Friday, July 13, 2007

The NRA Must Go Down

If you come to this site a decent amount, you know how passionate I am about this particular issue. We have beteen 80 and 90 gun deaths a day in this country, and many are simply unnecessary.

Just as unions, pro-choice groups and other progressive organizations and movements were put on the defensive throughout much of the 90s and now the 2000s by right-wing groups with no conscience, so have those arguing for meaningful gun safety laws when confronted with men with an extra-Y chromosome lodged in their cerebral cortex.

The NRA, with the money at their disposal and their willingness to do anything to win, with an almost gleeful expression as they lessen the security of the American people, are bar none one of the most evil of these groups in the country. The sad thing is not just the Republicans, but good Democrats who bow down before them.

I wrote a column three years ago on this subject, so let me quote liberally from that piece, and how today it is even more important as the NRA fights to ensure every terrorist, crimininal, child or mentally imbalanced person has access to an AK:

When I sauntered out into the hallway to pick up my copy of Thursday's Washington Post, a front-page story leapt off the page at me: "FBI Curbed in Tracking Gun Buyers."

The story explains how our anti-terrorism crusading attorney general, John Ashcroft, seems to employ the common sense of Jessica Simpson when it comes to implementing policies to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists.


This combative attitude toward weapons that kill landing in the hands of the people who do comes from a man who is all too excited to declare suspected terrorists "enemy combatants," and haul them off to Guantanamo Bay without the benefit of such niceties as a lawyer and trial.

Why the discrepancy between the deference the attorney general shows to first and second amendment concerns? Three letters: NRA.

According to the pro-campaign finance reform Web site, pro-Second Amendment groups have given 85 percent of their campaign cash, a total of more than $17 million since 1990, to the Republicans.

It is also a little hard to forget the videotape that surfaced in 2000, where a high-ranking National Rifle Association official claimed in a campaign speech that, if Bush won, the NRA would be "working out of the White House."


In a society where, sadly, the choice may be between giving up a few rights or having a weapon of mass destruction set off down the street, the former would seem to trump the latter. Shouldn't this same sacrifice of some freedoms also apply to gun owners?

Why would we not do all we can to keep guns out of the hands of those we deem to be dangerous or deranged? It is not like we are talking universal registration or licensing here, just the tracking of successful gun purchases by those who are on terrorist watch lists.


Individuals with ties to al-Qaida and the militant group Hezbollah have been caught browsing local gun shows in the United States. And the manual "How Can I Train Myself for Jihad" found in the rubble of a terrorist training camp in Kabul recommended that members of al-Qaida living in the United States should try and "obtain an assault weapon legally, preferably AK-47 or variations," by taking advantage of the United States' lax gun laws.

You would think this would alarm people of all political stripes enough to forget politics for a moment and protect this country.


On Nov. 10, 2001, President Bush addressed the United Nations, saying, "We have a responsibility to deny weapons to terrorists and to actively prevent private citizens from providing them." I agree. Bush and Ashcroft should show some leadership and act to further protect us from al-Qaida murderers in our midst.
So now back to the point. This has nothing, and I mean NOTHING to do with the Second Amendment. I wrote this, mind you, before Virginia Tech, before a militia was arrested in Alabama with a cache of weapons and plans for attack.

How long to do we want to wait while Congress is held hostage by a special-interest, a band of corporatized, extremists who don't care if the attacks in London come here, as long as they protect the rights of criminals to buy their products and earn them a tidy profit? 1,000 deaths of innocent children...bystanders...victims? 10,000? 1,000,000?

Well, enough is enough. And that is why I am honored that has chosen to advertise here. They have a large billboard up near Fenway Park (I would have gone with Yankee Stadium, but hey, I'm a die hard Yanks fan) discussing the hostages to the NRA (and likeminded idiots) we call our elected representatives.

Go click on the ad and go to their site. Join them in trying to add meaningful background checks to gun purchases in ALL states, because they currently do not exist in many (as we found out in VA). That's right, Osama himself could buy a handgun in many states as we speak (and varmints must continue to run for cover, as they know Mitt Romney is armed and dangerous).

It is time for the madness to stop. In any poll you look at, the public is on our side. By numbers usually in the 75-90% range. The time for talking is done. It's time to take some action my friends.


At 1:46 PM, Blogger Paddy said...

Campaign Reform NOW!!!

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Eric said...

I love Cliff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 10:50 PM, Blogger Nitrogen said...

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

While I agree with your positions, I strongly disagree with you on this one.

It's currently illegal to buy and sell drugs. Criminals who want drugs can still get them easily. These same laws have stifled research into possible beneficial uses.

How will stricter gun control laws stop criminals and crazy folks from getting guns, again?

