The Watering Hole, Thursday, January 17th, 2013: The NRA

Today’s thread provides a look at some recent activity from the NRA’s website, along with some background and statistical information from the ATF’s website, plus a few other odds and ends.

From the NRA’s website:

January 16, 2013
Throughout its history, the National Rifle Association has led efforts to promote safety and responsible gun ownership. Keeping our children and society safe remains our top priority.

The NRA will continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law. We look forward to working with Congress on a bi-partisan basis to find real solutions to protecting America’s most valuable asset — our children.

Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation. Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.

– and –

January 10, 2013
The National Rifle Association of America is made up of over 4 million moms and dads, daughters and sons, who are involved in the national conversation about how to prevent a tragedy like Newtown from ever happening again. We attended today’s White House meeting to discuss how to keep our children safe and were prepared to have a meaningful conversation about school safety, mental health issues, the marketing of violence to our kids and the collapse of federal prosecutions of violent criminals.

We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be “prejudged,” this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners — honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans. It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works — and what does not.

Back in December, the NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action) – self-described as “The Lobbying Arm of the NRA” – commented on Senator Diane Feinstein’s draft for proposed new gun legislation. And on January 4th, the NRA-ILA began to gin up fear over proposed House gun control bills.

From the ATF (which the NRA refers to as the BATFE, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), here’s a brief history of the National Firearms Act. The ATF website also includes information regarding Firearms Trace data (“state-by-state reports utilizing trace data which is intended to provide the public with insight into firearms recoveries”) as well as graphs and links for “Number of NFA Firearms Processed by Fiscal Year” Take a look at the jump in the numbers of “firearms processed” in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012, when the NRA, in the person of Wayne LaPierre, was strongly pushing the “Obama’s going to take your guns away” meme. The website also provides a list (including photos and descriptions) of firearms which are covered under the National Firearms Act and subsequent additional gun control legislation.

Let’s go back to the NRA again. Here’s a brief introductory excerpt from a fascinating Alternet article by Steven Rosenfeld entitled “The Surprising Unknown History of the NRA”:

“For nearly a century after, its founding in 1871, the National Rifle Association was among America’s foremost pro-gun control organizations. It was not until 1977 when the NRA that Americans know today emerged, after libertarians who equated owning a gun with the epitome of freedom and fomented widespread distrust against government—if not armed insurrection—emerged after staging a hostile leadership coup.

In the years since, an NRA that once encouraged better markmanship and reasonable gun control laws gave way to an advocacy organization and political force that saw more guns as the answer to society’s worst violence, whether arming commercial airline pilots after 9/11 or teachers after the Newtown, while opposing new restrictions on gun usage.

It is hard to believe that the NRA was committed to gun-control laws for most of the 20th century—helping to write most of the federal laws restricting gun use until the 1980s.”

The NRA claims to have over four million members, a number disputed in this article from There have also been claims made by the NRA that, since the Newtown tragedy, the NRA is gaining 8000 new members a day, supposedly over 100,000 total. However, when I tried to find more information to back up these claims, all I found were links to Fox News, Breitbart, and to some site called “The Daily News Report” (no relation to the NY Daily News.) And since this Daily News Report article contains the sentence “Unlike many who are using the school shooting as a political club, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has been staying quiet out of respect for the Newtown victims“, I think we can safely dismiss this ‘report.’ BTW, tomorrow night, FoxNews will be presenting “Hannity Special: Inside the Gun Debate, featuring Wayne LaPierre.” I wonder if they’ll have any of the parents from Newtown on for this “fair and balanced” Hannity “Special.”

And lastly, also from, here’s Frank Smyth’s article “Unmasking the NRA’s Inner Circle”, as discussed last night on Lawrence O’Donnell’s Last Word.

This is our open thread…better put your reading glasses on!

115 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Thursday, January 17th, 2013: The NRA

  1. If and when I should happen upon a gun nut website and decide to leave a comment, I think this is what it will say:

    Given the well-known FACT that assault weapon and/or large magazine enthusiasts are each and all sexually impotent, doesn’t the volume of their self-incriminating outcry seem more than a little odd?

