Opportunist Trump Meets Fanatical NRA

By accepting the NRA’s presidential endorsement, Donald Trump bought into the gun lobby’s paranoid view of government and its distorted interpretation of the Second Amendment, writes Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

What do opportunists and fanatics have in common? They both chronically exaggerate – the former often to con folks into doing their bidding, and the latter most often because they have already been conned by their own grossly distorted worldview.

There are plenty of both types of people in today’s America, and the uncertain political environment has brought a lot of them out of the woodwork. The recent marriage of convenience of the National Rifle Association (NRA) leadership (fanatics) and Donald Trump (opportunist) is a case in point.

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2011. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2011. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The NRA is one of the country’s most influential advocacy organizations, with a membership of over 3 million. Its worldview, which can be neatly summed up as “freedom equals unrestricted gun ownership,” almost certainly carries weight beyond its membership numbers. In the wilds of places such as Minnesota, Wyoming and Alabama, NRA principles might carry more weight than the Bible.

Wayne LaPierre is the NRA’s executive vice president and Chris Cox is the NRA’s executive director for legislative action. LaPierre and Cox are typical of NRA stalwarts and we can see them as representative of a good percentage of the organization’s members.

On May 20, both men gave speeches before the NRA convention in Kentucky announcing the association’s endorsement of Donald Trump for president. In his speech, Cox spent a lot of time painting a picture of the United States as a place about to lose its “freedoms” if Hillary Clinton gets elected.

Here is how Cox put it: the present political environment in the U.S. is mired in “dishonesty, corruption and contempt for everyday Americans” and the only thing that stands between those “everyday Americans” and “the end of individual freedom in this country” are “gun owners,” who must turn out to vote “in droves this fall.”

Wayne LaPierre painted a similar crisis picture, again emphasizing that it is only the country’s gun owners who stand in the way of catastrophe. Here is how he put it: “We in this room, we are America’s best hope, and this is our moment. In all of history, there’s always been a time and a place when patriots stand up and rise up against the decree of the elites and shout, ‘No more! Get your hands off my freedom!’… That time and place is now. … The revolution to take America back starts here.”

Hillary Clinton was characterized as a “corrupt politician” whose “policies and Supreme Court picks would destroy individual freedoms, and therefore destroy the America we all love.”

According to Cox, Clinton’s vision of the U.S. is a place “where only law enforcement has guns and everything is free: free meals, free health care, free education.” It seems Cox has a real distaste for free access to anything that does not have lethal potential. He likens a society that provides no-cost availability to the items he lists to a prison.

As these sentiments suggest, the NRA’s notion of freedom is harshly reductionist and based on its members’ own idiosyncratic interpretation of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. (That interpretation is discussed below.)

For the NRA, freedom is the right to own and carry a gun of any type. All other freedoms listed in the Bill of Rights are secondary, probably because without the right to own large numbers of assault rifles, the population cannot defend itself against an American government allegedly bent on dictatorship. Assigning such an exaggerated importance to the right to bear any arms is, of course, a gross distortion of the concept of freedom and demonstrates “contempt” for the ability of U.S. society to function based on the rule of law.

The NRA stalwarts live and breathe this exaggeration. There is something pathological going on here, for their obsession with gun ownership has also spun out conspiracy theories about looming oppression. There is here a general inability to analyze, in any reasonable way, the political and social environment around them. In other words, the NRA devotees are fanatics.

The Opportunist

The speeches of LaPierre and Cox laid the groundwork for the introduction of Donald Trump – now the NRA’s endorsed candidate for president. Trump’s appearance at the NRA convention marked his official acceptance of the organization’s exaggerated reductionist position. Actually, it was but a culmination – months before, Trump had discarded his more moderate position and, upon launching his campaign for the presidency, almost immediately adopted the NRA’s stance.

Now on stage at the Kentucky convention, he started off with what has become his characteristic patter for things he finds convenient to endorse: “I love the NRA. I love the Second Amendment.” Then he moved on to, essentially, parrot Cox and LaPierre: “The Second Amendment is under a threat like never before. Crooked Hillary Clinton is the most anti-gun … candidate ever to run for office. And, as I said before, she wants to abolish the Second Amendment. She wants to take your guns away. She wants to abolish it.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in an MSNBC interview.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in an MSNBC interview.

All of this is a mixture of lies and gross exaggeration. In addition, Trump pledged to “get rid of gun-free zones” because that will make us safer. Trump has claimed that if we all went around armed, the death toll during the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris would have been lower. At this point the Huffington Post contacted a number of Trump hotels and found that, lo and behold, most of them remain “gun-free zones.”

