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General News    H3'ed 1/1/09

NRA Legends are Dropping Like NRA Candidates

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Message Martha Rosenberg
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The NRA lost a lot more than elections for eight seats in Congress this year.

It lost some of its best legends.

Like the legend that says a politician can't get elected--or stay elected--if he or she crosses the NRA.

Tell it to Colorado which said no to both an NRA backed Congressional and Senatorial candidate.

And Florida which said no to two NRA backed Congressional candidates.

So much for the "Gunshine state."

Tell it to the NRA's high profile women candidates, Sarah Palin and North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole who failed so abysmally the NRA actually removed its pony tailed "Annie Oakley" mascot from its web site who used to grace an American flag that said, "We The People."

Girl power, not.

Even former NRA fan, nine term Montana Congressman Pat Williams withdrew his support this fall.

"Far too much of the NRA's time and its members' money are consumed in the seemingly insatiable effort to elect candidates on the political fringe who also happen to oppose gun control," he wrote in the Great Falls Tribune.

And other legends are dropping.

For years the NRA has thundered that the gun show "loophole" and lax guns laws don't contribute to weapons used in crime because we're, you know, the good guys.

But a study released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns in December based on trace data for guns used in connection with crimes during 2007 says otherwise.

More than half the guns recovered in out-of-state crimes came through the "iron pipeline" that flows from states with weaker gun laws to states with stronger ones, the crime data reveals.

States with weaker gun laws had three times as many fatal shootings of law enforcement officers as states with stronger laws--and almost 60 percent more gun murders.

And guns that were recovered in out-of-state crimes were half as likely to come from states with mandatory background checks at gun shows--the loophole that the NRA says doesn't matter.

That's very different.

And speaking of background checks, guess how authorities found that Arkansas resident "Drew Douglas Grant" was actually Andrew Golden who killed four students and a teacher at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro in 1998 when he applied for a conceal carry permit in October?

But don't they say criminals don't follow gun laws? Only good guys suffer?

And how about laws that restrict someone from buying no more than one gun a month?

Do they violate our very right to defend ourselves and our home as the NRA says?

Or do they foil straw dealers and gun collecting "psychos"?

Too bad we can't ask Bruce Pardo, the Psycho Santa.

He bought at least five guns within five months from a single gun dealer before killing nine on Christmas Eve in Covina, CA.

Finally there is the NRA legend about the sacred tradition of a father and son hunting together and the importance of teaching kids gun safety at an early age.

It didn't work very well for Vincent Romero, 29, of St. Johns, AZ and Timothy Romans, 39, of San Carlos.

Romero wanted to make sure his eight-year-old son "wasn't afraid of guns" the Very Rev. John Paul Sauter of St. Johns Catholic Church told the Associated Press and "taught his son how to use a rifle to kill prairie dogs."

But on November 5, instead of shooting prairie dogs, the eight-year-old shot Romero and Romans.

Nor did he have trouble reloading after each shot.
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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

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