Wednesday, April 10, 2013

As I See What???

Tuesday, April 9th featured this Telegram and Gazette opinion piece from Chris Pinto, Vice Chairman of the Worcester Republican City Committee and member of Activate Worcester. Mr. Pinto, as an avid gun owner and Republican, would like us to know that the NRA and Republican Party is the savior of African-Americans, and that the gun and liberty hating Democratic Party isn't.

Mr. Pinto claims:
"the NRA had saved many freed slaves from a certain death at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan."
Nowhere in the NRA's Brief History is there a reference to arming freed ex-slaves to defend themselves against the KKK.

The organization was founded in New York because:
"Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to "promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis," according to a magazine editorial written by Church."

As a student of history, Mr. Pinto should perhaps look to the actions of the NRA when African-Americans were armed.

In 1967, California Governor Ronald Reagan, with the support of the NRA, signed the Mulford Act into law, which prohibited the public display of loaded firearms. Republican State Assemblyman Don Mulford sponsored the bill due to the presence of heavily armed Black Panther Party members who were patrolling neighborhoods and observing arrests of Oakland African Americans by the Oakland Police. The heavily armed Black Panthers formed their patrols because:
"WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER OF BLACK PEOPLE, OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOR, All OPPRESSED PEOPLE INSIDE THE UNITED STATES.We believe that the racist and fascist government of the United States uses its domestic enforcement agencies to carry out its program of oppression against black people, other people of color and poor people inside the united States. We believe it is our right, therefore, to defend ourselves against such armed forces and that all Black and oppressed people should be armed for self defense of our homes and communities against these fascist police forces."

His final claim is by far, the most tortured in its internal logic:
"For purely political reasons, Mr. Obama wants Americans to believe that the NRA and the Republicans are the only things stopping him from making our children safer, all while completely ignoring the 500 murders in Chicago last year, where it is illegal to possess a firearm."
While it is true that Chicago lead the nation in murders in 2012, and it is true that Chicago has a very strict ban on handguns, it is also true that Chicago is not an island or a walled city. Towns and states that surround Chicago supply the city with firearms procured through straw purchasers and imported guns, rendering Chicago's gun ban moot.
"More than a quarter of the firearms seized on the streets here by the Chicago Police Department over the past five years were bought just outside city limits in Cook County suburbs, according to an analysis by the University of Chicago Crime Lab. Others came from stores around Illinois and from other states, like Indiana, less than an hour’s drive away. Since 2008, more than 1,300 of the confiscated guns, the analysis showed, were bought from just one store, Chuck’s Gun Shop in Riverdale, Ill., within a few miles of Chicago’s city limits."

I would like to commend Mr. Pinto for recognizing his father's admiration for Harry Truman, a Democrat. If he remembers his history classes at Doherty Memorial High, he will recall that Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, which desegregated the military. I like that spirit of bipartisanship, even when it runs counter to his claim that "They wish to control all aspects of the lives of Americans of all colors and creeds." 


Why would a member of the Republican Party write such a piece?

There has been somewhat of a dialogue within the Republican Party about outreach beyond their base following their loss in the 2012 election. Much of that dialogue has been about outreach to the Latino population and a reappraisal of their immigration platform. Other members of the Republican party, concerned that they are viewed as racists

because of their virulent

and sometimes violent opposition

to President Obama, have undertaken a quest to rewrite history in an attempt to make the Republican Party more friendly to African-Americans.


Good luck with that approach.


Anonymous said...
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zed said...

Excellent analysis Sean. Now take a crack at why the Telegram prints that kind of crap. I swear they're trying to become a Murdoch paper.

Sean Dacey said...

To be fair, the As I See It runs the full gamut of Worcester opinions, plus a few think tanks. Mike True is a regular contributor, is about as diametrically opposed to anything Chris Pinto believes.

The difference is that Mike True has a better grasp of facts, and doesn't need an editor.