Sunday, January 13, 2013

NRA and other gun owner groups not interested in working with Obama administration on gun-control legislation

Posted By on Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM

This Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden is set to unveil his recommendations on gun control to President Obama, and according to Yahoo! News, those recommendations could include banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines as well as tightening background checks.

Not surprisingly, groups representing gun owners and manufacturers say they'll oppose any and all such measures, even on something like universal background checks.

On Fox News Sunday, Larry Pratt from Gun Owners of America told anchor Chris Wallace that background checks would not stop a mass murder like what happened in Newtown, Conn., last month.

PRATT: Well, I think it's a false security to think that somehow we're going to spot problems when there's really no way to spot these problems. Some of the most horrendous of the mass murders that have occurred recently, including the one in Newtown would not have been stopped by a background check. The gun is stolen. The person has no prior criminal record.

And, so, to assume that this is going to be our firewall against mass murders —

WALLACE: Well, I'm not — I don't think anybody is saying it's a firewall. But what's wrong with the idea, if you're going to get a gun, whether you buy it from a registered dealer or whether you buy in a private sale, that you'd have to go through some background checks just in case, to find out whether somebody is a felon, or whether somebody has a mental health problem.

PRATT: We are wasting our time and going in that direction when we should be talking about doing away with the gun-free zones which have been so convenient, such a magnet to those who would come and slaughter lots of people, knowing that there's nobody that's going to be legally able to defend themselves in these zones.

Gun owners and advocates continue to say that virtually no regulations of guns should occur, since it would be unconstitutional. But Wallace referenced Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's argument in the 2008 Heller case, that the right to bear arms as written in the Second Amendment was "not unlimited," and that restrictions can be made on what kinds of guns can be used. Pratt didn't want to hear about it.

PRATT: Well, that was unfortunate because the Amendment does provide its own degree of scrutiny. It says shall not be infringed. And, we know that at least one justice, Mr. Thomas, takes that point of view.

This is not something where the government is supposed to be free to tell we, the people, the government's boss, how much — how far we can go with the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is there to constrain the government. Not the people.

WALLACE: So you think that Scalia was wrong when he said that that right is not unlimited?

PRATT: He was not speaking from a constitutional perspective


Meanwhile, on CNN's State of the Union, David Keene, the president of the National Rifle Association, said that he didn't think any of the gun-control measures that President Obama will announce have a chance of passing through Congress.

We don't think any of those things work," Keene said."You should absolutely be able to compromise on things that accomplish the purpose. Our objection to those things is that they interfere with people's rights without doing anything to solve the problem."

Since the shooting in Newtown, Conn., the NRA added 100,000 new members, bringing its total membership to 4.2 million.

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