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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Last night on his MSNBC show, Lawrence O’Donnell said National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre had “blood on his hands.” Today at a White House press briefing, President Obama said he hopes the NRA will “do some self-reflection.” But there is another powerful gun lobbying group that isn’t being talked about, and its headquarters are only three miles from the site where gun violence claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.

The Newtown, CT-based National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) was formed in 1961 and claims a membership of over 7,000 “manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers.” Its mission statement is “to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.”

According to a story in The New Republic, NSSF takes in $26 million a year and its lobbying arm spent $500,000 so far this year compared, to $100,000 in 2008 — and $20,000 was spent lobbying Connecticut state lawmakers on gun issues in 2012.

While NSSF only spent $26,000 in campaign contributions during the last election cycle, the organization was active on social media and its blog rallying its members to support pro-gun candidates via its #GunVote hashtag. Curiously, NSSF has removed all its election videos from its YouTube site. While it did not officially endorse the Romney-Ryan ticket as did the NRA, a look back at Facebook, Twitter and blog posts clearly shows NSSF favored the Republican candidates over President Obama and Vice President Biden.

In one blog post about the Democratic convention, NSSF called assault weapons “modern sporting rifles” and said  “it’s apparent that the slogan ‘Forward’ actually means the Democrats want to move backward with their nostalgia for the anti-gun fervor of the 90s.”

Here are some more excerpts from NSSF’s campaign blog:

 “The Republican platform plank on the Second Amendment is a breath of fresh air.”

“The question for gun owners, however, is whether the Obama-Biden ticket will respect traditional American values and rights such as the Second Amendment.”

“The key word in the Second Amendment — infringed — means the government has no business violating our right to keep and bear arms — period. There is no hedging, no ‘only if’ or ‘unless.’ Recent court decisions have upheld that reasoning.”

“Our rights are increasingly under assault by those who wish to see an end to our traditions.”

“Barack Obama now envisions not only a sweeping ban on rifles and shotguns – but is also considering new restrictions on handguns. Of course, as a state senator, Obama endorsed a total ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns. Is Obama looking to travel back to the future in a potential second term?”

NSSF also puts together SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show) every year in Las Vegas, an event they say is the “shooting, hunting and law enforcement industries’ largest trade show.” At the 2010 show, the FBI arrested 21 gun industry executives in a foreign bribery scheme. The charges were later dismissed.

The question now in post-Sandy Hook America is if organizations like the NRA and NSSF will get behind common-sense gun control legislation instead of seeing every gun safety proposal as a threat to their Second Amendment right to own a “modern sporting rifle,” otherwise known as an assault weapon. Perhaps their response to President Obama’s remarks today, published on the NSSF website, provides some hope:

“We listened with careful attention to President Obama’s statement from the White House today. Being one of the ‘stakeholders’ he discussed, we would welcome the opportunity at the appropriate time to become part of a full national conversation with all policy makers that has as its goal the improved protection of our children and our communities from future violence.”

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30 Responses to Second Biggest Gun Group In U.S. Based In… Newtown, CT

  1. The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut is a wake-up call to this nation. There is no place for people with mental illness to be cared for other than with their families, small board and care facilities, in jail or on the streets. With all the recent political debates about health care reform, no one has addressed the issue of the mentally ill and what to do with them. Maybe gun control wouldn’t be such a hot button topic when these terrible tragedies happen if there were hospitals and living institutions available for people who are suffering from severe mental illness. If these options were available to families faced with a mentally ill loved one, maybe we wouldn’t have tragedies like this. A great nation is ultimately judged by how well it cares for its most vulnerable citizens. We are a great nation and we need to get back to taking care of those who truly need our help. By that I mean our children, our elderly, our sick, and our mentally ill. Just think of the economic boon if we trained some of the folks who are unemployed and struggling to care for our weak, to build housing for them, to prepare meals and feed them. As I see it, a potential win/win situation if done correctly. The mental institutions which were prevalent prior to Reagan becoming President worked until the ACLU won court cases that favored the mentally ill regarding their right to not be held in a mental institution against their will for a period of longer than 72 hours for observation. Court rulings in this regard effectively closed the mental institutions with the last being closed during the 1990’s and the Federal government delegated the care of the mentally ill to the states. Let’s be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Write your Congressional representatives and demand Congress deal with what to do with the mentally ill, even if the states have to be given the responsibility for doing so with Federal funding as well as state and taxpayer funding through increased taxes. We can do more for our society and it’s time to step up to the plate and do more than we have been doing before more children are killed by the mentally ill.

