aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, December 22, 2007
NRA: high paid hot shots
Richard Feldman, a lawyer and the author of “Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist,” once worked for the NRA. Today he’s a critic of the organization.
In the WaPo he claims the main target of the lobbying group these days is its members’ checkbooks:
Harlon B. Carter, who created the modern NRA in the 1970s, earned about $70,000 a year (about $200,000 in today’s dollars) as executive vice president and was driven to meetings in the company Chevrolet. Wayne LaPierre, who currently sits upon the executive vice president throne, pocketed about $950,000 in 2005. The parking lot at the association’s twin-glass-towered headquarters off Interstate 66 in Virginia is filled with shiny new BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes.
What’s unseemly about the stratospheric six-figure salaries flowing into NRA leadership wallets is that the cash comes from hundreds of thousands of members who are hard pressed to write $35 annual membership renewal checks or send an extra $10 or $20 to the NRA Political Victory Fund to protect their guns. [...]
The media and anti-gun politicians make a mistake by engaging with the NRA, penning inflammatory headlines, threatening to crush the organization and salt the earth beneath its headquarters. They are just reminding the NRA faithful that they’re surrounded by enemies who threaten to batter down their doors and snatch their firearms. And all it results in is the constant “ka-ching” of cash rolling into NRA coffers.
If the threat to honest citizens’ right to own firearms ever dipped below the radar, so too would the association’s political might. That’s why the NRA leadership will never tolerate the give-and-take that makes up real problem-solving. It would be bad for business.