision to drop all monetary limitation to politicking and consequently bringing into office, thoroughly bought and paid for presidents, governors, representatives and senators. Failed business models and ethics coupled with a failed Judiciary can spell only one thing, catastrophe! It’s not us PER SE, rather it’s a wayward leadership we entrusted with both our national wealth and power.

      • John Steinsvold
        June 4, 2014 at 19:32

        Our capitalistic system can work wonderfully well if we were all moral; but this simply is not the case! If people have a choice between being honest and economic gain, which do they choose? The answer is obvious. Yes, in our materialistic society, if there is something to be gained by being dishonest, people will be dishonest.
        John Steinsvold

  3. June 1, 2014 at 16:31

    Michael Winship speaks from erroneous assumptions, the first being that he understands what our framers meant It’s tedious how anti-gun-rights people want to revisit this every time they can’t get their way in the courts or popular opinion. Heller got it right and the Constitution is consistent; a militia is an armed citizenry, and it need only be “regulated” (a.k.a. trained to battle readiness) if it is “called up” during an emergency. If you do not have an armed populace, then there is no “militia” to call up in the first place. The last part is unmistakably clear: the right of the people [as in “every individual”] to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    This does NOT absolve people of thier responsibilities, which come with ANY right: your right to freedom of speech doesn’t give you carte blanche to slander, libel or plagiarize. Your right to freedom of religion doesn’t allow practices that infringe on the rights of others — no child or virgin sacrifices, etc. This legal concept — that your rights are absolute, ending only when they infringe on those of another — comes from an even older pagan concept that puts it more concisely: if it harms none, then do what ye will. In short, nothing in the 2nd Amendment allows people to kill with impunity. It didn’t, doesn’t, and never DID create the situation.

    Nor did the NRA. Another thing that Mr. Winship missed is that the NRA is NOT the “gun lobby.” The NSSF and SAAMI are two organizations that lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers in Washington. The NRA represents We The People — gun owners, which comprise about 1/3rd of America — and is a RIGHTS organization in the same way that the ACLU and Planned Parenthood is. (This should’ve been apparent when Planned Parenthood joined the NRA in a lawsuit against McCain-Feingold’s phony “campaign finance reform” bill that aimed to silence political groups. Yet the anti-gun-rights forces have convinced a good many Americans, including the grieving parents, that somehow the NRA has some sort of responsibility. Funny how nobody every blames photographer’s unions for child pornography or the auto club for drunk driving!

    Winship parrots the Brady Campaign’s thoroughly debunked mantra that “a gun in the home is 22 times more likely” nonsense completely SKIPPING the fact that more than half of all annual “gun deaths” per year are suicides and that guns are used between 23 and 80 times more often to SAVE a life than to take one. Like global warming deniers, they overlook the science that shows that those committed to ending their own lives will simply substitute one method for another if one is not available, not to mention the unimpeachable data showing the number of justified uses of firearms. They’ll resort to “politricks,” showing the annual statistic of “justified homicides” without telling you that some 84% of people shot survive the experience, so for every homicide, there are more than 80 who were justifiably shot that didn’t die. They also ignore the many MORE accounts where simply displaying a gun, or missed shots, sent the bad guys running, ending the confrontation. It can be tough for a fair minded person to divine the truth from these politically motivated groups fighting to “win” at any cost!

    Next, Winship goes on to talk about how much money gun makers earn. Yet compare that to the recall-ridden auto industry and it pales in comparison. As a matter of fact, there are tens of thousands of other industries that are far more profitable than arms manufacturing! This being America, we’ve all got to earn a paycheck. Is anyone angry or discounting what Winship wrote because HE earns a paycheck? And by what authority does he write? Does HE have an agenda?

    The final political sleight-of-hand comes with the inevitable comparisons to other countries, crediting “gun control” with lower shootings. It’s pure trickery, first of all, because those countries never HAD anywhere near the rate of gun ownership per-capita as the U.S. had, even before any laws were passed. In the UK and Australia, bans were implemented in knee-jerk reaction to very high-profile crimes. As a result, tens of thousands lf law-abiding people were deprived of valuable heirlooms, collector’s items and just plain old expensive hardware for pennies on the dollar. Nowhere are you told of the increases in regular violence, where home invaders now know that their intended victims have been disarmed and have neither the means or legal authority to resist them. Many other countries run higher in violence in general, including murder, than the U.S., and many, including that gun-free haven of Japan far exceed our suicide rate!

