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NRA and Gun Industry File Lawsuit Over Seattle's Anti-Violence Efforts


#1

NRA and Gun Industry File Lawsuit Over Seattle's Anti-Violence Efforts

Jon Queally, staff writer

Three pro-gun lobbying groups, including the National Rifle Association, filed suit against the city of Seattle on Monday for instituting a "gun violence tax" earlier this year which levies a local tax on firearms and ammunition to support local violence prevention programs and research.

In addition to the NRA, the lawsuit was filed by two other national groups, the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, alongside local gun owners and two Seattle-based gunshops, the Outdoor Emporium and Precise Shooter.


#2

Many years ago, the NRA was an association of gun owners, dedicated to gun safety. It was taken over by the gun manufacturers and turned into an industry lobby, dedicated to expanding and protecting its market, above all other considerations, and by any means available.


#3

Did a person need a right to ride a horse-drawn carriage? No. Did a person need a "privilege" to drive a horse-less carriage? Yep. Why are these shootin' irons different? We are not discussing the one-shot ball-musket, after all...


#4

As US society falls apart at the seams, the commitment to guns, among a certain cohort of the population, hardens and deepens. The gun industry is immensely profitable. Gun manufacturers do not want to see any restrictions on the sale and distribution of their products. Their mentality is no different from those who manufacture cars or widgets. They want the largest possible market, and then they want the largest share of that market. It's simple capitalism. It doesn't matter if the product you are selling causes mayhem to society. Capitalism is NOT a moral system. It's a predatory arrangement whereby some people engross wealth at the expense of others.

Gun Manufacturers happily fund the NRA and other lobbying groups to advance their crude business interests. The NRA was once a hunting association, but now it is a fanatical, obstructionist anti-social cult, a gathering house for right wing paranoids, white supremacists, male fantasists and hard core libertarians who all believe in Mao's dictum that "power comes from the barrel of a gun." There are some on the Left who argue that mass gun ownership is a necessary precondition for revolution. I wouldn't say this is entirely wrong. However, the principle of "necessary precondition" must not be equated with "sufficient condition," otherwise Leftists end up playing into the right wing (survivalist) narrative that ownership of guns is itself a revolutionary act. Guns are a side issue when it comes to considering revolutionary prospects. More important is the raising of consciousness, solidarity, co-cooperation, organization, moral vision and conviction. Right wingers---aptly called "gun nuts"--tend to ignore all these issues. They hold to the ludicrous position that their guns are what keep the USA from falling into tyranny, as if the citizenry could prevail against the greatest military machine ever assembled in history. If the army did not turn in a revolutionary moment, the revolution would have no chance of succeeding.

2nd Amendment politics are not really about the defense of "freedom" and "liberty," as the NRA now likes to claim. It's true that the NRA has picked up on some real totalitarian tendencies in contemporary US society, but it's also true that the NRA has no problem with the American Empire, the driving force behind the oppressive militarization of daily life. Nor does the NRA have any real misgivings about our collapsing social order, with its stark economic and racial inequality. The NRA is all about The Coming Race War in America, and that is why gun sales and social paranoia are booming. The appeal of the NRA is not about strict constitutionalism; it is rather about apocalyptic fantasies and secret dreams.

The gun industry is doing everything it can to make guns a permanent normal feature of American life. You can buy pink handguns that fit into your purse; you can buy guns with every kind of exotic name; the manufacturers are doing their best to get plastic weapons into wide sales. They want to turn all of American Society into a Death Cult: GUNS R US! Just listen to Wayne Le Pierre, President of the NRA, who says that the only real solution to mass shootings in schools and everywhere else is to have a totally armed populace. Right Wingers like to say that an armed society will be a peaceful society as we will all be subjected to the law of Mutually Assured Destruction. Of course, in reality, a fully armed society is more likely to be a Hobbesian State of Nature, where life is short, nasty and brutish. The USA is not Switzerland: it is a war-mongering empire, with a history of genocide, slavery and conquest. Does anyone really believe that such a society is capable of waging the peace while holding firearms in the many, many millions?


#5

Superb brief assessment!


