December 15, 2012

NRA enables mass murderers

The National Rifle Association's role in aiding and abetting mass murderers:

On Terrorism and Gun Violence, a 1,000-to-1 Spending Gap

Nine facts and one question about why we spend what we spend to prevent sudden deaths.

By Andrew Cohen
Our government has asked us consistently since 9/11 to sacrifice individual liberties and freedom, constitutional rights to privacy for example, in the name of national security. And we have ceded these liberties. Yet that same government in that same time hasn't asked anyone to sacrifice some Second Amendment rights to help protect innocent victims from gun violence.I'm not even conceding that gun control requires a "sacrifice." Your right is to bear arms as part of a "well regulated militia." Regulations aren't an imposition on that right, they are the right.

In other words, the 2nd Amendment authorizes owning guns and accepting gun regulations. Not one or the other, both.

Why are we spending a thousand times more to stop foreign terrorists than domestic terrorists? Because the NRA exists to enable the latter group of killers. Otherwise it would support rather than oppose regulations to safeguard Americans.

NRA: A lobby for criminals

The NRA is a twisted, paranoid organization whose main achievement is to have made law enforcement harder

By Alan Berlow
In a nation armed with more than a quarter of a billion privately owned firearms, the NRA is correct to assert that determined outlaws will often find a way to get their hands on guns. The problem is that the NRA is the foremost enabler of many of those outlaws.

In “Wayne’s World,” the alternate universe tirelessly promoted by the NRA CEO, “gun shows are not a source of crime guns,” and the exhaustively documented gun show loophole is “a myth.” Of course, in Wayne’s World, even the existing Brady background checks for gun purchases are a total waste of time, because criminals are too smart to buy from licensed dealers and to fill out Brady forms. In the real world, where criminals are not as smart as LaPierre would have us believe, more than 2 million felons, domestic abusers and fugitives from justice have been turned away by gun dealers when they flunked Brady background checks since the law took effect in 1994.
The NRA’s war on gun science

In addition to fighting gun laws, the gun lobby has spent the past 20 years fighting research into gun safety

By Alex Seitz-Wald
As the tragic shooting in Colorado last week has reignited the debate over guns, one key public policy question—does gun control save lives?—is almost impossible to answer thanks to a dearth of research on the subject. That lack of research is no accident. It’s the product of a concerted campaign by the gun lobby and its allies on Capitol Hill to stymie and even explicitly outlaw scientific research into gun violence in what critics charge is an attempt to deceive the public about the dangers of guns.How to block laws

More on how the NRA has stymied politicians and lawyers:

The N.R.A. Protection Racket

By Richard W. PainterThe most blatant protection racket is orchestrated by the National Rifle Association, which is ruthless against candidates who are tempted to stray from its view that all gun regulations are pure evil. Debra Maggart, a Republican leader in the Tennessee House of Representatives, was one of its most recent victims. The N.R.A. spent around $100,000 to defeat her in the primary, because she would not support a bill that would have allowed people to keep guns locked in their cars on private property without the property owner’s consent.

The message to Republicans is clear: “We will help you get elected and protect your seat from Democrats. We will spend millions on ads that make your opponent look worse than the average holdup man robbing a liquor store. In return, we expect you to oppose any laws that regulate guns. These include laws requiring handgun registration, meaningful background checks on purchasers, limiting the right to carry concealed weapons, limiting access to semiautomatic weapons or anything else that would diminish the firepower available to anybody who wants it. And if you don’t comply, we will load our weapons and direct everything in our arsenal at you in the next Republican primary.”

Why Isn't The Media Discussing The Unprecedented Law Giving Gun Makers And Dealers Immunity?

By Sergio MunozAs major media outlets report on gun violence prevention strategies in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, they have ignored a controversial law that shields the firearms industry from being held accountable.

In 2005, former President George W. Bush signed into law the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act--the "No. 1 legislative priority of the National Rifle Association"--which immunized gun makers and dealers from civil lawsuits for the crimes committed with the products they sell, a significant barrier to a comprehensive gun violence prevention strategy. Despite its recent reporting on proposed efforts to prevent another tragedy like the one in Newtown, major newspapers and evening television news have not explained this significant legal immunity, according to a Media Matters search of Nexis.

Faced with an increasing number of successful lawsuits over reckless business practices that funneled guns into the hands of criminals, the 2005 immunity law was a victory for the NRA, which "lobbied lawmakers intensely" to shield gun makers and dealers from personal injury law. As described by Erwin Chemerinsky, a leading constitutional scholar and the Dean of the University of California-Irvine School of Law, by eliminating this route for victims to hold the gun industry accountable in court, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was a complete deviation from basic "principles of products liability."
Minority rules

The NRA's membership enables the organization's fanaticism, but many gun owners aren't that fanatical. A majority of Americans, including gun owners, favor sensible reforms:

Gun owners vs. NRA leadership

NRA members feel our gun laws should protect our families, not the financial interests of a clique of elites

By Cliff Schecter
LaPierre talks of gun confiscation being just around the corner, when he knows no such thing would ever happen in the United States. The irredeemably violent make good customers too, don’t you know? So whether the NRA is working to restore gun rights to violent felons, protect the ability of terrorists, drug kingpins and serial domestic abusers to purchase high-capacity clips at gun shows, or fighting for military style weapons to be available to the Jared Loughners, John Patrick Bedells and James Holmes’ of the world, you can bet that whatever comes out of LaPierre’s mouth, his only interest is protecting the real clients of today’s NRA: arms dealers.

This is made crystal-clear by the fact that the NRA’s own membership, many of whom joined only because of an outdated understanding of what the leadership of this organization actually stands for, agree with most Americans that our gun laws should protect our families, and not the financial interests of a clique of craven elites.

Here are five key issues that divide the LaPierres at the top of the NRA food chain from their 3 million (or 4 million, depending upon the press release that day) members.
Comment:  For more on gun control, see Newtown Shootings Show America's Pathology and Time to Talk About Guns.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In a way, the NRA's "guns prevent crime" message reminds me of an ancient Chinese medical text I've been reading, which prescribed, for rabies, killing the animal that bit the patient and rubbing the animal's brain in the bite. The "cure" only exacerbates the disease.