All Articles Tagged "nra"
NRA Tells African Americans They Need Guns To Protect Themselves From “Sociopaths,” “Culture,” Others
The National Rifle Association has been on a tear these past few months, trying to convince the public and gun owners that the government is overstepping its boundaries with any sort of gun control reforms, including universal background checks. The organization has been running numerous ads across various states labeling efforts by President Obama, the Democrats, and other gun control advocates as “the single most devastating attack on the Second Amendment that this country has ever seen,” to use the words of the organization’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre.
Now the organization is beefing up its efforts to reach the African-American community specifically. The NRA has a new ad campaign that says the black community needs guns to protect itself from the government, using the Civil Rights movement as a jumping off point for its argument.
“The video is part of an effort by the gun lobby to grow the organization’s appeal beyond a mostly white, middle-class membership and attribute high rates of gun violence in some African American communities to “culture” rather than the prevalence of guns,” ThinkProgress writes.
The ad (available below) stars YouTube celeb and gun advocate Colion Noir, who rants for 1 1/2 minutes about the hypocrisy of the anti-gun violence movement and the need for firearms. This is “[t]he same government who at one point hosed us down with water, attacked us with dogs, wouldn’t allow us to eat at their restaurants and told us we couldn’t own guns,” he says at one point.
At the end of the video, he says,”Guy telling me to get rid of my guns when I need them the most, isn’t my friend, isn’t looking out for my best interests and doesn’t speak for me or the community that I’m part of.” But is the NRA a part of the black community? Or is this an opportunitistic appeal to the black community at a time when the NRA needs all the help it can get to advance its agenda? News site Salon turns the hypocrisy accusations back on the NRA, citing a 2011 article in The Atlantic that highlights the historical efforts by the NRA and others to enact gun restrictions. “The one time NRA wanted gun control was when Black Panthers took up arms. Now it wants black support,” reads the Salon sub-headline.
ThinkProgress points out some disturbing statistics. For instance, blacks made up about 13 percent of the population in 2010, but 56 percent of the people killed by guns. And highlights a Minneapolis program that focused on city programs that would divert young people in vulnerable communities from gangs and other activities that typically lead to gun violence.
What do you think of the NRA’s appeal to African Americans?
President Obama’s Gun Proposal Includes Background Checks On All Sales; Gun Stocks Leap After Announcement
President Obama, introduced to the podium by an eloquent speech from Vice President Joe Biden, gave the details of a proposal to curb gun violence that includes universal background checks. In front of an audience that included the parents of children killed in the Newtown shooting, and children who wrote letters asking the President to take action on gun violence, Obama signed 23 executive actions that strengthen gun control. These actions don’t require Congressional approval. They also include nominating an Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) director and clarification to the Affordable Care Act that tells doctors they’re not prohibited from asking patients about guns in the home.
The proposal also included items that require Congress’ approval. Among them is a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban and placing a limit on ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. The New York Times has a complete list of items in the complete proposal. According to CNN, “A main focus of Obama’s steps was closing loopholes in background checks. While requiring universal background checks would require congressional approval, some of the executive actions signed by Obama were intended to bolster the existing system.”
Already, and as expected, the GOP has an issue with the proposal. “Nothing the president is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in a statement.
Others who are opposed to more strict gun laws say the President’s proposal doesn’t address the criminal element forcefully enough.
Of course, among those opposed to the President’s suggestions (opposed even before they were made) is the NRA. Prior to today’s press conference, the NRA released an ad that called the President an “elitist hypocrite” and asked “Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” because they get Secret Service protection. Slate, which has the ad, quotes White House spokesperson Jay Carney, who said:
Most Americans agree that a president’s children should not be used as pawns in a political fight. But to go so far as to make the safety of the president’s children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly.
We couldn’t agree more. Carney and the White House weren’t the only ones with a strong negative reaction. If you care to see it, it’s after the jump. The NRA also recently released a target practice game that came under fire. Unbelievable.
Following today’s press conference, stocks for “gun-related companies” as USA Today calls them, jumped more than five percent across the board.
To watch the entire press conference (it’s about 26 minutes), click here.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) held its awaited press conference today, suggesting a new program that would put an armed guard at “every school” nationwide.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, the organization’s EVP. He reprimanded the media, saying that it had “demonized gun owners,” blamed violent video games, and criticized politicians for seeking stronger gun control laws.
“Politicians pass laws for gun free school zones, they issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. And, in doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk,” LaPierre also said in his remarks, which you can read in full here.
The NRA is calling for the creation of the National School Shield, which would train armed security guards.
The NRA had stayed noticeably quiet following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT last Friday that killed 26 people, including 20 children ages six and seven. Indeed, the NRA blamed everything except guns for the tragedy.
Moreover, the group is being taken to task on Twitter and in the media for its inability to secure its own press conference. Protesters interrupted the event not once, but twice.
“Even while the N.R.A. was offering to help schools better protect themselves, it proved unable to guard its own media event from protesters,” writes The New York Times.
Gun sales have gone up in the wake of the horror, with concerned parents even investing in backpack armor for their children. The President has pledged to put a gun control proposal before Congress next month, with a task force led by VP Joe Biden expected to also look at secondary issues surrounding gun violence, like the state of mental health treatment in this country. Many people, including some in Washington who were previously staunch supporters of the NRA and its agenda, have come out in favor of some changes to tighten up the laws.
Criticism of the NRA’s proposal today came swiftly and furiously. For those who’ve never been supporters of the NRA (and those who don’t believe every person in the US should be armed to the teeth, which includes many gun owners), the speech landed somewhere on the spectrum between “out-of-touch” and “insane.”
Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ) is quoted on the ABC News site: “It is beyond belief that following the Newtown tragedy, the National Rifle Association’s leaders want to fill our communities with guns and arm more Americans.”
Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy (CT) tweeted, “Walking out of another funeral and was handed the NRA transcript. The most revolting, tone deaf statement I’ve ever seen.”
Even Michael Steele, the former RNC chairman, said, “I just found it very haunting and very disturbing that our country now is talking about arming our teachers and our principals in classrooms,” on MSNBC today. “What does that say about us? I do not believe that is where the American people want to go,” he added. (via Politico)
The press conference was shocking, given that this was supposed to be a response to a mass killing that left small children dead in their school. More guns are the answer? Unbelievable. And indefensible as evidenced by the NRA’s refusal to take questions… at a press conference. What do you think?
As the country recovers from the horror of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, people across the country are beefing up their stockpiles, purchasing guns faster than stores can keep them in stock.
President Obama held a press conference yesterday in which he announced that new gun control proposals would be in front of Congress next month, a quick response to the horrors at Sandy Hook last week.
“The president’s pledge came as House Republicans restated their firm opposition to enacting any new limits on firearms or ammunition, setting up the possibility of a philosophical clash over the Second Amendment early in Mr. Obama’s second term,” The New York Times reports.
The plan will be developed over the next few weeks with VP Joe Biden leading a group from across multiple government agencies. Rumor has it that a ban on assault weapons and “high-capacity” ammunition magazines could be part of the proposal, the NYT says. Both sides, especially the GOP, want to take a look at changes to the mental health system, education, and other factors besides direct gun control measures as well.
Mayor Bloomberg, a longtime gun control advocate, has thrown his support behind the President’s efforts. That support will likely come with financial backing, as the billionaire mayor is known to put his money where his mouth is. And he has a history of successfully achieving his policy goals. He’s not the only politico in favor of change. Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) has come out in favor of stronger regulation and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has said she will introduce gun control legislation next year. For a list of lawmakers who have changed their tune about gun regulation, click here. (Rep. Heinrich is on the list.)
At the same time, people are making a mad dash to their local gun shop to get their hands on assault rifles and armored backpacks. “A spike in gun sales is common after a mass shooting, but the Connecticut tragedy has generated record sales in many states,” BusinessWeek reports. Background checks in states like Colorado and Nevada broke records in the days after the Connecticut shooting. And Walmart says it was sold out of semi-automatic weapons in five states including Pennsylvania and Alabama. Shoppers are also turning to eBay to purchase ammunition.
Parents are taking precautions with their children, investing in armor that slips into a child’s backpack, priced at $150 to $300. However, CBS News points out, the armor is designed to stop handgun fire, not assault weapon shots. A man quoted in that story bought one for his one-year-old son. All the parents argue it’s a measure they’re willing to take if it will do anything to protect their kids.