The truth is that Trump is an opportunist and a chronic exaggerator. You might say that all politicians fit this bill. However, here we are dealing with a matter of degree, and the key word is “chronic.” Trump’s practice in this regard is habitual and therefore may be pathological as well.

It is to be noted that this habit of persistently stretching the truth to the breaking point does not make Trump a fanatic. In fact, it causes his thinking and rhetoric to be all over the map. He even tells us that he values “unpredictability,” and this means he is often inconsistent as to how and what he exaggerates. It’s an orientation that precludes fanaticism but lends itself naturally to opportunism.

The Second Amendment

As mentioned above, the NRA has its own peculiar interpretation of the Second Amendment. This piece of the U.S. Constitution reads as follows: “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.”

The amendment has two parts, the first part contextualizing the second. The first part reads, “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State.” The term “militia” here is the late 18th Century American way of referring to the military forces of the 13 states then in the process of becoming the United States.

These militias were not private organizations but were controlled by their respective “free State.” That is what “well regulated” meant.

The second part implies that these militias were to be democratically derived, that is, the “People” were to “bear arms” so a “well regulated militia” is possible. In other words, the “right to bear arms” is not open-ended or unregulated. It is tied to the maintenance of a regulated, democratically constituted armed force.

Nonetheless, what the NRA and other gun fanatics do is simply drop the contextualizing first part from their interpretation of the amendment. Having done so they are conveniently left with “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” They put all their emphasis on this second part which, now taken out of context, inevitably distorts the meaning of the Amendment as a whole.

This is the kind of thing that both fanatics and opportunists are good at, and what comes so easily to them – the twisting of a text, and often reality itself, to conform to their point of view.

How long will the marriage of convenience between the opportunist Donald Trump and the fanatics of the NRA last? Well, that is really up to Trump, the self-styled unpredictable one. Fanatics rarely change, but opportunists are always playing the odds.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism.

42 comments for “Opportunist Trump Meets Fanatical NRA

  1. Dennis Merwood
    June 2, 2016 at 04:58

    This reply is to Kiza’s comment posted on June 1, at 10.49pm. For some reason there is no “Reply” tab on his rantings.

    I don’t know why I am wasting my breath, but here goes anyway.

    …”a left-wing neoconservative stooge”. You have got be kidding me Kiza. An Oxymoron. Google it. You can’t be left wing AND a neoconservative. The term “neoconservative” refers to those who made the ideological journey from the anti-Stalinist Left to the camp of American conservatism.

    ..”.Neocons/Ziocons are former Trotskyites”…phew! Even if this is remotely true, what the heck does it have to do with the subject at hand? Nothing?

    ..” gun crime is criminal related” No kidding. I think this is a tautology. The saying of the same thing twice over in different words. And the rant about criminals being mostly black and Hispanic. Just unadulterated racism.

    ….” Take the guns away – only those illegally holding guns (that is criminals: black, Hispanic, white) kill”. I think the idea is to take guns away from those who legally hold guns and kill, as well as those who illegally hold guns and kill. A helluva challenge I will agree.

    The old “I cant wait for the cops to arrive argument” is just lame. Besides, statistic’s show time and again, that if you are armed in a conflict, you are more likely to be shot, and/or killed. Many times with your own gun.

    As for the penultimate paragraph. I think it’s called psychobabble.

    I’m quite sure Kiza, that there are many consortiumnews readers having a good laugh at the rubbish you have posted on this subject as well.

  2. J'hon Doe II
    June 1, 2016 at 17:36
  3. Armed Patriots
    June 1, 2016 at 01:02

    You scumbags are the only ones distorting the meaning of the second amendment and we ALL know it

    • Dennis Merwood
      June 1, 2016 at 03:28

      I know I’m probably wasting my breath with you Armed Patriot, but will post the firearm death statistics here for the edifice of other consortiumnews readers. Although I’m sure they are well aware of them.
      The United States’ firearm-related death rate in 2013 was 10.64 deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants, Canada and Switzerland each have significantly more strict gun ownership laws than in the United States, and have firearm death rates of 2.22 and 2.91 per 100,000 citizens, respectively.
      By comparison Australia, which imposed sweeping gun control laws in response to the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, has a firearm death rate of 0.86 per 100,000.
      The United Kingdom the rate is 0.26.
      Seems to me that it’s not too patriotic to be content with this disastrous situation in the country you profess to love so much!

