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View Diary: Fighting the NRA leadership means knowing who is in it (285 comments)

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  •  Yesterday on Fresh Air (48+ / 0-)

    Terry Gross interviewed Tom Diaz, a senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center and author of the forthcoming book "The Last Gun."

    A must listen or read (link is to transcript).

    I liked to say that the NRA is, it becomes a kind of laundering machine for the gun industry. And I'll explain what I mean. The gun industry would really appear to be too crass perhaps, and shocking to say, you know what, you need to buy our Bushmaster so that you can resist the government and kill bad people if you have to. So they don't say that. The NRA on the other hand has no problem kind of euphemizing this very same message and saying, we need our guns, we need to protect ourselves from tyrannical governments, the way they phrase it. And some of their material is really quite provocative and quite shocking. So they've taken one of the messages of the industry and transformed it into a more or less socially acceptable way of saying it. And that brings us to the question of, as a society, are we going to break the code that the NRA constantly promulgates and say wait a minute, you guys have had enough with this business, that's not our society and are we going to stop it?
    This is insane
    GROSS: Is there any research on how these semiautomatic weapons are being used? I mean we know they've been used in massacres, but many more people buy them than become killers who go on these killing sprees. So are people using these as hunting rifles?

    DIAZ: The industry says that they are, but preliminarily let me say this: Let's assume that there is a large number - a large number of people who - take your choice of benign uses - use it for hunting, use it for target shooting. The policy choice, the cultural choice that we face is: Is that enough, does that balance the bad consequences that we know flow from the easy availability of these firearms? Does that balance the slaughter of children? Does it balance the increasing killing of law enforcement officers that we see from assault rifles? Does it balance the traffic to other countries from the United States civilian market?

    So it's not just a question of do other people use these. The direct answer to your question is, because the gun industry and the National Rifle Association have been so very successful in shutting down federal sources of data - for example, from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and basically shutting down cogent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Injury - we don't really know the extent of the use of these guns in crime, because we cannot get even the generic aggregate data. It's been shut down. What we learned from are simply - for example, at the Violence Policy Center we do a lot of anecdotal research. I, for example, did a study about assault weapons a couple years ago, but I had to rely entirely on what I could derive from news reports and other public sources.

    You cannot get that information from government sources because of something called the Tiahrt Amendment, which has basically shut down ATF from releasing data. So...

    GROSS: So this amendment prevents the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from releasing information about what guns have been used in crimes. Do I have that right?

    Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

    by BOHICA on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:58:28 AM PST

    •  Gun Owners of America, whose leaders seem... (35+ / 0-)

      ...to think the NRA is an arm of the Brady Campaign, managed to get the state of Colorado to bar country sheriffs from releasing information about how many concealed carry permits they issue.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:02:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  NRA double-dealing (7+ / 0-)

        This is the sort of thing that puts the lie to stock phrases like, “We don’t need any new gun laws. Enforce the laws already on the books.” The NRA says things like this out of one side of their mouth and call the ATF jack-booted thugs out the other. There’s really nothing like comparing the federal agency tasked with enforcing gun laws to the Gestapo to show that you’re serious about enforcing the laws already on the books.

        I suspect that if the ATF were empowered to enforce a lot of the measures they simply don’t have the resources to police right now, we would hear howls of outrage from the NRA.

        Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

        by Joe Bob on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:15:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  R. Barrett put his wife of many years to (0+ / 0-)

        'the curb', as they say around here,
        to wed one of our former state reps.
        who probably now helps him with his
        'legislative outreach' to keep those
        evil federal guvmint dollars flowing in.

        There was some sort of local fit in the county
        about using eminent domain against some
        widowed matron neighbor so he could have
        an easement for the freeway on ramp for his plant.
        He lost some of his 'local boy does good' air then.
        A lot of them Barretts around this neck of the woods.

        They build those .50 cal rifles just a few miles
        down the road from where I type this now.

