The NRA is in a corner. So be wary. They're going to break their silence in a news conference today, and we need to be ready to uncover the lies and knock down the straw men.
As a New York Times editorial today warns, they are promising "meaningful contributions" to the debate. We can't let the organization escape its past, and especially its role in drumming up guns sales over the past decade.
Myth number one is that the NRA represents a "movement" of ordinary citizens. As the Times notes, it is anything but,
The association presents itself as a grass-roots organization, but it has become increasingly clear in recent years that it represents gun makers. Its chief aim has been to help their businesses by increasing the spread of firearms throughout American society.Debunking that myth may be the most important thing we can do today. We need to highlight the NRA's role as corporate shill for huge gun corporations that profit from honing and refining deadly machines.
In recent years, the N.R.A. has aggressively lobbied federal and state governments to dilute or eliminate numerous regulations on gun ownership. And the clearest beneficiary has been the gun industry — sales of firearms and ammunition have grown 5.7 percent a year since 2007, to nearly $12 billion this year, according to IBISWorld, a market research firm. Despite the recession, arms sales have been growing so fast that domestic manufacturers haven’t been able to keep up. Imports of arms have grown 3.6 percent a year in the last five years.Be ready today. They'll be trying to sell us all a bill of goods--and they'll be paying the best salesmen in the country to frame their message. Be ready.
The industry has, in turn, been a big supporter of the N.R.A. It has contributed between $14.7 million and $38.9 million to an N.R.A.-corporate-giving campaign since 2005, according to a report published last year by the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit group that advocates greater gun control. The estimate is based on a study of the N.R.A.’s “Ring of Freedom” program and very likely understates the industry’s total financial support for the association, which does not publicly disclose a comprehensive list of its donors and how much they have given.