    The only meaningful comparison might be between the U.S. and Switzerland, where military duty is mandatory and gun ownership is high. Many homes have REAL military assault weapons — NOT the cosmetically similar rifles that have caused such a fake controversy here in the states, but actual select-fire machine guns — as well as a cache of ammunition in case of an emergency. Yet the anti-gun-rights crowd doesn’t like this comparison, because “they have laws” concerning how said munitions and arms are to be used, stored, etc. Overlooked: WE DO, TOO! I find that those who constantly complain about our “lax gun laws” usually have no clue as to what laws are actually on the books! If only they’d take a look, they’d be in for a surprise.

    The fact is that criminals and crazies don’t follow the laws, so one more or TEN more won’t change their behavior. The fact is that violent crime has steadily fallen over the past 25+ years — by fully HALF — while the number of guns in circulation has increased by just over 1/3rd since 2001, rendering the whole idea that “more guns = more crime” assumption invalid. The fact is that when crazy people do crazy things, victims just need to vent and lash out at something, and with the Santa Barbara killer dead by his own hand, his father understandably needs to fight someone — ANYone — to try and make sense of the senseless. This NRA member’s heart DOES feel for him, but my divesting myself of my guns wouldn’t bring him back, would not save a single life and could very well result in the death of myself or my loved ones by leaving us vulnerable. I am NOT atypical of NRA members or gun owners, either; the vast majority of us will never harm anyone unless our lives are threatened. And THAT is the proper use of guns; nowhere in the 2nd Amendment do the words “hunting,” “sporting purposes” or “target practice” occur. I hope this clears up any confusion a bit.

  4. Tobysgirl
    June 1, 2014 at 14:42

    Lots of good points made above. I think it is easy to focus on guns, one reason being that it’s easy to despise the NRA and the gun manufacturers it represents. As long as we talk about guns (or even Big Pharma, and I TOTALLY agree with the comment above), we can avoid looking at our society, which is violent, militaristic, and vicious. One cannot turn on the local TV news for more than five minutes without having the military glorified, and it seems that most people accept the U.S.’s right to do whatever it pleases to whomever it pleases anywhere in the world. With this ethos, how can we be surprised at gun violence within our own nation? We have a sociopathic class of leaders who demonstrate to white males in particular that they are entitled to whatever they can rape and pillage, and then we engage in some ineffectual whining after more murders. If we want to change this culture, we need to begin with demilitarization of the police and demilitarization of our entire society.

  5. Dave
    June 1, 2014 at 02:13

    Oddly… this article discusses financial pennies, and then spins them as Big Gun Money, with not even a mention of where the REAL potential money interests are to be found, related to mass shootings… Big Pharma.

    Every school shooting over the last 20 or so years, has a psychotropic drug component to it, with the exception of 2 or 3… and those 2 or 3 it is not known whether there were SSRI’s involved or not… the records are sealed.

    We have created a society that using the admitted numbers from the medical industry, would suggest each year there are thousands of individual episodes of violence or psychosis, just on the basis of the SSRI meds themselves.

    (“Suicidality, violence and mania caused by selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs): A review and analysis” – International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine 16 (2003/2004) 31–49)

    If we are talking about the Medical Industrial Complex, the numbers of Americans taking SSRI’s, and the multi-decade likelyhood of adverse reaction events… we are talking about the potential loss of many tens of billions of dollars in drug revenue.

    It’s BEST if it’s the guns… NOT the meds… for those who make the money and control the media narrative with their ad dollars and/or portfolios.

    • June 1, 2014 at 13:38

      I agree but thats a little too deep down the rabbit hole for the Consortium to cover. Thier agenda is to attack the second amendment. I do enjoy a lot of what the Consortium produces but they like all other media have an agenda of their own to push.

