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NRA Lies About Obama

Yesterday I mentioned, randomly, how attacking Democratic presidential candidates on guns is usually a ploy.

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Picture-141-189x300.png

N.R.A. direct mail lies about Obama's record. (Credit: Kevglobal Flickr)

The Feds won’t take away people’s guns, no matter who runs the White House, because there is a super-majority in Congress to block such efforts.

Attacking on guns, like Social Security, plays up an improbable fear, I argued. But it turns out even that tactic isn’t working for the National Rifle Assoc. anymore.

Today, the nonpartisan Annenberg Center calls out the NRA for blatantly lying about Sen. Barack Obama’s gun record in a $15-million campaign.

Apparently the truth wasn’t scary enough for NRA members, so the group just lied about Obama’s entire position. Annenberg reports that the NRA “campaign distorts Obama’s position on gun control beyond recognition.”

Anneberg found the group’s direct mail and TV ads make “unsubstantiated claims that Obama plans to ban use of firearms for home defense, ban possession and manufacture of handguns, close 90 percent of gun shops and ban hunting ammunition.”

Yet in reality:

Much of what the NRA passes off as Obama’s “10 Point Plan to ‘Change’ the Second Amendment” is actually contrary to what he has said throughout his campaign: that he “respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms” and “will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport and use guns.” The NRA, however, simply dismisses Obama’s stated position as “rhetoric” and substitutes its own interpretation of his record as a secret “plan.” Said an NRA spokesman: “We believe our facts.” Perhaps so, but believing something doesn’t make it so. And we find the NRA has cherry-picked, twisted and misrepresented Obama’s record to come up with a bogus “plan.”

Those are the key conclusions. Annenberg has posted a lengthy, footnote-studded supporting document on its Website, FactCheck.org, that debunkes each claim.

It’s almost comical, as the memo ticks off each lie (“NRA Claim: ‘Ban Rifle Ammunition Commonly Used for Hunting’”), states the opposite (“False: Obama is not proposing to ban hunting ammunition”), and then fires off footnotes for support.

I mean really, has any presidential nominee in U.S. history ever supported a ban on hunting ammunition? Maybe the NRA is taking its deceitful tactics from the McCain campaign.

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