The truth about the NRA and upcoming NHP fundraiser

The Island Now

Responding to Eric Spinner’s submission regarding the despicable NRA gun auction to be held at the Inn at New Hyde Park, I respect that Mr. Spinner has a hobby, and that he enjoys guns. I also respect and accept that the NRA does some worthwhile things, such as providing gun safety lessons (leaving aside the blatant sexism embedded in Mr. Spinner’s comments about “the ladies.” But in the end, Mr. Spinner likes guns so much that he, and those like him, ignore the base truth about these tools that he so enjoys — they are designed for one purpose, and one purpose only — to kill.

Mr. Spinner and those like him engage in the most reckless and tortured form of logic — truth denial. Mr. Spinner may very well be right — gun owners like him are generally safe. The NRA does some things that are positive. But that does not negate the facts that Mr. Spinner’s access to weapons of massive power to kill means that the next school shooter has access too, and that the NRA stands in the way of any sort of protections against that.

While Mr. Spinner and his brethren may have repurposed firearms and created alternative uses, that cannot diminish the simple and undeniable fact that these are tools of death, and that their availability will always, necessarily, lead to death. There will be dead Innocents — dead concert goers, dead gamers, and dead school children.

And while the aspects of the NRA that Mr. Spinner chooses to laud are arguably positive, the aspects that affect each of us every day are not. Mr. Spinner can ignore, but he cannot deny, that the NRA stands in the way of every reasonable common-sense gun measure that has ever been proposed, including those supported by more than 80% of it’s own membership. The NRA stands in the way of background checks, capacity limits, bans on the AR-15 and weapons like it, and now, bans on 3D printer plans that would allow anyone, criminals, terrorists, and those with mental health issues, to make their own, untraceable guns in their own homes. The NRA buys politicians who trade their souls and decency for campaign war chests and supportive advertisements. There can be no question that there are thousands, including children, that are dead, but would be alive, but for the NRA.

And yes, Mr. Spinner, we are against training and arming teachers. First because it has been proven time and time again that firearms are far more likely to lead to accidential shootings than any form of protection. Second because teachers are educators, not security guards. And finally, speaking for myself, because when I look back on my school career, I cannot think of a single teacher that I would have wanted armed.

Finally, and most frustrating, Mr. Spinner, while claiming ignorance on everyone else’s part, states that “[t]he Second Amendment is a guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms. This cannot be questioned.” But Mr. Spinner, having fallen prey to what Chief Justice Warren Burger called “the biggest fraud ever perpetrated upon the American people”, ignores the accepted meaning of the Second Amendment prior to the NRA’s 1960s propegamda campaign. The Second Amendment was meant to protect the States’ right to maintain their own armies or militias. The Amendment was intended to stop the federal government from preventing armed state forces or from calling up and disbanding militias. This was, in large part, meant to protect slavery. But even ignoring that, it has been held time and time again that the right, no matter how you define it, is not limitless, and that reasonable limitations can and should be made. No one needs an AR-15. No one needs a 10 or 20 or 30 round clip. No one needs to buy a weapon without a background check or a reasonable waiting period. The NRA, a gun industry lobbying and properganda organization, stands in the way of all of that. That is why we protest, and that is why we believe that it is abhorent for a local business to allow the NRA to raise money on it’s property, especially by auctioning off guns for as little as $20 at a wedding venue. The Inn at New Hyde Park should be ashamed, as should Mr. Spinner.

Marc Stein

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