What Others Say: NRA turncoat could turn into credible asset for gun sanity

The former No. 2 executive at the National Rifle Association has performed a major about-face on gun control, effectively saying in a new book and recent interviews that he disagrees with the conservative group’s most stubborn positions on gun rights. Once having toed the NRA line on unbridled gun freedoms — even as children were mass-murdered in schools — Joshua L. Powell now says he favors gun control and is openly challenging what he terms its greed and high-level corruption. It would have been far more effective for Powell to have spoken such words while he was still at the NRA in order to put the lie to chief executive Wayne LaPierre’s mind-numbing defense of unrestricted gun rights. But better late than never. Powell deserves to be hauled before Congress to testify about the NRA’s cynical manipulation of American gun owners and warping of the U.S. political system. He told National Public Radio that the NRA is now “in a pretty bad death spiral” because of financial abuse and mismanagement. Once among the nation’s richest and most powerful lobbying organizations, the NRA has seen its financial fortunes dwindle. Staffers have been laid off and media outlets shut down. Powell’s new book, “Inside the NRA,” offers some clues as to where the money went. He says LaPierre and others milked bank accounts to pay for lavish housing, personal travel, clothing and other perks. Similarly, former NRA President Oliver North, the disgraced former Army lieutenant colonel of Iran-Contra infamy, also charged […]

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