Michael Rappaport

Could there possibly be anyone in this country more interested in scaring Americans to death than the National Rifle Association?

Could there possibly be people whose standard arguments are further from the truth than the NRA?

Let's look at the two most egregious lies:

1. Gun control means only criminals will have guns.

2. President Obama will make a major assault on Second Amendment rights during a second term in the White House.


The first one.

Most people who are talking about tougher gun laws aren't talking about confiscating guns. They're asking for background checks, they're asking for licensing and they're asking for registration so that if a crime is committed with a gun, the police will at least have a chance at seeing who owns the gun.

No one is saying that a law-abiding citizen won't be allowed to buy a gun, but what the NRA types say is that a law-abiding citizen shouldn't have to undergo the annoyance of a background check, the inconvenience of a waiting period.

Of course, that's assuming two things. That's claiming that two types of people who probably shouldn't be able to own guns wouldn't be stopped by background checks.

Yes, the NRA types are correct when they say career criminals wouldn't subject themselves to background checks. But most of the people who use their guns to kill other people -- and especially the ones who go nuts and kill lots of people -- have no criminal records until they do this.

It is at least arguable that in some of those cases, being able to get the guns makes the eventual killing more likely.

How would they be stopped? Well, my guess is that except for the real hard cases like Wayne LaPierre and Chuck Heston, most folks don't want to see guns in the hands of the mentally ill.

Since Chuck is dead, it seems like Wayne might be the only one who would need convincing on that score.

Then there are the abusers, the ones who knock the wife around when they get a little drunk and a little angry. I wouldn't think we would want those guys to have guns either.

It seems to me it isn't really about the right to own guns. L'il Wayne and his NRA buddies want more than that. They want the right not to be inconvenienced by background checks or short waiting periods.

Answer me this, though. How many people would have been willing to go through a background check if it meant the loon in Colorado couldn't get a gun?

Or the loon at Virginia Tech?

Or the next guy who'll kill a lot of innocent Americans who thought that their right to go to the movies and be safe was more important than the right for a gun buyer not to be inconvenienced by a background check?

This is where the people who oppose even reasonable regulation lose me.

Then there are the lobbyists who make up lies to raise money. They tell us Obama is going to attack the Second Amendment if he gets re-elected.

What's their evidence?

Their evidence is that no one has even suggested that anything like that will happen.

Sorry, NRA dupes. Wayne LaPierre doesn't give a damn about your right to defend yourself. He just loves being rich and powerful, so much so that he'll lie to frighten you.

He's a bad guy.

A real bad guy.