News Flash. Russian citizens do not have gun rights. They never had gun rights. They don't need protection from anyone trying to take their guns, because they. do. not. own. guns. There aren't guns sold in their grocery stores. There aren't pawn shops selling guns. There aren't Outdoors and Camping stores selling guns for hunting. It is not a society that, like ours, had gun rights added to our Constitution as a right. So why, WHY would anyone believe that it needed an NRA-like organization to protect them?
News Flash #2. No one DOES believe that. "The Right To Bear Arms" is a sham organization set up to funnel money back and forth between Russians and Republicans.
REID: I'll start with you, Sarah. Maria Butina has been sort of getting involved with, since 2011, when a Russian banker and a Putin ally named Aleksandr Torshin developed a friendship with NRA president, David Keene. Shortly after that, Ms. Butina with the help of Mr. Torshin formed a Russian gun rights group called "The Right To Bear Arms," modeled after the NRA. Can you talk a little about how it came to be that the Russians took an interest in gun rights? I don't believe they had the equivalent of a second amendment in Russia.
KENDZIOR: No, paradoxically, Putin does not allow private gun ownership in Russia. What they were doing is what they always do, which is exploit a divisive issue, an explosive issue: gun violence and gun control in the U.S. I think it's very important to emphasize the years in which this is taking place. That what Torshin was doing goes back at least seven years. The planning for it probably precedes that. That Butina has been actively meeting with I don't even know how many Republican officials and NRA members for a very long time. For those who think this somehow is spontaneously launched around the time Trump declared presidential ambitions for 2016 campaign, you're sorely mistaken. This is long running Russian plot in tandem with voluntary, you know, American officials and representatives to the NRA. They were absolutely willing to sacrifice American sovereignty, to jeopardize American national security for own aims. One more final point is people need to be looking at the money. They need to be looking at the donations that the NRA was giving to the Republicans. Because I think that goes a long way to explain the Republican reticence...
Do you know what I find fascinating? I did a search for "gun stores in Russia" and came across an article from a Russian crime journal in which a Russian police officer spoke on the condition of anonymity about the general citizenship owning firearms. Here's what he said.
He believes that free sales of weapons must never be permitted in our country. Otherwise, there would be tons of accidents due to mishandling.
"Of course, gangsters are well-equipped, and we must defend against them. But if all Russian citizens start walking the streets with guns, there would be much more firearms-related deaths," – the policeman thinks.
Hmmmmmmm. Perhaps the Dems should get in touch with the Russian police force to help with our talking points on gun control.