Jude Collins

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Mitt and the NRA: a love-affair made in Heaven

Interesting race for the US presidency, isn’t it?...No, please, don’t use that kind of language. Children sometimes read this blog. I think it’s interesting because, although they obviously don’t want him, the Republican Party have now pretty well selected Mitt Romney to be their standard-bearer. Mitt himself knows they don’t really want him, so he’s trying to make himself more attractive to them. Like, by his attitude to guns.

“We need a president who will stand up for the rights of hunters, sportsmen and those seeking to protect their homes and their families”.

That’s what Mitt told the NRA, the gun lobby people. So is Obama clamping down on the massive arsenal of guns that are available in the US to private citizens? Well, no. In fact, some people elected him four years ago thinking he was going to use his influence to limit the number of deadly weapons. But he hasn’t. Which you’d think would, um, spike old Mitt’s guns, wouldn’t you? Not a bit. The line Mitt takes is, Obama has done nothing to take away our guns THIS term. But if you elect him to a second term, he’ll go mad, he’ll confiscate guns right left and centre, spoiling everything for all those decent hunters, sportsmen and home-protectors.  The fact that over 30,000 people are killed by guns in the US each year doesn’t come into Mitt’s calculations. Or put another way: he’s not bothered that every two years, more people in the US die at the hands of someone with a gun than the total number of US soldiers killed in the  entire Vietnam War. 

And did I mention Mitt is a Mormon? A deeply religious man?

But don’t think it’ll be OK if Obama gets back in. The polls show that over 80% of Republicans support the gun lobby. Fewer Democrats support the NRA – but 55% do. So that means a majority of US citizens, both Republican and Democrat, want the guns to remain.

I’m tempted to conclude that a majority of Americans are totally and uniquely bonkers on this issue. Except the south of Ireland at present has a government looking hard at ways to allow householders to shoot intruders on their property without fear of getting in bother with the law for so doing. Here in the north? Not sure what the deal is. There used to be approximately 130,000 registered guns in the northern state, most of them owned by Protestants, and their retention was championed by unionist politicians because, they said, farmers needed to be able to shoot crows.  That’s bound to have changed since the Good Friday Agreement. Hasn’t it?


  1. Jude
    Are you actually interested in the presidential race or was it just an excuse to have a go at the prods?
    I'm afraid that's how it came across.

  2. You're one to talk a out "yesterday's newspapers".
    This is a old saw of Brian Feeney's from years ago - although he had to stop when challenged to prove his claim of 130,000 "Protestants" anything other than sectarian paranoia.
    Have you any new evidence for this assertion that every licensed gun-holder in NI is a Prod? Or that they are dangerous to anyone at all, given the figures from American you've cited seem to disprove any kind of similar problem here?
    Dreadful work Jude. Cliched, predictable, tired, bigoted, lazy and unoriginal to the point of actual plagiarism. Just embarrassingly bad.

  3. Jude I don't think 130,000 registered guns are as you say 'most owned by Protestants'.

    A blanked assertion that I would imagine you have no evidence to back this up?

    Having shot clay pigeons for years, I can say I know as many Catholics as Protestants who shoot, never been an issue on religion at all.

    I'd add, that if farmers didn't control pests around their crops, the price of the crops would go up, the price of your food goes up and the money you have left, goes down.. what's the big deal.

    I don't see why you have to try and politicise it?

  4. Ryan - I accept your correction re gun numbers. In 1995, the CAIN website put the figure at 130,000, but more recent figures in 2010 show that's dropped dramatically - just over 60,000 now. You'll know, of course, that the right to bear arms comes from the 1689 Bill of Rights, which the new king (one William of Orange) put in place as part of a series of rights for his subjects - excluding Catholics, of course. Yes, yes, I know that was then, this is now, but it's an interesting backdrop, you'll agree. As to a majority of the guns being held by...if I said 'Protestants' I shouldn't have - I should have said 'unionists'. I say that because over the years when the subject has been raised, unionist politicians have always been the ones to lead the defence of having these weapons. So let me think: are unionist politicians likely to be arguing a case for nationalists/republicans having weapons? I've no doubt there's a nice balance in your clay-shooting acquaintances but I don't know about arguing from the particular to the general. And yes, as Seamus Heaney famously said, on well-run farms, pests have to be kept down. But how many crows are there that over 60,000 guns are needed to control them? We're not talking Alfred Hitchcock here. Finally, I'm not 'trying to politicise it'. Politics runs through the way our lives are organised. "Let's keep politics out of it" simply doesn't make sense, except you're King (no, not William) Canute.

  5. Gio - your last comment isn't worthy of you. Really.

    1. Jude
      My apologies. Probably a bit unfair of me.
      Actually I think your figure of approx 130,000 firearms is not far out, according to a recent FOI request on the PSNI website. The no of firearms certificates is around 60,000 covering 140,000 weapons.
      I can see no information on the protestantism of these guns.
      My guess is the majority may be held by unionists,(including about 2,000 held by ex RUC/UDR) but what percentage?
      Where did you get your breakdown by religion from?

  6. Anon 12:45 - I'm amazed that someone of your intelligence spends his/her time reading "Dreadful, cliched, predictable, tired, bigoted, lazy and unoriginal work." Much better spending your time reading, say, a dictionary, and checking on the meaning of words like 'plagiarism'.