The National Rifle Association will assert that President Barack Obama’s attempt to enact new gun control laws will result in the “confiscation” of people’s firearms in a new web video scheduled to run in five states and the District of Columbia. The video will go online around the time Obama begins delivering his State of the Union address, in which he is expected to mention his effort to reduce gun violence through legislative means.
The crux of the controversy is a DOJ memo that recommends mandatory gun buybacks.
A Justice Department spokeswoman told CNN that she couldn’t immediately authenticate the document, but did confirm that Greg Ridgeway, whose name appears on it, is currently deputy director of the National Institute of Justice, which is the DOJ’s research arm.
“This internal Justice Department memo says ‘an assault weapons ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence,’ ” NRA’s chief lobbyist Chris Cox says in the video that was provided to CNN before it aired online. “Unlikely, that is, unless it comes with something else. Obama’s experts say that a gun ban, like the one being debated right now in Congress, will not work without mandatory ‘gun buybacks and not exemptions.’ ”
Cox continued, “Mandatory gun buybacks. That’s government confiscation of legal firearms owned by honest citizens.”
While President Obama did prominently feature gun control in his State of the Union address, there was no mention whatsoever of confiscations or mandatory buybacks. Nor would such a proposal leave the House alive.
So the angle for the NRA seems to be to poison the well early hoping that memories of Sandy Hook fade and the country moves on to other issues with politicians scared off by an irate and active NRA base fueled by videos like this. It might work, it has so far.