Out, Damned Spot

The narrative which follows bears no relation to a famous line from Shakespeare’s MacBeth. Rather, it is a call to remove a blemish from the American landscape―a terrorist organization otherwise known as the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The Patriot Act is found in numerous portions of United States Code. Title VIII of the “act” states in part:

…The definition [of domestic terrorism] also encompasses activities that are “dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State” and are intended to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population,” or are undertaken “to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping” while in the jurisdiction of the United States.”

We can put aside for a moment the fact that Russia has been funneling money into NRA coffers (which is currently under FBI investigation) and focus on the continuing carnage sponsored by the NRA. The latest in a series of horrifying acts occurred when 19 year-old Nikolas Cruz set off a fire alarm at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and began shooting students with an AR-15 military assault rifle as they fled their classrooms. Seventeen students and teachers are dead.

Americans are fed up with greedy gun manufacturers and the spineless legislators who silently support them out of fear of not being reelected. Many of us have owned guns most of our lives, and yet stand at odds (by a 95-5 margin) with an NRA that fights every effort to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable. And there is no legitimate reason for members of the public, other than licensed collectors, to own military assault rifles like the AR-15. One idiot was queried as to why he needed a standard issue military assault rifle. His reply was: “Duh…I might want to go out and blow up a stump.” Problem is, for a broken mind, the leap from stumps to people is not all that large.

In a remarkably tone-deaf statement following the shooting, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio stated “Now is not the time to discuss gun control.” Almost exactly like the NRA and its lap dogs stated after the massacre at a country music festival in Las Vegas that “Now is not the time to discuss curtailing the use of bump stocks.” There is not a single justifiable use for bump stocks. This is an apparatus added to a rifle that was invented for one purpose: killing people. Nevertheless, the death of 59 people reposes as a mere footnote in history, and “Now is not the time” wins again.

The search for maximum firepower―bump stocks, banana clips and such―has no place in a civilian setting. Any person who is such a poor marksman that one of three or four rounds does not find the target has no business shooting a weapon, either in the field or on the shooting range.

Murder with military assault weapons has become so prevalent that eventually, even the headquarters of the NRA will become a target for the terrorist activities they sponsor, albeit by a grieving relative of one of their victims, which now numbers in the thousands. If nothing else, it seems appropriate to put this wrong-headed organization on the FBI’s terrorist watch list to save it from itself.

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