“The NRA Sells The Fear That Sells The Guns”

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre infamously said after the Sandy Hook massacre,

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

That statement, of course, was designed to help LaPierre’s boss, the gun industry, sell more guns to the good guys because selling more guns is the only reason—yes, the only reason—the NRA exists today.

But it’s not just about selling guns to good guys.

Tim Dickinson, who recently wrote an excellent piece for Rolling Stone (“The NRA vs. America: How the country’s biggest gun-rights group thwarts regulation and helps put military-grade weapons in the hands of killers“), was on MSNBC yesterday and nicely put the NRA and its mission in perspective, a perspective that those of us on the side of common-sense gun laws should, even in the face of Congressional obstruction, never tire of promoting:

The NRA sells the fear that sells the guns. Plain and simple. They are a marketing association that sells fear so that people go out and arm themselves. And who profits from that? Well, it’s the gunmakers. 

Who profits from illegal gun sales to people who shouldn’t have guns? It’s the gunmakers.

Who profits from guns that get bought up by fly-by-night dealers on the border and shipped in massive quantities down to Mexico to arm the drug insurgency there? Well, it’s the gunmakers.

Whose interest does the NRA represent? It’s the gunmakers.

It’s just not that complicated.

No, and neither is the following, from Dickinson’s Rolling Stone article:

The NRA’s alignment with an $11.7 billion industry has fed tens of millions of dollars into the association’s coffers, helping it string together victories that would have seemed fantastic just 15 years ago. The NRA has hogtied federal regulators, censored government data about gun crime and blocked renewal of the ban on assault weaponry and high-capacity magazines, which expired in 2004. The NRA secured its “number-one legislative priority” in 2005, a law blocking liability lawsuits that once threatened to bankrupt gunmakers and expose the industry’s darkest business practices. Across the country, the NRA has opened new markets for firearms dealers by pushing for state laws granting citizens the right to carry hidden weapons in public and to allow those who kill in the name of self-defense to get off scot-free.

5 Comments

  1. ansonburlingame

     /  February 5, 2013

    Duane,

    You and I are in agreement and actually I believe the vast majority of Americans agree as well on a SINGLE point. We the people MUST find a way to better control gun VIOLENCE in America.

    But the debate for now is over gun CONTROL, primarily. And that debate includes valid Constitutional concerns, the stated right to bear arms, at least for “Americans” in America.

    I have submitted a guest column for Globe publication that attempts to change the debate from gun control to mitigating gun violence by other, hopefully constitutional, means.

    It will of course draw the ire of gun “nuts” but, again hopefully, make sense to “sane” Americans.

    Anson

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  2. It’s always fun to catch the NRA with its pants down around its ankles. This article does a nice job of it: “Risks and Benefits of a Gun in the Home” http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/753058

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  3. ansonburlingame

     /  February 5, 2013

    Herb,

    It is one thing to laugh at the NRA. But it seems right now that Obama’s efforts are going to come up with very little. I don’t like voters with a “Bible in one hand and a gun in the other” as mentioned somewhere on this site, anymore than you do.

    But….. The real question is how to overcome such politics with strong bipartisan and majority voting in Congress. Note as well the President, understandably, did not “touch” this hot rail of politics until his second term. I don’t fault him for that political acumen but for sure would like to turn up the heat on Congress now.

    Anson

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    • Anson, I really enjoyed your post for a change, because you weren’t toeing the conservative bylines, you were giving an honest view without being lead by the usual talking points. The NRA claims to be a 501C3 and 501C4 nonprofit organization but it’s lie. The only real objective of the NRA is to service the sales of weapons manufacturers, and to secure their own lucrative incomes. There’s a lot of money wrapped up in this debate and Wayne LaPierre and pals stand to lose. Consider the incomes of those who run the NRA.

      Wayne Robinson Executive Director of General Operations; Compensation: $1,027,217

      Wayne LaPierre CEO and Executive Vice President; Compensation: $845,469

      Chris Cox Executive Director, Institute for Legislative Action; Compensation: $588,412

      Tyler Schropp Executive Director, Office of Advancement; Compensation: $442,476

      Wilson H. Phillips, Jr. Treasurer; Compensation: $519,338

      Edward Land, Jr. Secretary; Compensation: $412,527

      Michael Marcellin Managing Director, Office of the Treasurer; Compensation: $345,102

      Joseph Graham Director of Publications; Compensation: $352,474

      Edward Land, Jr. Secretary; Compensation: $412,527

      Mary Corrigan Chief of Staff; Compensation: $329,168

      Robert Marcario Director of Membership; Compensation: $250,757

      Marion Hammer Former NRA President, Current Lobbyist; Compensation: $190,000

      David Butz Director; Compensation: $150,000

      That’s a lot of second rights amendments to fight for.

      Want proof? Just follow the link

      http://archive.org/details/NationalRifleAssociation2010IrsForm990

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