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How to Finish Off the NRA ~~ Michael Moore

Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, activists, americans, children, crime, culture, death, dishonesty, education, ethics, freedoms, government, law, media, NRA, police, politics, safety, society )

- 1900 days ago -
The year was 1955. Emmett Till was a young African American boy from Chicago visiting relatives in Mississippi. One day Emmett was seen "flirting" with a white woman in town, and for that he was mutilated and murdered at the age--->

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Arielle S (313)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 10:12 am
Great minds know a good article when they see it, Kit - MM really knows how to get a point across, doesn't he?

Kit B (276)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 10:14 am
Portrait, Michael Moore, 04/03/09. (photo: Ann-Christine Poujoulat/Getty)

The year was 1955. Emmett Till was a young African American boy from Chicago visiting relatives in Mississippi. One day Emmett was seen "flirting" with a white woman in town, and for that he was mutilated and murdered at the age of fourteen. He was found with part of a cotton gin tied around his neck with a string of barbed wire. His killers, two white men, had shot him in the head before they dumped him in the river.

Emmett Till's body was found and returned to Chicago. To the shock of many, his mother insisted on an open casket at his funeral so that the public could see what happens to a little boy's body when bigots decide he is less than human. She wanted photographers to take pictures of her mutilated son and freely publish them. More than 10,000 mourners came to the funeral home, and the photo of Emmett Till appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation.

"I just wanted the world to see," she said. "I just wanted the world to see."

The world did see, and nothing was ever the same again for the white supremacists of the United States of America. Because of Emmett Till, because of that shocking photograph of this little dead boy, just a few months later, "the revolt officially began on December 1, 1955" (from Eyes on the Prize) when Rosa Parks decided not to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The historic bus boycott began and, with the images of Emmett Till still fresh in the minds of many Americans, there was no turning back.

In March of 1965, the police of Selma, Alabama, brutally beat, hosed and tear-gassed a group of African Americans for simply trying to cross a bridge during a protest march. The nation was shocked by images of blacks viciously maimed and injured. So, too, was the President. Just one week later, Lyndon Johnson called for a gathering of the U.S. Congress and he went and stood before them in joint session and told them to pass a bill he was introducing that night - the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And, just five months later, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.

In March, 1968, U.S. soldiers massacred 500 civilians at My Lai in Vietnam. A year and a half later, the world finally saw the photographs - of mounds of dead peasants covered in blood, a terrified toddler seconds before he was gunned down, and a woman with her brains literally blown out of her head. (These photos would join other Vietnam War photos, including a naked girl burned by napalm running down the road, and a South Vietnamese general walking up to a handcuffed suspect, taking out his handgun, and blowing the guy's brains out on the NBC Nightly News.)

With this avalanche of horrid images, the American public turned against the Vietnam War. Our realization of what we were capable of rattled us so deeply it became very hard for future presidents (until George W. Bush) to outright invade a sovereign nation and go to war there for a decade.

Bush was able to pull it off because his handlers, Misters Cheney and Rumsfeld, knew that the most important thing to do from the get-go was to control the images of the war, to guarantee that nothing like a My Lai-style photograph ever appeared in the U.S. press.

And that is why you never see a picture any more of the kind of death and destruction that might make you get up off your couch and run out of the house screaming bloody murder at those responsible for these atrocities.

That is why now, after the children's massacre in Newtown, the absolute last thing the National Rifle Association wants out there in the public domain is ANY images of what happened that tragic day.

But I have a prediction. I believe someone in Newtown, Connecticut - a grieving parent, an upset law enforcement officer, a citizen who has seen enough of this carnage in our country - somebody, someday soon, is going to leak the crime scene photos of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. And when the American people see what bullets from an assault rifle fired at close range do to a little child's body, that's the day the jig will be up for the NRA. It will be the day the debate on gun control will come to an end. There will be nothing left to argue over. It will just be over. And every sane American will demand action.

Of course, there will be a sanctimonious hue and cry from the pundits who will decry the publication of these gruesome pictures. Those who do publish or post them will be called "shameful" and "disgraceful" and "sick." How could a media outlet be so insensitive to the families of the dead children! Someone will then start a boycott of the magazine or website that publishes them.

But this will be a false outrage. Because the real truth is this: We do not want to be confronted with what the actual results of a violent society looks like. Of what a society that starts illegal wars, that executes criminals (or supposed criminals), that strikes or beats one of its women every 15 seconds, and shoots 30 of its own citizens every single day looks like. Oh, no, please - DO NOT MAKE US LOOK AT THAT!

