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May 14th, 2010
06:04 AM ET

Gut Check: Is the NRA bulletproof?

By Ronni Berke and Carol Costello, CNN

(CNN) – The National Rifle Association is expecting a record crowd of 70,000 at its annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, this weekend. There, it will outline its goals for the future: up its membership to five million, launch a get out and vote campaign, and continue promoting Second Amendment Rights.

As the NRA celebrates a very good year, there are some who say the gun rights lobby has never been stronger. According to rocker and NRA board member Ted Nugent, the NRA has anti-gunners on the run – with President Obama leading the pack.

“He’s scared,” Nugent says. “We know that President Obama is against the NRA, but he's not going to speak about that, because it would be political suicide, like for those who have stood up in the past.”

Some gun control advocates feel betrayed that Mr. Obama isn’t fighting harder for gun control. He’s even signed bills that allow guns in national parks and on Amtrak trains – bills the NRA loves. Some agree with Nugent that politicians may be ducking the issue.

“If the NRA or gun rights isn't a signature issue for them, then in many ways they're better off going with the NRA, getting their support, or avoiding their opposition, as opposed to raising their ire,” says marketing strategist Michael Maslansky, of Maslansky, Luntz and Partners.

In Washington, D.C., officials are fighting a federal bill – backed by the NRA – which would nullify D.C.’s ban on semi-automatic weapons. Councilman Michael Brown says he knows “what the NRA is capable of” on Capitol Hill.

Although it’s a political year, he says, “the NRA shouldn't be able to run roughshod over members of Congress.” For Brown, the issue is not just political, but personal. This week, Brown's city hall intern, Alonte Sutton, was shot to death, allegedly by an acquaintance because he refused to give the man's girlfriend a ride. He was 18.


Filed under: Gun rights • Gut Check
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. James Woodard

    With all the facts staring you in the face, how can anybody believe that "gun-control" and "gun-free zones" keep innocent lives safe?
    The only people for whom "gun-free" zones are safe harbor are criminals intent on inflicting great horror.
    Columbine. Luby's Cafeteria. Edmond Post Office. Northern Illinois University. Virginia Tech. And, sadly, many more. All locations of great suffering and loss of life. All "gun-free zones".
    Chicago. NYC. Many cities in New Jersey. LA. England. Juarez. The list continues. All have severe restrictions on firearms possession and ownership. All have incredibly high violent crime rates.
    Someone keeps mentioning Dodge City and the "Check your guns at the city limits" policy. That policy did exist. It also existed in Tucson, Virginia City and various other towns across the West. And when the criminal gangs decided to come to town there was nobody to defend the lives of those who obeyed the policy. Unless, of course the town Marshall had advance warning. In which case he returned the firearms to the people and deputized them into service.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  2. kw

    Who gets to decide which militia is a well regulated militia?

    China does not permit the private ownership of guns. I'd guess they have no use for hunting or target shooting.

    Regardless of the 2nd amendment, we have the god given right to defend ourselves by any means. This is not simply someone's idea of rule of law. It is the evolutionary rule of law. Check with Charles Darwin. kw

    May 17, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  3. Roger Drew

    "Arab American" is not the correct term for a Persian American. Different language, different culture different country. Come on CNN your 'education' is showing.

    May 17, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  4. kc

    @SoSueMe001:

    Ok, you got us. We're not forming militias. Take all our guns. In fact, let's burn that whole silly completely out of date Constitution. Then let's delete all of your comments, because your free speech could incite others to angry thoughts. Oh, and we'll be taking your churches back too. And your representation in congress... Wow, think of all the cool things we can do now that the Constitution is no longer a useful framework for a society!

    May 16, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  5. kc

    @mike sey:

    The argument that having guns in public does not make people safer is like saying putting airbags in cars does not make people safer. I drive my car all the time with the assurance I have an airbag in case some knucklehead does something silly on the highway.

    I keep a fire extinguisher in my kitchen.

    If I had a pool, I would fence it to keep the neighbors out.

    I put my camping fires in stone rings to keep the forests from burning down.

    I wear my seatbelt on an airplane, knowing full well that if the plane crashes, my being in my seat will be the least of my worries.

    If carrying a weapon in public makes my family just 5% safer, I don't think you should be telling me not to do it.

    May 16, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  6. kc

    Agnes:

    If you prefer not to own a gun, don't. I prefer not to follow your god, so your question fails to persuade me.

