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NRA silent on yet another massacre

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Martha Rosenberg
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Ever notice how quiet the NRA is after a mass shooting?

You'd think that nothing happened in Salt Lake City and Philadelphia on February 13.

That ten people weren't gunned down in a mall and office complex by some of the law abiding (previously) armed citizens that have the Right to Defend Themselves and Their Families Against the Bad Guys.

In fact the lead story on the NRA web site was an awards ceremony.

Of course the NRA can't actually defend Sulejmen Talovic and Vincent J. Dortch, the gunmen. (Though it is defending the gun rights of felons in Florida: read on.)

But neither can it disavow them.

Because psych cases spraying crowds are the logical extension of the armed society it seeks to create AND the way it recruits new members.

There are dangerous men out there (we helped arm) who police can't protect you from (because we've tied their hands.) Nice hypocrisy if you can live with it.

Fortunately lawyers and law makers can't.

In February, the American Bar Association drafted a resolution against the NRA's "Bring Your Gun to Work" campaign which seeks to repeal employers' rights to ban firearms on their property after eight employees at a Weyerhauser paper mill in Oklahoma were fired.

ConocoPhillips has also challenged the legal basis of the guns at work campaign, blocking an Oklahoma law that was passed after the Weyerhauser incident.

And even gun friendly Florida turned down a "Bring Your Gun to Work" law when it was written to cover machine guns in vehicles and ban churches and hospitals from prohibiting firearms. (Hello!)

Florida has enough problems, it turns out, having issued valid concealed weapon licenses to 1,400 probable felons according to the Sun Sentinel.

The gun toters with checkered pasts include a man who shot his girlfriend in the head as she cooked breakfast, a pizza deliveryman wanted for fatally shooting a 15-year-old over a stolen order of chicken wings and six registered sex offenders.

But felons need protection too protests NRA lobbyist Marion P. Hammer:

"We do not participate in legislation that gratuitously takes away the rights of people because when you begin taking away the rights of people that you don't like, that's the slippery slope."

No one is worrying about a slippery slope in Georgia, however, where pending legislation would allow motorists to hide guns under cars seats or wedged between seat cushions and center consoles as opposed to displaying them.

"What this bill does is just give back a piece--a small piece--of the Second Amendment that has been deprived of so many law-abiding citizens over the last few years," says its author State Rep. Tim Bearden.

But a blogger on the Atlantic Journal-Constitution web site sees the emergency room half full.

"This law is just another embarrassing bill passed out of an out of touch Republican legislature catering to good ole boys in South Georgia," writes the commentator. "This bill will result in the senseless murder of many police officers in the line of duty and citizens who are victims of simple road rage incidents that spiral out of control."

And speaking of police, law makers in California are finally looking at dismantling the forensics restrictions imposed on them by the gun lobby--all the while claiming they're not doing their job--like blocking access to a national ballistic database and the ability to trace shell casings.

There's even a bill pending that would require a license to sell ammunition which is currently easier to buy than "a can of spray paint," says California Assemblyman Kevin DeLeon.

What a concept.

Of course the most important legislation will come from Washington D.C. where a President Obama, Clinton or Giuliani is not the New Sheriff in Town the NRA wished for.

A Sheriff that can pry Congress out of its cold, dead hands.
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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 (more...)

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