Because if we were to seriously look at the 20 slaughtered children - I mean really look at them, with their bodies blown apart, many of them so unrecognizable the only way their parents could identify them was by the clothes they were wearing - what would be our excuse not to act? Now. Right now. This very instant! How on earth could anyone not spring into action the very next moment after seeing the bullet-riddled bodies of these little boys and girls?

We don't know exactly what those Newtown photographs show. But I want you - yes, you, the person reading this right now - to think about what we do know:

The six-year and seven-year-old children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School were each hit up to eleven times by a Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The muzzle velocity of a rifle like the AR-15 is about three times that of a handgun. And because the kinetic energy of a bullet equals one-half of the bullet's mass multiplied by its velocity squared, the potential destructive power of a bullet fired from a rifle is about nine times more than that of a similar bullet fired from a handgun.

Nine times more. I spoke to Dr. Victor Weedn, chairman of the Department of Forensic Sciences at George Washington University, who told me that chest x-rays of a person shot with a rifle will often look like a "snowstorm" because their bones will have been shattered into fragments. This happens not just because of the bullet's direct impact, but because each bullet sends a shock wave through the body's soft organs - one so powerful it can break bones even when the bullet didn't hit them. A video here shows what the shock wave looks like in the "ballistic gelatin" used by experts to simulate human tissue. (Would Gabby Giffords have survived if shot by a rifle rather than a Glock pistol? Probably not, says Dr. Weedn; the shock wave would have damaged the most critical parts of her brain.)

As horrifying as this is, there's more; much more. Dr. Cyril Wecht, past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, told me this:

The kind of ammunition used by the Newtown killer would have produced very extensive, severe and mutilating injuries of the head and face in these small victims. Depending on the number of shots striking a child's head, substantial portions of the head would be literally blasted away. The underlying brain tissue would be extensively lacerated with portions of hemorrhagic brain tissue protruding through the fractured calvarium and basilar skull, some of which would remain on portions of the face...actual physical identification of each child would have been extremely difficult, and in many instances impossible, even by the parents of any particular child.

We also know this, according to Dr. Wecht:

In one case, the parents have commented publicly upon the damage to their child, reporting that his chin and left hand were missing. Most probably, this child had brought his hand up to his face in shock and for protection and had the hand blasted away along with the lower part of his face.

Veronique Pozner, the mother of Noah, the six-year-old boy described by Dr. Wecht, insisted that the Governor of Connecticut look at Noah in an open casket. "I needed it to be real to him," she said. The Governor wept.

The pictures showing all this exist right now, somewhere in the police and medical examiner's files in Connecticut. And as of right now, we've somehow all decided together that we don't need to look, that in some way we're okay with what's in those pictures (after all, over 2,600 Americans have been killed by guns since Newtown) - just as long as we don't have to look at the pictures ourselves.

But I am telling you now, that moment will come with the Newtown photos - and you will have to look. You will have to look at who and what we are, and what we've allowed to happen. At the end of World War II, General Eisenhower ordered that thousands of German civilians be forced to march through the concentration camps so they could witness what was happening just down the road from them during the years that they turned their gaze away, or didn't ask, or didn't do anything to stop the murder of millions.

We've done nothing since Columbine - nothing - and as a result there have been over 30 other mass shootings since then. Our inaction means that we are all, on some level, responsible - and therefore, because of our burying our heads in the sand, we must be forced to look at the 20 dead children at Sandy Hook Elementary.

The people we've voted for since Columbine - with the exception of Michael Bloomberg - almost none of them, Democrat or Republican, dared to speak out against the NRA before Newtown - and yet we, the people, continued to vote for them. And for that we are responsible, and that is why we must look at the 20 dead children.

Most of us continue to say we "support the Second Amendment" as if it were written by God (or we're just afraid of being seen as anti-American). But this amendment was written by the same white men who thought a Negro was only 3/5 human. We've done nothing to revise or repeal this - and that makes us responsible, and that is why we must look at the pictures of the 20 dead children laying with what's left of their bodies on the classroom floor in Newtown, Connecticut.

And while you're looking at the heinous photographs, try saying those words out loud: "I support the Second Amendment!" Something, I'm guessing, won't feel right.

Yes, someday a Sandy Hook mother - or a Columbine mother, or an Aurora mother, or a mother from massacres yet to come - will say, like the mother of Emmett Till, "I just want the world to see." And then nothing about guns in this country will ever be the same again.

