For elected officials in the East Bay, it never hurts to attack the NRA

Rep. Barbara Lee took the NRA to task Tuesday
for blocking gun control legislation in Congress.

CONGRESS | 13TH DISTRICT | East Bay Rep. Barbara Lee applauded President Barack Obama’s executive order to limit gun violence, but not before blasting the National Rifle Association.

“As a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, I am committed to working with my colleagues to find real and comprehensive solutions to end gun violence in our communities. It’s past time for Congress to start listening to the American people and not the NRA,” Lee said Tuesday.

Lee also criticized the Republican-controlled House for not taking action to block individuals on terrorist watch lists from purchasing firearms. “If they are too dangerous to fly on an airplane, why aren’t they too dangerous to have a weapon that fires 800 rounds per minute?” said Lee.

Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan has relished
an attack made against her recently by the NRA.

For progressives, though, using the NRA as a punching bag for rising incidents of gun violence in America is nothing new, especially in Lee’s decidedly left wing congressional district that includes Oakland.

On Tuesday, the Oakland City Council passed new gun control restrictions, including legislation first introduced by Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan prohibiting firearms left unattended in automobiles. Last month, in a press release, the NRA voiced criticism of Oakland’s proposed gun legislation, but the attack against Kaplan was somewhat tepid. Nonetheless, Kaplan, has repeatedly referenced the NRA comments, albeit, more as a badge of honor than anything else.

“The NRA claim that they are for responsible gun ownership. But leaving a gun loose in the backseat of an unattended car is incredibly irresponsible. The NRA should not defend leaving guns loose where they can easily get into the hands of criminals and end up with people killed,” Kaplan said earlier this week. “If the NRA wants guns to be easily stolen, then they don’t care about safety–just about selling more guns–even if people die.”

In a brief interview following the final council meeting of the year, Kaplan admitted having the NRA attack you is beneficial for an Oakland progressive. With a smile, she said, “It never hurts.”

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