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Alan Gottlieb Does a Little Flip Flopping

Posted on the 17 October 2013 by Mikeb302000
Alan Gottlieb Does a Little Flip Flopping
Huffington Post by Josh Horwitz
Gottlieb decided to buck the opposition of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and formally endorse the central element of that legislative package -- the so-called "Toomey Manchin Amendment" that would have required background checks on all private sales of firearms at commercial venues (i.e., gun shows, the internet, and classified ads in newspapers). After throwing the full weight of his SAF and CCRKBA behind the amendment (named after NRA 'A'-rated Senators Joe Machin of West Virginia and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania), Gottlieb was caught on camera giving an incredibly revealing speech at a dinner in Portland, Oregon on April 12, 2013. During the speech, Gottlieb bragged that he and his staff had helped to write the Toomey-Manchin Amendment behind the scenes, and then added this bombshell:
Philosophically, in a perfect world, I don't want any background check either, but I also don't want criminals buying guns and killing people with them and I can't justify morally that a person walks into a gun show, buys a gun from somebody without giving his name, the guy can hardly speak English, and he walks out the door with that firearm with no check, nothing at all. It goes on every day at every gun show. I want to be honest with you. We can't tolerate that. We're going to lose all our rights if we allow that to continue to go on. It's not a sustainable position for us to take. Yes, we might be able to win the battle this time and stop it in Congress. You're going to lose the war over time with that. Your Republican candidates, they're going to run on that, with [Mayors Against Illegal Guns co-chair and New York City Mayor] Mike Bloomberg spending millions of dollars in their districts and wiping them out? And then Democrats get their [way] on background checks [and] they want gun bans. It's not a tenable position for us to take. We're marching off the edge of a cliff with it.
Facing this pressure, Gottlieb decided to pull SAF and CCRKBA's support for the Toomey-Manchin Amendment just hours before it was brought to the Senate floor for a vote, when Senator Manchin made it clear on "Morning Joe" on MSNBC that he didn't have the votes needed to pass it. But just one month later, Gottlieb defended his original endorsement in aninterview with
Looking to the future, while we can win the skirmish today on this thing, we're not going to win this war over time. The reason is the polls that show that 90% of the American people want background checks is true. Most gun owners want background checks ... What we're going to face now, and I'll be really up front about this because this scares the hell out of me, in 2014... Mayor Bloomberg of New York is going to spend $16 million putting a ballot measure on in 15 states for a background check that's going to be draconian, one that none of us are going to want and none of us can support. And you know what's going to happen? It's going to pass in 15 states and then Bloomberg and the rest of the crowd are going to go to the American people and say, 'Well, the gun lobby may own the politicians, but the American people repudiated the gun lobby.' I don't want to hear that, I don't want to see that, I want to fight smart and I want to win.
When the interviewer asked Gottlieb what was next in the campaign to negotiate a reasonable compromise on background checks in Congress, however, Gottlieb was pessimistic and had no answers. "We're in a toxic environment," he explained. "For the first time, we are back on the defensive. We are not on the offensive." Gottlieb's effort to engage the pro-gun movement in a serious conversation about long-term strategy was at an end. The monster he himself had helped to create had risen up to threaten his leadership (and maybe his life as well). Now, just five months later, Gottlieb is back to his old tricks. His "Guns Save Lives Day" is a cynical attempt to throw red meat to the most radical of SAF/CCRKBA supporters and generate additional dollars for his direct mail empire (the event's webpage is nothing more than a glorified petition form that feeds names, emails and zip codes to Gottlieb) at the expense of the feelings and dignity of gun violence victims and survivors. Will "Guns Save Lives Day" save Gottlieb's own neck by restoring his personal prestige among pro-gun activists? Maybe. But the event will only serve to march his movement closer to the cliff edge he described in his Oregon speech. Like the broader Republican Party, the pro-gun movement is now dominated by slash-and-burn extremists who are ideologically extreme, disdainful of compromise, and incapable of critical, long-term thinking. There will come a day, probably sooner rather than later, when events like "Guns Save Lives Day" will no longer be viable fundraisers, when changing demographics will result in an American public that is totally offended and alienated by such antics. Alan Gottlieb and his ilk might be bloody rich by that point, but they will also be decidedly out of business.

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