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A U.S. flag flies at half staff in front of the Reed Intermediate School in Newtown, Connecticut, following a shooting nearby at Sandy Hook Elementary School, December 14, 2012. A heavily armed gunman opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school on
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and the second anniversary of the Tucson mass shooting that killed six and seriously wounded 13, including Rep. Gabby Giffords, the gun lobby continues to kick and scream at any plan to strengthen gun laws.

Even with the National Rifle Association's favorability having dropped 10 points since the week before the NRA held a press conference to suggest putting armed guards in every school in the country—an idea supported by a mind-bogglingly high 41 percent of people, but opposed by 50 percent—the gun lobby group is going into its meetings with Vice President Joe Biden already planning a lobbying push in Congress to prevent passage of new laws, while major gun dealer Walmart agreed to meet with Biden after initially refusing, but is predictably concerned with maintaining its gun-related profits.

But lobbying Congress is mild stuff, and the gun lobby has further plans.

A coalition of groups, including the Second Amendment Foundation, Revolution PAC and Women Warriors PAC, among others, is organizing a Gun Appreciation Day two days before Obama’s inaugural address, calling for gun owners to turn “out en masse at gun stores, ranges and shows from coast to coast” on Jan. 19.
Meanwhile, after the Tucson Police Department held a gun buyback to commemorate the second anniversary of the mass shooting in that city, the NRA is arguing that destroying the guns would be against the law:
[Lobbyist and NRA board member Todd] Rathner says Arizona state law forces local governments to sell seized or abandoned property to the highest bidder.

"If property has been abandoned to the police, then they are required by ARS 12-945 to sell it to a federally licensed firearms dealer, and that's exactly what they should do," he says.

That way, Rathner says, the guns can be put back in circulation or given away.

The Tucson city attorney calls that a misreading of the law.

Councilman Kozachik says the guns aren't being abandoned; they're being turned in voluntarily.

Apparently, according to the NRA, gun owners should have no way to take their own guns out of circulation short of the long walk to the top of Mount Doom. Or maybe the NRA would oppose that, too. But handing your gun over to the police because you want there to be one less gun out there in private hands? Nuh uh. No way. Get those puppies back out on the street.

So, yes, when Politico notes that "expectations low for Joe Biden, NRA talks," that seems like a fair assessment of the situation.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:51 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Daily Kos.

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