Dec 18, 2018

Why Does The NRA Lie About Its Role In Preventing Legislation For Background Checks?

Context: Is The NRA A Terrorist Organization? A Look At The NRA's Incendiary Rhetoric And Attack Ads

Why is the NRA lying about its role in preventing background checks for years as of 12/18/2018 (even to their members)? Because even their members might suddenly realize that the NRA is functioning like a terrorist organization? Even members of the NRA want background checks.

Introduction:" The right to drive a car is not guaranteed in the Constitution but everyone now expects to have the right to drive the car (unless blind or disabled). Its a good right. It adds to freedom. And to make this freedom safe for everyone there are drivers tests, eye tests, and drivers licenses with automatic renewals after a number of years. In other words, the responsibility of driving a machine that can be used to run over people (intentionally or accidentally) comes with oversight and accountability within the framework of a free society with rule of law. This post focuses on just ONE of the laws necessary for a person to be given the responsibility of a gun, background checks.

Even the members of the NRA want more gun control measures. Cenk Uygur and Brett Erlich, the hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. 

POLL: NRA Members Want Gun Control


Most people expect background checks (unless they are criminals or stupid... is that who the GOP are trying to get guns to for their political terrorism tactics?).  In any case, the big lie the NRA likes to tell (and tell repeatedly as of this post) is that they support background checks when they have actually gone out of their way to oppose background checks;

New NRA Lie: We Were Responsible For Creating The National Instant Criminal Background Check System
A video from National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre offered a false history of the passage of the 1993 Brady background check bill in order to attack President Obama's recently released executive actions on gun violence.
In the video, the NRA attempts to position itself as the heroic creator of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), when in reality the gun group fiercely fought the passage of the Brady bill and then later attempted to have the Supreme Court invalidate the entire law.
On January 5, Obama announced during a speech from the White House that his administration is taking executive action to address gun violence in light of Congress' inaction following several high-profile mass shootings.
A large share of media coverage on Obama's move focused on the president's plan to expand background checks by clarifying what it means to be "engaged in the business" of selling firearms, although the plan also includes provisions addressing effective enforcement of existing gun laws, funding for mental health treatment, and developing gun safety technology.
In a January 6 response video, the NRA attempted to cast itself as the actual authority on background checks. In purporting to tell a history of the Brady bill, the legislation that was responsible for the creation of the national background check system for gun purchases, LaPierre falsely claimed, "The best-kept secret is that the National Instant Check System wouldn't exist at all if it weren't for the NRA":
LAPIERRE: The best-kept secret is that the National Instant Check System wouldn't exist at all if it weren't for the NRA. It's true. Back in the '90s, President Clinton forced passage of a mandatory waiting period on every handgun purchase in America. Not a background check. A wait.
But NRA said as soon as the technology was available, their wait had to be replaced by an instant background check, done by the dealer, at the point of sale. NRA supported it, NRA got the votes and NRA got it passed.
The NRA's claim is false for several reasons, many of which can be found in a legislative history of the bill's passage in UCLA law professor Adam Winkler's 2013 book Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms In America.
  • The NRA only proposed what became NICS in an attempt to derail the Brady bill by including provisions that were not technologically feasible. To their chagrin, a compromise was introduced that gave the federal government five years to develop the technology before it became mandatory. Winkler writes, "Sarah Brady was an incredibly sympathetic character, and LaPierre knew that tackling her head-on was a recipe for a public relations disaster. So he pushed the NRA's allies in Congress to add to the Brady bill a provision that critics said would render the law ineffective. LaPierre's amendment would mandate instantaneous computerized background checks and a waiting period no longer than twenty-four hours. According to critics, this reasonable sounding proposal had one major flaw: it was not yet technologically feasible."
  • The final version of the Brady bill included the creation of NICS, which was to go into effect in 1998. The NRA was furious. According to Winkler, an NRA publication claimed, "When Bill Clinton signed the Brady Bill into law on November 30, a drop of blood dripped from the finger of the sovereign American citizen."
  • The NRA challenged the constitutionality of the Brady law in a case that made it to the Supreme Court in 1997. The NRA's primary argument was that the law was unconstitutional because it "commandeered" state governments by forcing them to carry out functions that the federal government cannot force them to do under the 10th Amendment. The NRA could have limited its argument to say that state authorities did not have to perform Brady background checks, essentially pausing the national background check system until 1998 when NICS would come online (states would still be free to run background checks under the Brady bill, but the federal government couldn't force them to do so). Instead, the NRA argued, "the whole Statute must be voided." If this argument would have been successful, NICS would have never been implemented.
  • Claims that the NRA wanted comprehensive background checks during the legislative fight over the Brady bill should be treated with extreme skepticism, as the gun group repeatedly fought to weaken the bill. One example is the Gekas amendment to the Brady bill, where the NRA urged its allies in Congress to introduce a provision allowing a gun dealer to go forward with a sale after three business days, even if the background check had not been completed. The amendment received widespread attention following the June 2015 mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The gunman in that shooting should have failed the background check he underwent while purchasing the gun he used in his attack, but instead the sale proceeded after three days because NICS had not yet been able to locate his prohibiting record.

