The other day, a lobbyist for one of the NRA's "chartered organizations" in Wisconsin drew harsh criticism for talking about lobbying efforts at an NRA meeting and callously saying, "a lot of that’s going to be delayed as the 'Connecticut effect' has to go through the process."
The quaintly-named "Connecticut effect" is, of course, the death of 26 people, including 20 children, is a mass-shooting.
There is no confirmation to a report that other names being considered were the "Connecticut syndrome," "Connecticut bump in the road," "Connecticut glitch," "Connecticut headache" or "Connecticut how the hell do we get around this?"
After Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called on the NRA to "repudiate and reject" the comments, the gun lobby outlier group sent an email to Talking Points Memo that tried hard to look like it did just that, but did anything but.
The NRA's response was -- “Bob Welch is neither a staff lobbyist nor a contract lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. He does not speak for the NRA.”
In the days of the Watergate scandal, that was known as a Non-Denial Denial. What it isn't is a repudiation or rejection of the statement. It's just saying, "Hey, we might actually agree with what he said, but the guy doesn't work for us."
And even that might not be precisely true. In checking up on the statement, TPM wrote, "While it's not clear whether Welch, a former Wisconsin state legislator, has ever been paid by the NRA to lobby the state legislature in Wisconsin, it is clear that he and the group he represents has claimed to speak for the NRA in the past." As TPM notes, Welch's group, Wi-FORCE, states on its website that it is an "NRA Chartered State Association" and won "Association of the Year" in 2011.
I would ask whether the NRA has anyone on staff who's charged with saying, "Uh, guys, we can't go out with this. It makes us look really, really bad." But then I realized, if they did, they wouldn't send CEO Wayne LaPierre anywhere, ever, in the first place. Or for that matter, have an NRA.
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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