““They are coming to take your guns away!’ That was the message from this past weekend’s annual NRA Convention,” Dean Obeidallah [above] writes at dailybeast.com. “In fact, it’s the same message we have heard for years from the NRA. And just as it has been in the past, as it was this weekend, that message is a lie.” Tell that to residents of New York; gun owners forced to sell or transfer their “assault rifles” under the terms of the SAFE Act. OK, the Empire State’s storm troopers didn’t knock on doors and physically remove illegal firearms. Yet. But same diff. Besides, is there any question that gun control proponents want to control Americans’ guns right out of existence? For some, there is . . .
No one in the Obama administration or any Democratic administration has ever tried to take law-abiding citizens guns away. Even when President Bill Clinton signed into law the assault weapons ban in 1994, which expired in 2004, it “grandfathered in weapons and ammo clips produced or purchased before the enactment of the ban.”
There are now nearly 300 million guns in the United States. It would be impossible to take even a fraction of those guns away from people. And more importantly, the government can’t, because the United States Supreme Court in 2008 interpreted the Second Amendment as bestowing a personal constitutional right to own a firearm.
Confused? Don’t be. We know Obeidallah mission: to prove that the NRA’s a bunch of fear-mongering paranoid extremists whose only goal to is to sell more guns for the firearms industry. To do that he needs to appear conciliatory. Reasonable. Realistic. Moderate.
To do that, Obeidallah’s got to thread the needle. An “assault weapons” ban – which remains on the Democratic national platform – isn’t confiscation because, again, there’s no knock on the door. Stopping people from buying certain types of firearms (or forcing them to send them out-of-state) isn’t a gun grab per se. But it’s a gun grab nonetheless.
For starters, the motto for this year’s convention was: “If they can ban one, they can ban them all.” So fear was the very slogan. Then, the NRA’s Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre upped the fear factor by telling the attendees: “There’s no telling how far President Obama will go to dismantle our freedoms and reshape America into an America that you and I will not even recognize.” Now even assuming Obama wanted to somehow “dismantle our freedoms,” as LaPierre claims, how could Obama do that in the final 18 months of his presidency when the Republicans control the Senate, the House, and the Supreme Court? . . .
Just the concept of “gun grabbing” makes me laugh. After all, Congress couldn’t even muster the votes needed in 2013 to pass universal background checks for gun purchasers and that had the support of 90 percent of Americans. And that bill failed only a few months after the horrific shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 26 dead, including 20 children.
It’s a pretty bizarre argument: Obama and Clinton and their Democratic ilk aren’t coming for your guns because they know they won’t succeed. No mention of the fact that want to. Or that they have in the past. Nope. The NRA’s a bunch of paranoid fear-mongers because . . . wait for it . . . they’re effective.
The reality is that while LaPierre and his cronies have been weaving fabulous tales of impeding gun grabbing, Republican-controlled state legislatures have been weakening gun safety laws. For example, just last year, Republicans in Georgia passed the “guns everywhere bill” that makes it legal to carry guns in bars, school zones, and parts of airports. And 11 states in recent years even passed laws intended to nullify federal gun safety laws under the guise of “firearm freedom.” (Think “religious liberty” but for guns.)
No mention of that truth by LaPierre. Or worse, no mention of the truth that every day 30 Americans are murdered by gun violence and 53 Americans uses guns to commit suicide.
You would think the NRA would make it a priority to reduce the number of Americans killed by firearms. Instead, it appears that the NRA’s priority is lying.
I guess Obeidallah wasn’t watching when LaPierre acknowledged these victories for firearms freedom (a.k.a., Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms).
The idea that Americans are “murdered by gun violence” – as opposed to murderers – reveals the writer’s clear and present anti-gun bias. Not to mention his failure to mention the hundreds of thousands of Americans who use firearms defensively each day, saving far more lives than those lost.
No small point that. By being pro-gun, the NRA reduces the number of Americans killed by firearms. Strange (for Obeidallah) but true. By protecting gun rights, the NRA also helps protect Americans against government tyranny and, yes, mass murder.
You’d think that a writer enjoying his freedom of speech would make it a top priority to reduce the amount of BS thrown at the NRA. Instead, it appears that Obeidallah priority is lying. [h/t JP]