    Tell me that I cannot own a gun, and I'll tell you you cannot have a god. I know I cannot kill people or steal, because those are wrong and harmful to others. However, my target shooting and protecting my family are as harmless as you praying.

    May 16, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  7. maze1gerald

    We need gun control we have to many thugs and fruitcakes with guns,it works in england.what is the real reason for the NRA I wonder.

    May 16, 2010 at 12:35 am |
  8. danforth

    What happens when the law abiding citizens of this "free" country gives up their God givin right to own firearms or any other weapon for that matter ? He gives up his way of self protection an mabey his own life or even the life of others. What....... you say" thats what we got government agencies for is to protect us"? try and tellin that to the family that jus got robbed or murderd at 2:00 in the mornin when the "cops" got there After the fugitives had already left. AS WITH ANY WEAPON "PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE" NOT THE WEAPON ITSELF!!!

    May 15, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  9. Dan

    Heres a vision for all you anti guners, A intruder enters your home and brutalley starts to raping your wife while you stand there with your thumb up your ass watching helplessly because your to much of a spineless coward to owne a gun to protect your family.

    May 15, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  10. Doug C

    @Dave D: I'm sure you have a Facebook account so I encourage you to become a fan of The Armed Citizen. This page has daily (multiple) posts of law abiding citizens using firearms to defeat criminals. The liberal media does not publicize these events because its counter to their argument of a total gun ban.

    Someone mentioned John Lott, he not only did research on gun statistics and crime (book called More Guns, Less Crime) but he also wrote a book called The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You've Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong. It points out why the media fails to report a balanced argument surrounding guns.

    Finally, guns are not about the 2nd amendment. They are about me having the tool to properly protect me and my family. If you own a crystal ball and can tell me the exact day and time I will need a firearm I promise to only have it with me that day.

    There is evil in this world. A former co-workers brother was shot and killed on Capital Hill by a 14 year old robber. I've had two connected family members involved in violent home invasions. My wife was date raped at the age of 18. Isolated incidents like VA Tech, while very sad do not out weigh the DUTY I have to protect my family.

    May 14, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  11. Carlos

    What do you guys think of Britain and Australia that have gun bans in effect but there are still crimes committed with guns. It has been stated that the second amendment was for "18th century patriots to possess muskets and rifles", but what was that protection for, could be the tyrannical government from controlling the people? Governments should fear its people not people should fear its government. I feel the second amendment is there to keep the government in check from becoming too powerful and overstepping the people supporting it.

    May 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  12. J. Lee

    >There shouldn't be special interest groups influencing Congress for >ANY cause.

    So you're against the National Education Association's lobbying, also, right? By the way, the right to gather together and petition the government is acknowledged in the First Amendment. Your solution requires that we repeal it.

    Next issue:
    >Oh, one other thing, Militias are nearly as old as dirt. They’ve been >here even before Colonialists whipped the single-fingered-sign-of-
    > disrespect to King George.

    The meaning of the Second Amendment is that the broad populace, or "every able-bodied" individual, as it was originally conceived, would be a member of the militia. In short, everyone should be armed. And the meaning is what's important, right? As in "separation of church and state" in the First Amendment . . . that wording is not in the 1st, but rather is a term used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to a church. Nevertheless, that's the principle behind the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, just as the principle that every person be armed is the behind the Second Amendment. I uphold both principles, both amendments, and both 'separation of church and state' and 'every person should be armed.' If you expect to have a broad interpretation of the First Amendment, you cannot then interpret the 2nd narrowly just because you don't like what it says. You may think the 2nd is an anachronism and no longer applicable, but if you repudiate its 230-year old principle, you undermine the 230-year old principle of separation of church and state also. As well as the other 230-year old principles on which our republic is founded.

    May 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  13. slider

    I carry a firearm simply because a "cop" is just too heavy. When you or your family are in danger and seconds away from harm, a cop is usually minutes away or further.

    May 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  14. Carson

    Some real pieces of work in here. Yes, the 2nd ammendment refers to a militia, but it guarantees "the people" the right to bear arms...as any American could be called to protect themselves. The point that so many miss is, as the old adage goes, "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight." So what? You would have me protect my family against armed entruders with water ballons? I promise you Mr. Brown's son was not killed with a legally obtained gun. If I hear breaking glass in the middle of the night, I'm not going to go downstairs with a golf club in my hand assuming the intruder has undergone the proper background check. Citizens are too often put in the difficult spot of having to justify protecting themselves, family, and property against overzealous DAs, the media, and people who have never faced that position themselves.

