Video: “I don’t think the NRA is a villain”

posted at 10:41 am on November 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

When I first saw this clip from Katie Pavlich, it reminded me of my own interview with Richard Dreyfuss nearly three years ago on the need to educate on civics and civility.  Dreyfuss appears to have taken those issues to heart here in his appearance last night on Piers Morgan Tonight, in which he tells a somewhat stunned Morgan,” I don’t think the NRA is a villain.” And he directly rebuked Morgan’s entire oeuvre on the topic with his explanation — “I believe that’s a problem of the press, which started with an ‘us-them’ problem.”

It’s an interesting platform on which to make that argument, I’d say:

As for Dreyfuss’ proposal, it’s equal parts fantasy and well-intentioned ignorance.  First, the NRA is a private organization, not a governmental bureaucracy.  They don’t own warehouses in which to store illegal weapons, whether on a “short list” or a long list.  Dreyfuss mentions that we should look at guns like cars, but AAA doesn’t provide drivers licenses nor garage services for people who don’t qualify to drive. Law enforcement responsibility is always a governmental task, for very good reason — we don’t want private police enforcing private law, no matter whether we like their mission or not.

Second, as Katie points out, the NRA already trains people on safe weapon use — nearly a million people a year, actually:

In civilian training, the NRA continues to be the leader in firearms education. Over 50,000 Certified Instructors now train about 750,000 gun owners a year. Courses are available in basic rifle, pistol, shotgun, muzzleloading firearms, personal protection, and even ammunition reloading. Additionally, nearly 1,000 Certified Coaches are specially trained to work with young competitive shooters. Since the establishment of the lifesaving Eddie Eagle® Gun Safety Program in 1988, more than 12 million pre-kindergarten to sixth grade children have learned that if they see a firearm in an unsupervised situation, they should “STOP. DON’T TOUCH. LEAVE THE AREA. TELL AN ADULT.” Over the past seven years, Refuse To Be A Victim® seminars have helped more than 15,000 men and women develop their own personal safety plan using common sense strategies.

As for “taking care of this problem,” the NRA has little power to do much more than it already does.  Morgan would like it to capitulate to gun seizures, which its membership will never do.  The NRA can and should lobby Congress to look for better ways to assess and treat mental illness, which is usually the root cause in mass shootings, and enforce laws on the books before encroaching further on the rights of people already abiding by the law.  Following up on failed background checks might be one productive area for law enforcement, but that is not the NRA’s job — nor should it be.


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The NRA can and should lobby Congress to look for better ways to assess and treat mental illness,

Actually Ed, I would leave this area to the states. I’m not sure what the solution is and I don’t think anyone else has the answer either. Let’s have 50 different experiments to see what works and what doesn’t. You don’t want to be anti-science now, right?

rbj on November 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

I don’t care what Dreyfuss says.

He is an actor and his opinion is worth no more than anyone else’s.

And it’s just that, an opinion. Like the opening in his rear end, everyone has one. Big deal.

trapeze on November 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

This is a video of an insane person, rambling about things he knows nothing about.

The NRA deciding on which guns are legal, and controlling who owns guns, and storing them in vast warehouses? This is lunacy.

greggriffith on November 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM

How about we just follow the Second Amendment and stop trying to fix things that ain’t broke? Oh wait, … that’s not what gubmint does.

platypus on November 22, 2013 at 10:48 AM

I can’t stand that weasel Dreyfuss.

Flange on November 22, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Ask Dreyfuss which civil rights organization is older, the NRA or the NAACP.

Then ask him if he knows why the NRA was created.

Bishop on November 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM

My favorite part of the Bill of Rights is the stuff about automobile ownership.

happytobehere on November 22, 2013 at 10:50 AM

The NRA can and should lobby Congress to look for better ways to assess and treat mental illness,

“…and breast cancer and world hunger and climate change… It’s all in their purview.”

Akzed on November 22, 2013 at 10:51 AM

“Ah, celebrities… is there anything they don’t know?” -Homer Simpson

Akzed on November 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Good actor – silly citizen

jake-the-goose on November 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM

And it’s just that, an opinion. Like the opening in his rear end, everyone has one. Big deal.

trapeze on November 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

True but his opening keeps getting interviewed. True on the other points as well. I’d mention probable years of being drug addled while in Tinsel town compounded his confusion.
I’ve always felt Mark Levin’s voice carried a Dreyfus characteristic of which he would be sorely, well sore. I wonder if Dreyfus might tune into the Great One on occasion and realize how incompetent his views have been all of this time. Could well be a road to Damascus moment for Dreyfus.
Then I might want to hear what he thought. At this moment he’s suffering head/arse syndrome with a heavy dose of droning.

onomo on November 22, 2013 at 10:57 AM

What problem?

Ellis on November 22, 2013 at 10:58 AM

trapeze on November 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Too bad the shark didn’t get all the way into the cage.

Bishop on November 22, 2013 at 10:59 AM

You can’t fix the stupid and uninformed. They’ve already decided they know everything.

