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Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:05 PM

The NRA vs. America

Eleven days after the massacre, Wayne LaPierre – a lifelong political operative who had steadied the National Rifle Association through many crises – stood before an American flag and soberly addressed the nation about firearms and student safety: "We believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America's schools, period," LaPierre said, carving out a "rare exception" for professional law enforcement. LaPierre even proposed making the mere mention of the word "guns" in schools a crime: "Such behavior in our schools should be prosecuted just as certainly as such behavior in our airports is prosecuted," LaPierre said.

This speech wasn't delivered in an alternate universe. The date was May 1st, 1999, at the NRA's national convention in Denver. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's rampage at Columbine High School in nearby Littleton, Colorado, had just killed 13 students and teachers, shocking the conscience of the nation.

The disconnect between the NRA chief's conciliatory address on that day 14 years ago and his combative press conference in the aftermath of the slaughter of 20 first-graders in Newtown, Connecticut, could hardly be more jarring. In his now-infamous December 21st tirade, LaPierre ripped the gun-free zones he once championed as an invitation to the "monsters and predators of this world," advertising to "every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk."

LaPierre then offered what he called a "proven" solution to school gun violence – one that would open a lucrative new market for the gun industry while tidily expanding the power of the NRA itself. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre insisted, before proposing that armed, NRA-trained vigilantes should patrol each of the nation's nearly 100,000 public schools.

The shift in LaPierre's rhetoric underscores a radical transformation within the NRA. Billing itself as the nation's "oldest civil rights organization," the NRA still claims to represent the interests of marksmen, hunters and responsible gun owners. But over the past decade and a half, the NRA has morphed into a front group for the firearms industry, whose profits are increasingly dependent on the sale of military-bred weapons like the assault rifles used in the massacres at Newtown and Aurora, Colorado. "When I was at the NRA, we said very specifically, 'We do not represent the fi rearm industry,'" says Richard Feldman, a longtime gun lobbyist who left the NRA in 1991. "We represent gun owners. End of story." But in the association's more recent history, he says, "They have really gone after the gun industry."

Much more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-nra-vs-america-20130131?print=true

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:07 PM

1. More:

The NRA insists in its publications that it is "not a trade organization" and that it is "not affiliated with any firearm or ammunition manufacturers or with any businesses that deal in guns and ammunition." That is a lie. NRA's corporate patrons include 22 firearms manufacturers, 12 of which are makers of assault weapons with household names like Beretta and Ruger, according to a 2011 analysis by the Violence Policy Center. The report, drawn from the NRA's own disclosures, also identified gifts from dozens of firms that profit from high-capacity magazines, including Browning and Remington. Donors from the industry and other dark reaches of the corporate world – including Xe, the new name of the mercenary group Blackwater – had funneled up to $52 million to the NRA in recent years.

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Response to morningfog (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:24 PM

15. according to the educational fund to stop gun violence's website meetthenra.org some of the board

members are current or former gun manufacturers. Ronnie Barrett owner of Barrett Rifles, maker of the 50 cal sniper rifle, is one and there are others. Go to leader profiles and see. I think one of the top guys from Remington, someone in ammo, etc. You can also sort through gun members according to industry

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:09 PM

2. Kick & Rec. n/t.

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 12:00 AM

3. Excellent article!


Thanks, morningfog! This is the best I've seen exposing the NRA's skullduggery!

More from this Rollingstone article:

"Conceal-carry and stand-your-ground laws do nothing to suppress crime, but they do boost gun sales. "This now expands the scope of where people are going to be carrying guns," says Diaz. "And you're more or less insulated from liability if you feel like you have to kill somebody." In Florida, Trayvon Martin's home state, "justifiable homicides" tripled between 2005 and 2011. A new study out of Texas A&M found that by "lowering the expected costs associated with using lethal force," these stand-your-ground laws "induce more of it" – driving an eight percent increase in murders and manslaughters.