      • David Smith
        June 1, 2016 at 10:45

        Armed Patriots and his firearms are no threat to you or anybody else. Nearly all “gun violence” is “gangstas” shooting each other. They are young, poor, Black/Hispanic have a criminal record and involved with gangs trafficking crack. Rarely, I have encountered these scum. They are racist, arrogant, willfully stupid, utterly useless. They idioticly stare in a mirror reflecting their rancid gangsta rap delusions oblivious that they are chumps whose sole function is fodder for police/lawyers/courts/prisons.

        • J'hon Doe II
          June 1, 2016 at 17:24

          Your observation has merit in certain spheres,David Smith

          an alternative will be found
          after reading Franz Fanon

          or, Kahlil Gibran

          • David Smith
            June 5, 2016 at 12:17

            I am not racist. “Gangstas” number a few hundred thousand out of tens of millions, one half of one percent certainly does not define a race, I am merely showing that “gun violence” is confined to a miniscule group.

        • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
          June 1, 2016 at 19:06

          I believe you are the Holocaust denier I have seen in the comments. It is no surprise to me that you are trashing blacks and Hispanics.

          First of all, you do know that Hispanics include white Castilians, right? Of course you know – you’re just trying to imply that they’re all not white, but it doesn’t work on anyone with a brain.

          Second of all, you said it yourself – these criminals are acting out of poverty. Yet you imply that it is inherent! You contradicted yourself! Unless you are saying that the poor are inherently criminals. If you are, then you are brain-damaged – most people are descended from serfs – in other words, poor. Are you saying that the overwhelming majority of people are criminals? The crime statistics, while I haven’t seen them surely don’t reflect that?

          Third of all, no one mentioned race. The fact you did and acted as though everyone’s trying to blame white gun-owners for deaths shows you are a white supremacist who’s acting as though whites are persecuted and using race-baiting. You remind me of my pathetic, loser uncle who abuses my grandparents and when he started, said THEY were abusing him. You’re both liars, and you’re both losers.

          Fourth, its true that blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be in prison. But do you have any statistics that back up 75%? Of course you don’t – you are making up fucking lies.

          • Kiza
            June 1, 2016 at 22:49

            And you are a left-wing neoconservative stooge, I have seen in the comments. Neocons/Ziocons are former Trotskyites, so your ideas and lack of knowledge fit nicely into this mold.

            As stated by Mr Smith, most of gun crime is criminal related (mostly black and Hispanic). Whether this is caused by poverty, unequal opportunity etc is not relevant at all to the 2nd Amendment discussion. Take the guns away – only those illegally holding guns (that is criminals: black, Hispanic, white) kill. How is that different than now? Only that those who could be legally holding guns to defend themselves get killed whilst waiting for the police to arrive. This is the essence of the discussion.

            Individuals such as you take a piece of warped statics that suits the story and brandish it around, but when the numbers do not fit the desired story, you switch over to qualitative characterizations, warped stories about causes and consequences and ideological waffle about poverty.

            I am having a good time laughing at your rubbish, similar to your recent waffle on Parry’s story on the MH17 false-flag.

  4. Kiza
    May 31, 2016 at 20:38

    “What do opportunists and fanatics have in common? They both chronically exaggerate”
    And what do all Government agents and academic mercenaries have in common? They chronically manipulate.

    Here is an example from the article:
    “According to Cox, Clinton’s vision of the U.S. is a place “where only law enforcement has guns and everything is free: free meals, free health care, free education.” It seems Cox has a real distaste for free access to anything that does not have lethal potential. He likens a society that provides no-cost availability to the items he lists to a prison.”

    And how did those things become “free” Mr Davidson? Do they come “free” just like your Government salary? Has it ever occurred to you Mr Davidson that what you call free someone had to work hard to have your kind steal his/her labor and call it “free”? As long as your police and your military are the only ones holding guns, I am sure that there would be more and more “free” things in the “society”. This is exactly why your kind wants to take the guns away.

    Did you know Mr Davidson that Communism was always gun-free (only the Government had guns) and there was plenty of “free” things? But most people (free of guns) ultimately realized that getting free things is better than getting things taken away to become free for somebody else. It appears that you envisage something similar for the USA, except that some people (without guns) would be turned into slaves to supply the free-staff army that you aim to be an ideological leader of.

