By David A. Franklin, Jr.

The spectacle of a press conference called and presented by the National Rifle Association (NRA) on national TV this morning fits perfectly in the lyrics of the calypso (soca) song “Too Many Guns”  .

“This one have a gun, that one have a gun
Man they gon (going) shoot each other for fun.”

The NRA welcomes back the ‘Wild Wild West” and the “meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again” they promised is to populate America with more weapons. Of specific note, I hope that viewers/listeners saw and heard the marketing strategy intertwined in Wayne LaPierre’s presentation. He pledged the NRA’s help to train suitable personnel to guard every school in America FOR FREE (the public relations investment) and also offers this service to the world (this is the money-making side of the project). The food-chain is as follows the NRA who feeds themselves and the gun manufacturers who both feed the Tea Party and the Republicans. 

I have never witnessed before, such degree of callousness, insensitive and vomit-worthy barefacedness in an individual. Added to which he up-front said, he will not field any questions but he invites the media to request his presence to speak in the coming weeks. I’ll be damned!!!  I detected the arrogance in his body language from his first sentence and I seriously thought of switching to a cooking show but decided to watch but for the need to listen to the opposing side of good sense. 
Wayne LaPierre the NRA’s chief lobbyist said "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”. He blamed everyone and every organization – parents, video games, the media and God I suppose while the NRA is the paragon of perfection that advocates a gun in as many hands as possible.

Emergencies cannot wait for the 911 call to dispatch the ‘good guy’ but we should have a ‘good guy’ at every school.  In the most critical and disgusting tone he vilified those who classify the guns used in the Newtown massacre as assault weapons.  In his soliloquy (because that is what it was to him – a play and he alone is to speak to the audience with no interruption or question) and in his arrogant tone he asks why is the gun good to guard the President and not the kids. If there were an obvious outpouring of disgust for the President that was one qualified. 

Inherent in his utterance is that the right to protect yourself in your home is one not to be tampered with and I am sure most people and myself agree, but does one need a Glock 10mm and the military style Bushmaster AR-15 rifle (assault weapons) and thirty round magazines to protect yourself or to hunt?
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Friday morning, Tea Partier Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) said it is Video Games and not guns that caused the Newtown Massacre. His body language and utterances were as repulsive as those of NRA’s LaPierre. He actually chuckled when he said “What has bothered me the most as a representative is how this has been politicized so quickly that somehow if we had changed one single law—that as I understand it, the State of Connecticut had laws against these things.” This man saw embedded in all this tragedy, something to chuckle about. He actually chuckled and with a smirk!

In addition, the Newtown victims have no legal recourse since an NRA backed law indemnifies gun manufactures from any and all lawsuits that could hold them liable for crimes committed with weapons they produce and sell.  This is at the courtesy of the controversial law passed in Congress some seven years ago - more accurately, a law written by the NRA and passed by their puppet politicians.

Earlier this week in my article I stated that I anxiously await the NRA’s press conference – and I will confess, I had foolishly thought they would provide a suggestion such as supporting banning the sale of assault weaponry to civilians but now I know my anxiety was misplaced. 

“Too many guns in this town,
Too many guns passing round!
Too many guns in this town,
Too many guns passing round!
Is every day you open de paper
All you read ‘bout is murder.
Man, this ting (thing) here is sad,
But de (the) whole damn world goin (going) mad!” 


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By: David A. Franklin, Jr.

The GOP has been noticeably silent on Gun Control in the wake of the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut where 20 little angels and six of their caretakers, mentors and confidants were brutally murdered. Not until Rick Perry, Texas Governor and Dennis Baxley a Florida GOP Lawmaker opened their mouths, and true to form we got the crap spewing.  

The new “back to school” list for teachers according to these two reads “Chalkboards, Pencils, Erasers and Guns” 
Not to be outdone – or underdone, FOX News staffers were instructed not to discuss gun control over the weekend.  It is alleged that an email to staff from David Clarke, Fox’s Executive Producer made that call. AND although I was not copied on the email I can say, the network’s action - or silence was an indication of Mr. Clarke’s instructions. I for one do not watch FOX News. As a rule, so as not to be counted in the network’s statistics as a viewer, I scroll up or down the channels CNN (40), HLN (41), MSNBC (42), CNBC (43) but religiously when I am to scroll to the next channel which is 44 FOX, I punch in 45 so as to skip and not be counted as a viewer.

