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article imageGOP Pollster on the NRA: It isn't listening to public opinion

By Can Tran     Dec 26, 2012 in Politics
Frank Luntz, a GOP pollster and top strategist, said that the National Rifle Association (NRA) isn't listening to public opinion. This is in respect by the solution given out by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.
Recently, a top Republican strategist and pollster has spoken out in regards to the proposal of armed guards at all schools across the United States. The proposal was made last Friday at the National Rifle Association's press conference by the organizations vice-president & CEO Wayne LaPierre. According to LaPierre, he said that the only thing stopping a bad guy with a gun is a “good guy with a gun.” He called forth upon having armed guards or police officers at all schools. Leading the NRA's program would be former GOP Representative Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas. Hutchinson is standing firm with the NRA's proposal. He gave the suggestion that the schools would follow the same example of off-duty or retired officers to act as the armed guards as they do at shopping malls and other public outings. He said that the would be like air marshals.
In regards to the NRA proposal, GOP pollster Frank Luntz gave his response. According to Luntz, the NRA's proposal shows that the group isn't listening to public opinion. When speaking on CBS “This Morning,” Luntz talked about poll results conducted by the Pew Research Center. In the poll, 36% felt that the NRA had too much influence while 19% felt the NRA had too little influence. Luntz said that the people weren't against the 2nd Amendment. While they would protect the 2nd Amendment, they believe that not everybody should have a gun and not every gun should be available at any given time or place according to Lunta.
He further said that one shouldn't be able to buy something at a gun show without first going through any sort of background deck. In short, law-abiding citizens should be able to keep their rights to hold weapons; but, not extended for everyone in regards to just about every time and for every type of firearm available. Furthermore, the report says that almost 75% of members that are part of the NRA support people going through background checks if they wish to have a permit to carry a concealed firearm.
However, a USA TODAY/Gallup poll says that people are split on gun control. Half want to enforce the current gun laws while the other half want to pass new gun laws. Also, a majority of the people that participated in the poll didn't like the idea of a ban on assault weapons.
Despite the “public opinion” against the NRA, the group still has plenty of public support. A couple of columns on Town Hall come to the NRA's defense. In one Town Hall column, the author claims that the liberal left is using the Newtown incident to bully the NRA. It points out two things: Adam Lanza (the shooter) and his mother were not members of the NRA and that the state of Connecticut have rejected the legal influence of the NRA. The start of the article points out to the Christmas Eve shootings of Chicago, Illinois.
The author of another Town Hall column came up with a plan to eliminate school shootings. At the top of the plan, concealed weapons permits will decrease the violence. This person is calling upon arming the teachers. At number two, the author is suggesting to have more male teachers than female teachers and also having “fewer metrosexual students” in the classroom as well. The author also called for “less liberals” in the field of education.
A Washington Times article compares the talks of gun control legislation to the prohibition era of the early 20th century. To know more about prohibition, one simply has to watch either “The Untouchables” starring Kevin Costner or HBO's “Boardwalk Empire” starring Steve Buscemi. During the era of prohibition, the federal government declared alcohol illegal for consumption. It was believed that making alcohol illegal would increase work productivity and do away with violent tendencies. However, it gave wave to violent crime as a result. Even though alcohol was illegal then, people were still able to get it. In this respect, the article points out that more gun control won't prevent the violence.
The article points out to Australia and Great Britain which are countries with strict gun control laws; but, those two countries have their fair share in violent crimes. Furthermore, it explains that a person in London is more than likely to get mugged than a person in New York City. Instead of calling for a ban, the author of the article calls forth for the following: a rigorous testing system for assault weapons purchases, other gun owners to vouch for your competency in using firearms, other people to vouch for your mental state, and so forth. The important thing the author writes is that there's not many simple solutions to such horrific events.
