Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA makes $970,300 a year to sell fear; LaPierre took over in 1991 and has brought the NRA from near bankruptcy to where the NRA can now spend $200 million-plus-a-year lobbying against sensible gun control.
Wayne LaPierre is one of the richest fear mongers there is, his fear mongering is marketed so well that demand for firearms have risen to such levels that one of the two biggest publicly traded U.S. gun makers Ruger had to temporarily suspend taking orders earlier this year; they couldn’t make guns fast enough.
Former National Rifle Association (NRA) chief Ray Arnet once said, “You keep any special interest group alive by nurturing the crisis atmosphere.” For years, the NRA has warned that nationwide gun bans and confiscation were right around the corner, and they gin up their rhetoric every time there is a mass shooting.
On July 23rd a letter was sent to the NRA supporters, including those in Colorado, suggesting that American gun rights were under attack, “The future of your second Amendment rights will be at stake and nothing less than the future of our country and our freedoms will be at stake.” The solicitation letter says that Obama’s re-election would result in the “confiscation of our firearms” and potentially a “ban on semi-automatic weapons” didn’t know that anyone other than the military needed to carry an assault rifle. The NRA doesn’t think so, they want everyone to have and carry assault rifles, so there will be more mass shootings, because mass shootings are good for business.
The gun industry benefits as well by the fear mongering of the NRA. The goal of Ruger CEO Michael Fifer was to sell one MILLION firearms by the time of the NRA’s 2012 convention because they wanted to donate a dollar a gun to the association. The company sold 1,245,000 guns and did donate a matching check in that amount to the NRA.
The NRA’s political action committee raised almost $10 million from January 2011 through June 30, 2012, to spend on election campaigns, about two-thirds of what it collected in 2007 and 2008, according to Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics. It has spent $18.9 million on federal campaigns since 1989, which ranks it as the 46th biggest donor in that period, according to the center.
The NRA’s fundraising has benefited from a provision in a 1986 law that lifted the ban on interstate sales of ammunition to consumers, allowing for mail-order purchases and then Internet sales. At the time the NRA praised the law as the “greatest legislative milestone.” Through donations attached to mail-order and Internet sales, the NRA has collected $9.3 million since 1992.
So has Obama enacted any legislation aimed at control, no, he earned an F rating from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. In fact he signed into law two NRA-inspired bills - one that allows guns to be carried into national parks and one that lets people carry their guns in checked luggage on trains.
Fear sells and it sells to the tune of millions of dollars a year for the NRA and gun makers, one creates the fear the other sells the fear in the form of a gun and ammunition. Partnerships like that are hard to dissolve because fear will always sell and someone will always buy it. But, you see, keeping the fear alive — making you believe that it hasn’t won and that someone will take your guns — is how the NRA remains powerful enough to keep selling you your own fear.