|April 14, 2008|
|Lawyers, Guns and Money: A Florida Victory|
|By Greg Hazley|
|I feel for gun control groups and their PR folks who try to make the public and judicial case for stricter firearms laws. It’s a lopsided, losing battle every time.|
The National Rifle Association and the various components of the gun lobby seem to win every PR and legal battle that rises in their sights. [“Guns don’t kill people; people kill people” is one of their bulletproof PR gems.]
Virginia Tech and the horrors that occurred there did little or nothing to spark introspection on the part of the public, which must be baffling to the gun control crowd. An October Gallup poll found only 38 percent of Americans in favor of new gun control laws. That’s the lowest percentage since 2002.
Last week, the NRA, gun owners and their political backers were rejoicing over their latest PR and legislative conquest – a “bring your gun to work” bill in Florida.
The gist of the legislation: businesses can’t forbid workers who are legally entitled to have firearms (those who took a two-hour class) from keeping guns in their cars during the workday. Every day could be Take Your Gun to Work Day!
Both houses of the state legislature passed the bill, which goes to Gov. Charlie Crist to become law. Crist says he’ll sign it because: “The Second Amendment is very important. I understand there are competing interests, but people being protected is most important to me.”
I’ve read the Second Amendment countless times, but I can’t tell you what it means. I don’t think Crist or the four million members of the NRA know for sure, either, but they sure act like they do and in putting up a PR front, that makes all the difference.
Agence France Presse noted today that guns are “easy” to get in the U.S. one year after the worst school massacre in history, and Americans are fine with that.
The pro-gun quote from an NRA member in the AFP dispatch shouldn't come as a surprise:
“There is no such thing as a good gun or a bad gun. There is such a thing as a good person or a bad person who has a gun in hand.”
If you look at the gun industry through the prism of the "merchants of death" tag, they come off as PR masters compared to their counterparts. The alcohol industry constantly tangles with M.A.D.D., big tobacco faces the relentless counter-punch from health groups, but no entity has proved up to the PR task of taking on the NRA.
The Brady Campaign has posted some minor successes, but this year it backed a measure to tighten background checks for prospective gun owners. Also supporting the legislation because it was granted several concessions, the NRA.
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