“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the NRA Today’s NRA press conference was a shameful evasion of the crisis our country is facing. … Continue reading →
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,”
Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the NRA
Today’s NRA press conference was a shameful evasion of the crisis our country is facing. Their proposed solution to reduce mass shootings like the one in Newtown, CT: put armed guards in every school in America.
The NRA’s extreme leadership has completely lost touch with the American people, their members, and reality. Today, they made it even more clear with what they didn’t say:
Not a word about background checks. Not a word about assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Not a word about ending gun trafficking.
Not an ounce of common sense.
Please join me in rejecting the NRA’s vision of a world where everyone is armed and no one is safe.
Tell your members of Congress you Demand A Plan to end gun violence.
You would think that following the execution of 20 first graders, the NRA would finally come around to the need for common sense gun laws. Instead, they doubled down on their extreme agenda.
What we need are the tough new laws that we know will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and protect our children.
What we don’t need is a culture of fear that increases gun sales while putting our families at even greater risk.
Tell your members of Congress that it’s time to stand up to the NRA:
Thanks you for standing against the gun lobby,
Mayors Against Illegal Guns
In Washington on Friday, influential National Rifle Association (NRA) broke a week-long silence with a robust defence of its pro-gun position.
Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the NRA, criticised politicians who had “exploited” the tragedy in Newtown for “political gain” and took aim at laws designating schools as gun-free zones.
“They tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk,” he said.
Mr LaPierre called for a national database of the mentally ill and blamed violent video games and films for portraying murder as a “way of life”.
He spoke out against the media for demonising lawful gun owners, and for suggesting a ban on certain types of weapon would be effective.
Congress should authorise funding for armed security in every school in the country, he said, adding that an “extraordinary corps” of trained professionals could be drawn from active and retired police officers, security professionals and firefighters around the country.
Mr LaPierre was interrupted twice by anti-gun protesters carrying banners and declaring that the NRA had “blood on its hands”.
The guns used in the shooting had been legally bought by the gunman’s mother, Nancy Lanza.
The shooting has seen some pro-gun congressmen say the mass shooting has prompted them to change their views on whether guns should be regulated more strictly in the US.
Meanwhile California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has been an advocate for tighter gun laws, said she would introduce new legislation when Congress meets for the first time in the new year.
But there is no bipartisan consensus on the issue, with others backing the NRA line that teachers in schools should be armed in order to better defend students if a shooting occurs.
In recent years, the N.R.A. has aggressively lobbied federal and state governments to dilute or eliminate numerous regulations on gun ownership. And the clearest beneficiary has been the gun industry — sales of firearms and ammunition have grown 5.7 percent a year since 2007, to nearly $12 billion this year, according to IBISWorld, a market research firm. Despite the recession, arms sales have been growing so fast that domestic manufacturers haven’t been able to keep up. Imports of arms have grown 3.6 percent a year in the last five years.
The industry has, in turn, been a big supporter of the N.R.A. It has contributed between $14.7 million and $38.9 million to an N.R.A.-corporate-giving campaign since 2005, according to a report published last year by the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit group that advocates greater gun control. The estimate is based on a study of the N.R.A.’s “Ring of Freedom” program and very likely understates the industry’s total financial support for the association, which does not publicly disclose a comprehensive list of its donors and how much they have given.
Officials from the N.R.A. have repeatedly said their main goal is to protect the Second Amendment rights of rank-and-file members who like to hunt or want guns for protection. But that claim is at odds with surveys that show a majority of N.R.A. members and a majority of American gun owners often support restrictions on gun sales and ownership that the N.R.A. has bitterly fought.
For instance, a 2009 poll commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that 69 percent of N.R.A. members would support requiring all sellers at gun shows to conduct background checks of prospective buyers, which they do not have to do now and which the N.R.A. has steadfastly argued against. If lawful gun owners are willing to subject themselves to background checks, why is the association resisting? Its position appears only to serve the interest of gun makers and dealers who want to increase sales even if it means having dangerous weapons fall into the hands of criminals and violent individuals.
Businesses and special-interest groups often cloak their profit motives in the garb of constitutional rights — think Big Tobacco and its opposition to restrictions on smoking in public places and bold warnings on cigarette packages. The Supreme Court has made clear that the right to bear arms is not absolute and is subject to regulations and controls. Yet the N.R.A. clings to its groundless arguments that tough regulations violate the Second Amendment. Many of those arguments serve no purpose other than to increase the sales of guns and bullets.