Last week, I shook in revulsion as I watched the newest NRA video that was released one hour before President Barack Obama officially outlined his gun control measures in response to Sandy Hook.
"Are the president’s kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards in their schools? Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he is nothing but another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security. Protection for their kids and gun free zones for ours."
Political talk show hosts both on the left and right were stunned at the obscene nature of the message, targeting the president’s children, who are always under possible threat because of who they are. Political pornography, one said.
I am not surprised. The more research I do, the more appalled I become. If you think that the NRA represents the average gun owner in this country, you had better look twice. The NRA has been in bed with the gun industry since the mid 2000s when there was successful passage of the 2005 law, "The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act," which eliminated liability for gun industry products.
Cost? The NRA received $40 million in gun industry contributions. Wayne LaPierre, NRA’s CEO, laments the fact that no new gun regulations are needed if we would just enforce the gun laws we already have.
The enforcing agency is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Did you know there is no current ATF director, and it hasn’t had one in years? In 2006, Congressman James Sensenbrenner slipped into the updated Patriot Act an amendment requiring Senate approval of the ATF director’s appointment. Sensenbrenner was awarded the NRA Defender of Freedom Award that year.
The ATF has also been gutted by NRA sponsored bills such as the Tiahrt amendment, sponsored by a former Kansas congressman and attached to a spending bill. The amendment made it much more difficult for police to trace weapons that were used in murders and shootings back to point of origin that is unscrupulous dealers. It also forced the destruction within 24 hours of the records of any gun buyer whose background check was approved.
According to a 2012 poll, clearly 74 percent of all current NRA members support mandatory background checks for all gun purchases, a position stridently opposed by NRA leadership.
The reason is obvious: gun sales.
In 1995, Wayne LaPierre, in light of President Clinton’s efforts to ban assault weapons, spoke about the ATF, the so-called enforcer of today’s current gun laws: "If I were to select a jack-booted group of fascists who were perhaps as large a danger to American society as I could pick today, I would pick the ATF. They are a shame and a disgrace to our country."
Within a week, then-President H.W. Bush resigned his lifelong NRA membership.