I used to be an NRA member, before it became a shill for the gun industry. I even earned their Sharpshooter award with nine bars. I have nothing against guns or shooting. That said, what the NRA wants is often diametrically opposed to what gun owners actually want.
…Here are 5 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:
1. The Gun Show Loophole
Currently, in over 30 states, one can walk into a local gun show and purchase a weapon from a “private seller,” who does not have to conduct any kind of background check. For example, a .50 caliber sniper rifle, which can take down a helicopter. The NRA has fought to block any and all efforts to pass a federal law closing this infamous gun show loophole, as well as any efforts in the states (but remember, they are anti-crime!).
Timothy McVeigh was once one of these “private sellers” on the gun-show circuit, and everyone from the Columbine killers to members of Hezbollah have obtained firearms this way. Not surprisingly, just like most other sentient beings (including 85% of gun owners not in the NRA), 69% of NRA members, when polled by conservative Republican Frank Luntz, think this loophole should be closed.
2. Terror Gap
If you are put on the U.S. terror watch list you cannot board an airplane. You can, however, still purchase guns and explosives. According to the Government Accountability Office, “From February 2004 through February 2010, 1,228 individuals on the watch list underwent background checks to purchase firearms or explosives; 1,119, or 91 percent, of these transactions were approved."
NRA members understand this even if their leadership stubbornly tries to protect the gun-ownership rights of terrorists (but they’re patriots I tell you!). 82% of NRA members think this gap should be closed… [emphasis added]
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Picture credit: Wide World of Stuff
This is a small excerpt from a large article with two of the five key issues. For much more, I encourage you to click through to the source.
Yesterday, I outlined gun regulations I consider necessary, so I won’t go there again today, but we need to realize that neither party will be willing to take on the NRA four months before the elections. Therefore, we need to keep this issue in mind and hit it hard in December.
As I reflect on the Aurora tragedy, my thoughts keep returning to Michael Moore’s interview with Charlton Heston in the wake of the Columbine tragedy. Note that on two occasions Heston appealed to racism. First he referred to the founding fathers as “wise old dead white guys”. Then, he tried to attribute the level of gun violence in the US to “mixed ethnicity”. I’ll leave you with that clip.