Tuesday, March 26, 2013

President of NRA David Keene Shows NRA Arrogance on Gun Control Measures

"Wayne and I had both warned that if the president were to win a second term," Keene said, "it would be but a matter of time before he launched an assault on private firearms ownership. And that is what has happened." (Interview with Howard Fineman, Huffington Post)

Talk about delusional in order to sell more firearms, this is it.  Guess they missed Newtown and the impact it had across America which started individuals demanding gun/ammo control along with much tougher background checks.  People on the left were mad at President Obama for not doing anything on gun control in his first four years.  NRA doesn't think twice about lying and stirring up people in order to sell more guns/ammo to gun enthusiast.  Charlton Heston most likely wouldn't recognize today's NRA.

What we are seeing today from the NRA is an organization formed for gun owners to tout gun safety morphing into a lobbying group for gun and ammo manufacturers.  Find Wayne LaPierre creepy and David Keene, former head of American Conservative Union, someone who will do and say anything to make money.  Didn't realize his former wife embezzled from the ACU which explains why he left.  Found this from the Huffington Post interesting as the President of the NRA in the past has been a regular guy and now they named a political type?
In the years before Columbine, Aurora and Newtown became synonymous with gun violence, the National Rifle Association chose hunters and sportsmen to hold what was regarded as a ceremonial post. "They had Charlton Heston, of course, but the presidents tended to be guys from Montana or Wyoming who knew very little about politics or Washington or the media," said Craig Shirley, a political consultant and leading historian of the conservative movement.
"He's the NRA's first political president," said Shirley. 
(Keene's career also has been marked by trouble and controversy. In a sad irony given his current role, his son David was sentenced to 10 years in prison for firing a gun during a road rage incident a decade ago. More recently, Keene's former wife, Diana Hubbard Carr, pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from the American Conservative Union.)
No wonder the NRA is out of touch with most Americans including some current and former NRA members   who they refuse to acknowledge are former so their numbers stay high.  Naming Keene who was out of touch with most of America with CPAC shows that the NRA doesn't care about most Americans only the gun and ammo manufacturers as their rhetoric has shown since Newtown.  The use of scare tactics to get people to buy more guns is reprehensible.  The rhetoric is a scam so they can make more money as the NRA gun lobbyists for gun/ammo manufacturers.  What got to me out of his interview with Howard Feinman's were Keene's comments about Wayne LaPierra and the NRA after the Newtown Shooting.  Obvious that Keene refuses to face reality.
For I had asked him whether he or the NRA regretted its first responses to the mass murder of children by a killer with an assault weapon at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. 
The answer was "no." 
Not long after the December 2012 shooting, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, had said that the only way to prevent more Sandy Hooks was to place armed guards in every school. The NRA had posted a web ad calling President Barack Obama an "elitist hypocrite" because Secret Service agents are posted outside his daughters' school. More recently, the NRA has pushed its case via robocalls throughout Connecticut, including Newtown, ostensibly to fight a tide of new gun control measures pending in the state Legislature. 
Keene told me that the NRA had no regrets or second thoughts and that gun control advocates had seized on the Newtown tragedy to pursue their own unconstitutional political agenda.
"We had to try to get some balance into the conversation," he said. "And we are in better shape now than our critics and even some within our ranks believed possible when this battle started."  
Keene is delusional if he thinks the NRA is in better shape then when this battle started as the American people are turning against the NRA in much bigger numbers and demanding gun control/tightened background checks now not years away.  NRA has bought so many members of Congress that they are pretty convinced no gun control laws will pass even tightened background checks as their puppets in Congress vote the NRA line.  The very idea you can go to a gun show and buy a semi-automatic rifle with no ID from a private seller tells most people with common sense that the NRA is out of control or they would be on board with tightened background checks.

Guess the NRA leaders figure that the voters will just go along and vote their puppets back into office.  They may be in for a rude awakening in 2014 and then in 2016 because people are getting madder at the NRA and their puppets in Congress.  They can brag about gun sales going through the roof but guns/ammo are being sold mostly to the same people not to new gun owners.  With the amount of deaths of young children in homes with loaded guns, you would think the NRA would go back to pushing safety not more guns.

I want to know why when a person leaves a loaded gun in their home and a child shoots himself or someone else charges are not filed against the gun owner for child endangerment.  It makes no sense.  The number of people killed by guns today leaves you wondering when this is going to end with common sense laws passed.  No one is taking guns away but I object to anyone walking into a gun show with no ID to buy a gun from a private owner.

