National Rifle Association

Buzzfeed calls out the NRA for…not commenting on Navy Yard shooting?

BuzzFeed

In the wake of a terrible tragedy, there are almost universal requests for calm, peace, and a moratorium on politics. We have now reached the stage in the evolution of the Onion Nation where not commenting on a tragedy is worth criticizing.

Within hours of the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard this morning, in which at least 12 have lost their lives, the objective journalists of Buzzfeed compiled a list of NRA tweets around the time of recent mass shootings, showing that the gun rights organization stops tweeting for a day or more when such an event occurs. The irony is astounding. If the NRA makes a statement about a shooting event, they are accused of politicizing it, standing on the graves of the victims, or worse. And now if they don’t make a statement, that’s also worth calling out?

Sure, Buzzfeed will just claim they found it interesting and weren’t criticizing. But savvy social media producers that they are should know better. Gun rights opponents will take their post and do the dirty work for them, calling the NRA cowards for staying silent in the face of such horror that they will inevitably be accused of causing.

The great Charles Cooke of National Review summed up the stupendous hypocrisy well on Twitter:

Go Home, Wayne LaPierre, You’re Drunk

Wayne LaPierre

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre broke his organization’s silence since last week’s atrocity at Sandy Hook Elementary by giving apress conferencethis morning. The press conference’s tone was rambling at times and it appeared to generally lack focus. The NRA gave some reasons they thought that there were mass shootings

There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like “Bullet Storm,” “Grand Theft Auto,” “Mortal Combat,” and “Splatterhouse.”

LaPierre also went on to blame violent movies and music videos as well. LaPierre also appeared to claim that there was a media conspiracy to cover up the role of violent media by blaming gun owners.

The problem with blaming violent video games for crime is that its simply not true as is pointed in this piece in the National Review. Also, is the message that we need to gut the First Amendment to save the Second Amendment the right message we need to send right now?

LaPierre unfortunately wasn’t finished with his Joe Biden impersonation. He had some suggestions for improving school security:

Apparently, The NRA Only Cares About One Part Of The Bill Of Rights

Gun

Based on this from Cato’s Roger Pilon, apparently, the National Rifle Association only cares about some parts of the Bill of Rights:

NPR ran a story this morning, “NRA Targets One Of Its Own In Tenn. Race,” that nicely illustrates the perils of single-issue politics, although you’d never learn the principle of the matter from the NPR account. It seems that the NRA has launched a $75,000 ad campaign against state Rep. Debra Maggart, a long-time NRA member and avid gun-owner who a year ago had an “A+” rating from the NRA. Her sin? She and several other Tennessee Republican officials opposed a bill that would have allowed employees to keep guns in their cars while parked in their private employers’ parking lots.

The NRA’s Chris Cox, who’s spearheading this political vendetta and, in the process, is supporting Maggart’s tea-party backed opponent, invokes both “our First Amendment right to assemble to petition our government” and, of course, the Second Amendment, seemingly oblivious to the fact that neither is relevant here. In fact, the issue could not be simpler: individuals, including employers, have a right to determine the conditions on which others may enter their property.

Should libertarians join the NRA?

Someone recently sent an email asking for a post on whether folks should join the NRA.  Jason, probably knowing how much of a gun guy I am, asked me if I was interested in expressing my thoughts.  Being the shy, unassuming person who never shares his opinions with a living soul…oh wait, that’s not me at all.  Of course I jumped at it.

The National Rifle Association is a group I’ve been pretty critical of for some time.  Their compromises gave us background checks for firearm purchases, among other things.  Over the years, they have tried to compromise rather than digging in their heals for our Second Amendment rights, so there’s plenty to be critical of.  However, that was the past.  What about the now?

To me, all the questions about the NRA can be summed up with their argument against Senator Rand Paul’s proposed amendment that would restrict law enforcement’s ability to look at firearm purchase records.  While the NRA was correct that district attorney’s could get grand juries to subpena the records in question, what was missed is that the grand jury is a form of judicial oversight.

Instead, the NRA pretend that law enforcement being able to demand access to records is preferable to a panel of American citizens deciding if there is probably cause to access those records.  Anyone purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer has to fill out this paperwork, and the NRA’s position turns this paperwork into a de facto form of registration.

Way to go NRA.  No suggestions on how to tweak it to make it more acceptable, just cover for allegedly pro-gun members of Congress to vote against the amendment in question without being labeled as anti-gun.

Gun-grabber Bloomberg promises to spend $50 million on an issue that voters don’t really care about

Michael Bloomberg

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spending $50 million to subvert the 2nd Amendment by promoting gun-grabbing candidates for office during the 2014 midterm elections, according to The Hill. Like the National Rifle Association, Bloomberg’s group — Everytown for Gun Safety — plans to survey candidates for office. Those who are sufficiently anti-gun for Bloomberg will receive his financial support.

From the report:

Everytown for Gun Safety is surveying candidates about their positions on gun policy, including where they stand on proposals to expand background checks and crack down on gun traffickers. The results, along with candidates previous statements on gun safety and past voting history, will be presented to voters.

Much as the National Rifle Association uses a scoring system to rally voters in favor of pro-gun candidates, Everytown will target candidates the group views as standing on the wrong side of the issue and back those who support more stringent gun control regulations.

Bloomberg, who is funding the group, has committed to spending $50 million in the current election cycle.

Everytown is billing the initiative as a first-of-its-kind gun control campaign to mobilize voters in favor of stronger protections.

