Guns, It Was Bound to Happen . . . - The Missourian: Columns

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Guns, It Was Bound to Happen . . .

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Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014 7:00 pm

It wasn’t too surprising to read that a multimillionaire has donated a huge sum of money to an organization to counter the National Rifle Association. Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, said he will donate $50 million to Every Town for Gun Safety.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a powerful organization whose members oppose strict gun controls and/or no new controls. People who favor some controls on guns consider the NRA as a radical group that won’t budge an inch when it comes to controls of any kind.

Bloomberg wants the NRA to be “afraid” of Every Town for Gun Safety. The NRA will be able to match Bloomberg’s $50 million in waging a battle against strict gun controls.

Will it be a standoff at the USA corral?

Bloomberg has opposed the NRA before, and has supported gun controls. He has backed Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. He plans to move both of those groups into the new organization.

Polls report that the majority of U.S. residents support stricter gun laws, and stronger background checks for people buying guns is an issue with considerable support. Larry Pratt, head of Gun Owners of America, said supporters of gun rights have more passion about the issue. Certainly they have had a passion for gun rights for a very long time — since the founding of the country. Pratt said if Bloomberg wants to waste his money, “he’s free to do so. But frankly, I think he’s going to find out why his side keeps losing.”

Gun owners are very passionate about freedom to buy, own and even carry a firearm. They have been afraid that President Obama would take their guns, or be able to promote very strict regulations on the ownership of guns. That fear has led to an increase in gun sales. Gun merchants have been heard to say that the president has been the best salesman they ever have had.

Why do gun owners feel as strongly as they do about this issue? We know that many people believe they need a gun for protection. The increase in mass shootings has added to their fears. The increase in crimes committed with the use of a gun, or some other weapon, in this country is another factor in their belief. Others believe very sincerely that gun freedoms are a basic right guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Associate Press reported that Democratic worries about this November’s elections, a lack of Senate votes, and House opposition are forcing congressional gun-control supporters to significantly winnow their 2014 agenda, a year after lawmakers scuttled the president’s effort to pass new curbs on firearms. A thorny issue such as this doesn’t have much of a chance in an election year.

Will Every Town for Gun Safety be able to overcome the NRA and receive support from lawmakers for stricter gun controls? We doubt it. But the new organization is going to make the NRA spend large sums of money to counteract its enemies! Gun rights supporters are extremely passionate about their beliefs. There are few issues that are able to bring out the passionate response that the gun owners can fire.

/opinion/columns