After demonizing President Barack Obama as a supposed gun-grabber, NRA now bizarrely claims it's Obama's fault the Las Vegas gunman was able to unleash a massacre.
The head of the National Rifle Association finally came out of hiding following one of the worst gun massacres in American history, and his statement was predictably inane.
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre appeared within the safe confines of Fox News Thursday night to attempt to spin the Las Vegas massacre, which claimed the lives of dozens of people and injured over 500 more. And his spin landed where it often does for embattled conservatives: former President Barack Obama.
Asked about the deadly accessory known as the bump stock, which allowed the Las Vegas gunman to convert his semi-automatic guns into illegal machine guns, LaPierre suggested bump stocks are legal because Obama wanted them to be.
"The Obama administration a couple years ago approves this device called a bump stock," he stressed to Sean Hannity, claiming the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives made the bump stock killings possible.
And that's the right's twisted reality that has emerged about Las Vegas: Blame Obama.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway on CNN: "This is a device that President Obama's ATF decided would not be regulated in 2010."
NRA flak Dana Loesch on Fox News: "This is something that’s on the ATF….The ATF needs to do its job."
One Republican congressman actually went a step further and blamed Hillary Clinton for the bump stock issue, absurdly suggesting that as a secretary of state traveling the global, she somehow also had jurisdiction over U.S. domestic firearm laws. (Talk about an all-powerful being.)
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) October 6, 2017
The NRA spin is a complete con, and a very absurd one, too.
"Obama’s ATF" didn’t step forward and say bump stocks should be legal, therefore opening the door for the Las Vegas tragedy. "Obama’s ATF" looked at the language of the existing gun laws, the Gun Control Act and the National Firearms Act, and determined that, even if it wanted to ban bump stocks, the agency did not have the authority because Congress writes the laws. Therefore, based on the current law, the ATF had to allow the deadly accessory to be sold.
The topic was addressed in detail when CNN’s Alisyn Camerota interviewed retired ATF special agent Sam Rabadi [emphasis added]:
CAMEROTA: I'm just trying to figure out its history. Did the ATF — the organization, of course, that you worked for — did it approve the sale of these bump stocks a couple of years ago?
RABADI: It approved — yes, it approved the use and the sale of these items, specifically because of the legal language within the law. This particular accessory because of the technical nature of the law, does not fit within the definition of a machine gun.
CAMEROTA: Right. But, I mean, wasn't that — how did the ATF let that one slip by? I mean, why would the ATF approve the sale of something like this?
RABADI: Again, Alisyn, because when ATF is looking at these types of accessories or any other type of items that fall under the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act, we have to stick to the letter of the law. What's written in there, the technical language, the definitions, that's our guiding principle. We go exactly according to the law.
Meanwhile, note the complete absurdity of the NRA, which spent eight years hysterically demonizing America’s first black president as someone who wanted to take away everyone’s guns, suddenly trying to use him as a scapegoat by suggesting Obama had been too lax on the issue of regulating guns.
The NRA needs a new spin machine. Its blame-Obama talking points make no sense to anyone who has paid attention to them for the past decade.