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  1. #1
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    Default NRA Convention too close to victims of Columbine

    Reading this speech, and considering its context, really should make people think. In 1999 the NRA was asked by many not to hold it's national convention in Denver out of respect to the victims of the Columbine shooting. You could replace "gun owners" with "muslims" and have a speech that could be delivered today. Highlights are my own
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Charlton Heston's NRA Keynote Speech
    May 1999

    "I have been advised not to be here. I apologize for this disruption, but from our friends in the national press corps, we have received some very good late-breaking news. According to reports Yugoslavia has agreed to release our three American P.O.W.'s, perhaps, this note says, within 24 hours. That's the best news we could have.

    I was advised not to be here, not to speak to you here, that's not the first time. In 1963, I marched on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King, long before Hollywood found civil rights, um, fashionable. My associates advised me not to go. They said it would be unpopular, and may be dangerous. Thirty-six years later, my associates advised me not to come to Denver. They said it would be unpopular, and may be dangerous. Here I am. Let me tell you why...

    I see our country teetering on the edge of an abyss. At its bottom brews the simmering bile of deep, dark hatred. Hatred that's dividing our country: politically, racially, economically, geographically, in every way- whether it's political vendettas, sports brawls, corporate takeovers, or high school gangs in cleats, the American competitive ethic has changed from 'let's beat the other guy, to let's destroy the other guy.' Too many, too many are too willing to stigmatize and demonize others for political advantage, for money or for ratings. The vilification is savage. This week, Representative John Conyers slandered three million Americans when he called the NRA 'merchants of death' on national television as our first lady nodded in agreement.

    A hideous cartoon by Mike Peters ran nationally, it showed childrens' dead bodies sprawled out to spell N-R-A. The countless requests we've received this last week or so for media appearances are in fact, summons to public floggings, where those who hate firearms will, predictably don the white hat and give us the black one. This harvest of hatred is then sold as news. As entertainment. As government policy. Such hateful, divisive forces are leading us to one awful end--America's own form of Balkanization. A weakened country of rabid factions, each less free, united only by hatred of one another.

    In the past ten days, we've seen the these brutal blows attempting to fracture America into two such camps. Now one camp would be the majority- people who believe our founders guaranteed our security with the right to defend ourselves, our families, and our country. The other camp would be a large minority of people who believe that we will buy security--if we would just surrender these freedoms. This debate would be accurately described as those who believe in the Second Amendment versus those who don't but instead it is spun as those who believe in murder versus those who don't.

    A struggle between the reckless and the prudent, between the dim-witted and the progressive. Between inferior citizens who know, and elitists who know what's good for society. But we're not the rustic, reckless radicals they wish for. No, the NRA spans the broadest range of American demography imaginable. We defy stereotyping, except for love of country. Look in your mirror, your shopping mall, your church, your grocery store--that's us. Millions of ordinary people and extraordinary people. War heroes, sports idols, several U.S. Presidents, and, yes, movie stars.

    But the screeching hyperbole leveled at gun owners has made these two camps so wary of each other, so hostile and confrontational and disrespectful on both sides they have forgotten that we are first Americans. I am asking all of us, on both sides, to take one step back from the edge, than another step and another... however many it takes to get back to the place where we are all Americans. Different...different, imperfect, diverse, but one nation, indivisible.

    This cycle of tragedy-driven hatred must stop, because so much more connects us than that which divides us because tragedy has been, and will always be with us. Somewhere right now, evil people are planning evil things. All of us will do everything meaningful, everything we can do to prevent it, but each horrible act can't become an ax for opportunists to cleave the very Bill of Rights that binds us. America must stop this predictable pattern of reaction. when an isolated, terrible event occurs, our phones ring, demanding that the NRA explain the inexplicable. Why us? Because their story needs a villain. They want us to play the heavy in their drama of packaged grief. To provide riveting programming to run between commercials for cars and cat food.

    The dirty secret of this day and age is that political gain and media ratings all to often bloom on fresh graves. I remember a better day, where no one dared politicize or profiteer on trauma. We kept a respectful distance then, as NRA has tried to do now. Simply being silent is so often the right thing to do. But today, carnage comes with a catchy title, splashy graphics, regular promos and a reactionary passage of legislation. Reporters perch like vultures on the balconies of hotels for a hundred miles around. Cameras jockey for shocking angles as news anchors race to drench their microphones with the tears of victims.

    Injury, shock, grief and despair shouldn't be brought to you by sponsors. That's pornography. It trivializes the tragedy it abuses. It abuses vulnerable people, and maybe worst of all, it makes the unspeakable seem commonplace. And we're often cast as the villain. That is not our role in American society, and we will not be forced to play it.

    Our mission is to remain, as our Vice-President said, a steady beacon of strength and support for the Second Amendment even if it has no other friend on this planet. We cannot, we must not let tragedy lay waste to the most rare, and hard-won human right in history. A nation cannot gain safety by giving up freedom. This truth is older than our country. Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Ben Franklin said that.

