Gun Law Forum

Icon

News, discussion and analysis on US gun laws

The Absurdity of Gun Lobby

By Junling Hu

Imagine a group of drug dealers come together to organize a political group. They actively recruit members among drug users, and they brazenly claim any regulation on recreational drugs is against constitution. They then promote drug use among young people and general population. What will happen to this country? This is exactly what NRA has been doing with guns. NRA is an organized group of gun dealers, assisted by membership of gun users. It fights against any regulation on guns, and it tries to promote guns among young people. .

The true motivation of NRA is not serving its member, many of whom have moderate views on gun regulation. The true motivation of NRA is getting huge profit from gun sale. That also means getting more people to use guns.  How to achieve that? Claiming gun as the only way of self-defense while police are not to be trusted; marketing guns as sexy, forcing states to pass laws that allow people to carry gun everywhere, forbidding lawsuits against gun dealers and manufacturers. The list goes on and on.

Far from its original mission of safety training for hunters, NRA has become an organization that promotes death, a result of putting gun everywhere. By doing so, they have wrecked havoc on this country for the last 30 years, starting from the establishment of ILA (Institute for Legislative Action), the NRA’s lobby branch, in 1975.  Today, ILA has 20 million annual budget, about 80 full-time staff members and trained lobbyists. It helps that ILA’s parent NRA has annual budget of $200 million.

ILA promotes an extremist agenda. That is: any regulation on guns is an encroachment of personal freedom. The absurdity of this argument leads to the following outcome: Any consumer product in the United States, from teddy bears to cars, is subject to government safety regulation, except guns. The lack of safety standard and child-proof features leads to many tragic accidents at home, killing children of 4 or 5 years-old. Another outcome is lack of registration or licensing for guns, making it extremely easy for criminals to get hold of guns. ILA is against assault weapon ban, and against closing gun show loophole. It is against microstamping that would allow law enforcement to trace criminals. On the other hand, ILA is pushing for concealed-weapon law in states, allowing people to carry weapons on streets. It’s pushing for weapon on university campus, in shopping mall and in churches, and most absurdly in workplace.

ILA’s lobbying effort is helped by the large member of NRA. From late 1970s to 2009, NRA membership grew 3 times, reaching 4 million today. Many of these people join because they use firearms, but they are unknowingly becomes NRA’s propaganda target. Inciting fear that the government is taking away their guns, ILA successfully creates a cohesive group that passionately write campaign letters. Promoting misinformation on gun death and gun usage, ILA promotes the myth that more guns leads to less crimes. In reality it’s the opposite. ILA further promotes an insurgent philosophy, where people defend their freedom by guns instead of by ballots.

The most dangerous result of NRA lobby is forcing guns into international domain. Right after 9-11, NRA lobbied to allow pilots to carry guns into their cockpit, which leads to many disputes with other countries where guns are not allowed. Today, NRA is arguing for arming ship crews with guns, where crew members are mostly civilians and the presence of guns simply make internal dispute more volatile and confrontation with pirates more deadly. US stance on gun issue also runs into dispute with other countries whose harbors do not welcome guns.

The profound absurdity of gun lobby has made the United States most violent country in the industrial nations. The gun death rate of US (10.3 per 100,000) is the highest among all countries with national income higher than $15,000. It’s 2 times of Canada (4.8 per 100,000), 5 times of Germany (1.6 per 100,000), 25 times of UK (0.4 per 100,000), and 100 times of Japan (0.07 per 100,000).

It is time for us the face the absurdity of gun lobby and its deadly consequence. We cannot be held hostage by a group of extremists. We ask for common sense gun laws, and demand basic public safety.

Filed under: Gun and liberty, NRA

NRA sues Pittsburgh mayor, council over gun law

PITTSBURGH, PA – The National Rifle Association has sued Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and the City Council over the legality of a city law requiring gun owners to report their lost or stolen guns.

The NRA says the law “severely restricts and/or infringes” on the constitutional right to keep firearms in homes. The NRA and four individuals also argue in the suit that the city does not have the authority to regulate the ownership of firearms.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in Allegheny County Court. The council approved the legislation in December, and it became law 10 days later without Ravenstahl’s signature.

The NRA also has challenged a series of gun-control measures passed by Philadelphia’s City Council.
Report from Philly.com

Filed under: News report, NRA, Pennsylvania