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The NRA is the Enemy

POSTED: July 14, 2017, 7:00 am

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National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre

The National Rifle Association, more popularly known as the NRA, is a menace to society. It is an organization that hides behind the Second Amendment and uses an outdated constitutional right to promote the right-to-kill in America. Much like Madison Avenue when tobacco was king, the NRA is the purveyor of death in the streets and homes of our nation, and plays a central role in the slaughter of Black children and youth. With total disregard for human life, and unwilling to place reasonable controls on the manufacturer, distribution and possession of firearms, this one organization has enabled the flooding of our streets with a device which has a sole purpose – to kill.

Before some gun enthusiasts start chirping ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people,’ let me suggest that gun manufacturers switch to farming and let’s see how many murders are committed with carrots. It’s the willful, and arrogant, disregard for the pain and suffering guns cause that reserves a special place in hell for the leadership of the NRA. If Satan has a VIP section, no doubt there are a group of NRA executives sitting in red smoking – literally smoking – jackets enjoying the view from below of the mayhem they have caused above.

We have watched little children mowed down by a killer with a gun in an elementary school, teenagers preyed upon in high schools, and college students cut down as they pursued their dreams. In our major cities guns are easier to obtain than a job and the relentless flow of guns into urban neighborhoods make city life a virtual shooting gallery. Those guns come from somewhere but certainly not the neighborhoods where blood flows down streets like rainwater. How many mothers have buried sons and daughters, how many fathers have seen their best effort to protect their children come up short at the end of a gun’s barrel, and how many curbside memorials have been erected that can’t bring back the dead and at best ease the pain of those left behind?

Standing right in the crosshairs is the Black community. It is our children and young adults who stand the greatest chance of becoming victims to gun violence. Why? Well not because Black people are prone to violence or we are inclined to kill each other. That narrative doesn’t hold up under the data or history. The real reason is because the conditions have been set for this human disaster. Herded into communities with no economic opportunity, marginalized in schools that fail to educate our children, and criminalized from the crib, Black children, Black adults must then navigate their living spaces with the tsunami of firearms that come off the assembly line and then directed their way. And what of Blacks like Philando Castile who thought he had a Second Amendment right to possess a firearm? It’s no coincidence there was no defense of his right by the NRA or no grand pronouncement from Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s primary squawk box, on the injustice of his death at the hands of a trigger-happy police officer.

Last week sitting through the funeral of Bianca Roberson, the college-bound student who was shot in the head by a passing motorist in West Chester PA, my emotions ran from deep sorrow to rage. How could we find this acceptable – a young lady who had just graduated from high school, and with such great promise for her life going forward, taken from her parents by a coward with a gun? Why should her parents face such heartbreak? Why should the Black community again see the picture of one of its children on the cover of a funeral program? In the midst of the tragedy of Bianca’s death, there was a glimmer of hope as the entire community came together to denounce her killing. Yet, there were no flowers from the NRA, no words of comfort for her parents from the gun lobby, and not even a recognition that a gun – the NRA’s trinket – was used in such a way to murder this beautiful child.

Neither has the NRA expressed genuine remorse for those police officers slain in the line of duty, with officers outgunned and daily facing the possibility of not returning home to their families. Where was the NRA for the mourning children of New York City police officer Miosotis Familia, ambushed by a gunman while doing what she loved – serving the people of her city? The gun used by the killer is just one of hundreds of thousands, manufactured purportedly for ‘legal’ purposes that find its way as if by GPS to communities of color across the nation. We might take issue with the policing practices of some officers but we also wish no harm upon those who honor their oath because many of them are family, friends and neighbors.

Yes, and through all of this bloodshed and pain and suffering sits the smug NRA. There is always the canned gibberish about the Second Amendment, followed by the contribution to some vessel on Capitol Hill whose only purpose is self-preservation. Meanwhile, gun manufacturers keep pushing out new and more efficient killing tools and play to the inherently weak machoism that arms the criminal and empowers the bigot. It’s no coincidence that murderers and racists revel in their possession of a gun. They are encouraged to do so by an organization that stokes the flames, as was evidenced by the NRA’s recent public ‘service’ announcement that could have been produced by some rogue dictator.

On one point, I agree with the gun gang, additional gun laws won’t work. There is too much money at stake and too many pockets have been lined on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures to expect a responsible reaction. And the right-to-kill has been so ingrained in the American psyche that the only way to stop the killing is to outlaw the possession of the killing device – guns. The only exception should be the creation of a ‘legitimate use’ license for hunters and professional collectors. The penalty for unlawful possession in a gun free America should be such that criminals and bigots understand the click of a trigger is a decades long reservation for a stay in prison. Now, that might sound crazy but who 40 years ago would have thought cigarettes, glorified in movies, on television shows and in slick Madison Avenue advertisements, and protected by tobacco interests in Congress, would one day be viewed with such contempt? And the response to those who fear we are going to take away their guns should be, ‘yes we are.’

I might not live to see the day when we strip guns of their privileged place but I know it’s possible if we begin to call out the NRA for its evil and destructive ways. They should not enjoy the benefits of the tax code as a not-for-profit organization that they use to raise millions. There is no public interest that the NRA serves. It is a shell, a cover for an industry that is producing a dangerous product and using a constitutional amendment out of sync with modern times to shield it from responsibility for the trail of death it leaves behind. There should be no room for these life bandits in our nation, and the quicker we realize they are at the root of this bloodshed, the quicker we can bury this organization deeper than any grave that has been dug for our fallen children.

The NRA can take the express lane to hell.

Walter Fields is the Executive Editor of

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