If you saw this picture, would you think that the room included members of the press asking questions of the speaker?
Well, you would be wrong. That is actually one of the paid staff members of the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) in a staged photo taken after today’s event at the Commonwealth Park Hotel in downtown Richmond. NAGR scheduled a press conference to unveil their new advertisement charging 7th District Congressman and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor with supporting a large portion of Obama’s gun control agenda. But no press showed up. Four members of the public (who it can be presumed received an email invitation), and six staff members of NAGR were all that showed up. Apparently for the purposes of sending the late afternoon email inviting their subscribers to a similar event in Virginia Beach on Friday, they staged this photo to make it appear as if the press actually showed up.
It would be charitable to say the ad that was unveiled is misleading. Cantor has not expressed support for any of Obama’s stated agenda and the statements he has made are related to improving the mental health information that is reported to the NICS. Cantor has used Virginia as an example of what other states could do to keep firearms out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves and others without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. That apparently is his crime in the eyes of NAGR.
Here are the facts:
Cantor has a long record of supporting our rights in Congress over the last 12 years including
- Voted YES on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers. (Oct 2005)
- Voted YES on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse. (Apr 2003)
- No lawsuits against gun manufacturers. (Jan 2001)
- Rated A by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun rights voting record. (Dec 2003)
- National cross-state standard for concealed carry. (Jan 2009)
- Ban gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC. (Mar 2007)
- Allow reloading spent military small arms ammunition. (Apr 2009)
Cantor voted for the NICS Improvement Act in 2007 which was signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 8, 2008. The NICS Improvement Act includes numerous protections prohibiting the very things that NAGR accused Cantor of supporting in their ad. Those protections that Cantor supported include:
- Requires all federal agencies that impose mental health adjudications or commitments to provide a process for “relief from disabilities.” Extreme anti-gun groups like the Violence Policy Center and Coalition to Stop Gun Violence have expressed “strong concerns” over this aspect of the bill—surely a sign that it represents progress for gun ownership rights.
- Prevents reporting of mental adjudications or commitments by federal agencies when those adjudications or commitments have been removed.
- Provides a process of error correction if a person is inappropriately committed or declared incompetent by a federal agency. The individual would have an opportunity to correct the error-either through the agency or in court.
- Prevents use of federal “adjudications” that consist only of medical diagnoses without findings that the people involved are dangerous or mentally incompetent. This would ensure that purely medical records are never used in NICS. Gun ownership rights would only be lost as a result of a finding that the person is a danger to themselves or others, or lacks the capacity to manage his own affairs.
There is absolutely no proof to support the charge that Cantor supports “key parts” of the Obama gun ban agenda. In fact, if Cantor did support “key parts” of Obama’s gun ban agenda, House Judiciary Charmian Bob Goodlatte would not be able to say this. But accuracy has never been a strong suit of NAGR anyway.