America's Gun Debate Is Just Getting Started — Unless the NRA Has Its Way

Always beware the lobbyist bearing gifts.As tempting as it to heap praise on the National Rifle Association's backing of calls to restrict devices that turn semiautomatic weapons into machine guns, this can't be the sole concession the gun lobby makes.We must make sure that, this time, common-sense gun reform remains front and center on the national agenda.That is not what the NRA wants - which is why we must call the NRA's gesture what it is: A political ploy.The NRA is willing to sacrifice the bump stock attachments that the Las Vegas shooter installed on at least a dozen rifles for one glaring reason -- to stave off more far-reaching gun-control measures.That's why the NRA would rather put this issue in the lap of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms rather than in the pesky hands of Congress."The NRA knows that its cause is best served when guns are simply not a topic of debate for Congress or the country," CNN editor at large Chris Cillizza wrote. "The status quo is just fine with them."Thus, we go through these tortuous political machinations every time there's a mass shooting: Liberals cry for Congress to clamp down on guns; conservatives circle the NRA's wagon while bemoaning "knee-jerk" calls to chip away at the Second Amendment's right to bear arms."The last time that happened was in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings in late 2012," Cillizza wrote. "And while the NRA defeated the two major gun control proposals offered up in the wake of those murders, it was not without a major struggle and considerable capital - political and otherwise - being spent."This time, those of us who are of the mind that Congress can take some sensible steps to reduce gun violence mustn't let lawmakers or the NRA off the hook so readily.  Continue reading...

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