    • Dennis Merwood
      May 31, 2016 at 23:48

      Pokethetruth and Kiza, predictably the same tired old hackneyed arguments recited directly out of the NRA talking point hand outs. Rebutted hundreds of times by rational people when the crazed American gun culture rears its ugly head with the latest mass killing. If you are going to ban guns, then we need to ban automobiles and pharmaceutical drugs. An infantile and laughable argument not even worth responding to. No matter how many statutes, regulations or ordinances government enacts, violent crime will continue to exist. True, but gun deaths can be reduced by limiting the number of guns available to society. Proven in many other civilized societies. Sighting Australia as an example, will immediately spur the gun lobby into a frenzy of pseudo statistics and out right lies to disprove this reality. I bet you this happens right here on consortiumnews, the minute I post my comment.
      And the old communism was gun free song and dance. Also hardly worth responding to. There are many gun free countries that have much more freedom than the good ole US of A. I am visiting one right now. New Zealand. I can walk around any city in New Zealand not having to be worried that I’m going to be shot by some crazy with a handgun. I don’t have to be armed, and worried about the safety of my family. My dream is that my kids and grandkids in the US will in the future be able to have the same freedom when the 2nd amendment is repealed.

      • Kiza
        June 1, 2016 at 02:13

        For such a smart person as you, everything is old and worn out, only your BS is fresh. Such as walking around New Zealand and not worrying about being shot. But I walk around US cities and I am also not worried about being shot, unless I challenge my luck by going into bad neighborhoods. The reason Australia and New Zealand appear safer is only because they give away much more of free stuff, which is the reason why their taxation and social systems are unsustainable. But, we get typical old, worn out, tired arguments from the proponents of taking the guns away about Australia and New Zealand being safe.

        Take the guns away from the ones producing and give away their production as free stuff to those willing to live without guns (and vote for repelling the 2nd amendment) and you get utopia, right?

        • Dennis Merwood
          June 1, 2016 at 03:01

          Kiza, Sadly, Australia and New Zealand do not have unsustainable taxation and social systems. Why am I getting the notion that you don’t have a clue about these two antipodean nations? Have you ever been to Auckland or Sydney? If you had, you would know that these two countries have standards of living highest in the OECD nations. I’m pretty sure their Debt to GDP ratio is not as bad as the US’s. You might want to Google it. While you are on Google research the number of gun deaths per head of population in Chicago versus Auckland and Sydney . Report back to us.
          And what the heck does you last sentence even mean? What does the production of “stuff”, and giving it away free even mean, or have to do with the 2nd amendment? I’ve been in New Zealand 6-weeks now. Have not seen any “stuff” being given away free. What stuff are you talking about? I’m retired. I will go and research this for you. Try to find this free “stuff”.
          And nobody is looking for Utopia here Kiza, just sane gun control Laws that will reduce the, what is it, 30,000+ deaths by firearm, including 20,000+ by suicide, in the US per year. Seems like a worthy goal to me.
          A 1992 case-control study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed an association between household firearm ownership and suicide rates, finding that individuals living in a home where firearms are present are more likely to commit suicide than those individuals who do not own firearms, by a factor of 3 or 4

          • Kiza
            June 1, 2016 at 09:51

            You could really stop making a total fool of yourself with your high-brow, pro-Hillary, brainless preening. Ok, you have been in New Zealand for 6 weeks, great, and now you know everything that there is to know, a typical self-assured US m*ron. Not counting a year or two I spent in the US, I have been in Sydney for only the last 37 years. Discussion finished, you will be ignored due to the huge conflict between your know-it-all attitude and your superficial knowledge of nothing.

        • David Smith
          June 1, 2016 at 10:18

          Suicide is a personal decision. Statistics? Homicide by firearm is 75-93% committed by those with criminal record, nearly all by handguns wielded by Black and Hispanic juvenile/young adults in gang/drug crime, that is scumbags shooting each other.

      • PokeTheTruth
        June 1, 2016 at 12:58

        You refer to the countries of New Zealand and Australia as a comparative statistic to the United States? I didn’t realize you’re an unemployed standup comedian.

        The population of New Zealand is about 4.5 million people and the entire country could easily fit inside the U.S. State of Colorado. It’s form of government is a Unitary Parliament, not a Federal Republic and they still kiss the hand of Elizabeth II, Queen of England. You remember England don’t you? That was the country America declared its independence from in 1776, and the colonists did it with guns, lots of them. New Zealand doesn’t have a codified constitution meaning the government bureaucrats don’t have to comply to a higher authority such as the written U.S. Constitution. They can damn well enact any law to justify the stripping of every natural right of the people if they wanted.

        By the way, New Zealand is not “gun free” as you falsely stated. There are over 237,000 licensed owners of firearms in the country (see: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/new-zealand ).

        The population of Australia is about 24 million people. It’s form of government is a Federal Parliament, not a Federal Republic and they still kiss the hand of Elizabeth II, Queen of England, just like New Zealand. The country has a codified constitution similar to the U.S. Constitution but Australians are considered “subjects” of the Queen and they have no Bill of Rights to protect them from government abuse. The Queen also has constitutional powers to make certain appointments of State. The Australian government can damn well enact any law to justify the stripping of every natural right of the people if they wanted, just like New Zealand.

