The NRA's Open Mouth, Insert Foot Problem

In addition to their very bad month in July, it seems like every time a member of the gun lobby opens its mouth something terrible, inaccurate, or downright offensive comes out.

Take NRA lobbyist Brian Judy’s remarks in Silverdale, WA, for example, where he belittled Jewish people who support background checks and compared the initiative to require checks for guns bought through the gun show loophole to Nazi Germany. But after making such an offensive and off-colored statement, media outlets such as the Seattle Times can’t get Judy or NRA executives to apologize or even clarify if his statements represent the entire organization.

"A call to NRA lobbyist Brian Judy, whom we last wrote about when he told I-594 opponents gun control caused the Holocaust, went unreturned. Likewise, a call to Chris Cox, the NRA’s executive director for lobbying and who is listed as campaign manage for Washingtonians Opposed to I-594, did not return a call seeking comment."

While Brian Judy is staying silent, his friends in the gun lobby continue to open their own mouths and offer up extreme ideas. Some are even backing his anti-Semitic comments with more Nazi comparisons. His colleague Adina Hicks, the NRA’s field representative in Washington, had this to say about Judy’s comments:

“Brian Judy has been getting hammered by the media for speaking the truth and giving a history lesson.”

A history lesson? Does she think Jewish people have forgotten the Holocaust?

Additionally, Niki Kenyon, a supporter of Judy and writer contributor for Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO), also thinks Brian Judy is right about background checks being like the Nazi regime. In a blog post on JPFO’s website, she goes on to attack Keith Dvorchik, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, for supporting background checks and asking that Judy resign for his comments. Kenyon writes:

No, Initiative 594 is not intended to target Jews, but the idea is fundamentally the same ..How does Dvorchik  not understand this? … Maybe he is too far removed from the horrors of the Holocaust, despite his self-righteous ‘I'm right because I'm Jewish, and my people suffered’ pronouncements...Brian Judy understands this, and Keith Dvorchik should get down on his ignorant knees and thank him for the reminder, since he, as the leader of a Jewish group – a group of people who are supposed to never forget the abuses they suffered at the hands of statists and tyrants – appears to have forgotten his own people's horrifying history.”

How many times must the Nazi comparison be debunked? No, background checks are not a tyrant plot to confiscate lawfully held private guns as so many opponents have said. Discussion around background checks should move beyond name calling and bogus comparisons and get to the real issues that are affecting communities. Background checks would reduce the amount of violent threats at the hands of criminals and a majority of Washington voters already support background checks. Initiative-594 simply closes the loophole that allows guns to be sold over the Internet and at gun shows without any checks whatsoever.

\That is not the worst of it. Nationwide Brain Judy’s friends at the NRA are busy trying to convince people that children should be taught how to shoot a gun in school. In a recent video, NRA commentator Bill Johnson argues:

“Just like we teach them reading and writing, necessary skills. We would teach shooting and firearm competency. It wouldn't matter if a child's parents weren't good at it. We'd find them a mentor. It wouldn't matter if they didn't want to learn. We would make it necessary to advance to the next grade.

Right, because learning how to read is as important as learning how to shoot a gun. With an average of 87 people killed by a firearm each day, imagine how much higher that number would be in the NRA’s ideal world.

If that wasn’t enough, the NRA is quietly opposing efforts to reduce the killing of elephants for ivory. The number of elephants is dwindling every year yet, the NRA is outraged with new ivory laws by claiming “they were an attack on gun owners wishing to sell firearms that contained ornamental ivory.” New regulations would restrict the ivory trade in the U.S., which is the second largest importer of illegal ivory. While the NRA is claiming that they are helping small gun owners, their real prize is the ivory imported by the wealthy safari-goers.

These out of touch and off color statements do not represent the American people and their thoughts on gun violence. Thankfully, Washington voters have a chance to respond and stand up to the thoughtlessness of the gun lobby. In November, Washington voters can say, “our voices speak louder than your bottom line,” and support Initiative 594 to expand background checks, reduce crime, and save lives.

One less thing to worry about

We hope this simple guide will help you avoid aggressive signature gatherers. Please forward this email to friends and family and enjoy your summer!

On Tuesday, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to oppose exporting dirty coal through our city and our state. Thank the Seattle City Council for being a champion for our health and our environment!

Amazon dumps ALEC!

