John Feinblatt, Mike Bloomberg's top flunky in his gun-control operations, has doubled down on the anti-rights lobby's lies in a piece on the leftist website the Daily Beast. As I have been pointing out in my ongoing series about the lies of the anti-rights lobby, virtually everything that comes out of these propaganda operations is either blatantly false or seriously distorted. Feinblatt's Beast piece is a prime example of this. The column is headlined: "The NRA's Twisted List for Santa" and presents 10 bullet-point distortions of the NRA's position on various gun-control proposals.
According to Feinblatt, the NRA's political wish list includes:
- Guns for Felons. Feinblatt equates the NRA's support for the federal process whereby some felons can petition to have their rights restored – after convincing a judge that they are not a threat to society – is tantamount to giving a free pass to murderers, rapists and terrorists. In reality – before Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., got all funding for the program blocked – the typical person seeking restoration of rights was not a hardened, violent offender, but rather one who had been convicted of crimes like tax evasion or possession of marijuana. Their petitions were usually only considered after a minimum of 10 years of post-release, model citizenship.
- Guns for Terror Suspects. Bloomberg and his lackeys want to add anyone who is on the "Terrorist Watch List" to the FBI's "prohibited persons" database so they can't legally buy a gun from a licensed dealer. The problem here is that the "Watch List," by necessity, is shrouded in secrecy. No one knows what criteria are used to place a person's name on the list nor is there a formal process for someone to get his name off the list. Add to that the fact that the Department of Homeland Security has labeled fundamentalist Christians, Libertarians, opponents of abortion, military veterans and "patriots" as "potential terrorists," and you can see why NRA would be leery of this proposal.
- Guns for Domestic Abusers. This canard is a reference to NRA opposition to efforts to suspend the Bill of Rights when someone makes an accusation of domestic abuse. We've all seen cases of vengeful soon-to-be-ex-spouses using the legal system as a tool for harassment. Should an abusive husband be able to disarm his victimized wife with a false accusation of abuse?
- Guns for the Mentally Ill. Feinblatt cites NRA opposition to a California law that allows police or family members to get a temporary weapons restraining order against someone they fear is mentally unstable and at high risk of doing harm to themselves or others. The California law and similar proposals have high potential for abuse and low potential for actually saving lives.The fact is, the NRA has been criticized by rights advocates like me for being too agreeable to firearms restrictions based on mental-health evaluations. Stigmatizing and punishing millions of harmless people for seeking mental-health treatment is not a rational response to aberrant atrocities, especially when there is no clear indication that the process would be effective.
- Gun Gag Orders. Here Feinblatt claims that NRA's objection to doctors collecting information about patients' gun ownership – which under provisions of Obamacare would then be included in government-accessible medical records – is tantamount to forbidding doctors and military officers from discussing guns with service members at risk of suicide. This is totally false. None of the past laws or current proposals prevent discussion of prudent steps a person or their family could or should take to reduce suicide risks. NRA-supported legislation has only proscribed collecting ownership data or treatment of gun ownership as an illness.
- Guns on Campus. Guns in Bars. Guns in Restaurants and Grocery Stores. To hoplophobes like Bloomberg and Feinblatt, any gun anywhere beyond the hands of police, military and their own paid bodyguards is a "threat to public safety." It is ridiculous to forbid adult students, faculty members, or other licensed adults who legally and responsibly carry guns for personal defense from carrying on college campuses, school grounds, or in bars, restaurants, or grocery stores. It has been repeatedly proven that people who carry guns legally are not a threat to anyone except criminals. The shooting of a Florida State University campus carry advocate last November demonstrates the nonsensical nature of location-based prohibitions on legal carry.
- Gun Lawsuits. Feinblatt thinks it's outrageous that NRA would wish to have legal standing to sue on behalf of their local members when a local government passes a gun-control law that is in violation of state laws and state authorities choose to look the other way.
- Guns for Everyone, No Questions Asked. The firearm industry is highly regulated, with tens of millions of dollars spent every year to maintain records and investigate the criminal histories of purchasers – most of whom already own at least one firearm. Feinblatt and Bloomberg want to extend that process to include private individuals who want to sell a gun to a friend or post a gun for sale in a classified ad. The NRA and rights advocates oppose government intrusion into private transactions. There is no evidence that the current "background check" system – which NRA endorsed over the objections of constitutionally minded rights advocates like me – has had any positive impact on crime, even though it consumes massive amounts of money and manpower that could be deployed more effectively. It has also been shown that private transactions are not a significant source of guns used in crime.
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In short, according to Feinblatt, the NRA wants "more guns for everyone, everywhere, anytime." That's simply not true. It, like so much of what Feinblatt and his ilk say, is a lie.
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