        Australia is not “gun free” either. There are over 730,000 licensed owners of firearms in the country (see: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/australia ).

        It is evident by your words and those of your delusional followers of anti-firearms is that all of you are afraid of guns. Your fears have no foundation in commonsense. Guns are your only protection from home invasion and from assaults and robbery. Why do you think law enforcement possesses them in their cars and on their persons?

        • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
          June 1, 2016 at 18:54

          He meant that due to better gun laws, gun deaths are lower. He wasn’t saying they’re perfect.

          And if you think Britain is an absolute monarchy, then you are a liar and an idiot making a strawman argument. True, she can dismiss the prime minister of the U.K. But she never uses that power.

          • Kiza
            June 1, 2016 at 22:23

            Oh my God, this place is full of (even naturalized) Americans who have no idea what they are typing about, but they still feverishly type their lack of knowledge. The Queen never used the power to dismiss a Prime Minister in her dominion!?!?!?


            In 1975, the British (and Australian) Queen dismissed the Australian Prime Minister from Labor Party (left-wing), Gough Whitlam and replaced him with a Liberal Party (right-wing) leader Malcolm Fraser.

            Can’t you buggers learn something BEFORE you start shooting your empty brains off.

            Bravo PokeTheTruth, 10 out of 10 for your comment, that was spot on.

          • PokeTheTruth
            June 2, 2016 at 10:35

            My, another keyboard comedian who demonstrates a complete lack of comprehension concerning another person’s comment. Your response shows me your fingers are disconnected from the cement block that sits on your shoulders. You need to reread my post, if you are able.

            Mr. Merwood clearly stated the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be repealed which is my natural right as well as millions of Americans to keep and bear arms. He wants America to be disarmed because of his paranoia about legitimate gun owners. He also wrote New Zealand is one of many “gun free countries” which as I have irrefutably shown, is false.

            I also never wrote Great Britain was an absolute monarchy, how did those two orbs inside that gelatinous mass you call a brain interpret that or do you suffer from dyslexia? My comment was about Australia and my reference to England was about Queen Elizabeth II who has certain authorities as written in Australia’s constitution since it is member of the British Commonwealth.

            Here dummy, I’ll spoon feed the reference for you. I hope it’s not too challenging for that pea that rattles around inside your hollow skull (see: http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/~/link.aspx?_id=956BE242B820434A995B1C05A812D5E1&_z=z#covering_clauses-act_to_extend_to_the_queens_successors ).

        • Dennis Merwood
          June 1, 2016 at 19:15

          Phew, where to start with your rantings, eh?

          ….”The Australian/New Zealand government can damn well enact any law to justify the stripping of every natural right of the people if they wanted”…..

          Firstly, what is a “natural right”. You are delusional if you think that owning a firearm is your “natural right”, even in the US. That right was granted to you by your fellow citizens. Just as in Australia and New Zealand, your right to own a gun in the US could just as easily be taken away. Do you have a natural right to own a Bazooka? Of course you don’t. Your elected government took that right away from you.

          Secondly, Australia and New Zealand have democratic representative governments. They can’t “strip” any body of anything. Accept by passing a Law in the peoples representative Government.

          And by the way, the US Constitution, that you somehow seem to think is a “higher authority”, has been changed seventeen times since its ratification. The change to the Constitution is called an Amendment. The US people could repeal the 2nd Amendment tomorrow. To the everlasting benefit of all society.

          And Pokethetruth, any nation is comparatively “gun free” compared to the United States of America. Google the statistics of gun ownership by country and weep. The United States is awash with guns. That’s a big part of the problem. That’s a huge part of why the United States’ firearm-related death rate is a shocking 10.64 deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants, while Canada’s, Switzerland’s, Australia’s and the UK’s is 2.22, 2.91, 0.86, and 0.26 respectively. And also why living in the US, its just commonsense to have a healthy fear of guns.

          And this is my final comment. If you and your buddies imagine that you, with your puny AR-15’s, are going to resist being taken over by this mythical “tyrannical gubmit”, you are living in a dream world. You would be cut down in the first hail of bullets. Who are you going to shoot? The local sheriff?

          Oh, and one other comment. I am 70-years old. Lived in four States of the US. Have ridden my motorcycle in over twenty countries all over this big wide world. Never ever thought….”jeez, in this situation I need a gun”.

          • PokeTheTruth
            June 2, 2016 at 13:49

            Mr. Merwood, natural rights come from God, not the government.

