The blood-profiteers and corrupt backroom dealers of the National Rifle Association have grudgingly agreed that some form of legislation to prevent those on terrorist watch lists from purchasing weapons might be needed. Their proposal, however, would only delay the sale until the FBI could look into it – three whole days, according to some reports.
It remains a tiny victory that could indicate that public pressure is finally forcing the National Rifle Association to at least make a cursory attempt to pretend that they may wish to use their overwhelming influence over the conservative right-wing to enact some kind of reasonable gun control.
The NRA believes that terrorists should not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms, period. Anyone on a terror watchlist who tries to buy a gun should be thoroughly investigated by the FBI and the sale delayed while the investigation is ongoing. If an investigation uncovers evidence of terrorist activity or involvement, the government should be allowed to immediately go to court, block the sale, and arrest the terrorist. At the same time, due process protections should be put in place that allow law-abiding Americans who are wrongly put on a watchlist to be removed. That has been the position of Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.) and a majority of the U.S. Senate. Sadly, President Obama and his allies would prefer to play politics with this issue.
Of course, Omar Mateen would still have been able to purchase the weapon since he was no longer on a watch list. It is shocking that they even had to make this statement at all- “the NRA believes that terrorists should not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms, period” – but up until this point the NRA has so ferociously opposed any kind of restriction at all, even ones that amount to nothing but minor inconveniences for trigger-happy ammosexuals being able to purchase their deadly tools at a whim.
While some naive liberals appear to seem to see this as a reason for celebration and an indication of a possible change in policy, it is clear that this is nothing but an idle smokescreen, a bone thrown to the public to appease them until they become distracted by some other political scandal or atrocity. The National Rifle Association and the gun manufacturers that make billions off the wholesale murder of the American people have no intention of relinquishing their control over the Republican Party or making any substantial efforts to curtail the reckless proliferation of arms in this nation, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.