    May 14, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  15. MVP

    @Doug, Re: SCOTUS

    So the SCOTUS is never wrong? And I think everyone here knows exactly which ruling I'm talking about... (hint: it's not the 2nd Amendment ruling)

    May 14, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  16. CW

    All rights come with responsibilities. I believe we should help gun owners be even more responsible. We have slander and libel laws regarding free speech, we have qualifications for voting, etc. Gun ownership is heading in an irresponsible direction.

    All gun owners should have to purchase insurance for their guns – liability, personal injury, etc., just like you have to for a car. This way when a gun is stolen or misused, there is a substantial financial remedy for victims. If someone cannot provide "proof of insurance," he or she cannot take a gun home. Similarly, guns should be registered and insured just like cars.

    May 14, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  17. Kris

    What NRA fanatics fail to remember or realize is that when the Second Amendment stated this:

    "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."

    It was during a time of revolution and upheaval within the states. The American Revolution was a preamble to this amendment. It was so that each American could protect his or her family and fight in a time of need against those who would oppress the freedoms for which Americans so valiantly fought.

    The NRA has capitalized on this notion and magnified its original intent to suit its own agenda. In today's America, there is no reason why a family should have one (or even multiple) semi-automatic machine guns. We no longer have regular militia in the American Revolution sense. On 13 December 1636 (well before the American Revolution), the national guard was created from regular militia to answer the state's call in a time of need. It wasn't until 14 June 1775 that the regular army was created. Since the creation of both, it was no longer necessary for regular militia to do the duties of the national guard and regular army.

    If one observes history, the inception of the militias, national guard, reservists, and regular army, there is no logical or definitive conclusions that can be drawn regarding the right to bear arms and using that ploy is a means to equip individuals with ludicrous amounts of firepower. It's neither practical, nor is it wise.

    May 14, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  18. DDS -- NRA Life Member

    A couple of quick but very relevant points.

    1. In 1789, when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were written and ratified, "well regulated" meant "well trained and/or well drilled", Unfortunately, that training and drilling was supposed to be done by the states to standards set by Congress, but both the states and Congress dropped the ball.

    2. The United States Code (USC), which is the collection of all federal laws currently in effect, specifically states that all male citizens of military age and non-citizens subject to US law and capable of bearing arms in the field are part of the militia.

    3. That part of USC which established the National Guard and Reserves specifically states that neither of those organizations are the militia.

    Those who are truly interested can google up and read the relevant language in the USC or the wikipedia entries that describe them.

    Mark Twain once said that the problem with Americans is that most of what we know isn't true. Some of the above posters' ignorance on the subject of the Second Amendment and the militia are as good an example as you are likely to come up with.

    May 14, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  19. DDS -- NRA Life Member

    "What would a responsible, law-abiding person do with a gun?"

    Well, target shooting comes to mind. I'm sure if you thought about it you might come up with some other things a "responsible, law abiding person could do with a gun". But that would require some thought. Some people are not used to thinking. You may be one of them Give it a try, it only hurts the first few times. Never to late to start!

    May 14, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  20. red

    We have our Constitution and we are protected by it. We own guns and are proud of it. Also, and this is the real issue for me, we are RESPONSIBLE people and know our rights and believe that we are doing what we are allowed to do. Leave us alone!

    May 14, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  21. Jason from CA

    To the first commenter – Jesus wouldn't have needed a gun even if they existed in his time because he was THE SON OF GOD. I am, however, not the son of God and cannot drive demons from this world so I will have to resort to the next best thing and pack my Glock.

    May 14, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  22. Joe C

    Hey Dave D:

    "What would a responsible, law-abiding person do with a gun?"

    How about defend himself against an irresponsible criminal, as evidenced more than 2 MILLION times every year....

    May 14, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  23. SoSueMe001

    Oh, one other thing, Militias are nearly as old as dirt. They’ve been here even before Colonialists whipped the single-fingered-sign-of-disrespect to King George. The federally-controlled National Guard as we know it was officially created in 1916.

    Oooops…logical disconnect…but what else is new with you regressives!