In a report from CBS Denver interviews Jeanne Assam, who shot an armed gunman back in 2007, gives her support to the NRA proposal. According to Assam, having trained officers at schools would help prevent such events like Sandy Hook. However, Assam believes that trained officers do not need high-powered rifles. She talked about she only used a handgun to take down a gunman armed with an assault rifle. During that time, she worked security at the New Life Church. Assam is reported to have extensive experience as a police officer and an investigator. However, Assam is against the notion of arming the teachers. Also, Assam doesn't believe that weapons like the AR-15 should be in the hands of civilians. In a sense, she seems to be support a ban of assault weapons sales to civilians.
There are people that believe the NRA's plan has merit. While the NRA hasn't given out further details, other people have ideas on how such a plan should be implemented. While Hutchinson talked about not arming the teachers, there are those that believe the teachers and other school workers should be armed.
Americans are divided on the NRA's proposal for their own different reasons. It's obvious that the NRA's proposal has come under fire. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, a Democrat, spoke out about what happened on Christmas Eve where two people were killed and two firefighters were wounded in an ambush when responding to a fire in Webster, New York. In speaking out, Nutter said he would assume that LaPierre would say that the firefighters should have armed guards with them.
In a Letter to the Editor, on York Daily Record, says that the NRA should be the ones to front the funding for armed guards if it keeps on pushing for armed guards at all schools in the United States. The author of the letter further said that the NRA should pay for it and not be paid for by taxpayer dollars or school budgets.
An article on Forbes, talks about how gun rights are very political. The author criticizes the NRA's idea to have trained volunteers stand guard at the schools. In the article, the author calls for the following: provision of funding for gun violence research by independent organizations, working with medical/physician organizations on gun safety education, questioning of those with homicidal or suicidal tendencies about their access to firearms, and to work on non-violent conflict resolution programs.
On Twitchy, people are taking to Twitter to attack the NRA for the shooting in Webster, NY. One person did tweet pointing out that William Spengler, the perpetrator of the shooting, was a convicted felon. In another Twitchy article, News Corp CEO & Chairman Rupert Murdoch talked about how “we must wake up" when talking about the Webster shooting. However, Murdoch was pretty vague in his tweet.
In terms of gun law reforms, House Representative Jim Moran (D-Va) is pushing a package of gun reforms. According to Moran, this will point out the disconnect between the NRA members and the NRA leadership. He adds that the package will point out proposals that even members of the NRA support such as: criminal background checks on all potential buyers, gun retailers to perform background checks on their employees, barring those on the FBI terrorist watch-list from buying and owning guns, and the requirement of gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms. The article, which is on The Hill, say that about almost or a little over 75% of NRA members support these proposals.
It still shows that the nation is still split. But, both sides have their own set of differences on how to go about making sure that future shootings like Sandy Hook won't happen again. With regards to the NRA, Luntz talks about how the public wants guns out of schools and not in schools. When speaking on CBS' This Morning, Luntz said that the NRA isn't listening to what the public is saying.
In terms of LaPierre's proposal, in one article on Politico about the NRA, the top commenter on Facebook had things to say about it. According to the Facebook commenter, LaPierre's wrong about armed guards being able to protect the children. The commenter points out the costs of the necessary equipment and training for the guards.
According to the commenter, it would cost millions per guard. This is the cost of each US Navy SEAL or US Army Delta Force operator. With that said, there is the proposal of armed guards having special operations training. Also, the person points out what LaPierre meant by “volunteers.” The person also advises against the idea of arming teachers due to the necessary of being mentally and emotionally ready to kill somebody. In short, the person points out a lot of valid points when looking at potential flaws in LaPierre's proposal.
The person said that LaPierre's plan is going to cost a lot of money. For the idea of placing armed police officers, more officers would have to be hired. This is due to taking officers away from their current duties. In terms of using retired police or military, the person points out the possibility of those volunteers on medications, having poor eyesight, and/or slowed reflexes. With armed guards, let alone armed volunteers, the training costs would be very expensive. The commenter also mentions that he himself is a gun owner and a military veteran who currently works as a tactical EMT. Also, he says that he used to be an NRA member.
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