NRA Politics - Book Review
“Ricochet, Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist” by Richard Feldman
After you read this book, you’ll probably never look at the NRA in the same way again. It gives an insider view of how the NRA really operates, what their goals really are (hint: crises brings in more money and members, so “winning” takes a back seat to cash inflow) and convinces you that the NRA goals are not really in sync with the goals of law abiding gun owners.
Richard Feldman held a high level position in the NRA for a number of years and then fell into disfavor, so he isn’t an unbiased source. There is a significant amount of ego and self-promotion that comes thru in the book, but for those of us who were gun activists during the period of time covered in the book, we can recognize that some of what Richard points out has a very loud “ring of truth” to it. The book is a real eye-opener, regardless of who you support.
Richard makes the point over and over again about the huge salary that Wayne LaPierre is paid as well as the astronomical amounts of money paid to consultants, ties to interests that can lead one to suspect that everything isn’t on the up and up, etc. Explanations of why NRA members get bombarded by requests for money continually, why every battle is “do or die”, why NRA supported certain legislation that a purist 2A supporter finds distasteful, the symbiotic relationship between the Brady Bunch and NRA, revelations over the NRA’s financial condition and membership ups and downs, dirty politics within the NRA as well as trying to deal with gov’t agents/groups, etc. are described in detail in this book.
Key anti-gun legislation, how it passed, how the NRA supported some and modified others, etc. are described in detail. Issues around the demise of “table-top dealers” is likewise described (Richard also worked as Executive Director of an industry group). The positions of the NRA and industry groups on these various laws is very interesting.
Having worked with my state association for almost 30 years, I always suspected that NRA had written off MA as a lost cause. It’s laid out in black and white for me in this book, a confirmation of what I had always thought. Information on the spawning of the city lawsuits against the gun industry and who was involved (Greta Van Sustern’s Husband in particular) was interesting.
Well worth the time to pick this book up at your local Public Library and read it.
I also suggest that you read the comments by readers on Amazon’s website!
Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist