Wayne L.

There’s recklessness in the air.

This is a winter of deeply divisive discontent.

Even though the American people have spoken.

Barack Obama was elected in November for a second term as our President with a 51% to 48% win over his opponent — a three and a half million vote victory margin. Democrats in The United States Senate now outnumber Republicans 54 to 45 and picked up eight seats in the House of Representatives, where they now trail the GOP by just 33 votes, a significant shift away from their former 49 member majority. In fact, there were a million more Democratic ballots cast for House members than Republican on a national basis in 2012, but some fancy pre-election hanky-panky (formally known as “Gerrymandering”) is keeping John Boehner as Speaker for another two years of crocodile tears.

Elbridge Gerry was Governor of Massachusetts in 1812 and helped engineer the restructuring of several state senate districts to benefit his political party, said organization curiously known at the time as “Democratic Republicans”. Their opposition was The Federalists. A local Federalist newspaper in Boston casually noted that one of the new “carved out” sections resembled a grossly contorted — salamander. Combining this humorous imagery with the good Governor’s name, the practice of gaining advantage by such chicanery became known as “Gerrymandering.” The name has stuck ever since for over two centuries, therein offering an important cautionary note for writers of all stripes. Words do live on.

Elbridge Gerry continued his political career to become Fifth Vice President of the United States under James Madison — as everyone knows.

But one clear, undisputed, unqualified fact of the entire matter is that the sole reason the GOP controls the 113th House of Representatives is because they gerrymandered congressional districts through a 30 million dollar investment during the 2010 election cycle in “blue states” such as Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This campaign was so successfully executed that Republicans went from controlling both legislative chambers in 14 states before Election Day to 25 states afterward, paving the way for new salamander art.

Now they’re trying to work that same slithering magic with rules governing the Electoral College, scheming and dreaming that a future Presidency might similarly be sliced out.

All of this was released last Thursday by the Republican State Leadership Committee, along with the specific admission that only through such activity was the House not lost. This was also the same time Lance Armstrong gave it up to Oprah, although not nearly as fully as the RSLC in honestly owning up to cause and effect. Admittedly clever manipulation carried the day. Score a big one in memory of the Gipper.

So — here’s the deal.

Along with all the aforementioned realities, even Ronald Reagan wanted to ban assault rifles. He remembered being shot. Latest accredited polling shows 56% of American voters believe laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict while 7% say regulations ought to be lessened. 85% of respondents are in favor of background checks for private and gun show sales with only 12% opposed. 63% of the American people support a stringent limitation on high capacity magazines. A total ban on military war weapons, such as used to kill twenty little kids in Connecticut, is favored by an overwhelming majority of fellow citizens 55% to 40%.

So who are these creatures calling our President an “elitist hypocrite” in a misleading radio and television ad referencing his young daughters with a dangerous appeal to the worst instincts of gun-rights subversives?

How can any fair-minded individual consider the National Rifle Association to be anything other than a cowardly cabal of antagonistically angry and horribly frightened old men?

As English Moralist Samuel Johnson reminded us on April 7, 1775, false patriotism is “the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

They dare to flamboyantly wrap themselves in our treasured flag with feigned defiance, hiding from their fear as a small child shakes and trembles behind its mother’s apron.

Pathetically pitiful.

Outrageously antiquated.

Surely shameless.

The N.R.A.?

Not Really American.

7 Responses to ““N.R.A.””

  1. Charles Walker Says:

    Dear Peter C…sometimes when I read your ramblings I just get…well…tired… because I know I won’t be able to resist trying to lead you to the light. Since childhood I have been fascinated by guns. I shot skeet and trap a couple of times in the 1980s. It was great fun. I live in Florida where I could buy a gun tomorrow, take the concealed weapons test and bring it home in a shoulder holster, fully loaded Tuesday. I don’t own a gun. I’ll never own a gun. I am pathologically afraid of bullets. There is no reason for any civilian to own a “Bushwacker 5000” assault rifle. There is no reason for anyone to have an ammo clip that holds 30 40mm bullets. People who belong to the NRA make me nervous. So do folks who can’t wait to go out and kill Bambi every fall.

    On the other hand, as of 2009 there were more than 310 million firearms in the USA. I’m guessing 95% of them are legal and owned by righteous citizens protected by the 2nd Amendment which has its roots in the English Bill of Rights of 1689. I don’t think the 1st Amendment should be repealed to eliminate Clear Channel from firing DJs, I don’t think the 5th Amendment should be repealed to keep sumbags from using it in court or in congressional hearings, I don’t think the 6th Amendment should be repealed to protect victims of rape and I don’t think the 2nd amendment should be repealed.

    There was an interesting op-ed in the local paper last week by Carl Hiaasen about the folly of anti-marijuana and the “War on Drugs” that has cost untold billions with no noticeable effect. As I read it I was reminded not only of the Volstead Act of the 18th Amendment, but it occurred to me what a monumental fuck-up anti-gun laws would be.

    Now on to gerrymandering…just as it tickled the shit out of me to hear Crazy Harry Reid whining about the Republicans using the filibuster, so it tickles the shit out of me to read your screed about Governor Gerry and his mandering. Peter, Peter, peter…you grew up in NY! You lived in Michigan near Illinois! Do you honestly believe that the Republicans invented gerrymandering! Sweet Mother Dingbat! Apparently all that wine sodden fresh air on the left coast has loosened your screws. From Reconstruction on, the Dems have garnered far more benefit than the Rubpugs from drawing district lines. What little the GOP may have learned, they learned at the feet of FDR,, Mayor Daley, Gentleman Jim Curley, Huey and Earl K Long and all the others in the long,proud line of crooked Democratic Governors.

    Other than that, I hope you and Eileen are happy and well and that I’ll see you in May.

    Best wishes,
    Your pal Charlie

  2. petercavanaugh Says:

    Charlie, Charlie, Charlie. No one is attempting to repeal anything. or take away anyone’s gun. Or rifle. Remember “Full Metal Jacket?” — “This is my rifle — this is my gun. One is for fighting. One is for fun.” I’m not for removing either. Relax. And I’m leaving out the graphics. And I’m not denying Dems have gerrymandered too lots of times. That doesn’t make it fair. Hmmmm. I’m trying to figure out how to make The Reunion with a grandson graduating from High School in Cincinnati that same weekend. We’ll see. I’m heading for the bar. Do they still let you out?

  3. Charles Walker Says:

    Only on alternate Tuesdays and Thursdays if I promise not to cut off my ankle tracking device.

  4. Don Richards Says:

    Sorry Peter and Charles. Off topic:

    Peter: they’re talking about you and flint radio history at ck 105. Thought you should know.


  5. Charles Walker Says:

    The trailer is great [although I could do without the tonguey action at the end…] Peter C, how come in all those pix from back in the day you always look like a narc on the local PD?

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