Manny Montes: Gun control: smokescreens to curb God-given rights | TheUnion.com

Manny Montes: Gun control: smokescreens to curb God-given rights

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Manny Montes

Progressives understand the difference between a wrong word and the right word is like the difference between a fire cracker and a clash of thunder.

Weapons of war, and assault rifles are rifles that look like the ones used in our military, but aside from appearance, they are no different than many other semi-automatic rifles on the market today.

Calling the AR rifle, which stands for ArmaLite rifle, by such loaded terms is used to invoke an emotional response to contravene rational thought and discussion. Banning the AR type rifle leaves a host of other semi-automatic rifles on the market. These other semi-automatic rifles can inflict the same carnage seen in Parkland, Florida. No matter, the progressives' obsessive onslaught on our Second Amendment rights is one intended to kill it by a thousand cuts.

A ban of the AR rifle would not have prevented the Parkland, Florida carnage. What progressives and like-minded anti Second Amendment zealots ignore is what, in fact, would have prevented the carnage in Parkland, and similar barbaric episodes. It is our government system failure in Parkland and others which cries out to be addressed, and yet there is no focus on this as it most assuredly should be.

But, let's not let this tragic incident, and what truly could have prevented the event, get in the way of our anti Second Amendment animus. Their confiscatory ethos makes a conversation with these people next to impossible.

Records show social workers, mental health counselors and school administrators documented and dismissed red flags during home visits and school evaluations of Nikolas Cruz. Police visited the family home dozens of times. The FBI received a tip about Cruz and his "desire to kill people," and were informed of a YouTube post by Cruz, stating, "I'm going to be a professional school shooter," but the information was never forwarded for investigation.

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The bureau confirmed this, and apologized for their disgraceful fumble.

None of these warnings led to direct intervention. A law was passed in 2013, the Baker Act, which states one could be prevented from buying a firearm or obtaining a concealed carry permit if they're involuntarily committed at an approved facility for mental examination, that could have been invoked against Cruz. Had this act been invoked, Cruz would have been prevented from buying the rifle used in the carnage.

Then we have the cowards of the Broward County Sheriffs' Office cowering outside the school while the massacre was unfolding. It took the Coral Springs police officers to stand up to their sworn duty to protect and serve to enter the school. By then, it was too late.

This is a story less about AR-15s and more about government failure and school safety. A story about how government failed to protect the slayed students and teachers of the school.

Progressives also focus on the National Rifle Association as it relates to gun policy. They scream from the rooftops that NRA contributions to political campaigns buy our politicians' votes. The truth is, as a total of campaign contributions, those made by the NRA amounts to tenths of a percentage point of total political campaign contributions to members of congress, according to data from the Center of Responsive Politics. The NRA accounts for just a fraction of the contributions lawmakers receive, and they don't even crack the top 50 in terms of spending to lobby the federal government.

Progressives may counter by pointing to the NRA's "outside" spending on political ads. But Michael Bloomberg's "Everytown for Gun Safety" and gun control groups such as the "Brady Campaign," "The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence," and others pony up perhaps not as much as the NRA, but perhaps they should. If it isn't the money many progressives claim is the road block to "common sense" gun reform, what is? What motivates our politicians in taking positions on either side of the gun debate?

The electorate, their constituents, are the major driving force for taking positions on the debate.

Republicans and Democrats are pretty much evenly split on the gun control debate. It is the muscle behind NRA's mobilization operation that has made it such a challenging adversary for Democrats and gun control advocates, not campaign contributions, outside money, or lobbying.

And who are they mobilizing? Us citizens wanting to protect our God-given rights.

So, all this clamor regarding the AR-15 and the NRA are smokescreens in an attempt to place further restrictions on law abiding citizens, and outlaws, by definition, free reign.

Manny Montes lives in Auburn.