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Gibson writes: 'The Newtown tragedy could have ended differently if the NRA had butted out of the Connecticut state legislature in 2011."

Gibson: 'The NRA gave more than $719,000 to politicians in the 2012 election cycle.' (photo: unknown)
Gibson: 'The NRA gave more than $719,000 to politicians in the 2012 election cycle.' (photo: unknown)

Money in Politics Is Murder

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

25 December 12

Reader Supported News | Perspective


he Newtown tragedy could have ended differently if the NRA had butted out of the Connecticut state legislature in 2011.

A bill introduced in March of that year would have made it a felony to have a magazine that could hold more than 10 rounds of ammo. The incredibly liberal Connecticut legislature repealed the death penalty and legalized the use of medicinal marijuana in 2012, so a mild form of ammo regulation had no reason to fail before those same legislators. But when the NRA organized pushback against the bill, lawmakers got more than 30,000 emails opposed to the legislation. The bill failed. The following year, Adam Lanza would use an AR-15 assault rifle that held 30-round magazines to massacre 20 children and 6 teachers in Newtown, Connecticut.

A week after the Connecticut massacre, the NRA held a press conference where they blamed everything but the availability of guns and ammo for the killings. NRA leader Wayne LaPierre proposed that schools have an armed guard present, though the armed guard at Columbine didn't stop the shooting there. LaPierre also suggested that teachers have guns available in the case of a school shooting. But 13 were killed at Fort Hood despite there being plenty of trained killers with guns all over the base. And Wayne LaPierre's radical ideology has been widely dismissed, with the exception of the equally radical Tea Party.

If anyone wonders why all our politicians can muster the courage to do is offer thoughts and prayers after a mass shooting, it's because they're beholden to the NRA's money. The NRA gave more than $719,000 to politicians in the 2012 election cycle, most of whom are Republicans. The next time your Congressman says something idiotic and banal about guns, see if their name is on that list of recipients of NRA campaign cash.

Like the anti-climate science lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry, the NRA is determined to spread false and misleading information to benefit those who would profit the most. Wayne LaPierre would have us believe that guns in classrooms would make kids safer, yet among the 23 richest countries, the US has the most guns and the weakest gun laws, and accounts for 87% of all child gun-related deaths. Clearly, the NRA's concern isn't with children's safety, but with fattening the pockets of arms dealers. This is clear in the NRA's push for a 2005 law that protected gun manufacturers from lawsuits in the event one of their products was used to massacre people like the kids in Newtown, or the moviegoers in Aurora.

As long as well-funded radical groups like the NRA have the power to hire lobbyists to pressure lawmakers one way or another on legislation, our communities will never be truly safe. We have to hold politicians' feet to the fire and elect those who promise to keep communities safe, rather than appease the gun lobby. And we need to fire those elected officials who would side with gun lobbyists over grieving families.

Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut. You can contact Carl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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