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It's Time to Stand Up to the NRA

by Sharon Ramirez
(originally submitted to The World as a letter to the editor, published February 22, 2018 - reposted with permission)

Stop killing our kids. If not now, when? Trump rolled back a rule that would have stopped at least 75,000 mentally ill Americans from buying guns, a rule Obama had implemented after the Newton massacre to help protect Americans from gun violence.

The executive director of the NRA, Chris Cox, praised President Trump for the rollback bill. He, like so many politicians, does all he can to protect the $8 billion firearms industry. After the Newtown massacre, the three largest gun makers netted over $390 million in profits on record sales.

Obviously, the NRA and the gun makers are engaged in mutual survival modes. The NRA has a Golden Ring of Freedom club exclusive to gun makers who donate at least $1 million to the NRA — executives from Remington Outdoors, Smith & Wesson, and Beretta, to name a few. In turn, in a vicious cycle of bloody money laundering, the NRA donates millions of campaign dollars to the gutless politicians who ignore gun violence in our schools.

“No honest man needs more than 10 rounds of any gun,” said co-founder of Sturm Ruger, the late Wm. Ruger Sr. in 1992. Unfortunately, many mass shooters use legally obtained firearms. The AR-15 rifle used in many mass shootings, including Newtown and the latest one in Florida, is a version of the military’s lethal M-16 assault rifle.

There are 112.6 guns per resident in America, the home of the free and the brave. What has happened here, with so many citizens motivated by fear and greed? Gun sales rose after Obama became president because of all the conservative hate-talk lies about Obama coming to “take their guns.”

I fear that Congress will soon offer sensible citizens a few bones to shut us up in the way of more money for mental health programs and/or banning only certain assault weapons. We need to demand more. I’ll never forget the nightmare sight of those terrorized Florida students running with their hands up.

Maybe our country can agree on at least this one thing, that we want politicians to stop the killing of our kids. Until politicians, mostly Republican, get the courage to stand up to the NRA and the gun manufacturers, they might as well be pulling the trigger themselves during the next massacre.

Grow a spine. Stop killing our kids.