Congress and the AR-15: One NRA Stooge Too Many

Oregon is a liberal state controlled for the most part by Democrats.  Queen Hillary carried Oregon easily in the 2016 presidential election, and the numbers would suggest that the majority of Oregonians loathe Trump, who knew he couldn’t carry the state.  I don’t think he even appeared here to campaign.

The exception to the Dems’ rule is the 2nd Congressional District, a mainly rural swath of real estate that pretty much covers the barren, empty spaces east of the Cascades.  A few medium sized cities scattered in the district may appear to have a liberal lean, but overall it is reliably conservative and Republican.

Rep. Greg Walden has held his congressional seat in the 2nd for 10 sessions, or 20 years. He is Oregon’s lone Republican rep.

In his career he has claimed over $37,000 from the NRA.  His people, the ranchers and farmers from the district, understandably want to keep their weapons, but supposing some of his folk have AR-15s, one would be remiss to not question whether they need that particular weapon to hunt and to scare off coyotes.

But Walden’s silence on the gun issue is telling.  He doesn’t have the balls to come out against the sale of the AR-15 semi-automatic, a weapon made to kill human beings and nothing else.  By its looks and performance, it is a military-grade weapon.  The Las Vegas killer easily converted his into a fully automatic machine gun.

Congress lacks gonads, and Walden is just another “prayers and thoughts” pol.

Like pot in the feverish mind of Jeff Sessions, the AR-15 ought to be illegal to own.  But Congress, its members’ wallets stuffed with NRA money, can’t see past the cash.

Call it blood money.

Walden is one of the NRA’s guys, garnering a 91 percent approval rating from the lobby.

Mass murder doesn’t concern the corrupt cabal that is Congress.  Holding office, like Walden for 20 or more years, does.

Walden is up for re-election in the ’18 mid-terms.  It would be nice if rural Oregon could see/feel the difference between hunting deer and terrorizing human beings, especially children, with a one-purpose gun.


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Terry Simons is the founder of Round Bend Press Books in Portland, Oregon.  This story is excerpted from his memoir of growing up in Oregon, A Marvelous Paranoia.

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