Everytown for Gun Safety has released a report titled Not Your Grandparents’ NRA that highlights a simple fact: the NRA that was created after the Civil War to promote hunting, marksmanship, and safety training — and that supported common sense gun laws — no longer exists. Today’s NRA would be unrecognizable to the founding members of the organization.
Today’s radicalized NRA was born in 1977 when its newly elected leader Harlon Carter rejected calls for background checks, saying that allowing “convicted violent felons, mentally deranged people, violently addicted to narcotics people to have guns” was simply the “price we pay for freedom.”
The report highlights some of the extreme positions the NRA has taken and some of the tactics it uses to subvert public safety and advance its agenda, including:
- Fighting to allow felons and terrorists to buy and own firearms;
- Campaigning to put guns in places like bars where they are at high risk of being misused, despite the documented dangers of mixing guns and alcohol;
- Promoting gag orders to block pediatricians and military commanders from discussing gun safety with parents and at-risk service members;
- Endangering law enforcement and hobbling their efforts to fight gun crime by sabotaging the introduction of proven, innovative gun-tracking technology;
- Handcuffing communities beset by gun violence by thwarting their efforts to tailor gun laws to local conditions; and, finally,
- Blacklisting individuals and private sector companies that buck NRA orthodoxy or offer any measures to reduce gun violence or mitigate its costs.
Click here to read the full report.
The 1977 Cincinnati NRA convention is responsible for the major shift in the direction of the organization, as was the rise of deranged idiot Wayne LaPierre.
Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence, an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.
Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, said gun control advocates need to learn from the N.R.A. and punish those politicians who fail to support their agenda — even Democrats whose positions otherwise align with his own.
“They say, ‘We don’t care. We’re going to go after you,’ ” he said of the N.R.A. “ ‘If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop.’ ”
He added: “We’ve got to make them afraid of us.”
The considerable advantages that gun rights advocates enjoy — in intensity, organization and political clout — will not be easy to overcome. Indeed, Mr. Bloomberg has already spent millions of dollars trying to persuade members of Congress to support enhanced background check laws with virtually nothing to show for it.
What is more, for many gun owners, the issue is a deeply personal one that energizes them politically, said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, who dismissed the mayor’s plans.
“He’s got the money to waste,” Mr. Pratt said. “So I guess he’s free to do so. But frankly, I think he’s going to find out why his side keeps losing.”
The N.R.A. had no comment.
Mr. Bloomberg’s blueprint reimagines the way gun control advocates have traditionally confronted the issue. Rather than relying so heavily on television ad campaigns, Mr. Bloomberg will put a large portion of his resources into the often-unseen field operations that have been effective for groups like the N.R.A. in driving single-issue, like-minded voters to the polls.
Women, and mothers in particular, will be the focus of the organizing and outreach, a path that he and his advisers have modeled after groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The plans call for a restructuring of the gun control groups he funds, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. They will be brought under one new umbrella group called Everytown for Gun Safety.
The strategy will focus not on sweeping federal restrictions to ban certain weapons, but instead will seek to expand the background check system for gun buyers both at the state and national levels.
The $50 million could be significant: In recent years, the N.R.A. has spent only $20 million annually on political activities. The political groups affiliated with the billionaire Koch brothers, who are seeking to help Republicans take over the Senate, have spent about $30 million in the last six months.
The group will zero in on 15 target states, from places like Colorado and Washington State, where gun control initiatives have advanced recently, to territory that is likely to be more hostile like Texas, Montana and Indiana. They have set a goal of signing up one million new supporters this year on top of the 1.5 million they already have.
Previous efforts by Mr. Bloomberg to push gun control have touched off tensions with national Democratic leaders, because he has run negative ads against incumbent Democrats whom he views as insufficiently supportive of gun control. The Democratic leaders argue that Mr. Bloomberg threatens to hand control of the Senate to Republicans, which they say would doom any hope of passing gun control legislation.
Mr. Bloomberg dismissed those fears, saying he was concerned only with the long term.
“You can tell me all you want that the Republicans would be worse in the Senate than the Democrats,” he said. “Maybe they would. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.”
Underscoring his desire to work with both parties, Mr. Bloomberg is bringing on a new advisory board with prominent Republican and Democratic figures. Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania governor and Homeland Security secretary under President George W. Bush; Eli Broad, the philanthropist; Warren Buffett, the investor; and Michael G. Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under both Mr. Bush and President Obama, will all be board members.
Mr. Bloomberg acknowledged that his new efforts would require a dedication not just of money but also of time — two things he now has in abundance.
“You’ve got to work at it piece by piece,” he added. “One mom and another mom. You’ve got to wear them down until they finally say, ‘Enough.’ ”
He was also dismissive of skeptics who might question whether he could ever build an organization that rivaled the N.R.A. And he seemed unaware of, or unwilling to acknowledge, the ways in which his own persona — of a billionaire, Big Gulp-banning former mayor of New York — could undercut his efforts, especially in rural, conservative states.
“I don’t know what your perception is of our reputation, and mine, the name Bloomberg around the country,” he said. But every place he goes, he added, “You’re a rock star. People yelling out of cabs, ‘Hey, way to go!’ ”
His financial commitment to reducing gun violence could grow. When asked how much he was willing to spend, he tossed out the $50 million figure out as if he were describing the tip he left on a restaurant check.
“I put $50 million this year, last year into coal, $53 million into oceans,” he said with a shrug, describing his clean energy and sustainable fishing initiatives. “Certainly a number like that, $50 million. Let’s see what happens.”
The key to whether they can be effective, the mayor and his advisers said, will be turning out female voters, the sought-after swing bloc that has been pivotal in recent elections.
“Right now, women, when they go to the polls, they vote on abortion, they vote on jobs, they vote on health care,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We want one of those things to be gun violence prevention.”
Mr. Bloomberg was introspective as he spoke, and seemed both restless and wistful. When he sat down for the interview, it was a few days before his 50th college reunion. His mortality has started dawning on him, at 72. And he admitted he was a bit taken aback by how many of his former classmates had been appearing in the “in memoriam” pages of his school newsletter.
But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
1. America is becoming too dangerous for children to play outside.
2. Americans are buying guns because of “reckless government actions” and because the “entire fabric of society” is in “jeopardy.”
3. The national media is one of America’s “greatest threats.”
4. “Knockout game” and “haters” are just two reasons we need unlimited rifles, shotguns, and pistols (Bonus part: “waves of chemicals” could collapse society at any moment).
5. There is a “bare-knuckled street fight” with the opposition to the NRA. But the NRA “will not go quietly into the night.” (Bonus: this is from the movie Independence Day).
Watch the full speech here.
National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent knows the real culprit for gun violence: welfare programs. In his latest column, Nugent that the “social welfare programs designed, engineered and promoted by liberals have wreaked havoc on black families across America” and encouraged “urban street rats.”
“Don’t hold your breath waiting for the president or any other liberal to tell you this,” Nugent laments. “That would be blowing a huge truth hole in the liberal lie that continues to wreak havoc on urban America.”
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
I am unintimidated by the NRA
The NRA’s successful recall of Democratic Colorado State Senate President John Morse doesn’t intimidate me one bit.
I don’t support repealing the Second Amendment or disarming law-abiding citizens of this great country. I support responsible legislation…
If pro-gun activists are successful Tuesday in recalling Colorado’s Senate president and another Democratic senator, it could have an unintended consequence for the right: the state’s Senate leadership may move to the left.
Senate President John Morse (D) and Sen. Angela Giron (D) are both up for recall after helping to narrowly pass a bill that expanded background checks on gun purchases and limited the size of ammunition magazines.
The recalls have largely been framed as a test for which side has the upper hand nationally on gun control. Outside groups, that either support or oppose tighter gun restrictions have poured millions of dollars into Colorado to try to tilt the fates of the two state politicians. That includes the nation’s most prominent gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, which has spent a six-figure sum in the state, according to the Denver Post.
While it would mark a serious national victory for pro-gun advocates if one or both of the lawmakers went down, the situation inside the state capitol would be more complicated.
Democrats would still hold the majority in the Senate, even though it would be a much slimmer one, but they would retain enough votes to pick the chamber’s next president. People who are involved in Colorado politics told TPM last week that the most likely replacement for Morse is Sen. Morgan Carroll (D), currently the majority leader.
Carroll is said to be to the left of Morse, and she’s a big champion of gun control. Her district includes the Aurora movie theater where 12 people were killed and dozens more wounded in a mass shooting last summer. Following the December killings of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., she helped lead this year’s successful push to tighten the gun laws in Colorado.
But even if Democrats wind up with a more liberal Senate president, they would be faced with the problem of hanging on to a narrower majority if both Morse and Giron end up being recalled. The challengers for both seats are Republicans, and the split would become 18-17 rather than 20-15.
