I’ve always thought the NRA exists to serve the financial interests of the gun manufacturers and that the death, destruction and heartache that flow from its fanatical opposition to even the most uncontroversial (to sane people) and widely supported gun control actions are purely incidental. This story makes me wonder if that’s actually true:
‘Smart’ Firearm Draws Wrath of the Gun Lobby
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Belinda Padilla does not pick up unknown calls anymore, not since someone posted her cellphone number on an online forum for gun enthusiasts. A few fuming-mad voice mail messages and heavy breathers were all it took.
Then someone snapped pictures of the address where she has a P.O. box and put those online, too. In a crude, cartoonish scrawl, this person drew an arrow to the blurred image of a woman passing through the photo frame. “Belinda?” the person wrote. “Is that you?”
Her offense? Trying to market and sell a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it.
So the gun lobby unleashed flying monkeys to harass and intimidate this woman, who represents a gun manufacturer. Here’s the NRA’s statement on the “smart gun” issue (source: link in article linked above):
NRA does not oppose new technological developments in firearms; however, we are opposed to government mandates that require the use of expensive, unreliable features, such as grips that would read your fingerprints before the gun will fire. And NRA recognizes that the “smart guns” issue clearly has the potential to mesh with the anti-gunner’s agenda, opening the door to a ban on all guns that do not possess the government-required technology.
No one has said jackshit about retroactive or future government mandates, of course, though President Obama and other Democrats have urged the exploration of technology solutions to make guns safer. That would seem to fall under the heading of “common sense,” if such a category existed on Planet Gun, which it doesn’t.
But in any case, wouldn’t there be money in smart guns for gun manufacturers, either in retro-fitting existing guns or selling new smart guns, perhaps to people who wouldn’t otherwise arm themselves for fear of accidents or theft?
So what’s going on here? Is the NRA simply in the tank for existing donors, and the smart gun people just need to slide them some bags of cash to get them on board?
Or is this knee-jerk opposition to something a Democratic president spoke approvingly of, and “oppose Democrats” is a higher imperative than “generate funds for gun manufacturers” in the NRA mission statement?
It can’t be anything as simple as principle since the NRA has demonstrated a thousand times it has none. What is their angle?