These numbers are profoundly disturbing to most Americans. But to LaPierre and his allies in the gun industry they add up to something else: opportunity. "We live in the most dangerous of times," LaPierre warned the gathered activists at the NRA's 2012 convention in St. Louis. America has been infiltrated by terrorists and Mexican drug criminals, he said, who "are lurking and plotting to murder us." LaPierre railed against "the Obama crowd" for "conspiring with the world's dirty-handed, thug governments" and telling "lies" about the "coming realities" – catastrophic events that he insisted could "freeze our transportation systems, black out our cities, shut down our distribution of fuel and food" and bring an "unprecedented breakdown of social order." LaPierre told his flock, "Americans are facing the reality that they're on their own."

But like any good preacher, LaPierre did not simply paint a lurid portrait of hell – he also laid out a path to salvation: "We are the millions of Americans who have found faith in the Second Amendment," he said. "People are anticipating dangerous times and are responding in the only sensible, logical way possible – they're buying guns!"

With a twinkle in his eye, LaPierre added that "America's women are leading the way! . . . The more women who buy and own and shoot guns, the safer and better off we'll all be!"


Twenty tiny coffins have again put the NRA on the defensive. In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, which Adam Lanza perpetrated with his mom's arsenal, public support of new gun-control laws is overwhelming. Today, 92 percent of the country support background checks for gun buyers, and 63 percent support limiting the capacity of gun magazines. "If there's a conflict for some members of Congress between their politics and their conscience, they should ponder that 92 percent number," says Axelrod.


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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 11:32 AM

4. Kick

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:15 PM

5. It's quite amazing to me that so many of our current scourges


are so tightly woven into the bloody fabric of the NRA.

They're directly linked to ALEC, Xe (Blackwater), the stand-your-ground laws, and other negative forces that are a total affront to a civilized society.

I doubt the average NRA member even knows what dark forces they support through their membership.

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:30 PM

6. NRA chief: Public cannot ‘trust’ White House on gun control

By Peter Schroeder - 02/03/13 09:40 AM ET

... "I think what they'll do is they'll turn this universal <background>check on the law-abiding into a universal registry on law-abiding people," he said on "Fox News Sunday."

When pressed by host Chris Wallace on the fact that the White House has said nothing about a universal registry, LaPierre responded, "And 'ObamaCare' wasn't a tax until they needed it to be a tax. I don't think you can trust these people" ...

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/280729-nra-head-dont-trust-white-house-on-guns

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:32 PM

7. Obama skeet shooting: NRA says it's a ploy to confiscate guns

That photo of President Obama firing a shotgun continues to generate comment and controversy just as he’s about to leave Washington to promote his ideas about improving gun safety.

By Brad Knickerbocker, Staff writer / February 3, 2013

... "One picture does not erase a lifetime of supporting every gun ban and every gun-control scheme imaginable," said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association.

On “Fox News Sunday,” NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre charged that Obama’s aim is to confiscate law-abiding citizens’ rifles, shotguns, and handguns.

"During the campaign, when he said to people, 'I will not take away your rifle, shotgun, handgun,' they leafleted the country with flyers like this, 'Obama's not gonna take your gun,' 'Obama will protect gun rights,'” Mr. LaPierre said. “And now he's trying to take away all three." ...

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/0203/Obama-skeet-shooting-NRA-says-it-s-a-ploy-to-confiscate-guns

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:35 PM

8. The NRA's sea-change in attitude didn't happen in a vacuum.

America has really become much more open to gun rights over the past 15 years, as evidenced by the relaxation of concealed-carry laws across the country.

You can blame the firearms industry all you want, but in the end its the NRA-voting members (grassroots gun-owners) who decide who their leadership is. They must like what they see, because they keep voting the same jackals back into power time and time again.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:41 PM

9. LOL. Did you even read the article? You are sadly and poorly mistaking.

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Response to morningfog (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:05 PM

11. Am I now?

The NRA has gained 250,000 new members over the past month alone:

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/01/15/nra-membership-has-grown-by-250000-in-one-month

Do you think gun-owners would be signing up in droves if they didn't like what they were hearing from the leadership?

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Response to LAGC (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:22 PM

14. Their are a lot if gullible and paranoid fools.

The NRA and the gun manufacturers laugh all the way to the bank.

The NRA may have a few hundred thousand new fools, but many more times that have been been awaken against them. Which side are you on?