    • While I do not take issue with Peter Marks, it is apparent to me that “the devil is in the details”. For example, the New York Times reports that mentally ill are only slightly more inclined to violence than “normal” people and that those affected by alcohol and or drugs are many times more likely to be violent. Even trained mental health people have a very low success rate in predicting who of the mentally ill will become violent. No one is proposing a means to separate out those who are alcoholics and druggies.

      Many who own guns do so because they fear others and feel safer with guns to protect them. They speak words which sound like they are looking for a fight. They say things like “you will take my gun only from my cold dead hands”. They speak about sharing guns with others who are on their side of the “fight” which cancels out the value of background checks.

      This is not going to be an easy issue to settle. There are strong feelings out there.

    • One question: Who would pay for these institutions? Are you proposing an additional Federal tax on healthy people to keep these usually marginally-disturbed people off the streets? I can just see the response by the general public to that one.

      No, the only kind of solution that would even begin to work as you envision it would be such an invasive monitoring of every single individual from the time of their birth to the time of their death that Minority Report would truly be a reality. Even then, each individual is different and there will always be those that simply don’t fit any given stereotype.

      • until Reagan, there were quite good medical programs, but Reagan emptied a lot of ill, old and institutionalized onto the streets and ever since then, it’s gotten worse. the reality is that the price for providing healthcare is a hell of a lot cheaper than incidents similar to Sandy Hook…

        you don’t seem to have any idea how expensive emergency services are or SWAT teams, etc

        forget about the cost of life because you apparently don’t value human life.

        • It was a policy called “mainstreaming” a lot of hospitals dumped many mentally ill patients out into the street. They generally live in SRO (single room occupancy) buildings. In NY you could see them walking the streets and towns looking lost and unsure of how they would live. That is a sad commentary on this country

      • The Soviet Union found the use of mental institutions quite handy. And remember Susan Lindauer who tried to inform us that Saddam was willing to do almost anything to prevent an attack, including guaranteeing to buy a million US autos a year for a decade? Since this information interfered with our war-profiteering and petroleum plans, she was put in jail and the government claimed she needed meds because of mental instability. Fortunately, she was able to get the judge to prohibit this and eventually got out only to be ignored by the mainstream thought police, also called media.
        Besides, many of our seriously mentally ill are already institutionalized, in government.

      • Most states already have these institutions in place, being able to determine the likelihood of violence in mental patients is not the point. Having a data base in which people with criminal records, mental health issue’s and domestic abuse problems can be listed with easy access by who ever needs it. This is what needs to be done, not blaming the NRA or BushMaster or Colt or Remington or the guns themselves. No one should be able to tell a law abiding citizen how many guns to own or what type, period. Thanks to the media the wrong discussions about the wrong things are wasting everyone’s time instead of looking at effective solutions.

        • What doctor had the clue in Columbine?
          What doctor had the clue in Arizona?
          What doctor had the clue in Newtowne?
          What doctor had the clue in Virginia Tech? Texas?

          The point is that of most of the public attacks over the last two to three decades, maybe about 1/5th of them had enough medical history that might have indicated a violent event like these. I don’t disagree that having the mental health data available might have helped prevent some of them, but by no means would it have prevented all of them–or even a majority. As I have said, there is no ONE solution that would prevent any of these, but a combination of several different methods would prevent the majority. The problem is, such legislation also means higher costs for the taxpayer.

    • OMG! You mean use our tax dollars and/or volunteers to help our fellow Americans. What are you? Some kind of SOCIALIST? As one right wing crazy once said ” LET THEM EAT CAKE!”

  2. I was struck by how militarized the police force was in that small town. Knowing first hand how many mentally ill police that there are out there, I think it is going to be a very difficult sell to have Americans give up any gun rights what so ever.