#6

It seems a rather shallow argument. They will have a hard time proving that a $25 tax makes a gun unaffordable for the poor, since they are pretty much unaffordable for the poor to start with. But will this case see the inside of a courtroom?

The real question is will the people of Seattle be outgunned in the litigation process when the NRA pits the full weight of its treasury against them? Its a long, slow, and expensive road to the Supreme Court, which is where the NRA wants to take this, or they wouldn't be involved.

They really don't care about the poor defending themselves; they care only about an unfettered right to gun ownership. They have reinterpreted the meaning of the second amendment to support their view, and have spent copious amounts of money advertising, lobbying, suing, and writing policy to support it. They have stoked an atmosphere of fear over the end days even as children lay dead and bloody in schoolyards and classrooms from indiscriminate shootings. The NRA and their ilk are a scourge in our society.

We accept limitations on our first amendment speech rights for public safety reasons. It only seems reasonable we accept limitations--for the same reason--on the second amendment, since the potential for public harm is so much greater, and has been well demonstrated.


#7

That's the patina. The NRA promotes the mythology of the armed revolutionary impenetrable to dangers, and also INURED to all forms of gun violence since any sane measures to monitor the sale of weaponry this cohort frames as taking away the group's precious guns: phallic extensions of their "manhood" (as perceived inside a society conditioned to show homage to Mars: god of war and weapons).


#9

This was largely lifted out of my commentary and slightly dressed up and offered with ZERO attribution:

"Guns are a side issue when it comes to considering revolutionary prospects. More important is the raising of consciousness, solidarity, co-cooperation, organization, moral vision and conviction."

This is one of your better comments, overall, apart from the nonchalance with which you (and others) "borrow" others' messages.

On this point:

"it's also true that the NRA has no problem with the American Empire, the driving force behind the oppressive militarization of daily life..."

The statement is of course true, but it stops quite shy of making the larger point and glaring omission of your entire post; and that is: that the NRA is also funded by the MIC and if weapons didn't prove such a fascination to too many immature males (whose only sense of personal power seems to come from a weapon), the now well-grown strength and pervasiveness of the military-industrial complex would not have proven the case.

It is the homage to weapons that's funded by not just gun producers, but the entire infrastructure that makes its profits from designing, building, selling, and using black market channels to make the entire world unsafe for most, if not all.

This GUN fetish is senseless homage to the destroyer, and pumps men up with the capacity to DO harm. It's against any religion that TRULY followed The Masters, Jesus, included.

And since you and 95% of people who post here are INTENT on making gender differences invisible, you added this tidbit:

"You can buy pink handguns that fit into your purse."

It's not that "you" can buy pink handguns... it's that just as Bernays taught Madison Avenue how to market cigarettes to women/suffragettes, the MIC and its gun-producing corporate pals figured that rather than oppose women, it was more cost-effective to invite them into the military and provide a sexed up killer toy for those girls who want to be just like "real boys." After all, since patriarchy still calls the shots (literally and figuratively), and since the entire societal paradigm reflects its values... women and girls are being taught to adapt to the Mars rules model as if no alternative to this diabolical collective "reality" existed.

Collapse is coming. Guns don't grow food or make for a world that's fit to live in.


#10

Seattle is a pretty independent group of people, raised there, I wouldn't want to bet against them.
And they like their city, and they are more interested in a good life than guns.

Second, can we call the gun industry by it's correct name... War Mongers.
The civilian side of weaponry is just a diversion from the wealth generated in world wars fought with their soulless product.

And it is not a poll tax, Gottlieb, engage the brain for a few more seconds.
It's a cleanup tax. A small start to actually begin the CLEANUP of the rot you and your kind produce.

I was raised with hunters and there was always a certain kind of person that had no clue what a gun was or how to handle it properly. You only shoot what you can eat, a good hunter only requires one shot, and you always keep the guns out of the hands of the morons who had no clue.

Weapons like an AK-47 or M-16 had no business in the civilian world.

So far that plan has failed and it is quite obvious that, like any other addiction,
the American People need an intervention with medical treatement.


