Thursday, 03 January 2013 19:00

NRA: Another Dangerous Flip-Flop on Gun-Free School Zones

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As reported here previously, on December 21 the National Rifle Association broke its week-long silence regarding the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. At a press conference, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre (pictured), the most visible spokesman for the organization, took aim and blasted away at the federally imposed Gun-Free School Zones Act (first passed in 1990 and revised in 1995). Mr. LaPierre declared that nobody “has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?”

LaPierre continued: 

The only way to answer that question is to face up to the truth. Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them.

And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk. 

The politically correct (but fatally wrong-headed) Gun-Free School Zones are an easy and appropriate target. However, in the interest of full disclosure, Mr. LaPierre should have reminded his listeners that only a few years ago he and the NRA were major backers of the Gun-Free School Zones. Yes, it will surprise many Americans, including many NRA members, to learn that LaPierre testified in favor of the Gun-Free School Zones he now decries, when President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno were pushing their ambitious attacks on the 2nd Amendment.

Here is what LaPierre said, on behalf of the NRA, when testifying on May 27, 1999, before the Subcommittee on Crime of the House Judiciary Committee: 

We think it's reasonable to support the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act. What's unreasonable is letting 6,000 students caught with illegal guns at school go, prosecuting only 13 of them the past two years. 

In addition, at the same time, the NRA also supported a vast expansion of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

As we pointed out at the time (The NRA’s Gun Control Schizophrenia), the NRA’s "reasonable" so-called solution to gun violence in the schools was foolhardy on the practical level and a gross violation of our Constitution’s strict limitation on the powers of the national government.

Now the NRA is at it again. This time it is trying to undo the evils that it helped unleash with its support of the Gun-Free School Zones Act by proposing still more unconstitutional federal intervention in state and local affairs. In this particular case, the NRA is proposing a vast expansion of federal TSA-style police-state occupation of every school, which means virtually every neighborhood as well. The NRA cannot credibly claim to be the defender of the Second Amendment while it simultaneously is trashing the most fundamental concept of our Constitution, which is that the national government in Washington, D.C. has only those “delegated” and “enumerated” powers expressly given to it by the States and the people.

That is most particularly expressed in the 10th Amendment of our Bill of Rights, which states: 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. 

The NRA cannot defend the Second Amendment while trashing the 10th Amendment and the fundamental principles on which all of the guarantees of our rights under the Constitution are based.

Photo of Wayne LaPierre: AP Images

Related articles:

NRA’s Response to Sandy Hook: Federally Funded Police in Every School

The NRA’s Gun Control Schizophrenia


  • Comment Link sirburban Saturday, 05 January 2013 10:09 posted by sirburban

    Peggy Finch --"somewhere along the line they compromised their beliefs."

    Maybe just maybe they were formed to do what they are doing - using members' dues to fund a con on the American people and gun rights supporters?

    With the left-leaning media giving the NRA credence as a legit defender of gun rights in the eyes of conservative gun owners, these gun owners react to the criticism and join assuming the left wing media isn't playing a con that actually drives people to the jaws of death. How many actually look past the image and examine the record to see if the NRA's rhetoric matches the true record? Not many unfortunately because despite their mistrust of the media they don't stop to ask "what's going on here? Is the media providing cover for the NRA by attacking it?"

    The very organization that has successfully fired at the Constitution with impunity and put more bullet holes in the Second Amendment is the NRA!

    Adam Bates, wrote a piece for Daily Caller which provides a history of that:

    " ... the NRA has quite a history of supporting restrictions on our fundamental right to bear arms. The NRA supported the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Federal Firearms Act of 1938 (the first comprehensive federal restrictions on the right to bear arms). The NRA supported gun-control measures throughout the 1960s and continues to do so to this day. It even supported Mitt Romney’s candidacy despite Gov. Romney’s horrid record on gun rights (support which Gov. Romney was always quick to point out in defense of his record).

    "Wayne LaPierre, the current CEO and executive VP of the NRA, testified in 1999 in support of the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act and many other federal violations of the Second Amendment. In short, the NRA’s history is the history of a group more concerned with protecting the commercial viability of the gun industry than protecting the principle of the Second Amendment.":

  • Comment Link Lazarus Friday, 04 January 2013 10:30 posted by Lazarus

    @ Peggy Finch -
    Well said; I agree. I've been grateful for the work the NRA has done for a long time, but recently they've shown that some other agenda has replaced their commitment to our 2nd Amendment rights.

  • Comment Link sirburban Thursday, 03 January 2013 20:20 posted by sirburban

    Use this article to post all or portions of Mr. Jasper's succinct but illuminating piece at sites like News Busters, Daily Caller, Red States, Townhall and GOP USA. Privide link to article. I do this all the time to drive readers to this site.Give Mr.HJasper credit for it and again link to this fine article.

  • Comment Link Peggy Finch Thursday, 03 January 2013 18:27 posted by Peggy Finch

    In my humble opinion, the NRA is no longer working in favor of our 2nd amendment rights. Somewhere along the line, they have compromised their beliefs, and no longer deserve the trust or support of freedom-loving Americans.

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