Amazingly, there are still people walking around who believe the National Rifle Association is all about preserving the sanctity of the Second Amendment. As we discussed last week, those days -- if they ever existed in the first place -- are long gone.
Earlier this year, the NRA lobbied to kill the nomination of President Obama's choice for surgeon general because of a tweet he wrote in 2012, and in spite of the fact that the surgeon general is powerless to author and sign legislation banning assault rifles or, for that matter, any legislation whatsoever. So, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) thwarted the nomination, confirming that the NRA is the only organization with which he truly cares to "stand."
Fast forward to this month, and the NRA once again blocked legislation that has little or no bearing on the Second Amendment. This time, it was a bill addressing animal cruelty in Pennsylvania, specifically a ban on the slaughter of dogs and cats for food. A recent investigation by the SPCA discovered a series of facilities in Pennsylvania where dogs were raised for meat, and the subsequent legislation based on the investigation enjoyed supermajority support in the state Senate. Not only that, but tea party Governor Tom Corbett was ready to sign the legislation.
Enter the NRA.
The gun industry lobbyist group successfully convinced lawmakers, including House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, to bury the legislation. Why? Because an amendment in the bill would have banned the cruel and gratuitous tradition of "pigeon shoots," such as the one held in Hegins, PA every year -- events that have been universally condemned by animal organizations from the Humane Society on down. The shoots involve releasing pigeons from cages then wantonly gunning them down for fun. The pigeons are more often than not crippled and die painfully inhumane deaths.
ThinkProgress noted a gruesome feature of shoots: "Injured birds that land in the shooting circle get their necks broken – often by teenagers." Fun. The pigeons aren't used for food or feathers or any other practical objective other than the blood-thirsty, sadistic indulgence of heartless gun fetishists and animal torturers.
And the NRA thinks that a ban on these events will somehow infringe on the rights of gun owners, outrageously claiming that the shoots are "ethical" -- so much so that the group is jubilant about killing a bill that would allow the continued brutal treatment of dogs and cats in medieval conditions until being slaughtered for human consumption.