GarandFan on November 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

When someone starts talking about nuclear tipped handguns, how do they NOT lose all credibility?

Mord on November 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

The NRA can and should lobby Congress to look for better ways to assess and treat mental illness, which is usually the root cause in mass shootings, and enforce laws on the books before encroaching further on the rights of people already abiding by the law.

Right, let’s have congress look into assessing and treating mental illness.

What could go wrong?

I’m sure that effort won’t end up encroaching on law-abiding people’s rights at all.

RINO in Name Only on November 22, 2013 at 11:13 AM

“Stop playin’ with yourself, Hooper!”

One of my favorite quotes from Jaws.

Brat on November 22, 2013 at 11:14 AM

He vastly overestimates the NRA’s standing and purpose in the eyes of gun owners. I don’t think the NRA is under any illusion whatsoever that they could, nor should seek some of the powers they suggest. It would become a back door method to federal ownership/regulation of all the weapons. Does he seriously think this would be okay with gun owners because it has an “NRA” over the entrance. Stooge.

Or is he suggesting that just like the healthcare insurance industry buyout called Obamacare, that the NRA would captitulate to make money off of federally required “training courses”?

NickelAndDime on November 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM

The NRA is a PRO-FREEDOM organization, period. We have freedoms. Some people are trying to violate our freedoms. They’re trying to stop that.

The difference between licensing cars and licensing guns is that I don’t need public services to own a gun. A car is driven on publicly-owned streets, therefore the government has the right to set rules for that public use. A gun sits in a box in my nightstand, which make it none of the government’s business.

CrustyB on November 22, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Can we go back to treating actors on the same level as prostitutes?

Spade on November 22, 2013 at 11:39 AM

If in some alternative reality the NRA ever did get the power to decide who could own guns and what they could own, liberals would take it over.

Socratease on November 22, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Two morons on display

Schadenfreude on November 22, 2013 at 11:42 AM

He’s a Canadian. Head north, pal.

vityas on November 22, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Dreyfuss is a liberal, of course, but he has always had some rather interesting points of view on issues that would make liberals scream. He is an interesting guy, if not a bit taciturn. I’ve met him and he is very dour.

Warner Todd Huston on November 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM

He is just an actor. I liked him in Jaws, The Goodbye Girl and Close Encounters. He has never held or run for public office, served his country ( he was a conscientious objector during Viet Nam). He has a right to his opinion the same as I do. The difference being I don’t get to speak on a National forum the way he does because I’m not famous. He is not a learned scholar. His opinions are colored by his liberal biases and are ignorant of much of the facts about the subject of gun ownership , the 2nd amendment, and the NRA. Hollywood actors are not that intelligent as a rule so I don’t place much value on their opinions.

neyney on November 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM

People are always surprised when I tell them that the NRA is the leading training and safety education organization in the country. Police departments look to the NRA for instructor training. Refuse to be a Victim is a great crime prevention program.

DAT60A3 on November 22, 2013 at 12:02 PM

I have a hunch that more people read this post on HotGas than actually watched it live on CNN.

Myron Falwell on November 22, 2013 at 12:06 PM

A gun is an inanimate object, neither good or bad and the brain dead left needs to find another way to push the leftist agendas. Guns are however useful tools, and in this sick environment we live in, very valuable tools for self defense and preservation.

rplat on November 22, 2013 at 12:44 PM

It think Dreyfuss’ point is that gun safety and the NRA should play a bigger part than they do. Our Fed education dept prescribes we teach 1st graders about gay families, why not about gun safety? I think is is even more applicable. I think his analogy of gun safety courses and drivers ed is valid — tho you should not need a license to be able to do either.

KenInIL on November 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM

I have a hunch that more people read this post on HotGas than actually watched it live on CNN.

Myron Falwell on November 22, 2013 at 12:06 PM

I’m one. I won’t watch CNN and I won’t watch a video that features the idiot wharfboy – so I have only read the text in this thread.

dentarthurdent on November 22, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Idiots abound

Schadenfreude on November 22, 2013 at 12:52 PM

It think Dreyfuss’ point is that gun safety and the NRA should play a bigger part than they do. Our Fed education dept prescribes we teach 1st graders about gay families, why not about gun safety? I think is is even more applicable. I think his analogy of gun safety courses and drivers ed is valid — tho you should not need a license to be able to do either.

KenInIL on November 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Except he completely misses the fact that the NRA already runs the vast majority of the gun safety courses in this country, at the very least they certify all the instructors, and some form of gun safety training is required in most states for concealed carry and hunting licenses/permits.

