The Messengers Shooting Themselves

Secret recordings of NRA officials after Columbine school shooting show strategy : NPR

“Everything we do here has a downside,” NRA official Kayne Robinson says on the tapes. “Don’t anybody kid yourself about this great macho thing of going down there and showing our chest and showing how damn tough we are. … We are in deep s*** on this deal. … And so anything we do here is going to be a matter of trying to decide the best of a whole bunch of very, very bad choices.”

The tapes of the NRA discussions were recorded secretly by a participant and shared on the condition that the participant’s name not be divulged. NPR has taken steps to verify the tapes’ authenticity, including by confirming the identities of those speaking on the tapes with two sources and comparing the voices on the calls with publicly available audio.

In addition to mapping out their national strategy, NRA leaders can also be heard describing the organization’s more activist members in surprisingly harsh terms, deriding them as “hillbillies” and “fruitcakes” who might go off script after Columbine and embarrass them.

And they dismiss conservative politicians and gun industry representatives as largely inconsequential players, saying they will do whatever the NRA proposes. Members of Congress, one participant says, have asked the NRA to “secretly provide them with talking points.”


34 thoughts on “The Messengers Shooting Themselves”

  1. more from that NPR link:

    NPR has obtained more than 2 1/2 hours of recordings of those private meetings after the Columbine shooting, which offer unique insight into the NRA’s deliberations in the wake of this crisis — and how it has struggled to develop what has become its standard response to school shootings ever since.
    One day after the shootings, the NRA’s top executives, officials, lobbyists and public relations strategists all scrambled on to a conference call to deal with the crisis. Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre is on the line, as is longtime NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer and advertising strategist Angus McQueen, among others. The dilemma they face is apparent in their conversations.
    “At that same period where they’re going to be burying these children, we’re going to be having media … trying to run through the exhibit hall, looking at kids fondling firearms, which is going to be a horrible, horrible, horrible juxtaposition,” says NRA lobbyist Jim Baker on the conference call.
    Hammer and LaPierre are also among the NRA officials who can be heard disparaging some of the group’s membership. In the aftermath of the shooting, McQueen reasons that “normal” members would stay away from the site of the tragedy — leaving only the group’s most extreme members as attendees. “The hair on the back of my neck stood up” when this thought occurred to her, Hammer says.
    “You know, the other problem is holding a member meeting without an exhibit hall. The people you are most likely to get in that member meeting without an exhibit hall are the nuts,” says LaPierre.
    “Made that point earlier. I agree,” says Makris. “The fruitcakes are going to show up.”
    Says Hammer: “If you pull down the exhibit hall, that’s not going to leave anything for the media except the members meeting, and you’re going to have the wackos … with all kinds of crazy resolutions, with all kinds of, of dressing like a bunch of hillbillies and idiots. And, and it’s gonna, it’s gonna be the worst thing you can imagine.”


    “State Rep. James White passionately defended the bill he co-authored that allows Texans to carry handguns in public without training or having to get permits during an interview at the 2021 Texas Tribune Festival. Gun control advocate and fellow panelist Shannon Watts poked holes in the legislation, recently signed into law, and said the Republican lawmaker was beholden to the National Rifle Association.“

    “When Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law in June, he was joined at a table by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dade Phelan and National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre.“

    Pro-life Republicans? Nope.

  3. Liberals who make violent movies are also to blame for the gun-crazy culture. Actors who speak out against guns, yet make movies with guns a-blazing because they can make money, should do some soul searching.

  4. speaking of wackos

    Stephen checks in on followers of the QAnon conspiracy, many of whom are camped out in Dallas awaiting the return of JFK (or JFK Jr., we’re not really sure). One notable Q fan who isn’t in Dallas is Jacob Chansley, also known as the QAnon Shaman, who was sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in the Jan. 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol

  5. Colbert’s Q spot last night was great. I laughed my ass off at it. They weren’t sure which JFK would be coming back?  Bwahahahahahah. Idiots. 


    “On a mission to track down the one and only Q, the one behind all QAnon conspiracies, Reno 911: The Hunt For QAnon follows the deputies from the Reno Sheriff’s Department as they get stuck at a QAnon convention at sea, ultimately escaping only to discover that they’ve landed at Jeffrey Epstein’s old island.”

    This stuff doesn’t write itself, folks. Are ya sure?

  7. The Infrastructure Investment and JOBS Act

    Dems need to make sure they point out who voted against jobs.

    Texas Repugz are whining about the wall. We can drive over crappy roads and bridges, though.

  8. this could be the main reason for the BBB backlash from the moneyed crowd, larry summers’

    Opinion | IRS reform will generate a lot more revenue than the CBO thinks – The Washington Post

    The largest offset in the Build Back Better Act is not a tax increase. Instead, it is an $80 billion investment to restore a depleted IRS. The Treasury Department expects this transformative investment to generate $480 billion — $400 billion net — in additional tax collections over the course of the next decade.

    That is a large sum. But it is important to put it into context given the scope of the tax evasion problem faced by the federal government. Over the next 10 years, the IRS is on track to collect $7 trillion less than is owed. This enormous tax gap is around 3 percent of gross domestic product on an annualized basis. President Biden’s proposal to revitalize the IRS is projected to net an amount that is merely 5.7 percent of that tax gap.

    That modest gain is a more-than-reasonable expectation given the starting point. Today, the IRS has about the same number of auditors as it did during World War II, and the IRS can answer fewer than 30 percent of the phone calls it receives from taxpayers with questions. IRS technology is woefully outdated, and it fails to allow for even simple data analytics to identify evaders. Providing the IRS the resources it needs will go a long way towards shrinking the tax gap.


  9. Questionable whether the skies will be clear here overnight – clouds from the front that’s bringing rain here by noon and cold following it may or may not have cleared by the 2:00 – 5:00 window.  If I wake up in the middle of the night I’ll look out the window, but if the satellite images don’t look promising I’m not setting an alarm or anything radical like that.

  10. Jennifer Rubin’s column today is excellent. 


    Jacob Chansley — the most memorable figure in the Jan. 6 violent insurrection, and certainly the most bizarre given his painted face and horned cap — received 41 months in prison on Wednesday plus a $2,000 fine for obstructing the congressional certification. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly L. Paschall made an impassioned plea, both in the courtroom and in her sentencing memo, for the stiff penalty.
    In a direct rebuke to former president Donald Trump and his apologists, Paschall made clear at the hearing that Chansley was no peaceful protester. He stormed the Capitol, confronted police, entered the building through a broken window, charged to the dais in the Senate chamber, shouted a vulgar threat (“time’s up, motherf—–s!”) and left a threatening message for Vice President Mike Pence (“It’s only a matter of time. Justice is coming!”).

    As Paschall argued in her sentencing memo, “The government cannot overstate the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct as a one [sic] of the most prominent figures of the historic riot on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. . . . The defendant’s consistent argument throughout this case that his actions on that day were peaceful is undermined by the evidence submitted to this Court, but demonstrative of a persistent mindset that could lead the defendant to commit similar acts again.”

    * * * 

    It is noteworthy that Chansley’s sentence came on the same day that the House was compelled to censure Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) for posting a violent animation in which he kills Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and assaults President Biden. One cannot avoid the conclusion that the decline of the GOP has accelerated since the Jan. 6 attack. With a handful of exceptions, the House Republican caucus has tried to prevent a full investigation of Jan. 6 and remains aligned with Trump. Now, it refuses to censure a member for fanning political violence — with a measly two exceptions. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters, “It’s outrageous on the part of the Republican leadership not to act on this.”

    Given that Trump and most of the party hestillleads around by the nose deny the violent nature of the insurrection, criminal investigation and prosecution must ensue for everyone involved to the extent that facts and the law allow. Moreover, there must be a political reckoning for a party that has yet to accept responsibility, toss out the insurrection’s instigator or denounce violent rhetoric. The need to keep such people out of power has not abated. Short memories, hopefully, will be refreshed.

    When Jen is on, she is on.

  11. Canada floods leave thousands of farm animals dead and more trapped

    Frantic rescue operation to save livestock from submerged farms underway, with many animals in desperate need of food

    How bad is the Pacific north-west flooding and what caused it?

    Abbotsford, one of Canada’s most intensively and diversely farmedareas, was among places hardest hit. Home tomore than 1,200 farms,it supplies half of the dairy, eggs and poultry consumed by British Columbia’s 5.2 million residents.

  12. Mrs. P’s mom and brother have been regaling us about the rain and wind in Seattle this week.  He texted us a picture of a Porta potty blown over down the street from him – caption – Shit’s blowing sideways today.

  13. Pogo –
    Over the last 6 weeks that part of the world has seen over 4 feet of rain. