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America's Children: Caught in the Crosshairs of the NRA and the Gun Industry

March 8, 2018
Michael Payne / NationofChange

Can you imagine the psychological trauma that children across America are going through as they hear of one school shooting after another? Washington spends billions fighting suspected terrorists around the world but does nothing to stop domestic terrorists from slaughtering Americans and their helpless children. Meanwhile, Norway passes ban on semi-automatic weapons.


America's Children: Caught in the
Crosshairs of the NRA and the Gun Industry

How in the world did we ever get to this
low point in our history when the fear of being killed
is now planted into the minds of our children?

Michael Payne / NationofChange

(March 6, 2018) -- Can you imagine the psychological trauma that children across America are going through as they hear of one school shooting after another? When sitting at their desks, instead of concentrating on the subject under discussion, they may well be thinking that someone could come bursting into their room at any time and gun them all down.

There is enough pressure and stress that goes with getting an education and now these kids have to worry about being killed right in their own classroom. How in the world did we ever get to this low point in our history when this kind of fear is now planted into the minds of our children?

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut reacted to this latest mass shooting by saying that America is the only country in the world that allows its children to be mercilessly gunned down by military style assault weapons.

We have a government that is spending billions fighting against suspected terrorists in various parts of the world and has done nothing to stop deadly domestic terrorists from slaughtering their fellow Americans, including these helpless children.

The gun industry and its close associate the NRA are clearly aiding and abetting these domestic terrorists; they are actually facilitating these mass shootings. And our government, primarily the office of the president and the Congress, are allowing them to do so, to spread deadly weaponry across this country.

What we are seeing is a form of warfare, not against a foreign enemy, but against the children of America. The gun industry and the NRA continue working to expand sales and distribution of assault weapons, bump stocks and high capacity ammunition magazines which, in a relatively short time, can kill scores of individuals and wound hundreds more; exactly what happened in the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

They are providing this weaponry to domestic terrorists who then use them to kill these helpless children in schools in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Parkland, Florida and numerous others. No child in any school is safe from these predators. Certain members of this Congress watch as this killing goes on and continue to allow them to happen, refusing to take necessary actions to stop the carnage.

Complicity: when the gun industry, with the help of the NRA, continues to provide this deadly weaponry to domestic terrorists, and members of Congress who possess the power to do something to drastically reduce the incidence of these atrocities refuse to do so, then that clearly is complicity.

Can any one of these cowardly politicians justify in any way how these deadly weapons can be bought legally by 18 year olds and even someone who has a past that includes mental problems?

Watch this video that identifies some of the NRA's biggest supporters in Congress, those who are recipients of NRA campaign donations. Listen as they express their sincere sympathy for the victims and offer their "thought and prayers" for the victims and their families. When they pretend that they are very distressed by what happened in the mass shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida on February 15 they come across as nothing more than hypocrites.

Check out this article, which identifies a large group of members of Congress, specifically Republicans, who kneel down and feed at the NRA campaign troughs.

The NRA has two ways by which it establishes control over these members of Congress. First they get them addicted to campaign contributions and that works beautifully. Then if any one of these politicians doesn't "play ball" and bend to its dictates the NRA works to develop strong candidates in their party to go up against them in primary elections.

And, as the video indicates, these same pitiful politicians all voted to overturn a bill making it harder for people with a history of mental illness to buy guns. The following was reported on yahoo.com:
"One of Trump's first actions in the White House was to quash former President Barack Obama's recommendation for a new regulation that would prevent people with severe mental health illnesses from purchasing guns."

"In early 2017, the Republican-controlled Congress invoked the Congressional Review Act to revoke the rule with House Judiciary Resolution 40, which Trump swiftly signed it into law. The NRA commended Trump for counteracting Obama's last-minute gun grab and government overreach."

These politicians, together with the NRA and the gun industry, have the blood of these children on their hands. How can they even look at themselves in the mirror?