“It does mean the Democrats could hold a much more tenuous hold on the Senate,” University of Denver political science professor Seth Masket told TPM on Friday.
The way the recalls are set up, voters in each district will be faced with two questions on the ballot. The first will be whether to recall the district’s senator. The next will be who should replace the lawmaker if the recall is triggered. The only name on the ballot to replace Morse is former Colorado Springs city councilman Bernie Herpin (R), and the only name to replace Giron is conservative activist George Rivera (R). There is a space for a write-in candidate on both recall ballots, but it’s more likely that Herpin and Rivera would take Morse and Giron’s respective seats.
The GOP challengers clearly differ with the incumbents on gun control, but that has not been the only issue in the races. In fact, up close, they look more like a general election than most national media coverage would have one believe.
The contests have touched on marijuana use, energy, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, and, unlikely, federal immigration reform. The fact that the Republican challengers are “strongly anti-abortion” even motivated Planned Parenthood to send 27,000 mailers out in support of the Democrats, according to The New Republic. Giron has spent some of her time on the campaign needling her challenger as anti-choice, according to The Pueblo Chieftain newspaper.
Yet even the starkest policy differences between the incumbents and their challengers pale in comparison to the prominence the recall election has gained. It’s been called a referendum on whether groups opposed to stricter gun laws can crack down on lawmakers that supported restrictions at any level of government.
“More generally, this is designed to have more of chilling effect on future gun control,” Masket said.
Masket should know. He helped produce a study, along with two California professors, that looked at the effect of a successful recall in the Golden State. It found that state lawmakers moderated their policy positions after the recall. The evidence suggested those lawmakers saw that recalls were possible and became more cautious to try and protect themselves from being recalled in the future. Masket said a recall in Colorado could have the same effect.
Republicans, of course, argue that not recalling Morse and Giron also has negative policy implications. Opponents of gun control see Morse and Giron as lawmakers that would go to great lengths to pass new gun laws. Therefore, advocates of the recall argue, Morse and Giron need to be removed from office quickly.
“They took a bill that came in from an out-of-state organization on gun control and they rammed it through without any debate, without any discussion, without any amendments from law enforcement,” Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call told The Washington Post.
Colorado’s 'Pro-Life' Candidates Want To Ban All Abortions Under ‘Personhood’ While Loosening Gun Laws
Two Democratic state senators in Colorado are facing recall elections next month specifically because they lent their support to a package of gun violence prevention measures. They will run against stringently pro-life Republican opponents who, in addition to favoring looser gun regulations, support banning all abortions under “personhood.”
Colorado is somewhat of a ground zero for the far-right “personhood” movement, which seeks to endow fertilized eggs with all the rights of U.S. citizens. Abortion opponents have repeatedly tried to add a personhood amendment to Colorado’s constitution to define life as beginning at conception, but they have fallen short every year. Now, personhood activists are mobilizing yet again — although they may face an uphill battle, since they haven’t won over the state’s mainstream Republicans.
Nevertheless, personhood does have the support of both George Rivera and Bernie Herpin, the Republican candidates up against Sens. John Morse (D) and Angela Giron (D) in the upcoming recall election. Herpin has recently attempted to distance himself from the far-right issue, claiming he has never signed a personhood petition. But he did respond to a pro-life group’s questionnaire to say he agrees with the primary beliefs at the heart of the personhood movement, like the idea that humans “become persons” as “single cells.”
Although personhood proponents are on the far-right end of the pro-life spectrum — most mainstream anti-abortion groups have distanced themselves from the movement — they aren’t necessarily in favor of protecting life through gun violence prevention measures. In fact, a chapter of a personhood group in Ohio recently attempted to raise money for their cause by auctioning off assault rifles.
Colorado has been home to two of the nation’s most high-profile mass shootings — one in 1999 at Columbine High School, and one last summer at a movie theater in Aurora. Morse and Giron weren’t the only Democratic state senators targeted after supporting additional gun regulations, but they were the only ones whose districts collected enough signatures to actually force a recall election.
Even though an extreme personhood measure hasn’t yet been enacted in any state, there are still plenty of existing restrictions on abortion that threaten women’s access to their constitutionally-protected reproductive care. It’s already harder to get an abortion than it is to get a gun in the United States.
I’m a member of the National Rifle Association and a former Army officer with assignments in the military police, artillery, and operations research and intelligence at the Pentagon.