            The ninth amendment to the U.S. Constitution (i.e., “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”) refers to ALL our natural rights that are not specifically codified. Those “other” rights include: the right to privacy, to own property, to marry, to have children, to freely move about, to be gainfully employed, to wear a style of clothing, to drive an automobile, to own pets, to celebrate birthdays, etc. The purpose of the Constitution is to grant limited powers to the federal government by enumeration, not as is done today by progressive liberal federal judges who legislate from the bench.

            Do you really accept the Supreme Court’s ruling that corporations are “people” or the Internal Revenue Service can tax you for not engaging in commerce? That’s the central government today, recklessly out of control, completely out of touch with the freedoms and liberties of the people they are elected to serve.

            You made reference to the people being denied the right to own a bazooka, a military weapon. Why is that, do you think? It’s not concern for public safety, it isn’t because they’re an impractical weapon for everyday use, e.g., hunting, target practice, personal protection, etc. It’s to protect the politicians and bureaucrats from being overthrown when the citizenry are fed up and have no recourse but armed revolution, that’s the reason.

            When the people have no other legal and legitimate path to freedom, when they are tired of being debt slaves, they will resort to armed conflict. We are seeing that today in many cities and communities where unemployment is high and the people are at their wits end. You think violence won’t happen on a macro scale here in the U.S? Think again, Mr. Merwood and believe me, you’ll wish you had a firearm to protect yourself and your loved ones and property.

            I laughed when you wrote, “They can’t strip any body [sic] of anything.” Yes they can, they can do anything they want as long as the people don’t resist. Somehow you believe, “passing a law” makes it right. Now, it is you who is delusional.

            You are semi-correct when you wrote the Constitution can be changed but it’s been amended 27 times, not 17 and it’s very difficult to enact an Article V. Unfortunately for you and the rest of your paranoid anti-gun faction, the 2nd amendment will NEVER be abolished because if there is an attempt to do so, Washington will come to an abrupt end, I guarantee it.

            You continue to erroneously compare the demographics of the U.S. with other countries which are much smaller in population. You point to gun deaths per 100,000 and scream, “look, see how guns are the problem!” Let’s explore those gun deaths in more detail, shall we?

            The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is the federal agency that captures statistics dealing with fatal injury reports by year (see: http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_us.html ).

            For 2014 we can readily see there were 33,599 firearm related deaths for a population of 318,857,056, which means 1 firearm related death per 9,490 people. It would appear to any rational person that firearm are involved with a lot of deaths, an alarming statistic. What is behind this number?

            21,334 of those deaths were by suicide, 10,945 were homicides, 586 were unintentional, 464 were by law enforcement and 270 were undetermined. The majority of firearm deaths are from people who are killing themselves and 4,864 of all homicide deaths in 2014 did not involve firearms.

            The issue for society is why are so many people taking their own life? That’s the core problem, not the fact they choose to use a firearm which is quick death, no doubt.

            Your last point is truly facetious, “If you and your buddies imagine that you, with your puny AR-15’s, are going to resist being taken over by this mythical “tyrannical gubmit”, you are living in a dream world.”

            It is not a myth, it is a reality you refuse to believe. You cannot comprehend or understand your elected senator or congressmen and their self-appointed bureaucracy does not give a damn about you, your family or your freedoms. Their idea of “keeping you safe” is to take away your natural rights to live free, to awash you and your children with financial debt, to make Americans totally dependent upon them. Slavery did not end in 1866, the title of legal bondage was simply transferred from the plantation owner to the federal government in Washington, DC.

            I’m 69 years old, a veteran of the Vietnam War and 58,000 of my peers died for a government lie. Washington is Satan’s palace on the Potomac but the day will come when he will be sent back to Perdition.

  5. Dennis Merwood
    May 31, 2016 at 19:42

    But David Smith, isn’t that the problem? ….”I have never seen or been remotely connected with any “gun violence” so how is it a problem?”
    Tell the poor mother whose daughter was gunned down by her mentally unstable husband that guns are not a problem. The trouble with firearms is that any disturbed person can easily pull the trigger of a gun in a fit of insanity. And from twenty feet away. It takes real commitment to bludgeon your wife to death with a baseball bat.
    Most of these spouse killers were responsible gun owners until they were not.
    Sorry Dave, but the Second Amendment will be remembered by historians as one of the amendments that proved most detrimental to the great American Experiment. Time it was repealed.

    • PokeTheTruth
      May 31, 2016 at 22:48

      Your specious argument bears you no fruit. Society will always have its criminal tendencies, it is the core nature of human beings to be self-destructive. No matter how many statutes, regulations or ordinances government enacts, violent crime will continue to exist.

