Good Day World!
The New York Daily News came out with a controversial cover on Friday that is still resonating with many. The cover portrayed National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre as a "terrorist.”
"Syed Farook joins long list of murderous psychos enabled by NRA's sick gun jihad against America in the name of profit," the cover read.
With LaPierre's NRA and its congressional allies stymying even modest gun safety measures — including, on Thursday, efforts to expand background checks and prevent people on the terror watch list from purchasing guns — it's easy to forget that the NRA's hardline opposition to reform isn't only out of step with the views of most Americans.
It's also out of step with the vast majority of NRA members.
According to a 2013 study featured in the New England Journal of Medicine, 74% of NRA members favor a universal background check regime for gun purchases, while a 2012 poll found that 71% backed banning gun purchases by individuals on the terror watch list.
I was impressed when John Oceguera, former speaker of the Nevada state assembly and currently a Democratic candidate for Congress from the state's 4th District, resigned his NRA lifetime membership in a letter to LaPierre, which he posted on his campaign website.
"Our country is facing a tragic gun violence epidemic, and we cannot ignore it. Still, the NRA opposes any legislation that would help keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, criminals and the mentally ill, and spends millions to stop any action in Congress that could help prevent further violence," he wrote. "I cannot continue to be a member while the NRA refuses to back closing these loopholes."
Perhaps if more NRA members followed Oceguera’s lead the NRA would be forced to acknowledge reality – and common sense – when it comes to gun safety laws. So far, those NRA members who favor universal background checks have been a silent majority.
The need for them to speak up has never been greater. Something has to break the deadly cycle of resistance perpetrated by the NRA’s corrupt leadership. We need to stop the hold that the gun and ammo industries have on us, and from destroying our country for the sake of profit.
U.S. taxpayers subsidize the salaries of the NRA leadership. That’s because the NRA, as a tax-exempt organization, pays no federal taxes. LaPierre pulls down a cool million a year for inciting fear.
Other top 2010 salaries at the NRA. Your tax dollars at work.
Time for me to walk on down the road…