NRA On The Run

The carnage continues, and after every high profile gun massacre in recent years, the National Rifle Association has been successful in preventing common sense gun safety provisions with the worn-out phrase “now is not the time.” That is the contrarian message carried by hand maidens for the NRA―our elected legislators who took an oath to protect the health, safety and welfare of America’s citizens. However, students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida have put the NRA on notice (BS) following the massacre of 17 students and teachers at their school. These students have no interest in repealing the Second Amendment; they are largely apolitical and simply expect their lawmakers to enact reasonable measures in the area of gun safety, and have scheduled a march on Washington, D.C. on March 24 of this year to make their point. They want to feel safe when they attend school, and all of America should join their crusade. The time has come to put the wrong-headed lobbyist for greedy gun manufacturers out of business.

Donald Trump deserves credit for giving students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and victims of previous gun massacres a platform at the White House to share their grief and offer solutions.  The raw emotion displayed, and articulate measures for gun safety demanded by the group put the NRA on notice that they are now facing their most formidable opponent.  Nevertheless, Trump destroyed all of the good will he created by stating that teachers should be “armed” via CCW permits as a primary solution to gun violence in schools.

Like most old white men, Trump grew up viewing romantic versions (mostly false) of the Old West where Gary Cooper or Randolph Scott would saunter into the local saloon, tip their hat to some bar mistress, down a shot of whiskey, and then proceed to shoot ten dudes in black hats with one six-shooter. However, old white men and their fantasies are dying, and according to the 2010 census, being replaced by approximately 4 million young people who attain voting age each year. Most of the students at Stoneman High School are not even old enough to vote, but they have nevertheless become effective activists with a message to deliver.

Unlike past massacres, much of corporate America has sided with the students, and against the bullies from the NRA. The nation’s largest employer, Walmart, said that it would raise age restrictions for gun purchases to 21, and would remove assault style weapons from its sale inventory.  Likewise, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that it would end sales of assault style weapons and high-capacity magazines, regardless of local laws.

Nevertheless, the NRA still controls politicians who are willing to get into the mud and push back against public sentiment. After Delta Airlines announced that it was cutting ties with the NRA, Republican Lt. Governor Casey Cagle (a candidate for governor) authored and pushed through a rescission of a jet fuel tax break intended for the airline. The optics of this ham-handed approach to legislative action could not be worse. Cagle’s strong-arm protection of the NRA bears the same flavor as mafia types burning down a business because the owner refuses to pay “protection” insurance. Moreover, if the event were strictly business, and not a legislative matter, Cagle would be guilty of violating anti-tying arrangements prohibited by the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.  It would be poetic justice if, as a result of Cagle’s misguided efforts, Delta decided to move its hub out of Atlanta and into Dallas or Denver. Thousands of jobs and millions in revenue for the state of Georgia would be lost.

The “March for our Lives” rally scheduled for March 24 in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall had to be relocated to Pennsylvania Avenue because a student talent show had already reserved the Mall.  Every American can participate in the rally by contacting local school boards and administrators and demanding that March 24 be declared a national student holiday, so every child who is old enough to stand in a crowd can march on Washington, D.C. and each of the 50 state capitols. In other words, paralyze and shut down the law factories in this nation for one full day. In addition, leave the law dogs with a message: “Either do something fast about gun violence in America,” or, to quote one action movie star, “I will be back.”

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