While many Americans are clamoring for gun control legislation on multiple levels, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) are working hard to maintain the status quo– which ensures the safety of gun manufactures and sellers– to the detriment of the American public. Tea Party minions– like former Legislator Frank Antenori [So, doesn't Raytheon find this employee's antics a bit embarrassing?] and the nuts behind this event— are marching in lockstep behind their corporate masters.
For another look at the evil twins– ALEC and the NRA– check out this story from ColorOfChange.org…
Pressed hard for a response to the tragic shooting deaths of 20 young children and 7 adults in Newtown, the National Rifle Association (NRA) finally broke its silence to announce that the solution to gun violence is more guns. It just doesn't make any sense — unless you're in the gun business.
As a long-time funder of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — and co-chair of its Public Safety and Elections Task Force — the NRA has directly authored dozens of "model" gun access laws that fly in the face of commonsense efforts to reduce gun violence.1
And now, despite the wave of bad publicity ALEC's received for pushing Florida's NRA-drafted "Shoot First" law out to 25 other states, it's clear the NRA isn't prepared to clean up its act.
More commentary and lots of links after the jump.
By doubling down on its callous and irresponsible rhetoric in the wake of the Newtown shooting, the NRA is presenting ALEC's other corporate funders with a stark choice: they can join the 42 major corporations that have already done the right thing and cut their ties with ALEC and the NRA, or they can align themselves with an organization that brazenly values profits over human lives.
It's time to draw the line. Please join us today and tell ALEC's corporate funders to stop sanctioning profit-driven gun violence.
The NRA's leadership keeps pushing the dangerous fiction that "[t]he only way to stop a 'bad guy' with a gun is a 'good guy' with a gun."2 In reality, the extreme stress experienced in the chaos of an unanticipated shooting makes it incredibly difficult to properly handle a gun — and avoid being shot yourself.3 Making guns easily accessible to everyone does not make our communities safer: the evidence is clear that more guns mean more homicide.4
Last spring, in the wake of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin’s shooting death, we highlighted the role of the NRA/ALEC in the reckless proliferation of deadly “Shoot First” laws across the country.5 ALEC acts as a corporate bill mill, developing, promoting and disseminating corporate-sponsored "model" legislation to statehouses across the country6 — and at the federal level through its extensive alumni network of former state legislators now serving in higher office.7 Working hand in glove with the NRA, ALEC is also behind our national race to the bottom in the expansion of concealed carry laws8 — and the push for unrestricted access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines9 — because the known cost in human lives of unrestricted gun access10 takes a backseat to the opportunity for massive corporate profiteering.11
Amidst growing national concern over the role that the gun industry lobby played in Trayvon's entirely preventable death, the NRA has attempted to deflect attention from itself by asking "Where's [the] outrage?" for the legions of young Black men killing each other every day in our nation's cities.12 It's true that the statistics are horrific: 49% of Black teens in a national survey reported personally knowing someone who has been shot, and 47% said they could get their hands on a gun if they really wanted to.13 Thanks to the NRA and ALEC — who pushed the no-paperwork-required private reseller loophole that accounts for 40% of all gun sales.14 States with weak gun laws — predominantly rural, red and southern — do big business trafficking guns into cities trying desperately to keep them out.15
Thanks and Peace,
–Rashad, Matt, Arisha, Kim, Johnny and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
January 7th, 2013
1. "Big Money, ALEC and the Gun Agenda," Truthout, 12-16-12
2. "NRA Blames Everything Except Guns: Outdated Video Games, Hurricanes, And Corporate Media Led To Newtown," ThinkProgress, 12-21-12
3. "'If I Only Had a Gun,'" ABC News 20/20, 04-10-09
4. "Firearms Research: Homicide," Harvard School of Public Health, accessed 01-03-13
5. "ColorOfChange demands justice for Trayvon, exposes ALEC," ColorOfChange.org blog, 04-04-12
6. "Running Scared: ALEC Anticipating an IRS Audit?" Center for Media and Democracy, 12-14-12
7. "ALEC legislators are up for election in your state," ColorOfChange.org, accessed 01-04-13
8. "The NRA Surge: 99 Laws Rolling Back Gun Restrictions," Mother Jones, 09-26-12
9. See reference 1.
10. "The Geography of Gun Deaths," The Atlantic, 01-13-11
11. "Does the NRA Represent Gun Manufacturers or Gun Owners?" The Nation, 12-14-12
12. "NRA's LaPierre Responds To Trayvon Martin Killing By Attacking The Media," Media Matters for America, 04-14-12
13. "Teen Gun Survey 2012," Uhlich Children's Advantage Network, 04-17-12
14. "Private Gun Sale Loophole Creates Invisible Firearms Market, Prompts Calls For Reform," Huffington Post, 12-21-12
15. "Follow the Movement of Crime Guns in America," Mayors Against Illegal Guns, accessed 01-04-13
On this the second anniversary of the Tucson massacre, let's dump these evil twins and their legislative and Congressional lackeys and move forward as a nation toward meaningful gun control. Remember today is Tucson's gun-buy back. Let's do our part to reduce the estimated 300 million firearms in the hands of private citizens.
Image credit: Pamela Powers Hannley