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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gabrielle Giffords’ husband schools NRA tool Wayne LaPierre

Greg Sargent:

Perhaps the most important moment so far in today’s Senate Judiciary hearing on guns came when astronaut Mark Kelly directly confronted NRA head Wayne LaPierre over the shooting of his wife, Gabrielle Giffords. Between that exchange and another one involving Senator Dick Durbin, LaPierre’s argument was completely unmasked for the sham that it is.

During the hearing, LaPierre repeatedly voiced the talking point that there’s no need to expand the background check system because criminals don’t cooperate with background checks. Kelly responded:

The Tuscon shooter was an admitted drug user. He was rejected from the U.S. Army because of his drug use. He was clearly mentally ill. And when he purchased that gun in November, his plan was to assassinate my wife and commit mass murder at that Safeway in Tucson. He was a criminal. Because of his drug use, and because of what he was planning on doing. But because of these gaps in the mental health system, in this case, those 121,000 records, I admit did not include a record on him. But it could have.

And if it did, he would have failed that background check. he would have likely gone to a gun show, or a private seller, and avoided that background check. But if we close that gun show loophole, if we require private sellers to complete a background check, and we get those 121,000 records and others into the systems, we will prevent gun crime. That is an absolute truth. It would have happened in Tucson. My wife would not have been sitting here today if we had stronger background checks.

If you’re wondering why people like LaPierre make such obviously shitty arguments in favor of their obviously shitty positions, simply remember one thing — the NRA is a trade association and, as such, opposes anything that would reduce the sales of firearms and ammunition. What background checks would do would be to limit the customer base by weeding out crazy people and criminals. They want to be able to sell guns to criminals.That’s it. That’s the only reason the NRA opposes expanded background checks and any other reason they give is horseshit.

[image source]

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