GUN Untold Story of Election 2008: The Death of the NRA

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by [DWI], Dec 4, 2008.

  1. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    http://www.alternet.org/rights/109841/untold_story_of_election_2008:_the_death_of_the_nra/

    Last month, voters across the country took a cue from the late Charlton Heston and pried the assault weapon from the NRA's cold, dead hands.

    Although the gun group unleashed everything in its arsenal to defeat Barack Obama and dozens of down ticket gun-control candidates, it lost by a margin as historic as the war chest it opened in an attempt to convince voters that Democrats were mortal enemies of the Second Amendment. Despite expending nearly $7 million in a national fear campaign, NRA-endorsed candidates lost 80 percent of their races against gun-control candidates. More than 90 percent of candidates endorsed by the NRA's nemesis, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, won their races. If 2008 was, in the NRA's own words, "arguably the most important year in its history," then the election results suggest that the gun group is arguably the most overhyped and impotent special-interest lobby in the country. The NRA even got its chamber cleaned in its home state of Virginia.

    The sweeping victory for gun control has been one of the most underreported stories of the election. This is largely because it was immediately overshadowed by the trendy postelection narrative of spiking gun sales and runs on assault weapons. In recent weeks, it seems as if every TV news program and newspaper in the country has featured some variation on the following story: Anxious Americans are cleaning out their local gun stores in anticipation of a.) Barack Obama's radical anti-gun agenda; b.) social chaos engendered by economic collapse; or c.) both.

    No doubt thousands of paranoid gun owners have purchased Glocks and AR-15 assault rifles out of such fears. And it is true that the economic crisis has fueled an interest in personal protection and even Northern Idaho-style survivalism. But sensational stories about booming holiday-season gun sales obscure a more profound phenomenon: the coalescence of a new consensus, joined by the majority of the nation's gun owners, in favor of what gun controllers call "commonsense reform." A subtext of this phenomenon is the evaporation, first witnessed in 2006 and reinforced last month, of the idea that guns are a sure thing conservative wedge issue.

    Nobody can accuse Obama of campaigning dishonestly on the issue of gun control. The nation's first modern urban president repeatedly explained that his understanding of the Second Amendment included the need for restrictions aimed at reducing gun violence, especially in the cities. In a sign that he intended to win on the issue by shooting straight with voters, he even mentioned his gun-control agenda during his Denver acceptance speech, challenging the idea that gun control was a third rail that guaranteed defeat in states like Ohio and Virginia.

    As codified in his urban policy platform, Obama consistently advocated for increasing law enforcement's ability to trace guns by reinstituting tracking legislation repealed by the Bush administration; closing the famous "gun show loophole" that allows gun buyers to avoid background checks; mandating additional safety features on U.S.-manufactured guns; and resurrecting the expired ban on assault weapons and making it permanent.

    Needless to say, every plank of this agenda is vigorously opposed by the NRA (spokespersons for whom did not return repeated requests for comment).

    Gun control is not a front-burner issue for an incoming administration faced with economic crisis and two wars, but the NRA is right to be worried. Not only do Obama and Biden have strong gun control records, the incoming attorney general is a one-man gun control lobby unto himself. As deputy A.G. in the Clinton administration, Eric Holder advocated federal licensing requirements for handguns, a three-day waiting period on some gun sales and rationing handgun sales to no more than one per month. More recently, he signed an amicus brief in support of the District of Columbia's handgun ban when it came before the Supreme Court. The conservative site newsmax.com calls Holder a "gun control nightmare."

    The NRA is going to have a hard time persuading America that it should awake from this nightmare. Not only do majorities support these strictures, the gun lobby recently lost one of its most effective arguments. When the Supreme Court decided in June in favor of individual gun rights in District of Colombia v. Heller, it settled the nagging question about whether the Constitution protected the right of an individual to own a gun, or whether that right only existed in the context of public militias. While in one sense Heller was a major victory for the gun lobby, it also deprived it of the legal ambiguity that allowed it to bludgeon gun owners with the idea that any gun-control law would inevitably lead to ATF SWAT teams -- or, in the case of NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, U.N. blue helmets -- taking away all of their guns. Crucially, the decision, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, stated that "[l]ike most rights, the Second Amendment is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."