    Now, if you like your freedoms of speech and of religion, freedom from search and seizure, freedom of the press, and of privacy, to assemble, and to redress grievances, then you'd better give them that eternal bodyguard called the Second Amendment.


    The individual right to bear arms is freedom's insurance policy. Not just for your children, but for infinite generations to come. That is it's singular sacred duty, and why we preserve it so fiercely. Now, no, it's not a right without rational restrictions, and it's not for everyone. Only the law-abiding majority of society deserves the Second Amendment.

    Abuse it once, and lose it forever. That's the law. But, curiously, the NRA is far more eager to prosecute gun abusers than are those who oppose gun ownership altogether. As if the tool could be more evil than the evil-doers. I don't understand that. The NRA also spends more and works harder than anybody in America to promote safe, responsible use of firearms. From 38,000 certified instructors, training millions of police, hunters, women and youths, to 500 law-enforcement agencies promoting our Eddie Eagle gun-safety program Wen told you about distributed to eleven million kids-eleven million and counting.

    But our essential reason for being is this: as long as there is a Second Amendment, evil can never conquer us, tyranny in any form can never find footing within a society of law-abiding, armed, ethical people. The majesty of the Second Amendment that our founders so divinely captured and crafted into your birthright guarantees that no government despot, no renegade faction of armed forces, no roving gangs of criminals, no breakdown of law and order, no massive anarchy, no force of evil or crime or oppression from within or from without can ever rob you of the liberties that define your Americanism.

    And, so, when they ask you well, indeed you would uh, bear arms against Government tyranny? The answer is no. That could never happen, precisely because we have the Second Amendment. Let me be absolutely clear. The Founding Fathers guaranteed this freedom, because they knew no tyranny can ever arise among a people endowed with the right to keep and bear arms. That's why you and your descendants need never fear fascism, state-run faith, refugee camps, brain-washing, ethnic cleansing, or especially submission to the wanton will of criminals.

    The Second Amendment, there can be no more precious inheritance- that's what the NRA preserves.

    Now, if you disagree, that's your right. I respect that. But, we will not relinquish it, or be silenced about it, or be told: 'Do not come here, you are unwelcome in your own land.'

    Let us go from this place, this huge room, renewed in spirit and dedicated against hatred. We have work to do, hearts to heal, evil to defeat, and a country to unite. We may have differences, yes, and we will again suffer tragedy almost beyond description. But when the sun sets on Denver tonight, and forevermore, let it always set on we the people, secure in our land of the free, and home of the brave. I, for one, plan to do my part. Thank You."
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin


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    As I have said on that issue, there is no law forbiding the mosque at that location, therefore the government's hands are tied. However, the leaders of that mosque should recognize the conflict and respectfully find a new location. Perhaps their agenda is not as benign though, and they are looking to prove a point.

  3. #3
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Do they have a right? Yes.

    Is it insensitive and disrespectful? Yes

    Should it be built there? NO





    Was Charleton Heston the MAN? Yes.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    Reading this speech, and considering its context, really should make people think. In 1999 the NRA was asked by many not to hold it's national convention in Denver out of respect to the victims of the Columbine shooting. You could replace "gun owners" with "muslims" and have a speech that could be delivered today. Highlights are my own.
    The difference is after Columbine you did not see members of the NRA dancing in the street screaming "God is great, death to America", but after 9\11 you saw Muslims around the world, including in America, cheering on the terrorist.
    Like ChiefKN said they have the right, but it is in poor taste and is at best polarizing.

    This will be nothing more that a air traffic control tower for inbound terrorist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Was Charleton Heston the MAN? Yes.
    It is always good to agree on some things
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Rights are rights. Muslims have theirs too.

    It's not a mosque, either.

  7. #7
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by abeth86 View Post
    Rights are rights. Muslims have theirs too.

    It's not a mosque, either.
    If it is not a Mosque then what is it?

    Two Muslim organizations have partnered to open the mosque and cultural center in lower Manhattan, saying the $100 million project will create a venue for mainstream Islam and a counterbalance to radicalism. It earned a key endorsement this week from influential community leaders.

    SOURCE: USA Today

    The developers behind the Islamic center planned for a site near Ground Zero won't rule out accepting financing from the Mideast -- including from Saudi Arabia and Iran -- as they begin searching for $100 million needed to build the project.

    SOURCE: ABC News

    IS GROUND ZERO the right place for a major new mosque and Islamic cultural center? Cordoba House is a 15-story, $100 million development to be built just 600 feet from where the World Trade Center stood; the plans include the mosque, a 500-seat auditorium, swimming pool, restaurant, and bookstore.

    SOURCE: Boston Globe

    By the way where is the outrage for th only church, the Greek Orthodox, that was destroyed by the mudercide Muslims of 9\11? They have been trying to rebuild for years and have received nothing but grief from the authorities in NY. Where is you outrage for them? Is it because they are Christians, and not Muslims? Why have they been blocked by the government (local, state, and federal), and they are going out of their way to make sure this Mosque is built?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Do they have a right? Yes.

