NRA Won’t Attend Gun Policy Meet

March 15th, 2011 at 10:34 am | 2 Comments |

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The New York Times reports:

More than two months after the Tucson shootings, the administration is calling together both the gun lobby and gun safety groups to find common ground. But President Obama has no plans to take the lead in proposing further gun control legislation, aides say, and the nation’s major gun rights group is snubbing the invitation.

On Tuesday, officials at the Justice Department will meet with gun control advocates in the first of what will be a series of meetings over the next two weeks with people on different sides of the issue, including law enforcement, retailers and manufacturers, to seek agreement on possible legislative or administrative actions.

The effort follows Mr. Obama’s call, in a column on Sunday in a Tucson newspaper, to put aside “stale policy debates” and begin “a new discussion” on ways to better enforce and strengthen existing laws to keep mentally unstable, violent and criminal people from getting guns.

But the National Rifle Association, for decades the most formidable force against proposals to limit gun sales or ownership, is refusing to join the discussion — possibly dooming it from the start, given the lobby’s clout with both parties in Congress. Administration officials had indicated they expected that the group would be represented at a meeting, perhaps on Friday.

“Why should I or the N.R.A. go sit down with a group of people that have spent a lifetime trying to destroy the Second Amendment in the United States?” said Wayne LaPierre, the longtime chief executive of the National Rifle Association.

He named Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has almost no role in gun-related policies, and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

“It shouldn’t be a dialogue about guns; it really should be a dialogue about dangerous people,” Mr. LaPierre said, adding that his group has supported proposals to prevent gun sales to the mentally ill, strengthen a national system of background checks and spur states to provide needed data.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • think4yourself

    This is why I have a problem with groups like the NRA (liberal groups have the similar problems). They are only care about about expanding gun rights, not responsibilities. Most recent statistics I could find show that approximately 30,000 people die in the US from firearm deaths (a declining number from the early 2000′s.). Of those 55% are suicides (interestingly 90% of those who attempt suicide with a gun are successful versus 34% by jumping and 2% by overdose), 40% are homicides, 3% are accidents and 2% are legal (killed by cops) or other.

    Why can’t the NRA take a seat at the table and be a part of the solution to lower deaths that have gun involvement? LaPierre says it’s a people problem; sure 16,500 commited suicide using a gun so let’s have a conversation about that. I’m not talking about increasing gun regulation necessarily, I am talking about that 6 times more people die every year in the US in gun related events than have died in Iraq in the last 8 years.

    I also thought it was interesting where gun deaths happened. Per every 100,000 people, Washington DC was #1 with 31.2 deaths per 100,000. AK at 20 per 100,000, LA at 19.5, WY at 18.8, AZ at 18, NV at 17.3, MS at 17.3, NM at 16.6, AR at 16.3 and AL at 16.2 (top 10). Other than DC, these are not inner city. CA was 30th on the list at 9.8, NY was 46th on the list at 5.1 and NJ was 48th on the list at 4.9 – who would have thought that?

  • politicalfan

    Come on NRA. There are many people (myself included that are big on 2nd amendment rights) but coming to the table is a stronger argument. Lack of participation is not always a good thing.