http://www.firearmscoalition.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=244&Itemid=63 NRA Making Deals Again Written by Jeff Knox, on 07-31-2008 09:35 Acording to The Hill newspaper, the NRA has made a deal with House Democrats on a "compromise" DC gun law bill. The burning question now is, "Why?". If the report is accurate, NRA has agreed to support a compromise bill that would force DC to minimally comply with the Supreme Court's June ruling in the Heller case. The city has so far enacted emergency legislation which makes it very difficult for a DC resident to legally own a handgun or have it available for self-defense in the home. Republicans have introduced a sweeping firearms reform bill for the District, but it has been bottled up by the Democrat leadership. Republicans were trying to get pro-gun Democrats to join them in a petition to force the bill onto the House floor for a vote. Democrats don't want to debate and vote on anything as contentious as a serious DC gun bill so pro-gun Democrats led by John Dingell (D-Michigan), Mike Ross (D-Arkansas), and Mike Tanner (D-Tennessee) reached out to NRA for a deal. Republicans are rightously furious over the deal which they were hoping to use as a wedge issue in the coming elections. Again, the burning question is "Why?". Why would NRA make this deal at this time? What advantage does such a deal give them or the gun rights movement? We are heading into an election in which many experts are predicting major Democrat gains. The Presidential candidates are both unappealing to GunVoters and have been somewhat lulled into a sense of security by the Heller victory. And there have been no contentious, gun-related bills debated in Congress to fire voters up and separate the sheep from the goats in a long, long time. Now would be an excellent time to have a loud debate about gun control and DC's outrageous response to the Heller decision is an excellent topic for such a debate. GunVoters are all very aware of the Heller decision and DC's continuing refusal to comply with the clear intent of that decision. Pro-gun members of Congress are pushing a discharge petition that would force the fight to the floor. Even without this NRA deal, it is very unlikely that the 218 signatures needed on the discharge petition could be garnered, but the petition itself would be a good barometer for judging a politician's commitment to gun rights. The fight and the grading would be over the discharge petition rather than the actual bill. With Heller and others having filed lawsuits to force DC to comply with the ruling, action by Congress is not really desirable as it would nullify those lawsuits, but that shouldn't really be a concern as long as the core bill is strong enought in its support of gun rights to be thoroughly unpalatable to the Democrat leadership. Nancy Pelosi is never going to allow a sweeping gun rights statement to come out of "her House." So that brings us back to this agreement and the question, "Why?". With this agreement a compromise bill which very narrowly addresses the DC issues wuold be brought forward with NRA support. This bill (which should be introduced later today) is expected to be narrow and limited enough to be acceptable to Pelosi and company. That means it can easily pass through the House - where pro-gun members would have little choice but to vote for it - and into the Senate where, again, it ahould face little opposition. This strategy kills the lawsuits while shielding the anti-gun and faux-pro-gun mambers of Congress thereby effectively removing the only issue around which GunVoters could have been effectively rallied... I recently wrote a piece for The Knox Report that described how a future "assault weapons" ban might be passed with NRA support. The article was intended to be a warning to NRA members to keep a close eye on their organization because there is a history of the group making seriously bad compromises that they call victories. While not as dramatic as an assault weapons ban, this appears to be another one of those mistakes.