Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

House of Canards: Netflix Drama Gets it Wrong on Gun Laws, NRA

Friday, March 11, 2016

House of Canards: Netflix Drama Gets it Wrong on Gun Laws, NRA

[SPOILER ALERT:  If you plan on watching the fourth season of the Netflix political drama “House of Cards” you may want to finish viewing it before reading this article.]

March 4 saw the premiere of the fourth season of Netflix’s hit political drama House of Cards. The show follows the machinations of House Majority Whip Frank Underwood as he ascends to the presidency and subsequently runs to stay in office. While the real-life Washington elite certainly have an unsettling fondness for the Machiavellian drama, its depiction of life inside the Beltway is highly stylized. This season this fact is made abundantly clear with the show’s portrayal of federal gun laws and NRA.

Starting in episode 4, former reporter Lucas Goodwin, who was imprisoned as a result of some of Underwood’s intrigues, makes an attempt on the fictional president’s life outside a campaign rally. While Underwood is greeting a crowd of critics, Goodwin draws and fires a pistol, striking and wounding Underwood, and killing series regular Secret Service Agent Edward Meechum. Goodwin is killed by Meechum’s return fire. Underwood withstands the attack, but requires a liver transplant to survive.

Following some illegal maneuvering with the list of prospective liver transplant recipients by Underwood’s chief of staff, an unrelated young man gains access to a firearm in his family home and uses it to kill himself. The young man’s suicide provides a liver for the ailing Underwood.

With these events as the background, Underwood’s equally conniving wife, Claire, stages a press conference in the Whitehouse to push gun control. As props, the first lady displays a firearm “illegally obtained by a career criminal at a gun show,” she then moves on to a gun that was “ordered on the internet, no background checks.” The final firearm she displays is the one used by Goodwin in the assassination attempt on her husband. Claire then explains that she is working to introduce legislation to criminalize the private transfer of firearms, “including gun shows and online sales.”

First, while a favorite target for gun control activists, research shows that criminals simply do not acquire guns at gun shows in significant numbers. A Bureau of Justice Statistics survey that queried state prison inmates as to the source of the guns they possessed at the time of their offense found that 0.8 percent obtained the firearms at a gun show. Alternatively, 40 percent answered that they acquired a gun from a “street/illegal source.”

Second, the supposed “online sales” that gun control advocates target are better described as transfers pursuant to online communication. These transfers are simply the modern version of a sales posting in a printed want ad or on a shooting range bulletin board. Individuals use the internet to offer a firearm for sale or trade and then typically set a time and place to meet face to face with an interested party to transfer the firearm. The idea that there are individuals legally ordering firearms from retailers directly to their front door without undergoing a background check is a misconception.

Of course, on the off chance that the writers intended to further elaborate on Claire’s duplicitous nature by having the character misinform the public in the same self-serving manner as her real-life anti-gun counterparts, the scene is a stroke of genius.

As is typical in House of Cards, political intrigue ensues. Having survived the attempt on his life, Underwood is in search of a running-mate and cuts a deal to place a pro-gun senator on the ticket at the behest of his party’s leadership. Along with the help of a surreptitiously obtained list of citizens susceptible to anti-gun messaging, the wily Underwoods push the Congress to the brink of passing the gun control legislation.

However, at the last moment the Underwoods cut an elaborate deal with NRA to help force the “pro-gun” senator off the ticket in order for him to be replaced with the Underwoods’ favored candidate. In return, the Underwoods abandon the gun control legislation.

During these scenes, an actress playing an NRA lobbyist exerts NRA’s power over the pro-gun senator by exclaiming that the group “poured millions into his campaign,” and that the organization raised the princely sum of “$20 million” for the candidate. The portrayal furthers the popular misconception that NRA’s political power stems from our checkbook.

NRA is a 5 million member grassroots civil liberties organization. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of our highly-motivated members, we are able to influence the political process by our impact at the ballot box. Some of the more sophisticated members of the media acknowledge this fact. Simply put, it’s NRA’s ability to melt legislative switchboards and deliver votes, rather than campaign contributions, which allows us to effectively represent gun owners. When other groups do it, the press calls it democracy.

TRENDING NOW
Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

Friday, November 15, 2019

Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

On Friday, November 22nd, the Kentucky state Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary will consider so called “red-flag laws.” Though no legislation has been introduced, such laws usually allow for Second Amendment rights to be suspended ...

Joe Biden and His Gift for Gaffes

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Joe Biden and His Gift for Gaffes

When the Democrats who are seeking their party’s nomination to run against Donald Trump in 2020 start talking about guns, anyone who supports our right to keep and bear arms knows to be concerned. Of ...

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

As anti-gun as the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have exposed themselves to be, much of the field still gives lip-service to the Second Amendment and the Constitution. Take for instance Joe Biden. The leading candidate’s campaign has said that ...

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

A law designed to protect the firearm industry from frivolous litigation is now in jeopardy thanks to inaction by the U.S. Supreme Court, which earlier this month passed on a petition to review a case ...

Trading Freedom for Safety

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Trading Freedom for Safety

“[N]othing is more important than ensuring that our fellow students feel safe,” explained the editors of The Daily Northwestern, the campus newspaper at Northwestern University. The statement was part of a lengthy apology published by the editors, ...

California: City of Carson Pushing Another Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Gun Owners

Monday, November 18, 2019

California: City of Carson Pushing Another Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Gun Owners

Tomorrow, November 19 at 5pm PST, the Carson City Council will be considering Resolution 19-186, which mirrors the failed attempt from September.  

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Friday, June 14, 2019

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Ignoring the constitutional rights of law-abiding Nevadans, on June 14th, Governor Steve Sisolak signed omnibus anti-gun Assembly Bill 291 into law.  Your NRA would like to thank the many lawmakers who stood with our members and ...

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

News  

Monday, November 11, 2019

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

Former Texas Congressman Robert Francis O’Rourke abandoned his run for President last week, once again leaving a void for the most strident anti-gun candidate seeking the Democrat nomination. Even before declaring his candidacy for President, ...

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

News  

Gun Laws  

Monday, November 11, 2019

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Tremp In recent weeks, gun owners have been given two prime examples of just how important strong firearms preemption laws are to the vibrant exercise of Second Amendment rights. On October ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.