The NRA: Going armed with intent?

On the off chance that you haven’t read my previous post, please take a couple of minutes to do that. At the end of it I said I’d share my thoughts on the intent of one of the videos linked to that post.

My thoughts, as promised:

The video, like a number of others from the National Rifle Association, was crafted to support more than one objective. The intent isn’t to support the safe, responsible use of firearms, as I remember the NRA doing when I learned about those things as a Boy Scout in the 1960s.

No, today’s NRA wants people to be afraid of each other, so it uses frightening imagery and scare words, often in the form of lies, to engender fear and hate.

Why? The other reasons are pretty clear from this and other NRA messaging:

The NRA does this because its leadership, supported by what we must infer is a large percentage of its membership, believes in white supremacy.

The NRA does what it does to maintain and increase its membership.

The NRA does what it does so that people will buy more and more guns and ammunition.

The NRA’s intent is to maintain and increase its own clout and to keep the American people buying guns and ammo from the association’s corporate backers.

This is all revealed more grotesquely in a newer NRA video that I will not even share here. It is that vile. In one sense, what the NRA does is akin to going armed with intent. That’s a felony in some places.

There’s no doubt that writing with intent and passion can be effective. Depending on the intent, such content can be destructive and even deadly.

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Writing with intent: YouTube, NRA

The other day I wrote these words about writing with intent. The very next day I found a couple of vivid examples of that.

In this one, from YouTube, the intent is crystal clear:

Let’s launch your video marketing campaign

You know exactly what to expect, and you can decide if you want to watch a how-to video about launching a video marketing campaign. Well done.

The intent in this other example is less clear, but see if you can identify at least one of its multiple objectives.

Freedom’s Safest Place | Your Choice

Let me know in a comment what you think the NRA’s intent is with that video. I’ll share my own thoughts on it sometime soon.

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The real definition of insanity

Don’t ever tell me that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

That is both trite and untrue.

I looked it up:

Definition of insanity

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is more like the definition of playing Powerball.

On jerking white knees and intellectual laziness

Those people are too easily offended. They like being victims. Whiny millennials. Redneck morons. Liberal idiots.

Many of us white guys react to ideas these days the way a healthy knee jerks when tapped with a reflex hammer: completely without thought.

keys 009Our reaction often is to dismiss the voices of those whose life experiences don’t mirror our own. Why? Because it is easy, and because thinking requires effort. We are prone to intellectual laziness.

It takes no thought to reflexively discount what we don’t understand. We can simply type out a slur or roll our eyes and shake our heads and go on our way.

We can read something like #BlackLivesMatter and take it personally because we’re not black. The easy thing is to lash out defensively, insisting that #AllLivesMatter, because of course they do.

In doing the easy thing, though, we miss the point entirely. We miss the message those other voices carry. We fail to understand that acknowledging the importance of their lives doesn’t diminish our own.

It takes some effort to ask questions like:

Why are those other people angry?

What is the problem?

What the hell is a microaggression?

Why do I have to worry about every damn thing I say?

Even asking such questions means admitting that someone has gotten our attention and that maybe their voices raise legitimate issues. The questions alone can make us uncomfortable and the answers, if we make the effort to look for them, are not always easy to understand.

We have a choice.

We can make the effort to hear and understand, or we can admit that we really don’t care.

Being thankful

Let us be thankful for our mates and partners,
our children and siblings,
Red Dog Smithand all their families,
and our lives
and our health.

For our friends, enlightened
or misguided, furry
or clean-shaven,
and for our dogs and cats, too.

For work that is worth doing well,
for freedom and teachers,
for honest public servants,
and people who challenge violence and corruption,
and people who help the suffering.

For bicycle makers and fixers and pedalers,
and craft beer makers,
and good coffee
and good pizza.

For snow and rain and sunshine,
and stars in the sky.