OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

For an organization that champions guns and machismo, the NRA is surprisingly easy to scare. If you disagree, you merely need to observe its reaction after the mass shooting in Connecticut.

Despite public support for gun control rising, including amongst law-abiding gun owners and some Republicans, the NRA has made it a point to oppose, vilify, and machinate against any type of gun control, including expanded background checks, culminating in the deplorable robocalls they made to the citizens at ground zero: Newtown.

This type of belligerence is so extreme, not to mention dumb, that it can only be a sign of fear.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

If the NRA truly wanted to engage with the nation on the topic of gun rights, it would not be doing everything in its power to antagonize the government and the people by its total intransigence and tone-deaf indifference to the safety of Americans. The only logical conclusion is that the NRA is afraid and, like any scared person, hitting back aimlessly at whatever it can.

But what exactly is the organization so afraid of? The answer to that lies in its stance on background checks.

Even the most ardent conservatives and Second Amendment supporters agree that guns should not be sold to criminals or the mentally ill. In fact, more than 80 percent of gun owners support universal background checks. This is not a matter of parsing the constitution but of simple survival for the American public. Background checks reduce the chances of unqualified buyers getting hold of dangerous weapons and then using them to commit mayhem; they make it easier for law enforcement to trace guns back to their owners and hold them accountable for where their weapons wind up; and from the perspective of law-abiding gun owners, background checks protect their right to bear arms by preventing that right from being abused by unscrupulous buyers.

Given all this, who in their right mind would oppose a system to prevent that?

The NRA, and not because background checks don't work, but because Wayne LaPierre and Co. are afraid that they might.

For one thing, if background checks are effective, then toughening them up could lead to fewer gun sales, which would hurt the NRA's shadow constituency of gun manufacturers. That part is easy to spot. The other part, however, is the dirty secret that the NRA does not want us to guess. Successful background checks could also mean greater safety for Americans and therefore less opposition to gun ownership in the nation. That, in turn, would make the NRA obsolete.

The sad fact of the matter is that the NRA is never more relevant than when gun violence rocks the nation. Every time a mass shooting occurs and public sentiment turns against guns, the NRA suddenly comes alive, donors flood the war chest of the organization with money, and the gun industry ramps up support for its most powerful line of defense against gun control. To put it more crassly, it is precisely when America bleeds that the NRA earns its keep, and so any measure that would keep guns off the streets and which would reduce gun violence is not really in the NRA's personal interests.

It is all right for Americans to disagree about gun control, but background checks are such a basic, common-sense measure that they should not be up for debate at all. The NRA's opposition betrays its bad faith in the national discussion about gun control, and the self-serving agenda that it is really promoting.

Don't be fooled. The battle over background checks is not about the Second Amendment; it is about the NRA's desire to please its corporate masters, its need for relevance, its thirst for power, and its deep-rooted fear of a safer America with a national consensus on gun laws.

SANJAY SANGHOEE is a political and business commentator.  He has worked at leading investment banks and at a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School and is the author of a thriller titled "Merger" (available on Amazon), which Chicago Tribune called "Timely, Gripping, and Original". Follow him on Twitter @sanghoee

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to sanghoee on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 03:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, and Firearms Law and Policy.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.