The National Shooting Sports Foundation revoked the Socialist Rifle Association’s membership on July 22, 2019. The NSSF is one of the leading trade associations for the firearms industry in America. Its mission is “To promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.”
The NSSF is responsible for conducting industry research and provides grants to colleges for shooting sports. On Friday, July 19th, the Socialist Rifle Association became a member of the NSSF “with the intent of living up to the SRA’s goal of arming and training the working-class for self and community defense.”
The SRA noted the following:
While we understand the NSSF to be a fairly reactionary institution, our hope was to introduce the concept of left wing gun ownership and advocacy to the larger firearms community, especially through participation in events such as SHOT Show.
However, the SRA’s membership inside the NSSF was scuttled on Monday, July 22nd. The socialist organization received an email that their membership was revoked, and their 200 nonprofit membership dues were refunded.
A representative of the NSSF followed up with the socialist group claiming that the NSSF stands for “free market capitalism” and that having a socialist group under their fold would run counter to their “core values.”
The SRA Central Committee defended itself by claiming that “Gun control is a fundamental component of neo-liberal capitalism and its tendency to commodify, infantilize, and enslave working-class people.”
It added, “Socialism, on the other hand, is a philosophy concerned with emancipating working class people and allowing for their greatest development of individual will and expression. And the right to bear arms for self and community defense is a critical component of that mission.”
Although it is intriguing that an organization on the Left is in support of gun rights, the NSSF is within its rights to associate with whomever it pleases. Their recent decision, as controversial as it may appear, is justified. Despite socialism’s rosy appeal, it has a long track record of failure from countries such as the Soviet Union to present-day Venezuela.
One feature of these regimes has been the monopolization of force, where most citizens not attached to the governing apparatus are effectively disarmed. Even if socialists believe in firearms ownership, what happens when people dissent against their redistributionist schemes?
How will these people be handled? History shows that such desires for economic collectivization require a massive state to carry out those tasks. This is usually accompanied by the state holding strong control over firearms ownership.
To quell this dissent, the government steps in by using violent crackdowns and the eventual passage of gun control laws to keep future uprisings in check. The SRA may have noble intentions, but the long-term implications of the political system they push will ultimately undermine their pro-gun projects.
For that reason, the NSSF is justified in kicking the SRA out of its network.
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Did Bernie Sanders Just Endorse a Neocon Regime Change Foreign Policy?
Is Bernie Sanders the anti-war candidate that many non-interventionists are making him out to be?
Journalists Jacob Crosse and Barry Grey presented some interesting observations about Sanders’ foreign policy views.
Sanders criticized the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani in January and also stressed his opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
During the Iowa presidential debate, Sanders loudly boasted, “I not only voted against that war, I helped lead the effort against that war.”
However, Sanders changed his tune when chatting with the New York Times.
The answers the Sanders campaign gave the Times showed its flexibility when it comes to foreign policy.
In other words, the Sanders campaign signaled to the military and intelligence apparatus that Sanders won’t present a threat to their interests and may actually carry out their interventionist agenda.
One question in the survey that the Times sent the Sanders campaign stuck out above the rest.
The third survey question asked, “Would you consider military force to pre-empt an Iranian or North Korean nuclear or missile test?”
The Sanders campaign responded, “Yes.”
Based on this response, Sanders’ is signaling that he’s willing to continue Bush-era policies of “preemptive war.”
Like Obama, Sanders’ opposition to the Iraq War was a matter of politics rather than a principled opposition to regime change wars.
His campaign was also asked, “Would you consider military force for a humanitarian intervention?”
Sanders responded, “Yes.”
Some of the wars that the U.S. carried out in the name of “human rights” have been the Bosnian war and the bombing of Serbia in the 1990s along with the aerial campaign against Libya in 2011 and the Civil War launched in Syria.
All in all, Sanders’ pro-peace/non-interventionist image is at best window dressing.
Under a Sanders presidency, the interventionist status quo will likely stay in place.
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