On the weekend however, I deliberately on multiple occasions during day and night, punched in FOX and behold there was nothing being said about the Newtown, Connecticut massacre! The usual comfortable snuggery of gloating you come to expect on the faces of these newscasters and pundits was substituted for an “I don’t know exactly what to say next on the topics we are discussing which are really not the top-most subjects/concerns of the day”. I witnessed and noted this befuddled action of the FOX News persons even before I read Gabriel Sherman’s of the New York Magazine stating the reason for this tomfoolery- the muzzle was put on them. 

The other and most powerful arm of the GOP, the National Rifle Association (NRA), has been silent for the most part until four days after the incident. Even then, they say when the organization will be saying something. The action or non-action of the GOP and the Foxes of this world is playing out the “He who pays the piper calls the tune” paradigm. The NRA and its grand members such as the Koch brothers rule the Republican Party to such extent that they inhibit any spontaneous actions or utterances the party or its affiliates dare to contemplate. Republicans have to march lockstep to the drumbeat of those who pay them, their owners. 

The marriage of the NRA and the GOP is a dysfunctional one. This is a union that is the epitome of domestic abuse. Mind control, psychological abuse and a total “if you dare, speak before we (NRA) tell you to, or dare to have an opinion which is contrary to ours (Koch Brothers, et al)”

A sampling of the deep involvement of the NRA in the affairs of the Republican Party is as follows:

• NRA Board members Joe Allbaugh, Scott Bach, Bob Barr, Ronnie Barrett, Clel Baudler, Ken Blackwell, John Bolton, Chris Cox (Executive Director), Cam Edwards (NRA News Radio Host) all campaigned openly and abashedly for the Republican Party. They spoke and wrote against President Obama in the most acrid and vitriolic manner. 
• October 2011 NRA Board Member Allbaugh was appointed as senior advisor to the Rick Perry campaign. He served also as campaign manager for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign.

• Bob Barr in an October of 2012 op-ed for the Marietta Daily Journal endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. In June 2012 op-ed for the Daily Caller he wrote scathing remarks against the Supreme Court’s decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

• John Bolton, Chairman of International Affairs Subcommittee, criticized President Obama’s foreign affairs performance in a speech at the NRA Convention in St. Louis, MO.

• To top it all, Chris Cox, NRA Executive Director in an October 2012 op-ed in the Daily Caller wrote: “Few elections in American history have mattered more to the future of our gun rights than the one that will take place just two weeks from today … Just one vote on the [Supreme] Court is all that stands between the America our Founding Fathers established, and the America [President] Barack Obama and his gun-ban allies envision. If Obama wins a second term, he could nominate up to three additional anti-Second Amendment judges in the same mold as his previous two [Supreme Court] nominees, Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Obama’s new majority would then almost certainly erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights … Barack Obama’s vision for America is a nation that most of us would hardly recognize, let alone want to live in. And if re-elected, Obama will have the chance to make his vision a reality … It’s time to take our country back. It’s time to defeat Barack Obama.”
Every NRA board member and former board members, to celebrity spokes-person Chuck Norris, to Oliver North, to Ted Nugent, Tom Selleck and Clint Eastwood have been vocal about their support to the Republican brand. It is therefore an open secret that the GOP is in the pocket of the NRA and that they dare not do anything but the NRA’s bidding. 

Rick Perry not only advocates arming teachers but admonishes the federal government from keeping control on directing gun control laws in his speech at a Tea Party event in Texas.  He wants to see states be the final authority on this. Perry puts forward as a model, the Harold Independent School District that became the first school district in the country to permit teachers and staff to carry concealed weapons. Permission to bear arms at school is given to a ‘select’ set approved by the school board.