    "Heller legally established the middle ground that we have long advocated," says Daniel R. Vice, senior attorney with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "It basically said the government could regulate guns in public while guaranteeing the right to private ownership. It obliterates the NRA's 'slippery slope' argument that any gun law [could someday] lead to the government taking away your guns."

    There is more bad news for the post-Charlton Heston NRA. Along with losing its scariest tactic and the aura of being able to swing elections (and thus scare Democrats away from championing gun control), it is also being challenged on its long-held assumption that it and it alone speaks for America's gun owners and hunters. A couple of years ago, the American Hunters and Sharpshooters Association was launched by Ray Schoenke, a pro-gun-control hunter, sportsman and liberal Democrat, to create an alternative home for those who support the Second Amendment as well as gun control. Along with advocating "commonsense" gun law reform, Schoenke's group backs strong environmental-protection laws in defense of hunting and fishing lands. The contradiction between the NRA's purported love of the outdoors lifestyle and its alliance with reactionary anti-environment politicians has long been the organization's soft underbelly, ripe for attack. Schoenke's group is going after it.

    "I've been saying for years that Democrats shouldn't cede the gun vote to the NRA," says Schoenke. "There are over 80 million gun owners in the U.S., and fewer than 3 million belong to that group. They do not speak for all of us -- especially those of us who are Democrats, progressives and conservationists."

    Not surprisingly, the NRA dismisses the AHSA as a sham left-wing project that gives cover to anti-gun politicians posing as friends of hunters. "[ASHA is nothing more than] an effort to mislead and divide the gun-owning community and to dilute gun owners' political impact," fumed an NRA blogger shortly before last month's election, when AHSA's Schoenke was touring states like Ohio and Minnesota in support of Barack Obama. "Anti-gun activists are creat[ing] new organizations with names designed to confuse gun owners and hide the real agenda."

    While the AHSA does still have the feel of a letterhead organization, it is possible that it could one day begin to rival the NRA for membership and stature among gun owners. For the NRA, the realization that not all gun owners are Second Amendment absolutists who take NRA political ratings as voting guides must be maddening. The frustration will only deepen in the coming years, as commonsense gun-control legislation is crafted and passed with public support.

    Until then, the NRA will continue to believe it speaks for America's gun owners, threatening its lobbying wrath on any politician who tries to restrict the right of Americans to buy and sell whatever guns they like, in secrecy and without a paper trail. As the new gun laws go into effect, the group can be expected to increase the pitch of its warnings about impending fascism and the dark shadow of the United Nations. The question is whether anybody will be listening.
     
  2. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

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    I have but one word: bullshit

    Guns and gun control were non-issues this election. The driver for the election of the democrats was economic trouble and a nation weary of neocon politics. While the gun-grabbers like the Bradys may think this is a huge victory on their part, they know damn well that their lobby interests aren't what got Obama elected or strengthened the democrat hold on the legislature; they are merely beneficiaries.

    All those things that these idiots believe are "common sense" gun regulations and controls ought to be called what they really are: feel-good laws that don't work and only harm the law-abiding.
     
  3. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    Yeah, thats why fun sales have soared

    lol
     
  4. no7fish

    no7fish New Member

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    Wow, I don't even know where to start. That is the most fucktarded spewing of BS I've seen all week.
     
  5. That is nothing but wishful thinking on the part of an ignorant person. It would be a shame to waste one's time worrying about what they said.
     
  6. Bloody Sunday

    Bloody Sunday OT Supporter

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    Well, that certainly took a turn for the worst there at the end. Everything seemed fine and informative then all of a sudden it's like "FUCK YOU NRA, YOU BUNCH OF OLD, OUT OF TOUCH FUCKS!"

    :ugh:
     
  7. bpa00

    bpa00 New Member

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    The AHSA has to be a front... a wolf in sheep's clothing so to speak... Although I could not bring myself to vote for either Obama or McCain, overall I thought Obama was the much better candidate... However, based on the sole issue of the RKBA, there is no question who the better candidate was... The fact that a 2a group, whose primary issue is to protect our gun rights, would endorse Barrack Obama... tells me that it MUST be an anti-gun front group...