NRA to push national reciprocity for concealed carry permit holders

concealed carry

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is expected to spend some of its weekend focusing on a measure — National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act — that would ensure that gun owners who’ve obtained concealed carry permits can carry their weapon no matter where they travel in the United States:

The nation’s largest gun-rights group, which officially opens its meeting of about 70,000 people Friday in Indianapolis, wants Congress to require that concealed weapons permits issued in one state be recognized everywhere, even when the local requirements differ. Advocates say the effort would eliminate a patchwork of state-specific regulations that lead to carriers unwittingly violating the law when traveling.

“Right now it takes some legal research to find out where you are or are not legal depending on where you are,” said Guy Relford, an attorney who has sued communities for violating an Indiana law that bars local gun regulation. “I don’t think that’s right.”
[…]
The “reciprocity” effort on state concealed carry laws has strong support from Senate Republicans but narrowly missed being amended into last year’s proposed expansion of gun sale background checks. Still, it faces long odds in Washington because Democrats control the Senate and White House.

Basically, the measure would extend the same treatment that state drivers licenses and birth certificates, for example, receive under the Full Faith and Credit Clause to concealed carry permits, which can now be issued in all 50 states.

NRA not always “unflinching and unapologetic” for the Second Amendment

Wayne LaPierre

Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association (NRA), gave a fiery speech yesterday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in which he decried the media and called on attendees to stop President Barack Obama’s anti-gun agenda.

“History has proven again the truth that President Obama and anti-freedom activists everywhere deny and try to empress: the truth that firearms in the hands of good people save lives,” said LaPierre. “The political elites can’t escape and the darlings in the media can’t change the God-given right of good people to protect themselves.”

There’s nothing wrong with that statement in and of itself. The White House and congressional Democrats tried (and failed) last year to enact more onerous gun control laws. The media often painted an unflattering picture of Second Amendment activists and frequently pilloried the LaPierre and NRA.

“For that fundamental human, the NRA stands unflinching and unapologetic and in defense of our freedom,” said LaPierre. “NRA’s 5 million members and America’s 100 million gun owners will not back down, not now, not ever. I assure you that.”

Case dismissed against student who wore NRA shirt to school

It’s nice to see when common sense prevails. The case against Jared Marcum, a 14-year-old West Virginia middle school student who wore a NRA t-shirt to school, has been dismissed:

Jared Marcum’s mother, Tanya Lardieri, was overcome with emotion after signing a dismissal order and cementing the fact that the criminal charges against her 14-year-old son, Jared Marcum, have been withdrawn.

“It should have come sooner but it’s done and we don’t have to have that concern anymore about him having a criminal record” Jared’s father Allen Lardieri tells WOWK. “I’m just glad that it’s over. His mother is glad it’s over.”

Jared’s attorney Ben White calls this a win for common sense.  White says he’s heard too many stories of children being penalized for seemingly harmless behavior, just because each of these incidents included gun imagery of one sort or another.   
[…]
“I didn’t think it would go this far because honestly, I don’t see a problem with [the shirt], there shouldn’t be a problem with this,” Jared told WOWK on April 18, the day he was arrested.

While Jared didn’t see a problem with the shirt, neither did the Logan County School District, as it has publicly stated that Jared’s shirt did not violate the district’s dress code.

Back in April, Marcum wore the “Protect Your Rights” shirt, which also displyed a rifle, to school. A teacher reported Marcum to school officials, who told him to remove the shirt or turn it inside-out. He refused.

Anti-gun group counts Boston Marathon bomber as a “victim” of gun violence

Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) has really out done themselves this time.

During a protest last week in New Hampshire, the pro-gun control group founded by New York City Michael Bloomberg publicly read off the names of people who have been killed in instances of gun violence since the December 2012 tradgedy at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. Among the names listed, according to BuzzFeed, were 10 murder suspects, including Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and cop killer Christopher Dorner.

The protest was part of an effort by the group to bring the gun control issue back before Congress after measures to expand background checks and ban so-called “assault weapons” were defeated in the Senate back in April.

The New Hampshire-based Union Leader reported that the crowd was less than pleased at hearing Tsarnaev’s name listed among victimes of gun violence. Some in the crowd, the paper notes, shouted back, “He’s a terrorist.” Other news sources have indicated that his name was met with boos.

Student Charged After Refusing to Remove NRA T-Shirt

Jared Marcum -- NRA t-shirt

Free speech apparently doesn’t mean what it used to. Politico notes that a West Virginia middle school student was charged with “causing a disruption” during school because he refused to remove his t-shirt, which sported the logo of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and a rifle:

A West Virginia student was charged with causing a disruption at a middle school when he refused to remove a T-shirt that displayed the National Rifle Association’s logo and hunting rifle.

Jared Marcum, 14, said the shirt did not violate Logan Middle School’s dress code policy.
[…]
Marcum’s stepfather, Allen Lardieri, said the youth was waiting in line in the school cafeteria Thursday when a teacher ordered the eighth-grader to remove the T-shirt or to turn it inside out.

Marcum said was sent to the office where he again refused the order.

“When the police came, I was still talking and telling them that this was wrong, that they cannot do this, it’s not against any school policy. The officer, he told me to sit down and be quiet. I said, `No, I’m exercising my right to free speech.’ I said it calmly,” he said.

Politico notes that the school’s dress code policy does prohibt clothing that displays certain messages, including items that use profanity, alcohol, and tobacco. It does not, however, prohibit clothing that displays a firearm or expresses support for one of the nation’s oldest civil liberties organizations.


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