I’m not surprised to see a piece in Bloomberg Businessweek, trying to dig up dirt on NRAÂ probably to try to discredit HR822, and maybe help push the IRS to investigate his claims:
A toaster that burns the National Rifle Associationâ€™s logo onto bread fetched $650 at an auction last month, just one reflection of the money-making power in the gun groupâ€™s brand.
The NRA, which began as a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching marksmanship, enters the 2012 election season as a lobbying, merchandising and marketing machine that brings in more than $200 million a year and intends to help unseat the incumbent president. From 2004 to 2010, the groupâ€™s revenue from fundraising — including gifts from gun makers who benefit from its political activism — grew twice as fast as its income from membersâ€™ dues, according to NRA tax returns.
The gifts from the gun makers do not go to NRA political activism. The toaster money raised don’t go to political activism (ours raised $400 from a reader who bought it). They go to the NRA Foundation, which does not participate in political activity. Indeed, it cannot participate in political activity.
More than 50 firearms-related companies have given at least $14.8 million to the Fairfax, Virginia-based group, according to the NRAâ€™s own list for a donor program that began in 2005.
Again, mostly to the NRA Foundation to support shooting sports programs. What they fail to mention is that the amount donated by NRA’s 4 million members is orders of magnitude larger than what’s donated by the industry. That’s why this quite is insulting:
â€œUnlike organizations which start out controlled by industry and created by industry, like lobbying groups for coal or oil, they really started out as a grassroots organization and became an industry organization,â€Â said William Vizzard, a former agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms whoâ€™s now a professor of criminal justice at California State University in Sacramento.
They became an industry organization in Professor Vizzards mind, and that’s about it. If he can back this up, which he can’t, I’m all ears. I think the NRA’s response to requests for comments are highly appropriate:
â€œThe NRA will not participate in agenda journalism driven by a news organization owned by an avowed enemy of the Second Amendment — a politician who has been aggressively working against the interests of the NRA, our members and the nationâ€™s gun owners for years.â€
Bloomberg can keep this smear campaign up all he wants, but I’m here to tell him his nightmare is true. We’re going to hammer New York City’s gun laws on the relentless anvil of civil rights legislation and litigation. We’re going to beat Bloomberg into submission to the Bill of Rights.