"I fail to see how the NRA can disregard the overwhelming will of its members who see background checks as reasonable."
-- Adolphus "August" Busch IV, in his letter of resignation from the NRA board
In fact, Mr. Busch, heir to the brewing family, went further. Not just in what he wrote, but in dropping his NRA membership. Among other things he wrote, though, was --
"The NRA I see today has undermined the values upon which it was established. Your current strategic focus clearly places priority on the needs of gun and ammunition manufacturers while disregarding the opinions of your 4 million individual members."
What almost made "Quote of the Day" was the response from the NRA when its spokesman Andrew Arulanandam was reached by The Huffington Post, "We disagree with his characterization, but we wish him all the best."
It's worth noting that the NRA didn't say in what way they disagreed with his characterization, what he got wrong. Given that Mr. Busch sat on the board, it would seem likely that he has a pretty good ideas about the NRA's current strategic focus. Also, what values it was establish on. And that the opinions are of the NRA's members.
I decided to go with Adolphus Busch's words as the "Quote of the Day," however, since it seems far more noteworthy, if not noble.
I also loved seeing that he very forthrightly referenced the NRA as placing its priority on "the needs of gun and ammunition manufacturers." Only yesterday, after having decided to stop referring to the NRA as simply a lobbying organization for gun owners, for the first time I described it more for what I believe it is, "the gun-manufacturer owned-and-operated NRA." It's nice to see one of its own board members publicly acknowledge that. (Actually, I also referred to it as an "outlier fringe group," which I believe it is, as well.)
Indeed, in his letter, which you can read in full here, he's quite upfront about it:
"One only has to look at the makeup of the 75-member board of directors, dominated by manufacturing interests, to confirm my point. The NRA appears to have evolved into the lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers rather than gun owners."
Probably his most damning statement, though, was refuting the current NRA position by using the NRA's own words from the past. "Was it not the NRA position," he wrote, "to support background checks when Mr. LaPierre himself stated in 1999 that NRA saw checks as 'reasonable'?" This was in reference to the group's CEO Wayne LaPierre's when he testified before Senate Judiciary Committee hearing after the Columbine massacre.
It's nice to finally agree with a Busch about something.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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