Is Wayne LaPierre Pulling Your Strings? by Rick London

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Before the NRA was founded America had guns.  We never worried about our 2nd Amendment rights, because like our other rights, they were and are clearly written in the Constitution. All common usage guns are protected.   When the NRA was founded, they were on the side of gun-owners, even teaching gun safety classes (one of which I took and most enjoyed). 

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In the early 1990s, things changed. Suddenly we were told our 2nd Amendment rights were at risk.  How could this be. America was fine for 300 years before the founding of the NRAand suddenly the 2nd Amendment was in trouble?  Who was telling us this?  It turned out the NRA was telling us this.   The smart Americans began to easily understand they were lobbying, no longer for gun owners, but for gun manufacturers (and sellers).   The end-buyer was to be the fearful chess pawn who would buy more guns due to the big bad monster under the bed who swallows guns.

LaPierre, admittedly did his job so well, that on 12/14, when 20 children were brutally mowed down to the size of molecules, Americans all over were holding tight to their guns, wondering if this was the last straw; not even thinking of the families and their horrendous losses.   He not only has brainwashed them, he has made them extremely ill.  Children are more important than Bushmasters.  I know that’s hard to believe for some, but its really true. 

Every country which has had horrendous civil wars have had their own version of  Wayne LaPierre; Syria, the former Libya and Iraq and the list goes on and on.

The chess game is not rocket science. It’s simple unscrupulous business. The gun lobby pays (and grades) the political system of each country, tells them how to vote and often writes their states laws.   They then instill fear in the end user (gun owners) that they need more guns as bad people with even more guns are after their guns.   And every time they buy into it.

I so hoped Americans were smarter than that. Fortunately most are (yes even NRA members) who joined it in the nostalgic times when it was honest and provided a decent service.

So what happens when inevitably a civil war breaks out in each of the countries (which it does)?  The Wayne LaPierre’s of the world leave those countries right at the outbreak of the wars sipping drinks with umbrellas on Polynesian beaches laughing loudly at all the puppets they manipulated to become billionaires.  

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Are you one of their puppets?   You don’t have to be a gun-owner to be one.  There are plenty of decent law-abiding gun-owners who know this game a lot better than I do.  And they want no part of it.  To be one of the puppets, all  you have to be is A. Paid by the NRA or B. Naive or both. ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Rick London is a writer, designer and cartoonist. He founded Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts which have been Google’s #1 ranked since 2005.   

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Lost Dog In An Imaginary Fight by Rick London

     Social media is a lot of fun because we get to talk to friends we’ve never met (or probably will meet); mostly on Twitter, and on facebook we run into plenty of old friends that we did know a millennium ago in our cities of birth.  One also meet new ones from that same city, but perhaps they lived outside of our school district so maybe didn’t get to know them as well, but now we do.   And we meet new ones from being in groups “with similar interest” worldwide which is great fun.  And we get to send birthday wishes to each and every one of them without buying one stamp.

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     Now if facebook has done nothing else for us, let us be grateful for those incredible services.  Plus that imaginary feeling of importance  we all get when we update our status, and in our minds,  people are on the edge of their home/office chairs waiting to read what we are going to say next (when in reality they are playing Poker, Farmville or Mafia Wars).

     I try not to turn on the news but sometimes I can’t help myself.  This past week we learned the TSA feels it is a good idea to allow knives on commercial planes.  One thing we all surely learned in 2001 is that there simply aren’t enough sharp objects being taken onto planes.  I bet every TSA agent and exec gets vetted to make sure they have at least one ivy league degree….or at least has caught a terrible case of poison ivy at least once in their lifetime.

       We live in a dangerous world with a lot of people extremely sensitive about a lot of topics.  Some of them, they have every right to be, some of them have lost dogs in imaginary fights that aren’t even theirs; or, they haven’t a clue what the invisible fight is about.  One is the 2nd Amendment. Thank you Wayne LaScare for sending enough emails and letters to keep your gun manufacturer’s businesses very lucrative. They all salute you even though they feel you’re as loco as we think you are.

      I’m relatively neutral about guns per se; that is, I believe in the Constitution and that includes 2nd Amendment rights.  But unlike many (who truly believe they support the Constitution), I’ve studied it and I do have a clue what it says and means.  All the amendments are VERY conditional.  Let’s take the 1st Amendment.  Free speech is great fun and makes me proud to be an American.  What we can do and say here can’t be said in a very lot of countries on this planet without losing a limb or a head. But there are limitations.  We can’t and shouldn’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater anymore than we should make a racial statement that could incite violence or even a riot.  With the 1st Amendment comes a multitude of responsibilities, just like with the 2nd Amendment.  If someone doesn’t understand that, they believe in the NRA’s Wayne LaScare, not the 2nd Amendment. The two are as different as night and day.  