Whereas I can see the logics of this, I share the unease that parents and educators alike on allowing guns on school grounds. Just this Sunday (two days after the Newtown shooting the American Federation of Teachers, a 1.5 million member strong organization, urged Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan to veto the pending ‘Gun-In-Schools Bill’ describing the Newtown shooting as a “chilling and heartbreaking reminder” that “firearms have absolutely no place in our schools”. America’s population is just under 350 million but there are over 310 million guns in the hands of gun owners almost one to each person counting babies!

Rick Perry, at the Tea Party’s Monday meeting, underscored his defiance to arm teachers said: "If you have been duly back-grounded and trained and you are a concealed handgun license-carrying individual, you should be able to carry your handgun anywhere in this state."

Kudos to the Michigan’s Governor, Rick Snyder, who exhibited a glimpse of good sense. He vetoed the ‘Guns-In-Schools’ bill. Snyder’s decision, in my opinion is unfortunately not driven by his deep personal belief nor did it exhibit his strength in going against the wishes of the Tea Party and the NRA but by the fact that he is up for re-election in 2014. Funny how when the sword is hanging over these politicians’ heads by the thread of rejection at the polls that they can make decisions that fall in the categories of rationality and reasonableness. Of course shrewdness and prudence are both motivated by re-election possibilities. 

The NRA decided to break its silence on Tuesday, four days after the incident; and they still postponed making any policy statement. They are trying to resolve the conflict of their hard-line, numbskull thinking on the free-for-all ownership of guns and their interpretation of the Second Amendment to mean ownership of guns and ammunition to your heart’s content and without the need for proper check. 

Now it is the Glock 10mm and the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle (assault weapons). Soon it will be the M-252 Motar.
I am anxiously awaiting the NRA’s press conference on Friday (December 21st). In the meantime I will continue to hear what the brave or fool-hardy, attention-seeking Republicans such as Rick Snyder, Rick Perry and Dennis Baxley are saying and doing.


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GOP and ………………….

By David A. Franklin, Jr.
   Has there been any one puppet in the history of “puppetdom” that has had so many puppeteers who pull its strings and all at the same time and in every different direction? That would make for an impossible and horrific show not only for the audience but certainly for the puppet. The puppet’s stings could not withstand the strain of the hauling and pulling and tugging and would burst sooner than later. The puppet would fall flat – lifeless and limp and even for an inanimate ‘creature’ would have tears in its eyes when it hits the ground. So be it with the GOP! 

For those of us who are consciously watching this devastation play out before our eyes every hour of every day, we are witnessing the disintegration, the rupture and the coming apart of this party. The party is exploding.

   A puppeteer is somebody who uses puppets and this is exactly what these varying interests who are pulling the GOP strings are doing. They are using the party or rather, the GOP is allowing itself to be used. And then again, does the party have an identity? Who are they but the bits and pieces of self aggrandizing extremists, dogmatists, racists and hypocrites? 
Among some of the  interests listed above, the players overlap but even with their similarities they are pulling the Grand Old Party in different directions. The same but different because there are so many and varied self- and selfish interests each group and each individual needs to satisfy.

It is the Good Book that says “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.” Matthew 6:24. (New Living Translation© 2007). Whether one is coming from a biblical perspective or a secular one, the truism of this quote applies across the board in Christian or Muslim or Buddhist or Atheist societies or in the workplace or in government. If then the major problem obtains when there are only two masters what does it say in this case in point?  What can really happen when there are multiple masters with the one servant trying to love all of them and hating none? 
                                                                     To be devoted to all and despising none? Impossible! 

I am taken back to an article I penned in the early stages of the fiasco called the Republican Primaries when all hell broke loose and America was fed with a steady diet of crazy from these presidential hopefuls. The article “Patriotism or Treason?” started out by providing the dictionary definition of treason - “disloyalty or treachery to one’s country or its government.” And we must add to this definition,  “self interests at the expense of country and government.”

Starting with Senator Prescott Bush (R-Connecticut) treachery isn’t anything new to the GOP. 
“George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.

