Next Step: Urge Your Senator to Refuse NRA Donations
Last week, I urged us to focus on the NRA because it is the focus of infection for our society’s idolatry of murderous super-guns.
I urged us to call the NRA, read them the names of the children killed in Newtown, and demand that they return to supporting hunters, who don’t need rapid-fire rifles and the like. I thought to shake them out of their stubborn calm, bring death home to them, perhaps even shake them with the vehement demand for change.
I called and for 30 minutes got a busy signal. So did many others who wrote me. I think that meant the NRA was inundated.
I thought it might be useful to report some of the notes I got back about your experiences in calling the NRA, followed at the end of this report by my own suggestion for next steps. Below are some reports.
But before we get to them, let me say: Given the results – indicating both a stony silence and a stone deaf NRA – I suggest this: Urge your Senator to announce publicly that s/he will not accept any campaign contributions or other perks from the NRA until it has publicly announced it will vigorously support a ban on assault weapons and similar guns. I explain how to do gthis — it’s simple — at the end of this report, and in the ACTION section on this Home Page.
I was transferred to the membership department which they said was receiving Mr. LaPierre’s calls. After I read three names of children with ages and said that it was time for the NRA to announce that it supports a Federal law prohibiting assault weapons, they hung up.
I was put on hold — for just a few seconds — and then spoke to a rather smug unidentified man.
I asked him if the NRA would be apologizing for yet another atrocity facilitated by their actions. His smug words — dripping with contempt — were: ‘We don’t have anything to apologize for.’ After explaining how the NRA’s lobbying efforts lead to more gun deaths in the United States than any other country on Earth, he repeated his talking point and then hung up on me.
I got busy signals, then an answer from an operator. I asked for LaPierre’s office, but didn’t get forwarded there — instead I was forwarded to the “NRA — ILA — Grassroots Division” where I was put on hold multiple times.
On the message loop they recommend going to the NAR — ILA website to learn more about how “legislation is affecting our 2nd Amendment Rights.” Out of curiosity, I did so. I didn’t explore every sub-category on the website — but I did look at 3 sub-categories having to do with “News,” “The Latest News” etc.
I found it interesting, not surprising and infuriating/sad that two of the News sites posted their last entry on Dec. 13 (a day before the shooting) and the third site had their last posted entry on Dec. 11th. To not even MENTION the shooting or NAME and HONOR the Dead seems, to me, appalling (though, again, perhaps not surprising).
On the website it looks as if all news simply stopped happening on and after Dec. 13th — and we know that’s NOT true.
I contacted NRA today …waited almost an hour to get through..they were pleasant, took my name and said they would pass my view on at their end of week meeting…noncommittal as to whether they will support such federal legislation.
I have now attempted twice to phone the NRA to leave a message for Wayne LaPierre. Both times I was transferred to the “Membership Dept.” with the following outgoing message on an endless loop:
Have you visited the NRA website lately? It’s the #1 source for everything 2nd amendment… Make the ultimate commitment to protecting & preserving our 2nd amendment freedoms - become a life member today… Join the 100’s of thousands of patriots like yourself who are dedicated to the long term preservation of our rights & freedoms. Give the gift of freedom - NRA memberships available to purchase for friends and family.
Both times, after holding for 15 minutes, and listening to this blather, my call was disconnected. And I was NOT able to leave a message.
This is Arthur back again, ruminating on the results. Some of the NRA’s favorite followers, like Senator Manchin of West Virginia, have been stirred by the Newtown Massacre to turn themselves in a new direction. Maybe real tshuvah. But as these phone calls show, the NRA itself preserves a stony silence and a stony deafness .
Reporters of past struggles over gun control report that after dangerous moments like previous mass murders, the NRA has melted temporarily away. Then, when the furor dies down, it stymies every new law proposed.
So I think we need to be thinking beyond NRA itself. There should be a counter-pressure to its influence over Members of the House and Senate. That influence comes from their favorite game. It has two parts: Campaigning for Cash, and Cash for Campaigning.
So I suggest you call the US Capitol at 202/224-3121 in Washington, and ask for your Senators (just say what state you’re from if you can’t recall their names). At Sen. X’s office, ask for the staffer most involved in gun-regulation policy, and say:
“I’m Xxxx Xxxx and I live in ____________. My phone is ccc.cccc.cccc and my Email is x-xxxx
“I am calling to urge Senator X to publicly state s/he will not accept campaign contributions from the National Rifle Assn until it formally announces that it will vigorously support banning assault weapons and rapid-fire rifles.
[If possible, have a conversation at this point. Whenever it feels at an end, be sure to add: ]
“Please write me or call me with the Senator’s response to this request. I’m Xxxx Xxxx and I live in ____________. My phone is ccc.cccc.cccc and my Email is x-xxxx.”
And once again, please let me know how it goes by dropping a note to me at Office@theshalomcenter.org
If you’re in DC, with no Senators, I suggest calling Senator Harry Reid, leader.
Please feel free to forward this Shalom Report to others.