        High end. Very expensive to buy and shoot.
        The plant is 'sposed to be a decent place to
        work, for around here. Anyways, that's what they say.

        They make a big deal about it being the
        'weapon of choice' among the elite warriors.
        And military snipers and assassins. In their ads.

        I think some law enforcement types have been
        targeted nationally by the NRA for their public and
        vocal reluctance in facing such firepower from 'civilians'.
        I wonder if he had any say so about any of that?

        If there is such a thing as karma and poetic justice....

        Thanks for all of your efforts.

    •  Salon article on the history of how (27+ / 0-)

      the NRA/GOoPers fought against  research on gun safety

      ...Over the past two decades, the NRA has not only been able to stop gun control laws, but even debate on the subject. ...First, Republicans tried to eliminate entirely the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the bureau responsible for the research. When that failed, Rep. Jay Dickey, a Republican from Arkansas, successfully pushed through an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget (the amount it had spent on gun research in the previous year) and outlawed research on gun control with a provision that reads: “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”  ...Dickey’s clause, which remains in effect today, has had a chilling effect on all scientific research into gun safety, ...
      http://www.salon.com/...

      Faux News ruined my state

      by sc kitty on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:25:50 AM PST

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    •  NRA tried to get CDC to stop publishing firearms (13+ / 0-)

      deaths, the wanted a bill that would claim that firearms deaths were not a disease and should not have their stats gathered by CDC.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:04:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I heard that interview but wasn't sure wether (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas

      to believe the rest of what he was saying after he said that the number of hunters is declining when the census tells me it's increased 9% over the past 10 years. He sounded like kind of an activist.

      I've found it very hard to get numbers on what guns are sold and specifically what guns are used in crime. I just wish he hadn't blown it with what was probably wishful thinking at the beginning. If he dislikes hunting so much he will distort of be uninformed I have little use for him.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:22:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Google "decline in hinting" (8+ / 0-)

        State and nationwide decline in hunting participation

        A state and nationwide decline in hunting participation has Colorado Parks and Wildlife making a push to attract younger generations to the sport.

        "We have seen over the years that the older hunters, once they reach a certain age, are no longer able to hunt. And some of the younger kids that are coming up are not picking up where they left off," said Mike Porras, public information officer for the Northwest Region of Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

        According to Colorado hunting license sales, participation has declined more than 20 percent since 1998, and it is causing concern for wildlife officials about the future of wildlife management.

        In Wisconsin
        But today, in Wisconsin, for instance, 68 percent of hunters have more than 30 years of hunting experience. The projection from this demographic is that there will be a decline of about 25 percent in those who hunt by 2030. This will translate into a loss of more than $4 million in revenue to the state’s fish and wildlife fund each year.
        CBS
        New figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that the number of hunters 16 and older declined by 10 percent between 1996 and 2006 - from 14 million to about 12.5 million. The drop was most acute in New England, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific states, which lost 400,000 hunters in that span.
        U.S. Fish and Wildlife
        New figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that the number of hunters 16 and older declined by 10 percent between 1996 and 2006 - from 14 million to about 12.5 million. The drop was most acute in New England, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific states, which lost 400,000 hunters in that span.
        The Decline and Fall of Small-Game Hunting (NRA Link)

        Idaho

        Hunting license and tag sales have slowly declined over the past several years, according to data from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

        “Fishing licenses have stayed relatively steady as far as the numbers of licenses sold,” regional conservation officer Gary Hompland said. “Most of that, from what we can tell, is because we’ve had some really good salmon and steelhead runs the last few years. ... What is really disconcerting is our hunting licenses, both resident and non-resident.

        I've found it very hard to get numbers on what guns are sold and specifically what guns are used in crime.
        That's because of the Tiahrt Amendment

        Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

        by BOHICA on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:54:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great articles but I'll go with the US census as (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IreGyre

          a source first http://www.census.gov/...

