By Saul Roth
Right after September 11, 2001 there was a frenzy of gun purchases. FBI statistics show 455, 000 more background checks in the first six months after the attack than the previous six month period the year before (Scott Medlock, NRA=No Rational Argument? How the National Rifle Association Exploits Public Irrationality, 11 Tex.J. on C.L. &39 (2005) (39). There were probably many private sales that do not require these background checks.
There are many studies that show gun ownership increases the chance of violence between family members. Guns kill about 30,000 people each year. Yet the gun industry is one of the least regulated industries in the United States (Medlock, Supra at 39).
The NRA is against any type of gun control. There was bills to regulate plastic made guns that pass through metal detectors, to limit sale of bullets that go through bullet proof vest and the bill to only allow a purchase of one gun a month (Medlock, Supra at 41)
The NRA is a very wealthy organization. It offers its members many incentives. It circulates a magazine with four issues a year. The magazine promotes gun ownership for self-defense. Every issue has a story of an armed citizen defending himself (Medlock, Supra at 44). The Vice Present of the NRA is Wayne LaPierre. He is very vocal. He claims the police have a duty to protect the community, not the individual (Medlock, Supra at 45). As a police officer I was never taught this concept. LaPierre claims there would be 2.5 million more crimes each year of guns were controlled. Even though children are disproportionally killed by guns, LaPierre states the kids are bad not the guns (Medlock, Supra at 50).
The NRA acts on people’s emotions. After the movie JAWS many people were scared to swim in the ocean. There is a very low chance of being attacked by a shark. There is a very low chance of needing a gun to protect you. LaPierre compares gun control to the government of China but does not compare the success of gun control in Britain, France, Canada, Australia and Ireland. LaPierre’s famous quote is “ Rapist love Gun Control” (Medlock, Supra at 48). The NRA has demonized the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau (ATF). The NRA has compared the ATF to storm trooping Nazi’s. The NRA has also stated that if the German citizens had guns there would have been no Holocaust (Medlock, Supra at 52).
The gun control issue is a cultural issue. Citizens of rural areas are brought up with guns. They are usually very familiar with rifles for hunting and target practice. Urban citizens are usually not gun owners and only hear about guns in the news when used during violent activities. There is a small amount of gun accidents. The NRA claims there are accidents while driving so there will be accidents with gun ownership (Medlock, Supra at 55).