March for Our Lives Hits It Out of the Park
Abolish the NRA, not the Second Amendment
March 28, 2018


On Saturday, I joined 30,000 people in the local March for Our Lives in downtown Pittsburgh. I’ve been participating in demonstrations/marches/protests – on myriad social justice issues in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Washington DC – for nearly 40 years.  This was one of the biggest, most moving, most powerful of all.  It was certainly the biggest in Pittsburgh.

About half of the crowd were young people, mostly high school and college students, along with younger children and quite a few strollers.  Many of the rest appeared to be their parents and other allies.
The rest of us were gray-haired protest veterans.

The event followed the usual format – gathering at the City-County Building on Grant Street, opening remarks, marching via Grant Street and Fifth Avenue to Market Square, more speeches, chants, cheers.
Voter registration was available, along with information for CeaseFirePA, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and Sandy Hook Promise.

At the beginning of the march, I met a man, Silvano Gallego, who immigrated

to the US from Columbia twenty years ago.  He said he always wanted to

attend a public demonstration but was hesitant to do so. 
But he loved this one.  He said “This is what’s good about America. 

You couldn’t do this in Russia.” 
I agree.

The politicians present, most of whom spoke, included Mayor Bill Peduto,

Congressman Mike Doyle, Congressman-elect Conor Lamb, Allegheny County

Executive Rich Fitzgerald, State Senators Jay Costa and Wayne Fontana,

State Reps. Ed Gainey and Dan Frankel, and City Controller Michael Lamb.

Every speaker agreed that “thoughts and prayers” don’t cut it.  We need real action.  We need to work with the sensible members of the NRA to make the change we want.  If our representatives in Washington and Harrisburg aren’t willing to change, then we must change them. 
Voting is absolutely essential.

For the record, the students, here and in all of the cities, did a tremendous job of organizing the day.
Their parents can be very proud.  I look forward to much more from them.

Despite what the NRA and the gun goons would have you believe, no one wants to repeal the Second Amendment.  No one wants to take your guns.

Every organization wants only to make our lives safer.  They want common sense gun laws. 
And they want to replace legislators who refuse to pass them.
And yes, I have read the mission statements of every one of the organizations listed in this article.

The NRA is the biggest opponent to sensible gun laws. 

It was founded in 1871 to represent the interests of gun owners and provides many legitimate services for its members. 
But the NRA is not an advocate for gun rights. 

It does not represent the interests of gun owners.
It represents gun companies. 

The companies make money when people buy guns.
Every restriction on gun ownership means fewer gun sales.
That's why they won't quit.
It's all about the money.
They’re sacrificing children for MONEY.
And they don’t feel badly about it because they are immoral.

For eight years, they convinced millions of Americans that Barack Obama and “the government” are coming for your guns by creating FEAR.  And they sold millions of guns.  There was even a shortage of ammunition. That makes them a terrorist organization.

Now that Obama's gone, gun sales have plummeted.

If I hear one more time that the gun violence debate must stop being political I'm going to lose my mind.
The problem is political.
Therefore, the solution is political.
They don't buy plumbers.

Wayne LaPierre and his disciples have been slandering, libeling, and defaming the MFOL organizers. 
I won’t repeat their lies here.  I won’t give them any traction.
But if their cause was honorable, they wouldn’t need to spread lies.

That’s why we must eradicate the NRA.
And the gun sense movement isn’t saying that.
I am.

The many decent, rational NRA members need a new organization to represent them.
If anyone wants to get one started, I’ll be happy to help.

The Second Amendment is an anchor around the neck of this country. 
It is literally killing people
We can keep its premise, but we must modify it.
It won’t be easy.
It will take time.
But it must be done.

For More Information
National March for Our Lives
Pittsburgh March for Our Lives
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
Everytown for Gun Safety
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Sandy Hook Promise
Gun Violence, the Second Amendment, and Common Sense
The Second Amendment, Mental Illness, and Other Observations on the Tucson Tragedy

Read the Constitution

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Patricia A. O'Malley
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