NRA

NRA defends abusers and stalkers in fight against VAWA

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Talk about misplaced priorities:

House Republicans broadly object to at least four new policies added to the bill to reauthorize VAWA — which expired back in February when Democrats objected to GOP efforts to include a short-term extension of the law in a spending deal. But the most controversial are new provisions to lower the criminal threshold to bar someone from buying a gun to include misdemeanor convictions of domestic abuse or stalking charges. Current law applies to felony convictions.

In order to understand why these changes need to be made, you need to understand how our legal system (usually) works. An extremely high percentage of those Domestic Violence "misdemeanors" started out as felonies, only to be plea bargained down. More than any other crime, Domestic Violence is a nightmare for prosecutors, and getting any conviction at all is considered a "win." So when you see that word (misdemeanor), don't assume it was just a casual push during an argument. The abuser most likely took a plea deal to avoid a jury hearing what really happened. I'm not just making that up, by the way:

Evidence shows Burr coordinated with NRA in 2016 Election

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The only time he actually does something always involves campaign money:

Back in 2016, when North Carolina Republican Richard Burr prevailed against Democratic challenger Deborah Ross, Burr employed National Media outright, while the NRA used Red Eagle. As in the other races, Ferrell signed off on purchases for both sides. FCC paperwork filed by WECT, the NBC affiliate in Wilmington, shows Ferrell signing off on purchases for the Burr campaign on October 12, 24, and 27 and November 2 as an “agent for Richard Burr Committee.” At the same time, he authorized Red Eagle purchases on behalf of the NRA on September 19 and October 21.

The campaign coordination alone is a serious issue, and one of the few safeguards left in place after Citizens United. But even more concerning is the likelihood that Russian money was used to get Richard Burr re-elected:

Students come together to oppose gun violence

When the most responsible adults in the room are also the youngest:

“The sad and terrifying reality is that another school shooting like Parkland will happen if we don’t take action now," said Sawyer Taylor-Arnold. “I hope that one day students won’t have to fear going to school because of gun violence. I hope that school becomes once again a place for education and promise instead of a terrifying gamble of safety. I hope that students in the future won’t know the pain and trauma that accompanies gun violence because we will have the regulation our country desperately needs.”

Taylor-Arnold is a junior at Asheville High School. She said she wanted to attend the Summit to learn more about gun violence and hear first-hand accounts of how it affected so many young people.

I am proud of these students, but also kind of angry. I'm angry that our lack of action on this issue made them feel the need to push for change. Angry that nothing of any substance has been done to limit the insanely easy access to deadly firearms, and that every (single) common-sense approach is viciously opposed by gun fetishists and the businesses that profit from them. Here are some of their ideas:

Tillis' NRA ties are coming back to haunt him

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That's why they call it "illegal" coordination:

In a joint letter to FEC Chair Caroline Hunter and Vice Chair Ellen Weintraub, the lawmakers — led by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island — asked the FEC to “open an investigation into a potential campaign finance violation” alleged by the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group, in two complaints that are currently before the commission. The complaints claim that the NRA uses a company called Starboard Strategic Inc. to circumvent laws prohibiting election-related coordination between campaigns and outside groups who support them.

Prior to the creation of Starboard in 2013, the NRA used OnMessage as a vendor to place political ads. Beginning in the 2014 election cycle, the group shifted to Starboard, spending millions of dollars for ads supporting the campaigns of three Republican Senate candidates: Thom Tillis in North Carolina, Cory Gardner in Colorado, and Tom Cotton in Arkansas. All three campaigns paid OnMessage as a consultant, and all three won.

Keep in mind, this was going on at the same time Tillis (and drunken Dallas) were using Russian-backed Cambridge Analytica to conduct a personally-targeted and invasive propaganda scam to trick voters into voting for one of North Carolina's emptiest of suits. Since Tillis is not running in this cycle, it might seem like an issue that could wait. But they're pulling the same shenanigans in a couple of 2018 Senate contests:

Arming Teachers to Protect our Kids.