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Response to LAGC (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:27 PM

16. just stop it, you get an automatic membership when you buy a gun and you sound 12 yrs old

like this fool-

"I would say that every time President Obama opens his mouth and Sen. Feinstein opens her mouth and they talk about gun bans and restricting the rights of law abiding Americans, people pay attention to that and sign up," says Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA's public affairs director.

NO- they run out and buy a gun, and the nra has a new member (not by choice)

pathetic.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:01 PM

10. sure it did, an empty-headed vacuum of greed. what are you talking about? you don't vote for your

bosses, you should know that.

Its 76 board directors and 10 executive officers keep a grip on power through elections in which ordinary grassroots members appear to have little say.

The NRA leadership is known as much for its organizational secrecy as its absolutist interpretation of the Second Amendment. That may be why, until now, little has been known about some of its most powerful insiders. They sit on the NRA board of directors' nine-member Nominating Committee, which, despite ballots distributed annually to legions of NRA members, closely controls who can be elected to the NRA board. Mother Jones has uncovered key details about the current Nominating Committee*:
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/nra-board-newtown-bushmaster

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:13 PM

12. so the trolls aren't getting paid - they give all their money back to the nra by buying mor gunz!

i puke in their coffee.

---->

More disturbing, the NRA receives funds directly from the sales of arms and ammunition. The "Round-Up" program, launched by arms retailer Midway USA, encourages customers to increase their purchases to the nearest dollar and sends the extra coin to the association. Midway customers alone have contributed nearly $8 million in this way to support NRA's lobbying division, the Institute for Legislative Action.


In 2011, Ruger set out to be the first gun company to "build and ship a million guns in one year." So it ginned up a promotion that would give a dollar to the NRA for every weapon sold between the 2011 and 2012 NRA annual meetings. The company broke its own sales goal, sending $1,254,000 to the NRA-ILA. Glock – whose pistols have been used in at least six mass murders since 1991, including the Virginia Tech and Gabby Giffords shootings – has been shipping an offer for discounted NRA memberships with its handguns. In 2007, the NRA thanked Glock for helping it recruit 10,000 new members.

Top corporate patrons are treated like royalty. Those whose giving to the NRA reaches $1 million or more are inaugurated into an elite NRA society called the "Golden Ring of Freedom" in a ceremony where they're presented with a silk-lined golden blazer with a hand-embroidered crest. Industry honchos seen in "the million-dollar jacket" include the heads of Ruger, Beretta, Midway and Cabela's, an outfitter that sells 12 models of semiautomatic rifles.

that's some illuminati shit right there

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:17 PM

13. According to NRA legend, LaPierre is actually a menace with a gun.

NRA's PR team once thought it would be sexy to film LaPierre at a firing range. "It was a nightmare," an NRA staffer told Davidson. LaPierre was aiming downrange for the camera when an engineer called for a sound check. To answer the man, LaPierre swung around, but he failed to lower his rifle, aiming it directly at the engineer – before someone took the gun away from LaPierre. The incident, terrifying at the time, became a dark joke at NRA headquarters. Staffers behind on their projects were threatened that they'd have to "go hunting with Wayne."

MAYBE they should take ol' wayne out behind the barn...

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:30 PM

17. i have run out of vomit and i am dry heaving - only 1/2 way thru

The NRA backed Bush to the hilt in the 2000 race. According to one tally, one in three dollars spent by outside groups to support the Bush ticket was spent by the NRA, and in the end Bush beat Gore among gun owners by 25 points. "The gun issue cost Al Gore the White House," says Feldman. "Forget the couple of hundred chads in Palm Beach. Absent the gun issue, he would have won Tennessee, Arkansas and West Virginia."

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Response to morningfog (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:49 PM

18. nice ending!

The NRA wins because Americans lose focus. Because our outrage fades after each new heartbreak. Because by November 2014, most of us won't be thinking about the victims of Newtown. Most of us won't be thinking about guns at all – while millions of activists, riled by Wayne LaPierre and the NRA, will be thinking of nothing else. If this time is going to be different, Americans have to act different, give different, vote different. In his speech laying out his gun-safety agenda in January, President Obama was absolutely right: "This will not happen unless the American people demand it."

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