Pack your bags, NRA - you're about to be shown the door. Because we refuse to let another child die in this manner. Got it? I hope so.

All you can do now is hope no one releases those photos.

By: Michael Moore | Reader Supported News |

Kit B (276)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 10:15 am

Yep, Arielle, I would say MM hits another one out of the park with this article.

Shirley B (5)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 10:30 am
Reading the comments under his article really scares the living hell out of me. MM is one of my favs.

Thomas H (37)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 11:15 am
Yes, Shirley, the comments below the article are indeed eye-opening. It seems to happen whenever a nerve is struck within the NRA crowd. Michael Moore has penned a great thought-provoking article. Too bad it will be lost on those who really need to learn to think critically.

lee e (114)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 3:06 pm
Unfortunately I don't think any significant progress would come - even with the publication of photos -- this country is so damned blood-thirsty and gun crazed! Our money should be "in Guns we Trust"! I was deeply moved by MM's extraordinary commentary - will a gun owner be? Any gun policy introduced has to pass the party of evil - who are partly owned by the gun-makers and the ministry of terrorism LaPierre-tete!

Kit B (276)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 3:35 pm

I'm a gun owner, Lee and I believe that second amendment was clearly written for a militia and not for a massively armed and dangerous public. When the constitution was written they were thinking about having a militia prepared to act as an armed force, we didn't have a standing army. How could those authors have fore seen the weapons of today? This discussion is not about taking away rights, but for the public safety. No matter what La Pierre says, though we know his interest is not in the public safety, or the public welfare, rather in the interests of the gun manufacturers

pam w (139)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 6:10 pm
The NRA has enormous wealth and will take a HUGE groundswell to stop them.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 6:38 pm
Great article!!! Power and $$$$$ is gonna be tough for us little peeps to take them down. Sadly i don't foresee any change...

Barbara T (431)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 6:41 pm
One of the NRA ploys to divert attention, is to "muddy the waters" and confuse the story of Sandy Hook. This is on lots of websites, tho it is not the MAIN drift of their propaganda. Just a side issue, to get a few more folks away from action.

They are saying things, on the web, such as that the reason that the kids' bodies aren't being shown, is that THE KIDS AREN'T REALLY DEAD! That their grieving parents are NOTHING BUT ACTORS! That the kids were spirited away somewhere - or maybe to serve Pedophiles! or that their parents were THREATENED by this powerful Pedophile ring, to PRETEND to grieve!
I know it sounds NUTS - but, I have just severed relations with a friend of long standing, who BELIEVES this stuff! I cannot take it that he does! This is IMMORAL. I am going to e-mail him the Michael Moore article - but it will probably do no good.

I have written, phoned, e-mailed, Petitioned, AT LEAST A DOZEN TIMES EVERY WEEK, to Public Officials, since this happened. I have a pile of postcards in my "Out" box right this moment, ready to go to Washington State Legislators. There are Senate Gun Control bills "in Committee" in the Washington State Legislature. We've got to get those bills MOVING.
The NRA RELENTLESSLY sends postcards, makes calls, etc. We can't give up just after a few tries! The NRA NEVER GIVES UP. Don't stop putting the pressure on ALL lawmakers, City, County, State, Federal.... The Evil, Vile NRA has the MONEY, and we have the NUMBERS, if we just use them....
NRA members, the DECENT gun owners, are themselves leaving and criticizing the group...

Gloria picchetti (304)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 7:20 pm
Michael has a way with words. Shared and thank you for posting.

Barbara T (431)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 7:48 pm
Jacky R. on March 13 - that is an AD.
These ADS are not "real" Care2 members - they HAVE NO PROFILES.
This is someone working in an office, putting in ADS wherever they can find a weak spot on the Web!
Please click on "Flag as inappropriate" EACH AND EVERY TIME you find these stinking ADS on threads!
It only takes a MOMENT - and you will be APPRECIATED as a GOOD CARE2 CITIZEN.
These sites LURE you, with sex, cheap bargains or whatever, because they WANT YOUR INFORMATION, which they can SELL.
It is NOT a good idea to go there, even out of curiosity!

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday March 13, 2013, 8:46 pm
Flagged- thank you Kit for posting this! I have read it but not in full when I first got it and had in mind posting it myself- somehow forgot. Wish his blogs would be published in MSM but at least thousands read him online.

