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Gun Lobby's Alarmism Fails

Gun Lobby's Alarmism Fails as US Election Turns to Economy


by Martha Rosenberg


Click to enlarge

You'd think the National Rifle Association (NRA) would be taking bows.

In June, the Supreme Court put its Gun Confiscation Phobia (GCP) to rest by finding the District of Columbia's gun ban unconstitutional and affirming the Second Amendment.

(Evanston, Morton Grove, and Wilmette, IL promptly repealed their bans and the NRA is suing Winnetka, IL, site of the first major school shooting by Laurie Dann in 1988, over its ban.)

And it has a wolf, moose and bear huntin' compatriot on the Presidential ticket.

But instead, a NRA film crew, allowed on the premises by management, badgered coal miners at the Consol mine in Blacksville, West Virginia in September to make on camera remarks against Barack Obama even though their union has endorsed him--leading to a strike of 440 workers.

Oops.

"The union movement, fundamentally, is about workers coming together and protecting their rights in the workplace and as voters," writes union member Seth Michaels on the AFL-CIO blog site. "UMWA Local 1702 this week showed they won't tolerate management attempts to intimidate them."

Which is worse for the NRA which is supposed to speak for the working man? The charge that it is a tool of management--or that it abused worker rights when "rights" is the NRA's middle name?

Of course this isn’t the first time the NRA has had to back down from its paper tiger saber rattling.

Who can forget its failed Jihads against

1) ConocoPhillips in 2005 over guns in the workplace

2) the United Nations in 2006 over small arms regulation and

3) Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) over gun legislation in 2007 leading to shooting targets with his face painted on them?

And its 27-page "Freedom in Peril" brochure leaked in 2007--just a "first draft" dismissed the NRA--that demonized the New Orleans police, Katie Couric, Rosie O'Donnell, George Soros, Barbra Steisand, Michael Moore, Nancy Pelosi, Sens. John Kerry, Edward M. Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, animal activists and undocumented workers with 5th grade style "I-hate-the-teacher" illustrations?

In August, a Mother Jones expose accused the NRA of hiring career spy Mary McFate to infiltrate the gun safety groups CeasefirePA and States United to Prevent Gun Violence where she leaked documents, encouraged intra-organizational fractiousness and "had access to all the legislative strategy for every major issue for years." She even met with members of Congress.

McFate infiltrated animal rights groups on behalf of U.S. Surgical in the 1980's which was using "hundreds of dogs a year to train doctors and the company's own salesmen with the high-speed surgical staplers it manufactures… after which the animals are destroyed," according to Time magazine.

Of course everyone knows the NRA's position on John McCain--it was against him before it was for him--and that it probably didn't want its first minted candidate to be a winking and puckering cartoon character named Sarah Palin.

It has also lost constituency to its nemesis, the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA), after failing to fight Mining Law amendments tucked in the House Federal Budget Deficit Reduction Act that allowed millions of acres of public lands treasured by hunters to be sold to mining companies in 2005.

But the NRA's real problem is the Wall Street crisis.

In the past the NRA has convinced its supporters to put an abstraction--Second Amendment rights--in front of bread and butter issues and policies.

And they did--when there were jobs, car loans and food and gas money.

But now, as the economy tanks, the NRA is left with only one bullet-- Gun Confiscation Phobia (GCP)--with which to whip up voters.

Voters who are more concerned with butter than guns.

*************

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