The headline in your May 6 issue stating that the National Rifle Association (NRA) leadership may differ from the opinion of the NRA members is not surprising. The actions of the NRA officials are actually driven by the gun manufactures (Beretta, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Mossberg, etc.) rather than by member’s opinions.
The NRA expenditures in 2011 were about $220 million. Membership dues accounted for about $147 million of that amount, leaving about $73 million from tax-exempt donations, mainly from the gun manufactures and businesses associated with selling guns. In order for the NRA executive vice president and other NRA officials to maintain their plus $1 million salaries, they realize that it is more important to represent the gun manufactures, some of which donate $2 million or more annually, than it is to represent a member who paid a $35 annual membership fee.
The NRA strategy is to instill fear that the government wants to take away the gun ownership rights provided by the Second Amendment, when, in fact, there are no provisions in gun control legislation, existing or proposed, that would prevent a law abiding citizen from owning a gun of some type sufficient for hunting and/or self-defense. I prefer to look at the need for gun control regulations in the same way that I perceive the need for a speed limit together with regulations for car registration, annual inspection, and a driver’s license. These regulations help keep me safe from someone who should not be driving or a vehicle that should not be on the road.
Llorente de Tibas