EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

February 10, 2013

Column: NRA shoots down reasoned gun control debate

An organization I utterly oppose has bestowed upon me an honor of the highest order. The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action has put me on its enemies list, which it labels “National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies.”

The roster includes such organizations as the AARP, the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Catholic Conference (a likely reference to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops).

Much farther down — after a long list of movie stars and celebrities — comes a subtitle that reads “Anti-Gun Journalists.” My name is listed among nearly 40 journalists that editorialize in favor of gun control laws. This is almost as good as a Pulitzer, but not quite.

All told, the NRA lists more than 500 entries.

The list was posted in September, but I only found out about it recently when a reporter from Media Matters for America, a media watchdog group, called for an interview.

The gun control debate is now stuck between the White House and Congress, and coming ever closer to bleeding to death. President Barack Obama wants legislation debated and passed now. Republican leaders want to delay until the horror of the Dec. 14 school massacre in Newtown, Conn., recedes.

Congress should act — now. Last month, Mayors Against Illegal Guns released a report calling for tougher regulation. “Access Denied” — presented by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the group’s co-chair and its largest funder — states that “for the past decade or so: the federal government has conducted almost no scientific research on how criminals get and misuse guns, or what policies are effective at stopping them; law enforcement has been prohibited from sharing analyses of crime gun trace data with policymakers and the press; and military leaders and doctors have been barred from talking about gun safety to people under their command or care. All of this, despite the fact that Americans murder each other with guns at nearly 20 times the rate of residents of other high-income countries.”

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