January 10, 2013
By: David Codrea
Joe Biden is meeting throughout the day “with advocates for sportsmen and women and wildlife interest groups as part of the Administration’s effort to develop policy proposals in response to the tragedy in Newtown, the Vice President’s schedule announced today. Among groups known in advance to be attending one of today’s meetings are the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Today’s series of meetings include a different set of what the administration calls “stakeholders.” Yesterday, the Vice President and Attorney General Eric Holder met with what they referred to as “gun safety groups” (even though the organizations in question are not qualified and do not teach gun safety, but rather, are committed gun prohibitionists) and “victims and survivors.”
Likewise, today’s meeting will raise concerns about more than terminology. What gun rights activists will find especially troubling is the premise of the meeting, noting the Second Amendment has nothing to do with sports or wildlife, and particularly noting the disturbing origins of the premise that it does. A true meeting of “stakeholders” would include representatives for those who believe in the unbending of the Founders’ intent for the Second Amendment, who know that it is necessary for the security of a free state, that it shall not be infringed, and who won’t stand for being scapegoated or for citizen disarmament edicts imposed by those who would try.
Meetings and attendees for today, including representatives for retailers and the entertainment industry, were conveyed by a White House official through Michael Scherer of TIME, acting on behalf of the press pool, and include:
11:45 AM: Sportsmen and Women and Wildlife Interest Groups:
- Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
- Blue Water Strategies
- Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance Action Fund
- Ducks Unlimited
- Outdoor Industry Association
- Pheasants Forever
- Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
- Wildlife Management Institute
1:45 PM: Gun Owners’ Groups:
- Defense Small Arms Advisory Council (DSAAC.)
- Firearms Import/Export Roundtable
- Independent Firearm Owners Association (IFoA)
- National Rifle Association of America
- National Shooting Sports Foundation
- National Association of Arms Shows
- 6:00 PM: Representatives from the Entertainment Industry:
- Comcast Corporation
- Directors Guild of America
- Film & Television Alliance
- Motion Picture Association of America
- National Association of Broadcasters
- National Association of Theatre Owners
- National Cable and Telecommunications Association
Supplied by the Justice Department:
Today, at 3:15 the Attorney General will meet with retailers as part of the ongoing gun violence sessions being held at the White House by Vice President Biden.
Below is a list of the retailers who will be attendance.
- Academy Sports + Outdoors
- Bass Pro Shops
- Big 5 Sporting Goods
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Dunham’s Sports
- Gander Mountain
- Sportsman’s Warehouse
- National Retail Federation – (awaiting confirmation)
There are many concerns this list raises, including what else a company like Dick’s is willing to preemptively surrender to further alienate customers who don’t go there for the sport of it.
Also of concern: The attendance of the Independent Firearm Owners Association, headed by Richard Feldman, once a lawyer representing the gun industry who spearheaded the last industry surrender to the White House, and went on to author an expose of his former allies. Who and exactly how many they purport to represent is somewhat of a mystery, but we do know they portray themselves as “moderates,” include “a number of retired law enforcement officers” on their board, and boast “There are 15 million self-identified liberals that own guns — that’s four times the size of the NRA.”
Last night, Gun Rights Examiner obtained a “boycotted” copy of an IFoA press statement, not authorized for release until 1 p.m., that is, exactly as this is being typed. The complete statement has now been posted on the organization’s website. Aside from calling for “a return to public civility,” it includes a series of measures presented as needed to fight crime, with dangerous concessions made on two fronts.
“Let’s agree that we are united in opposition to the misuse of firearms, especially the access of guns to criminals and mentally unstable individuals,” it recommends, making no mention of how due process will be ensured for the “unstable” so that innocence is presumed as opposed to having to be proven. As Gun Rights Examiner pointed out on Monday, “reforms” in this area could create a blanket dragnet for gun rights disabilities.
“Let’s agree to require the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) at gun shows,” the release further advocates. “NRA’s Wayne LaPierre supported this to Congress back in May 1999. Our proposal is called the Gun Show Preservation and Protection Act of 2013.”
In other words, end the practice of allowing private sellers to attend gun shows.
The IFOA does not explain what it believes ending private sales at gun shows will accomplish, and why, if they think it will reduce violent crime, they have not also called for ending private sales everywhere, and if that will be a concession they intend to make at some later point once this beachhead has been secured. Nor do they explain how this “agreement” squares with delegated enumerated powers of either Congress or the Executive branch under the Constitution, nor if either the Second or Tenth Amendments should be consulted before agreeing to anything.
Nor do they indicate how, with anti-gunners snarling for viscera, civilly throwing them a scrap and giving them a taste of flesh will do anything but encourage the ravenous pack to close in for more.
If NRA and NSSF join in with this divide-and-conquer preemptive surrender, and show anything but strength, gun owners will have an internal problem to resolve when they should instead be working together toward the victory it is within their power to achieve.
UPDATE: The following information just came in from the reporting pool immediately after this article was published and is quoted below:
The VP said he would give POTUS recommendations by Tuesday. “I have committed to him that I will have the recommendations to him by Tuesday.”
He mentioned several recommendations to deal with guns that he said he had heard repeatedly from stakeholders. This included what he called “universal background checks, not just closing the gumshoe* loophole.” He also mentioned a call do deal with high capacity magazines. And he said, “The last area is the whole subject of the ability of any federal agency to do research on gun violence.”
He compared the current limits on federal data gathering with the 1970s restrictions on federal research over the cause of traffic fatalities. He said there was a need to gather information on “what kind of weapons are used most to kill people” and “what kind of weapons are trafficked weapons.”
He described his own personal relationship with guns as “an owner of shotguns–I’m no great hunter, it’s mostly skeet shooting for me.”
He said he was still hoping to have a conference call with gun manufacturers. “There has got to be some common ground, to not solve every problem but diminish the probability” of future mass shootings. “That’s what this is all about. There are no conclusions I have reached.”
He referred to Newtown, saying, “there is nothing that has pricked the consciousness of the American people” as the image of “little six-year-olds riddled … with bullet holes in their class.”
* “Gumshoe loophole” is a perfect example of “Authorized Journalists” acting as subject matter authorities. Maybe Biden really said it, though. A transcript is said to be forthcoming.
UPDATE: Dave Workman says “The ‘fix’ was in; NRA ‘disappointed’ at meeting.”
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