  6. elmerfudzie
    May 31, 2014 at 22:16

    Today’s “internet cloud kids” are routinely exposed to countless acts of violence, heavily promoted as “entertainment” such as, shoot-em-up games and or movies. Why aren’t the Do Gooders of this world protesting and organizing against these blood letting enterprises! That said; as a nation, the plain truth lies behind Us, in our history as a People. Gun manufacturing and a loosely regulated domestic distribution system of small arms, has little to do with what sort of person (end user) squeezes the trigger. As an example I cite, Switzerland. Their populace, much like the Israelis are duly trained, constantly in possession of and maintain fully loaded, military grade weaponry at all times. Very seldom do we read about crazed militia or senseless murderous acts by gun owning individuals from these culturally unique countries. Be it in the home or in the boot (car trunk), an ongoing vigilance for freedom is maintained-ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS. We, however are indeed unique (the citizens of the USA). More a collection of people from Cains lot than Abel and stand on a history that enshrines those principles of violent self defense, often colorfully portrayed as “circling the wagons” or “keeping the powder dry”. As that great American Actor, Charlton Heston once remarked, and I’m paraphrasing here, they can take my gun from my cold dead hands. This is not so much cultural as it is fundamental to our spirit as Americans and can be traced right into the bone marrow. But why? because the gun, prevented British imperialism from conquering the original American colonies, the gun defeated modern day fascism and without the gun we saw the results. Just imagine how different history would be if every German Jew the Nazi’s attempted to arrest, had a loaded gun in their hands! or if the American Indian managed to gain possession of the Gatling gun and we failed to do so! or if the American Japanese back in 1940 refused internment by door-to-door armed resistance! If there ever was one object to keep in our possession! and it certainly can’t be substituted with our recently and completely shredded constitution, shredded bill of rights, or slick verbal assurances from a bankrupt political system. It’s not a matter of cowardice or heroism, it’s not a matter of obedience to or hate of authority, it’s just the loaded gun alone and behind it, a “Doc Holiday mentality ” willing to organize with similar like minds and use weapons when that fateful day of challenge to our fundamental rights comes forward. This is no time for witticisms or jokes, this subject is a very deadly serious one and sums up the WHY WE ARE ALL STILL FREE TO SPEAK OUT AND PUBLISH. I needn’t remind our CONSORTIUMNEWS readers that technology has advanced at a furious pace, and with it, novel devises for crowd suppression and control such as but not limited to; sound bombs, new area persistent tear gases, computerized facial recognition systems (quite a big step up from the old days of the Chicago Police Red Squad using snap shot cameras back in the late 60’s and early 70’s!) and and and computer storage, memorization and identification, microwave ultrasonic energy distribution systems onto the “rioters” skin surface, ( not a pleasant experience to be sure), ultra low noise vibration weapons (developed by the French Military) , in summary, this is NO TIME to hand over our guns no matter what the reasons or excuses are!

  7. Eddie
    May 31, 2014 at 18:05

    Great article MW – – – all the specious reasons that the gun-nuts offer-up are transparently foolish and selfish, but (like so many other negative things in this country) they’re all underlain and propelled forward by the profiteers that support the NRA.

    • Joseph
      May 31, 2014 at 21:00

      Well, Eddie, merely claiming that those who offer sound arguments against your view have only “specious” arguments is not an argument at all. You need to consider what the sound arguments are in opposition. Maybe you have a good argument against them, but insults will not substitute for reason.

      • Eddie
        June 1, 2014 at 20:37

        I’m not going to bother repeating the numerous, good arguments for gun control — there’s whole books, articles (like MW’s above) and websites that make the SANE, ETHICAL, HISTORICAL case for it. The gun-nuts just argue for a while and then ultimately just say “It’s my right” (which historically the 2nd Amendment was never interpreted to grant individual gun ownership, until the judicial pandering of the Roberts/Scalia court). I’ve wasted my time before doing it but it’s a futile exercise – – – kind of like arguing/debating with anti-evolutionists, Holocaust deniers, climate-change deniers, 9/11 ‘truthers’, etc. After a while, it’s time to call a spade a spade – – – gun nuts are people who value their ‘right’ (sic) to dick-around with guns (target practicing, entertainment-killing known as the ‘sport’ of hunting, and collecting/hoarding like survivalists) above the right to evolve towards a peaceful society.

