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
Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

News  

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

On July 9, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered the following ham-handed statement in an attempted attack on President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh is a true Second Amendment radical. ...

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

On Monday, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms (“CA DOJ”) officially withdrew the proposed regulations that would have expanded the improperly adopted “assault weapon” definitions, to apply in all circumstances. This withdrawal comes ...

Delaware: Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Sunday Deer Hunting

Hunting  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Delaware: Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Sunday Deer Hunting

On July 11th, Governor John Carney signed Senate Bill 198 into law to expand hunting opportunities in Delaware by eliminating the prohibition against hunting for deer on Sundays and allowing for the harvesting of deer on Sundays ...

California: MASSIVE Data Breach and Significant Registration Problems with CA DOJ’s “Assault Weapon” Registration System

Saturday, July 7, 2018

California: MASSIVE Data Breach and Significant Registration Problems with CA DOJ’s “Assault Weapon” Registration System

Following the closure of the “assault weapon” registration period, NRA and CRPA received complaints from hundreds of individuals who were unable to register their firearms as required because CA DOJ’s online application system was unable ...

NRA Files Comments in Support of Trump Administration’s Export Reform Effort

News  

Friday, July 13, 2018

NRA Files Comments in Support of Trump Administration’s Export Reform Effort

On Monday, the public comment period closed on a pair of rulemakings that could finally free American gun owners and small businesses from being trapped in a minefield of federal regulations designed for exporters of ...

Judge Brett Kavanaugh Has Earned NRA Members’ Support

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Judge Brett Kavanaugh Has Earned NRA Members’ Support

NRA members can feel confident throwing their enthusiastic support behind President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout his time on the bench, Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated deep respect ...

Mission Impossible: California Court Upholds Microstamping Law

News  

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Mission Impossible: California Court Upholds Microstamping Law

It is not surprising that gun control activists who harp endlessly about “common sense” gun restrictions and the need for ever more legislative reforms (here, here and here, for example) aren’t particularly interested in whether the various bans and ...

NRA Applauds Brett Kavanaugh's Nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court

News  

Monday, July 9, 2018

NRA Applauds Brett Kavanaugh's Nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court

Fairfax, Va. -The National Rifle Association (NRA) applauds the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the United States Supreme Court. 

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

A common theme among anti-gun extremists is what we often refer to as the “Goldilocks” approach to limiting access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  Rather than admit that the ultimate goal is to disarm all ...

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.

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.