NRA on the defensive in the aftermath of Las Vegas shooting

(3 October 2017) After the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas that claimed the lives of 59 people and injured another 500, the inevitable question arises once again: why is America so incapable of addressing its unique gun violence problem?    The short answer is that the Second Amendment's "right to bear arms" is an unassailable principle in US society which legitimizes gun ownership, seemingly without limits.  The high levels of gun fatalities are rationalized as "the cost of freedom".   As a non-American, I would suggest that despite its veneer of modernity, the US is very much captive to its traditions which date from more than 200 years ago.  The Constitution is regarded with a near-religious reverence which makes changes to it extremely difficult.

But this constitutional right has also been buttressed by active advocacy by gun owners.  The culture of unrestricted gun ownership has been fervently supported and lobbied for by the National Rifle Association (NRA).  Over the past 40 years, the NRA has poured considerable money and resources into the political arena to make gun control more difficult despite obvious data that show the number of gun-related deaths are spiraling higher as guns become more pervasive. 

From an astrological perspective, I have to think that the horoscope of the NRA must be both powerful and somehow closely intertwined with the chart of the USA.  How else can we explain this strange reluctance of Americans to rationally address the sourge of gun-related deaths?  Not surprising, the NRA horoscope is very strong.  The NRA was granted its charter from the state of New York on November 17, 1871 after its founding meeting the previous day. 

A few obvious things stand out from this chart, regardless of the fact of its unknown time of inception.  First, the Sun-Mercury conjunction in Scorpio was in a close trine aspect with Jupiter (and Uranus).  This suggested a confident and expansive organization which hinted at its growth through the decades.   The stable and determined Capricorn Moon is also boosted by its opposition alignment with Jupiter-Uranus. 

But one look at the exact Mars-Saturn conjunction and we can see why this organization can be so tenacious and aggressive in the pursuit of its goals.  Mars-Saturn reflects a focused and rational approach towards the fulfilling of goals.  There is little room for emotions when this pairing is strong in the chart as it is here.  Mars represents assertion and sometimes aggression, while Saturn is sober and methodical.  It is a combination of planets that is indicative of a calculating approach.  We can even take it a step further as Mars-Saturn may be the perfect planetary reflection of firearms.  Mars is the violent intention to fire a weapon, while Saturn is the rational, scientific structure of the interlocking parts of the weapon itself.

The other thing to note about the NRA chart is that this Mars-Saturn conjunction squares a debilitated (fallen) Venus in sidereal Virgo.   Venus is very damaged here and may reflect the fact that the NRA does not care about creating happiness nor does pay it much attention to its public image or the opposition to its program.  Venus rules popularity and happiness and it is quite telling that it so afflicted in this chart.  While its adherents are loyal and devoted to it, even more Americans likely oppose it.  Clearly, the NRA is not an organization intended to foster social harmony. 

The NRA and the USA: a close relationship

One intriguing side to the gun debate in the US is how powerful the gun lobby is.  It seems to be so completely intertwined with American life that change seems virtually impossible.  One reason for this can be found in the interconnectedness in the horoscopes of the US and the NRA.   The NRA's Rahu (0 Gemini) is exactly conjunct the US's Mars.  This suggests the NRA has the ability to tap into and exaggerate the aggressive component of the US national character.  The Lunar Nodes, Rahu and Ketu, are often distorting and magnifying in their effects on other planets.  That may well be the case here as the NRA brings out the irrationally violent tendency in the US society.   The Rahu-Mars connection can play on fears and anxieties which have their outlook in taking up arms against all possible enemies.

Moreover, the NRA's Mars-Saturn conjunction is almost exactly opposite the Venus-Jupiter-Sun stellium in Gemini.  And it is exactly opposite Jupiter, the planet of justice.  This may indicate that the NRA, through force of will, can block or prevent the natural inclination of the US justice system.  The opposition to Venus (harmony) and the Sun (confidence) may reflect how much of a damaging and divisive force the NRA has been on American society.  I am less clear on the planetary glue between these two charts.  The NRA's birth time is unknown so it may form a close angular hit through its Ascendant.  But we can see that the NRA Jupiter-Uranus conjunction does align nicely with the US Moon (7 Aquarius) and the Ascendant (9 Sagittarius) although by weaker angles.  Both the Moon and the Ascendant of the US are key chart points that reflect the essence of the nation. 

Criticism in the wake of Las Vegas

We can see how the NRA is coming under increased scrutiny in the wake of this tragic shooting.  The ongoing alignment of Saturn-Rahu (North Lunar Node) activates the NRA horoscope.  Transiting Saturn (28 Scorpio) is approaching its conjunction with natal Ketu (0 Sagittarius) while transiting Rahu (29 Cancer) is also aligning with Ketu's position.  Both of these are difficult influences.  Rahu and Ketu symbolize sources of uncertainty and disruption and when they are afflicted in the chart, there can be chaotic situations that feel like the ground is shifting under one's feet.  The NRA has pulled its usual promotional advertising in the wake of the shooting in the hopes that the outrage will all blow over as it usually does. 

So can this time different?  Will the US ever be able to enact meaningful gun control?  I am very reluctant to say that "this time is different" but I do think the NRA will be on the defensive for the next several months.  That's because transiting Saturn is due to enter Sagittarius and will station retrograde at 15 Sagittarius in April 2018.  This will be exactly hitting the dominant Mars-Saturn conjunction in the NRA chart.  This pattern may be indicative of some setback to the NRA.  New gun control legislation is possible, although it could represent other developments.  It could even coincide with another major shooting incident that sets the NRA further back on its heels.  However, the Saturn station is very powerful and I would think it is more likely to symbolize a legislative defeat for the NRA (i.e. a new gun control bill) or other obvious weakening of its power and influence.

Weekly Market Forecast

US stocks have remained buoyant into this first week of October on hopes that Trump's tax cut plan will boost economic growth.  The Dow continues to set records and is now trading above 22,600. Emerging markets such as India have fared less well as large institutional investors have pulled some money out in anticipation of higher interest rates in the US and Europe.  With bond yields rising, there is less rationale for capital to chase riskier assets in the developing world.  Gold has also declined as a result of the Fed's desire to normalize rates. 

In my last post two weeks ago, I thought that stocks were more likely weaken in the end of September and early October as the Jupiter-Uranus opposition began to separate last week.  This hasn't happened yet, at least in the US and Europe. 

This week has actually been very positive although I do note the approaching Venus-Mars conjunction in the second half of the week.  This seems less conducive to gains and I would think the Mars influence could well be bearish.  And yet since this is one factor out of many, it is unclear if the anticipated October pullback in the US can begin this week or perhaps it will wait for the entry of Venus into Virgo after Monday, October 9th. 

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.

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