Watch this video from VoteVets.org and ask yourself why these type semi-automatic weapons are needed by individuals.  This ad is for Senator Flake of AZ but there are more on their website for other Senators:

More from the Interview with Howard Fineman at the Huffington Post:
Keene, LaPierre and others worked to put gun rights front and center during the 2012 GOP primaries (Mitt Romney lamely bragged about hunting "varmints") and in congressional and local races. 
The NRA and the GOP have lost ground, of course. After Newtown, surveys show that nine in 10 voters favor "universal" background checks. But the NRA remains a fearsomely focused force on the Hill, and in late March GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas -- two stars of the conservative movement -- vowed to block even a background check measure from coming to a vote. 
"Wayne and I had both warned that if the president were to win a second term," Keene said, "it would be but a matter of time before he launched an assault on private firearms ownership. And that is what has happened." 
"Gun control advocates were ready," Keene argued. "Newtown gave them the chance to do just that. They launched their current anti-gun campaign even before the kids and teachers who died in that tragedy had been buried. [Democratic] Senator [Dianne] Feinstein [of California], who had her new assault weapons bill in a drawer, pulled it out. The president and vice president went after guns. Their question was not 'What can we do to prevent gun crime or mass murders?' but 'What can we do about guns?'" 
Keene has helped plan and carry out the response to those efforts since December. The idea is to amp up gun rights support by stoking populist resentment of the supposedly "elitist" gun control advocates, to threaten members of Congress with campaign-year retaliation if they stray from the NRA-approved line, and to push for school security and mental health measures to show the organization's concern. 
Keene's roots are libertarian, but his arguments tend to be more political and legal than philosophical. 
"Gallup and other pollsters began to find that most Americans blamed not guns, but the lack of school security, a dysfunctional mental health care system and a culture of violence more than guns," he said. 
"Still, to most people, the idea of something like a universal background check sounds logical, and it therefore has public support," he conceded. "The problems lie in interpretation and execution. Should it apply to relatives, neighbors, friends or just to people who buy guns at a gun show? Should it be legal for a firearms owner to lend a shotgun to his neighbor when they go out to the duck blind or allow his nephew to use a .22 to shoot at tin cans?"
Inside the NRA and on its web page, the rhetoric is heated and apocalyptic, and almost any proposed gun regulation is treated as the first step toward a government that will "take up the guns" from law-abiding citizens. 
Keene shrewdly focuses on mechanics. 
"If it were possible to provide an essentially instantaneous background check not just for purchases from licensed dealers or private parties at gun shows but for others, that didn't impose an unreasonable burden on their right to exercise their Second Amendment rights, that would be one thing," he said. "But many of the current restrictions and proposals for universal background checks would impose just such unreasonable burdens on that fundamental right." 
At lunch and in later follow-ups by email, I asked Keene about assault weapons and other matters: 
I get guns and handguns. I get that the Constitution says the right to bear arms shall not be "infringed." But it is not the right to bear ANY kind of arms, is it? 
No, the Second Amendment does not extend to a private right to own bazookas, rocket launchers or RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades]. When the Constitution was written, the authors were concerned with making sure citizens would always have the right to own personal arms (long arms and sidearms). 
It didn't extend to cannons then, or to ballistic missiles today. The Supreme Court recognized this distinction in the [District of Columbia v.] Heller case (in 2008), which is why severe restrictions on the private ownership of fully automatic firearms imposed in the thirties are seen as legitimate. The Court said the test was whether arms in the hands of the civilian population are widely owned and commonly used for legitimate purposes.
It is the explicit language of the Court in its Heller decision that forces me to the conclusion that a ban on semi-automatic long arms such as Senator Feinstein supports will not meet constitutional muster if enacted. There are today more than 4.5 million AR-15s in private hands. They are the most used firearm in training and competitive shooting. They are widely used by hunters (particularly for varmint hunting) and are often the firearm of choice for women seeking a long arm for home protection because of their ease of handling and light recoil. 
So the NRA's educational and PR initiatives in effect make banning such weapons all the more difficult because they are becoming more "widely owned and commonly used for legitimate purposes."
We are developing several programs designed to reach beyond our base support because firearms are so much more popular today than they were a decade ago, that far more women, minorities and young people are getting involved in the shooting sports. We're trying to reach them not simply to talk about gun rights, but to let them know of the many enjoyable activities in which they might want to engage. 
Where do you see all of this headed? 
I have said consistently that gun owners and the NRA are going to lose a battle or two as we have in the past. But we aren't going to lose the war. Moreover, we aren't going away. We have sometimes taken a decade or more to roll back obnoxious restrictions or pass legislation we believe enhances gun rights, but we have never rolled over or given up.
The arrogance of Keene, LaPierre, and some more outspoken NRA members is an affront to my intelligence and ability to reason - know I am not alone.  How Keene can even think that owning a semi-automatic weapon with huge magazines is allowed by the 2nd Amendment is ludicrous.  If you want to protect your property, get a shotgun.

Many of us will be remembering the votes of House and Senate NRA members when we go to the polls in 2014/2016 and vote out the members who put the NRA over the safety of the American people.

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