Earlier this month the NRA held their annual conference. With the defeat of new background check legislation in the rearview mirror, what new solutions did the NRA offer to the American people?
“Enforce the federal gun laws on the books right now against drug dealers with guns, gangs with guns and violent felons with guns. Fix our broken mental health system. Everyone knows it’s broken. And protect America’s schools as much as we protect our jewelry stores and sports stadiums.” NRA CEO Wayne La Pierre told the audience.
Well, we know our current federal gun laws are incredibly flawed to say the least. As pointed out in our previous entry, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!, a large number of the guns used in Chicago’s gun homicides were purchased legally at a single gun store just outside of the city limits.
Of course, Wayne isn’t going to spend too much time talking about the Windy City. Especially considering 87% of last year’s murders involved firearms. Thankfully, La Pierre quickly moved on before someone mentioned Chicago’s shootings have increased 19% since 2011.
Wayne also fails to mention that people with a history of mental health illness currently have easy access to firearms under our federal laws. Aurora shooter James Holmes (who had seen three different mental health experts prior to the shooting) purchased all of his ammunition and firearms legally.
In 2008 President Bush signed in the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The bill requires heath insurers to cover mental illness services at parity to physical health services. However, there are limitations under the legislation (the law currently covers mental health services only under large employers).
If Wayne and his Gamorrean Guards of the NRA ever bothered to actually read President Obama’s 23 executive actions regarding gun control, they would have noticed number 22: “Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.”
Under the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”), the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act will be expanded to include an additional 62 million Americans in 2014.
Number 12 of the President’s actions seeks to provide school officials with “proper training for active shooter situations.” Number 18 reads: “Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.”
What was it La Pierre said about the President’s executive actions, again? “Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation.”
But this is EXACTLY what the NRA has done.
The NRA and extreme right wing politicians have made guns and the Second Amendment the victims in a time when we are watching raw news footage of frightened children being led away from a classroom where 20 of their fellow students were brutally murdered just moments earlier.
Watching La Pierre’s speeches from last weekend’s NRA circus and March’s CPAC convention, you do not hear the words Sandy Hook mentioned even once. However, the NRA mouthpiece did choose to give a shout out to another recent tragedy.
“How many Bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago?” La Pierre asked in his most recent sales pitch. He would be surprised to learn that nobody did. According to a local news site, there has not been an increase in gun sales in the Boston area since the Boston Marathon bombings.
“Apparently, there’s nothing the president will not do to get something – anything- through Congress to advance his agenda to destroy our Second Amendment.” La Pierre claimed.
Former Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin echoed La Pierre’s sentiment during her NRA appearance: “We’re fighting the good fight. A fight for the Constitution!”
Fighting for the Constitution? To quote Hans Gruber, “I must have missed 60 Minutes.”
The story of the Second Amendment being under attack is just that: a story. It is not based in policy or fact.
What is truly terrifying is that in its quest to continue to raise gun industry profits, the NRA has seemingly supported this false narrative of an incoming apocalypse that will be brought down upon the nation’s people by our own tyrannical government through an abolishment of the Second Amendment. Beginning with the confiscation of firearms.
As we mentioned in our April entry, The Way of the Gun, Wayne La Pierre further propelled this insane notion at CPAC when he claimed background checks would be used to create a national registry. Using the registry, the government would proceed to confiscate the nation’s guns.
In a June 2012 interview (long before the Obama administration showed support for new gun regulations) current NRA President Jim Porter said “I get so sick and tired of all these people with this fake president that we got, who wants to say ‘he hasn’t done anything bad for gun owners.’ I say, let me tell you something bad that he’s done. His entire administration is anti-gun, anti-freedom, anti-Second Amendment.”
Porter conveniently forgets that the President EXTENDED gun rights in 2009 (birthers typically don’t have their facts straight).
“This is a critical time in American history. Something big is happening in America,” former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said at the conference. “Stand for America. Fight for America.”
Libertarian radio host Adam Kokesh is taking those words to the streets. Kokesh is currently organizing an armed march on Washington D.C. this July 4th. Kokesh’s Facebook invite reads:
“This is an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event. We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny. We are marching to mark the high water mark of government & to turn the tide. This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent.”
District of Columbia police chief, Cathy Lanier has said in response to the group’s plans, “Passing into the District of Columbia with loaded firearms is a violation of the law and we’ll have to treat it as such.” Kokesh’s group currently has 4,043 members as “attending.”
Who is it again that is ignoring the children?