    As for the NRA... I am a member, even though I don't like a lot of what they do... I feel that instead of giving us "cold hard facts" to use against the anti-gun crowd... They feed us TONS of junk emails mostly made up of mis-quotes, creative statistics, 1/2 truths, and outright lies... Now while this may be a necessary evil due to the anti-gun crowd using these kinds of tactics as their primary weapon (and w/ a lot of success mind you), it still doesn't sit right with me... That being said, the NRA is the biggest and most effective organization looking out for our rights, and I will continue to support them... even though I have my differences of opinion with them...

    As for the 2008 election... In the wake of economic disaster, gun control was barely part of the discussion... so this article is really jumping to some pretty big assumptions...
     
  8. 1979TA

    1979TA OT Supporter

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    AHSA IS a front. They were founded with Brady money. If you read their website, they basically want UK laws.
     
  9. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere OT Supporter

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  10. yar1182

    yar1182 New Member

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    I thought the death of the nra happened back when the clintons enacted the first AWB. Then it became the zombie undead NRA. I guess they are now the zombie undead NRA x2
     
  11. IHAVECRABS

    IHAVECRABS Diversity is our strength. LOLOL

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    :rofl: wishful thinking to say the least.

    more like dreaming
     
  12. KNYTE

    KNYTE I'm Not Kidding.

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    Reading the comments is the best part.
     
  13. idleprocess

    idleprocess Bring a dollar with you baby in the cold cold grou

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    Alternet - a more dependable source of left-wing propaganda than even The Huffington Post.

    Last I checked, Obama didn't talk much about gun control during the campaign, he didn't win in a 75/25 landslide in the popular vote, and the average gun owner didn't tick off a check box for "common sense gun control."
     
  14. 1979TA

    1979TA OT Supporter

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    I can't believe I read this. A level headed GAY LIBERAL?!

     
  15. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    The whole point of this article was that there IS a "central" position on "Gun Control" and that many gun owners are in the middle. We WANT to own guns AND we want more control of guns.

    Many of us recognize the the "anti" gun control laws are really about PROFITS for gun manufacturers. They know that more guns in the hands of irresponsible people mean more likelihood that those guns will be lost, stolen and eventually end up being melted down by some law enforcement agency. This keeps guns as a "consumable" item (since the owner will want to replace the lost/stolen guns) creating even more of a market for manufacture of NEW guns.

    When guns are kept in the hands of RESPONSIBLE, law abiding citizens, there is less of a need to manufacture them since well maintained guns don't wear out like automobilies (less profits). I'm not going to be purchasing more guns than I need. I might upgrade a hunting rifle but I'm likely to sell the old one to someone else (who might otherwise buy a new gun). Manufacturers see this as a problem.. they need to keep them as a "consumable" item.

    Gun Owners in the "middle" want things like... handguns, rifles and shotguns for protection and hunting.

    We would like to see a special gun "license" - similar to a driver's license that shows that you have had a background check performed, taken a special safety and PERFORMANCE test, etc. A Driver's license does not identify how many automobiles you own - or even IF you own one - they show you are authorized to drive one. This removes a concern about "gun confiscation" by the government since there would be no way to know HOW many guns you owned.

    We would like to see VOLUNTARY gun registration so you can get it back in case of loss or theft, or in able to aid law enforcement in tracing efforts. It could have an incentive, for instance, include a million dollar liability policy to protect you in the event of a lawsuit. It could also include a reward for return of the weapon.

    We also believe that there should be stricter controls in order to keep more guns from the hands of criminals. Things like a ban on assault weapons (and converting them) UNLESS someone is specially licensed for them. There could be provisions for private citizens to apply for an asssult-license the same way you apply for a carry permit, and you would have to state a reasonable purpose for owning one. Assault weapons however SHOULD have required registration UNLESS the owner is specifically exempt.