      You base your point on a small statistical percentage where firearms are involved in a domestic tragedy. Perhaps society should outlaw pharmaceutical drugs, automobile transportation, chemical pesticides, toxic waste, contaminated drinking water, unhealthy food on grocery shelves that have caused more sickness, injury and death of people than the lawful actions of legitimate gun owners who store, use, maintain and carry their weapons in a safe and responsible manner.

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        June 1, 2016 at 18:46

        That doesn’t change anything. The amount of gun violence in the United States will be significantly reduced if there were stricter gun laws.

    • Armed Patriots
      June 1, 2016 at 01:05

      You can move to Canada sweetheart if our guns make you uncomfortable…rest assured they aren’t going anywhere.

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        June 1, 2016 at 18:49

        Ah, the Internet Tough Guy. I’ve seen some of your kind make YouTube comments. We can presume you are a fat, high-school dropout obsessed with guns.

        Your Canada-bashing, like many U.S conservatives do, reduces your credibility. I like living in a country that gives me free healthcare and where guns are restricted, and is no immigration debate.

    • David Smith
      June 1, 2016 at 11:06

      Sorry, “Denny”, but if all you got is “fit of insanity”, then you got nothin’. Fallacious argumentation doesn’t make the grade.

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        June 1, 2016 at 18:50

        He was not making a fallacious argument. One of your ilk earlier was, with the “slippery slope” argument.

  6. Silverado
    May 31, 2016 at 19:41

    An (anti gun) fanatic and a (govt approved) opportunist wrote this piece…

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      June 1, 2016 at 18:44

      If you are calling him a shill, your argument is unfalsifiable. He is not an anti-gun fanatic. You and many of the commenters here are morons.

  7. J'hon Doe II
    May 31, 2016 at 19:37

    Behind The Copied Speeches – Governor Deval Patrick Is Brzezinski’s Spare Obama

    By Webster G. Tarpley


    As far as can be seen at this time, the roots of the Obama candidacy go back to a project begun by Zbigniew Brzezinski and his National Security Council subordinate, Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard, in the early 1980s. This was the immediate aftermath of the catastrophic Carter administration, which Zbigniew Brzezinski had helped to wreck with the help of his fellow Trilateral Commission member Paul Adolph Volcker, whom Carter had appointed as head of the Federal Reserve System. For Brzezinski and the Trilateralists, the Carter administration had been a great success, one destined to be repeated. The Soviets had been enticed to enter Afghanistan, where they were destined to undergo a humiliating defeat in a long and genocidal war. The Shah of Iran had been ousted and replaced with Khomeini, thus wrecking the Iranian economy and permitting a second phony oil crisis. In Carter’s State of the Union address for 1980, he had promulgated the so-called Carter Doctrine, namely that the United States would maintain supremacy in the Persian Gulf against all comers. This became the framework for the first Gulf War and the current Iraq war, not to mention possible future attacks on Iran. The entire US economy was well on the road to de-regulation, and the de-industrialization of this country had been largely carried out. Carter had also left the office of the presidency far weaker and far more hated than it was when he found it.

    At this point, Brzezinski, Huntington and their Trilateral associates were already looking ahead towards the prospect of a mass political upsurge which they expected to emerge sometime between 2010 and 2030 ­ in our own time today. They were already busily scheming to find ways to use this next political upsurge to further their favorite cause, that of totalitarian government in the United States. Huntington wrote in his –
    >>American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony (1981):


    “If the periodicity of the past prevails, a major sustained creedal passion period will occur in the second and third decades of the twenty-first century. the oscillations among the responses could intensify in such a way as to threaten to destroy both ideals and institutions. Yet the continued presence of deeply felt moralistic sentiments among major groups in American society could continue to ensure weak and divided government, devoid of authority and unable to deal satisfactorily with the economic, social and foreign challenges confronting the nation. Intensification of this conflict between history and progress could give rise to increasing frustration and increasingly violent oscillations between moralism and cynicism. This situation could lead to a two-phase dialectic involving intensified efforts to reform government, followed by intensified frustration when those efforts produce not progress in a liberal- democratic direction, but obstacles to meeting perceived functional needs.