    I mean, really! 😯

  2. I’m getting so tired of the false equivalencies between guns and other weapons.

    When’s the last time we read about a guy going into a theater and stabbing to death 12 people and wounding 60 others.

  3. Sigh…
    President Obama’s children are, indeed, protected by armed Secret Service agents. These are highly trained professionals who are not teachers or janitors who found a gun in a Cracker Jack box and their protection doesn’t come cheap. In fact, one needn’t go far to find those who whine about the cost. Many of these are the same people who now want to arm teachers and janitors but, given their history, would they ever agree to pay for professional guards in our schools? My guess is “no”. They want to equip untrained people with Saturday night specials and my guess is that they would do all in their power to make the teachers and janitors pay for their own guns.

    One idea that makes a whole lot of sense is to equip schools with bullet proof windows and doors and instal extra monitoring equipment and a remote locking system so that teachers could lock down their classroom from their desk or a guard at a central station could lock down the whole school. What are the chances of getting the Reichwhiners to agree to paying for it? I would say less than zero.

  4. Remember when TSA searches were first implemented and Islamophobes called for ethnic profiling in order to determine who deserved to be closely examined? Using that logic, perhaps white men should receive much closer scrutiny when purchasing firearms.
    We use a limited number of bullets each year, primarily in defense of our chickens. We ran out a few weeks ago and have been unable to buy more because loons have cleaned out all ammo in local stores. My husband finally found a box, and what used to cost about $20 now costs $54. Somebody is making a lot of money. Thanks gun freaks!

  5. It just amazes me, that some of the folks I work with, normal, intelligent, hard working folks turn into RWNJs at the mere juxtaposition of the words gun and control. It’s as if black helicopters land in their backyards every night….hmmm..

  6. In public, Republicans in Congress say we don’t need more gun laws, we just need to enforce the laws we have.

    Behind closed doors, Republicans in Congress slip in amandments to bills to gut the ability of the ATF to enforce the laws we have.

    • Actions speak louder than words.

      We’re paying attention, but most people don’t know about this crap, because the media is pre-occupied with its nose up the asses of the highest bidder.

      • yes indeed…..while we’re busy following the gun debacle, they’re focused elsewhere.

        move along folks….nothing to see here

  7. There has been a growing disparity of gun ownership in the U.S. with fewer households having guns, and more guns concentrated into fewer hands.

    Those with massive arsenals are driven by irrational fear. It won’t take much to set them off. They seem to be especially motivated by any talk of taking away their guns. Their behavior is much like a drug addict’s response when you threaten to take away their access to drugs.

  8. The arms industry is neutral. They don’t care who buys their killing machines. In fact, the more guns that end up in the hands of the “bad guys” the more the fear-driven “good guys” go out and buy more guns to protect them from the “bad guys”.

    The arms industry profits by selling to both sides.

  9. More great commentary from Jon Stewart. Wouldn’t it be great if one of the “news” networks hired him? Managing editor might be a stretch but he could be an “ombudsman for accuracy” or a “bullshit detector”. Maybe he could hire a Major Hochstetter impersonator to come out on the set and yell “vhat is this man doing here” whenever Newt shows up on the Sunday morning show.

  10. This video is from 2008 and show McCain supporters outside a McCain event in northeast Pennsylvania. Nothing has changed. The McCain supporters are still filled with hate for our President. These are the people that cling to their guns and bibles. They are very ignorant and they don’t have much more in their lives than their guns and bibles. Seriously.

    • “I’d never vote for a black man.”

      I really think that’s what all the Obama hate boils down to — racism. It doesn’t matter if they acknowledge their racist beliefs, they demonstrate exactly what they’re all about with their “Where’s the birth certificate?” and “He lacks judgment” and “He wasn’t born in America” bullshit.

      Those things are weak and easily refuted lies, which function as cover for their inner core of RACIST.

      I really believed we were moving past such ignorance, but now I know that it never went away — it simply moved underground

    • If Alabama has the lowest rate of alcohol abuse, it’s only because it’s heavily taxed, and we don’t make much money.
      Fire ants are not the worst thing about this state, but because we’re number two to Mississippi in so many negatives, we get a pass.

      • Is it your state that makes people buy those tiny bottles of liquor, rather than treating them like adults?