    We would like to see a National law similar to the 10-20-Life law in Florida. The law stipulates that a criminal can go to jail for 10 years if a gun was used in certain felonies, 20 years if the gun was fired and 25 years to life if anyone was seriously hurt or killed. This law has been enacted by several states and Law Enforcement has seen the impact of it in terms of less carrying of illegal handguns by criminals. An example given by a Police Chief was that they used to always find guns whenever they found illegal drugs. After the law however, they were finding many less, and often NO guns when they busted drug dealers. Reason? They were willing to risk a couple years in jail for the drugs, but not 10-20 for the guns. I personally would like to see it as a "5-10-20-Life" law where someone who is in possession of, or uses a gun in ANY way (other than at their own home, a licensed gun range, or in self-defense) would receive 5 years of community service if they are found to be lacking a gun license (like driving a car without a license).

    The thing is... when you put stiffer penalities and restrictions on guns... you help to INSURE that guns stay in the hands of law-abiding citizens and OUT of the hands of criminals and irresponsible yahoos.
     
  16. david_4x4

    david_4x4 New Member

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    Fuck the NRA.
     
  17. Bloody Sunday

    Bloody Sunday OT Supporter

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    the problem is that any gun law is unconstitutional. i used to be in the same boat. but denying a constitutional right or saying that a right is a privilege is outrageous the more I read into it.
     
  18. bpa00

    bpa00 New Member

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    I dunno... I tend to agree with justice Scalia when he stated:

    I think some gun legislation/control would make sense.... but would prefer too little gun control over too much gun control.... or in other words the slippery slope that many of you fear ("give gun control peeps an inch, they'll take a mile")...
     
  19. Thunderbear

    Thunderbear Yggdrasil's Forester.

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    JFPO for life...
     
  20. bpa00

    bpa00 New Member

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    I consider my beliefs very moderate when compared to most "gun nuts"... I agree & disagree w/ a lot of your positions...

    I'm not sure I buy that... I think people are so against ANY form of gun control because they believe that any small compromise... will lead to MAJOR restrictions over time...

    Since gun ownership is a RIGHT... You should not have to pass tests like you do a driver's license... However, I don't like that it is so easy to buy a gun w/ no questions asked... Possibly some form of ID that showed that you have recently passed a background check, would be a step in the right direction... I think even the most hardened gun nut believes that it should be illegal for felons and people with severe mental problems to own guns... The problem is, that since un-licensed dealers/individuals can legally sell a gun to ANYONE w/out running a background check, it is very easy for criminals to get them from otherwise law abiding citizens... Will it stop a criminal who really wants a gun from getting one?? NO... but it will make it just that much harder which IMHO, is a good thing...

    The problem is that the people making these bans on "assault weapons", tend to know very little to nothing about guns... They use "assault weapon" to mean a VERY WIDE variety of things... IMHO, an "assault weapon" would mean a full auto machine gun, grenade launcher, etc... which are already illegal except to those who spend a lot of time and $$ getting the proper licenses... Why make an "assault weapon" ban when these types of things are already illegal??

    Overall... I'm not sure of the best answer... but there HAS to be a way to make it harder for criminals to purchase/own guns, while preserving the rights of law abiding citizens from being "infringed" upon...
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  21. Asses Maximus

    Asses Maximus Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Guns d

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    When you add training and licensing requirements, you add time and money. Some people cannot afford the time or money from work and because of this you have systematically eliminated them from gun ownership and denied them their 2nd amendment right.

    Licensing and training wont keep bad guys (the biggest threat with guns) from getting guns so I really dont see a point to any of it. All it does is complicate things for the good guys.

    I guess I'm just too far right on this topic to agree with you....
     
  22. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere OT Supporter

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    "modern urban" = black? :ugh2:
     
  23. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    Not to let the cat out of the bag too soon but that was just a cut and paste comment from the site. That said, it wasn't that long ago that you were telling me that something like open carry or concealed carry (forget which) needed to have training and licensing was it?
     
  24. Asses Maximus

    Asses Maximus Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Guns d

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    Oh...you should have put it in quotes before I had heart attack.

    You are correct, it was licensing, but I have seen the error of my way.
     
  25. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    Always good to hear :big grin:
     

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