We are in the 45th day of 2018 and we have already have had 18 school shootings in this country; that is beyond comprehension, pure madness. By the way the common definition of a mass shooting is the killing and/or wounding of 4 or more individuals. What is frightening is that a mass shooting happens almost every day in America but we only hear about the most horrific ones like Parkland or Las Vegas.

What about this president and how he reacted to this latest mass shooting? On his way to Mira Lago for the weekend he stopped at Parkland, Florida, visited the hospital and met with and took pictures with wounded victims, their families and first responders. And at this very solemn time he posed for the pictures with a broad smile on his face. And then he continued on his way to spend the weekend at this posh resort and golf course.

The American people are becoming infuriated as they watch these slaughters of our children continue. But that anger must be greatly intensified. They must shout from the rooftops that this government must ban NRA and gun industry representatives from lobbying any members of Congress or other government officials. They must be made persona non grata.

Activists that want to get these craven politicians out of office should use all the elements of the social media to circulate a list of all those who take large campaign contributions from the NRA and the gun industry, and target them for removal from Congress.

The TV news outlets such as CNN and MSNBC should take a strong stand against this ongoing bloodbath in America and identify every one of these politicians that are hooked on NRA campaign contributions, showing how much dirty money each has received.

Mr. Trump; should talk to his close friend Putin of Russia and get some advice from the leader of a country in which mass shootings have not become a part of its culture as is happening in this country.

Republicans in Congress have no intention of changing their agenda that calls for obstructing every attempt by anyone to reduce the incidence of these mass shootings. They remain closely tied to those who profit from increased gun sales and just look the other way when a mass shooting snuffs out the lives of Americans.

We have a Democratic Party whose leaders and members should be relentless in demanding that effective measures are taken to deal with this grim situation. So far they have not risen to the occasion and, with the American people, started a powerful movement to force this Congress to address this horrific problem and come up with solutions.

We have a clergy in America representing various religions and they remain silent, not speaking out against these atrocities. Why don't we hear some of them talking about the commandment that states "Thou shalt not kill?"

What's happening with these ongoing mass shootings is a dark stain on the soul of this nation. We must find the ways to remove that stain and cleanse this society of this domestic terrorism.

One way to remove that stain and never let it return calls for the people of America to make their top priority the need to drive the NRA completely out of business; to make that depraved organization go down as an aberration in this nation's history. The removal of their poisonous money from Congress will pave the way for finding the ways to minimize these mass shootings.

Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a US Army veteran.

Norway Bans Semi-automatic Assualt Rifles
Ashley Curtin / NationofChange

(March 6, 2018) -- Norway took another step to tighten its already tough gun control laws. The Norwegian government voted to ban semi-automatic weapons by 2021. Since the ban was introduced by the country's minority right-wing government, "it has become clear that there is a parliamentary majority in favor" of it.

"Semi-automatic weapons will, therefore, be banned in Norway." Peter Frolich, a member of parliament and the judicial affairs committee, said in an interview with AFP.

The year 2021 will also mark the tenth anniversary of the country's 2011 mass shooting that took place on Utoya Island where 69 people were shot to death by Anders Behring Breivik, a far-right extremist, who bombed a government building in Oslo "before going on a shooting rampage at the youth summer camp," according to Huffington Post.

The country, which registers a high rate of gun ownership, has a very low rate of gun deaths – 1.22 per 100,000 people recorded in 2014 compared to 10.54 per 100,000 American gun deaths.

Soon after Norway's 2011 mass shooting, the country's legislators enacted "robust background checks, placed mandates on "secure storage of guns and ammunition," and placed strict laws on owners of semi-automatic weapons, according to Huffington Post. And Norway has yet to encounter another mass shooting since the 2011 attack.

Norway's strong stance against gun violence already outlaws many categories of guns including specific handguns and automatic weapons. The new ban on semi-automatic weapons tightens the country's laws even further.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.




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