The biggest problem we have right now is liberals running the schools trying to keep the NRA gun safety programs OUT of the schools, and trying to PREVENT kids from getting gun safety training.

dentarthurdent on November 22, 2013 at 12:56 PM

A gun is an inanimate object, neither good or bad and the brain dead left needs to find another way to push the leftist agendas. Guns are however useful tools, and in this sick environment we live in, very valuable tools for self defense and preservation.

rplat on November 22, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Well, my keyboard keeps misspelling words on me, so I’m a bit concerned what my guns are doing when I’m not around…/

However, given the latest news about this so-called knockout game, I think gun rights and especially concealed carry are becoming far more valuable – and necessary. If a group of kids ever comes toward me on the sidewalk, I will be ready to shoot to kill anyone who makes a wrong move.

dentarthurdent on November 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM

And this thread just convinced me to renew my NRA membership – sort of the final straw.
I’ve been hesitating because of their constant fundraising harassment, but I guess I’ll just deal with that.
If anti-gun libtards hate them this much, they must be doing something right….

dentarthurdent on November 22, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Heh

Schadenfreude on November 22, 2013 at 1:24 PM

When I was in high school, my Dad got me a job mowing the lawn at the Montpelier Gun Club (this is Vermont). I rode a 7.6hp Gravely lawn mower around, picking up the occupational 12-guage shotgun shell cartridge. On Thursday nights I got to play trap boy, putting clay pigeons on the incredibly noisy trap machine in the dugout. Not good for the nerves.

Anywho. I would listen politely and attentively to all the men who drank bad coffee and spewed their “wisdom” after shooting on Thursday nights. I tried to pay attention. I watched. I listened. I took notes. I noticed their bumper stickers. Shooting vests. Decals. Duck hunters groups. Deer hunters. Range rats. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

NRA?

Nope. Not a single decal.

One Thursday night I asked the group why nobody seemed to belong to the NRA. These are all businessmen, land owners, married guys, successful, et cetera. Not a single NRA member in the entire group.

Weird.

So why is nobody here a member of the NRA? I asked naively.

“Nobody with the NRA will ever be a member of this gun club,” is what I got for a response.

Why?

“Low rent.”

Now, this is back in 1976. Long before the catastrophe in Waco and George Bush Senior renouncing his lifetime membership.

Get a grip on that.

thejackal on November 22, 2013 at 4:07 PM

occupational s/b occasional

God, but I hate typos!

thejackal on November 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

I’ll always have a soft spot for Dreyfuss thanks to Jaws. Of course, he’d have been shark food if they didn’t have a rifle on the boat with them, but that’s Hollywood for ya.

JeremiahJohnson on November 22, 2013 at 5:44 PM

thejackal on November 22, 2013 at 4:07 PM

So you considered the NRA “low rent” in 1976, and apparently not worth joining, or worse yet a bad club to join, and apparently have never changed your opinion about them?

In 1975, the NRA created the Institute for Legislative Action to lobby for Second Amendment rights as a complement to its core mission of supporting hunting, conservation and marksmanship.

Until the middle 1970s, the NRA had mainly focused on sportsmen, hunters and target shooters, and had downplayed issues of gun control. The 1977 annual convention in Cincinnati would be a defining election for the organization and came to be known as “The Cincinnati Revolution.”[25] At the convention, the leadership had planned an elaborate new headquarters in Colorado, designed to promote sportsmanship and conservation. Within the organization, now existed a group of members whose central concern was Second Amendment rights. Those activists defeated the incumbents in 1977 and elected Harlon Carter as executive director and Neal Knox as head of the ILA.

In 1976, Washington DC passed their major gun control law, the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, which

banned residents from owning handguns, automatic firearms, or high-capacity semi-automatic firearms, as well as prohibited possession of unregistered firearms. Exceptions to the ban were allowed for police officers and guns registered before 1976. The law also required firearms kept in the home to be “unloaded, disassembled, or bound by a trigger lock or similar device”;[2] this was deemed to be a prohibition on the use of firearms for self-defense in the home.

1976 was the year the company name Microsoft was first registered and used by a fledgling computer software company that had just hired its first full-time employee.

A lot has changed since 1976.

dentarthurdent on November 22, 2013 at 6:18 PM

He is just an actor. I liked him in Jaws, The Goodbye Girl and Close Encounters. He has never held or run for public office, served his country ( he was a conscientious objector during Viet Nam). He has a right to his opinion the same as I do. The difference being I don’t get to speak on a National forum the way he does because I’m not famous. He is not a learned scholar. His opinions are colored by his liberal biases and are ignorant of much of the facts about the subject of gun ownership , the 2nd amendment, and the NRA. Hollywood actors are not that intelligent as a rule so I don’t place much value on their opinions.

neyney on November 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM

See that’s where we differ. I DO value his opinion.

I want him to do a billboard for PETA.

WryTrvllr on November 23, 2013 at 7:33 AM

So you considered the NRA “low rent” in 1976, and apparently not worth joining, or worse yet a bad club to join, and apparently have never changed your opinion about them?

dentarthurdent on November 22, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Learn. How. To. Read. You. Effin’. Moron.

I didn’t consider the NRA low rent. It was an opinion given to me by a member of the gun club, and it struck me as odd.

Jeepus, but I loathe retards who can’t handle simple English!

thejackal on November 23, 2013 at 8:19 AM