          You know that's the problem with a lot of advocacy groups, they all repeat each other's BS as if it's true.

          Now I don't know if you are cherry picking but the census does these things every 5 years. This is what I was looking for.

          The 10-year comparison of the 2001
          and 2011 Surveys shows an increase in
          both the number of hunters and their
          expenditures. Overall participation was
          up 5% over the time period. Big game
          hunting increased 6%.
          Six percent. I got my numbers turned around. Still, a fairly large statistically measurable increase. Especially big game, especially women. People just love shooting and eating big animals.
          http://digitalmedia.fws.gov/...

          Next time someone tells you less people are hunting tell them uh uh.

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 12:19:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Found it. The 9% increase was 06 to 2011 (0+ / 0-)

          your source was 01 to 06 which brought down the ten year trend.

          Also.... the 9% is overall, those sickos who like killing defenseless little birds rose 13% (sorry duckhunter, just hyperbole now)

          Now my question is why look for things to prove your point? Why not look for info that disproves it? Or even best look for info that reflects the real situation. If that is what you are trying to convey.

          Obviously that guy from the advocacy group was just wanting to spout BS to sway people to see things his way, or he doesn't know what he's talking about and he represents an anti gun org. Whichever it is he should be flipping burgers instead of talking to Terry Gross.

          Overall hunting participation increased
          9% from 2006 to 2011. The numbers of
          big game hunters rose 8%, migratory
          bird hunters increased 13%, and
          hunters seeking other animals increased
          by 92%.
          http://digitalmedia.fws.gov/...

          Page seven second paragraph

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 12:40:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not really "cherry picking" (0+ / 0-)

            Just looked at recent articles and that they were from what appeared to be reasonable sources.

            1st link Colorado Sep 11, 2012

            2nd link Wisconsin February 1st, 2012

            CBS link February 11, 2009

            The American Hunter link was early this year

            The Fish and Wildlife was a 15 year trend

            The Idaho link was February 23, 2012

            I think his point that assault rifles are all about marketing is valid. Sales were in decline and they needed something to boost sales. The question could be; are hunter buying assault rifles to hunt with? Not the way they are marketed from what I see.

            Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

            by BOHICA on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 02:12:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  as a hunter, I'd say 0% are for hunting even (0+ / 0-)

              though they are advertised in hunting magazines with hunting scenery. People who own them and shoot them a lot take the bolt gun when they go hunting. It's true a follow up shot is a good thing to be able to do but a bolt gun does it almost as fast. Certainly plenty fast enough for an animal that has already been hit. Bolt action hunting rifles usually shoot a bullet that weighs twice as much and is larger diameter. The bullet in AR15s is illegal in my state to hunt as it is too small.

              Mostly scary black guns are sold because they are fun to shoot and look cool.

              One statistic that does make it through is how many murders are committed with hand guns (almost all) and how many are committed with "long guns" which includes shot guns, and all types of rifles including "assault" guns. Long guns all together are a fraction of hand gun homicides.

              Restrictions or registrations on handguns are almost impossible, I'm pretty sure MB has one. People make all kinds of excuses as to why they need one. You start talking about hand guns and you will have a lot of liberals arguing. with you.

              I have no assalt type or handgun, I'm just remarking on the reality of the situation. I see no answers but gun homicide continues to drop in incidence.

              How big is your personal carbon footprint?

              by ban nock on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 04:15:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Of course! Those numbers are not allowed, by law, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BOHICA, IreGyre

        to be published.

        Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

        by Smoh on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:01:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I listened to that too. (8+ / 0-)

      I wondered if our own RKBA feel shame at their obfuscating tactics.  "There is no research finding that more guns leads to more deaths" - my ass!  The numbers are not allowed to be published.  And they ARE assault weapons as named by those in the gun industry, both for and against gun control.  I'm so sick of the worthless bickering over vocabulary to used to stop discussion.

      Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

      by Smoh on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:59:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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