Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Defying the NRA Death Lobby

Half a century ago 60 percent of Americans favored a ban on hand guns. Now, 53 percent don’t want to outlaw even assault rifles.

Such a massive shift in public opinion has been spurred, sponsored and legislatively enforced by the National Rifle Association, tagged by journalists as the gun lobby but more accurately described as the gun death lobby.

As Mitt Romney disdains new firearm restrictions in favor of “changing the heart of the American people” and Democrats, including the President, shy away from gun control, advocates point out that the NRA may be a “paper tiger” in elections yet terrorizes Congress with its rating system.

“We do absolutely everything they ask,” says a Democratic staffer,

The few vocal politicians who resist include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is too rich to cower, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, whose husband was gunned down on a commuter train. Elsewhere, even after shocks such as Aurora, there is silence on Capitol Hill.

Yet, isn’t an election year the time for voters to push Congressional candidates on the issue? 

Shouldn't both presidential candidates be under pressure to move toward some semblance of gun control?

Shouldn’t the silent majority that abhors random violence be pushing back against an organization that last year arrogantly refused to even discuss the issue with the White House? "Why should I or the N.R.A.” huffed its president, “go sit down with a group of people that have spent a lifetime trying to destroy the Second Amendment in the United States?"

As those who retain their humanity in the face of such bluster try to redefine guns as a public health issue, isn’t it far past time for voters to push back against the death lobby? 

Shouldn't they let its paid advocates know what's really in their hearts?
 
Update: A Friday New York Times editorial says it all:

At a moment when the country needs resolve and fearlessness to reduce the affliction of gun violence that kills more than 80 people a day, both presidential candidates have kicked away the opportunity for leadership. On Wednesday, reacting to the mass murder in Colorado last week, Mitt Romney and President Obama paid lip service to the problem but ducked when the chance arose to stand up for their former principles.”

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they no longer have a heart. Perhaps they just couldn't care less?

Cliff said...

So who lobbies in opposition to the NRA in DC? I'm sure they would boost their membership on days like today.