Robert Ricker Bloviates in the Seattle P-I


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Dain Bramage
June 9, 2004, 05:17 PM
Bush Dances with NRA Devil (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/176903_rickergun09.html)

*sigh* Nothing much new here. Same old tired lies.

At least they're consistent. It's like suffering the Death of 1,000 Cuts.

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Bartholomew Roberts
June 9, 2004, 05:42 PM
Last summer I wrote in the July 23, 2003, issue of the Los Angeles Times that the GOP's overreliance on the National Rifle Association is a risky strategy that might pay off at election time unless the leaders in the Democratic Party "wise up -- and quickly."

As a former NRA executive and top lobbyist for the firearms industry, I knew the NRA could not be trusted when it promised it would go easy on vulnerable Democrats come election time if they would just support lawsuit immunity for the gun industry -- the gun lobby's top priority in Congress.

As it turned out, in April of this year, Senate Democrats and several moderate Republicans banded together to stop the gun lobby's immunity legislation by amending it with measures to renew the federal ban on military-style assault weapons and require criminal background checks on all gun sales at gun shows. This revolt by the Senate stunned the NRA. The immunity bill with the assault weapon ban and gun show provisions attached went down in flames 92 to 8.

Revolt? The amendment to renew the ban passed by fewer votes than the original amendment did in the Senate - and the only reason it could get that many votes was that five Southern Democratic Senators were retiring and didn't have to face reelection.

There is a revolt going on all right; but Ricker of all people should know it isn't the one he is painting.

Today, we find President Bush facing a slightly different dilemma. The 1994 ban on military-style assault weapons is set to expire in September, at the height of the presidential election campaign. That means Uzis, AK-47s and Tech -9s will be back on U.S. streets unless Congress acts to renew the law. The president has stated publicly he supports the renewal of the ban despite the fact that a handful of ultra-conservative leaders in the House of Representatives are holding fast to their promise to the NRA and are refusing to allow a vote on the controversial measure.

Yeah right - there were 47 votes in the Senate to kill it; but in the House of Representatives it is a "handful of ultra-conservative leaders refusing to allow a vote". The fact is that if there is a majority of support for the bill, it can be forced out of committee by a discharge petition. So far, the sponsors of the bill haven't even tried to start one. They seem to want this less than the Republicans. Wonder why that is?

The Senate vote in April shows lawmakers are catching on to the gun lobby's emperor-has-no-clothes vulnerability. Democrats and moderate Republicans are beginning to understand that the gun lobby, led by the NRA, does not really represent the views of mainstream U.S. gun owners.

I can tell you firsthand that the power of the gun lobby is more perception than reality. After all, there are 80 million gun owners in America; only 4 million are NRA members. And many of these join only to get the gun magazines or insurance. They believe in the Second Amendment but understand that an AK-47 isn't a hunting rifle.

Come on Ricker, it isn't like you are talking to the standard bunch of ignorami you now get paid to lecture to by gun control groups. These people made politics their life. They know the names and the faces of people who crossed gun owners and lost their jobs.

Even more interesting is the fact that the NRA doesn't speak for even its most diehard members. NRA leaders such as Wayne LaPierre and Kayne Robinson are pragmatists. Others, such as NRA board member and former Georgia congressman Bob Barr, are pure right-wing partisans who care more about electing Republicans than protecting gun rights.

The tension between pragmatic NRA leaders and the minuscule number of diehard right-wing board members played itself out in the debate over the immunity bill. According to insiders, LaPierre was willing to accept a renewed assault weapons ban in exchange for passage of gun industry immunity. But when the far-right factions of the NRA found out, Wayne's world came crashing down. The NRA was forced to issue a statement denying any deal and ultimately had to oppose final passage of the immunity bill with the assault weapons ban and gun show amendments attached.

