FAXALERT: NRA... It Keeps Winning and Winning... (long)

Dennis Putnam dap1 at MINDSPRING.COM
Fri Nov 21 18:51:28 MST 1997


I usually cut these alerts down to size but this one is so interesting, IMO,
that I'm passing it along almost in tact. I did delete some state specific
stuff and some military shooting competition announcments at the end.

>                         NRA-ILA FAX ALERT
>           11250 Waples Mill Road * Fairfax, VA  22030
>    Phone: 1-800-392-8683 * Fax: 703-267-3918 * GROOTS at NRA.org
>Vol. 4, No. 47                                           11/21/97
>     Journalist Jeffrey Birnbaum seems to have figured out what
>many of his colleagues have never been able to: NRA's political
>strength is not determined by our financial statement, but by the
>statement our members make when they go to the polls.   In a
>report in the December 8 edition of Fortune magazine, Birnbaum
>ranked NRA 6th on what he calls "Washington's Power 25," the most
>influential special interest groups in America today.  But unlike
>others who have grudgingly admitted NRA's ability to represent
>our members' interests, Birnbaum did not reach his conclusion by
>simply examining the amount of money spent in the legislative and
>political arenas.  Instead, he talked with the policy makers in
>Washington - members of Congress, their staffs, and White House
>officials - and asked them what worked, what didn't, and what
>organizations they listened to.  What these insiders told
>Birnbaum will undoubtedly surprise many NRA critics who always
>seem to write off our success as a direct result of the size of
>our bank account.  Among the lobbying tactics that work:
>delivering the straight facts to lawmakers, mobilizing grassroots
>action, and getting along with legislators and their staff.  In
>fact, 5 of the 10 most influential groups on the list "were
>propelled there on the strength of their long-established
>grassroots networks."  Interestingly, Fortune also found that NRA
>didn't make the "most loved" or "most hated" list of either
>political party, which is a clear rebuke to those who have
>claimed NRA has become too friendly with one party at the expense
>of the other.  Handgun Control Incorporated (HCI), on the other
>hand, was found to be "loved" by Democrats in general and "hated"
>by members of the GOP.
>     Maybe we should send a copy of the Fortune article to
>journalists who covered the recent anti-gun ballot initiative in
>Washington state, or I-676.  In an article on the editorial page
>of today's Wall Street Journal, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham of
>the Alexandria, Virginia-based Media Research Center look back at
>the strange difference between the media's pre- and post-election
>coverage of I-676.  For instance, the New York Times said I-676
>would "test the NRA," and there was "no bigger battle in 1997"
>for NRA.  Tom Brokaw of NBC News called I-676 the result of
>"grass roots anger."  And ABC's Judy Mueller echoed the hopes of
>anti-gunners everywhere when she claimed just days before
>election day that "If this measure wins in this gun friendly
>state, it could spell trouble for the NRA elsewhere."  But when
>the votes were tallied and it was clear that the people of
>Washington had overwhelmingly rejected I-676, the press was
>nowhere to be found.  And those reporters who did bother to
>mention the defeat of I-676 claimed, not surprisingly, that NRA
>had somehow bought the election.  No credit at all was given to
>the hard work of the thousands of volunteer activists who led the
>fight against I-676.  "In their post-election briefs," write
>Bozell and Graham, "the national media gave no emphasis to the
>NRA's stunning come from behind victory."  Bozell and Graham hit
>the nail right on the head when they wrote of the lack of post-
>election coverage: "after spending years labeling a group as
>'extreme,' 'radical' and the like - how to explain 71%
>landslide?...Backed by majority support in just about every
>region of the country, the NRA is just like the Energizer
>Bunny...[it] keeps going and going, and winning and winning."
>     "Critics Say NRA Uses Safety Campaign to Lure Children,"
>blared a New York Times headline (Nov. 19, p. A 24 ) of a story
>detailing a new "study" by the gun ban group, the Violence Policy
>Center (VPC), criticizing NRA's award winning Eddie Eagle gun
>safety program.  The VPC's study would be laughable if it wasn't
>so patently false and offensive.  For the anti-gun lobby to
>criticize NRA, that has spent $100 million over the past eight
>years on gun safety, demonstrates that the anti-gunners will
>stoop to the lowest of lows to further their gun ban agenda. In
>its claims, the VPC preposterously accuses NRA of promoting the
>program to boost future gun sales!  As anyone familiar with the
>program knows, since its inception in 1988, the Eddie Eagle
>program's life saving message has reached 10 million
>schoolchildren and has been taught by more than 500 law
>enforcement agencies nationwide -- including the FBI!  Rest
>assured, NRA will not sit idly by while the VPC attacks one of
>our most effective gun safety programs -- a program which,
>incidentally, has received numerous accolades and awards, and has
>led to a reduction in the number of accidental gun  fatalities
>among children.  In fact, NRA President Marion Hammer and
>Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre  have directed legal
>counsel to explore a number of options NRA may have.  The
>questions the media should be asking are, what have groups like
>VPC done and how much have they spent on firearms safety and
>education.  We believe the answers to those questions would be
>far more telling than the outrageous conclusions of this latest
>ruse of a "study."   Members are encouraged to write their local
>papers and spread the word about the effectiveness of NRA's Eddie
>Eagle gun safety program and call the opponents of gun safety on
>the carpet!

Version: 2.6.2


Dennis Putnam                   Public Key can be obtained from:
Loganville, Ga.                 <http://www.ilinks.net/~dap>

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