Wednesday, May 1, 2013 | 2:01 a.m.
Regarding the recent Senate vote on background checks for weapons purchases: How, by any distortion of logic and common sense, can a reasonably thorough background check do any disservice to efforts to address random killings that have occurred recently? Gun rights advocates argue civil liberties and the fear of an oppressive government that is plotting to usurp those liberties, but the truth is much less complicated and easy to understand — commerce wed to politics and sales supplanting values. And the fingerprints of the National Rifle Association are all over this unholy union.
Soon after the Civil War ended, the NRA, whose original objective was primarily to sharpen an individual’s shooting skills, became the politically driving force that it is today. Sadly, what many fail to see is that it is commerce rather than concern for safety that is at the center of this force more than 100 years later. And the most cruel irony? The advocacy by the NRA of the need for yet more guns in the hands of even more people to promote personal safety.