Friday, March 18, 2011
Why is NRA spurning Obama move? - CNN.com
Two months after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, talking reasonably about gun policy remains a third rail in American politics.
That's despite this fact -- more than 2,400 Americans have died of gunshot wounds since the rampage in Tucson, Arizona. That is four times the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan last year, combined.
As Americans, we react forcefully to crisis and conflicts -- but we have a hard time focusing on more slow-moving problems, such as the daily blood drip-drip of gun violence.
This past weekend, President Obama wrote an op-ed for the Arizona Daily Star, in which he proposed strengthening the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and called for a depolarization of the gun policy debate. The administration signaled that it wanted to meet with the National Rifle Association.
The NRA's response was to flatly turn down any administration requests to meet. Its director, Wayne LaPierre, declared, "Why should I or the NRA go sit down with a group of people that have spent a lifetime trying to destroy the Second Amendment in the United States?"