It should surprise no one that National Rifle Association chief executive Wayne LaPierre has vowed to fight President Obama’s effort to require background checks on almost all would-be gun purchasers. Never mind that Americans overwhelmingly support that common-sense measure. Or that an estimated 25 to 35 percent of gun purchases currently go forward without such a check. Or that requiring nearly universal background checks could help keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, felons, and the mentally ill.
Hysteria and absolutism are, after all, LaPierre’s trademark tools for rallying his troops.