Archive for the ‘NRA’ Category

National Rifle Association Has Become a National Disgrace

From The ‘Skeeter Bites Report and I couldn’t have put it better! I found this through Buzzflash’s piece from Buzzflash’s piece on the NRA.

Monday, May 07, 2007
National Rifle Association Has Become a National Disgrace

The Nation’s Largest Gun Lobby Reveals Itself as an Organization of Second-Amendment Extremists Putting ‘Right to Bear Arms’ Ahead of Laws Protecting Americans From Gun-Wielding Terrorists

By Skeeter Sanders

When it was founded in 1871, the mission of the National Rifle Association was the promotion of marksmanship, firearm safety and the protection of hunting and personal-protection firearm rights in the United States, in accordance with the Second Amendment of the U.S Constitution.

But in the last 30 years, the NRA has been transformed into a monster its founders would not recognize. Today’s NRA is an organization whose leadership has turned the Second Amendment on its head, more concerned about preserving the right to bear arms than in preserving the safety of the American people.

The NRA leadership’s absolutist position on the Second Amendment has driven the nation’s oldest civil-liberties organization over the edge into outright extremism, insisting that Americans’ right to bear arms includes the right to acquire military-grade weapons of war that were never designed for civilians to use in peacetime.

By taking such an extremist position on the Second Amendment, the NRA poses as great a threat to the nation’s security as al-Qaida and other terrorists.

At the same time, NRA has alienated so many law-abiding gun owners with its opposition to restrictions on military-grade weapons that a rival organization was founded in 2005 as an advocacy group that presents itself as “a force of moderation and common sense” in the gun-control debate.

NRA’s Successful Repeal of Assault Weapons Ban Boomerangs With Virginia Tech Massacre

In 2004, the NRA successfully lobbied a Republican-controlled Congress to let a 1994 federal law banning certain types of military-grade assault weapons and ammunition expire. That lobbying effort has now come back to haunt the NRA with the massacre last month at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Cho Seung-Hui, the Virginia Tech gunman who killed 32 people and wounded 24 others before killing himself, used a Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol with a 15-round ammunition clip. Both the gun and the clip — which were designed specifically for use by the military and law-enforcement agencies — were banned for civilian use under the now-defunct 1994 law.

Had that law remained in place — combined with an existing statute that bans gun sales to persons deemed a danger to themselves and to others — Cho might not have been able to pull off his rampage.

The fact that Cho used guns and ammunition that were previously banned under the 1994 law — and that the massacre took place in the NRA’s home state of Virginia (NRA headquarters are in the Washington suburb of Fairfax) — has left the nation’s most powerful gun lobbying group uncharacteristically speechless. To date, it has refused to comment on the massacre beyond extending its condolences to the friends and relatives of Cho’s victims.

The NRA Wasn’t Always the Way It Is Now

The NRA was founded in New York City in 1871 by two U.S. Army officers, Colonel William Church and General George Wingate, who were upset with the poor marksmanship of their troops. In a magazine editorial written by Church, he stated their primary goal was “providing firearms training and encouraging interest in the shooting sports.”

From 1873 to 1892, the NRA operated a rifle range at what is now the Creedmoor State Psychiatric Hospital in nearby Queens Village, New York, where members of the National Guard were trained and international competitions were held.

Civil War General Ambrose Burnside, a former governor of Rhode Island who also represented the state in the U.S. Senate, became the NRA’s founding president. Other Union generals, including Phillip Sheridan, Winfield Hancock and Ulysses S. Grant (who would later win the White House) also served as NRA president at various times.

In 1934, the NRA formed its “Legislative Affairs Division.” While it did not directly lobby Congress until 1975, the NRA did mail out legislative analyses and facts to its members, so that they could lobby Congress themselves individually.

During World War II, the NRA reloaded ammunition used for guarding factories involved in wartime production and sought to help arm Britain against potential invasion with the collection of over 7,000 firearms for that country’s defense.