At 1:44 AM, Anonymous TheRev said...

What exactly are you trying to advocate? The NRA sponsored the new bill to improve background checks.

You don't sound very informed on this issue; one you claim to be very passionate about.

I have read many portions of your site about this issue, and all you seem to do is complain. What exact legislation would you propose?

Before you answer, consider these fun facts

1)According to the FBI well over 90
percent of firearms used by criminals are stolen, not purchased. Running around screaming that Osama can walk into Walmart and buy AK47s is uninformed hyperbole.

2)The Assault Weapons ban of 1994-2004 outlawed firearms used in only 6 percent of crimes. It had nothing to do with stopping crime but was only feel good legislation to liberals now that they knew that certain scary looking semi automatic rifles could no longer be sold.

3)A firearm is only a tool that can be used to commit a crime. Its presence does not necessitate an increase in crime. In fact, after the fall of the AWB, crime fell. An d in nearly each state the allows concealed carry permits, crime has been seen to fall. If overly strict gun laws work so good, why is New York, California, and Washington DC plagued by gun violence?

4)If you outlaw private firearm ownership, or severely curtail it, you are opening up restrictions on all parts of the constitution, including but not limited to the first, fourth,fifth, and eighth amendments. The constitution is the supreme law of the land, not an anachronism. Arguments such as "back then they didn't have AKs" don't fly. Its the same as restricting electronic media free speech because "back then they didn't have tv,internet,etc"

So please, tell me, what do you think should be done to stop shootings? Every time I purchase a firearm, I go through the checks with the FBI and fill out an ATF form. And when I got my permit to carry a concealed handgun, I had to
wait 3 months for a background check/fingerprints from the FBI to clear. What laws that don't exist need to exist and why can't better enforcement be an answer?

At 1:54 AM, Blogger Nitrogen said...

Osama can't buy guns legally in America. He can't buy from a licensed dealer; he's not a resident of the USA or any state, and he's a wanted criminal. He wouldn't pass the background check.

Even if he was a legal resident, the fact that he's a wanted criminal makes him prohibited under Federal law from owning or buying a gun.

Cliff, you're a very intelligent liberal blogger, and I enjoy your posts, but you're uninformed on this topic. Your friends at are lying to you, and to the public.

For instance:
The police and the FBI can read gun trace data just fine. Check the law if you don't believe me...

At 3:24 AM, Anonymous Albert Meyer said...


I read your blog frequently and almost always agree with you, but you are wrong on this issue. Don't accept your advertisers' statements without fact-checking them. As a "felon" who was convicted of the heinous crime of "felony shoplifting" 20 years ago and can never own a gun unless I spend huge amounts of money on lawyers and/or campaign contributions to get "pardoned" I know that it's not so easy for us "criminals" to buy guns. The second amendment is there for a reason. I wish assault rifles didn't exist, but since they do, American citizens have the right to posses them under the 2nd amendment. Look up the meaning of "abridge" in the dictionary and then tell me again how you would restrict gun ownership (more than it is restricted now) without further violating the 2nd amendment. Our present gun laws already violate the 2nd amendment. Not that the constitution has much relevance today anyway; I don't think I can name an amendment not shredded by the Bush gang, but it's hypocritical to only defend the parts of the constitution that you like.

It's unfortunate that the 2nd amendment allows the same nose-picking mouth-breathers who voted for Bush twice and still support him to own guns, but the alternative (only the elites who run the country and their "police" and armed forces have guns) is worse.

At 7:59 AM, Anonymous benEzra said...

Half of gun owners in the U.S. are Dems and indies, 80% are nonhunters, and a third are women.

Is it any wonder that the DLC's "ban lawfully owned nonhunting guns" crusade from the early '90s bombed so badly?

If the U.S. gun-control lobby actually cared about gun violence, as opposed to circumscribing lawful and responsible ownership, they wouldn't be fighting to ban the most popular civilian target rifles in America, since all rifles combined account for less than 3% of homicides:

You do know that actual AK-47's, and all other automatic weapons, are restricted to police/military only in the U.S. unless you obtain a BATFE Form 4, yes?

Dems threw away the House, the Senate, and at least the '00 presidential election over bans on popular civilian rifles, when rifles are almost never misused to start with. Where would we be on health care, the environment, energy, or Iraq if Feinstein et al HADN'T decided that legislating rifle stock shape was more important?

The party can accept the fact that Americans like their AR-15's and S&W's and move forward on the broader progressive slate, or it can beat itself into oblivion trying to ban the most popular civilian guns in America, including the guns of its own constituents. Your choice.

Dems and the Gun Issue - Now What? (written in '04, largely vindicated in '06)

Why people pushing bans on modern-looking carbines are stuck in the 1970's:


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