    May 14, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  24. oldgoat

    The term "militia of the United States" was defined to comprehend "all able-bodied male citizens of the United States and all other able-bodied males who have . . . declared their intention to become citizens of the United States," between the ages of eighteen and forty-five.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  25. RW

    I am glad that the NRA is around to protect my rights. I like that I have the ability to at least try to protect my family against any violence that may confront us. For the rest of you I suggest you call the police. They should get to you location just after its all over and just in time to clean up the mess. I much rather have the ability to protect myself. Law enforcement cannot protect you or me, just ask any victim. Find out what the response time for law enforcement is in your area . I think you'll be surprised. In less that two minutes alot of bad things can happen to you. Learn to protect yourself and the ones you love.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  26. SoSueMe001

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to educate all of you silly-socialist gun grabbers. Do yourselves and the rest of the rational world a favor and Google: John R. Lott Jr.

    Long story short, John Lott set out to prove how evil guns are in the hands of private citizens. To discover what he discovered – with absolute accuracy and devoid of preconceived notions – simply Google!!!

    Oh, and while you’re at it, Google the word militia…and prepare to be educated!

    May 14, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  27. Aaron L

    Exactly Mike Sey. And how did that work out in Ft. Hood?

    mike sey May 14th, 2010 7:58 am ET

    The point is, So suemeoo1, that the argument that carrying a gun in public makes anyone safer simply doesn't hold water – didn't in Dodge, doesn't today. Probably one of the places which has the most stringent controls on firearms is a military base.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  28. clinger

    sorry put the word MEANS after constitution.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  29. SoSueMe001

    "...Why not read and present the ENTIRE text, hmm...?"

    Okay

    "...A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..."

    Was that a complete sentence? For the benefit of the public school educated, NO it isn't. It is a dependent clause. Dependent on what, you ask? Why, here 'tis:

    "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    Really simple, eh? Simple, just like my silly-socialist fellow travelers!

    NEXT!

    May 14, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  30. clinger

    It's very simple,if you want to really know what the 2nd ammendment,or any other part of theconstitution,read the scores of writing our founding fathers produced. It will be a rude awakining for some of you.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  31. Kevin

    @Daryl:
    Semiautomatic machine guns? Please educate yourself about a topic before you start expressing your opinion.

    @MVP:
    This amendment isn't as cut and dry as you think. Define "well-regulated," define militia and define people (or People as it was put to the states for ratification). The National Guard is a good example of a militia, but does that mean I would have to join the Guard to own a firearm? What if I wanted to start my own militia group? Would I have to get some kind of permit?

    What we really ought to do is to let everyone own and carry guns in public. If you want control, think about going to rob a bank or grocery store and pulling out your gun only to see everyone pointing a gun back at you. Would-be criminals would think twice before shooting at someone (or they're be dead which is fine by me).

    P.S. – I do not own a gun, but I'm obviously not against the idea.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  32. Allen Hawthorne

    You might have mentioned that the NRA has historically created and offered the most effective firearms safety educational programs in the US. Very many of our law enforcement officers receive specialized arms training provided by the NRA. Since its founding in 1870, it has promoted and facilitated a very high level of nationwide civilian marksmanship instruction and competition, an accomplishment that carries over to the benefit of our military forces.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  33. doug

    MVP – Consider: A well educated electorate, being necessary to the security of a free state; the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.

    Would this "no room for wiggle" statement mean that only the "well educated" have a right to keep and read books? In fact, everywhere else that the phrase "the people" appears in the constitution, it refers to the individual and an individual right, as has been well established by SCOTUS and two centuries of jurisprudence. Your "collective right of the state only" myth resides only in your imagination.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  34. Brian

    We need the NRA! Whether they are bulletproof or not, the fact that we are talking about it shows that they are very strong because of the people that support them. The right to bear arms is something we all should value, whether you own one, want to own one or don't want to own one. It is a value that makes America so great. I have a few guns and use all of them in a lawful, responsible and safe way.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  35. Aaron L

    Our Second Amendment rights are constantly under fire by the anti-gunners playing on peoples emotions to promote their agenda. The Supreme court has ruled that its a Constitutional right that applies to "the people" yet places like Kalifornia and Washington DC still insist on infringing on our Constitutional Rights calling us crazy for wanting to own firearms. What is crazy is believing you are immune to criminal activity and the police will save you. Remember that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away,

    May 14, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  36. Dave D

    Guns are specifically designed to shoot (hurt and/or kill) people.
    Why would a responsible person do that?