How The NRA Lost Its Way — And Became a Political and Ideological Monster

In May 1977, the NRA began a rightward shift after controversy erupted within the organization over the possibility of banning cheap, .22-caliber handguns known as “Saturday night specials.” These pistols were the weapons of choice used by criminals in what was then the nation’s worst wave of violent street crime since the prohibition era of the 1920s that saw the rise of organized crime.

At their annual convention in Cincinnati that year, more than 2,000 NRA members revolted against the organization’s leadership after Harlon Carter, a member of the NRA’s executive council, was fired by the council from his post as political action director for his fiercely hard-line opposition to the handgun ban.

In what came to be known as the “Cincinnati Revolt,” the rebellious delegates retaliated against the council and elected Carter NRA president. In his acceptance speech, Carter told the delegates, “Beginning in this place and at this hour, this period in NRA history [internal division over gun-control laws] is finished. There will be no more civil war in the National Rifle Association!”

Since its 1977 takeover by anti-gun control hard-liners, the NRA has consistently opposed any proposed legislation that purports to limit access to guns by law-abiding citizens, although it does support some laws restricting access to guns by criminals.

Yet its lobbying has included opposition to common-sense legislation aimed at keeping weapons of war out of the hands of civilians. What, for example, does a hunter need with a Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle that was originally designed as a combat weapon for the Soviet Red Army? What does a sport shooter need with an M-16 rifle that was designed as a combat weapon for the U.S. Army?

The hard-liners’ takeover also shifted the NRA away from its roots as an organization for hunters and sport shooters, resulting in the ouster of at least one executive council member who said he was told that “this is a single-purpose organization” after the ousted council member expressed support for strong wilderness preservation.

An Obscene Misinterpretation of the Second Amendment

In its lobbying for the rights of gun owners, the NRA asserts that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individuals to own and use guns. While the Second Amendment does state that “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” the NRA insists that the Second Amendment’s reference to “a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” means that the American people at large comprise the “militia.”

It is true that this country did not have a permanent, standing army at the time of its founding in 1776 (It took the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 to authorize Congress to raise one), but it is an obscenity to this blogger that the NRA would interpret the Second Amendment to count the general public as being part of that “well-regulated militia.”

Quite the contrary, the intent of the Founding Fathers when they wrote the Second Amendment is quite clear: In the absence of “a well-regulated militia,” it was necessary for the citizens of the newly-created United States to be armed in order to maintain the security of the new country.

We certainly have a “well-regulated militia” now — from local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies to the U.S. military. Indeed, we have the most highly organized and well-regulated law-enforcement agencies in the world. We have most highly organized, well-regulated — and powerful — military in the world.

That the NRA continues to view the American public at large as part of a “well-regulated militia” is an obscenely extremist interpretation of the Second Amendment. It is an interpretation rooted in a “Wild West” mentality that has no place in 21st-century America.

And it is an interpretation that poses a clear and present danger to the safety of the American people. The idea of civilians today possessing military weapons designed to wage war and wreak maximum death and destruction is absolutely mind-boggling. Yet this is what today’s NRA lobbies for. It is beyond an obscenity; it is out-and-out insanity.

The NRA’s Latest Outrage: Lobbying Against Ban on Gun Sales to Suspected Terrorists

Now, less than a month after the Virginia Tech shootings, the NRA has gone off the deep end yet again. It’s urging the Bush administration to withdraw its support of a bill that would prohibit suspected terrorists from buying firearms.

Strongly backed by the Justice Department, the measure, introduced last week by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey), would authorize the attorney general to use his discretion to block gun sales, licenses or permits to terror suspects.

NRA executive director Chris Cox, in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, wrote last week that the Lautenberg bill “would allow arbitrary denial of Second Amendment rights based on mere ‘suspicions’ of a terrorist threat.”

Given the many abuses of power committed by Gonzales since he became attorney general — particularly his glaring violations of the Fourth Amendment in spying on Americans without constitutionally-required court warrants — Cox’s beef, at first glance, appears to be quite legitimate.

