The NRA Has Blood on its Hands


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)- Weekend Contributor


It has happened again.  A mass killing at the hands of a person armed with knives and three semi-automatic handguns and 400 rounds of ammunition.  This time the alleged shooter stabbed three to death and then went on a shooting spree that ended with at least three more dead and a total of 8 injured/wounded people from gunshot wounds and 5 more injured by his knives or by being hit by his car.

The family of the alleged shooter requested a police intervention prior to the killings and the police did speak with the young man, but they did not have cause to search his apartment.  The police had other interactions with Elliot Rodger, age 22 and he later expressed concern that they did not find his weapons.

“Deputies also encountered Rodger earlier this year when he accused a roommate of stealing three candles, and in another case in which he claimed to be beaten but deputies suspected he was the aggressor.

Rodger detailed his plans in an extensive 141-page manifesto released Saturday and said he narrowly missed being found out when the officers knocked on his door.

Rodger expressed relief that his apartment wasn’t searched because they would have found his weapons and his writings.  When recounting his thinking about whether he should kill his father, Rodger expressed a sliver of acknowledgment that his plot, which included killing other family members, was wrong.

“I didn’t want it to come to this,” Rodger said. “I desperately wanted a way out.” He then immediately talks about his mother giving him a new car — a BMW coupe.” USA Today

This latest shooting spree is not the reason for this article.  It is merely one more example of why common sense gun control measures that could save innocent lives are needed.  When recent polls seem to indicate that a majority of Americans agree that common sense gun control regulations are needed, the NRA continually stands in the way of possibly life saving legislation.  However, the NRA is not just working to prevent any gun control legislation from proceeding, it is also standing in the way of attempts to have the Center for Disease Control (CDC) do research on gun prevention measures.

“But this past week we’ve seen the other side of the coin. How the NRA works to suppress information that would lead to treating a public health catastrophe that claims over 30,000 lives per year and injures over 100,000 as that very thing, while fighting to ensure we have as little access to information as possible that might help save lives.

The simple fact is, much like with their friends on the right from the tobacco industry to the oil industry to the megachurch, science and information are the enemies of the NRA. They have proven they will do whatever it takes to make sure we have less of it, and more Santa Barbaras.

The clearest example, of course, is the NRA’s labeling a bill sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) to allow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to once again use its considerable expertise to research gun violence prevention, “unethical.” Yes, they actually said that.

Because anyone who does statistically significant research on a public health problem from the angle of helping people and not profiting from misery, and again and again finds obvious truths such as owning guns makes you more likely to get shot, is not someone the NRA and its allies will countenance without smearing. I debated one of these types from the Second Amendment Foundation on NPR recently regarding the CDC. It is amazing how tongue-tied they get when you present them with irrefutable information.” Reader Supported News

In what world is it “unethical” to research ways to prevent deaths?  Would the NRA consider it unethical to study ways to prevent automotive deaths?  Or deaths caused by contaminated food?  In the NRA’s world, massacres like the ones that happened in  Santa Barbara, Sandy Hook Elementary, Northern Illinois University, Virginia Tech, Columbine and countless others, can only be prevented by good guys carrying guns everywhere and anywhere.

When an organization like the NRA labels an attempt to investigate ways to reduce deaths as unethical, I have to wonder if this lobbyist organization has lost touch with reality.  How can we as a country not look into ways that we could possibly prevent some of the 30,000 deaths and 100,000 injured from gun actions?   How much longer can the United States of America go on allowing a company/lobbying organization to spend millions to block any and all reasonable actions that may save lives?

Shame on the NRA for blocking reasonable gun control legislation and for even trying to stop research into ways to reduce deaths from guns.  Shame on us for allowing it to continue.  How much longer will we, as a nation, stand by and watch innocents die?  How much longer until we listen to our hearts and our heads and stand up and insist that something be done?  Our lives and the lives of our children are at stake.  Our moral standing as a nation is also at stake.

