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NRA President Unwittingly Supports Gun Ban

Gun ControlI've written previously about gun control in the entry, Thoughts on Gun Control. I looked at the stats I could find of people killed by gun violence, and concluded that there's just not enough evidence to support outright gun bans, but that I wasn't opposed to gun control laws. Since then, I've come across some articles that have given me reason to think more about the issue, but I still can't call myself informed enough to have a strong opinion. However, I do recognize that there's a problem with gun violence in this country. The gun homicide rate in the U.S. is 10-20 times higher than other industrialized nations, depending on how you define them (source - Politifact). Something needs to be done.

So the other day, I was listening to NPR, and Melissa Block was interviewing David Keene, president of the National Rifle Association. The interview can be found online at NRA Head: Registry Of Gun Owners Would Be Very Dangerous. She brought up several methods of gun control, and Keene dismissed them all as ineffective. Regarding restrictions on high capacity magazines, Keene said the following.

It sounds like a good idea. The fact is that it doesn't make very much difference. It takes anybody who's familiar with any of these firearms maybe a second to change the magazine. They're also very difficult to restrict. There are millions of them out there. They cost virtually nothing to produce. There are no serial numbers on them.

Here was Keene's response to background checks on ammunition sales.

So you know, when you talk about regulations, and when you talk about laws to get citizens to do one thing or the other, you have to ask yourself, what would that accomplish? Would that prevent this kind of shooting? And there's no reason to believe that it would, so why would you do it?

About 2/3 of the way through the interview, Keen said this.

Well, the fact of the matter is that unless you're talking about the confiscation and elimination of firearms, none of these things are going to make much difference. They haven't made much of a difference elsewhere, and they aren't going to make much difference here.

We live in a country that is so far out of line with the rest of the industrialized world in terms of gun violence, and the head of the premier gun organization in the country says that the only thing that can be done to reduce that violence is to eliminate all firearms in the country. What message does he want me to take away from that?

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