US gun lobby claims it has enough clout

2013-01-13 21:35

Washington - The president of the top US firearms lobby said on Sunday that his organisation has enough backing from lawmakers to defeat a plan to outlaw assault weapons and sales of high-capacity ammunition clips.

David Keene, president of the National Rifle Association, told CNN's State of the Union, such proposals will not pass, despite recent widespread outrage at the shooting deaths of 26 pupils and staff at a Connecticut school.

"Right now we do," Keene answered, when asked if the NRA has sufficient support on Capitol Hill to defeat proposals to ban assault weapons, though he said President Barack Obama seemed determined to overhaul current gun laws.

"When a president takes all of the power of the office if he is willing to expend the political capital, you don't want to make predictions, and you don't want to bet your house on the outcome.

"But I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress," Keene said.

US Vice President Joe Biden met a NRA representative along with other gun rights groups last week as part of a policy review that he pledged will deliver its recommendations to Obama by Tuesday.

After also meeting hunting associations, victim support groups, and mental health and law enforcement specialists, Biden said he had made no decisions on policy responses to the Newtown school massacre and other mass shootings.

Twenty six- and seven-year-old children and six adults were killed by a gunman who used an AR-15 military-style assault rifle to mow down his victims at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on 14 December.

Biden has hinted that the White House is considering universal background checks for gun purchasers and a limit on the availability of high-capacity ammunition clips, either through new laws or executive orders issued by Obama.

Keene, however, said he believed there are enough lawmakers who support the American right to bear arms - enshrined under the second amendment of the US constitution - for the NRA to defeat a plan to ban high-capacity magazines.

"I don't think that ultimately they will get that either," Keene said of the demand from gun control supporters for a halt to the sale of such weapon clips, which were used by the Connecticut gunman, and in other recent US shootings.

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2013-01-13 22:03

    The 2nd Amendment in the US constitution is for American people to protect themselves.However Donald Right once said:"Why do many Americans behave so cruelly. Deceit, arrogance and barbaric actions have been a hallmark of the American life from the earliest arrival of immigrants, moving in repeated patterns of a bloody history from east to west. The enormous scale and consistency of mass murder in America is a sign of a decaying society. If native Americans can just wait a little longer, they may one day get their country back because everyone else will have died from cheap food, cheap beer and cheap guns." America therefore needs to look beyond gun control.They need to be much kinder to their fellow human beings which is not always tangible.Tongue-in-cheek by starting to developed less violent computer games,movies,etc and that might push selfish behavior out of its existence. Most Americans sees their own country as the world's military,the world's police and the world's problem solver/eliminator.Americans buys nearly 80% of the arms trade currently.Guns in America is how America was born back in the 1700's.It's their symbol of revolution,freedom and by extension,the American people's way of life.Having said that,it has become out of control this notion of having to protect yourself at all cost.

      sean.bagley.50 - 2013-01-13 22:04

      continue... The bigger problem too is the big divide between the haves and have nots.And the idea of every man/woman for themselves and "GOD" for us all combined with the gun as your constitutional right to protect yourself is what makes it so deadly.That and the me-first society,or the sole purpose in life to make money and as much money as you possibly can,means other values in life gets brushed aside.It's profit yourself without responsibility notion that's the end product of the American Dream.

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-14 11:49

      Citizens of the US have been indoctrinated by the concept of individualism to the extent that they feel no social obligation to provide assistance to fellow citizens. Amricans perceive Europe as socialist because of welfare policies which are an anathema to those who hold individualism and the concept of their exceptionalism dearly.

  • rude.awakning - 2013-01-13 22:25

    the question is, do they have the clout to stop the mass killings by gun totting deranged lone gunmen ?

      PrettyUsefulArt - 2013-01-13 22:34

      Yes indeed. It all comes down to money in the end. At what cost?

      rude.awakning - 2013-01-14 07:35

      how do you think they'll do it ? Why was nothing done about these type of mass shootings that has occured frequently over about the last five years? The cost of human life has been very high to date!

  • danie.theron.925 - 2013-01-14 02:01

    Blaming guns for the killings is like blaming spoons for people being fat!

      rude.awakning - 2013-01-14 07:44

      danie, you can loose the weight by going on a diet, how do you fix dead people? I am not anti gun, but is it wise to have military type guns in the hands of ordinary citizens, more so for 16 and 20yr olds to take out their pubity issues on innocents?

      sam.goldberg.988 - 2013-01-14 08:41

      That's a ridiculous and tired old analogy, Danie. Spoons are designed to help people eat, guns are designed to kill. Before you counter with the argument that some guns are used for sport, nobody needs a fully automatic assault rifle for target shooting or hunting. Do you not think it's just a little messed up that the same people who are fighting to prevent their fellow Americans enjoy access to medical treatment are the same people fighting for their right to buy any type of assault rifle over the counter without background checks? It's easier and cheaper for someone with mental health problems to get weapons than health care.

      Deon - 2013-01-14 09:12

      I agree with Danie. We kill a lot more people in SA with our cars but it won't be taken away.

      pierre.devilliers.9231 - 2013-01-14 09:45

      It sounds logical to ban assault rifles, after all they are not really needed. However I do not believe that will solve the problem. Very few crimes are actually committed by assault rifles. Then semi-automatic pistols are equally deadly, especially on short rage (as the one "technical college" shooting showed), and pump action shotguns is one example of just many deadly alternatives. Background checks will help, but then often the guns used in recent shootings were took from somebody with a credible profile. Gun control, stricter background checks and a culture of safer gun storage will all help to some extend, but not take these shootings away completely. The cliché of guns don’t kill, it is people that kill is true. One must try to understand what is driving people to commit these crimes. I do believe the pressure to succeed and trampling on people that does not fit the American extrovert profile does contribute considerable. Then the other extreme, as implemented in the UK, where practically all guns were outlawed, seen an actual increase in gun related crimes. Sure it came of a very low base, but it shows there is not really a silver wand that will make all the problems disappear.

      hugh.olphart - 2013-01-14 14:23

      Danie, you will get flak for that statement no matter that you are correct. There were 16000 odd (out of 350 mil people) deaths by guns in the US, most by gang warfare. SA has 16000 odd murders with a population of 54 Mil people. Take guns out of the hands of citizens and then only criminals will have guns.

  • piet.boerie - 2013-01-14 05:02

    The 2nd Amendment is there to protect the US citizen from its own government. If the US citizen was not armed they would have been under a dictatorship already. The US Democracy is comprosmised its just the weapons stopping the final transition to tyranny I agree with Sean that the US has a cultural arrogance which quicly resorts to violence.

      piet.boerie - 2013-01-14 05:08

      A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson.

  • jacques.stander - 2013-01-14 06:41

    So they want to take away the guns of millions due to actions of a few ?

  • simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-01-14 09:19

    It will get interesting when their economy inevitably collapses and you have millions of desperate people running around with guns. It's bound to get very scary!

      abrie.greeff - 2013-01-14 11:08

      It will be like an average day in SA.

  • fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-14 11:25

    "The president of the top US firearms lobby said on Sunday that his organisation has enough backing from lawmakers to defeat a plan to outlaw assault weapons and sales of high-capacity ammunition clips." The chronic problem with the US is how its politics are funded. If you get the lobbying money out of the system, and you reform campaign finance, and you'll getter a better quality of politician. Offering access to members of the government for money, and the ANC thinks that this is a good idea to follow.

      hugh.olphart - 2013-01-14 14:37

      and our politics isn't flawed?

      rude.awakning - 2013-01-14 23:22

      hugh, did u read the comment?

  • jeanpierre.oberholzer - 2013-01-14 14:11

    The second amendment states the right to bear arms, a single shot pistol constitutes arms, ergo, one could ban all kinds of weapons without actually infringing on the constitution, really it is the loose wording of the second amendment that is the problem, also it is 222 years old so surely updating it to match the modern world makes sense.

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