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Paranoia allows buying into propaganda where truth is no obstacle

To The Daily Sun,

In response to a previous letter, a contributor to this forum took offense to my negative appraisal of the NRA and the gun industry. It's unfortunate, but apparently because I take issue with the NRA and the gun culture in our society, I'm labeled an "anti-gun lefty." Most of my political views would be considered right-of-center, but because I express favoring lives over guns I'm labeled "lefty" — so be it.

Conventional wisdom is that if you don't agree with someone you label them — labels are merely shells that contain assumptions.

Recent surveys have shown that 83 percent of gun owners support stricter criminal background checks on all sales of firearms, while only 29 percent of gun owners feel that the NRA represents their views when it comes to background checks, believing that the NRA has been overtaken by lobbyists and the interests of gun manufacturers.

Apparently those surveyed were "liberal anti-gun leftists."

This same contributor suggests that the "left" knows nothing about background checks and gun laws. Can he imagine what background checks and gun laws would be like if the nation were losing 30,000 lives each year to Islamic terrorism. Does he think for one minute that a young man named Abdullah, or Hussein — or Tsarnaev — would be able to go to a gun show and buy a semiautomatic AR-15 knockoff with a 30-round clip, no questions asked? Would the NRA still argue, as it essentially does now, that those thousands of lives lost are the price we pay for the Second Amendment?

It was written that "automatic weapons" and "assault rifles" are not available for purchase by the "average gun owner." This statement is far from true. Regardless if we're talking semi-automatic or fully-automatic, we're talking automatic weapon. We're talking about weapons that give the user the greatest potential for killing the greatest number.

The idea that the term "assault rifle" originated with anti-gun activists (leftists), media or politicians is false. The term was first adopted by the manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales in the early 1980s — they needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun. Guns & Ammo and other periodicals described it as "The new breed of sporting arm — Assault Rifles. Represented as a "lethal new breed" with "military fire power and precision."

NRA President, James W. Porter II, calls the AR-15 a "weapon of war" and a "dominant weapon" fit for military use. Simply put, if the United States military can conduct assaults with it, then it is unequivocally an assault rifle. Just as a rose by any other name is still a rose, a gun with an elongated barrel that can accept a detachable high capacity magazine (no matter how many alterations you make to have it comply with state and federal regulations) is an assault rifle.

The idea that guns should be kept from dangerous people is common sense, whether you're a lifetime NRA member or a pacifist ("lefty").

Also expressed by the respondent was a fear that someone, I assume liberal leftists, were "trying to bring us down." Under conditions of fear and anger these conspiracy theories, including that the government is coming to take your guns, are voiced by individuals who feel they don't have any control over their lives. They feel a lack of control over a situation and try to make sense of it by leading them to connect dots that aren't necessarily connected to reality. Because of this paranoia, it allows them to buy into propaganda where truth is no obstacle.

In the NRA's case, the organization can continue to lie with absolute impunity and without consequences. They have a numerically significant audience predisposed to believe the most delusionary accusation about the government of the United States, and they have a solid base of our elected Members of the Congress who are too terrified to object.

I recently learned that Black Op Arms of Claremont, in an attempt to curry favor with Donald Trump, gifted him with a custom AR-15 rifle — I wonder who dropped the ball on that background check.

Robert Miller

Alton

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If 'brain dead' has model it's the Democrat's views on guns

To The Daily Sun,

Don Ewing is absolutely right! Obama deserves an Oscar nomination for his recent, tearjerker performance on gun control. Now let's look at the real world. Not the "Obama stage play."

First, there has been no comprehensive gun control legislation because, like so many issues, Obama can not get an agreement passed through Congress. He lost both houses of Congress because the American people disliked his ideas, as well as the ideas of the Democratic Party. Further complicating matters, people in his own party oppose Obama's thinking on many important issues. The key stumbling block to progress on gun control is Obama's refusal to compromise. It is the same flaw we have witnessed on so many other high profile issues facing our country, including immigration.

Second, if Americans want chop suey, soup-of-the-day gun control logic look no further than than the left. In the 1990s the scream from Democrats was gun violence was caused by too many licensed gun dealers. The Democratic Party and the Anti Violence Policy Center celebrated loudly when it was reported the number of licensed gun dealers had dropped by 79 percent from 245,628 in 1994 to 50,630 in in 2007. The insanity of their thinking was fewer licensed dealers would reduce gun crimes.

Fast forward to 2016. Obama and the left have a new view. That view is a 100 percent total reversal of their old view of just a few years ago. They now say gun violence is caused by too few licensed gun dealers. Did the reduction in licensed dealers they screamed for reduce crime or death from gun violence? No. Will quintupling the number of licensed dealers again back to the 1994 levels or higher reduce crime or gun violence? No.

I tell you what it will do. It will increase the number of government bureaucrats further interfering in the lives of tens of thousands of ordinary citizens who collect guns for a hobby. People who sell, one, two or three guns a year. Those folks could now go to jail for not going through the pain, red tape and expense of becoming dealers. It will increase the cost of government by hundreds of millions of dollars harming more middle-class taxpayers.

If "brain dead" has a model it's Democrats' views on guns. Hundreds of thousands of guns are stolen in this country annually, many of which pile up in a vigorous black market of weapons for sale to any buyer with a few dollars. I know this, so do people intent on committing crime. Further, there are hundreds of thousands of homes in America with shared gun ownership. The shooter in Newtown, Connecticut, used his mother's gun.

Barack Obama has no answer to the these complex issues because it literally means banning guns guaranteed under our Constitution. Shouting "gun ban" would reduce the number of Democrats in office even further. The truth is Barack Obama continual, demonizing rhetoric on gun control has created one of the greatest gun manufacturing and gun buying frenzies of all time. The production of guns, and permit requests to carry and own guns are at all-time highs. The sad truth is Obama's mouth will be at the source of more deaths from guns than any president in history from that single fact.

White House spokesmen Josh Earnest was recently asked if any of Obama's executive actions would have prevented any of the recent shooting deaths. After pondering trying to contrive some political out he finally glibly replied, "No it would not have."

Tony Boutin
Gilford

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