    First, perhaps the government should consider giving up the so-called “Patriot Act” that subverts the Constitution.

    Then, maybe they should consider making it illegal for ANTONE to wire tap without a warrant.

    Then maybe President Obama can do something about the illegal road side cavity searches that are being conducted in Texas.

    Nope. The 2nd Amendment was written with two purposes in mind. One, to give America the ability to create a well armed public to put down invasions by other countries and the other to prevent invasions from internal sources.

    Dressing up cops like the military does not help President Obama’s cause.

  3. There is a reason why modern, civilian versions of military assault rifles should be banned, and it’s the exact same reason why sawed-off shotguns are banned–they’re too easy to conceal even under a standard winter jacket. In nearly every one of the more recent mass shootings, the weapons were not obviously visible until AFTER the shooter pulled them out of concealment. Even the old Kent State shootings (I may have the school wrong) where the shooter occupied a centrally-located tower had the rifle concealed in in a gun case easily confused as an instrument case for a trombone.

    That said, gun restriction laws simply can NOT prevent a incident like Newtown’s. Technology itself is likely the only answer and that would have to include video monitoring, medical correlating AND so-called “smart” weapons. Even then, no one of the above would have prevented Newtown and there’s a fair likelihood that no two would. Any solution would have to be all-inclusive and have full enforcement funding without restriction. As we’ve already seen, pulling funding weakens enforcement to critical levels.

    • Yes, you had the School wrong. The tower shooter was at the University of Texas. Kent State was where the National Guard, the MILITIA the founders spoke of in the second amendment., murdered student demonstrators protesting the war in Viet Nam!

      • Thanks for correcting Vulpine the shooter in Texas was a mentally dreanged person. In Kent State it was, as you pointed out, the National Guard. There also was a similar National Guard shooting at a South Carolina school, it was a mostly black school and didn’t get the same media attention. Just shows how a trained militia can screw up a situation and people died because of it. The lets arm the teachers and anyone else crowd fails to mention these events.

  4. The liberals are the cause of ALL the mass shootings because of their anti-gun and gun free zones. Give the people a means to protect themselves and there will be less mass shootings.

    • I didn’t want to reply but your comment shows the ignorance of your knowledge. Your solution is to arm everyone, are you a gun manufacturer. Your name fite you are a liar. Why hide behind an alias? Chickkenshit

    • Maybe fewer *mass* shootings, but many more shootings in general with a lot more armed robberies. All you have to do is go back between 100-150 years and look at what unlimited gun ownership meant to the average populace.

      Bar room brawls inevitably ended up with somebody getting shot.
      Street robberies were even more prevalent; admittedly more of the robbers got shot, too.
      Bank robberies were an everyday occurrence; the robbers frequently a gang equivalent to an army squad capable of taking out all but the largest (and most expensive) guard forces.
      Murder was much more common–and much more open.

      Why? Because of all those people carrying guns, only a small percentage, no more than about 1 in 5, actually had any training or significant practice with their weapons. Most of those were military trained.

      Don’t forget that supposed Neighborhood Watch guy in Florida who stalked and shot a young man “because he looked like a criminal.”

  5. No one wants to see innocent people’s lives brought to a sudden tragic end. Especially not children’s even if in a foreign land. At the same time we need our guns because of the encroachments by the government such as the Patriot Act, Homeland Security and the soon to be operational domestic drones. If our government would restore our Constitution instead of undermining it, we would need less armaments. NDAA 2012 was signed by the president even though it provides for a new domestic military police force and the removal of our protection against prolonged internment without a trial.( This contradicts the writ of habeas corpus that predates the Magna Carta).
    Moreover, many other countries have guns and do not use them so irresponsibly. Watch the Academy Award winning movie “Bowling for Columbine.” It shows that Canadians have as many guns per capita and yet do not frequently slaughter each other.
    As a confirmed conspiracy nut, I wonder if some of the individuals doing the killing may have been brainwashed as Sirhan Sirhan appears to have been. (I do not think he shot RFK, at least not the fatal bullet that killed him since it was behind his right ear and the coroner said it was from point-blank range. Sirhan was always in front and never that close.)
    Why would the recent perpetrators or some of them be brainwashed? So, the government can advance their police state further by removing the citizens’ guns. I am a leftist but I do not trust our government’s supposed liberal leaders any more than the right-wing nuts like Lieberman or that South Carolina senator whose name I dare not speak, type or write. They have all gone along with such things as the 9/11 deception and cover-up and the anthrax hoax to blame Saddam. (The first victim had no connections to the eventual scapegoat, Bruce Ivins, but Robert Stevens had published a photo of the President’s daughter, Jenna, seated on another girl’s lap, drunk. White House insiders started taking CIPRO, used only against anthrax, THREE WEEKS BEFORE Stevens was infected after opening the first known letter whose DNA led straight back to secret, unlawful US government held anthrax spores.)
    I personally do not have guns and have never liked them, but they are a necessary evil when we have greater potential evil poised to pounce.

