HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » How the NRA and Its Allie...

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 03:28 AM

How the NRA and Its Allies Helped Spread a Radical Gun Law Nationwide [View all]

THE FLORIDA LAW MADE INFAMOUS this spring by the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin was conceived during the epic hurricane season of 2004. That November, 77-year-old James Workman moved his family into an RV outside Pensacola after Hurricane Ivan peeled back the roof of their house. One night a stranger tried to force his way into the trailer, and Workman killed him with two shots from a .38 revolver. The stranger turned out to be a disoriented temporary worker for the Federal Emergency Management Agency who was checking for looters and distressed homeowners. Workman was never arrested, but three months went by before authorities cleared him of wrongdoing.

That was three months too long for Dennis Baxley, a veteran Republican representative in Florida's state Legislature. Four hurricanes had hit the state that year, and there was fear about widespread looting (though little took place). In Baxley's view, Floridians who defended themselves or their property with lethal force shouldn't have had to worry about legal repercussions. Baxley, a National Rifle Association (NRA) member and owner of a prosperous funeral business, teamed up with then-GOP state Sen. Durell Peaden to propose what would become known as Stand Your Ground, the self-defense doctrine essentially permitting anyone feeling threatened in a confrontation to shoot their way out.

Or at least that's the popular version of how the law was born. In fact, its genesis traces back to powerful NRA lobbyists and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing policy group. And the law's rapid spread—it now exists in various forms in 25 states—reflects the success of a coordinated strategy, cultivated in Florida, to roll back gun control laws everywhere. . . .

As Florida became known to some as the "Gunshine State," it began exporting its laws, with ALEC's help, to other statehouses. This effort was no doubt aided by the fact that the vice president of Hammer's Unified Sportsmen of Florida is John Patronis, cousin to Republican state Rep. Jimmy Patronis—sponsor of the aforementioned bill that kept names of concealed-weapons license holders secret and ALEC's current Florida chairman. The organization would also be instrumental to spreading Stand Your Ground nationwide. "We definitely brought that bill forward to ALEC," said Baxley, a member of the group. "It's a place where you can share ideas. I don't see anything nefarious about sharing good ideas." The NRA has served as "corporate co-chair" of ALEC's Public Safety and Elections task force, which pushed Stand Your Ground and other gun laws. Since 2005, the year Florida's law was passed, gun manufacturers like Beretta, Remington, and Glock have poured as much as $39 million into the NRA's lobbying coffers.

Baxley defends the NRA's involvement: "They have lots of members who want this statute. They're people who live in my district. They're concerned about turning back this lawless chaos and anarchy in our society." Records show that the NRA's Political Victory Fund has long supported Baxley—from a $500 contribution in 2000 (the state's maximum allowable donation) to $35,000 spent on radio ads in support of his state Senate bid in 2007. Peaden received at least $2,500 from the NRA and allied groups over the years. The NRA also maxed out on direct contributions to Jeb Bush's gubernatorial campaigns in 1998 and 2002, and it gave $125,000 to the Florida GOP between 2004 and 2010—more than it gave to any other state party. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, the NRA spent $729,863 to influence Florida politics in the 2010 election cycle alone.

Rest of a much longer article at Mother Jones: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/nra-alec-stand-your-ground


70 replies, 4689 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 70 replies Author Time Post
Reply How the NRA and Its Allies Helped Spread a Radical Gun Law Nationwide [View all]
BainsBane Jul 2013 OP
Lobo27 Jul 2013 #1
BainsBane Jul 2013 #3
Lobo27 Jul 2013 #4
BainsBane Jul 2013 #12
ReRe Jul 2013 #2
Lee-Lee Jul 2013 #5
BainsBane Jul 2013 #7
Lee-Lee Jul 2013 #9
BainsBane Jul 2013 #10
BainsBane Jul 2013 #11
In_The_Wind Jul 2013 #25
BainsBane Jul 2013 #27
In_The_Wind Jul 2013 #29
In_The_Wind Jul 2013 #32
Lee-Lee Jul 2013 #51
BainsBane Jul 2013 #53
Lee-Lee Jul 2013 #56
BainsBane Jul 2013 #59
Lee-Lee Jul 2013 #64
LineLineLineLineReply *
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #13
BainsBane Jul 2013 #14
hobbit709 Jul 2013 #15
BainsBane Jul 2013 #16
hobbit709 Jul 2013 #17
BainsBane Jul 2013 #18
hobbit709 Jul 2013 #19
BainsBane Jul 2013 #20
hobbit709 Jul 2013 #21
BainsBane Jul 2013 #22
hobbit709 Jul 2013 #23
BainsBane Jul 2013 #24
In_The_Wind Jul 2013 #26
hobbit709 Jul 2013 #28
BainsBane Jul 2013 #33
hobbit709 Jul 2013 #34
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #37
BainsBane Jul 2013 #38
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #41
BainsBane Jul 2013 #43
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #45
BainsBane Jul 2013 #47
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #48
BainsBane Jul 2013 #49
hobbit709 Jul 2013 #40
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #42
BainsBane Jul 2013 #50
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #52
BainsBane Jul 2013 #54
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #55
BainsBane Jul 2013 #58
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #60
BainsBane Jul 2013 #61
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #62
BainsBane Jul 2013 #63
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #66
BainsBane Jul 2013 #68
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #69
BainsBane Jul 2013 #44
Lee-Lee Jul 2013 #30
hobbit709 Jul 2013 #31
former9thward Jul 2013 #67
BainsBane Jul 2013 #35
Lee-Lee Jul 2013 #57
Tuesday Afternoon Jul 2013 #39
LanternWaste Jul 2013 #65
Hoyt Jul 2013 #36
Travis_0004 Jul 2013 #6
BainsBane Jul 2013 #8
jmg257 Jul 2013 #46
Scurrilous Jul 2013 #70