I’m also Ted Nugent’s older brother.
Ted and I recently attended the NRA convention in Houston, where he delivered the gathering’s final speech and continued his ardent defense of the Second Amendment. Ted and I have hunted together for decades, and we legally own a large number of guns. We both understand that guns constitute deadly force, so safety is foremost in our minds. It’s part of responsible gun ownership.
And I agree with Ted that our constitutional right to bear arms should not be undermined. I want all those who are qualified to purchase a gun to be able to do so. But — and here is where I part ways with my brother — not everyone is qualified to own a gun, so expanded background checks should be a legislative priority.
I believe strongly that expanding and improving mandatory background checks will keep a lot of people who aren’t entitled to Second Amendment rights from having easy access to guns. As of today, a convicted felon can find a gun show or a private seller and buy a firearm without a background check. That loophole should be closed. Every gun transaction must include a thorough background check. Why would responsible gun owners want to protect people who threaten not only our safety but our gun rights?
The NRA has it wrong: Irresponsible gun owners are bad for everyone. If you shouldn’t have access to a gun, then there should be no way for you to access a gun! Can anyone argue with that?
Consider the mentally ill, one of the biggest threats to firearm safety. How do we preserve their rights to health privacy while keeping firearms out of their hands? It’s a huge concern, given the role mental illness has played in recent gun-violence tragedies. While some states have made progress, it’s far from universal.
But convicted felons, people with restraining orders against them and those with a history of mental illness can still find ways to purchase weapons. No one should stand for this.
The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, and the gun violence that claims on average eight children per day in the United States, require us to think differently about what the Second Amendment really means.
Enhanced background checks need not threaten the Second Amendment. Why are the NRA and the elected representatives who support it so slow to realize this? Or do they fear a slippery slope toward greater restrictions on gun rights? If they don’t want to burden a flawed system, they should be part of fixing it.
Reducing gun violence and protecting the Second Amendment is not an either-or idea. I challenge the NRA’s leadership to partner with groups such as Evolve, which I recently joined, that seek to protect gun rights while creating a culture of responsibility, safe gun use and prudent access to firearms.
Can we imagine an NRA capable of taking that on? Or are we doomed to the uncompromising philosophy driving everything the organization does? I want to be proud of being a member of a proactive NRA.
I attended this month’s NRA convention to better understand what the organization is thinking and advocating. Speakers such as Glenn Beck and my brother are extremely articulate and connect with that audience, while Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, excels at creating a strident stand-and-fight mentality that does not speak for the majority of gun owners. Ted and I have talked about these matters over the years, but more often lately. I concede that he is right on some points: In some instances, cities and states with less-strict gun laws have less violent crime. But that does not argue for arming America. Ted is someone who speaks in extremes to make his points. It reflects who he is, and it works for him and his audience.
h/t: Washington Post
Conservative talk show host Dana Loesch called a St. Louis-area mother an “idiot” for attending an anti-gun violence rally in late March in downtown St. Louis. Three weeks later, the Riverfront Times reports Nikki Moungo, a 42-year-old mother of three, said Loesch lacks “compassion or sympathy” for victims of gun violence. Moungo was part of a Moms Against Guns rally that Loesch found disturbing. Now, the two are locked in a war of words over the controversial issue.
* Moungo called Loesch “extremely superficial” in her interview with the media outlet posted Tuesday. The mother has been helping her neighbor cope with the death of Matthew Pellegrini, a shooting victim murdered in St. Louis in 2012.
* Moungo called out Loesch’s assertion she is a “limo liberal” by saying, “You don’t have to wait for gun violence to affect you to get involved.”
* Loesch responded to Moungo’s interview with a blog post of her own. The conservative activist said, “I’ve actually had threats against myself and my family… . I’ve even had people show up at my house. People who’ve never been in the firsthand position of ever having to defend themselves should stop lecturing those who HAVE been in such position. Thanks for completely proving my point.”
* Among other observations, Loesch made fun of Moungo’s Frontenac sunglasses and designer clothes in addition to the fact that many of the women who attended the downtown St. Louis rally were from the suburbs. Moungo co-owns a construction business with her husband and has three boys ages 21, 19 and 9, according to the Riverfront Times piece.
* The war of words expanded to Twitter. Loesch posted, “In reality, [Moungo] is thin skinned because she obsessed over it for a week. My critique was right and it stung. Now move on.”
