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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Paul Rawlings: Tough questions for the N.R.A.

  • I challenge anyone to find a single court case holding the Second Amendment right to own guns is an unlimited right.
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  • Americans watched their TV sets in horror and shock as President Kennedy was gunned down and Presidents Truman, Ford and Reagan narrowly survived the assassin’s guns and watched the recent slaughter of young schoolchildren.  People concerned and saddened by these mass gun killings have united and support the bills pending before Congress which they believe will make America safer and reduce the number of innocent people killed in these increasing tragedies.  The N.R.A. and its leader Wayne LaPierre oppose all bills regulating ownership or use of guns.
     Can you provide a single statement showing its author, date and place stated which advocates banning shotguns and rifles with clips that hold less than 5 bullets?
     Why did the N.R.A. support universal background checks for gun owners in 1999 and oppose such universal background checks in 2013?
     Why is government sponsored gun registration any more onerous that government sponsored automobile registration?
     Are AR 15’s and other military type weapons suited for any purpose other than killing large numbers of people in a few seconds in combat?
     Do the N.R.A. leaders correctly state the law of the land when they say the Second Amendment right to own a gun is an unlimited right?
     The United Supreme Court in District of Columbia vs. Heller 554 U.S 570 held: “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.  It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
     I challenge anyone to find a single court case holding the Second Amendment right to own guns is an unlimited right.
     Did the NRA leader LaPierre correctly describe law enforcement officers such as our local Sheriff Moss, local Chief Walker and their deputies when he described them in 1993 as:  “Jack booted thugs wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms who harass, intimidate, even murder law abiding citizens.”  Former President George H.W. Bush found LaPierre’s statement slanderous and so offensive to his sense of decency and honor that on May 13, 1993 he resigned his lifetime membership in the N.R.A.
     Did LaPierre correctly describe Sheriff Moss and Chief Walker and their deputies when he said in 1995:  “If you have a badge, you have the government’s go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens.”
     Did  LaPierre on 12/21/12 present a plan which would make schools safer  when he called on   “Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school—and to do it now.”.
    Page 2 of 2 -  Was LaPierre believable and acting in good faith when he proposed placing an armed policeman in every school when he has repeatedly described policemen as  “jack booted thugs” who would “harass, intimidate, even murder law abiding citizens?” 
     How many billion dollars would the gun industry make if guns were placed in thousands of school (N.Y. City has 1,500)?
     Would Congress or local taxpayers be willing to spend billions of dollars to buy guns for thousands of schools?
     Where would guns in schools be kept —on the teacher’s desk—locked in the principal’s office—or worn in a holster?
     The N.R.A has offered no plan to make you safe when at Wal Mart, attending a football game with 100,000 people or in attendance at other places such as the theater in Aurora Colorado.  For the N.R.A. to be consistent Wal Mart would be required to arm its employees, colleges, the AFL and the NFL would be required to arm enough “jack booted thugs” to protect 100,000 plus people while attending football games.
     Hopefully you will examine the facts and like former President Bush you will find the statements of the N.R.A.’s leaders offensive to your “sense of decency and honor” and like Bush you will have the good judgment to reject the leadership of the N.R.A and will have the courage to support legislation before Congress which would make America safer and reduce the number of innocent people killed by guns.
     
    My thanks to James Jackson and The Sun Times for allowing me to write a regular column.
     Musings is the product of an 84 year old retired man who was born near Cave City, Arkansas; educated in Arkansas schools; grew up and worked on an Arkansas farm; worked in a factory, grocery, bank, practiced law for over 20 years; served one year as an Arkansas Assistant Attorney General, and served over 20 years as a Federal Administrative Law Judge hearing Social Security Disability Cases.
     Active in the Methodist Church over 60 years as a teacher, member of Trustee and Administrative Boards; member of Lions International, held all club offices, member of the Arkansas Bar, and the Masonic Order over 60 years in each; former board member of Lions World Services for the blind; served two years in the U.S Army; have been a Hospice volunteer over 10 years currently serving as the Vice-President of NARFE and am the proud father of two boys Bill-Neal.
     My promise to you the readers and The Sun Times: To provide information from weeks of research that is  factual and verifiable and pose thought provoking questions and believing name calling such as “wackos” Radicals” “Nazi’s” “traitors”  “Socialists”  “liberals” has no place in a civil discussion and I further promise never to engage in such name calling practice.
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