But on closer examination, Lautenberg’s bill makes sense — and the senator obviously had future attorneys general in mind when he wrote it. A 2005 study by the Government Accountability Office found that 35 of 44 firearm purchase attempts over a five-month period made by known or suspected terrorists were approved by the federal law-enforcement officials.

Current law requires gun dealers to conduct a criminal background check and deny sales if a gun purchaser falls under a specified prohibition, including a felony conviction, domestic abuse conviction or illegal immigration. But there is no legal basis to deny a sale if a purchaser is on a terrorism watch list.

Admittedly, the terrorism watch list being maintained by the Bush administration is top secret — and undoubtedly contains many glaring errors of fact. “As many of our friends in law enforcement have rightly pointed out, the word ‘suspect’ has no legal meaning, particularly when it comes to denying constitutional liberties,” Cox wrote.

But for people on the terror watch list to be allowed to purchase firearms — even if they’re on the watch list erroneously — places too high a risk to our nation’s security. There’s simply no way to know with absolute certainty if such a purchaser has plans to pull off another 9/11-style terrorist attack, or worse.

And what about psychos like Cho Seung-Hui or the Columbine High School killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold?

At Last, A ‘Common-Sense’ Alternative to the NRA

The NRA’s Second Amendment extremism has alienated so many law-abiding gun owners that there is now a rival organization — the American Hunters and Shooters Association — that aims to serve as the advocacy group for the hunters and sport shooters that the NRA used to be, but isn’t anymore.

Founded in 2005, the AHSA’s mission is to “restore pride in America’s hunting and shooting heritage,” according to the AHSA’s Web site. “The AHSA vigorously defends the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, promotes safe and responsible gun use, and supports reasonable public policies, so that all Americans can enjoy the benefits of this crucial and historic liberty.”

In a slap at the NRA, the AHSA argues that, “No constitutional right to bear arms exists for criminals, terrorists, or others who seek to abuse the very freedoms our Constitution guarantees. The law is crystal clear on this point: reasonable laws designed to keep guns out of the wrong hands are entirely consistent with the Second Amendment.”

While the AHSA says that its legislative policy “will always promote the common sense interests of hunters and shooters, AHSA also will always give top priority to the basic safety and security interests of our communities.”

Striking a Balance Between Firearms Rights and Public Safety

The AHSA “supports rational, deliberative firearms policy crafted to protect our sport and our communities.” the group’s mission statement says. “Moreover, the AHSA strongly opposes legislative proposals that violate Second Amendment rights by impeding access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.

“By faithful adherence to basic Second Amendment principles, while balancing the needs of our sport and the needs of our community, the AHSA will promote rational and practical firearms policies that serve to bring Americans together,” the statement says.

Ray Schoenke, a former Washington Redskins football star, is the AHSA’s founding president. Bob Ricker, a former NRA lobbyist, is the AHSA’s executive director. Jody Powell, former White House press secretary under President Jimmy Carter, is a co-chairman of the group’s advisory board.

With Its Membership Declining, the NRA ‘Freaks Out’ Over the AHSA

Not surprisingly, the NRA has gone ballistic with a vitriolic attack against the AHSA, pointing out that John Rosenthal, president of the AHSA’s charitible arm, the AHSA Foundation, “is one of the founders of the Massachusetts-based group Stop Handgun Violence, a group that has been a major force in passing some of the most Draconian state gun laws in the nation.”

The NRA considers Ricker a traitor, blasting him as “a former NRA employee who switched sides and has actively worked for gun control groups for many years now.”

“With leadership like that, there is no doubt about the true goals of AHSA,” the NRA asserts. “They are trying to fool hunters and gun owners with a soft sell … while working behind the scenes to end the sport that we all love.”

Such vitriol by the NRA only serves to show just how paranoid it has become — and how out of touch with law-abiding gun owners it is today. Indeed, NRA membership has fallen from a peak of 8.2 million members in 1993 to 4.3 million members today.

Among the millions of NRA members who quit include former President George H.W. Bush, who resigned his lifetime membership in 1994 in protest of NRA President Wayne LaPierre’s attack on agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as “jack-booted thugs” following the violent incidents involving BATF agents at Waco and Ruby Ridge.