    The weakening of government in an effort to reform it could lead eventually to strong demands for the replacement of the weakened and ineffective institutions by more >>authoritarian structures<< more effectively designed to meet historical needs. Given the perversity of reform, moralistic extremism in the pursuit of liberal democracy could generate a strong tide toward authoritarian efficiency." (p. 232)

    Huntington, like his model Carl Schmitt, has always been looking for ways to institute a dictatorship. Obama is a means to that end.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      June 1, 2016 at 18:43

      I don’t listen to conspiracy theories. Any involving Obama can be assumed to be bullshit. I am NOT defending Obama’s policies, but you’re not criticizing his use of drone strikes or intervening against the Islamic State.

  8. Lavern Smith
    May 31, 2016 at 18:40

    And remember, oh great gun owner protectors of our freedoms, if going 100 mph in a school zone is outlawed, only outlaws will go 100 mph in a school zone. Yes, it’s a slippery slope to totalitarianism.

    • David Smith
      June 1, 2016 at 09:19

      As a pedestrian I have been threatened by automobiles too many times to count, some have even sped up to threaten me. I can see the looks of rage on their cowardly faces. I gave up the bicycle in 1996, nearly getting hit once a week, I knew sooner or later my number would come up. All firearm owners I have known have shown me nothing but impeccable courtesy and safety.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      June 1, 2016 at 18:41

      The “slippery slope” is a fallacious argument. Using it weakens your credibility.

  9. jmni53
    May 31, 2016 at 17:14

    While I agree that uncontrolled distribution and use of firearms such as the NRA advocates is not a good choice, I also note that your essay chose to ignore the part of the 2nd amendment dealing with the right to keep arms in addition to bearing them. I ask what your thoughts are on this.

  10. Abbybwood
    May 31, 2016 at 15:30

    Hillary Rodham Clinton would gladly remove The Second Amendment from the Constitution if she could get away with it. And not because she is concerned about gun deaths in the United States. She would NEVER admit that the reason the Founders placed the amendment allowing the American people to possess guns right after freedom of speech and the press is because they knew we would always need a way to protect ourselves from a despotic government. The Second Amendment is not about our right to go deer hunting.

    If Mrs. Clinton is so eager to be president of the United States she had better understand that in taking that office she will be required to take an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic.”

    That oath includes The Second Amendment whether she likes it or not.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      June 1, 2016 at 18:39

      That is nonsense. Did you even read what the author wrote?

  11. David Smith
    May 31, 2016 at 15:19

    Mr. Davidson, if you do not want to own a firearm, you don’t have to. Beyond that it is none of your business. I do not believe it is an exaggeration to say that over 99% of gun owners cause zero problems with their firearms and go beyond that with high standards of safe handling and responsible use. You might be surprised how easy it is to get kicked out and banned from a rifle range and the discipline and good manners needed to stay welcome. Skeet/trap/sporting clays(shotguns) are superb sports that teach hand eye coordination and also demand safe handling and courtesy to stay welcome. Hunting teaches too many lessons of respect for nature to list here. Nearly every problem with firearms is caused by disputes among slimy criminal elements whom I never see. I have never seen or been remotely connected with any “gun violence” so how is it a problem?

    • PokeTheTruth
      May 31, 2016 at 21:28

      Mr. Davidson attempts to explain the 2nd amendment using that tired old canard that suggests service in the State militia is the only reason for allowing citizens to keep and bear arms. How wrong is he.

      He forgets that owning firearms was necessary in order to survive in the 18th century regardless of any formal militia. Most people lived on farms in rural areas or traveled between communities and often needed to hunt for food as well as being able to protect themselves from highwaymen and war parties of the various Indian tribes of North America.

      Davidson would have us believe the State should be the final decider of our natural rights, not the people themselves. Such arguments are politically motivated whose agenda is to ultimately disarm the public and make us defenseless against tyranny. Make no mistake, the government in Washington is doing everything possible to dismantle the republic, strip State citizens of our freedoms and create a unitary government like Europe.

      We the People must never give up our rights to keep and bear arms and if necessary, fight to the death to protect that right.

  12. aged parent
    May 31, 2016 at 14:58

    Frankly, I would worry more about Trump getting cozy with the fanatical Israeli Lobby, a far more dangerous threat to us than a group of skeet shooters.

    • Peter Loeb
      June 2, 2016 at 07:48


      Lawrence Davidson’s presentation of the Second Amendment is the most
      valuable part of this essay.

      To further contextualize, the original concept of the second amendment as written
      by James Madison made no reference to the states at all. Instead it was
      under Congress. Madison was pressured to alter the wording to
      read “state” because the state regulated militia were the slave patrols
      of states which captured and tortured fugitive slaves. Madison being a
      southerner and slaveowner himself (VA) eventually relented.

      The word “free” must also be viewed in its 18th and early 19th century
      world where millions were not “free”. To be precise, slaves were not
      “free” at all.

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

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