On Monday, President Barack Obama attempted to go around the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) leadership and appeal directly to NRA members to push for “common-sense” gun control measures by urging gun owners, many of whom are NRA members, to “keep the pressure” on lawmakers.
“The overwhelming majority of gun owners think (universal background checks are) a good idea,” Obama said. “So if we’ve got lobbyists in Washington claiming to speak for gun owners saying something different, we need to go to the source and reach out to people directly.”
Obama said the NRA lobbyists are “filters” that are getting “in the way of common sense.”
The NRA has steadfastly insisted that “a universal background check system will put gun buyers through needless hassle, with little in the way of results.” This is a bold tactic by Obama because many NRA members believe gun laws that Democrats and Obama are advocating would only harm law-abiding citizens.
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said on Sunday that the NRA has even tried to get limited background checks passed, but had been unsuccessful.
“I’ve been in this fight for 20 years. We proposed it. I don’t think it’s going to happen,” LaPierre said.
He also “argued the mental health lobby and federal laws have prevented the names of people with potentially dangerous mental health problems from being put into a federal database” and said “criminal’s won’t comply” with the background checks anyway.
LaPierre said the background checks would eventually morph into a “a universal registry on law-abiding people.”
While in Minnesota, Obama continued to insist that a “consensus” was forming around gun control issues and again invoked the Newtown tragedy to push for gun control.
“No law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe, but if there’s even one thing we can do, if there’s just one life we can save, we’ve got an obligation to try,” Obama said.