The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.
His business dealings, which continued until his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave laborers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.
The debate over Prescott Bush's behavior has been bubbling under the surface for some time. There has been a steady internet chatter about the "Bush/Nazi" connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair. But the new documents, many of which were only declassified last year,(2003) show that even after America had entered the war and when there was already significant information about the Nazis' plans and policies, he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler's rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty.”

Published on Saturday, September 25, 2004 by the Guardian/UK

 This would say then that Senator Bush literally bankrolled the Nazis and had financial dealings with Adolf Hitler behind closed doors during time of war. Yet, we elect his son, George Bush and nominated his less than intellectually stellar grandson, George W. Bush into office. Trade with the enemy in time of war then reward the family with the American Presidency…not once but twice!

-  Then there is the deified Ronald Reagan’s 1980 “October Surprise”.
“The October Surprise conspiracy theory refers to an alleged plot to influence the outcome of the 1980 United States presidential election between incumbent Jimmy Carter (D–GA) and opponent Ronald Reagan (R–CA).
One of the leading, national issues during that year was the release of 52 Americans being held hostage in Iran since November 4, 1979.[1] Reagan won the election. On the day of his inauguration, in fact, 20 min after he concluded his inaugural address, the Islamic Republic of Iran announced the release of the hostages. The timing gave rise to an allegation that representatives of Reagan's presidential campaign had conspired with Iran to delay the release until after the election to thwart President Carter from pulling off an "October surprise".
According to the allegation, the Reagan Administration rewarded Iran for its participation in the plot by supplying Iran with weapons via Israel and by unblocking Iranian government monetary assets in US banks.
……several individuals—most notably former Iranian President Abulhassan Banisadr former Naval intelligence officer and National Security Council member Gary Sick; and former Reagan/Bush campaign and White House staffer Barbara Honegger—have stood by the allegation”. Wikipedia

- We saw in Wisconsin, financed by the Koch Brothers, GOP Puppeteers tried to suppress free speech and curtail the rights of the working class. They tried to kill due process and made every attempt to steam roll legislation that helped rapacious corporations, not the average blue collar worker. Wisconsinites stood tall and put them in their rightful place.
This puppet/puppeteer relationship continues in the outcome yesterday (December 11th) when Michigan’s Republican controlled House and Senate crammed through and passed an Anti-Union bill which was signed into law by the Governor. Need we ask? It is the GOP Puppeteering Machine at work with the stamp of the wishes of big business, of Koch Brothers et al. Self interest over the will of the people over the progress of state and country.  Treason!

- Voter suppression during 2012 election period
- Sheldon Adelson and his other mega rich cronies pumping billions of dollars to win the election and make the government theirs bought and paid for in full.
- The shady Sunshine State shenanigans pulled off by Rick Scott and mirrored throughout the Republican control state houses
- The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) together with global corporations, and state politicians every day rewrite state laws done behind closed doors and presented to the American public as the sole work of elected leaders. These are called “model bills” but are the actual bills passed and rammed through by state legislature, an action which now seems a norm and an everyday happening.

The last legitimate Republican president was Dwight D. Eisenhower. He ran on peace and did not surrender the reigns to big corporations. He was a moderate Republican who stood up to the Military Industrial Complex, ended the Korean War, lowered taxes for the Middle Class, protected FDR’s “New Deal” programs, built/fixed roads, schools, hospital, etc and was vocal in the cause for desegregation in the 1950s. His sound policies paved the way for his successor John F. Kennedy. 

Where is today’s Ike Eisenhower in the Republican Party? Where is the GOP Leadership? The party’s leadership is the Tea Party, it is Big  Business, it is the Christian Conservatives, it is the Conservative (‘mad dogs’) Media.  A Republican leadership is nonexistent, it is missing in action, it is splintered and pawned out to ‘whosoever will may come’. A leader is a guiding or directing  head. The Republican Party has many of these ‘guiding and directing’ heads, the Party is like Medusa – the monster, the Gorgon having the face of a human with living venomous snakes in place of hair.

The Greek Mythology creature turns onlookers to stone so I implore you all, keep looking on the Republican Medusa but do not stare directly on this creature look at the reflected image in a mirror for fear they turn us all to stone!

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