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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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