* The online fracas started with Loesch’s commentary on the anti-gun rally posted to RedState.com March 30. The blogger started by calling attendees “well-heeled progressive women from the nice, safe part of Missouri… .”
* One of the speakers at the rally suggested the United States cede its sovereignty to the United Nations in terms of better gun control. A journalist asked Mayor Francis Slay if he agreed with Dr. Robert Flood’s statement, but he refused to answer the question.
* Moungo is not the only St. Louis resident infuriated by Loesch. Local chef Dale Beauchamp called upon Loesch’s supporters to “use your easily purchased firearm on yourself.” Twitchy.com reports Beauchamp apologized for making his comments and the restaurant for which he works, Little Country Gentleman, distanced itself from the chef’s remarks in a string of tweets made Thursday.
* Loesch is a St. Louis native who contributes to many national news media outlets on a regular basis. She is married with two children.
Fuck people like Dana Loesch!
h/t: Yahoo! News
Tennessee State Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) took to his personal blog Sunday to mock U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), suggesting that she and other reformers should now be focusing on a ban on pressure cookers. And when criticized for his insensitivity to the Boston Marathon victims, Campfield doubled-down on the claims, crying “double standard.”
Campfield’s original post featured a photo of a pressure cooker, similar to that used by the Boston Marathon bombers, and the title “assault pressure cooker.” Campfield captioned the post, “Here comes Feinstein again.”
In a Monday followup, titled “Inappropriate? Me? Never.” Campfield wrote:
Really? If my post was inappropriate talking about “crock pot control” then where is the outrage from the left when they push for gun control after the Sandy Hook shooting? Im sorry if I exposed your double standard…. Well, not really.
Campfield has a long history of questionable comments and actions. Earlier this month, he proposed cutting welfare benefits for kids with poor grades and attacked an eight-year-old critic as a “prop.” Last January, he falsely claimed that HIV/AIDS came from the LGBT community, citing a 1988 advice column from a Christian apologetics website. He also authored Tennessee’s odious “Don’t Say Gay” bill, compared homosexuality to “shooting heroin,”threatened to reduce funding for the University of Tennessee over their sex education week programming, and was a plaintiff in a 2009 “birther” lawsuit demanding President Obama’s birth certificate.
WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) likely has the votes on gun control legislation to clear its first procedural hurdle — a victory for the gun control community, though one that hardly guarantees the bill’s passage.
The majority leader announced on Tuesday evening he would submit for a vote the bill to expand background checks, implement a federal trafficking statute and enhance school safety measures. That would set up a Senate vote on Thursday. To help push matters along, President Barack Obama was spending Tuesday calling senators to lobby them on the gun measures, a White House official confirmed. The official did not reveal which senators would be receiving calls.
At least eight Republican senators said that they would support bringing the measures to the Senate floor for amendment and debate. A number of others said they had not ruled out voting to clear that first procedural hurdle.
Should those numbers hold, Reid will have the 60 votes needed to move forward on gun policy reform. Two members of his own caucus said they were noncommittal on the first procedural vote, but their defections (should they happen) would be insufficient to sustain a filibuster.
The procedural victory would give gun control advocates much-needed time to alter the language of the bill. Reid announced that negotiations over the bill were still ongoing between the two parties. But it won’t resolve the bill’s fate: Reid will have to secure 60 votes once more to end the debate and amendment period. And none of the Republican senators who said they’d support the first procedural vote would go as far as to say they’d sign off on the second.
In the high-stakes debate over gun policy, however, procedural victories are nothing to scoff at, especially with 14 Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) threatening a filibuster of all measures.
Among the GOP congressmen set to buck their own leadership on the vote is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who called a filibuster “incomprehensible.” McCain was joined by Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who told CBS’ “This Morning” that the legislation “deserves an vote up or down.”
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who has negotiated background check legislation, has said he would not support an initial filibuster. “Absolutely,” his spokesman John Hart replied, when asked if that position still stood. “Eschewing this debate is a ‘stupid party’ strategy.”
Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) announced on Wednesday that he won’t back a filibuster, stating that “the discussion needs to be had” on gun legislation.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said it was her “hope” that the Senate “can have a fully open debate, and if that occurs, I will certainly vote to proceed to the bill.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) offered similar conditions for his support on the first cloture vote.
"As long as we get amendments, no, I want to proceed to the bill," he said, when asked about a filibuster. "I think we should be allowed to amend it. I’m not afraid of this debate, I welcome this debate."
