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home : opinions : editorials February 05, 2016

2/24/2013 10:00:00 PM
Editorial: NRA paranoia is unfounded
The Daily Courier

Trust the National Rifle Association to hyperventilate over what is now simply a Justice Department memo that its leaders assume to be another tactic of President Obama to seize all Americans' guns.

At the root of this latest furor is a document, stating the success of universal background checks would depend in part on "requiring gun registration" and that gun buybacks would not be effective "unless massive and coupled with a ban," an Associated Press story states.

The draft memo was written by a Justice Department crime researcher, critiquing the effectiveness of gun control proposals, even some of the president's, according to the AP. A Justice Department official said the memo was an unfinished review of gun violence research and does not reflect administration policy.

Just how the NRA got its hands on this memo isn't clear, but the gun rights group has gotten back on its bandwagon, even though, as widely reported, the president has never - repeat, never - indicated he favored banning guns and confiscating them from law-abiding citizens.

Then, on Saturday, the NRA's CEO, Wayne LaPierre, said during a speech at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo that "this so-called universal background check that you're hearing about all over the media ... is aimed at one thing: It's aimed at registering your guns. And when another tragic opportunity presents itself, that registry will be used to confiscate your guns," CNN reported. The NRA leader went on to challenge a fresh gun control push as "the single most devastating attack on the Second Amendment that this country has ever seen."

What is LaPierre talking about? Is he stirring a pot that's not even on the stove?

That would seem so judging by what Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy said in a CNN broadcast Sunday morning when he told listeners that expanded background checks in Senate legislation would not include provisions to register gun owners.

The Vermont Democratic senator said very clearly that if nothing in a background check indicated felonious behavior involving a gun, information gathered on a gun buyer would be deleted from the system.

Leahy also called for Republicans and gun advocates to "lower the rhetoric and talk reality."

The reality is pure and simple: No one is out to gut the Second Amendment.

All most Americans would hope for is a meeting of the minds on how we can keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them - the convicted felon on probation who kills cops or the mentally deranged person who goes on a shooting spree.

Yes, people are the problem, but until we sort through these dynamics, we at least need the NRA's help in finding ways to keep guns out of the hands of people who abuse them. So calm down, NRA, and help us out a bit in this quest to stop at least some of the gun violence.

That's all we ask.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Article comment by: Think Again

@Michelle Star-do we really need marijuana laws passed or illegals receiving drivers licenses? The ignorance lies within the Democratic Party and people like you, who listens to too much of the liberal trash journalism.

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Article comment by: Stop Whining

@Michelle Star-the Civil War is over, and we don't need comments as long as War & Peace from you. Get over it and move on.

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Article comment by: Really .

@ dear really.:

The only thing upset is my optimism in believing you might actually be a individual possessing faculties that are intact. I was wrong. Entirely my fault.

I've insulted no specific person here. Only ideologies. If the words sound insulting to you, then they likely hit too close to home for your comfort. That must be an unfortunate feeling for you. Perhaps you might want to grow a thicker skin or take a time out from the internet for a spell. Sound good, Jethro?

I'm not at all angry, I just have a low tolerance for incompetence, and once more *here you are* adding nothing to a conversation that was already on its way to nowhere, as usual. Perhaps you should try reading *entire* comments before clicking the 'submit' button. Just a suggestion. Anyway, your troll-like behavior is noted. Best of luck with all that.

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: The NRA endangers your children

No special interest group should be so powerful to dictate the actions of our elected leaders.

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: An American

And then there is Iowa University, who has recently decided to hand over to the local the law enforcement authorities, the personal records along with grades of all students who apply for a concealed firearm permit. I wonder why the cops would need this information?... I'm sure this couldn't have anything to do with the government.

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Lena Sanchez

Who's using my name, I really want to know. Is it you Tom Steele? Is it you Hooty Hoo? Who?

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: dear really.

So glad I disrupted your delicate Gestalt!
I will stop addressing you as a child when you quit posting as one.

"or are you retiring back to keyboard commando-land?"

Wow, you are impressed with yourself! Once again, you attempt to make a point with insults and bluster.
Please grow a brain stem, feed it with books, then return!

Have a great day angry person!

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Delmar Billy

Hey, this is a tough subject, so let's just calm down and have a little fun for a few minutes. Let's play "Life in the land of idiots and fools". The rules are simple, just do your best impersonation of "idiots and fools". I'll start, here goes:

"I know that 2nd Amendment advocates and general gun rights supporters are just 'paranoid' and 'nuts' because there have never been instances throughout human history of authoritarian governments and tyrannical leaders taking away people's rights, including their gun rights. They might have more credibility if there were in fact ever any instances of tyrants and thugs around the world taking away rights of their citizens."

(I'll continue, how am I doing so far?)

"In the course of human history, there have never been societies where the people were enslaved and abused by their leaders. And in those non-existent circumstances, there were never any modest, measured efforts to restrict rights before the more draconian methods were employed."