        Fire ants are pretty damn bad!! Is it at least in the top ten worst things? 😉

        • I have no recent experience with miniatures, i just used to steal them from the bar at the bowling alley when I was a teenager. I think some bars had to use them for accurate dispensing, and to prevent substituting the cheap stuff for the better stuff. Each one had an Alabama tax seal over the cap, as an anti-tamper device. You can buy any size at the package stores.

    • PA has more dams in need of repair. I say, let them go and open up our streams. Most of these dams in PA are unnecessary and that is why the state will not repair them. They don’t have an impact on any populated area.

      PA does have the most organic mushrooms. Yummmmmy

  11. Here’s a hypothetical question.

    If an armed psycho is running loose in a school, the SWAT team is called in, and teachers and janitors are waving guns around; how many dead teachers and janitors would be considered acceptable collateral damage when the SWAT team starts shooting?

  12. Remember when they tried to sell Paul Ryan as some sort of budget wonk? Well here’s what he had to say today on the subject of prioritizing payments if the debt ceiling is not raised:
    “It presents a cash flow problem, where you have obligations going out one day and revenues coming in one day and they’re kind of lumpy and they don’t always match each other,”

      • Sounds like me and my Social Security checks. They come the fourth Wednesday of every month, which means that four times per year the arrival is in five weeks, not four. Lumpy indeed. I’m thinking of proposing a thirteen month calendar be adopted rather than the twelver we’ve been stuck with for doG only knows how long. Here’s the thing, see: 13 (months) X 4 (weeks per month) X 7 (days per week) = 364 days, or one day short of a standard year. Add one day to one month, iow, and every fourth year add one day to two months, and voila, life gets far more pleasant and easier to deal with! Far less lumpy.

        Who should I contact that can get this done quickly?

        • I don’t know. I’m always being solicited by my insurance, cable and phone company to let them automatically debit my account each month. I’ve offered them the same deal. Do it every four weeks, on the same weekday, and I’ll do it. They won’t agree because their billing system won’t support it. I will only agree if the debit is always the next day after a payday. If I had a commercial mortgage with a bank, I’d pay it every four weeks, giving me an extra payment each year, which reduces the principal a lot faster. I may work that out with future-ex so I can do it with her.

  13. Ah, I hate to say anything. The truth is, I was born to raise hell. I was born and raised to look the Devil in the eye and call bullshit. And anyone who works for anything less than that, will get the same. For years I have tried to be some sort of quiet sensible person who uses logic and reason to shut down the ideas. I’m pretty good at it and if I had a lick of sense I would stick with it.

  14. “Kuwait on the Prairie”

    “What we have here is an immense and startlingly new oil and gas field — nighttime evidence of an oil boom created by a technology called fracking. Those lights are rigs, hundreds of them, lit at night, or fiery flares of natural gas. … Altogether, they are now producing 660,000 barrels a day, double the output two years ago, so that in no time at all, North Dakota is now the second largest oil producing state in America. Only Texas produces more, and those lights are a sign that this region is now on fire … to a disturbing degree — literally.”

    • How nice they burn 29% of the natural gas without even using it to make power. It’s supposed to be cleaner energy than the oil, so why waste the carbon?

  15. I know it’s a bit late for our crowd but one really, really, needs to watch these two segments from The Daily Show. In fact, it should just replace sports on every evening “news” show in the country so even the rubes might start thinking about the implications. Actually, somehow the message has to get out that virtually any industry that makes enough money is writing the legislation that is supposed to regulate said industry and then they buy the seats for politicians who will do their bidding.

    P.S. I won’t be around tomorrow morning. Could someone please repost the link on tomorrows open thread? Thanks.

    • But. But. But there’s so much to be outraged about. First of all he’ll take her to someplace fancy, where “those people” don’t belong anyway, and charge the taxpayers for the bill. Then he will hypocritically be surrounded by armed guards, who will also be paid by the taxpayers, while letting babies go undefended. Finally, everyone knows that a suitable gift will cost taxpayers even more. The final cost will be well over a bazzilion dollars and we haven’t even seen proof that it’s really her birthday! Heck! Do they even have January in Africa?

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