May 3, 2013 |
AUSTIN, Texas - The National Rifle Association has spent much of the last year under siege, ardently defending gun rights after mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut and fighting back against mounting pressure for stricter laws in Washington and state capitols across the country. Now, after winning a major victory with the defeat of a gun-control bill in the U.S. Senate, the gun-rights lobby will gather in Houston this weekend for its annual convention. Organizers anticipate a rollicking, Texas-sized party - one that celebrates the group's recent victory while stressing that the fight is far from over.
April 24, 2013 |
You might have thought that the mangled bodies of 20 dead children would have been enough to overcome the crazed obsessions of the gun lobby. You might have believed that the exhortations of a former congresswoman - her life forever changed by a would-be assassin's bullet - would have pushed Congress to do the right thing. You might have reasoned that polls showing overwhelming public support for a sensible gun-control measure would have persuaded politicians to take a modest step toward preventing more massacres.
April 19, 2013
WEDNESDAY'S Senate vote on CRIMINAL background checks was "shameful," but maybe not in the same way President Obama put it. I think he was talking about how a minority of senators - the vote was 54-46, but 60 votes were required - turned their backs on the Sandy Hook parents, and other gun-violence victims, who had been brought in to lobby Congress. The pro-gun forces complained they were used as "props. " That's harsh, but true. That's part of 21st century PR. Both sides do it. I find it shameful because we are a representative democracy and one fact those opposing the CRIMINAL background check couldn't wave away is that 90 percent of Americans wanted the existing CRIMINAL background check expanded to cover gun shows and Internet sales.
February 13, 2013
Bob Barker, the retired game-show host, has no idea why he is on the National Rifle Association's enemies list. The 89-year-old Barker keeps a handgun on his bedside table and has never demanded more stringent gun laws, he told Time magazine. He has, however, protested a live pigeon shoot in Pennsylvania and doesn't think civilians need assault weapons or high-capacity magazines. Of course, if you know anything about the NRA, you know that's enough. Its extremism is dangerous, absurd, and viciously dogmatic.
February 7, 2013
THE FIRST funeral to be held for the 27 victims of the Newtown massacre was for Noah Pozner, age 6. Before the service, Noah's mother, Veronique, led Connecticut Gov. Dannell Malloy in to look at her son's mangled body. Noah had been shot 11 times. "His jaw was blown away," Pozner later told the Jewish Daily Forward . "I just want people to know the ugliness of it so we don't talk about it abstractly, like these little angels just went to heaven. No. They were butchered. " "If there is ever a piece of legislation that comes across [the governor's]
January 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Banning some assault weapons and requiring background checks for all firearms purchases aren't a serious attempt to reduce gun violence, a top National Rifle Association official warned Tuesday as Congress geared up for the year's first hearing on the subject. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, said the country must instead focus on boosting security at schools, enforcing existing gun laws and taking more steps to deny guns to people with mental illnesses.
January 23, 2013
I WANT TO COMMENT on your article, "Responsible Gun Owners: Speak Out" (Stu Bykofsky column, Jan. 11), which I read on Philly.com. I live in rural Mississippi, where almost everybody I know owns at least one firearm, and the attitude toward owning firearms is probably 180 degrees different from what I presume is the prevailing attitude in Philadelphia. I own an "assault weapon," I have worked as a youth firearms instructor through the 4-H program, and I believe that private firearm ownership is an important check on the United States becoming a military dictatorship.
January 13, 2013
The great and powerful NRA I have come to the conclusion that the National Rifle Association must be a mystical, all-powerful entity that no one can challenge, sort of like the wizard in The Wizard of Oz ("Broad plan emerging to curb gun violence," Friday). The consensus seems to be that Washington has no influence over the NRA and its views. Does it really have that much power, or do the politicians have absolutely no backbone? The NRA's vice president, Wayne LaPierre, comes across as an intolerant, unintelligent human being who is unwilling to open up a dialogue on changing the current gun laws.
January 9, 2013 |
Put a lid on it, 2012. We're already into 2013, and time - and news - waits for no one, not even hardheaded columnists who still want to vent about events of 2012. So I'm letting it go - at least some of it. There are sure to be new provocative issues to write about. But some stories aren't that easily spiked. So here is the No. 1 issue my pen will push forward in 2013: A full-scale citizen assault on gun violence. The story of gun violence, and our efforts to stop it, is not only the story of 2013, it is the moral crisis of our time.