The NRA is now staunchly opposed to universal background checks for all firearm sales. At the Senate Judiciary Committee’s meeting on gun violence last week, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre derided background checks as being not truly universal because, you know, criminals won’t use them. Illinois’ Democratic Senator #$%$ Durbin laid LaPierre out for that statement, telling him he “missed the point” because of course criminals won’t submit to background checks, thereby making it harder for them to “legitimately” purchase a gun.
The NRA’s own rank and file members by a large majority support universal background checks. But it would appear that the NRA’s executive board is choosing to deny that reality. Why, I can’t say. It doesn’t seem like it’s really within their best interests to continue to placate a group that is becoming further marginalized thanks to their extreme positions on gun ownership. It doesn’t seem like it’s really within their best interests to ignore the desires of the majority of their own members, much less the people in general, and continue to push the extremist agenda as their own. And yet, there was LaPierre, poo-pooing background checks, despite having argued adamantly for them back in 1999 in the wake of Columbine. So now LaPierre and the NRA are not only denying what their own members believe, but they’re denying what they themselves once believed.
We all change our minds, but you really get the sense that the NRA’s only mission is to keep moving the ball from one cup to another, never letting America actually get anything new or substantive done in the area of gun control. If it means more regulation, even if LaPierre supported the proposal yesterday, today he’ll be against it. How much longer can the NRA continue to deny the growing reality that they are on the losing side of public opinion? After all, not only did ninety-two percent of the people polled by Quinnipiac agree with background checks, but majority of them also agreed with the assault rifle ban and a ban on magazine capacities over ten rounds. Granted, the majorities were much smaller, but they were majorities nonetheless. The times are changing, and much like the Republican Party, the NRA is looking unwilling to roll right along with the rest of us.