Richard Martinez, the father of one of the Santa Barbara victims may have said it best as he reacted to the death of his child.  “Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, of Los Osos, California, was the last of six people killed by suspect Elliot Rodger before the gunman apparently shot and killed himself, authorities said.

Martinez choked back tears as he spoke, then grew angrier as he talked about gun laws and lobbyists.

“The talk about gun rights. What about Chris’ right to live?” Martinez said. “When will enough people say: ‘Stop this madness! We don’t have to live like this! Too many people have died!” MSN News

How much longer until we heed Mr. Martinez’ plea?


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854 thoughts on “The NRA Has Blood on its Hands”

  1. Bob, Esq.:

    I have not asserted the absence of a natural right to hunt and defend one’s self. I have merely stated my understanding of the language of the Second Amendment.

    1. I guess we simplified things here in Washington:

      ARTICLE 1 SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

  2. Mike,

    Order of operations.

    The right to bear arms is not conferred upon the people by the amendment; it logically progresses from the natural right to hunt and defend one’s self.

    By your reading, the only time people would be allowed guns after 1789 would be for participation in the militia. Good luck pioneering with just your knife.

    I have a hard time imagining the founders empowering the federal government to claim the same power over the fates of the colonists as the King once had; something something confiscation of arms, etc.

    1. For me I have always believed the 2nd Amendment constituted an individual right. Simply put I look at snippets of each of these amendments.

      1st: “…right of the people peaceably to assemble…”
      2nd: “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms…”
      4th: “…The right of the people to be secure in their persons…”

      I don’t see how the second amendment could have been split to indicate that “the right of the people” is different as it only applies to militias and more than the “right to peaceably assemble” only relatated to assembling for the purpose of state legislatures.

  3. Bob, Esq.:

    The formation of a militia necessitates the existence of an individual right to bear arms for a collective (and therefore limited) purpose. The Heller rationale violated the first rule of statutory construction and rendered the initial clause of the Second Amendment a meaningless curiosity.

  4. Mike,

    Just as experience necessitates space and time, the formation of any militia necessitates the existence of an individual right to bear arms.

  5. I am in the minority on the meaning of the Second Amendment. In my view the Heller case was wrongly decided. After a great deal of reading on the matter, I have been able to conclude only that the Salesians who taught Justice Scalia English grammar were not as knowledgeable on the purpose of dependent clauses as the Jesuits who taught me.

  6. RTC: “You want to have a conversation, talk to me about how you would keep guns out of the hands of kids.”

    Keep the guns locked up in a gun locker if you have kids; or in a room that the kids don’t have access to. That’s not a gun issue; that’s a parental responsibility issue.

    “How would you prevent somebody from deciding he’s suddenly going to “man up” and use his gun to demand an apology because someone bumped into him or shoot some kid because he’s playing his music too loud.”

    I guess I would draft a law prohibiting all inanimate objects from whispering into the ears of maniacs. Knives, machetes, cars, etc. Oh, and guns too.

  7. From the National Safety Council: Lifetime Odds of Death for Selected Causes, 2010


    The Odds of Dying From… (cont.)

    – Heart disease and cancer: 1 in 7
    – Chronic lower respiratory disease: 1 in 29
    – Motor vehicle accidents: 1 in 112
    – Assault by firearm: 1 in 356
    – Pedestrian: 1 in 723
    – Exposure to fire, flames, or smoke: 1 in 1,418
    – Unintentional drowning and submersion: 1 in 1,043
    – Firearms discharge: 1 in 6,509
    – Air and space transport incidents: 1 in 8,357
    – Lightning: 1 in 136,798

  8. Bob: I don’t think you really are having a discussion. You keep banging on about pointless odds that have no connection to actual conditions and how “liberals”,”leftists” and what not want to bring about a world that couldn’t possibly exist.

