This week, many are cheering the news that the NRA is now as financially bankrupt as it is morally. Last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James sued four current or former NRA executives for "illegal financial conduct," leading to the gun group's recent declaration of bankruptcy. Among James' charges were that Wayne LaPierre, CEO and executive vice president of the NRA, received "hundreds of thousands of dollars" of complimentary safaris in Africa.
The group said it would reincorporate in Texas after a century in New York.
In the book Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths That Paralyze American Gun Policy, author Dennis A. Henigan reprints shockingly antigovernment ads that the "patriotic" NRA published. In fact, the NRA's anti-government rhetoric became so inflammatory that former President George H. W. Bush actually resigned the gun organization in 1995.
"I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of NRA, defended his attack on federal agents as 'jack-booted thugs,'" he wrote in a letter to the NRA. "To attack Secret Service agents or ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] people or any government law enforcement people as 'wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms' wanting to 'attack law abiding citizens' is a vicious slander on good people."
It is no surprise that white supremacists and hate groups have embraced the NRA's violent, anti-government rhetoric that preaches insurrection and stockpiling weapons against "tyranny." In fact some of the nation's most chilling crimes have been committed by such white supremacists starting with the Oklahoma City bomber.
* Timothy McVeigh, a sometime NRA member, bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168. Why that building? Because the Murrah Federal Building housed offices of the ATF which McVeigh hated so much he sold ATF hats with bullet holes and a flare gun that could shoot down an "ATF helicopter."
* In 1999, white supremacist Benjamin Nathaniel Smith went on a racist shooting rampage in the Chicago area, killing Northwestern University Men's Basketball Coach Ricky Byrdsong and Won-Joon Yoon, a computer science doctoral student. He also wounded nine Orthodox Jews and an African-American minister, literally driving around looking for minorities to shoot and kill.
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