In Act of Heresy, N.R.A.’s Former No. 2 Calls for Gun ControlBreaking News
tags: Second Amendment, guns, books, National Rifle Association, lobbying
The National Rifle Association’s former second-in-command is breaking with the group’s orthodoxy and calling for universal background checks and so-called red flag laws in a new book assailing the organization as more focused on money and internal intrigue than the Second Amendment, while thwarting constructive dialogue on gun violence.
The former executive, Joshua L. Powell, who was fired by the N.R.A. in January, reinforces the kind of criticism made of the organization by gun control groups and state regulators, but it is the first critical look at its recent history by such a high-ranking insider.
He describes the N.R.A.’s longtime chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, as a woefully inept manager, but also a skilled lobbyist with a deft touch at directing President Trump to support the group’s objectives, and who repeatedly reeled in the president’s flirtations with even modest gun control measures.
The book, “Inside the N.R.A.: A Tell-All Account of Corruption, Greed, and Paranoia Within the Most Powerful Political Group in America,” is to be published next week, the latest public calamity for an organization that has faced years of headlines detailing allegations of corruption, infighting and even its infiltration by a Russian agent.
A hunter since childhood and former Chicago options and derivatives trader, Mr. Powell says that the N.R.A. has fundamentally lost its way, abandoning “its roots as an organization focused on gun safety and education.” That has led it to limit its own long-term membership growth, he argues, by turning its back on the majority of gun owners who support background checks.
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