The NRA May Finally Die

Written by SK Ashby

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is among the progenitors of the modern Republican party and the culture of conspiracy theories that has driven the party since at least the 1990s, but if a conspiracy is what finally kills the NRA it will be a conspiracy within their own ranks.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against the New York-based NRA with a goal of dissolving the association.

Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine also filed a lawsuit against the NRA's supposedly "charitable" foundation.

Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, filed in state court in Manhattan after an 18-month investigation, highlighted misspending and self-dealing allegations that have roiled the NRA and its longtime leader, Wayne LaPierre, in recent years — from hair and makeup for his wife to a $17 million post-employment contract for himself.

Simultaneously, the Washington, D.C., attorney general sued the NRA Foundation, a charitable arm of the organization designed to provide programs for firearm safety, marksmanship and hunting safety, accusing it of diverting funds to the NRA to help pay for lavish spending by its top executives. [...]

LaPierre, who has been in charge of the NRA’s day-to-day operations since 1991, is accused of spending millions of dollars on private travel and personal security, accepting expensive gifts such as African safaris and use of a 107-foot yacht from vendors and setting himself up with a $17 million contract with the NRA, if he were to exit the organization, without board approval.

The lawsuit said LaPierre, 70, spent millions of the NRA’s dollars on travel consultants, including luxury black car services, and hundreds of thousands of dollars on private jet flights for himself and his family, including more than $500,000 on eight trips to the Bahamas over a three-year span.

Some of the NRA’s excess spending was kept secret, the lawsuit said, under an arrangement with the organization’s former advertising agency, Ackerman McQueen.

The NRA's abuse of their charitable foundation is news to me, but Wayne LaPierre's habit of using the gun lobby as his own bank account is well documented and we've discussed it many times here before.

You may recall that the NRA paid for LaPierre's search for a new mansion in Texas. The lobby paid for his luxury, designer suits and trips to Italy. The Trace recently reported that the NRA has been effectively buying off board members to support LaPierre so he remains in control. The list goes on and on and those just the things we already knew about.

If what has already been reported in the past is all true, and if state authorities have even more evidence in their possession, it will be very difficult if not impossible for the NRA to defend itself.

The NRA may have been a legitimate advocate for gun rights and safety at some point in the previous century, but not in the time since I have been an adult or even a teenager. I will personally never forget the NRA's fearmongering against the Clinton administration and their response to the Columbine school shooting; events that coincided with the lobby's swing toward the conspiratorial campaign machine it became between the second Bush and Obama administrations.

No one who is alive today will forget the NRA's response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting which was to call for more guns in schools and even attack the parents of dead children.

The NRA's former advertising agency, Ackerman McQueen, ran the defunct NRATV channel which collapsed under similarly corrupt spending practices.

Thoughts and prayers.