View Full Version : NPR: 'Ricochet' Goes Behind Scenes of Gun Lobby

11-16-2007, 9:27 AM
(Click to listen to the broadcast)

'Ricochet' Goes Behind Scenes of Gun Lobby

Author and former gun lobbyist Richard Feldman.

Author Richard Feldman was involved with the NRA for 20 years serving as a senior political agent, and later as an executive director and chief lobbyist of the American Shooting Sports Council (ASSC).

Talk of the Nation, November 15, 2007 Former gun lobbyist and National Rifle Association (NRA) insider Richard Feldman explains how he came to believe that the NRA is as he writes a "cynical, mercenary political cult."

Feldman's new book, Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist, sheds light on the inside workings of America's powerful gun lobby.

Feldman writes that the NRA is "obsessed with wielding power while relentlessly squeezing contributions from its members, objectives that overshadow protecting Constitutional liberties."


Richard Feldman, author of Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist; former regional political director for the National Rifle Association

John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence; co-founder of the American Hunters and Shooters Association

Basically they wanted to have an NRA bash-fest. They said from the begining of the broadcast that the discusion was not about "Gun Control", but about the NRA. How the hell can you have a discussion about the NRA without talking about "Gun Control"? They prove you can't, as within the first 40 seconds the host tries to insinuate the NRA is contributing to gun violence in America before the interview even begins:

"Even as cops struggle to control gun violence in cities, even in the wake of school shootings from Columbine to Virginia Tech, there's little serious debate these days about the need for "Gun Control". That's a testament to the power of the NRA."

Translation: The NRA is such a big, mean, powerful lobbying group that they are crushing any chance at "Gun Control" which is needed to keep our children from being slaughtered in schools.

I called in. I actually got through this time. I talked to the pre-screener lady. I pretended I wanted to bash the NRA so they'd let me on. I said that the NRA was "too compromising in an attempt to appear more mainstream rather than the fringe extremist group that the "Gun Control" groups portray it as". She liked what I had to say. She especially liked how I said the NRA was "too compromising" and asked me to say that on air. I think it was so I can look like some crazy gun nut.

Then, I was put on hold. The whole time I was jotting down notes and deciding how I could get it all out within about 20 seconds or so and still make sense. I wanted to criticize them for using the term "common sense" when referring to "Gun Control" because what is "common sense" to one person is extreme to another and vice versa. Then, I wanted to say I agree with a previous caller that the RKBA isn't always about hunting. I also had some other notes. I figured I would start off by criticizing the NRA and say I personally support the NRA with all it's flaws because I have to as there are no other viable gun rights groups out there.

Then, the host said "we're out of time". They never got to me. I wonder if the host gets to read little messages besides the names of the people in the cue such as "disagrees with guest". I've had suspicions about how they choose their callers ever since they had Michael Moore on and every caller expressed how godly he was and how much they worship him.

Over all, it wasn't the horrible RKBA hit piece that I would come to expect from that station but it still was not balanced. The host, guests, as well as the callers all seemed fine with "common sense" legislation. Like I said, "common sense" legislation is usually anything but (ex: mandatory trigger locks) and this behavior of acceptance is dangerous as it plants the seeds for people to accept even more incremental disarmament.

11-16-2007, 9:51 AM
This from NPR? Shocked! Yes, shocked I am. :rolleyes:

11-16-2007, 12:01 PM
A good number of professional radio stations have call screening software. The screener puts in the line #, person's name, location, and summary of what they want to say, and it goes over to the hosts' computer. The other day Armstrong and Getty's (AM 910 KNEW) software crashed on air.

It's better than them pausing to listen to the producer telling them over their headphones the details of the caller.

11-16-2007, 1:38 PM
On the NPR main page, how to get on the air.


Richard Feldman's basic premise is that the NRA would rather have the fight than the victory.
The fight allows the NRA to beg for more money and hold up states with bad gunlaws as examples.
Oh yes, he also resents Wayne LaPierre's big salary.

11-16-2007, 5:27 PM
I listened to that on the radio yesterday waiting to on duty..Those
guys had it so spread out with manure trying to make the NRA
the bad guys that even I could figure out they were full of crap..

11-17-2007, 2:11 PM
I'm sure Mr. Feldman is 100% pro-gun.

11-17-2007, 2:37 PM
Feldman put in his time being a mouthpiece for the gun lobby. At his level, principle gives way to cynicism when it becomes clear the fanatics will keep sending in endless amounts of money, no questions asked. The people at the top of these food-chains are elitist, self-serving utter cynics. "Getting Real" means getting rich by spilling the beans and writing an expose' on the organization that fed your family all these years. Should we be surprised because it happens on our side of the aisle?