    Is it insensitive and disrespectful? Yes

    Should it be built there? NO





    Was Charleton Heston the MAN? Yes.
    I totally agree.
    Jason Knecht
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    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Do they have a right? Yes.

    Is it insensitive and disrespectful? Yes

    Should it be built there? NO
    I don't see why it shouldn't be built there. From the folks I know in NY, this issue isn't as big a deal to those who live in that neighborhood as those who are making this an issue would have you believe.

    It's not like there aren't other enterprises in that neighborhood that one might consider equally insensitive.

    http://daryllang.com/blog/4421


    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Was Charleton Heston the MAN? Yes.
    Yes.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I don't see why it shouldn't be built there. From the folks I know in NY, this issue isn't as big a deal to those who live in that neighborhood as those who are making this an issue would have you believe.
    It is a big deal to many affected by the attack of 9/11.

    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...85#post1199085

    It's just insensitive, pure and simple. If its not a big deal, then why all the press coverage?
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 08-22-2010 at 09:28 AM.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    It's just insensitive, pure and simple.
    In your opinion. Fortunately, religious rights aren't subject to opinions.

    If its not a big deal, then why all the press coverage?
    Because a vocal minority insists on making it "a big deal" and controversy sells advertising. In the end, that's all the press is concerned about.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    In your opinion. Fortunately, religious rights aren't subject to opinions.
    Welcome to the United States, where I have a right to challenge what I think is sensitive or not. I'm not challenging their right to religion or the free practice of their religion. I'm challenging their sensitivity, which, last I checked was not listed in the Bill of Rights.


    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Because a vocal minority insists on making it "a big deal" and controversy sells advertising. In the end, that's all the press is concerned about.
    70% is not a minority.

    Quote Originally Posted by Time Magazine
    According to a new TIME poll, 61% of respondents oppose the construction of the Park51/Cordoba House project, compared with 26% who support it. More than 70% concur with the premise that proceeding with the plan would be an insult to the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...#ixzz0xLQiMVyR
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 08-22-2010 at 10:25 AM.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Because a vocal minority insists on making it "a big deal" and controversy sells advertising. In the end, that's all the press is concerned about.
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    70% is not a minority.
    One of the powers of the press is the ability to take a topic that only a few care about, then saturate the airwaves with it until they get the response they want.

    Do people care about the center because they have a stake in it, or do 70% care about it because the talking heads on TV tell them that they should care about it?
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    One of the powers of the press is the ability to take a topic that only a few care about, then saturate the airwaves with it until they get the response they want.

    Do people care about the center because they have a stake in it, or do 70% care about it because the talking heads on TV tell them that they should care about it?
    So all polls are invalid?

    I'm sure that 70% puts us outside the margin of error here.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    It is a big deal to many affected by the attack of 9/11.

    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...85#post1199085

    It's just insensitive, pure and simple. If its not a big deal, then why all the press coverage?
    http://www.peacefultomorrows.org/article.php?id=977

    September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows strongly supports efforts to bring an Islamic Cultural Center to lower Manhattan, near the Ground Zero site. We believe that welcoming the Center, which is intended to promote interfaith tolerance and respect, is consistent with fundamental American values of freedom and justice for all.

    We believe, too, that this building will serve as an emblem for the rest of the world that Americans stand against violence, intolerance and overt acts of racism and that we recognize that the evil acts of a few must never damn the innocent.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    There are groups on both part of this issue.

    I understand why some believe it would be insenstive. I also believe that one has the ability to build what they want on private property. There is nothing stopping the opponents of the mosque from offering the land owners fair market value for the property and building a memorial, planting daisies, or opening a dry cleaners.

    The title of this thread is a bad analogy. Relocating a convention is far different from edicting what one should be allowed to do with their private property. There are numerous places of worship in that part of town within the radius of that would encompass this proposed site. Like I said earlier. This issue is being raised by folks who don't live in the neighborhood. Most of the rhetoric is poltical in nature that counts on the fears of Islam to keep the issue alive in the media.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    It's not a mosque. Repeat that. A few times.

    It's a community center with a prayer room. Essentially, it's a muslim YMCA. There won't be any minarets or imams chanting about prayer time out the window. It's a community center.

    Just because Sarah Palin says it is, doesn't make it so.

  20. #20
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abeth86 View Post
    It's not a mosque. Repeat that. A few times.

    It's a community center with a prayer room. Essentially, it's a muslim YMCA. There won't be any minarets or imams chanting about prayer time out the window. It's a community center.

    Just because Sarah Palin says it is, doesn't make it so.
    Mosque, prayer room... semantics.

    I guess he should stop listening to Palin too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barak Obama
    Asked Saturday about the issue during his trip to Florida, Obama said: "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding."
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100814/...o_mosque_obama
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 08-22-2010 at 04:16 PM.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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