Wednesday, December 19, 2012

NRA Repeatedly Responds To Massacres By Lobbying For Weaker Gun Safety

The National Rifle Association finally broke its silence and announced they would hold a press conference a week after the massacre of 27 people, most of them children around 6 years old, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. In the official statement, gun advocates’ most prominent lobby suggested they would make “meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

While the nature of these “meaningful contributions” will be revealed at Friday’s conference, the NRA’s response to other mass shootings is historically to offer condolences to victims’ families and continue to push a radical agenda to make it easier to get guns and carry them in more places. In fact, some of their most extreme legislation has been passed in the wake of a mass shooting.


5 Dead. Minneapolis, MN, 9/27/12 

The NRA stayed silent. A month and a half later, an NRA-backed bill was introduced in the Texas Legislature for 2013 that would reduce the training required to get a concealed carry permit to just 4 hours. The NRA pushed hard for a similar bill but were defeated in Ohio the day before the elementary school shooting in Connecticut.

12 Dead. Aurora, CO, 7/20/12

NRA sent out a letter to supporters asking for donations to protect the future of Second Amendment rights. Twenty days later, the NRA lobbied for a 2013 Florida bill to legalize carrying exposed firearms in public.

5 Dead. Seattle, WA, 5/29/12 

One month later, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) signed a law repealing restrictions on certain kinds of gun sales and relaxing licensing requirements for gun dealers. The NRA celebrated the legislation as “an end to South Carolina’s experiment with radical anti-gun policies.”

5 Dead. Tulsa, OK, 4/6/12

The NRA ignored the tragedy, but published a blog post the very next day discussing the Tulsa Arms Show. One month later, Oklahoma passed a law allowing people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit if they live in a state that does not require a concealed-carry permit. Reciprocity of permit laws is one of the NRA’s pet issues.

3 Dead. Chardon, OH, 2/27/12

An NRA spokesman assured Ohio their “thoughts and prayers are with the entire family and the Chardon community.” Twenty two days later, the NRA successfully pushes for an Indiana law, the first of its kind, allowing civilians to open fire on public servants — including police officers — if they feel they are the victims of an “unlawful intrusion.” According to the bill’s author, the specific targeting of “public servants” was added after the state Supreme Court ruled there was no right to resist unlawful entry by police officers. That case involved a man who had assaulted an officer answering a domestic-violence call.

6 Dead. Tucson, AZ, 1/8/11 

The NRA issued a statement denouncing the “senseless tragedy” and offered prayers to victims’ families. Three months later, the NRA lobbied the Kansas state Senate to pass a bill allowing concealed weapons in every building without metal detectors in March. When that bill stalled, legislators tacked it on to a law passed in April allowing concealed weapons on the grounds of any public or private school or school-sponsored events.

13 Dead. Fort Hood, TX, 11/5/09 

The NRA stayed silent for 5 days and then argued that restricting access to firearms would be unproductive. Six months later, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) introduced an NRA-backed law that prevents military commanders from discussing gun safety with off-base soldiers who deny they are thinking about hurting themselves or others. The NRA supported the law as a counterbalance to attempts by the Department of Defense to track off-base soldiers’ ownership of guns after the Fort Hood massacre. Inhofe’s law took effect at the end of 2010.


The NRA is already bracing itself for a fight against a proposed assault weapons ban. In an NRA News Update webcast, host Ginny Simone called the ban “a failed experiment.”

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