      I grew up around hunters and half or more of our little hamlet’s homes have a firearm for protection.  And that’s their business (the gun owner), not mine.  Handguns and rifles are (COMMON USE WEAPONS) in the U.S. hence protected by the 2nd Amendment.  Every other gun is conditional and is not even really a 2nd Amendment argument as extended magazines, AR-15s, Bushmasters etc etc. are not the common use guns of our country. 

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     They were all designed for military combat.  The very use of them by civilians in our country is a spit in the eye of every soldier in the battlefield who is fighting for us to have a country where we civilians would never have to confront such terror as they do on the battlefield.  It’s a spit in the face of every veteran who has ever experienced war.  They all fought so we could feel safe in our country and never have to worry about such weaponry.  Those are not guns; they are terror weapons and for military defense only.  They have no other intelligent usage.  

     We pay taxes that pay our local law enforcement’s salaries and buys their equipment (often including assault weapons).  Why?  So we won’t have to use them.  If you are unhappy with their service, and feel you can do better, why are you paying taxes?  They can do better, believe me.  The statistics of someone with a weapon in their home (whether it be automatic or not) is so dismal, as far as “getting the bad guy”,  you might as well have loaded guns at the front door with a sign that says, “Here…take one”.  The police are here for a reason.  And they are very trained to get bad guys with guns, a lot better than you or me. 

      I am proud of the Million Mothers For Gun Safety and The Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

     One friend made the stale old NRA Wayne LaScare statement that when/if we ever automatic weapons, only criminals will have automatics.

     Actually that has already been proven to be untrue.  When machine guns were banned on May 19, 1986 only criminals were using them.  They were not the “common use weapons” in America, and caused horrendous damage to those shot, very much like today’s automatics. 

      So tell me, when is the last time you heard or read about a crime committed by someone with a machine gun?   Me either.

     So I never purposely get into these meaningless debates because all they do is push someone with a strong opinion further into their strong opinion, and that’s okay.  At least they know the real deal whether they want to believe it or not.

   For law abiding citizens, no matter what Wayne LaScare spouts, nobody wants your guns. Not me, not Congress, not our military, not President Obama, nobody.  Only that scared little boy/girl paranoid voice that lives in your head that is absolutely positive someone is pulling a fast one.  Besides, admit it, you’ve been wanting to form or be a part of an organized militia since you studied military science in 1976.  Come on. Admit it. I won’t laugh.  At least not where you can hear me.

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Rick London is a writer, cartoonist and designer.  He founded Londons Times Cartoons (LTCartoons.com) in 1997.  By 2005 the project had become Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts and it has remained in that position ever since.  London also creates famous quote gifts which are unique to the gift market and sells them at such stores as RickLondonDesigns.com. He is married to popular wildlife/nature photographer Lee Hiller London who runs the nature blog HikeOurPlanet.com. 

Can The GOP Really Be Fixed? By Rick London

    Politics is not my favorite thing.  I understand a little about it because I worked on The Hill for close to a decade. Up close, it’s like Hollywood with power rather than money. It’s not real pretty. (Don’t get me wrong, the city of Washington is one of the most gorgeous anywhere).

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    It taught me one very important thing.  Never ever be a “party person”.  My favorite uncle, was a retired Congressman (R-PA) who ran and won 3 terms. But something was changing in his party that didn’t sit quite well with him.   So he switched to the other party and under a two-term President worked as his Secretary Of Mining Safety both terms.

     But that was not the last straw that helped me make my decision to go Independent and study each candidate carefully; it merely “sealed the deal”.

      One thing I do know about political parties.  For America to be strong, we need a very strong two-party system.   What we now have is a very very strong Democratic party, and 26% on the fringe with the leadership of the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, or Romney, or someone. Who knows…and who really cares?

     Today they (Finally) got what they wanted.  To like little yappy dogs, nip at Hilary Clinton’s ankles.  And that is exactly how it looked.  A group of men with American popularity rating so low (26%) in a “gotcha”) battle with the most popular woman in the world.  They had the usual suspect cheerleaders in the background; Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et al all yelling “Go, baby go..you guys are winning the Super Bowl”.

      Here’s the problem.  Of course we know they weren’t winning anything and chances are the GOP’s (AKA “Guns Of Paradise”) ratings will drop another 5-10% in the polls after today’s circus.  Why was it a circus?  Because they did the predictable to make it a circus. 

