David French think it’s high time the NRA got on board with Gun Violence Restraining Orders, and praises it as a good move.Â I don’t agree it’s a good move, but I think it’s probably a necessary one. French seems to think this will make a difference, but I’m going to bet you even if we pass GVROs in every state, we’re still going to have mass shootings. French seems to believe gun control will work. It won’t. It’s never worked. In the Parkland case, they had every opportunity to take action under current laws, and no one ever bothered. This would just have been one more crack the killer would have fallen through, and everyone knows it.
I worried when Bloomberg started pushing the GVRO issue that there was a chance this would get traction, and that’s what has happened. So what do you do if you’re NRA? Again, the hard line answer is to shout “no” louder, but that’s not going to stop you from losing in a dozen more states on a bill that, like California’s, has zero due process. You also have the White House on board with this idea, which doesn’t help things.
So what NRA has decided to do is rebrand GVROs as Risk Protection Orders (RPO), demand some level of due process, and become all for it. Looking over the RPO concept, it would actually have more due process than a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, which is already disabling. So this isn’t really the sellout some are claiming it is. I’d be thrilled to get this much due process for PFAs.
This is not the first time NRA has done a move like this. When it became apparent the Brady Bill had real traction, after years of fighting it, NRA declared that instant background checks were good and wholesome, and pushed that idea as an alternative to the seven-day waiting period the Bradys originally wanted. NRA’s position is eventually what we got.
I know hard-liners will be all “Negotiating Rights Away” yet again. By this point, I’ve heard it all. But let me ask you this: would we be better off with a 7 or 5 day waiting period for all gun purchases everywhere? Would we be better off if we had an assault weapons ban that had no sunset clause? Would we be better off with a dozen more states passing GVROs with no due process protections whatsoever? Would we have been better off if, as the original NFA intended, machine guns were defined as any firearm which could fire more than 7 rounds without reloading? As I’ve said, sometimes outright defeating your opponents isn’t an option. Sometimes it is a matter of minimizing the damage they are inflicting on you. If NRA had 10 or 20 million members, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But we don’t, so we are.