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Le Figaro, France

Gun Lobby Promises
Fight of the Century”

By Jean-Sébastien Stehli

Translated By Christophe Beauchamp

17 January 2013

Edited by Drue Fergison

France - Le Figaro - Original Article (French)

The century has barely begun and the National Rifle Association promises to lead the "fight of the century" against Barack Obama and all attempts to control firearms in the United States. As early as the beginning of the week, the NRA drew attention to itself by affirming that Barack Obama was a hypocrite, as he had already adopted the measure recommended by the NRA by putting his daughters under the protection of the Secret Service, whereas he refused the same treatment for the 23,000 schools in the United States. According to the NRA, the solution to violence is to make guns more accessible and to put armed guards in all schools. Now, the fight of the century is on. The NRA’s sense of humor will always surprise us.

NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre’s letter to members of the association warns the four million members that the objective of the 44th president of the United States is "not about protecting your children. It’s not about stopping crime. It’s about banning your guns…period.”

Barack Obama's speech at the White House on Wednesday was followed closely by gun fanatics who rally each year in Las Vegas for their annual fair called SHOT, where there are up to 12 miles of exhibited weapons in total, and a large portion of these include assault weapons — the very same that President Obama wants to ban. The same goes for magazines of ammunition of more than 10 rounds and weapons equipped with a grenade launcher. The NRA seeks to convince its members that the government wants to take away their guns and force them to register those that they already own with "anti-gun bureaucrats.” Also, the assault rifles were renamed, in an Orwellian fashion, "Modern Sporting Rifles.”

The NRA now plays martyr to hosts of Americans who want to take away rights, granted by the Second Amendment, from the armed and insane. We're witnessing a complete reversal in public opinion. David Michael Keene, the NRA president’s son, is serving a 10-year sentence in prison for having shot a motorist in a road rage episode but, of course, Wayne LaPierre keeps that to himself. Anyway, Mr. Keene undoubtedly must see himself as a victim of justice favorable to enemies of the NRA.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden's fight to pass a law for stricter gun control isn't won yet. There is still a long way to go. Elected officials, in particular those in Congress, are more fearful of opposing the NRA than citizens. With its huge muscles, the NRA could crush any candidate who does not support it. The fight of the century has therefore started. Let us hope that the 44th president will show the same determination as that with which he fought for health care reform.



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