Rational, reasonable people know that the National Rifle Association has nothing in common with Syria, Iran, and North Korea. The NRA doesn’t shoot dissident members, it isn’t trying to develop a nuclear capacity, and it isn’t headed by an incompetent leader who got the job because Dad and Granddad had the same job before him.
That said, this hasn’t stopped the Editorial Board of the New York Times from lumping the NRA in with those rogue countries. Their reasoning is that since the NRA and those countries both oppose the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty, they are all pariahs.
In April, the 193-member General Assembly adopted it overwhelmingly by a vote of 154 to 3, clearing the way for individual states to sign and then ratify the pact. The states in opposition were familiar outliers in the international system: North Korea, Syria and Iran.
The National Rifle Association, like those nations, rejects this sensible international weapons regulation. It is opposed to the arms treaty even though the treaty has no impact on the American domestic market.
The group falsely claims the treaty will somehow infringe on Americans’ gun rights under the Second Amendment. In fact, as Secretary of State John Kerry stressed when he signed the treaty, the pact not only does not restrict Americans, it specifically “recognizes the freedom of both individuals and states to obtain, possess and use arms for legitimate purposes.”
But the N.R.A., with its lucrative campaign coffers and fear-mongering, has long been extremely effective at keeping lawmakers in line with its pernicious agenda. Months before the Obama administration signed the treaty, one-third of the Senate introduced a resolution opposing ratification on Second Amendment grounds. That is a signal of the tough fight ahead whenever the Senate formally takes up the issue.
Lucrative campaign coffers. Fear-mongering. Pernicious agenda. Rejecting sensible regulation.
So much for civil discourse.
One could use all of those perjorative phrases to describe the behavior of the President, Mayor Bloomberg, and others of the so-called progressive bent. Bloomberg certainly has deeper pockets than the NRA. President Obama has repeatedly engaged in fear-mongering to further his agenda. Many of us consider the agenda of Democrats in Congress to be pernicious and they have consistently opposed any regulation of mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. I won’t even touch on their aversion to any regulation of abortion providers.
Say what you will but these rogue regimes and the Editorial Board of the New York Times agree on one thing: controlling their opponents.