Harry Reid unleashed a withering attack on the National Rifle Association on the floor of the Senate Monday, accusing the organization of blocking tougher background checks before the purchase of a gun.
“Let’s not mince words about who would stop us from passing background checks,” Reid’s prepared remarked read. “Republicans that wage a right-wing ideological crusade fashioned by the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America.”
He said the NRA once called mandatory background checks “reasonable” but now fights sensible reforms.
“Now, the NRA and its leadership are committed to a radical agenda that allows criminals and mentally ill Americans to access guns to commit these terrible acts,” Reid said.
Actually, in August Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn offered a plan — endorsed by the NRA — to improve the national database of mental health records. In the past people with mental health problems have purchased guns because the records were not updated.
“We’ve known mental health was a key component to addressing this problem in so many instances,” Cornyn was quoting as saying at the time. “And yet, rather than actually try to make progress in dealing with people who are mentally ill, we’ve had these broader debates about the Second Amendment and about infringing the rights of law-abiding, sane citizens.”
On this previous blog posting there is a video of Reid at the opening of the Clark County shooting park, funded with federal tax money. At 4:50 of the video listen to what the head of the NRA says about Reid. (The direct link has been disabled so I can’t embed it here.)
The NRA in the past opposed greatly expanding background checks saying:
NRA opposes expanding background check systems at the federal or state level. Studies by the federal government show that people sent to state prison because of gun crimes typically get guns through theft, on the black market, or from family members or friends, and nearly half of illegally trafficked firearms originate with straw purchasers — people who can pass background checks, who buy guns for criminals on the sly. No amount of background checks can stop these criminals.
NRA also opposes gun registration. Expanding background check systems and allowing records to be kept on people who pass background checks to acquire guns would be steps toward transforming NICS into the national gun registry that gun control supporters have wanted for more than a hundred years.
Here is another video of Reid and the head of NRA at the shooting park opening. At about 3:20 NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre says Reid supports the Second Amendment: