Email blast from the Violence Policy Center re: the NRA’s upcoming Annual Meeting (TTAG will be there):
Dear VPC Supporter,
Wayne LaPierre, Ted Nugent, and the rest of the NRA leadership will be in Indianapolis later this month for the NRA’s annual meeting which begins on April 25. We don’t expect they will mention the fact that Indianapolis has a murder rate higher than Chicago’s and that most of those killings are committed with guns. And we don’t expect them to stop opposing even the most limited policy changes that would help stop the gun violence epidemic. We do expect, however, that gun industry representatives will be there in force to promote “spectacular displays of firearms … from every major firearm company in the country.” . . .
It’s simple: Today’s NRA is a gun industry trade association masquerading as a shooting sports foundation. At the VPC, we are helping educate journalists, lawmakers, and the public as we pull back the curtain on what the NRA has become. Our recent report Blood Money II: How Gun Industry Dollars Fund the NRA reveals the NRA has received up to $60 million in donations from the gun industry since 2005. Companies that donate a million dollars are inducted into the NRA’s so-called Golden Ring of Freedom, and their executives receive a golden jacket.
One of these NRA honorees is Smith & Wesson — the same company that made the weapons used in several recent high-profile shootings. The lone gunman who killed three and wounded 16 at Fort Hood army base used a Smith & Wesson M&P (Military & Police) 45 caliber semiautomatic pistol. The killers at the Aurora movie theater and Los Angeles International Airport each used a Smith & Wesson AR-15-style assault rifle.
We share your outrage that so many innocent lives are lost to the gun industry’s deadly products. That’s why we are fighting to educate the public about the reality of this epidemic as we call for effective gun violence prevention policies. This fight is only getting started, and it will continue — even while the NRA and its gun-industry donors gather to celebrate.