#11

Good post. The "clean-up" premise is wise framing, and since the advertising world SETS public perception and the PR people are paid big bucks to come up with a string of fallacious titles (heck, look at the names of drugs: Lunestra, Elantra, Allegra, Viagra, etc... as I've related in the past, these names simulate Greek states of ecstasy or exaltation)... this is an excellent strategic device.


#12

Setting the 2nd amendment and gun ownership aside our government is instituted among us and rule by our consent for the increase in safety and our welfare. Any community has the right to write by-laws or ordinances which are a benefit to the community. The state controls laws on cars and trucks but we can prohibit their use or control speed limits for the safety of the community resulting in greater well being. As shown in this by-law, communities freely tax themselves with their votes for the benefit of all. This is part of our constitutional power of self rule and self taxation.

My hope is that the ordinance is well written and securely tucked in the folds of our constitution and all costs to defend the community’s rights in court are shared by those that would question the sovereignty of people and their communities.

Legally crafted laws written by the people themselves or their municipality which is spreading across our nation shall not be denied. Should we find that to be the case then the 2nd amendment does come into play.


#13

Our four freedoms are freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom of violence.


#14

I do hope the metal detectors in the courtrooms that this case is heard in are in good working order. I think the only inalienable right US citizens have is the right to remain silent, and even that can be overturned by scream inducing torture. Chris Rock said that bullets ought to be prohibitively expensive so people could own all the guns they wanted but would not be able to afford to fire away freely.

I am opposed generally to things being banned: guns, abortions, hate speech, but that being said, I have no idea what to do to ameliorate the harm ther things sometimes cause. My fear is that things will devolve into free-for-all shoot-'em-up which will be quickly upgraded to thermonuclear.


#15

One thing that grew apparent to me a long time ago is that those men who choose to strap on those guns and then "dressup" in their camo gear, wrap around shades , ammo pouches and kevlar vests are like children playing dressup. They are permanently infantalized.

They are very much like those children playing at being grown up men in the Lord of the Flies imagining some beast out to get them and the need to hunt it down to kill it.

A long time ago I read a book by Robert Bly who suggested that what was missing for men in the modern world was those rituals that inititated what was once a boy into manhood. He suggested that this keeps many of the modern males locked in a permanent state of childhood.

Again i reflect on my own father and his brothers and relatives and their own guns. Never handguns. Only hunting rifles as they came from a hunting family. They never "dressed up" when they took those guns out unless it was that bright red as proscribed by the law. I recall only one time them taking their guns out for sport and that was to shoot at a painted target across a field to see who was most accurate. None of them wore camo or "hunting outfits". They did not put on their "I am carrying a gun gear look at me". The guns were cleaned, put away and locked up and not taken out again until hunting season.

I can only imagine what my father would say If a visited him dressed in camo gear with them ammo pouches and those wrap around shades with GI JOE emblazoned on the back and some slogan on the front of my shirt extolling guns, freedom and liberty. He would make some comment no doubt of looking through boxes in the attic to see if he could find me a super hero costume I might have worn as a kid for halloween.

Again the statistics are telling. In the USA only 35 percent of households have guns. There are 120 million some odd households and some 300 million guns. This means that some 43 million households have all those guns meaning 7 on average per household. We are talking about "gun nuts". They can never be "intimidating enough" until they buy yet another and then run out and tell everyone about it.


#16

Thank You.
There is much wisdom in your posts as well.


#17

Bless you for publicly checking yourself.


#18

If the NRA hadn't become a PR firm for the industry it would probably work with the people and City of Seattle rather than taking the matter to court. But in turn what if the next stop is the State House AND with it the millions of people getting fed up with the blatant industrial distortions of rights by such ill informed and arguably paranoid, obsessive compulsive, blind, power starved, and apparently dangerously confused people.

Spread the word, share the reports - no more silence on the matter. These have to be revealed for what so many posters here are pointing out.


#19

I toyed with the idea of not responding to your patronizing and insulting post. But I thought that a non-response might leave you with the impression that I accept your bitter accusations and that I am powerless to respond.

