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Pittsburgh hosts annual National Rifle Association meeting

May 29, 2010 - UNITED STATES

At its 140th Annual Meetings and Exhibits in the Pennsylvania city of Pittsburgh, the National Rifle Association will vet potential cantidates for the 2012 United States presidential and congressional election at a time when they might need more firepower than usual. The nation's porous background-check system allowed Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in January's mass shooting, to purchase weapons. The organization opposes attempts to close the loopholes. The suspect purchased the handgun that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz, in Tucson from a licensed dealer despite indications he was mentally ill. His background check at the dealer came back clean. The NRA, one of the best-funded and most powerful lobbies in the United States, insists the loopholes were not a factor in Tucson.

At its 140th Annual Meetings and Exhibits in the Pennsylvania city of Pittsburgh, the National Rifle Association will be vetting potential cantidates for the 2012 United States presidential and congressional election at a time when they might need more firepower than usual. The nation's porous background-check system allowed Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in January's mass shooting, to purchase weapons. The organization opposes attempts to close the loopholes. The suspect purchased the handgun that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz, in Tucson from a licensed dealer despite indications he was mentally ill. His background check at the dealer came back clean. The NRA, one of the best-funded and most powerful lobbies in the United States, insists the loopholes were not a factor in Tucson. The Huffington Post notes that many lawmakers are unwilling to speak too loudly on gun control out of fear of waking the behemoth NRA's wrath and massive political operation. The NRA will be watching primary elections carefully ahead of the presidential election in Nov 2012 to vet the candidates their stand on gun control, one of the most polarizing issues in the United States. According to the Federal Elections Commission Reports in 2009, over the last four election cycles, the NRA has spent over US $18 million on Congressional candidates who support their agenda. A rival of the NRA, the smaller Gun Owners of America organization, operates around a similar agenda. The NRA promotes a literal interpretation of the right to bear arms laid out in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. The argument, frequently tackled in the courts, is whether the amendment ensures an individual's right to bear arms, rather than the collective right of state militias.

Friendly Fire: Republicans Fume at NRA's Endorsement of Democrats (ABC 28 Oct 2010)

Michael Bloomberg Takes On The National Rifle Association -- And Wins (Huffington Post 5 Nov 2010)

NRA web

Date written/update: 2010-05-29