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     Today’s hearings should have been anything but political, yet that is all it was, lest the questions from Democrats which were basically fact-finding queries.  America knows diplomacy is a dangerous game. We didn’t take Reagan’s team to task when we lost over 200 Marines in Saudi nor 47 diplomatic workers under GW Bush.  We know this kind of thing happens, and we know diplomacy is dangerous. Very dangerous.  We also know it is underfunded.    In addition, we also know the democrats asked for more funding for it for embassy security, the GOP turned it down. 

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     But let’s just say none of that is so.  Let’s just say a political party with a popularity rank of 26% positive was to be on television at a hearing with the world’s most popular woman (who they all know were as much as fault as were the Reagan administration or GW Bush administration for our diplomatic and military losses then).

     This would have been the perfect opportunity, had the GOP had decent leadership to huddle before the event and say, “Guys, we’re going to do the unpredictable.  We know all the facts.  We can play ‘trial by fire –gotcha’, or we can come in with an olive branch and use this event to turn our party around by doing the right thing……finding a solution with her, to keep this from happening again, even take some blame if we must for under-funding and promising never to under-fund our embassies again.”

     Can you imagine what that would have done to the GOPs popularity rating?  Dems, Independents and undecided would be standing in line to buy their GOP ticket.    But Jane Austen knew “Pride And Prejudice” long before the rest of us did, and they couldn’t  get past that. Once again,  The predictable.  

      Why can’t they simply change?   The NRA has convinced most of them our “socialist government” is coming for their guns.  And they believe it.  And they continue to send the NRA their hard-earned money.  And of course this is all about “principles and absolutism..whatever in the world that means. I haven’t a clue.   If someone will stop and look closely, the Obama administration wants what 70%+ of NRA membership wants.  Background checks, remove extended magazines and closing loopholes for easy purchasing. I am a defender of the 2nd Amendment.  I’m not for gun control. I’m for gun laws that work, and are enforced.  Something tells me every time I turn on the news, those two elements are not in place.  Common sense.   Not socialistic, and a safer nation.  Contrary to popular GOP belief, enforcing decent gun laws is no more socialistic than enforcing smart traffic laws. 

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      So the GOP again looks at the Dems.  “But they’re sinners.  They are pro-choice and abortion is an abomination.” If it is any consolation, I don’t know anyone who is pro-abortion.  In addition, Central America taught us that the pro-life movement has run its course.  It doesn’t work.  All the pro-life movement does is make itself wealthier.  Central America has the highest abortion rates in the world.  Abortion is illegal in every country but Uruguay.  How does it happen?  Any way a woman can, but more often than not using the ulcer drug Cytotec which is not safe in the least, and if the pregnancy turns into a birth, the chances of birth defects is very high.  But its as common as aspirin in Central America and would be in America too (should abortion become illegal or impossible to procure).

 So vote pro-life, you get about twice as many abortions….and extremely dangerous ones at that. Many won’t use Cyotec. They will use the old trusty coat-hanger that may (or may not kill her).   In today’s safe clinical environment, the mortality rate of the pregnant woman is .06%, one of the safest medical procedures available.  When/if it ever becomes illegal, the mortality rate will not only go up, so will the amount of abortions, by a great deal.

  So Dems are not the ghoulish “party of death” that so many think. Most of us understand that pro-choice with a prudent mixture of contraception and family planning means less abortions. Millions less.  It’s been proven over and over.  But this is for the real world; not for people in an insane attempt to control women’s bodies.  Those people have made up their “minds” anyway.  They don’t care that this reduces abortions by millions, as long as they can hang on to their antiquated politics that needs dusting worse than a 150 year old boarded up saloon from the Old West. 

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      But another blemish on the GOP is that Americans are not dumb.  Where they are trying to outlaw abortion, they are also attempting to make contraception and family planning education nearly impossible.  What in the world does that accomplish?  That’s a rhetorical question. It is to control women’s bodies and it is very very sick and, of course,  will backfire to a way lower than 26% positive rating (but I can guarantee it helped get the GOP to a rating that low).  I predict the ranking will drop to about 12% before they decide to fold.  A few stragglers might remain but I’d be very surprised.  Just pray for intelligent leadership…..but don’t take that to the bank.  They better be intelligent and have the ability to work fast. 

     And so it goes.  The circle of hate in the GOP party taking them further and further closer to the abyss…. The Contemporary Museum Of Former Political Parties”.  I wonder if they’ll build a monument to ol’ Wayne LaPierre in the front showing a pistol silencer to a child (out of love of course). 

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Rick London is a freelance writer, author, cartoonist, and songwriter.  He spends a great deal of time with his wife popular nature and wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London.  London founded Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and funny gifts in 1997.  Lee Hiller owns the popular online shopping shop LeeHillerDesigns.com.