Pierce Morgan was talking until fatigue, countless times was it said what effect those AK15 undoubtaly had on these kids and I guess the defenders will not be moved to give up their stand even by pictures.

I wonder who Ros had in mind there-a fellow Australian?

Kenneth L (314)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 1:27 am
Michael Moore is a great thinker in my opinion, cuts through the crap, doesn't overly care about being 'popular' at the expense of saying what or how he feels.
I remember reading about Emmett Till and it was horrific. To think stuff like that occurred only a short time ago in the 1950's (and '60's )in 'civilized' society is a testament to the baseness of humanity, which is not as 'enlightened' as it thinks it is.
The NRA has had a number of psychotic leaders and board members IMO, who of course attract psychotic types as members too (they 'think' the same'way)..
I don't know if shocking pics of the kids at Newtown would get rid of the NRA but it would certainly shock more people out of complacency about guns, the NRA, and violence.
I heard recently Ted Nugent shot 400 pigs (wild I assume) with a multiple firing weapon from a helicopter---that's an example of NRA insanity and bloodlust. Power, death, and boozed testosterone for the most part.

Ro H (0)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 5:05 am

Judy C (97)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 5:18 am
The story of Emmett Till is so horrific. I learned about it in school, and many people have never heard of him.

Michael Moore, as usual, makes a very good point. I do, however, have some reservations about publishing the photos without the parents' permission. Their precious children have been taken away in such a terrible manner, and their suffering is almost certainly beyond comprehension to those of us who hasn't seen our dearly loved children blown to bits. I would suggest some really good artists make realistic simulations of the bodies, and let them be seen. I just can't stand the idea of inflicting any more pain on these families. I think I would just lose my mind if I had to go through their experience. Thanks, Kit.

David C (0)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 6:25 am
The Founding Fathers on the Second Amendment

"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
George Mason
Co-author of the Second Amendment
during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves "
Richard Henry Lee
writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788.

"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full posession of them."
Zachariah Johnson
Elliot's Debates, vol. 3 "The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution."

" the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms"
Philadelphia Federal Gazette
June 18, 1789, Pg. 2, Col. 2
Article on the Bill of Rights

"And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; "
Samuel Adams
quoted in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789, "Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State"

Jaime Alves (52)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 8:05 am
Noted, thanks.

Kit B (276)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 2:16 pm

Sorry little troll man David Chisholm - a few quotes taken out of context do not make a cohesive argument.

David C (0)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 3:49 pm
Thank you for your kind words of welcome to a new member. You inspire robust debate.

These quotes directly refute your statement "clearly written for a militia and not for a massively armed and dangerous public". If you have quotes from the founding fathers that oppose mine, I'd liked to hear them.

I obviously come from the libertarian side on these arguments. I posted here to see opposing arguments.

Kit B (276)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 3:54 pm

New members tend to fill out the profile page before going out to argue with those they do not know.

David C (0)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 4:07 pm
Are there quotes from the founding fathers that refute the ones above. I'm not saying they don't exist. I honestly want to learn about them if they do. The quotes above were taken from discussions on the 2nd amendment and I haven't found the opposing arguments.

David C (0)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 4:26 pm
Regarding Moore's argument, I don't think showing the pictures will sway overall public opinion in either direction. The majority of people on each each side of the argument will each say the pictures strengthen their position. People who haven't taken a side on guns are few now, and probably still wouldn't take a side.

I would leave it up to the parents to decide if the pictures should be made public. I wouldn't want to force any kind of decision on them.

And the argument of "But this amendment was written by the same white men who thought a Negro was only 3/5 human." is a bothersome with its implied coupling of slavery and gun ownership. He should have simply said the founding fathers were fallible and that's why the constitution has a mechanism to update and correct itself. It's that kind of talk that disrupts good debates with him.

Kit B (276)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 5:21 pm

The problem in this ongoing debate about guns is not whether or not people agree, or whether or not we have a right to own them under the "Bill of Rights" and the second amendment. We do. The focus of the discussion is or should be on registering the guns so that no one with a criminal record, long history of dangerous mental illness or is currently on the FBI terrorist watch list; can obtain a gun. At least not legally. I also do not believe that any citizen has a need for military automatic rifles. I know for certain that in Texas anyone of any age that carry a gun, can buy one at any of our gun shows. How totally irresponsible for the public safety.

David C (0)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 6:46 pm
IMO, Moore's article is implicitly arguing for a full ban.

