Every once in a while the National Rifle Association takes a position that makes them look the bunch of crazy gun nuts their detractors claim they are. This week the NRA has urged the Bush administration to withdraw their support of a bill that would prohibit terror suspects from buying guns. Why on Earth would the NRA do this? In a letter to Alberto Gonzales NRA Executive Director Chris Cox wrote that the bill proposed by New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ),”would allow arbitrary denial of Second Amendment rights based on mere ‘suspicions’ of a terrorist threat. As many of our friends in law enforcement have rightly pointed out, the word ‘suspect’ has no legal meaning, particularly when it comes to denying constitutional liberties.”

On their website the NRA is really clear about their fears, “The anti-gunners’ intentions are clear—to conduct a massive fishing expedition aimed at driving gun dealers and gun manufacturers out of business through bogus lawsuits.  This is a backdoor attempt to undermine “The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2005.  This landmark law blocks reckless, harassment lawsuits intended to hold gun manufacturers and dealers responsible for the misuse of firearms by criminals.” The NRA claims that they hate the terrorists as much as the next guy, but they don’t want any laws that take guns away, because that will be the first step in government taking everyone’s guns away.

Essentially what this law would do is deny weapons sales to anybody on the terror watch list. While I feel that the NRA is being paranoid in their approach, they do have a valid point when it comes to the terror watch list. The terror watch list has proven itself to be overwhelmingly inaccurate and less than reliable. The solution here isn’t opposing this law, but it involves coming up with a better system to monitor suspected terrorists. Too many innocent people are ending up on the terror watch list, and it is almost impossible for a person to get their name removed from the list once it is put on.

The NRA is right not to trust this administration when it comes to secret lists and spying. The Bush administration has a proven record of secret domestic spying. However, the NRA needs to get over this childish fear that the government is coming to take everyone’s guns away. Such nonsense completely undermines any credibility that they do have. The intent of this bill is good. No one wants to see terrorists carry out attacks with weapons that they purchased here in the United States. The problem is that the terror list isn’t even good at tracking terrorists, so how are they going to keep guns out of potential terrorists’ hands. In the end, the NRA needs to realize that the Bush administration hates terrorists more than it likes guns, so they are not going to win this one.

NRA website

Full text of NRA letter to AG Gonzales

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse
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