Carlton: Backlash to the NRA’s Hammer shouldn’t distract from the gun debate

Carlton: Backlash to the NRA’s Hammer shouldn’t distract from the gun debate

Marion Hammer is a Florida lobbyist for the NRA. So the formidable Marion Hammer, who sticks to her guns no matter how many children, churchgoers or everyday Americans die, finds herself the target of some nasty backlash. The powerful Florida lobbyist for the National Rifle Association is suing five men she says harassed, threatened and cyberstalked her with emails and other communications that went beyond "mere criticism" of her pro-gun stances. Hammer — who says these days she can barely go to the grocery store without being called evil and worse — wants injunctions. Damages, too. You have to love that the tough-as-teflon Hammer, who’s made many a Florida lawmaker sweat bullets, is described both gently and boastfully as "a 79-year-old grandmother and nationally renowned civil rights advocate." Calling Hammer pro-civil rights is interesting, since most of us think of her as pro-gun rights — any and all gun rights — and anti-gun control — any and all gun control. Even mild legislation signed into law here in Florida after the high school massacre in Parkland imposing age restrictions on gun sales was within hours hit with a lawsuit by Hammer’s NRA. No question about it: Some of the emails referenced in Hammer’s lawsuits are ugly to the point of being unprintable in a family newspaper. She is wished "karma," but also other more darkly specific things. Some of the language is vile, sexist and violent. Hammer also complains she was sent unsolicited photos of gunshot victims. Gunshot wounds, […]

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