Saturday, January 16, 2021

NRA files for bankruptcy and announces move from New York to Texas

I found another shiny object related to one of my long-term interests, gun violence and gun control, to distract me from soon to be ex-President Donald Trump's second impeachment.* Watch Reuters report NRA files for bankruptcy, seeks to escape lawsuit.

The National Rifle Association filed for bankruptcy, a sudden development that could help the gun rights group escape a lawsuit by New York's attorney general seeking its dissolution.
This is not all good news from the perspective of fighting gun violence and the effects of big money in politics, which I'll get to later, but it is a setback for an organization that epitomizes the influence of both gun culture and big money in U.S. politics. As for the NRA calling New York State "corrupt," I think it's projecting, something that the next two videos will show. Instead, I will say that New York State in the person of Attorney General Letitia James is hostile to the NRA, not that I disapprove.

Speaking of the next two videos, both show that the problems that led the NRA to declare bankruptcy have been brewing for years, beginning with CNBC's report How The NRA Ended Up On The Verge Of Bankruptcy from August 2019.

The NRA is mired in controversy. With about 5 million members as of July 2019, the NRA is one of the most powerful special interest groups in the U.S. But, claims of financial wrong doing have led to multiple investigations in Congress and in New York State that are threatening the groups survival. And, while the group did have some money problems in the past, 2016 proved to be a devastating blow to its finances. The NRA reported a staggering $46 million loss.
New York State and the federal government have been sniffing around the NRA and its finances for years. CNBC could see that could be a threat to the organization, one that finally resulted in yesterday's strategic bankruptcy. On the other hand, the bigger the threat, the stronger the NRA's revenues become, as gun sales, memberships, and donations all increase after mass shootings and elections of Democratic Presidents. I expect that will happen again with the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, which is one of the reasons why the NRA's bankruptcy doesn't mean the end of the organization.

As an aside, I left the following in a comment to the video, although I added in the hyperlinks here.
I misread the misspelled sign about defending the Second Amendment at 6:58 as "Second Ammoment." On a whim, I performed a Google search for that phrase and "2nd Ammoment"; Google couldn't find any instances of either. Hey, I came up with something original! From now on, I'm going to say that the NRA is defending American's "Second Ammoment" rights. I hope it catches on."
Also, I'm glad to see that CNBC mentioned the role of Maria Butina, the subject of From Russia to the NRA with love. That was embarrassing and added to the narrative of Russian interference in U.S. politics, but it so far hasn't been nearly as big a problem for the NRA as I was hoping for. Too bad, as a Senate Finance Committee report found that the NRA was a 'Foreign Asset' To Russia ahead of the 2016 election, but nothing much as come of it — yet.

More recently, Bloomberg Quicktake uploaded How the NRA Shot Itself in the Foot just last November, which also exposes corruption in the NRA.

The National Rifle Association had long been known as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in America. But at the peak of its power, this well-funded ally of the Republican Party has found itself besieged by scandal and legal challenges that could permanently change how it operates.
After starting off very similarly to the CNBC report, Bloomberg's video went into more depth about the structure of the NRA and reported on the recent challenges the NRA has been facing since the CNBC mini-documentary. It also took a more hostile tone, but I think that comes from the top, as Michael Bloomberg has made fighting gun violence one of his major issues. All of those are reasons why I decided to include this video, despite the duplication with CNBC's report.

By the way, the protestors at the NRA news conference after Sandy Hook were from Code Pink, which started off as an anti-war movement. I'm glad to see that they are working against all kinds of violence, especially since they are one of Coffee Party USA's partners. Maybe I should see what they have to say about the NRA's bankruptcy.

Finally, I did say that "this is not all good news from the perspective of fighting gun violence and the effects of big money in politics" later, so it's time for a reaction from The Young Turks, NRA Goes Bankrupt But Don't Get Too Excited Yet.

The NRA has filed for bankruptcy, but the news is complicated. John Iadarola, Ken Klippenstein, and Jordan Uhl discuss on The Young Turks.
The NRA may be finished as a non-profit operating in New York, but I think it will survive and even thrive in Texas when all is said and done. Still, I'll take the small victory.

That's it for a week of serious news. Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment feature, when I plan on writing about the winners of the Critics Choice Super Awards.

*The other shiny objects were Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and others likely to be charged for roles in Flint Water Crisis and 2020 tied with 2016 for warmest year on record, NASA reports, although I could make an argument that both of these should be my main focuses, while impeachment is the real shiny object distracting me. What do you think?

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