Of course, what will really protect children and adults alike would be fewer people firing guns at other people. The National Rifle Association, which crows about the Second Amendment when anyone even mentions gun regulation or gun control, waited until Tuesday to issue a statement, available here. After expressing shock and sadness over the Sandy Hook shooting, they said,”The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.” The group is planning a press conference tomorrow in Washington and its Facebook page is back up and running (and accepting insane comments) after being shut down in the wake of the tragedy. We couldn’t find any detail about what they might be prepared to discuss, however, if you’re interested (and you should be) in the history of the NRA and how it became so politically powerful, check out this New Yorker story from April. It’s eye-opening.
On a positive note, New Jersey held its gun buyback program over the weekend in Camden, one of the state’s most troubled cities. A new record was set, with 1,137 guns turned in, beating the previous record of 700. Among the weapons returned were sawed-off shotguns, rifles used for elephant hunting, and fully automatic weapons. With $110,000 in cash and $6,000 in gift cards to hand out, the program ran out of money. The New York Post says that nearly all of the weapons will be destroyed.
And some companies are taking steps to distance themselves from the gun industry. The Washington Post reports that package’s Sporting Goods will stop selling sporting rifles, at least for the moment. And investor Cerebus Capital Management, which has a stake Freedom Group, the company that manufactures Bushmaster Rifles, said that it will be selling that stake. “It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate. . . . There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take,” Cerebus said in a statement.
The paper says that the gun industry generated $11.7 billion in sales this year. Sales have been strong since the moment President Obama took office with gun advocates nonsensically fearful that gun laws would tighten to the point where they wouldn’t be able to add to their collections.
New and stronger gun regulation is needed in this country. If Sandy Hook (and the the other recent shootings) hasn’t made that clear, then nothing will. Of course, we haven’t yet addressed all of the hundreds of millions of guns that are already in people’s homes and on the streets. A fundamental change in our gun mentality will have to be coupled with any legislative measures.
Despite the number of mass shootings and high levels of gun violence in major U.S. cities like Chicago, getting the government to discuss, let alone seriously consider, stronger gun control laws is nearly impossible. If you haven’t read it, you should definitely check out this April story from The New Yorker on how the proliferation of guns and the loosening of gun policy in this country came to be. An editorial published in this week’s New York Times also addresses the issue.
“There are nearly three hundred million privately owned firearms in the United States: a hundred and six million handguns, a hundred and five million rifles, and eighty-three million shotguns. That works out to about one gun for every American,” the New Yorker article says. “The United States is the country with the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world.”
In large part, the article lays the country’s Second Amendment fervor and love affair with guns at the feet of the National Rifle Association. The NRA was founded in the late-1800s and, for a long time, highlighted gun safety. The NRA’s focus on the individual’s right to carry a gun began in the 1970s. From that point on, the NRA and other gun-rights organizations began publishing articles and funding political candidates that raised the public’s preoccupation with the Second Amendment and relaxed the rules surrounding the acquisition of firearms.
Between 1968 and 2012, the idea that owning and carrying a gun is both a fundamental American freedom and an act of citizenship gained wide acceptance and, along with it, the principle that this right is absolute and cannot be compromised; gun-control legislation was diluted, defeated, overturned, or allowed to expire; the right to carry a concealed handgun became nearly ubiquitous; Stand Your Ground legislation passed in half the states; and, in 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled, in a 5–4 decision, that the District’s 1975 Firearms Control Regulations Act was unconstitutional.
Today, gun-rights activists spend their time generating an irrational fear that President Obama is trying to take people’s guns wholesale. Meanwhile, The New Yorker says, one in three people in the U.S. know someone who’s been shot.
During this week’s presidential debate, the issue of gun control came up. Mitt Romney, par for course, evaded the question, wandering into the metaphorical woods to talk about the need for two-parent households as a remedy to the country’s gun violence problem. President Obama said, “What I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced.”
This, of course, has got the NRA up in arms (pun intended). “[He] gave law-abiding hunters, gun owners a preview of what to expect in a second Obama administration,” Andrew Arulanandam, NRA’s director of public affairs, told the Houston Chronicle. “He went straight out and supported a gun ban.” The NRA is using its PAC, the NRA Political Victory Fund, to mobilize voters for Romney.