The NRA has even seen internal dissent from its membership, including a prolonged series of verbal attacks and campaigns initiated by Neal Knox, a former NRA vice president, who unsuccessfully attempted to depose both LaPierre and Tanya Metaska, the former executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, in leadership elections during the late 1990s.

Whither the NRA’s Future?

In the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre, the NRA is showing signs that its influence in Washington may be on the decline. Relations between the NRA and the Bush administration already appear to be fraying over the administration’s support for the Lautenberg bill on gun sales to terrorists.

The NRA’s continued public silence on the massacre itself has raised eyebrows on both sides of the gun-control debate — and has drawn ire from relatives of the 32 people who lost their lives in the shootings.

And among the broader conservative community, the NRA has recently come under sharp criticism for endorsing and supporting candidates who, while staunch defenders of gun rights, are generally perceived as being liberal on several other hot-button social issues, such as amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Is America at last coming to a consensus that the NRA has lost its way and has become an impediment to the delicate balance between preservation of the Second Amendment and preservation of Americans’ peace and security?

This blogger certainly hopes so. Only time will tell.

Unfortunately, this blogger sees that the media is too scared and controled by the gun lobby to take them on.

Posted 01/12/2009 by lacithedog in gun control, NRA, Second Amendment

NRA Has Yet to Explain Why It Wants to Help Killers, Criminals, Lunatics, and Imbeciles Acquire Guns

Because that’s its membership base?

A N.Y. probe exposes loopholes that let criminals buy firearms — and the need for greater regulation.
LA Times Editorial (Editorial comment: For the fucking morons who don’t understand a page link)
October 16, 2009

For shock value, they may not rank with the videos released last month showing ACORN workers giving tax advice to a couple of undercover investigators posing as a prostitute and her pimp. But New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s covert recordings of what really goes on at gun shows are appalling nonetheless.

In the midst of a reelection campaign in a Democratic-majority city, the Republican (sort of) Bloomberg has latched on to an issue that appeals mainly to liberals: gun control. Though New York state has fairly restrictive gun laws, Bloomberg believes firearms bought out of state play a big role in Gotham’s crime problems. So he sent private investigators to seven gun shows in three states between May and August and posted the results, including video shot with hidden cameras, on a city-sponsored website.

“So no background check, right?” the investigators ask. “Because I probably couldn’t pass one.” The response, over and over, is laughter, a shrug or even admissions from gun sellers that they couldn’t pass one either. Out of 30 vendors approached, 19 sold guns to people they knew were barred from owning them. Also captured on tape were dealers selling weapons to an obvious straw buyer — someone who buys a gun for someone else, usually because the actual buyer couldn’t pass the federal background check. Sixteen of 17 vendors approached sold guns to straw buyers, which is a felony.

Gun shows are thought to be a key supplier of guns used in crimes, though how big a role they play is the subject of heated debate. To understand why they’re considered a problem, one first has to understand the contorted nature of federal gun laws.

New-gun retailers are closely regulated, with laws forcing them to obtain licenses, keep transaction records so that guns used in crimes can be traced, and perform background checks on buyers to ensure they aren’t legally barred from owning guns. Convicted felons, drug addicts, the mentally ill and illegal immigrants are among those who fall into that category. Meanwhile, nonprofessional used-gun traders are subject to none of those requirements, although even resellers are forbidden from transactions in which they know the buyer couldn’t pass a background check (something Bloomberg’s investigators caught on tape repeatedly).

The absence of regulation of second-hand sales is often referred to as the “gun-show loophole.” Any criminal can go to a gun show in most states and buy an armful of used firearms, including semiautomatic assault weapons, knowing they’re untraceable and that no one will check his conviction record. Bloomberg and other activists seek to close this loophole, and they have powerful friends. During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama agreed, as did his Republican opponent, John McCain. Yet bills that have sought to close the loophole have never gone far, and there’s little reason to think that current efforts, including a bill from Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), will be more successful. That’s because the gun lobby enjoys political power that greatly exceeds the number of hard-core gun enthusiasts in the United States, and because many Democrats believe they lost their congressional majority in the mid-1990s because of their aggressive pursuit of gun-control laws — and they’re terrified of a repeat.

