GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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December 24, 2012

Letter: Calling out the NRA's greed, hypocrisy

To the editor:

As I watched the National Rifle Association’s press conference a week after the slaughter of 20 precious little kids and six loving teachers in Newtown, Conn., I couldn’t decide what was more offensive — Wayne LaPierre’s arrogance or his hypocrisy.

It is time to call the National Rifle Association out on both.

Turning our schools into armed camps is not the solution to the kind of violence we witnessed on Dec. 14. Enacting sensible gun safety laws that take military style assault weapons and hand guns that can pump out 50bullets a minute out of the hands of civilians, accompanied by throrough background checks , and the closing of the “gun show loophole,” are the things that will make us all safer.

We also need to face the fact that Wayne LaPierre does not head a grassroots organization fighting to protect the rights of hunters or people who want to own a gun for self defense. The NRA is a high-powered lobbying group that is more concerned about the profits of its gun manufacturingclients than it is the Second Amendment rights of duck hunters in a blind on the Essex salt marsh.

The NRA opposes the assault weapons ban not on genuine constitutional principles, but on economic ones. Since the assault weapons ban was repealed in 2004, manufacturers of such weapons have reaped billions in profits via the sales of what a Connecticut state trooper, the day after the Newtown massacre, accurately described as “people hunters.”

People may forget the gun known as the “Bushmaster,” the one used by the Connecticut shooter to mow down a classroom full of first graders, was also used by the D.C. area snipers a decade ago when they went “people hunting” for sport. That model weapon alone earned its manufacturer over a billion dollars in profits since the assault weapons ban was repealed in 2004, and that company is a big donor to the NRA.

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