I did not attribute anything to you because I did not lift anything out of your commentary. In fact, I had not even read what you written at the time of my own writing. If I happened to have a thought that you also had, then I suppose that makes us both geniuses, right? It certainly does not mean that YOU are the only person in the forum capable of a good thought. Newton and Leibnitiz were independently co-founders of calculus; Darwin and Wallace independently discovered natural selection. I don't believe that they ungenerously and unfairly accused each other of intellectual larceny. They realized that it is possible for lightning to strike in two places at once. You and I are not Newtons or Darwins: our thoughts are much more banal, so why be surprised that we sometimes share them?

It's downright rude of you to accuse others of "plagiarism." And it's arrogant to assume that they carelessly go out of their way to steal from YOU. I'm ready to take enlightenment from any source. If you wrote something I admired, I would be more than happy to pay you respect.

I could take issue with one or two things you say about the actual issue at hand, the NRA gun cult, but I forebear, because I agree with the gist of your post.

Often when you come into CD you seem to be itching for a fight, rather than a conversation. Why don't you ask yourself why that is?


#20

It's a good post you write. More generally, there seems to be something going on in humankind that means each successive generation fails more than the previous to mature in any sort of spiritual sense. We have cultures that induce boredom, and then sell escapist products from drugs and computer games to guns and war movies. Women at least just end worrying about the size of their ass in this week's jeans - men end up running around imagining they're Clint Eastwood or Arnie Schwarzenegger.


#21

Many posters can be tied to specific points of view or topics that most interest them.

Nicholas, a/k/a Ephraim is known for pushing questions of actual Holocaust numbers. He is also quite protective of those writers--like Bacevich, Astore, and Tom Engelhardt--who push reformist concepts of a more "successful" military instead of honestly dismantling the Beast.

Some posters relentlessly defend nuclear power, and others push the population problem in lieu of the disproportionate use of energy (and tangible things) by a small percentage of the world's people.

One of my keenest points is that of raising consciousness. And you were nowhere to be found when I strongly suggested this approach instead of what sounded to me like Agents Provocateurs pushing the FIGHT BACK meme.

I have often noticed that particular insights I offered were "coincidentally" picked up by others.

It is not insulting to point out a basic component that should be honored in a communications-based forum: that of offering attribution to sources of info.

You are one of the better writers in this forum, and one capable of putting the time, energy and dedication into writing nuanced comments. That's why when you leave out things like gender (when the subject is aggression), or the role of the Fundamentalist Church (when it was very relevant to the topic under discussion), or in this case, no actual link to the MIC... which happens to directly fund the NRA, I have to wonder and raise questions.

It is hardly a secret that I am convinced that people are paid by both private corporations and military adjuncts to saturate these threads with specific Talking Points. Together, the group is able to set up consensus and thereby marginalize those comments that don't fall inside the boundaries drawn up by specific posters creating a hegemonic control over the conversation.

I have challenged the conformist nature of this protocol in its insistence on essentially setting up its own invisible perimeter to where conjecture might go... for 8+ years. And in that time, my own commentary has remained consistent, has been offered in my name, and has come up against a TREMENDOUS amount of attacks. Those have been tempered since the cessation of Dis Qus now makes it harder for maybe 5 posters to post 60 comments (think: John Tredea who may well be posting under one of the now prevalent "new" screen names).

You have no humility. This is my 3rd challenge to the CONTENT of your posts and what you manage to leave out. Instead of finding rich grounds for inspired debate, you want to call me rude and offer other character insults.

It could be sexism... that many of you have this attitude that as packs of male wolves, you dare not be questioned. That so long as you salute one another and tell each other how right you are, you need not pay any attention to that pesky woman who asks annoying questions. Questions that go right to the heart of the status quo that is killing us all. Your allegiance to patriarchy is the blind-spot. And since most who post here share that allegiance, it's easy to paint me as a pariah.

But just as Vandana Shiva stands up to patriarchal capitalism and the horrific, diabolical ways that a war criminal corp. like Monsanto is laying claim to so much of the world's seeds, farms, and farmers... SHE will not be silenced nor will all the other women fed up with the way that MEN are focusing on wars and weapons, and this mentality is also behind science, medicine, sports, and culture. It's all about search and destroy missions of dominance and domination. And the MIC which leads the pack was left out of your post. Yes. I find that VERY curious.