I have some serious, and sincere, questions for those proposing that teachers be armed in order to protect children in school.

Would the arming of teachers be a suggestion or a requirement?
Is the state going to issue firearms to school teachers? Or should each teacher buy their own?
How will that be accomplished? Will someone arrange a gun show just for teachers? Will there be any additional background checks?

The NRA has invested over ten million in Burr & Tillis

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Don't expect any sensible gun regulations any time soon:

NRA groups have spent nearly $7 million on behalf of Burr. That includes $5.6 million that NRA groups spent last year against his Democratic opponent, Deborah Ross. That was more than the NRA spent against any candidate with the exception of Hillary Clinton.

And Tillis has gotten $4.5 million in help, including independent expenditures against his 2014 opponent, then-incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan.

Considering there have been 273 mass shootings (4 or more people shot) in the last year, it's not a huge stretch to describe this as blood money. You know what else this signifies? The NRA was scared shitless they could lose these statewide races in North Carolina. You know, like they did when Roy Cooper retook the Governor's mansion for the Democratic Party. Think on that.

NRA spends $4.5 million to keep Burr in DC

And now we know why Burr resisted the "No Fly, No Buy" effort:

As of Tuesday, the NRA had poured $36.3 million into the 2016 election, breaking its own record of $31.7 million from just two years before, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. The blitz cements the NRA’s status as a key cog in Republican electoral efforts.

The NRA has portrayed Clinton as an existential threat to gun rights. The group argues she would nominate Supreme Court justices “who will overturn” the Second Amendment. In down-ballot races, the group has spent $4.5 million on the North Carolina Senate race, about 90 percent of that attacking Democrat Deborah Ross, who is in a tight contest with incumbent Republican Richard Burr.

Apparently being an obstructionist makes you a lot of powerful friends. Unfortunately, many in the "law and order" crowd aren't smart enough to connect the dots between Burr's blocking of judges and justices and his blocking of laws designed to protect us, with that crazy dangerous world they are so afraid of. A Congress that is deadlocked thanks to people like Richard Burr simply can't adapt to developing threats. Which is exactly what the NRA wants, because the fear and uncertainty that results from inaction is great for gun sales.

Alexander Hamilton's Gun Nut Amendment

Increasingly in today’s America, facts are being replaced by self-interpretation. Facts certainly continue to have their place as long as they are “our” facts versus “the” facts. In regard to right wing politics, guns and the 2nd Amendment, facts are code for “our beliefs.” Years ago and in the course of a conversation, an acquaintance spoke about her husband. “He knows what he knows and that’s all he wants to know”, she said. In a previous post some time ago, this simpleton quote my have been used in regard to another issue. Today, it bears repeating.

Thank Burr and Tillis for the Orlando massacre

They had a chance (if not several) to stop Omar Mateen from arming himself:

Senate Republicans rejected a bill that aims to stop suspected terrorists from legally buying guns, on Thursday. The vote came a day after at least 14 people were killed during the San Bernardino massacre in California by two suspects, including a woman said to have pledged allegiance to ISIS. Forty-five senators voted for the bill and 54 voted against it. One Democrat, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and one Republican, Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, crossed party lines.

The NRA did not respond to a request on Friday for comment. But the gun rights lobby group told MSBC last month it wants to ensure that Americans who are wrongly on the terrorist list are are afforded their constitutional right to due process.

I don't want to hear another &*$%#@*&% word from Republicans harping about the "true" threat to our country. Or how Democrats put the interests of a tiny minority above the interests and desires of the vast majority of Americans. This bill would have allowed those denied the purchase of a firearm to plead their case to an administrative judge, and it would also have alerted the handful of wrongfully classified individuals that they were in fact on a watch list. Just basic common sense, as Dianne Feinstein so eloquently stated:

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