This weekend there has been rampant speculation about whether President Obama will advance a gun safety agenda via executive orders. Most of the talk suggests that he will expand background checks to include gun shows where weapons are often sold without any inquiry into the legal status of the buyer. They could be felons, or mentally ill, or under a restraining order, or linked to terrorism, or Ted Nugent. But under the current laws regarding gun shows, they could all acquire deadly armories.
The National Rifle Association is firmly in favor of the status quo. They have been working hard to prevent any reform that might make a dent in the 30,000+ gun deaths every year. And their efforts are in direct contradiction to the will of the American people who broadly favor common sense reforms like closing the gun show loophole (89%) and banning assault weapons (58%). These numbers include many gun owners.
Now, in addition to supporting gun rights for people on the Terrorist Watch List, news reports have revealed that the NRA has been lying on their tax returns for years. Their filings have asserted ridiculously false claims such as that they do not receive membership dues or engage in political activity. And that’s not all:
“For seven years, the NRA also skipped a key question on its tax form — whether or not it engaged in lobbying. Asked to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ it simply left the space blank. […] Asked to detail expenses on its tax form, the NRA told the IRS it spent nothing on lobbying each year from 2008 to 2013.
“In 2014, it finally recorded $1 million in lobbying expenses. But even that figure is at odds with the amount reported to Congress of $3.4 million, according to data on the OpenSecrets Web site. It also recorded spending $23 million on unspecified ‘legislative programs.'”
Those are some pretty significant discrepancies that cannot plausibly be explained away as inadvertent. The NRA is, at its core, a political lobbying organization that receives millions of dollars in membership dues. It would be like Pepsi accidentally failing to report any income from selling beverages. Most of the NRA’s funding comes from firearms manufacturers and dealers seeking to expand their businesses. Lobbying on their behalf is why the NRA exists.
Before all the right-wing ammosexuals out there start whining that this must be a liberal conspiracy by the lamestream media attacking the NRA and its holy crusade to defend the Second Amendment, it was the conservative New York Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch of Fox News, that published the results of their investigation of the NRA-theists and their apparent tax filing perjury.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
In a just world the NRA and its executives should be indicted for tax fraud and punished accordingly if found guilty. However, according to the NYPost, the New York Attorney General’s office would not comment on whether there is an investigation in progress. That often means that there isn’t, but they are rushing to put one together to avoid being embarrassed by the disclosures in the press. Time will tell. In the meantime the NRA has been exposed as a dishonest enterprise that is not only making the nation a more dangerous place to live, but rips off the American people while doing it.