National Rifle Association

Michigan Lawmakers Push Ineffective NRA Gun Safety Program

Joined by twenty-eight of his colleagues, Michigan House Rep. Bruce Rendon (R-103) thinks he has the solution to preventing gun violence among children. This morning he introduced a resolution (HR – 104 of 2013) that encourages public schools to adopt a video training program developed by the National Rifle Association called the Eddie Eagle Gun Safe Program. Rendon proposes the training start at the Pre-K level, but says it should start no later than Third Grade. View the video here.

The program has been around for a couple of decades, and has yet to prove to be effective in any way. Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, cites a 2004 study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics which found that, although children could memorize the video, they did not put to use the skills in real life tests. 

Helmke goes on to say the following about Eddie Eagle:

Another study published in the late 1990s by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) noted that Eddie Eagle was like “Joe Camel with feathers,” pointing out that: “The primary goal of the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle program is not to safeguard children, but to protect the interests of the NRA and the firearms industry by making guns more acceptable to children and youth… The hoped-for result is new customers for the industry and new members for the NRA.”

Michigan’s Republican lawmakers have proven they have little regard for science or facts when it comes to legislating, but when their NRA report cards are on the line, even the occasional Democrat can have an attack of willful ignorance.

Amy Kerr Hardin from Democracy Tree

Snyder Puts the Smack-Down on Michigan Lawmakers

In a rare show of political spine, Governor Snyder admonished lawmakers to pull their collective heads out of their asses (my words — he was much more statesman like), and stop wasting time on gun laws, particularly those that won’t stand-up to a constitutional challenge.

Catering to a fringe demographic, conservative legislators are putting the constitution to a good old-fashioned witch drowning — trial by ordeal — with Senate Bill 63.  A proposed law that would exempt weapons manufactured in Michigan from federal gun regulations, and which lawmakers readily admit is unconstitutional. The “logic” behind the potential law goes likes this:

Lawmakers love their constitution so much (particularly the second amendment), that they are willing to violate it to protect it — a legislative honor killing meant to preserve the virtue of our foundational document.

Snyder’s warning to lawmakers is likely intended to give them a political “out” with the NRA. A lawmaker need only introduce or vote More →

ALEC Leads Attack on North Carolina Clean Energy with Duke Funding

Corporate polluters are taking aim this year at states with renewable energy laws, starting with an attack on North Carolina’s clean energy economy by a corporate front group known as ALEC with support from Duke Energy, ExxonMobil, and Koch Industries.

NC Rep. Mike Hager: ALEC member and former Duke Energy employee.

North Carolina state Representative Mike Hager says he is confident that he has the votes needed to weaken or undo his state’s clean energy requirements during his second term. Rep. Hager is a former Duke Energy engineer and a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. Duke and Progress Energy (now legally merged) have given Rep. Hager $14,500 for his last two election bids, outspent only by the NC Republican Party.

This is where ALEC makes things awkward for Duke Energy: the law that Rep. Mike Hager is targeting (2007 SB3) was created with input from Duke Energy, and Duke explicitly opposes ALEC’s “Electricity Freedom Act,” the model law to repeal state Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (REPS). Duke Energy re-asserted its support for North Carolina’s REPS law to the Charlotte Business Journal last April and Progress Energy publicly supported the law before merging with Duke. More →

‘Stand Your Ground’ Linked To Increase In Homicides – NPR

If a stranger attacks you inside your own home, the law has always permitted you to defend yourself. On the other hand, if an altercation breaks out in public, the law requires you to try to retreat. At least, that’s what it used to do.

In 2005, Florida became the first of nearly two-dozen states to pass a “stand your ground” law that removed the requirement to retreat. If you felt at risk of harm in a park or on the street, you could use lethal force to defend yourself. The shooting of unarmed 17-yearold Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., drew national attention to these laws.

Now, researchers who’ve studied the effect of the laws have found that states with a stand your ground law have more homicides than states without such laws. More →

Legislators Solicit Corporate Cash to Attend ALEC Utah Meeting

A letter from a Louisiana state representative asking a corporate representative for money is another example of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) “scholarship” program at work, and how it creates an overly cozy relationship between corporations and legislators that allows for improper influence. The “scholarship” program has allowed corporations to do what lobbying laws in most states prohibit — give legislators expensive gifts of flights through ALEC which can buy increased influence over public policy.

The Louisiana Tri-Parish Times revealed that Republican Rep. Joe Harrison, the ALEC Public Sector State Chair for Louisiana, sent out letters, on state letterhead, asking corporations for $1,000 donations to send “over thirty Louisiana legislators” to the ALEC conference being held July 25-28 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Topics under discussion would be important “to the entire lobbying community” said Harrison and he asked that the funds be sent to his state office.

To read more about ALEC “Scholarships”, please click here

DISCLOSE Act: NRA Threatens Lawmakers Who Vote In Favor of Transparency

The NRA is getting pretty ballsy these days, meddling in affairs all over the place. During the hearings for the Fast and Furious “scandal” as well as the subsequent vote to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, they threatened lawmakers with the notion of “keeping score” of those who voted against contempt. It’s a blatant form of political blackmail, and now they’re at it again, threatening lawmakers over the DISCLOSE Act, which would prevent foreign controlled companies from contributing foreign money to influence domestic elections, prevent independent expenditures for government contractors, and require disclosure of donors, among other things.

The law is meant to de-fang Citizens United to some extent, but the NRA thinks that is a bad idea and is now threatening vulnerable lawmakers who may be considering supporting the bill, which is no surprise, since the NRA has been one of the largest lobbying arms in Washington for decades.

To read more about how the NRA is flexing its political muscle, please click here

25 States Use Identical Language in “Stand Your Ground” Laws

In an excellent example of how ALEC writes the laws, Politics Nation examines how identical language is used to mask that the legislation all came from a common source.

The Stand Your Ground law is used as an example of this.  ALEC and the NRA took this FL law, got it approved as Model Legislation, and their State Chairmen are diligently doing their jobs getting it passed in their states,

But the precise wording “no duty to retreat” is used in the legislation of 25 state laws, and this cannot be spun as being a coincidence.

Please visit the VLTPVideo Channel by clicking hereto watch this video segment from Politics Nation.  Or you can click on our video gallery link (on the menu bar under Media Galleries) and explore all of the videos we have posted,

 

The Enemies Within: The 20 Most Dangerous Conservatives And Their Organizations

America has enemies. Not just abroad, but within our shores as well. And our domestic enemies, as it turns out, are MORE dangerous and destructive than the terrorists could ever hope to be. Because while the terrorists want to destroy us, the following people and their organizations are doing far more damage.

To read about these threats, please click here.

Trayvon Martin Killing Draws Hundreds to Protest Stand Your Ground Laws

From Policymic – article on the DC Protest against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) by numerous progressive, activist and civil rights groups and individuals for their involvement in the creation of the “Castle Doctrine” or stand your ground law.  ALEC has also been identified as the creator of the “Voter ID” legislation now being enacted nationwide to disenfranchise million in this and subsequent election cycles.

From the Article:     “A diverse coalition of advocacy organizations, watchdog groups, activists, and national leaders stood in front of ALEC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to protest the “Kill at Will” legislation, which was written by ALEC corporate member the National Rifle Association (NRA). The groups protesting at the event included the National Urban League, the NAACP, ColorOfChange, the AFL-CIO, SEIU, ProgressNow, the Center for Media and Democracy/ALECexposed.org, Common Cause, People For the American Way, ProgressNow, Presente, Public Campaign, UltraViolet, Faith in Public Life, the National Council of Churches, USAction, Moveon.org, and others…”

Read full article here...