Sticking to Their Guns

Here’s the fundamental, unequivocal position by the National Rifle Association on any form of gun legislation – NO.

NO – to a provision that would renew and strengthen a ban on assault weapons.

NO – to limit magazines to 10 rounds.

NO – to making “straw” purchasing, (where an individual buys a weapon for another), and trafficking a federal crime.

NO – to require background checks for online sales and sales at gun shows, (but would not require such checks on sales between neighbors and family members).

NO – to a substitute for background check that increases enforcement and reporting on mentally ill people.

In spite of polls that show that an overwhelming majority of Americans want stricter gun control….

“….HOLD ON THERE, Jim! You’re just another left-wing, nut job who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Which polls, those coming from more of your left-wing buddies?”

I’m citing that bastion of left-wing thought… Fox News.

“A new Fox News poll [Mar. 22], finds the most popular measure continues to be universal background checks: A large 85-percent majority of voters favors requiring checks on all gun buyers, including at gun shows and private sales. That includes most Democrats (90 percent), Republicans (83 percent) and independents (82 percent), as well as most of those living in a gun-owner household (81 percent).

The same Fox poll reports that “There is also sizable public support for requiring mental health checks on gun buyers (72 percent) and background checks on ammunition purchases (70 percent).”

When each of the amendments to the Senate bill came up for a vote, only four Republican Senators voted “yes”: Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who co-authored the bill; John McCain of Arizona; Mark Steven Kirk of Illinois; and Susan Collins of Maine. And, just to add a little balance, four Democrats voted “no”: Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Max Baucus of Montana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. All four are said to be facing difficult re-election campaigns next year.

So much for political courage.

And what does the NRA do to any member of Congress who votes against them? They execute them…(metaphorically, of course) by targeting them for negative campaign ads, and contributing to any candidate (of course, it has to be one that takes the NRA pledge of allegiance) that runs against them in the next election. This could be bad news for Toomey and Manchin who were lifelong supporters of the NRA, but sat down and reasoned together for a common sense, compromise solution. (There I go again, using the “C” word.)

Those voting against the bill said that “they made their decisions based on logic…” the New York Times reported (Apr. 18).

“Criminals do not submit to background checks now,” Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa said. “They will not submit to expanded background checks.”

Senator Grassley and others must be using some new kind of logic, because that makes no sense to me, and, by the way, no sense to most of the American public. What it does say is that criminals who were freely obtaining guns online and at gun shows before are free to continue to do so.

It’s the same kind of wacky logic on display during NBC’sMeet The Press (Mar. 24), when NRA spokesman Wayne LaPierre, in another unequivocal message, told New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, “he’s going to find out that this is a country of the people, by the people and for the people, (Abe should have trademarked that, long ago). And he can’t spend enough of his $27 billion to impose his will on the American public…. He can’t buy America!”

“The National Rifle Association,” the Times reported, “mobilized members to blanket the Senate with phone calls, e-mails and letters. The group also spent $500,000 on Wednesday alone, on an advertising campaign criticizing ‘Obama’s gun ban’ and using Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a deep-pocketed gun control advocate, as a foil.”

So, according to LaPierre, if Bloomberg pays for ads supporting legislation, he’s attempting to “buy America!” When the NRA spends money on ads, as well as members of congress, they are reaching out and mobilizing members.

And could someone please explain that with overwhelmingpublic support behind the bill, what LaPierre means when he says, “of the people, by the people and for the people,” NRA people?

Here are just a few people Mr. LaPierre should give equal consideration to: the people of Newtown, Aurora, Minneapolis, Virginia Tech, Oak Creek and Tucson.


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