In a Monday court filing, the National Rifle Association asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a 1968 law that prevents licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to people between the ages of 18 and 21.
The NRA, along with two nineteen-year-olds, aims to overturn the federal law that restricts the sale of handguns and ammo to anyone under 21 years of age. While individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 cannot obtain a handgun from a licensed dealer per the law, they can still obtain a gun through other channels. The law also does not prevent individuals between 18 and 21 from obtaining shotguns and rifles.
“Because everyone who sells firearms on anything even approaching a regular basis must be federally licensed, this restriction precludes law abiding adults under the age of 21 from purchasing handguns from the most common (and most logical) sources,” the filing reads.
In 2012, the first challenge to this federal gun law was rejected in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The court held that the age restriction was “consistent with a longstanding tradition of targeting select groups’ ability to access and to use arms for the sake of public safety.”
Right-wing commentator Ted Nugent drew criticism, and even calls for his removal from the National Rifle Association’s board of directors, after he issued a series of race-baiting rants in response to the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. Those statements were only the tip of the iceberg.
Here’s a question.
Why is it that National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent gets away with joking about machine-gunning South Central Los Angeles residents from a helicopter, equating them with the feral hogs he likes to hunt in the same manner?
In a profile that appeared in the Washington Post’s Sunday magazine last weekend, Nugent detailed how he befriended Texas governor Rick Perry while at the same time offering a policy solution to the state’s feral hog problem:
Nugent says it was at his suggestion that Perry, dealing with feral hog populations that were destroying crops, signed a controversial law allowing private hunters to shoot the animals from helicopters. Nugent has been up more than once, using an automatic rifle and donating the meat to Hogs for a Cause, a Christian ministry that provides game meat to food pantries.
According to the article’s author, “it’s a story he loves to tell” and that he repeated during a paid appearance before an association of entrepreneurs in San Antonio:
“Lots of places have a hog problem,” Nugent said. “In Texas, the hogs have a Ted problem.” He described the giddy joy of shooting from the open copter with an M4 machine gun. “And four hours later I had 450 dead hogs,” he said to loud applause. Then he added an afterthought that produced ample laughs: “And now if they would just take me to South Central. … Okay! I kid.”
It is very simple. If a political opponent’s complexion isn’t dark enough to kindle the deepest, subconscious racial fears of those to whom you are appealing - just photoshop it!
Joe Scarborough on Thursday accused the National Rifle Association of using a shaded picture of President Barack Obama that appears in the gun group’s new ad targeting Sen. Joe Manchin.
“He’s shaded awfully. I think the shading is rather dramatic on the side of his face,” Scarborough said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
After getting the cold shoulder from the federal government for 17 years, U.S. scientists who study the public health impact of gun-related violence are finally getting a warm embrace. A report issued today by the National Research Council (NRC) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) lays out a national strategy for firearms research that identifies more than a dozen possible topics.
The report comes 5 months after President Barack Obama announced an end to the ban on public health research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that had been in place since 1996. The White House also asked NRC and IOM to organize a blue ribbon committee of firearms experts, criminologists, and public health scientists, which was charged with surveying the existing literature and coming up with recommendations for future research.
One key need, it says, is simply more and better information on how many guns are in the United States and how often they cause death or injury. “The problem is there just aren’t any data,” committee Chair Alan Leshner told ScienceInsider in a telephone interview. (Leshner is CEO of AAAS, publisher of ScienceInsider.) “Others on the committee may not have been surprised, but I was.”
The best available estimates put firearm-related deaths in the United States at more than 30,000 per year, with twice as many nonfatal injuries. That is the highest rate among industrialized nations. But details about the circumstances of the deaths and injuries, let alone their causes, are often lacking. And the number of guns across the country—both legally and illegally owned—is simply unknown. Political lobbying groups such as the National Rifle Association have vigorously fought to prevent such data from being collected by the federal government.
National Rifle Association padding membership claims while hiding losses
By JOHN DAWKINS - Capitol Hill Blue
February 20, 2013
Insiders at the embattled National Rifle Association say the organization is padding its claims of recent increases in membership and say more members are leaving amid criticisms over strident positions taken by controversial leader Wayne LaPierre.
“In reality, our membership is probably dropping,” says one embittered NRA staffer, who asked not to be identified. “It’s hard to say because our membership department is always playing games with the numbers.”
If this continues, perhaps there will be room for a true gun owners group to take the NRA’s place. Once can only hope.
Believe it or not, what’s missing from the current shout-fest over guns and gun control is the voice of gun owners.
Yes, the National Rifle Association has been screaming its head off since the tragedy at Sandy Hook, but the NRA doesn’t speak for the country’s 100 million gun owners. If it did, it wouldn’t have just four million members. Some “gun guys” (as I like to call them) probably support the NRA without joining, but if only 4% are signing up, it’s safe to say a large majority of them want nothing to do with the NRA’s angry extremism.
As for those on the gun-control side, they often go beyond calling for policy changes, about which reasonable people can disagree, and issue broad-brush insults that aren’t acceptable in other contexts. When sportscaster Bob Costas blames “gun culture” for the murder-suicide of an NFL linebacker, gun owners say, “Wait a minute. I’m gun culture. And my guns haven’t hurt anybody.”
A lot of assumptions are made about gun owners, by the NRA and gun-control proponents alike. What nobody ever seems to do, though, is listen to them.
A good discussion of some of the issues that get left on the table when the two sides are more intent on shouting than on actually making things better. Of course, as a Democrat & Lefty who is also a gun owner like the author, I do have my own biases. However I also believe we will all be better off by all of us listening to each other.
WAUSAU, Wisconsin—The National Rifle Association will wait until the “Connecticut effect” has subsided to resume its push to weaken the nation’s gun laws, according to a top NRA lobbyist speaking at the NRA’s Wisconsin State Convention this weekend.
Though the NRA had been tight-lipped about how the Newtown tragedy would affect their efforts, lobbyist Bob Welch, who represents the Wisconsin NRA group, was anything but during their yearly meeting.
“We have a strong agenda coming up for next year, but of course a lot of that’s going to be delayed as the ‘Connecticut effect’ has to go through the process,” Welch, a former Republican state senator, told the Wisconsin’s NRA State Association during the legislative update. The group’s president, Jeff Nass, had previously mentioned that they would push the Republican-controlled legislature to pass a Stand Your Ground law, the likes of which became famous following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.
The National Rifle Association is worried that Kansas might try to discourage gun ownership. So it is throwing its weight behind a bill that would prevent the state from spending money lobbying against “any legal consumer product”—a category that includes, among other things, tobacco and junk food.
Although State Bill 45, debated yesterday by a state Senate committee, focuses on lobbying efforts at the state and local level, a broad interpretation of the language could prevent Kansas from spending anything on programs that discourage the use of harmful products. The bill could “scuttle public health campaigns and other proven public health programs,” the Topeka Capital-Journal reported yesterday, citing testimony from a Democratic senator and a representative from the American Cancer Society.