Columnists & Professors Compare NRA Leadership to War Criminals and Mob Bosses

November 19 2013
by GSL Staff
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Stand-and-Fight (2)Opinion columns are tricky things. They often get a lot of real estate on websites and newspapers, but ultimately, they are just one person’s opinion. For this reason, it’s usually pretty easy to dismiss them, especially the more ridiculous ones.

However, sometimes these columns just get the information wrong or say things that are so completely out of left field that we feel the need to mention them here.

This is the case with a recent editorial written by Gary Norris, professor emeritus at University of Nevada Reno, and Jerry Purda, retired Nevada Federal Highway Administation.

I’m not sure what credentials these guys hold to make them experts on the leadership of the NRA, but they apparently felt the need to write about that very topic in an opinion column this week on, A Gannett Company (the same company that owns the newspaper who published the addresses of gun permit holders in New York).

The duo makes some rather harsh comparisons,

Is it that the gun manufacturers with their NRA leaders, like Bashar al-Assad [Syrian dictator], have the power and money to dictate the course of events? Where are the 90 percent of Americans, like the rebel forces in Syria, going to get the aid and support to cause a change that will bring down shooting deaths, even letting all those sane and responsible gun owners keep their weapons? (Most of the NRA membership are part of the 90 percent of Americans that support withholding weapons from the mentally disturbed).

Comparing NRA leadership to a known war criminal, really?

The duo also brings up the repeatedly debunked 90% Americans support expanded background check numbers. In this case, they mention withholding weapons from the mentally disturbed (it’s already illegal for the mentally ill to buy and own firearms in almost all cases) instead of background checks, but we’re pretty sure they’re trying to reference the same thing.

Then they say that NRA members are part of said 90% (I don’t see any citations in your article fellas).

The whole point of the editorial is that the general public and especially NRA members should rise up against NRA leadership, which allegedly no longer supports the position of most members. However, what the pair probably doesn’t know, is that the NRA used to support expanded, universal background checks in the late 90’s. Following that announcement, along with the NRA’s failure to stop the passage of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, many gun owners began to sour on the NRA, saying they had “gone soft.”

It was only after the NRA took a more hardline approach over the last couple of years and began aggressively fighting new laws, including expanded background checks, that membership numbers increased and members fully regained their faith in the NRA. The NRA is currently taking its most hardline stance on gun laws yet, and at the same time, NRA memberships (remember these are paid memberships, which must be renewed each year) is soaring. The NRA’s paid member base swelled to over 5,000,000 members earlier this year.

To further debunk the fact that the NRA isn’t representing its members, our own poll from last week shows that 88% of 8,000 respondents DO NOT support expanded background checks. We’re pretty sure our readers have a fairly significant overlap with the NRA membership, and while that certainly wasn’t a scientific poll, it does show that support for expanding any gun laws, including background checks, is a minimum among actual gun owners.

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