Thursday, March 28, 2013

NRA, Liars and Hypocrites

In press conferences and Sunday talk shows the NRA and supporters falsely claim that any laws limiting the sale of guns violates their second amendment rights. Instead, they self-righteously advocate for law enforcement to use existing laws to "keep guns out of the hands of criminals".

However, there is nothing in the NRA's actions to substantiate that they have any desire to do so. Their recent opposition to universal background checks or registration of firearms contradicts any sincere desire to help law enforcement accomplish that goal.

Even now, in the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy and increasing public sentiment in favor of passing gun safety legislation, the NRA has successfully lobbied congress to push through laws that will hinder law enforcement in tracking down weapons used to commit crimes. This was done as riders to the spending bill recently passed to keep the government funded.

As reported by Tamara Kieth from NPR,
"There was very little discussion," says Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky. Rogers is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee... "These are not new. These are general provisions that we've carried for a long time," Rogers says.
What is new is that the continuing resolution makes four of these riders permanent. One rider prevents the Department of Justice from requiring gun dealers to conduct an inventory to see if guns are lost or stolen. Another requires the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to make it clear that any data from criminal traces on guns can't be used to draw broad conclusions about firearms-related crime...
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., says the provisions "restrict inventorying, information gathering, other practices that combat gun violence." Blumenthal is pushing for new gun controls and changes to make it easier to enforce current laws. He's no fan of these riders. But he voted for the continuing resolution anyway. 
Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York has been fighting these provisions for years, but she, too, voted for the spending bill. "What's tough on this particular vote is do we shut the government down?" she says.
This shows the NRA to be liars and hypocrites. There is really no interest in keeping weapons away from criminals or the insane. Claims of "protecting second amendment rights" are disingenuous. The NRA has but one motivation. That is to lobby for the gun industry to sell more guns. They have been relentless (and successful) in that pursuit. The power of the NRA will continue as long as we have a system that lets Congress accept bribes in exchange for access and influence, even while putting our nation at risk for further tragedies like Newtown.

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