On ABC’s This Week, NRA’s Dana Loesch pushes gun lobby lie that NRA created the background check system Loesch also misleads about lawsuit NRA supported that inhibited background check system
National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Dana Loesch on ABC’s This Week falsely claimed that, the NRA “created” the current gun background check system and whitewashed the NRA's role inhibiting the national background check system.
Discussing the Parkland, FL, shooting with ABC host George Stephanopolous, Loesch recycled the NRA lie that the organization “created” the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In reality, the NRA fiercely opposed the 1993 Brady background check bill, which created NICS, and continued to lobby against it after its passage. Loesch also misled about Printz v. United States, an NRA-supported lawsuit that strongly inhibited NICS after the Supreme Court ruled for the NRA’s position. From the February 25 edition of ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

NRA national spokesperson Dana Loesch lied to Stoneman Douglas student Emma Gonzalez
Emma Gonzalez, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had a simple question for National Rifle Association (NRA) national spokesperson Dana Loesch during CNN’s gun violence town hall: “Do you believe that it should be harder to obtain the semi-automatic ... weapons and the modifications for these weapons to make them fully automatic, like bump stocks?”
Instead of providing the NRA’s well established positions on these questions, Loesch gave a series of dishonest explanations that sought to hide the NRA’s fringe absolutism against gun regulation.
After some niceties, Loesch purported to answer Gonzalez's question by saying, “I don't believe that this insane monster should have ever been able to obtain a firearm, ever. I do not think that he should have gotten his hands on any kind of weapon. That's number one.”
According to Loesch, “This individual was nuts and I, nor the millions of people that I represent as a part of this organization, that I'm here speaking for, none of us support people who are crazy, who are a danger to themselves, who are a danger to others, getting their hands on a firearm.”
Loesch was lying.
The NRA opposes adding prohibiting categories to the gun background check system that could have included the Stoneman Douglas gunman. As the NRA’s website states, “NRA opposes expanding firearm background check systems, because background checks don’t stop criminals from getting firearms.” It also opposes a policy called a “Gun Violence Restraining Order” or a “Red Flag” law that has been widely cited as a policythat could have stopped the gunman from having access to firearms. These laws allow family members and law enforcement to petition courts to temporarily remove people’s access to firearms who are a danger to themselves or others.
Loesch’s dishonesty didn’t stop with that claim. Moments later, while talking about the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), Loesch said, “It is not federal law for states to report convictions to the NICS system. It's not federally mandated.” Loesch also argued that the states can convict a person, they "can adjudicate the mentally unfit," but "if a state does not report it to the National Crime Information Center, when you run that form, this individual -- this madman passed a background check." (NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre also used this talking point in his February 22 speech at CPAC.)
What Loesch failed to mention is that states can’t be required to report disqualifying records because of the outcome of a 1997 NRA-backed lawsuit Printz v. United States.
The lawsuit was the NRA’s attempt to invalidate the entire national background check system in court before it could be implemented. While the system eventually went into effect, the outcome of Printz damaged its effectiveness, as the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision in favor of the NRA’s argument that requiring states to perform background checks for a federal system violated the 10th Amendment.

The NRA, Right Wing & Guns

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