At yesterday’s hearing on Capitol Hill about guns, Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president for the NRA contradicted his own testimony from 1999 and came out against universal background checks now we have a black Democrat in the White House. And freedom.
If Mr. LaPierre is against universal background checks, he’s about the only one who is.
Ninety-two percent of Americans favor background checks for all potential gun buyers, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.
Support for universal background checks went across party lines: 89 percent of Republicans and 93 percent of Democrats and independents were in favor, as well as 93 percent of gun households and 85 percent of those living in a household with a member of the National Rifle Association.
After the shooting in Newtown, a lot of people — myself included — doubted that anything meaningful would be done about guns. We’d all seen this happen before; the shock and horror, the tearful funerals, the call for action and then… nothing. The NRA and their backers would tell us that now is not the time, or there are enough laws, or oh, look, mental health.
But this time seems to be different. The memories linger on, and for the first time in a very long time, the arc is bending towards the side of actually doing something. In watching the video clips of Mr. LaPierre trying to make his case, he sounded like he was the only one still holding out for doing nothing other than distract and blame someone else.
Finally. Maybe this time something will actually get done.
Mr. LaPierre’s solo act wasn’t the only thing to see at the hearings. Gayle Trotter, who could only be described as a spokesmodel for the AR-15 assault weapon, showed up and cheerfully told the committee that she just loves the feel of a weapon that can mow down 20 people in less time than it takes to open a can of soup.
The defenders of guns may know how to shoot out the eye of a fly at 100 yards, but they sure have a lot to learn about PR.