Those who expected the National Rifle Association to strike a conciliatory tone after the massacre in Newtown, CT that left 20 children and six school employees dead instead found NRA president Wayne LaPierre stridently blaming everything and everyone in America except guns.
LaPierre’s tactic of silence in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting followed by rantings against the media and government doesn’t just divert the conversation away from sensible gun laws, it also helps achieve what has become the NRA’s singular goal — selling guns and ammunition. Retailers are claiming that years worth of firearms have been sold in the last few days. Meanwhile the ranks of the NRA are growing.
But not everyone is pleased with the NRA. Here are five NRA members who gave up their memberships in protest.
If you know of any more NRA members who quit or are one yourself, let us know in the comments.
George H.W. Bush
In 1995, Wayne LaPierre’s ranting went even further than his tirade following the Newtown massacre. He referred to federal agents as “jackbooted thugs” who wear “Nazi helmets” as they eagerly attack “law-abiding citizens.” Those who were outraged by his words included the 41st president of the United States. In a scathing letter, he defended the federal agents he knew and worked with, and resigned his membership to the organization:
I am a gun owner and an avid hunter. Over the years I have agreed with most of N.R.A.’s objectives, particularly your educational and training efforts, and your fundamental stance in favor of owning guns.
However, your broadside against Federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor; and it offends my concept of service to country. It indirectly slanders a wide array of government law enforcement officials, who are out there, day and night, laying their lives on the line for all of us.
You have not repudiated Mr. LaPierre’s unwarranted attack. Therefore, I resign as a Life Member of N.R.A., said resignation to be effective upon your receipt of this letter. Please remove my name from your membership list. Sincerely, [ signed ] George Bush
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)
Quit NRA when caller tried to convince me that the UN was coming to take my guns.
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) December 21, 2012
Ruben Gallego is an Iraq War veteran, an Arizona state representative and a former NRA member. In the tweet above, he explains why he left the group.
Ret. Army Lt. Col. Joseph A. Ruffini
Ruffini is an anti-terror expert who wrote When Terror Comes To Main Street. After watching LaPierre’s reaction to the Newtown massacre, he found he could no longer associate with the NRA. From his letter of resignation:
I have come to realize after a week of reflection, that not being a cop or an active duty soldier, I have no legitimate need to possess an assault rifle.”
By refusing to even discuss prudent gun control measures post-Newtown, Connecticut, the NRA does its members, their families and this nation a grave disservice. You, Sir, should be ashamed of yourself and your organization.
Retired Police Officer
A former police officer and CNN iReporter who calls himself “Logan248” dramatically displayed his displeasure with LaPierre by cutting up his NRA membership card and posting the video online.
Dr. Lee Rogers
Dr. Lee Rogers came closer to defeating Congressman Buck McKeon (R-CA) than any candidate in more than two decades. A proud gun owner, Rogers resigned after LaPierre’s reaction to the Newtwon mass shooting. But his disenchantment with the organization began months before, as he explained in his resignation letter.
While running for Congress in 2012, I received your candidate questionnaire for endorsement. Even as a staunch supporter of gun ownership for self-protection, hunting, sport shooting, or collecting, I found your questions so outrageous. I was unable to answer “yes” to a single question.