    • And who voted for the people who passed these heinous Acts? By and large the same damned hypocrites who are now crying they need their guns to protect against government abuse.

  6. Second Amendment “uninfringed”? I would say Second Amendment “unhinged”. No excuse at all — whatsoever–no way–no how–to allow people to have assault weapons! NONE! ZIP! ZERO!

    • You clearly backed up your argument with sound logic and reasoning, assuming the burden of proof that such legislation will result in an increase in safety not only statistically significant but significant enough to warrant the freedom of millions, yes MILLIONS of Americans being traded for it. Thanks, the world is a better place for your wisdom. /sarcasm

      In all seriousness now, if you want to make rational arguments towards how it will help the future of this country in a way worthy of the punishment being inflicted on a huge proportional of law abiding citizens of this country, please do – and don’t play “kids are dead thus we must do this because that rifle is big and black and scary” either, I want to hear facts.

      The truth is, we don’t know if it will work. What we do know is that his mother bought weapons that were legal under an “assault weapons ban” already in place in CT, and that she bought them despite her mentally ill and unstable son living with her. Those weapons were not locked up or secured in any fashion, and now we know the outcome. How about increasing the strength of background checks to include immediate family members and barring a purchase if another family member at the same address would have failed the check him/herself for reasons other than age alone, unless proper and safe storage could be proven. How about, along with that, looking for logistical solutions to allow background checks on private sales as well, so that the increased strength of those checks will be made fully effective. How about allowing (NOT REQUIRING) legal concealed carry permit holders to carry in these areas that these shootings, regardless of causality, continue to occur in (this could be done by executive order to end Federal prosecution on the matter if Obama was so inclined, so as to provide at least a temporary aid until other legislation is passed). How about, along with all of that, we provide a real and tangible path to get support for the mentally unstable?

      All of that would do 10x as much as any assault weapons ban, especially after it has to clear Congress – and would not infringe on the rights of your fellow Americans. Unless of course, that’s exactly what you want for its own sake – just don’t expect it to do anything to help the violence.

      • Sorry, pal. Don’t think the founding fathers anticipated the kinds of weapons that can kill many innocent people in milliseconds. For hunting? What are you planning? Taking down a whole herd of moose or deer? Facts? What facts do you need for that? Guess you think LaPierre made sound arguments yesterday. If you think that having armed guards at every school in the country is an answer, you are in real need of help. What good did that do at Columbine or VA Tech? The bigwigs at the NRA are in the back pockets of gun manufacturers and others in the business. Pure politics using the dangling carrot of the second amendment as a con to the millions of their members. If you are one of those who like to use various “isms” to describe Obama, well take a look at what the NRA message is…instituting a police state…sounds like facism to me.

  7. And another little factoid.. At the annual SHOT Show event hosted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, no one is allowed to bring their guns inside. Its in the FAQ at the website. But the same people want to eliminate gun carrying restrictions from churches, schools, bars, hospitals,

  8. If they honestly seek to push heightened weapons sales and to arm teachers as some lunatics have suggested, I say they should fire rockets at the NSSF compound.. from Sandy Hook, naturally.

  9. I would not characterize that last nssf statement using the word “hope”. They may back turning our schools into armed fortresses and want the nut cases locked up first, evaluated later. Just watch. That’s where they are trying to steer the discussion and it’s starting to work.

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