What's your opinion? Is it fair to blame the NRA in this way? Is it accurate to say that they've "intimidated otherwise responsible and reasonable public servants into silence?" Is it true that they've "handcuffed the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate and prosecute crimes involving gun dealers and gun owners?"It is futile, of course, to try to enter the tortured psyche of such an actor as the man charged with killing 12 and injuring 58 in Aurora, Colo. At the same time, it is essential to realize that while he might have been alone in his conception of this violence, he was not alone in acquiring the means to pull off the horror.Standing squarely behind him, assuring him access to whatever means and level of gun violence he might wish to get his hands on, is the National Rifle Association, a lobby that holds an entire country hostage to its twisted notions of freedom and security and its agonized interpretation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The power of both its money and its propaganda is again evident. It has intimidated otherwise responsible and reasonable public servants into silence in the face of gun laws that are patently absurd in their lack of oversight.The NRA loves to pose as a protector of constitutional rights and friend of law enforcement. In fact, however, since the first meaningful federal gun control legislation passed in 1968, the lobby has repeatedly and effectively interfered with law enforcement, backing measures that have seriously handcuffed the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate and prosecute crimes involving gun dealers and gun owners.
Yes, of course these charges are true. In the same way I blame the gun-rights advocates and others who support such tactics. For various misguided reasons they make it possible for the NRA and the gun lobby to continue doing their dirty work.
What do you think? Will President Obama do the right thing in his second term? Will the citizens of the United States come out of their lethargy regarding the gun debate and begin demanding action from their political representatives?
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