Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Opinion

Ruth: Gun lobby's plan? More guns, of course

You do have to wonder whether the National Rifle Association uses the services of the same image consultant who handles Lindsay Lohan, Baghdad Bob, Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army and a Kardashian to be named later. • In anticipation of a cowering U.S. Senate debate this week to take up gun control proposals that will likely be more watered down than a cash bar at a Mormon wedding, the NRA's paid shill, Asa Hutchinson, unveiled Big Paranoia's plans to curb firearm violence — which has claimed more than 3,300 lives since the Dec. 14, 2012, murders of 20 children and six school employees in Newtown, Conn.

Hutchinson's National School Shield Task Force concluded after 225 pages that the only thing to do is provide more armed security at schools. The NRA's cooked-up homework assignment offered all the intellectual firepower of the script for Porky's. What's more, Hutchinson unveiled the NRA's Manifesto of Mendacity at Washington's National Press Club surrounded by about 20 armed security guards and bomb-sniffing dogs.

The only odor to be detected was the wafting of NRA hypocrisy hanging over the room.

Reporters entering the make-believe news conference were subjected to searches; even water bottles were confiscated, which might suggest some very fine vodka could have been discarded. It was the National Press Club, after all.

Still, it does seem a bit odd that the National Rifle Association, the purveyors of Big Fear, which wants everybody to be able to carry a gun anywhere they want, would suddenly go all weak in the knees over the remote possibility that someone attending Hutchinson's Potemkin Village news conference might be packing heat.

The only threat the assembled scribblers posed to Asa Hutchinson was misspelling his first name with an extra "s".

A press club official noted it is not unusual for high-level government officials or heads of state attending an event to have a security detail — but not a private citizen showing up to do nothing more than spread around a huge pile of hooey. Asa Hutchinson's boorish phalanx of Second Amendment stooges was bigger than the security details assigned to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. This probably qualifies as having a high-capacity magazine of hubris.

If it was the NRA's intention to intimidate the press corps by rummaging through their belongings — only to discover padded expense accounts, losing racetrack betting slips and pristine, never-opened AP Stylebooks — the clumsy gambit had the opposite effect.

Hutchinson's army of goons simply exposed the former congressman, U.S. attorney and Drug Enforcement Agency director for having the ego to think he was somehow at great risk.

The Hutchinson faux press availability was little more than an opportunity to lay out the firearm lobby's position on gun control as the Senate gets ready to flap its flippers like honking circus seals looking for an anchovy treat from NRA master Wayne LaPierre.

The NRA's position is to have no position except to turn our schools into Rambo Elementary. Despite all the gun violence, the prospects for legislation banning extended magazines, or assault rifles, appear to have been scuttled by the undue influence of the NRA.

And universal background checks, which would help to close the moronic gun show loophole and are favored by 90 percent of the American public, might actually pass but only after concessions are made to exempt gun sales between family members or "temporary" transfers between hunters. So much for "universal" background checks.

It's merely a suggestion, but instead of holding silly news conferences, Asa Hutchinson and Wayne LaPierre and the rest of the Big Paranoia NRA cabal ought to go to Newtown and explain in person to the families of the 20 dead children and six school officials why they oppose sensible gun control.

Finally, Hutchinson's rent-a-bullies might have something to do.

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