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American Gun Laws, the NRA, and the White House: A Deplorable Tale of our Times American Gun Laws, the NRA, and the White House: A Deplorable Tale of our Times
by Dr. Emanuel Paparella
2017-10-04 11:08:37
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"Literally, this is the same rifle that the military gets without the full auto happy switch.
That's fantastic!"
                                                               --NRA tweet a few hours before the Las Vegas mass shooting               

“It is premature to talk about gun control laws after Las Vegas.”
--The White House

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The above quotes and the photo at the White House following the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting that left 59 people dead and over 500 injured, in a way says it all. But perhaps a few clarifications and reflections need to be added.

As is their practice, the National Rifle Association’s social media accounts have gone silent when only a few hours before the shooting one read the above, while our hypocritical politicians in love with guns and the alleged defense of the 2nd amendment have come out with platitudes of commiseration and condolences while saying nothing on the inconsistency of a country out of control on gun control which wishes to control nuclear armament in North Korea and around the globe.  

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U.S. law currently allows civilian purchase of weapons that were designed to kill people quickly, not for hunting, recreation or self defense. These weapons can be modified to make them even more deadly. The NRA, meanwhile, fights for everyone to have unfettered access to these weapons. Authorities have found some 42 rifles in Paddock’s hotel room and his home. That’s how easy it is to get weapons in America.

What has been the reaction of the Commander in Chief? A banal one at best: he has offered “warm condolences” and this banal comment: “The answers do not come easy.” Really? Every civilized country in the world has already found answers to gun violence and abuse, thus avoiding the daily toll suffered in the U.S.

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Nevada is a perfect example of what happens when gun laws are loosed rather than tightened.

Twitter Ads info and privacyIn an NRA-produced video, American Hunter managing editor Jon Draper is absolutely giddy about massive power of the FN SCAR 17S. Draper traveled to the test range of the manufacturer, FN, where he spoke to Jay Recto, the “assault weapons manager.” After being taken through some of the rifle’s features by Recto, a giddy Draper declares: “Literally, this is the same rifle that the military gets without the full auto happy switch. That’s fantastic!” “Exactly, you don’t have the happy switch, that’s about it,” Recto agrees.Although fully automatic weapons are not legally available for civilian use, experts say audio of the Las Vegas shooting makes it sound like an automatic weapon was used. This could mean the suspect, Stephen Paddock, illegally obtained a fully automatic weapon or “that a weapon could have been modified to fire faster, a change to a semiautomatic firearms known as bump or slide fire.”Authorities found at least 19 firearms in Paddock’s hotel room, including 10 rifles.Clark County, the scene of Sunday night’s calamity, used to be the only county in Nevada that had the authority to require registration of handguns. Clark County’s authority to enforce those local laws was revoked by the state legislature in 2015. The county’s registration records were all destroyed under the state law by the following June.Mesquite, Nev., where the apparent shooter, Stephen Paddock, lived, is in Clark County.

In Nevada, concealed weapon permits are “shall-issue,” according to Nevadacarry.org, a pro-gun group. That means that sheriffs must hand them out to any qualified person, meaning anyone who is not a felon, drug addict or illegal immigrant or has never been judged mentally ill or committed of been convicted of a crime of domestic violence. Open carry is legal without a permit. Nevadacarry.org reports that the state doesn’t ban assault weapons or impose a magazine capacity limit. No purchase permits, gun registration, waiting period or owner licensing is required. Private gun sales are legal and, as Clark County knows, Local gun laws are banned.

It’s legal to carry a gun openly in Nevada anywhere except in federal buildings and schools. You can carry a gun openly even on private property where “no gun” signs are posted; they don’t have the force of law. You can carry a gun openly or (with a permit) concealed even in bars while drinking alcohol. You can carry a gun openly or concealed in a casino. “Most casinos will ask you to leave or disarm if they observe you carrying firearms,” according to Nevadacarry, but all that can happen if you refuse to leave to comply is that you can be charged with trespassing.

Nevada rated a C-minus score this year from the  Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a San Francisco nonprofit dedicated to tightening firearms restrictions. The center ranked the state’s laws the 18th strongest in the nation, but that was only because of the passage of Question 1; before that vote, the center placed Nevada 27th. The center calculated the state’s gun death rate at 14.9 per 100,000 residents, or 14th highest among the 50 states.

The Las Vegas massacre will again occasion the kind of political hand-wringing that presages an utter lack of legislative action. Trump, true to form, has followed the gun lobby playbook for the aftermath of a mass shooting, declaring it “an act of pure evil,” as though to absolve policy-makers and legislators of any responsibility. On its website, Nevadacarry took up the task of defending the state’s legislative laxity, branding the attack a “terrorist” act. Shifting the blame is a skill that Trump has perfected all his life.

But the carnage will underscore a few aspects of mass shootings that we do know. One is that, even though they comprise a small percentage of all gun deaths in America (and the toll from Las Vegas won’t change that much), they have an outsized effect on public opinion because the victims are so random. Unlike most gun deaths, mass shootings can happen to anyone, anywhere, heightening anxieties about life in our public spaces.

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Mass Shooting in Las Vegas

We are sure to hear this nonsense from the IRA and its cohorts, not excluding Donald Trump: “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” In other words, the guns are innocent and we ought to cherish them, it’s an American right, independent of one’ mental status. They give us respect and dignity. It’s ok to be an enabler for nuts out to commit massacres.

There was a man in Palestine who was one of the sanest men that ever lived on this planet and he put it best some 2000 years ago: “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.” Today he would probably say: “He who lives by the gun dies by the gun.”

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Check Dr Emanuel Paparella's NEW BOOK
"The Caligula Presidency: A Satirical Debunking Critique"
is online now and you can download it for FREE HERE!

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Check also Dr Emanuel Paparella's other EBOOKS
Aesthetic Theories of Great Western Philosophers
& Europe Beyond the Euro
You can download them all for FREE HERE!
 
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