The time for mincing words is done.
The 58 dead in Las Vegas demand that we take back control of our country from the National Rifle Association.
I’m a gun owner. I’ve been around guns all my life. I have them for protection and for hunting. Some of them were owned by my grandfather and grandmother.
But it’s insanity that elected officials in Tallahassee and in Washington are so cowered by the NRA that common sense measures like universal background checks and not allowing people on the no-fly list to buy guns can’t get a hearing, much less passed into law.
Why is there even any discussion about allowing the sale and possession of bump stocks that can turn a semi-automatic rifle into a machine gun?
The NRA has such a tight grip on the cowards in Congress that they have forbidden spending federal money on even the study of gun violence.
To those who kneel at the altar of the NRA, don’t bother calling or sending me hate email.
I’ve heard all of your ridiculous arguments before about banning knives, cars or trains next.
I’m not naïve enough to believe that stopping the sale of so-called assault rifles would accomplish much.
That horse is out of the barn. There are already millions of them in private possession.
But making the purchase of firearms more difficult is not equal to confiscation or destruction of the Second Amendment.
Universal background checks on all sales would help. So would requiring a gun safety course be taken and passed before the purchase of a firearm.
I do feel a little better that the person driving a vehicle at 70 mph on the road next to me has at least passed a test showing some driving skill.
A person buying a gun that could kill me or someone else should be held to the same standard.
Would gun control laws prevent the often-mentioned “bad guy” from having guns? No.
Would they be a guarantee against more mass murders? No.
But if they prevented one, if they stopped one mentally ill person intent on evil from buying a gun, if they meant the next maniac wouldn’t be able to fire off 100 rounds a minute into crowd, they would be worth it.
Just ask the families and friends of the 58 dead in Las Vegas.
There is really only one way forward.
The NRA has to be defeated.
Polls show that a majority of Americans favor sensible gun control laws.
Then vote your beliefs.
Check the records of your legislators in Tallahassee and your members of Congress.
Vote them out of office if they are dupes of the NRA.
The NRA has millions of dollars to spend and buy votes, but the NRA will be powerless if its lackeys aren’t elected in the first place.
Put people in office who will listen to reason and act responsibly, two concepts that have been long forgotten.
There is a song that occasionally cycles through Pandora on my car radio. It’s called “County Boy,” and it’s sung by Aaron Lewis.
The lyrics are pretty much the standard glorification of the simple small town life.
It ends with a voice over as patriotic music plays in the background:
“I love my country.
“I love my guns.
“I love my family.
“I love the way it is now.
“And anybody who tries to change it has to come through me.
“That should be all of our attitudes.”
Challenge accepted. It’s time to march right through the NRA.