Sargent: The NRA’s Big Lies


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

When you are the chief lobbyist for the merchants of death, you are a soulless creature of the night who knows no bounds of human decency. Profiting from death and human misery is your only objective. Greg Sargent writes today about The NRA’s Big Lies:

Yesterday Joe Biden met with officials from the National Rifle
Association in hopes of finding common ground in the quest to prevent
future massacres, such as the one in Newtown, which killed 20 children.
Predictably, the NRA put out a statement
that was full of lies, accusing the White House’s gun task force of an
“agenda to attack the Second Amendment” and of blaming “law-abiding gun
owners” for the “acts of criminals and madmen.” As always, the game plan
is to stoke resentment and fear among [paranoid] gun owners and to obscure the
real goals of sensible gun law reform. This signals that an epic battle
lies ahead.

In this context, you really should read the Huffington Post’s big piece detailing the degree to which the NRA represents, first and foremost, the multibillion dollar gun industry.
The piece details the financial ties between the two, and demonstrates a
key thing about this debate: The NRA is putting an enormous amount of
firepower into defending what can only be described as an extreme
worldview, one that encourages resistance to even the most sensible
regulatory and public safety efforts, with the apparent goal of ensuring
that the country is awash in as many guns as possible

From the point of view of gun reform advocates, this was captured
perfectly in Wayne La Pierre’s now infamous [performance art], which accompanied
his call for armed guards in schools as the only way to protect our
children: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy
with a gun.”

Left unsaid, of course, is that having “good guys” with guns in no way precludes doing far more to prevent
the “bad guy” from getting a gun in the first place. The NRA wants to
frame this debate as a false choice — as one between improving front
line security for our children (with guns, natch) and doing more to
prevent criminals and the mentally ill from getting access to lethal,
overwhelming firepower. But these are not mutually exclusive at all.
Indeed, the White House is weighing a proposal to make federal funding available for schools
that want to hire cops and surveillance equipment to keep guns out of
schools, an idea that would be part of its broader package of reforms.

The point is that both sensible gun law reform and and sensible
security efforts can be simultaneously pursued — even though the NRA
wants to deceive you into thinking otherwise. What’s more, the vast
majority of Americans almost certainly don’t buy into the organization’s
increasingly transparent Second Amendment alarmism. As noted here yesterday,
polls show that very large majorities, including majorities of
Republicans, support the gun reforms that are currently being discussed.

* * *

Also, the New York Times reports:

Mr. Biden’s comment this week about taking executive action was
seized on by some opponents as evidence that the president wanted to
unilaterally restrict gun sales to legal buyers. But officials said
executive action refers to limited measures like directing more
attention and resources to pursuing violations of existing gun laws and
studying gun violence.

So these executive actions won’t involve actual gun regulations, it seems. Of course, no matter what
the White House tries to do through executive action, no matter how
modest or sensible, the “gun rights” crowd will denounce it as tyranny,

Elspeth Reeve at The Atlantic Wire dispelled this fear mongering by the right-wing noise machine (e.g., Drudge, Limbaugh) yesterday, Don't Worry, NRA: Obama Can't Do Much on Guns by Himself:

[E]xecutive action has the National Rifle Association and especially the Drudge Report
freaking out. Relax guys: President Obama can't do that much on guns
with an executive order. If he wants a big change in gun laws, he still
has to go through Congress.

* * *

Here are some major things Obama would need Congress to get done:

  • Ban assault weapons.
  • Close the loophole that allows 40 percent of guns to be sold without
    background checks at gun shows. The White House is trying to get
    Wal-Mart to support the proposal to push it through Congress, The Washington Post reports.
  • Allow the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and later the National Institutes of Health to even research
    guns. The Tiahrt amendments block funding for collecting gun crime data
    and researching the weapons' impact on society, something Mayors
    Against Illegal Guns will be fighting to change, Politico reports.
  • Get pro-gun control judges confirmed to the federal bench.The National
    Rifle Association has a program to block Obama's "judicial nominees
    whom it sees as likely to enforce gun-control laws," the Associated Press reports. Anti-gun control senators have successfully kept some seats unfilled.

The things Obama can get done through executive order are much smaller.
They include "changes to federal mental-health programs and
modernization of gun-tracking efforts by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives," the Post says. Other Congress-less reforms floated
include tracking gun buyers' history of mental illness, sharing more
information between state and local law enforcement, keeping information
on gun sales longer, and banning the importation of military-style
weapons. Which one of these would have applied to Adam Lanza? None. His
mom legally bought and registered the weapons he used to kill 26
children and adults, including her.

We can't have a sane conversation about reasonable gun regulations when the conservative media entertainment complex is constantly stoking fear and resentment, and outright insanity.

UPDATE: From Think Progress, Three Things The NRA Wants You To Believe About Biden’s Gun Safety Task Force That Aren’t True.