(o.k., I know you're getting freaked out because I'm so good at this game, but hang in there, you'll get your turn.)

"Second Amendment advocates and gun rights supporters are just 'paranoid' and 'nuts' because they have no basis to be concerned about what appear to be obvious, unfounded efforts by the government to restrict their rights. There's just no historical basis for it. How dare American citizens believe that they could ever be the subjects of an authoritarian ruler who wants to restrict our rights for his/her own selfish devices? After all, it's never happened anywhere in the world before."

(Yeah, that's right, I'm damn good at playing "Life in the land of idiots and fools". O.k., your turn.)

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: michelle star

Why would our current government want to take all of your guns away?
Is the government afraid of something you might do and needs to control your violent actions against them or you might use your gun against other Americans like black vs white, Christian against Muslim? Are they afraid they can't compete with your Glock or AK-47 using their attack helicopter, tank, drone or the 300 Army men that show up at your door to take away your gun?

What is supposed to happen after they take all of your guns away?
Are they going to round you all up and keep you indefinitely in a central location and at whose expense? Will the government exterminate you? What exactly is the government going to do to you after they've disarmed you? How about the secret FEMA renovation going in the old Arizona concentration camps (http://www.flyingsnail.com/Dahbud/femaconcentrationcamps.html) is that where all the gun owners end up? Some Republicans like Tom Steele actually believe this stupid made up internet renovation camp nonsense. Next time you're in Florence Tom, tour the old German concentration camp and see for yourself how much government renovation is going on.

Many of you seem to be afraid and delusional about living in the real world. Seems not enough education and way too much Fox News the Republican Propaganda Channel.

If I wanted to curtail gun ownership today I would just stop the sale of all weapon ammunition and gun powder in this country. Why waste time and your government taxes going door to door attempting to disarm you?

It's amazing to see how much ignorance resides in Arizona but then again we did end up electing people like Jan Brewer, Evan Mecham and Russell Pearce.

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Gerald Insley

The crux of the matter lies in the fact that the present Justice Dept has misled the public and congress in "Fast & Furious" as well as related firearms issues therefore, have earned an honest distrust by the public. Our constitution has been trampled on by this administration in many areas other than the second ammendment. The NRA is a "watchdog" for only one issue others who monitor individual freedoms are in the same position. Thankfully we have them. Jerry Insley Ashland, Oregon

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Really .

@ >really.


If you're going to address me as a child would, please save your effort. Go try selling stupid to someone else. We seem to be all stocked up here.

"So glad YOU will decide who is entitled to constitutional rights (rolf)!"

Yep, it sure is unfortunate that I don't, but the country is likely better off for it. See, I *actually* have insight into how ultimate power corrupts ultimately, and I can embrace mankind's limitations. But if I did, hoo boy. Some folks would be receiving mandatory injections of common sense on a daily basis. So I suppose you of all people should be grateful that I don't possess that privilege. My opinion, not yours.

"But, there is nothing there but your name calling..."

*sigh* Name calling? Really? That's all you've got? Well, SO BLEEDIN' WHAT, pal? There is plenty of substance to my response even if you possess an elementary mastery of basic reading comprehension. Yes, I'm sometimes coarse, but I'm descriptive and I'm not mentioning any specific names, so get over it. Who elected you the etiquette police, anyway? Are you afraid you fall into the 'small percentage' I referred to? Do you even have a point? Stop wasting my time.

"I however, have decided to help you..."

Thank you, no. Save your effort. Really. Please don't. You're more like a cat trying to teach a whale to swim. Here are my cogent points laid out once AGAIN for the grammatically impaired:

political organizations sometimes act too soon: true or false?
the NRA agenda is to sell more guns: true or false?
the NRA sometimes uses questionable intel/tactics to sell said agenda: true or false?
people that accept said questionable intel on its face are pretty much showing ignorance: true or false?
we have many ignorant types that live in this area: true or false?

Now, can you wrap your head around these simple points and submit a cogent reply, or are you retiring back to keyboard commando-land?

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: John Citizen

Double standard government imposing more gun laws while passing marijuana laws, and states that give out illegal drivers licenses. What a double-standard they represent, and they wonder why they (government) can't be trusted?

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: John Lennon

Imagine a world where liberal politicans and local news paper editors were actually required to tell the truth. Having just read the DOJ memo on the subject I'll await the retraction of this nonsense, and the acknowledgement of the truth (but I sure won't hold my breath).

