The NRA Is Coming Out Swinging This Time
The NRA is fairly credible on this point, as they were strong supporters of "Project Exile," which called for felons with guns to be prosecuted in Federal courts under a 1968 law that established a mandatory five year -- and up to ten year -- sentence in Federal prison for gun criminals. It's been their approach for decades: law-abiding citizens should have the full protections of the Second Amendment, but those who abuse their rights by committing crimes should be harshly punished. In that way, the nation has the benefits of the Second Amendment in terms of its protection against political tyranny and the protection of individuals and families against crimes.
These Federal cases are still sometimes brought -- I'm aware of a case in Tennessee right now involving a Federal prosecution on these grounds -- but he's right to say that the law could be applied very sweepingly to those areas in which most violent crime in America occurs. It doesn't have to be Federal police who make the arrest: it could be applied to everyone arrested who turned out to have a felony conviction and a gun. Even without raids or sweeps, you could pull a lot of these people off the streets for five years to a decade in the normal course of business.
Painting the death toll in the President's home town, which the President has the power to stop, is a fairly brutal rhetorical move. I don't mean to suggest that it is unfair. It just darkly underlines how hypocritical the President is on this issue of 'stopping the gun violence in our streets.' He has the tools. The NRA, far from being an opponent, has long supported the robust exercise of these laws. The ball is in his court, but he does nothing.
By Grim on Saturday, December 05, 2015