    If no irresponsible people should have a gun and everybody that has one is a decent person, then the gun is useless.
    The gun is meant to shoot people and responsible people are not gonna shoot people.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  37. Scott

    Daryl...A Machine Gun is by definition fully automatic. Retard.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  38. mike sey

    The point is, So suemeoo1, that the argument that carrying a gun in public makes anyone safer simply doesn't hold water – didn't in Dodge, doesn't today. Probably one of the places which has the most stringent controls on firearms is a military base.

    May 14, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  39. Doug C

    Hey MVP. Sorry to disappoint you but the Supreme Court disagrees with your interpretation.

    May 14, 2010 at 7:55 am |
  40. Josh Andrews

    Sorry – meant to say she wasn't endorsed over GOP candidate

    f there's one thing I've learned from just having worked in politics for the last 6 years its that the NRA is a giant GOP ploy to simply take out democrats and moderates. I had a democratic candidate in 2008 who had an A rating with the NRA and she WASN'T endorsed over a republican candidate who had a B rating from the NRA. If that doesn't prove the NRA is BS I don't know what does.

    May 14, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  41. Josh Andrews

    If there's one thing I've learned from just having worked in politics for the last 6 years its that the NRA is a giant GOP ploy to simply take out democrats and moderates. I had a democratic candidate in 2008 who had an A rating with the NRA and she was endorsed over a republican candidate who had a B rating from the NRA. If that doesn't prove the NRA is BS I don't know what does.

    May 14, 2010 at 7:50 am |
  42. Robert G

    People against the NRA are some of the dumbest in the world or supporters of crime. Look at the track record of gun control. Places with strong gun control have higher crime rates. Washington DC with it's strong gun control is always in the top three when fighting for murder capitol.

    The founding father would have been appalled and how the rights given in the constitution are being eroded away.

    One thing that make gun control so unpopular in the fact that many poor, often democrat, people own guns. They may support there democrat that is gong to give them free money but when they threaten there gun ownership rights there out of office.

    May 14, 2010 at 7:49 am |
  43. Larry

    T e NRA has America at gun point. They are forcing guns into schools and churches against the will of most Americans. The NRA must be stopped or this country will end up in civil war.

    May 14, 2010 at 7:44 am |
  44. Bob H- of Ann Arbor

    It's always great to see and hear Carol Costello in the morning.
    One question about the ownership of guns:
    A person asserts his or her Second Amendment rights and goes to a store and buys a pistol and a semi-automatic rifle and ammunition, along with contracting for weapons training. Let's say he or she spends $5,000.
    He or she becomes under some kind of pressure and seriously wounds one person and kills another. How much do victims and society have to spend as a result? Has anyone calculated the "spin-off" or peripheral cost of incidents involving guns?

    May 14, 2010 at 7:43 am |
  45. MVP

    I just LOVE the selective citations of the 2nd Amendment. Why not read and present the ENTIRE text, hmm?

    "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."

    Do I need to break that down for you neanderthals?

    "A well regulated Militia..." - OMG REGULATED SOCIALISM!!! But in actuality, those Militia are NOT you, NRA members, but rather the NATIONAL GUARD. You know those guys, right? The National Guard is the state militia–NOT YOU IN YOUR TV ROOM.

    "...being necessary to the security of a free state..." - Nothing in there about personal protection, or hunting, or anything besides the defense of our nation against foreign military aggression. And if you think Pres. Obama is an aggressor against you, then why don't you join the other traitors who tried to secede once before. Didn't work out so well the first time around.

    ...and NOW you may continue the quote, but only after understanding (you do know what "understanding" means, right?) the full text and meaning. There is absolutely no wiggle room or room for interpretation. This is actually one of the most clear-cut amendments to our Constitution.

    May 14, 2010 at 7:35 am |
  46. PIN146

    Generally people who are pro-gun neglect to quote the first half of the second amendment, "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." Now I am not anti-gun, I personally hunt and have a revolver for home protection (I can also hunt with it here in DE), but I do feel that if you want to own guns that were designed for war you should be willing to submit for training in a militia and be ready for possible deployment.

    May 14, 2010 at 7:35 am |
  47. neilrr

    Wow such intelligent responses. If it not for the NRA our 1st amendment rights would be threatened just like so many of them are now. What happened to protecting your own. The non gun people have no intelligent response so they make up stuff and call gun owners crazy. If that were the case there would be a lot of dead politicians out there,must not be so crazy after all. I would be more worried about the crazies who don't have guns but spew forth hate and lie, like Daryl. I don't think Ted is scared of anyone especially someone like you!

    May 14, 2010 at 7:13 am |
  48. John M

    I wonder whether the founding fathers when they constructed the
    2 nd amendment had in mind concealed automatic weapons
    capable of killing dozens of people in a few minutes.

    I also do not think the mass murder of hundreds of students on American School campuses by mentally imbalanced attackers
    was considered at the original Constitutional Convention.

    May 14, 2010 at 7:10 am |
  49. SoSueMe001

    "checking hardware when they came to Dodge City" was a gross violation of Second Amendment rights. What is it about “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed…” that you don’t get, mike sey? Any other absolutely baseless and inane arguments?

    May 14, 2010 at 7:06 am |
  50. Daryl

    The NRA is a threat to peace and civility. The Second Amendment protects the right of 18th century patriots to possess muskets and rifles, not semiautomatic machine guns.

    And Ted Nugent ought to go back to eating chicken heads. "He's scared." "Political suicide." Those are soundbytes that border on threatening the president.

    May 14, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  51. Frank

    How much does it cost to defend yourself with a Gun and why doesn't the NRA fight for the Law so somebody can defend themselves with a gun? I heard even pulling a gun and pointing it at somebody is a punishable crime under the Law. What about all those people that lose everything of value because they defended themselves with a gun.

    May 14, 2010 at 6:55 am |
  52. Elizabeth Bradley

    I watched your piece on the NRA annual meeting and read your article above. As an American, I am deeply offended that you continue to refer to our President as "Mr. Obama". As your words represent our Nation to the world, kindly refer to our President as "President Obama" as a measure of simple respect.

    May 14, 2010 at 6:50 am |
  53. william kowalewski

    Carol – time for a Gut Check on the journalistic attitude – dripping with sarcasm. Would you deliver as snide a commentary on legislative defense of the 1st Amendment? This is supposed to be objective news reporting, not SNL.

    May 14, 2010 at 6:45 am |
  54. Dave D

    The NRA has to be some of the dumbest people in the world.
    Their "only responsible people should have a gun" argument is absurd.
    What would a responsible, law-abiding person do with a gun?

    In fact if it wasn't for the NAACP, the NRA would be the dumbest group of people in this country (I mean you can't get much more dumb than Al Sharpton and his band of loonies)

    May 14, 2010 at 6:45 am |
  55. Jack form Ohio

    I attended an NRA convention in Pittsburg, PA., met a lot of nice, friendly people and felt comlpetely safe- this was the last place you'd expect to be robbed. I'd like to add a clarification to your story. You can purchase a lot of things at an NRA convention- t-shirts, hats, jackets and some limited accessories, but you can not buy any guns from any vendors. Period. Thanks, Jack.

    May 14, 2010 at 6:40 am |
  56. mike sey

    Even during its wooliest wild west days cowpokes were required to check their hardware when they came to Dodge City.

    This was so the good folks of Dodge, the missus and the kiddies could shop in safety, free from the threat of flyin' lead!

    And the most people were packing then was a six-shooter . So what is it that the NRA doesn't get?

    May 14, 2010 at 6:38 am |
  57. mike

    The supreme court has already decided that the second amendment guaranteed individual's fundamental right to keep and bear arms, If people don't like the constitution then try to get it amended don't just just violate it.

    DC semi-automatic weapon gun ban will be nullifed and allot of other states laws will be to once Heller V. DC reaches the supreme court because once McDonald V. Chicago the supreme court will rule that Heller V. DC also applies to state and local governments

    May 14, 2010 at 6:38 am |
  58. JP

    There shouldn't be special interest groups influencing Congress for ANY cause. The second amendment guarantees the right to own firearms, and that is where the matter should rest. We shouldn't allow any group to influence Congress with threats and bribery, but that's exactly what the NRA and the anti-gun lobbyists do.
    When are the people who are affected by the laws going to be able to have a turn? Do we have to wait in line after the lobbyists?

    May 14, 2010 at 6:38 am |
  59. Agnes

    I don't own a gun, I hope to never own a gun. If you don't own a gun you can't shoot anyone accidentially or on purpose. To all your so called Christian NRA members...Did our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ own a gun, would he own a gun? And...please don't say yeah he would if he lived now because he does he live now in me and should live in you.

    May 14, 2010 at 6:37 am |