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What My Father Taught Me About Guns

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The NRA constituency claims to revere family values, and the degree of truth in that idea is probably best seen their advocacy for unregulated sale of noise suppressors, which would bring a lot more kids into the hobby. And dig those happy families in the pages of Junior Shooters,  an industry-backed publication geared to that sweet younger demographic.  

Junior Shooters touts itself as "a place for our next generation of shooting enthusiasts! We provide information on clubs, events, safety, and information for all shooting disciplines.  We provide information on clubs, events, safety, and information for all shooting disciplines." An article in Sunday's New York Times had a few insightful comments to add about why the gun industry is working overtime to push its products these days:

Threatened by long-term declining participation in shooting sports, the firearms industry has poured millions of dollars into a broad campaign to ensure its future by getting guns into the hands of more, and younger, children.

The industry's strategies include giving firearms, ammunition and cash to youth groups; weakening state restrictions on hunting by young children; marketing an affordable military-style rifle for "junior shooters" and sponsoring semiautomatic-handgun competitions for youths; and developing a target-shooting video game that promotes brand-name weapons, with links to the Web sites of their makers.


I don't want to dwell on the subject of this publication right now, but I would like to offer this screen shot from the site.

Does it blow bubbles, too? by screen shot from

For those of you who know nothing about firearms, .22 is a small caliber. It's not something that the military would use. I do think the color of this one is hideous, however, and it does look like something made by an industry desperate to shill its products to very young children. One frequent argument from the NRA crowd is that they take firearms very seriously. But does it really help teach a child to take guns seriously when they're the color of bubblegum?

A lot of people in this country are sick of the fear-mongering propaganda being spouted by gun manufacturers, their trade groups, their lobbyists and the ill-informed public they have inflamed in the name of greed. Hunting is one thing, but if you need a clip that holds more than five rounds you should stay home, get another hobby, maybe see an eye doctor. The time for reasonable regulations on guns in this country is long past.

And if you're arming yourself to protect yourself from the "jack-booted thugs" of the federal government, as I believe Wayne LaPierre once called them, why the heck do you still live here? You can't bemoan the death of democracy, then pout, whine and grab your guns every time an election doesn't go the way you wanted it. There's a real logical disconnect there, pal.

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The arguments have been made. The facts are out there. It would be nice if the gun extremists would listen for a change instead of shrilly shouting "You're taking away my guns!" every time a proposal aimed at reducing the needless slaughter is merely suggested. I mentioned my own history with firearms in part because my past blogs on guns have been greeted by sadly hilarious lines like "Stop getting all your ideas about firearms from Hollywood." Huh?

Wouldn't it be interesting if a similar hue and cry were raised at every new incident of genocide, with every hundred acres of rain forest destroyed, whenever there appears to be another type of egregious infringement to the Bill of Rights--one of the other nine, that is?

How many of these huge fans of the 2nd Amendment are keeping busy "maintaining well-regulated militia"? I mean, not just to overthrow the democratically-elected government of the United States, but to assist the public in various other capacities, besides waving their guns in our faces? I guess, way back there on Tax Day 2009, those were supposed to be militia men, those gunsels proudly sporting firearms very near a speech by President Obama.

End of digression. You might have already intuited this next part. My father, Jake Sublett, a dedicated Democrat, big fan of the Clintons and Barack Obama, was also a longtime NRA member who would have been dismayed and disgusted with that organization today.

No matter what you think the 2nd Amendment says, it does not say it's OK to wave your gun around near the President. We lived in Johnson City when Lyndon B. Johnson was President. That was after Kennedy was assassinated. Random guns plus presidents = not a good thing. Who missed that memo?

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The so-great-it-oughta -be-number-one 2nd Amendment also does not say it's a great idea to have everybody come heeled to school, church, funerals or your mother's colonoscopy.

Another thing to consider about the holy, the awesome, almighty, gold-encrusted 2nd: Do you really see the Founding Fathers guaranteeing every citizen, no matter their criminal background or mental competency, the right to buy a cannon? A whole bunch of cannons? Selling them at village gun shows and the like? Only a nincompoop would think so.

The GOP is an endangered creature. That's largely due to its stupid ideas and the fact that its main demographic could be described as white men who fear black presidents and said group happens to be aging out of the planet? Small wonder that the Guns Over People party receives boatloads more gun-supporting cash than Democrats. Which seems like a waste, since it's been decades since so-called liberal Democrats have posed hardly a whisper of a threat to the gun-lovingest people of our nation. Chris Solizza of the Washington Post brings in the numbers with a series of charts in his January 16, , 2013 piece, "How the NRA Influences Congress in Six Charts."     

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Jesse Sublett is a regular contributor to An author, ghost writer and musician in Austin, Texas, he has published crime novels, eBooks, true crime, memoir, essays and journalism. His work has appeared in New York Times, Texas Monthly, (more...)

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