    You want to have a conversation, talk to me about how you would keep guns out of the hands of kids. How would you prevent somebody from deciding he’s suddenly going to “man up” and use his gun to demand an apology because someone bumped into him or shoot some kid because he’s playing his music too loud. Because that’s what happening more and more.

    1. RTC – since Kerry has been so kind to teach us what ‘manning up’ is all about, I doubt we will see any more shootings over loud music or incidental bumping then we have ever had.

  9. RTC,

    If I considered you an ultra leftist I wouldn’t even be bothered having a discussion with you.

    I’m merely pointing out your blind spot.

  10. Bob: How’s that reading comprehension there, Bob?

    “The ultra left mindset is convinced it can remove all risk from human existence in its utopian society by removing choice and individual autonomy from the individual. ”

    In my comment, I said, “I truly believe that there’s nothing any government can do to prevent every stupid mistake….”

    Maybe I’ll have to read Heller for myself. Apparently your a little hard of understanding.

    That’ll happen to ideologues.

  11. Bob: it’s not a rationalization, it’s a fact; odds change all the time according to circumstances. Casinos and insurance companies know that.

    For instance, Schulte’s odds of falling victim to a shark attack in Arizona are dramatically lower than people who live near the sea, certainly lower than 1 in 63,000, and every casino in the world would take that bet. Likewise, the actuaries tell me my odds of being involved in a car accident can be lowered significantly if I never drive. Similarly, people who live in certain areas carry different odds of becoming victim of gun violence.

    You have the same problem many conservatives accuse liberals of – ivory tower thinking. No matter how you try to jigger the numbers, they have absolutely no meaning in the real world.

    1. RTC – I have a far greater chance of getting skin cancer than being shot here.

  12. No the ultraleft mindset is not that all risk can be removed but unlike many from the right we don;t just think of what can happen to us but others as well and ask for legitimate laws and regulations. You want to put everyone who disagrees with you in one basket and it is just not the reality. The left, dems, progressives are not monolithic. Unlike repubs and the right we don’t go in lockstep which has often been our downfall because we don’t just vote straight ticket or mouth the party line

  13. RTC,

    You can attempt to rationalize the odds all you like, but the odds are the odds. The certainty of odds is what keeps casinos running.

    Odds of dying from Heart disease: 1 in 5

    Odds of dying from Cancer: 1 in 7

    Odds of dying from Stroke: 1 in 24

    Odds of dying from Hospital infections: 1 in 38

    Odds of dying from Flu: 1 in 63

    Odds of dying from Car accidents (act of man): 1 in 84

    Odds of dying from drowning: 1 in 1,008

    Odds of dying from Shark attack: 1 in 60,453

    Odds of dying in random public shooting: 1 in 384,000

    Odds of dying from falling vending machine: 1 in 112,000,000

    Odds of dying in a terrorist attack: 1 in 9,300,000

    Do try to keep things in perspective.

    Furthermore, your “understanding of Heller” would be greatly enhanced if you actually read the case.

    Finally, the idea of criminal law is to punish people for the consequences of their actions. Every time you or I have ever handled a gun we have had the choice whether to use it for good or evil.

    The ultra left mindset is convinced it can remove all risk from human existence in its utopian society by removing choice and individual autonomy from the individual.

    Like I said, they built the wall in Berlin to keep its “citizens” in.

  14. This arm is my arm (and my wife’s), it is not yours. Up here I have a right to strike out with it as I please. I go over there with these gentlemen and swing my arm and exercise the natural right which you have granted; I hit one man on the nose, another under the ear, and as I go down the stairs on my head, I cry out:

    “Is not this a free country?”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Have not I a right to swing my arm?”

    “Yes, but your right to swing your arm leaves off where my right not to have my nose struck begins.”

    Here civil government comes in to prevent bloodshed, adjust rights, and settle disputes.

    This has been ascribed to many folk over the years including Oliver Wendell Holmes.
    Your right to have a gun should end where my nose begins and where the bullet enters as it enters my personal space.

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