Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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The Clock Strikes 13 at the NRA

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This will be my newspaper op/ed for the coming week in my very red congressional district (VA-06). ******************* The NRA and its CEO Wayne LaPierre have...

Friday News: NRA, CPAC Go Full “John Birch Society”; “Nasty, Brutish...

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by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, February 23. Also, see below for video of the...

On the issue of arming people in schools

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BUSHMASTER AR-15I oppose putting more guns into schools

A policeman with a sidearm will be no match for someone with the AR-15 Bushmaster shown above. I do not want to turn our schools into armed camps.

I wrote a version of this as a comment in an on-line discussion about Terry McAuliffe's proposal to place armed policemen in every school in the Commonwealth. Since then we have had a parallel proposal from Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association to have armed NRA trained volunteers in every school. Governor McDonnell has argued for training school personnel to carry weapons as a means of keeping students secure. All three are wrong.

Keep in mind there was an armed policeman at Columbine.

Keep in mind that the Fort Hood shooting took place in the midst of a heavily armed military base.

And keep in mind that just as LaPierre was holding a press conference, a man was walking down a highway in rural Pennsylvania shooting people.  He killed three and wounded several others, including State Policemen, before he himself died.

The best use of policemen in schools is the building of relationships.

Please continue as I offer my thoughts beneath the fold.  I write this as an educator, someone who had military training with firearms, and someone who is well aware of how unprepared even trained police are to handle a situation like Columbine or Sandy Springs Elementary.

Who Funds the NRA?

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Whenever National Rifle Association spokesman Wayne LaPierre goes on television to claim that the NRA gets its money from its membership in small donations, he's lying through his teeth. The real money behind the organization is from industries that make and sell guns and ammunition, as well as right-wing wealthy donors. The NRA receives tens of millions of dollars from domestic and foreign gun manufacturers and other corporations related to the firearms industry through its "corporate outreach program."

Those who gave money to the NRA include 22 gun makers, 12 of which manufacture assault rifles, and high-capacity ammunition magazine manufacturers or sellers. Beretta alone donated one million dollars to the NRA to lobby to overturn gun control laws in the wake of the 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which eliminated laws against handguns.  

The Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann states, "Today's NRA is a virtual subsidiary of the gun industry. While the NRA portrays itself as protecting the 'freedom' of individual gun owners, it's actually working to protect the freedom of the gun industry to manufacture and sell virtually any weapon or accessory."

The NRA is nothing more than a front for corporate money spent to enlarge markets and  profits, no different than the bogus Smokers Rights Groups that were created secretly by major tobacco companies Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds.  

From 2004 to 2010, the NRA's revenue from corporate fundraising grew twice as fast as its income from members' dues. So, let's be clear. The NRA does not  exist to represent gun owners and hunters. Its purpose is to be a front for corporate lobbying, to help elect legislators who will resist any and all gun regulation, and to strike fear in its members about gun control. The political activities of the NRA serve right-wing political interests, as well. Otherwise, why would the Koch brothers have donated big bucks to the NRA in 2012?