- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 5, 2013

“Today, the National Rifle Association is a record 5 million strong. Even as thousands of Americans join our cause every day, the media and political elites denigrate us. They cringe at the sight of long lines at gun shows. They mock Americans who are buying firearms and ammunition at a record pace. They scorn and scold the NRA. They don’t get it, because they don’t get America.”

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre, to some 70,000 people at the organization’s annual convention, which ended Sunday. See Mr. LaPierre’s complete speech at NRAnews.com, along with appearances by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, among many luminaries.

BIDEN‘S SUMMATION


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment and Gun Control


In a presidential posture, Vice President Joseph R. Biden has fired the first volley in an effort to distinguish his own take on gun control — ammunition, perhaps, for a 2016 White House run

“For too long, members of Congress have been afraid to vote against the wishes of the NRA, even when the vast majority of their constituents support what the NRA opposes. That fear has become such an article of faith that even in the face of evidence to the contrary, a number of senators voted against basic background checks, against a federal gun trafficking statute and against other commonsense measures because they feared a backlash,” Mr. Biden wrote in an op-ed published Sunday in the Houston Chronicle.

Keep in mind that the NRA convention was staged in Houston.

“Today, those very senators are discovering that the political landscape really did change. They are learning that Newtown really did shock the conscience of the nation and that inaction will not be tolerated by Democrats, Republicans or independents,” Mr. Biden observed.

SMOKE SCREEN

What’s this? Bill Maher says that had President Obama been apprehended smoking marijuana in his younger days, life would have been different.

“This president wouldn’t be president if they had caught him, if that was on his record. He’d still be a community organizer,” the host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” told his audience, adding, “I just wonder when he’s going to get the memo that pot is the new gay marriage.”

The thought that the stuff would be a newfound cause gave Newsbusters analyst Noel Sheppard pause.

“So are people opposed to the legalization of marijuana going to be the left’s next targets? Watch out, conservatives. In the coming years you’re going to be labeled as intolerant weedophobes,” he says.

PALMETTO BREW

Tuesday may be trying for Mark Sanford, who faces Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the special election for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. Her polling numbers are better. She has a famous brother, Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert. She’s been knocking on doors and rolling through the countryside aboard a sky-blue campaign bus emblazoned with the motto, “Elizabeth Means Business.”

Mr. Sanford’s personal challenges have emerged, meanwhile. There’s still fallout from the former governor’s, uh, affair, and on Thursday, he must appear in a local court, charged with trespassing on his former wife’s property. But wait. He’s still got grass-roots fans, with advice for local voters.

“Elect a true fiscal conservative,”says Amy Kremer, chairman of the Tea Party Express, a feisty political action committee that now endorses Mr. Sanford. “He has a proven and battle-tested record of reining in out-of-control spending and lowering taxes so that the economy can grow.”

She adds, “While Elizabeth Colbert Busch attempts to portray herself as a moderate who wants to rein in spending and give lip service to attacking Obamacare, we know this is not the case. As the old saying goes, ‘You are who you surround yourself with.’ In the case of Colbert Busch, that is Nancy Pelosi, big labor and progressive super PACs. These friends have poured in over $1 million in support.”

THE MEDIA MEA CULPA

Well, it’s behind him. Former Newsweek/Daily Beast media analyst Howard Kurtz — “fired” from his high-profile perch last week after an erroneous report on NBA player Jason Collins‘ decision to reveal he is gay — took to “Reliable Sources” to make things right with the public on Sunday.

Mr. Kurtz, who has hosted the CNN weekend show since 1998, offered a mea culpa with a caveat. Was he on the hot seat? No, it was more of a tepid seat.

“I view credibility and trust as something you have to earn day after day. I’d like to think that I built up a big store of credibility. When you get something wrong, when you are too quick to say something without adequately checking, then you lose a little bit of that credibility. I have thought about this very deeply, that I am determined to learn from it. But I would like it be viewed in the full context of my career,” Mr. Kurtz said.

“And just one more thing. This is not a ritual for me, where you come on camera and say you’re sorry and hope to move on. I am truly sorry about what happened. I believe deeply in good journalism and fair journalism, and I’m determined to learn from this episode and minimize the chances of anything like this happening again.”

POLL DU JOUR

50 percent of U.S. voters say that Congress should pass new laws “to protect the public from gun violence.

24 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents and 73 percent of Democrats agree.

39 percent overall disagree; 65 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats also disagree.

29 percent overall agree that an “armed revolution” might be necessary in the next few years to “protect our liberties.”

44 percent of Republicans, 27 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent overall disagree that an armed revolution is necessary.

31 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of independents and 61 percent of Democrats also disagree.

Source: A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 863 registered U.S. voters conducted April 22 to 28 and released Wednesday.

Mea culpas, churlish remarks to jharper@washingtontimes.com.