Inhumane Humanity

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Ethics of Firearm Ownership - It's Time the NRA Return to its Grass Roots

If you're old enough, you can likely remember when the NRA supported and strongly advocated gun control measures; a time when a responsible organization promoted safety and ethics first, when the NRA's core values weren't based upon profits for, and before they became a registered lobbyist organization for firearms manufacturers.

The gun laws in this nation need to seek wisdom over obsession; advancement of ethical products over corporate profit margins.

Among the extreme polarization over gun rights and gun control, I ask one simple question; when firearms manufacturers use marketing tactics based upon fear and paranoia rather than product quality and safety, are their motives and products ethical?

I am a gun owner, but I see no validity in the hyperbolic rhetoric being spewed by extremism in ownership of firearms.  I see no value in everyone carrying firearms, concealed or openly, in public venues; there is simply no logic, no safety and no reason in doing so.

We have gone from a nation of gun owners to a nation of obsessive-compulsive fanatics.  And, I see no logic in the status of gun ownership laws in this nation.

A case in point: 

I have a brother-in-law who has been diagnosed bipolar and severe manic-depressive.  The state and federal government have both declared him permanently disabled due to his illness.  

Due to his inability to obtain and maintain meaningful employment, his extremely limited financial resources, we allow him to live in a house we own a few miles from us rent-free.  His social security benefits would make it virtually impossible for him to live anywhere and pay rent.

When it comes to firearms, strange behavior reaches epic levels with this guy.  Like many subscribing to the paranoia-marketing tactics of gun manufacturers, with unfounded vitriol he proclaims; "it's my second amendment right to own guns,” yet can neither quote the amendment nor reasonably debate the intent of the amendment.

I've watched this gun-crazed person sit on a sofa and, with the same sick look an addict has at the sight of heroin, literally caress a handgun as though it was a living, breathing being.

The gun laws need to protect people, NOT GUN MANUFACTURERS.

In the space of three years, I've removed no less than ten firearms from the house, including the absurd S&W 500 he kept under his pillow because he “hears people running around the house hitting the windows,” a fully automatic shotgun, AR15’s.  This taking place in a retirement community in which the minimum age in order to reside is 55.  Those crazy-ass old people, running around in their electric scooters and walkers, pounding on windows of their neighbors.

When he discovers I've taken them (and YES, I do go into the house and remove them.  If the law won't protect him and those around him, I must.), using his social security benefits, he simply goes to the local pawn shop to buy another.

Due to his many antics, the local police officers know him well and have been called to the house on several occasions.  But, they won’t even enter the house without their own weapons in hand and I certainly cannot fault them for doing so.

I've contacted city, state and federal law enforcement agencies with concerns about both, his diagnosed mental disorder, and this very odd behavior in an effort to have his access to firearms AND his CCW revoked.

The very government which has certified him as mentally disabled; the very government which issues his disability checks, refuses to revoke his concealed carry permit.  The law in Nevada is simple - any person not a convicted felon or forcibly institutionalized within the last five years can open carry and obtain a CCW.

The NRA, with its new leadership, needs to stop promoting firearms profit over safety.


  1. Gun control doesn't help because criminals will still find ways to obtain firearms and ammo, then us the law abiding citizen are left defenseless and venerable to crime. Also it gives the government full control over its people.

    Gunner Jacky

    1. Thanks for the comment Gunner

      I agree with you completely; criminals will always obtain guns and ammunition illegally for one simple reason - they cannot do so legally.

      With that in mind, we can make some fairly safe assumptions:
      • the vast majority of firearms used during the commission of a crime or accidental deaths in the US were in fact done so with firearms purchased legally
      • since they weren’t criminals prior to purchasing their firearms, there is a clear and obvious disconnect in the circular argument; “we need to be armed to prevent further killing by those with firearms.”

      That said; there are two specific points to this blog post; how do people who shouldn’t be obtaining firearms do so? And; how do we prevent that?

      The answer to the first question is simple; by usurping the legal process, either through gaming the system, illegally importing them, or theft.

      And the second answer; given the current state of extremely lax gun laws, the accompanying proliferation of firearms and the number of firearm-associated deaths in the US, we can very simply apply some inductive reasoning; more stringent gun laws will reduce crime and deaths associated with firearms.

      Crimes committed by those who obtain firearms legally are either doing so with the intent to commit the crime or they are mentally unstable, returning us to the original point; it’s impossible to predict, and we cannot control the behavior of everyone, consequently we need better control on the tools used by those who intend harm or are mentally unstable.

      As for giving government control:

      Guns will do absolutely nothing to prevent that. Even with our extraordinarily lax firearm laws and the immense volume of firearms in this nation, there is simply no way we could prevent our government, with the armament and the means they have at their disposal, to do as you fear.

      In fact, our government has far more “control” over us now than they did when the NRA promoted gun control measures prior to the later 1960's.

      Just two examples:

      The Patriot Act (2011); this was frightening enough, but as if that law wasn’t enough, we allowed our politicians to pass this:

      National Defense Authorization Act (2012); based solely upon “suspicion” alone, our government can now assassinate and detain US citizens indefinitely. At the discretion of one person, the president, they can arbitrarily decide whether or not a US citizen will receive a trial, can execute warrantless search and seizure, circumvent the justice system to allow US corporations to assist in doing so, AND protects those companies with immunity for assisting. They can use secret evidence against you and they’re not required to divulge the evidence and can use the FISA court to hide all charges against us. At the will of our government, we are also now subject to extraordinary rendition, again, based solely upon suspicion, and we’re subject to continuous surveillance of our communications by our own government.

      And all this without a single armed insurrection by the plethora of gun owners!

      The fear mongering the NRA is promoting does absolutely nothing for your security or mine. Rather, it calls people to paranoia while enriching those powerful enough to influence passage of such truly oppressive laws as the Patriot Act and the NDAA.

      While we run around posturing and beating our chests with firearms like drunken cowboys, the real threat is reducing our liberty one quiet step at a time.

  2. Anonymous8:54 PM

    When extremism leads the conversation, things get a little nuts. I can agree with Gunner, but when common sense regulations that could save lives are defined as an infringement on the second amendment and unconstitutional, it's hard to get anything done. When the NRA appoints a racist as a board member, the NRA sends the wrong message. When Mr. Jones goes on international TV eyes bulging, screaming, red faced, and literally drooling his hate for those who he perceives want to take his gun rights away; he is just the kind that should not have a gun. I've been around as long as you and I have never heard any President, or Congress support eliminating the second amendment, or confiscating Americans guns. Fear is confusing the issue.

    1. A very good point - rational debate to achieve safe firearms laws needs to take place. But as long as paranoia (such as Obama confiscating firearms) is being used as a tool to fight such efforts, tribal behavior, cognitive and confirmation bias will rule the debates and nothing will move forward.