(Article changed on October 16, 2013 at 09:00)
Criminals Have Second Amendment Rights Too Says the NRA, in laws it pushes and opposes
While the NRA is unofficially a bunch of "good guys with guns" trying to stop "bad guys with guns," a quick look at laws it supports behind the scenes shows it stands squarely with the "bad guys." Why? Because the NRA is nothing but the trade group for the nation's gun manufacturers and no different than the American Beverage Association . Its job is to sell guns just like the ABA sells Coke and Pepsi. If you think the NRA is about the Constitution and Patriotism, they have a bridge to sell you.
Why did NRA-enamored federal law makers nix universal background checks in April despite 20 first-graders murdered four months earlier and one of their own, Gabby Giffords, savagely attacked? Because 40 percent of the gun manufacturers' market is estimated to be illegal according to statistics from the National Institute of Justice and other sources. Law makers aren't going to bite the hand that funds their re-election campaigns and the NRA's pro-criminal marketing plan.
No wonder the NRA pushed through a law that blocks the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from requiring dealers to conduct an annual inventory to determine lost and unaccounted for guns. No wonder they pushed through a law that says a gun buyer's background check must be destroyed within 24 hours. (A law that straw buyers--legal buyers who supply the illegal market--reportedly love as they bounce from gun shop to gun shop.)
Of course the NRA's gun registry paranoia, behind the 24 hour law, makes no sense to 90 percent of the nation. If gun owners are the good guys why would they fear a registry? What are they hiding? Or, if they fear jackbooted federal agents will confiscate guns of good guys, don't they realize the NSA doesn't need a registry to know everything about us anyway?
It is no secret that gun violence from an intimate partner is a leading cause of women's deaths in the US. Nevertheless, the NRA works tirelessly to protect the "rights" of accused batterers to retain their guns while under orders of protection. It is also no secret that many US mass murderers like James Holmes, Aaron Alexis, Jared Loughner and Seung-Hui Cho are mentally ill. Yet in 2007, after the Virginia Tech murders, NRA lobbyists slipped a provision into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Improvement Amendments Act that allows the restoration of gun rights of mentally ill people including those who hear voices and who have been committed. Thanks for that.
The NRA took another pro-criminal stance this week in Illinois--it is opposing a bill that says if someone is arrested with a gun they're not supposed to have, they go to prison for at least three years. Currently, it's possible for them to get probation, with no time in prison. Chicago's gun violence rate is sky high and many believe automatic incarceration would help. The NRA opposes the bill because it could "ensnare" people with Illinois' new concealed carry permits who make a mistake about where they can and cannot bring their guns--"good guys" legally carrying guns. What the opposition to the bill really does, of course, is protect the criminal gun market while at the same time stoking more gun sales because the NRA cries "the criminals have guns!"