Tragic weekend shootings in Baltimore and Poway, California underscore once again the failure of strict gun control laws to fulfill their promise, and they also happened at a time that National Rifle Association, which defends gun rights for tens of millions of Americans, is under daunting media attention.
The NRA gathered in Indianapolis over the weekend for its 148th annual members’ meeting and exhibits while the establishment press carried reports about alleged financial problems within the organization. The members’ meeting on Saturday was contentious as one faction called on Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre to step down. But he had just won a power struggle with NRA President Oliver North, who left town last Friday evening and announced, by letter, that he would not seek a second term as president.
BULLETIN: Wayne LaPierre was re-elected unanimously Monday to another term as Executive Vice President of the NRA, according to The American Rifleman, the NRA’s official publication.
Also retaining their offices are Chris W. Cox as executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, John Frazer as NRA Secretary and general counsel, and Craig Spray as NRA Treasurer.
The NRA Board of Directors also elected Carolyn Meadows to the office of president, succeeding Lt. Col. Oliver North, who declined to run for a second term. The board also named Charles L. Cotton as first vice president and Willes Lee as second vice president.
North, LaPierre and the NRA Board of Directors are in the spotlight thanks to reports of financial mismanagement, a lawsuit against the organization’s longtime public relations firm and a recently-launched probe of the NRA by New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
All of that seemed to get lost, at least temporarily, by the weekend shootings.
According to the Associated Press, a shooter opened fire on people at Sunday cookouts, killing one man and wounding seven others.
On the other side of the country, a killer opened fire at a Poway synagogue, killing one woman and wounding others before an off-duty Border Patrol agent and another man chased the suspect to his car. Then, the lawman reportedly pulled a gun and opened fire, according to USA Today.
In Baltimore, a half-dozen people were injured in the shooting and the Associated Press indicated this may be linked to “drug-fueled violence” and a turf war.
What these shootings underscore, at a time when the NRA is being hammered in the press, is that what the organization has been saying all along about gun control laws—that criminals and/or crazy people aren’t deterred by restrictions—has been correct. While the NRA may be experiencing internal strife with the recent announcement by Oliver North that he would not seek reelection as the organization’s president, the result of what has been described as an attempt to oust LaPierre that backfired, the NRA warnings have been accurate. Restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens in order to prevent criminals from committing violent crimes is not the way to approach the problem, say Second Amendment activists.
Following the weekend convention, the NRA Board of Directors met at a hotel in Indianapolis Monday to discuss the situation and conduct the association’s business.
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