It's kind of a big deal. Last week, we joined other progressive groups to deliver more than 500,000 signatures to Amazon shareholders at their annual meeting in Seattle. With hundreds rallying outside, we called on Amazon to cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the shadowy corporate front group that writes special interest bills for conservative legislators across the country. And they did.
Most states still allow insurance companies to charge women more than men for the same health coverage. The Affordable Care Act finally bans this gender discrimination.

Silent Protest in Olympia

On Friday, three conservative Democrat senators suddenly joined Republicans to force through an ultra-conservative, all cuts state budget. This shocking backroom deal was a sinister way to prevent voters - or even legislators - from reading the budget and making a responsible decision.

We can't let them get away with this. Join us in Olympia to protest today at 5:30! We will meet in the Prichard Building (the building with the big cafeteria south of the Capitol dome).

Reject the Backroom Budget Deal

Last Friday, three conservative Democrat senators suddenly joined Republicans to force through an ultra-conservative, all cuts state budget. This shocking backroom deal was a sinister way to prevent voters - or even legislators - from reading the budget and making a responsible decision.

Tell your representatives to reject the conservative backroom budget and pass a progressive, sustainable budget that closes tax loopholes and invests in education, health care, and essential services for our communities.

Town Halls 2012

This weekend, legislators across the state are taking a break from session to hold town hall meetings in their home districts. This is a rare chance to talk face-to-face with your legislators while they are working on critical legislation that will impact the future of our communities. Click here for a schedule of legislator town halls that we know about in February 2012.

We're finally turning the tables on investment bankers and Wall Street fat cats. State representative Laurie Jinkins has introduced a bill that would creat a 5 percent tax on profits of more than $10,000 from the sale of stocks and second houses. It would raise $500 million or more each year for education, health care, and essential public services, and it would only apply to the wealthiest 3 percent of Washingtonians. This is our best chance this year to reform our tax system.

Who is Rob McKenna Working For?

Rob McKenna slips up sometimes. When he does, it’s usually very revealing.

McKenna has worked hard over the years to hide his conservative values so that most voters don’t know what he really stands for. But his latest get rich quick proposal for corporate special interests makes it clear whose side he’s really on.

From weakening protections for injured workers to devaluing the minimum wage, McKenna’s true priorities are clear: helping powerful, conservative corporations at the expense of working families.

Can you help us spread the truth about McKenna’s agenda? We need to spread the word before his conservative corporate supporters launch their deceptive multi-million dollar ad campaigns. Please forward this summary of McKenna’s true campaign platform to at least three friends. They can also sign up to receive the latest updates about McKenna’s campaign.

Insurance industry profits over injured workers:
It’s simple: if you get hurt on the job, you should be able to see a doctor and receive support for your family while you recover. However, Rob McKenna is siding with big insurance companies and his campaign donors that want to pad their profits by slashing workers’ protections.1 He’s pushing this scheme at the behest of big insurance companies, despite the fact that voters overwhelmingly rejected a similar proposal — I-1082 — just last year.2

Wall Street profits over homeowners:
Rob McKenna is part of a national settlement that would let some of the nation’s biggest mortgage companies off the hook with a slap on the wrist. Some progressive Attorneys General have withdrawn from the settlement because it doesn’t hold Wall Street Banks accountable for destroying our economy and foreclosing on millions of families. McKenna not only thinks it’s a good deal — particularly for his campaign donors — but he’s serving as a lead negotiator for this Wall Street giveaway.3

Health insurance profits over patients:
McKenna is a national leader of the effort to throw out the Affordable Care Act, which is already helping millions of Americans. Thanks to these historic reforms, children can’t be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, young people are now covered under their parents’ health plan until the age of 26, and health insurers must use health premiums on actual health care. Health insurance companies want to return to making billions at the expense of patients, and Rob McKenna is leading the way.4

Corporate profits over working families:
McKenna authored a legal opinion last year saying that the state did not need to raise the minimum wage. Following his lead, a coalition of corporate special interests and McKenna’s campaign donors sued the state to prevent an increase in the minimum wage.5

Corporate special interests and the wealthy should pay their fair share, not get more tax giveaways and sweetheart deals. Unfortunately, McKenna has a long track record of siding with corporations and the wealthy over working families, and he’s promising more of the same in this campaign.

We need to spread the truth about McKenna and his dangerous policies for Washington. Forward this email to three friends and ask them to sign up for the latest updates: