EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 8, 2013

Letter: NRA whistles the gun industry’s tune

To the editor:

In 1999, National Rifle Association satrap Wayne LaPierre said on TV that all gun sales, both in stores and gun shows, should have background checks. Immediately after the devastating Sandy Hook massacre, the NRA said it would have some pertinent recommendations to make in time. A week later, LaPierre’s astounding solution was that armed guards should be in every school in America. His key line, paraphrased, the way to protect people from a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun. But now LaPierre is solidly against background checks.

LaPierre is against every and all sensible controls, which is his right; and in the past his methodology has been to brainwash all NRA members into believing that any control would lead, down the road, to confiscation of all weapons, eventually. That is not the goal of simple preventive measures — lessen the firepower to kill in great numbers — but LaPierre is fighting tooth and nail, every single inch of the way.

He has also resorted to the illusory proposition that Obama’s children are protected so why not all children — a rather stupid analogy because a president’s family lives under a much greater risk and presidential families have always been protected. At this time, sympathies lie with the need to do something, shared by gun owners and NRA members. But perhaps the loudest question is: How does any special interest group get such a strong hold on members of Congress, which will eventually vote on the issue?

First, the NRA is but an arm of the gun industry and a vital connection to Washington. Millions of dollars are involved, all under the pretext of defending Second Amendment rights, while their real objectives are to gin up the profits of gun sales. In 2010, the NRA generated $227.8 million and LaPierre was paid almost $1 million to make his flat-lined speech that solves no problems. More destructive is the buying off of politicians in Washington with omnipresent lobbyists. In fact, politicians are rated as to their deference to NRA objectives, placing re-election possibilities in jeopardy if their votes do not comport with NRA policies.

Perhaps we should, in part, blame the Supreme Court with its irrational decision that money is speech. Free speech is now used more and more in buying influence in Washington and across America with spending in all recent elections totaling $8 billion, buying up a plethora of words.

Dante Ippolito


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