Democrats’ cowardice is distressing, particularly when it’s exhibited by Obama, who has been silent on the issue since the campaign and has made no attempt to back Lautenberg’s bill. But even if it were to pass, it wouldn’t go far enough. In truth, the phrase “gun-show loophole” is a misnomer, because unregulated secondary sales don’t just happen at gun shows. Used guns are sold at swap meets, through classified ads and even over the Internet. What’s more, criminals get their guns from many sources besides gun shows, including straw buyers and licensed dealers who break the law.

What’s really needed is a federal law patterned on California’s tough restrictions on firearm sales. Lautenberg’s bill, S. 843,:S.843: regulates gun-show transactions exclusively. In California, it is illegal for anyone to sell or transfer a firearm, whether at a gun show or not, without processing the transaction through a licensed dealer, who must perform a background check. Opponents claim that this would be overly burdensome, but it has had no discernible effects on gun sales in California, which, according to a recent UC Davis study, hosted 100 gun shows in 2007 and like many other states saw a 30% year-over-year sales increase in late 2008 and early 2009. Though there’s little evidence that this law has reduced gun violence in the Golden State, that’s probably because it’s still so easy for criminals to get guns from elsewhere, especially from anything-goes border states such as Nevada and Arizona. A federal law would change that.

But it still wouldn’t go far enough. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigates a gun show only when it gets a tip that illegal activity is expected; as a result, it conducts operations at less than 5% of them. If nothing else, Bloomberg’s investigation proves that more attention is badly needed. The agency should be given the funding, and a mandate, to post undercover operatives at most if not all gun shows. Though the lunatic fringe that believes the ATF to be a Gestapo-like arm of a repressive government would loudly object, most legitimate merchants wouldn’t, because they’re tired of unfair competition from resellers who don’t follow the rules.

None of these measures would restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens; their intent is solely to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. Though the gun lobby raises a hue and cry whenever such proposals arise, it has yet to explain why it wants to make it easy for murderers, armed robbers and other criminals to obtain the tools of their trade. Bloomberg’s gun-show expose has the whiff of a political stunt, but if it gets politicians and the public talking about gun control again, it’s a stunt we can applaud.

Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times
Another editorial comment for assholes too stupid to understand the word “plagiarism”: this article is not my own but an editorial from the LA Times. I never took credit for it, but you are too fucking stupid to understand that.

So

FUCK YOU!

Posted 16/10/2009 by lacithedog in Crime, crime guns, Gun Laws, Gun Shows, guns, NRA

Tyranny

OK, isn’t tyranny where people who are not local enact unpopular laws upon people without a vote? Isn’t tyranny where people are spied upon for their political views? Isn’t tyranny where people talk about Freedom, yet advocate policies which eliminate freedom?

Funny, but I am thinking about a group that runs around saying it protects America’s First Freedom, yet works to overturn locally enacted laws enacted by locally elected officials. In particular, those of Washington, DC.

As I like to point out, Washington, DC’s gun laws were popular among the people who enacted them: the citizens of Washington, DC.

But they sure pissed off people who didn’t live there!

Now, it seems that the NRA wants to tell the US legislature how to draft Washington, DC’s gun laws.

Funny, but the “Patriots” (or “traitors” in my opinion) during the War for American independence were protesting just that kind of action. Legislators from far away creating legislation for a populace without a vote. The United States would be much better off taking its legislation from Britain if that is the way it wishes to act.

I won’t get into the spying aspect, but I will reiterate something I like to quote, Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary:

PATRIOT, n.
One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to those of the whole. The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors.
PATRIOTISM, n.
Combustible rubbish read to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.

In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.

Posted 08/09/2008 by lacithedog in NRA, radical right., tyranny