Thursday, December 30, 2010

The NRA stands up for Latinos

Well, not exactly. But it is one way of looking at this:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is planning to increase regulation of gun sales in the border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California with the objective of stemming the outward flow of powerful rifles which play a big part in drug-related violence in Mexico. Gun dealers in these states will be required to report any customers who buy more than one semi-automatic weapon within five days.

Now, the gun-lobby views any kind of regulation on rights of gun-ownership or purchase as bordering on state tyranny, so their opposition was predictable. The National Rifle Association's Chris Cox argued:
"This is nothing more than a political policy that seems to be based more on Mexico blaming the US for its problems. To focus the efforts on law abiding gun owners is not a serious approach. It won't do anything to disrupt a multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise."
Yet, the decision to oppose the regulation was probably not an easy one for the NRA. The organization is as conservative as they come, and "law-abiding gun owner" is probably not the same as "Latino gun owner", in its eyes. Moreover, the four states affected by the proposed regulations are also the ones with the highest Latino populations in the nation. Indeed, had the NRA not opposed the regulations, this blogger would probably have cried racism, hypocrisy, double-standards, or something of that sort.

The parallels between this regulation and the divisive Arizona immigration law are interesting. Both laws are ostensibly meant to aid law enforcement, but have strong racial aspects just because of the location of where they are being enacted. I won't be surprised if ACLU also throws itself into this fray!

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