Even if Graham were to vote to sustain a filibuster, Reid could still have enough Republican support to overcome it. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) would be a likely “yes” on both the cloture vote and final passage of the bill, having been supportive of background check legislation in the past. His office, however, did not immediately return a request for comment.
Other Republicans left the door open to backing the first cloture vote on gun legislation. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) was noncommittal when asked by reporters on Tuesday. Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) both said they would look at the legislation before deciding whether to support a filibuster. But each said they would filibuster a measure that infringes on Second Amendment rights.
H/T: Huffington Post
(via Think Progress: As Senate Prepares To Take Up Background Checks, NRA Warns Of Outright Gun Confiscation)
As the U.S. Senate prepares to consider a package of gun violence prevention proposals next week, the National Rifle Association has moved into full campaign mode, fighting against reforms backed by 91 percent of the American public. The group’s lobbying arm sent members an “Emergency Action Alert” Wednesday, attempting to scare gun owners into thinking closing background check loopholes would turn them into criminals.
The message warns:
Next week, your Senators are scheduled to vote on a so-called “universal background check” bill being pushed by lifelong anti-gun zealot, Senator Chuck Schumer. Schumer’s bill would MAKE YOU A CRIMINAL if you simply transfer a firearm to an aunt, uncle, cousin or lifelong friend without the federal government’s approval.
The NRA’s slippery-slope fear-mongering continues: “This isn’t about making Americans safer…it’s about leading law-abiding gun owners down the road to gun registration – and ultimately, GUN CONFISCATION – just like we watched happen in England and Australia.” The email then asks readers to call their Senators — and send the NRA money.
The group supported universal background checks as recently as 1999 — and 74 percent of its membership supports the idea now. Even former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), head of the NRA’s school security task force, has endorsed the idea of expanding background checks.
Federal law prohibits the creation of a national gun registry and the Supreme Court has made clear that “gun confiscation” would be unconstitutional.
Despite What Right-Wing Blogs Say, Obama Doesn't Think He's Above The Constitution | Blog | Media Matters for America
Right-wing blogs took President Obama’s comments about gun violence prevention out of context to claim that he complained about being constrained by the Constitution. The full text of his comments, however, shows that he was praising the genius of the document rather than lamenting that the Second Amendment prevents him from confiscating guns.
On April 3, President Obama gave a speech in Colorado to raise support for strengthening gun laws following the passage of new gun violence prevention measures in the state. During his speech, Obama attempted to put gun owners’ possible concerns over these measures to rest:
One last thing I’m going to mention is that during this conversation — I hope you don’t mind me quoting you, Joe. Joe Garcia, I thought, also made an important point, and that is that the opponents of some of these common-sense laws have ginned up fears among responsible gun owners that have nothing to do with what’s being proposed and nothing to do with the facts, but feeds into this suspicion about government.
You hear some of these quotes: “I need a gun to protect myself from the government.” “We can’t do background checks because the government is going to come take my guns away.”
Well, the government is us. These officials are elected by you. (Applause.) They are elected by you. I am elected by you. I am constrained, as they are constrained, by a system that our Founders put in place. It’s a government of and by and for the people.
And so, surely, we can have a debate that’s not based on the notion somehow that your elected representatives are trying to do something to you other than potentially prevent another group of families from grieving the way the families of Aurora or Newtown or Columbine have grieved. We’ve got to get past some of the rhetoric that gets perpetuated that breaks down trust and is so over the top that it just shuts down all discussion. And it’s important for all of us when we hear that kind of talk to say, hold on a second. If there are any folks who are out there right now who are gun owners, and you’ve been hearing that somehow somebody is taking away your guns, get the facts. We’re not proposing a gun registration system, we’re proposing background checks for criminals. (Applause.)
Don’t just listen to what some advocates or folks who have an interest in this thing are saying. Look at the actual legislation. That’s what happened here in Colorado. And hopefully, if we know the facts and we’re listening to each other, then we can actually move forward.
But the full transcript of Obama’s speech shows that he never expressed a desire to confiscate Americans’ firearms or lamented that the Second Amendment prevents him from doing so. In fact, he was approvingly citing the Constitution’s protection of individual rights while telling people to be informed about the new gun legislation instead of succumbing to gun proponents’ claims that guns will be taken away, and he reminded voters that they could hold the government accountable at the ballot box if they felt their rights were threatened.