        • KHawk
          June 12, 2014 at 11:05

          If evidence is the determiner of what is truth or reality, then the 9/11 Truth movement doesn’t fit in your list.

  8. Kent Carlson
    May 31, 2014 at 17:10

    When discussing this subject, too often misrepresentation of what the 2nd Ammendment says is regarded as truth. The problem is in our interpretation of it. There can be many interpretations but only one can be correct, and that must line up with what the meaning of the words were when penned, of which the meaning was singular, flowing from the mind of an individual.


    “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” –George Mason, Speech During Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

    • June 1, 2014 at 13:24

      Interpretation is where you missed the mark. You are purveying the media version i.e. using a talking point. The Supremes have ruled its a personal right to bear arms not one for well organized militias. That ruling comes from the highest court in the United States.

      Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who wrote the opinion for the court’s dominant conservatives, said: “It is clear that the Framers . . . counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.”

  9. Bill Jones
    May 31, 2014 at 14:40

    What sort of buffoon thinks that only agents of the Government; the most vicious, corrupt and murderous organization that man has yet contrived, should be armed?

    • Jim H
      June 5, 2014 at 19:16

      Considering the fact that with one sweep of your hand you have denigrated and slandered millions past and present, many of whom were and are our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, siblings, grandparents, extended family, etc. you are precisely the kind of person who should never be allowed to own or carry a gun. Your comment has the ring of a paranoid, delusional mind. Give us a single reason why we the American people should trust you and people like you to do anything. No doubt you think you are an Uber Patriot but you are not. You are an anarchist who apparently believes that all solutions come from the barrel of a gun, to paraphrase Mao. So take your little gun and continue to play in the woods on the weekends. However should you and those like you ever attempt to overthrow the government, you WILL be crushed like every other group that tried to destroy the union. Of that I promise.

  10. Bill Bodden
    May 31, 2014 at 12:36

    As for the “patriots” who say they need their guns to defend against Tyranny, that is one of the more meretricious pieces of BS that comes out of the pro-gun mouths. Tyranny is on the march with the NSA’s storm-troopers in the lead. Where are those “patriots” defending against Tyranny.

    • lilbear68
      May 31, 2014 at 12:52

      seems a lot showed up at clive bundys ranch for a start.

      • June 1, 2014 at 13:18

        Bill you should keep in mind that we patriots as you sarcastically put it are more dedicated to our beliefs than most religious people are about their version of God. Many of us are highly trained ex military or police. We are responsible citizens and most importantly the kind of people who are willing to take action if necessary. You should think long and hard before you separate yourself from us.

        • m baker
          June 1, 2014 at 17:22

          You so called “patriots” are not protecting anyone from tyranny, except in your delusional mind, and you don’t represent the majority of our country by a large margin. You represent just a very small minority of like minded individuals who fantasize on saving the country from a black president. The fact is, the present administration was elected by the majority of the voters, as has been the case for every president in the past. If one of your militia groups ever started shooting at the authorities, you would very quickly see everyone turn on you since that is not the way this country was formed by our Founding Fathers.

  11. Joseph
    May 31, 2014 at 10:11

    There are some very good points here, but a major issue is ignored.

    Considering only weapons beyond utility for hunting or personal self-defense, the major problem is that the federal government no longer represents the people. The Second Amendment was intended to ensure that the balance of political power resulted from a balance of military power held by the people.

    There would be a far better consensus on reducing that power yet further, if the federal government was not controlled by economic concentrations, which control all of its branches, including the dark state, and the mass media, so that we no longer have a free press or fair elections. We have now an economic tyranny, as abundantly shown in our foreign policy since WWII and our domestic policy since the “Great Society” reforms.

    That needs to be solved long before we propose to give the last bit of civilian power to a government which acts with contempt for the people and contempt for life itself.

    The popularization of this contempt for life by the mass media is also directly responsible for the problem of gun violence. It is an effort to militarize the thinking of the society to generate recruits for imperial wars, and indifference to the needs of people here elsewhere. A standard right wing gambit. Those who oppose the inevitable increase of civilian violence should perhaps focus on reducing the celebration of violence and militarism in the mass media. But they will get nowhere until they address the problem of economic tyranny which controls our pseudo-democracy.

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