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Thinking Man

Apparently when it comes to the subject of gun control paranoia runs deep. Once again the gun extremists are making the argument that if we ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines or require universal background checks that this somehow leads down a slippery slope to a complete gun ban. The gun lobby conveniently forgets that assault weapons and large capacity magazines were banned for a period of ten years from 1994 through 2004, yet this mythical slippery slope has never materialized (so much for NRA paranoia). In fact, if Congress hadn’t been playing fast and loose with politics, had done their job, and reinstated (and strengthened) the existing ban, then today this conversation would be a moot point and perhaps some of the recent mass shooting victims would still be alive. Contrary to the propaganda being disseminated by the gun lobby, assault weapons serve no real purpose other than to provide a convent way for a deranged, mass murder to maximize the body count before the authorities arrive. Congress needs to do what they neglected to do in 2004, ignore the gun lobby, and reinstate the assault weapon ban.

@Arden Krutz and others who make the argument that assault weapons are used in only a small percentage of crimes. We all understand this. The purpose of banning these weapons is to keep them out of the hands of the deranged, mass shooters who, recent history has clearly demonstrated, prefer these weapons because of their ability to kill large amounts of people very quickly. Thus, banning these weapons probably won’t make much difference in the overall crime rate, but could potentially save the lives of countless victims during a mass shooting incident.

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: NRA Dissident

I used to send in my NRA dues until I read an article about how the organization is run now. The gun makers and sellers (including WallyWorld) actually buy permanent seats on their board of directors. There are no seats for the common folks like us. It's totally lobbying for gun makers and sellers, who totally profit from the organization. They got their last check from me.

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Lena Sanchez

Gutless Nut who keeps stealing my name and using it to post. The fact you use my name and do not sign yours is telling about your character and I find it no character at all! The "cool remark" is asnine and did not come from me yet it hold my heading? It seems those who believe the NRA is an honest entity has been at the fountain!

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: M Soldier Soldier

For all of you idiots who think the NRA is out of control! I am a two term combat vet. Received a letter with 100s of other combat vets we cannot own weapons. Dont believe me! Drudgereport febuarary 21st This is your Federal Government out of control. No hearing no Attorney. You people better wake up!!!!!

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: Peter, Yavapai County

Amanda has asked an excellent question:

"If everyone was supposed to have a gun, why did the framers even bother with the militia clause?"

The right to own guns is believed by many Americans to be inherent in the inalienable right to liberty. This interpretation means the right to own guns is not given by the Constitution but that it has always been the right of free people. In fact, guns were standard equipment for the freemen of the eighteenth century who hunted for meat and who needed to protect their property and family.

The Second Amendment goes further. (If it didn’t go further it would be redundant.) It guarantees that we may also keep and bear arms for the purpose of forming and arming a citizen militia. Many have pointed out that this Amendment means exactly what it says, and I agree. It means we may arm a militia for the purpose of opposing aggression from our own federal government or to oppose a foreign invasion thereby providing the people with the right and responsibility of maintaining a “free state”.

Back in the day, a militia armed with sabers and muskets could have provided solid resistance to an advancing federal or foreign army, as the colonists did in the Revolutionary War. I’ll admit that this concept appeals to my patriotic, Libertarian roots. But it is not realistic today.

Our reality is very different today thanks to decades of taxpayer funded military/industrial investment. Today our military is virtually invincible the most powerful in the history of mankind.

We could have our employees in Congress reword the Second Amendment for modern clarity to read: “The Right of sane, registered voters who are properly trained and well regulated, to own guns for hunting and personal protection shall not be infringed.”

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Article comment by: James Madison

@ Middle of the Road, Get Real, et al.

No classes today over on Grove Street???

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013
Article comment by: Para noid

Paranoid gun owners just don't trust there government. Let's see the same government that builds a bunker to house all of congress if there were a nuclear war. The same government that carried out the Tuskegee syphilis experiment from 1932 to 1972. I just don't see what there is to worry about.

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013
Article comment by: Do you support big oil companies special interest groups?

Why is it that most people decry the inflluence of special interest groups on our politicians yet have no concerns about the NRA?? The NRA is a special interest group like all the rest.

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013
Article comment by: Barnaby Wild

Wayne LaPierre is the second highest paid ($950,000/year in salary and benefits) in the NRA.

Of the 80 million gun owners, only 4 million are NRA members (<5%), who send in their dues to help fund half of the NRA budget of $250,000,000 per year. The other half comes from the gun manufacturers and advertisers.

In effect, the gun manufacturers are using a non profit organization (the NRA) to advertise and subsidize (with member's dues), the highly profitable business of selling guns and ammo. I guess Wayne and his gang are smarter than the rest of us...that's why they get the big bucks.

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013
Article comment by: get real...

Thank you Middle of the Road...it's what the majority of us are thinking, right and left. Poignant way to end this thread...

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013
Article comment by: get real...

Exactly Hooty Hoo. It's an effective and very useful red herring for corporate gun makers so that the uninformed focus on the NRA, and not the real players making obscene profits by playing off the fears they are inciting, using the NRA as the tool.

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013
Article comment by: Amanda Oakley-Colt

If everyone was supposed to have a gun, why did the framers even bother with the militia clause?

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