6 Extreme Policies That Prove The NRA Is Out Of Step With America

Written by Zack Beauchamp

The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary has galvanized the American public to start taking the 48,000 deaths from gun violence per year seriously. Fifty four percent of Americans, according to a new ABC/Washington Post poll, favor tighter gun control — a five year high. A Huffington/YouGov poll came to similar conclusions.

Yet the National Rifle Association (NRA) will likely stand in the way, given its long history of blocking even the most minimal restrictions on gun owners. Here are six times when the NRA has been on the wrong side of what should be uncontroversial gun rules:

1. Wanted people on the terrorist watch list to be legally able to acquire guns. Inasmuch as it makes sense to have a secret “terrorism watch list,” one would think a primary reason would be to prevent people who might commit terrorism from accessing the weapons that one uses to do so. Yet people on the watch list are still allowed to by guns: in 2010 alone, at least 247 people suspected of involvement with terrorism bought guns legally. While 71 percent of NRA members support closing the so-called “terror gap,” the NRA claims efforts to close the loophole are plots by “politicians who hate the Second Amendment.”

2. Opposed required background checks on every gun sale. Forty percent of all gun sales legally take place without background checks on the purchaser, because federal law doesn’t require them for so-called “private” gun sales at places like gun shows. Eighty percent of gun crimes involve guns purchased in this fashion. NRA members recognize how dangerous this law is; 69 percent of them support a “proposal requiring all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of the people buying guns.” Yet the NRA opposes any effort to close this loophole, calling it “a stepping stone for gun control advocates seeking to ban all private sales, even among family and friends.”

3. Lobbied to allow warlords to get arms on the international market. The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is a small step towards the regulation of the massive international weapons trade, aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of murderous insurgents and terrorists. It contains zero restrictions on domestic gun markets. Yet the NRA has vigorously opposed the ATT, calling it an “attack on our Second Amendment freedoms” by “global gun grabbers.”

4. Wanted to prevent the public from accessing information about where guns come from. Though there’s a federal database that traces sales of guns used in crimes, you’ll never know what’s in there. That’s because NRA has helped muscle through the so-called “Tiahrt Amendments” (named after sponsor, former Rep. Todd Tiahrt [R-KS]) to the federal gun code, which prevent the public, journalists, academic researchers, some police officers, and people suing the gun industry from accessing crucially valuable data. The Tiahrt Amendments were passed over the objection of federal and local law enforcement.

5. Pushed to keep guns in bars. Guns and drunk people don’t mix well. Yet when the Tennessee legislature was considering banning guns in establishments that make most of their money from booze, an NRA lobbyist was given a rare opportunity to address the state GOP caucus opposing the bill. It died.

6) Supported forcing all business owners to allow guns on their property. Many business owners are understandably nervous about permitting people to bring loaded guns to work. Yet the NRA has pushed legislation in a number of states that would force businesses to allow employees to bring guns to work provided they leave them in their cars.

Interestingly, there’s not much for politicians to gain from pandering to the NRA’s gun maximalism: Despite consistent political rhetoric to the contrary, the lobby isn’t nearly as powerful as one might think.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


Related Stories:

6 Worst Reactions to the NewTown Massacre

Senator Feinstein Promises Action on Gun Control. Can Congress Deliver?

Actually, Mentally Ill People Are More Likely to Be Victims of Violence


Photo: kevin dooley/flickr


Winn Adams
Winn A4 years ago

The NRA is not only out of step with America but with its members. The people at the top of that association are right wing mentally ill people who need serious counseling for a very long time.

Robert H.
Robert Hamm5 years ago

Wanda just top. No one is trying to make guns illegal. They are trying to make certain guns VERY hard or impossible for the general public to OWN. I have no problem with you going to a gun range and rent the weapon for fun.

Wanda B.
Wanda Bagram5 years ago

San Jose, CA police officer Leroy Pile made this video 6 years ago called the Truth about Firearms. This is a very educational video as in these 10 minutes he intends to educate the public away from the sensationalism of News Medias to the actual truth and facts about the topic at hand. He begins his video by asking all viewers to please set emotions aside and please just concentrate on the facts so we can make an all-around educated assessment on the subject of firearms without the outer injections from a News Media Opinion so each individual can freely compose their own opinion from the facts.

Jeffrey Masters
Jeffrey Masters5 years ago

Mark ,2nd amen constitutional document is just words on paper , written by slave owners who cribbed language from Magna Carta .It can be rewritten or ignored, and should be.steven B
"Gun culture " is a oxymoron. I dare you to to present your opinion to the parents, friends and loved ones at the funerals . Cerberus have already received their instructions to divest stock in the ironically titled "Freedom Corp"

Mark P.
Mark Porrey5 years ago

You know the only reason you can say these things is because of the Second Amendment

Claude L.
Claude L.5 years ago

This article is enough to kill any credibility you may have had with me. Your information is flawed and incomplete. It is clear that you have never read the planned UN small arms treaty nor the legislation bills that the NRA has opposed or why they opposed them. This article is nothing but another propaganda piece in the effort to misinform and disarm the American public. Incomplete truth and blatant lies seem to be OK with you as long as it suits YOUR agenda, whatever that is. Despicable anti-American propaganda based on lies is not for me. I am off your subscriber list now.

Anne A.
Anne Armstrong5 years ago

I don't want to have to see armed guards everywhere I go. Mass murder hasn't been limited to schools. If we restrict the weapons that have high capacity clips and drums, there are still so many choices left for protection and hunting. We would still be a million miles away from the right to own a musket to be part of a militia. You can now BE a militia on your own when we have police, a Nat'l Guard and a military that was unimaginable 200 plus years ago. Mass murder by one, in only seconds, was also unimaginable when the 2nd Amendmant was written. What we have now was not what they had in mind. The NRA used to be about gun safety wasn't it? It's highest priority now is to protect the profits of gun manufacturers.

Lola M.
Lola Land5 years ago

Wanna B ... You are confused.
You claimed that, "the Bushmaster Rifle wasn’t even used in the CT Massacre"
and submitted your "evidence", a factually innacurate and highly unreliable Youtube video

My response:
"Law enforcement officials said that Adam Lanza was armed with four firearms when he started his rampage at a Connecticut elementary school Friday that ended in the deaths of 20 children and seven adults, but nearly all the killing was done with just one of the guns: a .223 caliber Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle."

Thank you Cletus, and the same to you. :)

Robert H.
Robert Hamm5 years ago

The weapon in the trunk was reported to be a shotgun last I heard

I even saw the wood on the stock of the weapon as they were pulling it out.. Whey the HELL would I take the word of a YouTube video as proof of anything LOLOLOLOLOl

Wanda B.
Wanda Bagram5 years ago

@ Lola M.- Incredible. My posting actual video documented evidence which shows clearly the inconsistent clash of claims from the mass media coverage is my version of spreading lies? So in your mind the ‘truth’ is to do what you just did, huh? Debunk the evidence by insulting the person whom presented the evidence and then call the evidence a lie without presented a shred of proof of your claim.
This is the exact reason Many upon Many Americans have an extremely hard time taking your tone seriously.

@Cletus W.- Why is it that you obviously are putting in the work to present a documented format in your case but at the exact same time you agree with Lola M. simplistic and all be it pulp of an argument vs documented video evidence?