Just to be clear and not conflate two issues, no one can buy automatic weapons anywhere unless they have a license to do so. There is a separate type of license for automatic weapons, and I *think* that it is difficult to obtain.

I haven't seen or heard of any data that correlates gun show purchases to mass killings or individual murders. It might exist and might be reliable, but I'd think it would be highly publicized by now given the scrutiny on gun shows.

Here's my solution: To own a gun, you should pass a safety course; pass a background check; and then be issued a license (similar to a driver's license). Now any time you want to buy a gun, you must produce the license, and the dealer must verify the license is valid and up to date before selling you the gun. Also the gun user would pay for the course and pay a fee for the check and license.

Whenever someone loses their gun rights, the system will invalidate their license. This solves the background check for gun shows and speeds up all legitimate purchases. Owners are trained to use their weapons and the government doesn't need to track gun ownership. You're basically pre-approved for a gun yet the government can still regulate ownership (which the supreme court has allowed).

People on either side of the argument will not like it (which is a point in its favor), but it would be relatively cheap, as effective as current background checks, fast and convenient for law abiding citizens, promotes gun safety and efficient at invalidating a person who's lost their right to own a gun.


Kit B (276)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 7:01 pm

Not bad, something I could live with, but it does not address gun shows. Are all gun purchases to be subject to your idea or only those obtained from gun stores?

I do know the difference and inserted automatic weapons intentionally. Just wondering who I am talking with. I have taught CHL (concealed carry) classes and they have a long way to go before they live up to any form of expectation of users knowing how to load, aim, fire, and properly keep a gun safe.

David C (0)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 7:41 pm
All purchases. The license should be something that can be easily checked or scanned so that it can be used at gun shows.

If the design requires some kind of electronic reader, then gun shows can figure out some system of sharing (or charging for) the card readers to reduce costs for sellers.

Even conscientious private sellers could check the license, but I personally would not require it.

Don't know what a green star is (yet) but I'll send one in return. Think we fixed that wrong foot we started off on ;-)

Kit B (276)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 8:20 pm

Green Stars are a way of saying "Thank you". We can send one day to any person. One per day per person. I tend to send them for interesting or challenging comments, whether I agree or not.

I do like this idea, but I would want it required by all holders of an FFL.

Kit B (276)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 8:21 pm

Thanks David for an interesting conversation.

Robert Hardy (68)
Thursday March 14, 2013, 9:36 pm
What is most sad is nothing like this has happened.

Lois Jordan (63)
Friday March 15, 2013, 5:51 pm
I received this earlier this week since I subscribe to receive Michael Moore's e.mail. I will admit it was a bit shocking to advocate for posting those photos; I don't want to see them myself. But, thinking further, it seemed pretty sensible. The NRA's answer to the Newton murders was to have guns allowed at schools.....MORE guns. So, Moore's response had to be just as shocking. Since the NRA, (who is shilling for gun MANUFACTURERS) is willing to go to extremes, so am I. I stand for outlawing all guns completely....just like many other countries do. Check out the number of people murdered by guns in those countries....miniscule compared to the U.S. If the NRA gets enough people responding in this way, maybe they'll consider discussing some compromise---which sounds ridiculous, since they don't write the laws.....or, do they?

Kit B (276)
Friday March 15, 2013, 7:06 pm

Well Lois, the NRA is a lobby and the lobbies do write the bills that become laws, saves all that effort for the House Representatives and Senators.

David C (0)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 7:51 am
The parents of the Sandy Hook victims have been asked about this, and they are against publishing the photos. We should respect their wishes. Just imagine the photoshop horrors that would done with those pictures. You can't stop that once the photos are out. As I said above, and the comments afterwards show, the photos will only be used to strengthen each side's arguments and will change very few minds. Therefore it's not worth the pain and suffering to the victim's families. Continue debating gun control -but take this photo option off the table.

Kit B (276)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 8:39 am

I do agree, the photos provide nothing more than shock value. I have not used them, though they are available for those who wish to see them.

Kit B (276)
Sunday March 17, 2013, 3:06 pm

I didn't use the photos because we have all seen photographs like this before. I remember just after the Israelis -Palestinian conflict called "operation cast lead" photo of children stacked like so much cord wood were on Care2 every day. I may be wrong but I think after too much of that, people first get numb, then immune.

Why does it happen? Partly because too many that are mentally ill are never treated, or not treated properly. Of course there are many more reasons, we have heard them all before.
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