On the other hand, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a long-time gun control advocate, has launched his own super PAC, saying that he’s going to pump $10 million to $15 million of his own money into the effort to support political candidates. He called the responses from both candidates to the gun control question “gibberish.”
Yesterday, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle proposed a new tax to curb guns — five cents per bullet and $25 per gun. Cook County encompasses Chicago, which, as we mentioned, has seen a terrifying spike in gun violence this year. More than 1,100 people were shot in that city in the first six months of this year. “Over the same period in New York City, which has triple the population, 790 people have been shot,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the NRA, of course, called the tax “preposterous” because the only people who would pay the tax are “law-abiding citizens.” He advocates for more criminal prosecutions. The Journal points out that many of the guns confiscated in Chicago have been bought legally in other parts of the country.
The story that caught my eye and prompted this story was this one about gun permits being issued in Alabama, and, specifically, the high number of permits being issued that allow people to carry concealed weapons. In 2011, 34,254 gun permits were issued in Mobile county. In case you’re wondering, “Of those, 24,656 were owned by whites/Caucasians, 9,209 by African Americans, 294 by Asians/Pacific Islanders and 95 by American Indians/Alaskans,” AL.com reports. Moreover, women are seeking gun permits, including concealed gun permits, at a high number. The reasons cited are the aforementioned fear of President Obama’s intentions and the feeling that people/women need to protect themselves.
Alabama counties are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars on these permits. Among the things that the money is being spent on are weapons and bulletproof vests.
A big reason why people feel they need to protect themselves is because there are so many guns out there. Gun violence and gun control needs to be discussed openly, honestly, with urgency and without political posturing. A ban on assault weapons is more than reasonable. It’s become painfully obvious that it’s necessary.
Guitarist and “activist” Ted Nugent is another popular figure in hot water for his comments about the Obama administration during an NRA convention in St.Louis. According to the Associated Press, during the convention last week, Nugent toted the Obama administration as the “evil, America-hating administration.” While that’s not the worst insult I’m sure you’ve heard about, the rocker took things up a notch by comparing the administration to coyotes who needed to be shot, and urged NRA members to “to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November.” And the icing on the cake was when he told the crowd what he would do if the president was re-elected: “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” Word Ted? WORD?
I’m guessing the secret service wasn’t feeling this, because Ted is slated to meet with them on Thursday to explain his comments. He told his buddy Glenn Beck (your other favorite person) that after he talks with the secret service, it will be pretty clear that he wasn’t threatening the president whatsoever. But despite what he says, a lot of people are still calling the comments threatening, and for those who have guns but don’t have sense, it might be the words they need to hear to act a fool this fall. And yes, Nugent is endorsing Mitt Romney with all his might.
It’s funny how just last week people were getting in Hilary Rosen’s behind because she made comments about Mitt Romney’s wife being a stay-at-home mother who really hadn’t worked a day in her life after Romney said he looked to her as a guide to women’s economic struggles. Yet this fool gets in front of the gun-toting NRA, talking about the President and his administration and calling them evil, comparing the November elections to a battlefield, even saying he’ll be dead or in jail if President Obama is re-elected, and folks are on the hush this time around.
Writer Leslie Marshall at US News World & Report said that despite people’s views on the President’s record or positions, folks still need to have and show a lot more respect to him. Why? Because he’s the damn president! Hello!!!!
“Although I’m not that old a broad yet, I am seeing a growing number of Americans disrespect not only the man in the Oval Office, but the office of the president. It seems the older I get, the less respect Americans have for our commander in chief.
Some will say this is just Nugent being a loudmouth, he isn’t really threatening the president. Perhaps that is true, but what about the idiot who will follow Nugent’s words and make a true threat or attempt to carry out such violent rhetoric? Have we learned nothing from the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords?! When will the use of such language stop?! And the disrespect!”
AMEN! People throw the worst forms of shade and disrespect at our president as though everything he’s dealing with and trying to work on during his presidency is something he created alone. From immature governor’s pointing their fingers in his face, to folks calling him boy, sending rude emails about his wife, and now this big dummy (*in Fred Sanford voice*) encouraging trigger happy individuals to take matters in their own hands when it comes to dealing with the president and his administration in the fall, this stuff has to stop. He might not really be telling people to hurt the president, but as Marshall said, after the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, he should have known better. Sure, President Bush had a few shoes thrown at him during trips to Iraq, but the disrespect President Obama gets from his own people here at home, GROWN PEOPLE who should know better, is despicable. If President Obama were a Republican, trust, the outcry would be immense (with Bill O’Reilly at the helm). Just as Rosen was held fully accountable for her words, so should this man. I’m telling you, if incidents like this don’t make you want to swarm the voting booths in November, I really don’t know what will…
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(Chicago Tribune) – Gov. Pat Quinn sought to stall a push to allow concealed carry in Illinois, saying Tuesday that he would veto any measure lawmakers sent him that would allow citizens to walk around with loaded guns in public. “I don’t think we’re in the business of trying to increase danger to the people of Illinois. We want to work with our law enforcement and prevent bad things from happening,” the governor said at a morning news conference. The threat of a veto from Quinn did little to deter supporters who have been emboldened by last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that tossed out Chicago’s long-standing gun ban. Hours after Quinn announced his opposition in Chicago, a House committee recommended approval of the latest version of a concealed-carry measure. Illinois and Wisconsin are the only states without some form of such a law.
By J. Smith
The National Rifle Association turned down an invitation to meet with the Obama administration to discuss gun control policy at the Justice Department. The snub, according to Politico, signals that the nation’s largest gun lobby isn’t willing to come to the table on a Democratic president’s terms. In an interview with the New York Times, Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, said, “Why should I or the NRA go sit down with a group of people that have spent a lifetime trying to destroy the Second Amendment in the United States?”
Yawn. The whole thinly-vieled racism thing is getting old. How convenient it must be to have a cause to stand behind and sheild yourself from accusations of racism. Ok, so let’s say it’s not racism and this guy — the leader of an influential organization — just doesn’t understand the concept of an olive branch or the value of communicating with people who do not agree with him. If that’s the case then the state of affairs is even sadder.
According to Politico, LaPierre cited Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as examples of the people who are trying to destroy the Second Amendment. Keep in mind that Hilary Clinton has little, if anything, to do with gun control policy.
The president wrote an op-ed in Sunday’s Arizona Daily Star saying that he was, “willing to bet that responsible law-abiding gun owners agree that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few — dangerous criminals and fugitives, for example — from getting their hands on a gun in the first place.” In a response, LaPierre and others sent a letter to President Obama arguing that his administration needs to improve its overall enforcement of the laws already on the books instead of singling out guns and gun owners.
Read more: NRA Won’t Meet With White House On Guns
(AP) — Barack Obama once said it was a “scandal” that then-President George W. Bush did not force renewal of a federal assault weapons ban. Now it is Obama himself who is steering clear of that and other politically sensitive gun-control measures, even while calling for a new discussion on weapons and “how we can keep America safe for all our people.” The president asked for the new conversation on gun safety in an opinion column in Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ hometown paper, the Arizona Daily Star, over the weekend. He proposed strengthening and enforcing existing laws requiring gun sellers to perform background checks.
Giffords and 12 other people were wounded and another six people, including a 9-year-old girl, were killed Jan. 8 at a voter event held by Giffords outside a Tucson grocery store. But to the disappointment of gun-control advocates, the president did not mention the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 — when Congress failed to renew it — even though it barred sales of high-capacity magazines like the one used by Giffords’ alleged shooter, and even though Obama was once an outspoken supporter of the ban. Nor did the president take the opportunity to endorse legislation backed by many Democrats on Capitol Hill after Giffords’ shooting that would ban high-capacity ammunition magazines but not assault weapons themselves. That bill could be more politically palatable in Congress.
(New York) — The National Rifle Association has gone uncommonly dark since the weekend shootings here. A posting on its Web site expresses sympathies for the victims of the violence, and N.R.A. officials said they would have nothing to say until the funerals and memorial services were over. In Washington, bills were being drafted to step up background checks, create no-gun zones around members of Congress and ban the big-volume magazines that allowed the Tucson gunman to shoot so many bullets so fast. Gun control advocates say they believe the shock of the attack has altered the political atmosphere, in no small part because one of the victims is a member of Congress.