In return, the NRA has led the “they’re coming for our guns” paranoia that started hitting its stride when Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992.
Want to know how many guns belonging to “law-abiding Americans” were confiscated during the eight years Clinton was president?
Zero. None. Zilch.
If the NRA had its adherents worked up over Clinton, it was nothing compared to when Barack Obama became president.
According to the conservative website cnsnews.com, citing FBI statistics, 65,376,373 background checks for firearm purchases have been completed since Obama’s first full month in office.
That’s 91.1 percent higher than President George W. Bush’s first-term total of 34,214,066.
Why? Because the NRA and similar “they’ll have to take my gun from my cold, dead hand” alarmists have been lying to anyone who would listen.
Want to know how many guns belonging to “law-abiding Americans” have been confiscated while Barack Obama has been president?
Again: Zero. None. Zilch.
Why am I bringing this up now? Well, for starters, as of Wednesday morning, just since the Dec. 14 Newtown tragedy when 26 “law-abiding Americans,” including 20 “law-abiding” little children, were gunned down by a maniac using an assault rifle, 1,774 Americans have lost their lives to gun violence.
What happened in Newtown made me physically sick to my stomach. I had thought that as someone who has been in the newspaper business for more than 40 years, I had grown a thick emotional shell in dealing with the daily reporting of human tragedy.
Newtown showed me I was mistaken.
A few weeks ago, I had lunch with a couple of very conservative friends (yes, I have some conservative friends). When I asked them about why anyone might need a rifle that can fire 30 rounds without requiring reloading, why anyone other than a collector might require an assault weapon, or why closing the gun show loophole is a bad idea, they kept coming back with the same answer.