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Radio News Bulletin
A lesson in spreading fear, by the NRA
05 February 2013 | 8:00 | Source: Matt Hall, SBS
The NRA, being the preeminent lobby and campaign group that appears to be against anything within a whiff of “anti-gun” (whatever that is), claims these groups and individuals:
“Lent their name in support of specific campaigns to pass anti-gun legislation… All have officially endorsed anti-gun positions.”
It’s an NRA gallery of rogues. As a friend asked me on the weekend, “How do I get on this list?” The roll call includes:
AARP – a seniors group;
American Civil Liberties Union;
American Federation of Teachers;
American Medical Association;
American Bar Association;
American Academy of Pediatrics;
American Nurses Association;
National Council of Jewish Women;
National Organization for Women;
National Political Congress of Black Women;
United States Conference of Mayors;
YWCA of the USA;
Kansas City Chiefs football team;
Stoneyfield Farms Yogurt
Boys II Men
Jon Bon Jovi
And let’s not forget Brittany Spears.
In other words, fear the old people and fear doctors, teachers, nurses, lawyers, women, local government, and football teams. Fear yogurt producers and pop stars. Fear them, for they are coming to take your guns.
But the gun lobby need not be so fearful. After all, they apparently have Chick Norris on their side.
Chuck is good for laughs and has some great movies but it really is worth spending time scratching around the NRA’s website to get an idea of its membership’s perspective. Background checks for gun owners are a current hot button topic. The NRA claims they are WRONG.
But, apparently, depending on what poll you pay attention to of course, 94 per cent of Americans are in favour of background checks.
But not the NRA. Ever. As a column on its website tries to explain:
“Imagine a grandfather who wants to give a family shotgun to his 12-year-old grandson having to do a background check on his grandson before giving him the shotgun.
Or a friend having to do a background check on his lifetime best buddy before lending him a hunting rifle.
Or, if your mother had a prowler at her home, having to do a background check on your own mom before you could give her one of your guns for protection.
That's what ‘universal background checks’ do. They turn traditional innocent conduct into a criminal offense. They target you, law-abiding gun owners.”
I imagined all that and couldn’t really find a problem with it but, hey, that’s just me. Except it’s not. Look at that 94 per cent who are in favour of some kind of background check. That’s a big number. A huge number, politically. Which is why the NRA may want to look at who it really is representing. Obviously, that’s not people who eat yogurt, or listen to Boys II Men, or use doctors, nurses, teachers, or lawyers.
The NRA may be rich, with money to fund political campaigns, and it may be loud as well. But it also may not be so representative of the American people as it thinks it may be.
As the Republican Party found out after the last election, political lines have shifted. Dealing in fear may energise your base support but, for those living in the real world, it’s no way to win an argument.
And another thing… it turns out even Fox News is not so friendly to the NRA any more either.