I knew that something had been posted about me on the internet when I started to receive a more-than-usual number of emails which began with ‘Dear Mike Rat-Ass,’ or ‘Hello Mike You Jerk,’ and other bright and cheery salutations. And it turned out that the NRA, in response to my comments about its racist appeal to the membership, unleashed their African-American attack dog, Colion Noir, who went after me today in a video he stuck up for everyone to see.
And Colion’s correct in that I did mistakenly accuse the NRA of identifying a young man who was shot in a Chicago playground as a bad-ass who shot and killed a young girl in St. Louis; same name, wrong picture, but it doesn’t change the validity of what I said. And what I said, and I won’t back down, is that the NRA has been and continues to pander to racial animosities as a way of doing what they do best, namely, using fear to promote the ownership of guns.
Fear is the most dangerous of all human emotions. A little bit is a good thing, because we need ways to warn ourselves that something is too risky or will yield results that will hurt more than help. But fear can also spur over-reactions which lead to violence and destruction – a phenomenon in history we have witnessed too many times. I support the NRA 100% when they talk about gun ownership for hunting, collecting and sport. But when they promote guns by pandering to fear, that’s where I draw the line. If Colion doesn’t like it, he can lay brick.
A new study conducted by Nobel Prize-winner Angus Deaton has found that white males, ages 45 to 54 with no more than a high-school education have recently shown an alarming increase in mortality due to substance abuse; typically alcoholic liver disease or overdoses of heroin and other opioid drugs. The numbers constitute an ‘epidemic’ and parallel an unprecedented increase in suicides within the same group. Not surprisingly, this population has also been unable to surmount the economic difficulties of the past decade, with household incomes dropping by as much as 19 percent!
Middle-age white men with high school education at best – is there a particular group in America which fits that profile to a greater or lesser degree? It’s the group which remains the core of the gun-owning population, no matter what Colion Noir and Dana Loesch try to pretend about all those women and minorities going out to buy guns. Noir can call me all the names he wants, but when he says that what I’m doing is trying to ‘manipulate’ black people away from the ‘gun rights’ issue, he’s just going back to the same old crap that the NRA has been using to try and convince African-Americans that guns are their first line of defense against the depredations of ghetto life that many still endure.
On the other hand, if you are a white, middle-age male without a job and without much of a future, you become susceptible to alcohol, to drugs, to depression, and there’s a good chance you’ll walk around all day feeling pissed off. And it’s this anger, this fear of yet the next unpredictable catastrophe that makes some respond to the NRA message which says that you are more in control and have less to fear if you walk around with a gun.
The Huffington column has been corrected and I apologize to Wayne-o for what was my error, not his. But if Colion or Collins or whatever his name believes that prancing around with an AR-15 makes him ‘free,’ then he’s either appealing to the lowest common intellectual denominator or to a messed-up mind of some teenage-boy who spends all day playing video games and watching tv.
Want to walk around with a gun? That’s fine. But understand you are increasing, not diminishing risk and if the NRA would just come out and admit what Colion wants to pretend he doesn’t know, Wayne-o would get no argument from me.