NRA’s Keene: Democrats Shocked by Support for Second Amendment

Thursday, 14 Mar 2013 12:42 PM

By Cyrus Afzali and Kathleen Walter

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National Rifle Association President David Keene believes President Barack Obama and other Democrats who want to expand gun control have been shocked by the outpouring of support for the Second Amendment.

Speaking to Newsmax TV at CPAC 2013, Keene said former President Bill Clinton was right when he warned Obama around Christmas last year to tread carefully as he considered expanding gun restrictions.

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“[Gun control proposals were] one of the main reason for Republicans seizing the House in 1994. Americans care about the Second Amendment and the president is seeing that,” Keene said.

Keene was in Albany recently following the passage of expanded gun control in New York. There, he witnessed more than 10,000 people braving the rain to protest the expanded laws, which he believes sent a strong message to the president and Democrats.

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“There are rallies like that all over the country. Members of Congress are receiving lots of letters. It’s clear the narrative that the president tried to construct was wrong. That’s the reason a lot of what [Obama] proposed is being slowed down,” Keene said.

A sharply divided Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week approved legislation to enact universal background checks, a move that closes what some refer to as the “gun show loophole.” The bill also encourages states and local governments to report more criminal and mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background System, the database used to run the background checks. The NRA and others have said problems with the database make it difficult for licensed gun owners to ensure they aren’t selling a gun to someone prohibited from buying one.

Keene believes the problem with such legislation lies in the fact that background checks are largely ineffective unless there’s an accompanying gun registry, which he and many others believe would be the first step toward government confiscation of weapons. He also says the gun registry issue is the prime reason for the ideological divide over expanding gun laws in the Senate.

Keene criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, both of whom have promoted the idea of forced gun buybacks that would allow the government to take back weapons that are no longer legal once gun-control laws are expanded.

“The Justice Department under Obama issued a study that said a background check wouldn’t mean much unless it included a gun registry. Cuomo in New York and Sen. Dianne Feinstein have also said they both want to enact forced government buybacks,” Keene said. “That means if they know you own a gun, you’ll sell it to the government at a price we dictate. That’s confiscation.”

In his State of the Union address, Obama called on Congress to vote on proposed gun-control expansions. Keene said he too would favor that move.

“We want a vote as well because a lot of people who are hostile to the Second Amendment haven’t had to go through a vote,” Keene said. “A lot of politicians have been able to say ‘I’m with you,’ but these votes would put people in a position of supporting the Second Amendment, or not.”

Keene also said that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others who are advocating for expanding gun control, believing the public is on their side, are in for a big surprise.

“Michael Moore, Barack Obama and Michael Bloomberg tried immediately following Newtown to pivot and hope that it would change the whole narrative and that people would give up Second Amendment rights,” Keene said. “They’ve been shocked that hasn’t happened. Mental-health care and lack of school security are the two main reasons these shootings happened.”

Keene also predicted the moves to expand gun control will lead to membership gains for the NRA by the time the organization holds its annual meeting May 3-5.

Urgent:
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“Support for the Second Amendment is not going to vanish. When this began, we had 4 million members. By the time we meet in Houston, I’m betting we’ll have 5 million,” he said.

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