Paul Krugman completely gutted the NRA, and in the process became the the latest example of the left’s absolute lack of fear of the gun lobby.
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Here’s the transcript from ABC News:
KRUGMAN: But what really strikes me — I don’t know how this plays, you know, what will happen. What strikes me is we’ve actually gotten a glimpse into the mindset, though, of the pro-gun people and we’ve seen certainly Wayne LaPierre and some of these others. It’s bizarre. They have this vision that we’re living in a “Mad Max” movie and that nothing can be done about it, that America cannot manage unless everybody’s prepared to shoot intruders, that — the idea that we have a police forces that provides public safety is somehow totally impractical, despite the fact that, you know, that is, in fact, the way we live.
So I think that the terms of the debate have shifted. Now the craziness of the extreme pro-gun lobby has been revealed, and that has got to move the debate and got to move the legislation at least to some degree.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you comfortable with where the NRA has been on this?
BARLETTA: Yeah. I am. I mean, this is a perfect example why people believe Washington is broke. This horrific incident in Newtown, and here, what is our debate? It’s focusing on guns, when there is not one person at this table who really believes that that’s the root of what happened there. And when we have people that get into the mindset that they want to harm people, as a former mayor, I know people will get guns no matter what laws we pass, just like the illegal drug…
KRUGMAN: … just caught you on a false statement there, because at least I do believe that guns are the root. There are crazy people everywhere, but mass murders are a lot more common here than in countries with effective gun control.
BARLETTA: If you believe guns are more important than — than dealing with mental health and our culture — is our culture lending itself that we’re raising children that are desensitized to — to murder, to killing people?
KRUGMAN: I love that the international differences — countries that have effective gun control have a lot fewer incidents.
BARLETTA: We’re banning spoons stop obesity? Of course not.
KRUGMAN: Banning the large soda drinks…
RAMOS: There’s high tolerance for — for violence in this country. I mean, after Columbine, after Virginia Tech, after Aurora, we should have done something, and we haven’t. Sometimes it seems that it’s only minor changes that we’re talking about, even ban on assault weapons or background checks, or we’re talking about high-capacity magazines. I mean, we know what works. I mean, in Japan, it works. But as a country, I don’t think we are willing to even revisit the Second Amendment.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And then…
FIORINA: But Paul said something that…
RAMOS: We know exactly what works, but we don’t want to do it. We have to recognize that.
FIORINA: Paul said something that’s illustrative of what I meant when I said people overplay their hands. What Paul just did was lump everybody together as a crazy radical gun-owner.
KRUGMAN: Not true.
FIORINA: Yes. So you’re condemning people…
KRUGMAN: No, there are plenty of gun-owners who are fine. But the lobbying groups, the NRA is now revealed as an insane organization, and that matters quite a lot.
What we witnessing is the national destruction of the myth that the NRA has some sort of intimidating power that the left is afraid to challenge. The mainstream media has helped the NRA create this aura of power around itself that is being exposed as having never existed. When the White House released the picture of President Obama skeet shooting, they were sending a message to the NRA.
The White House isn’t going to back down. Democrats aren’t going to back down, and the majority of the country will not stand down until meaningful reform has been enacted to deal with gun violence. Krugman was right. The NRA has revealed itself to be a right wing fringe group, and their leadership is not representing the views of a the majority of gun owners in this country.
The NRA has been outed as nothing more than the tool of the gun manufacturers. They don’t represent gun owners anymore. The organization has become so entrenched in Republican politics that they actually endorsed the governor who signed the nation’s first assault weapons ban for president in 2012.
The NRA has no real power. They can bluster. They may be able to stop an assault weapons ban through the Republican members of Congress that they have bought and paid for, but they can’t stop the shifting opinion on their view that America is an all guns, all the time nation. The tide has shifted, and the NRA and their unpopular positions are being swept out to sea.
As Paul Krugman’s comments illustrated, no one is afraid of the NRA. They are just another group of corporate Republicans who have marginalized themselves with extremist views.
The reality is that the crazier the NRA gets, the closer this nation comes to real gun reform.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association