Now, because the assault weapon issue is front and center, tensions are boiling over within the NRA in a more public way. Diehard pro-gun advocates tend to be more libertarian than conservative, and many are organizing against Bush because of his position on assault weapons -- much to the dismay of LaPierre and other pragmatic NRA leaders. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has advised that if the president were to publicly call on Congress to pass the assault weapon renewal bill, it would happen. The NRA board of directors knows this and recently sent a ham-fisted message to Bush: no NRA presidential endorsement until after the assault weapons law expires in September. Bush knows that no recent Republican candidate for president has been elected without the NRA endorsement.

And that is a trend that will continue in 2004 if the ban is renewed.

Given this dynamic, my advice to Bush is: Stop dancing with the devil. Leaders in the Senate did. They knew the correct course of action to take. The gun lobby doesn't have the power to protect you if you let new American-made Uzis, AK-47s and Tech-9s flood America's streets. Voters won't buy a "blame Congress" excuse. They'll blame you.

Giving in to the gun lobby on this one will alienate millions of Americans -- sportsmen and non-gun owners alike -- who understand and support the public safety value of renewing the ban on military-style assault weapons.


:rolleyes: Yes, follow his advice because it isn't like the people who pay him are in bed with Kerry up to their necks. I'm sure he has your best interest in mind.

Having said that, he has a good point that there are a lot of gunowners out there that need to get the message that feeding the EBRs into the maw first isn't going to save their "street sweepers" and "sniper rifles" from vilification.

Bobarino
June 9, 2004, 05:57 PM
''The gun lobby doesn't have the power to protect you if you let new American-made Uzis, AK-47s and Tech-9s flood America's streets. ''


ahhh yes. the proverbial flooding of the streets with AK-47's. these guys REALLY need to come up with some new cliche's. these are getting tiresome. its the same ol' thing time and time again. do they really think that these little catch phrases of horror actually convince people that our streets will be "flooded" with guns? man i get sick of that stuff. the sad thing is, their supporters actually believe this garbage.

Bobby

Standing Wolf
June 9, 2004, 07:44 PM
these guys REALLY need to come up with some new cliche's. these are getting tiresome.

Do you really think they're bright enough to think up new lies?

LAR-15
June 9, 2004, 10:49 PM
Doesn't Robert Ricker now get paid by the Brady Campaign?

Phil in Seattle
June 10, 2004, 01:36 AM
Mr Ricker has so far proven himself to be useless to the lawsuits he has participated in. I suspect he fancies himself the next tobacco industry insider.
"The NAACP's suit seeks to blame gun makers for criminal shootings in African-American communities. The NAACP's attorney, Elisa Barnes, describes Ricker as a "true insider."

This case marks the third time Ricker has made these allegations against firearms industry members. Two years ago, lawyers representing the City of Boston in its suit against gun makers interviewed Ricker and, in February, he filed an affidavit against the industry on behalf of 12 California cities that had sued gun makers.

Boston was so impressed by Ricker's accusations that it voluntarily dropped its suit last year. The judge presiding over the California case was so impressed with Ricker's affidavit that he threw the case out of court,"

deanf
June 10, 2004, 02:25 AM
Who the hell is this turncoat? Given his self-stated past, surely he knows this is patently false:

That means Uzis, AK-47s and Tech -9s will be back on U.S. streets unless Congress acts to renew the law.

nico
June 10, 2004, 02:57 AM
Given his self-stated past, surely he knows this is patently false
yup, which means he's nothing more than a lying sack of ???? who will do anything for a buck. :fire:

Stebalo
June 10, 2004, 03:44 AM
A former NRA "executive"? What does that mean? Either he is an imposter or has gone so deeply to the dark side, he is parroting their lies.

" federal ban on military-style assault weapons "

Bartholomew Roberts
June 10, 2004, 10:07 AM
Ricker never worked for the NRA to my knowledge but he did work for the NSSF - the industry organization.

He also didn't start these accusations until several years after he was fired from that job if I recall correctly. I guess his conscience got to him about the same time the paycheck from the Brady Campaign did.

EDITED TO ADD: My bad he did work for the NRA briefly as assistant general counsel.

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