Friday, June 18, 2010

Gun limits

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Nice to see there is still somewhere that aspiring cowboys can't pack their pseudo-pricks. This was on the door of a National Park Visitor Center.

In a ugly bargain to win credit card reforms for consumers last year, Congresscritters accepted a National Rifle Association measure to allow guns in national parks. This reversed a hundred years of Park Service policy; the measure allowed continued restrictions at visitor centers, but not at park lodgings. Somehow I don't think having to share a campground with armed neighbors is any way to open our outdoors to most families, but I'm just a narrow-minded urbanite; where I come from, the gun-toters are mostly drug running thugs.

This week the NRA demonstrated again just who rules both Republicans and Democrats. Almost every other non-profit organization that spends money on campaign ads will have to disclose the names of the main donors under new legislation. But not the NRA; it won an exemption that apparently applies almost exclusively to the gun rights advocacy group.

The NRA amendment would exempt any group that (a) is at least 10 years old, (b) has 1 million annual dues-paying members, (c) has operations in all 50 states and (d) receives less than 15 percent of its funding from corporations or labor unions. Guess how many groups would qualify? The NRA and perhaps the Humane Society and the AARP. Smaller nonprofit groups would have to play by the new disclosure rules.

Actually, the Sierra Club claims 1.3 million members, so I don't know why it might not fit these criteria. MoveOn is ten years old and claims 5 million members, though I suppose many don't pay annual dues.

Still there is something a little sick about the legislative clout gun advocates repeatedly demonstrate in Congress. Most cities would happily ban guns and ought to be allowed to.
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Curiously, this is an issue on which my usually frustrating Senator, Diane Feinstein, is quite responsible. Of course, she saw two colleagues murdered by one of these gun toting guys in 1978.

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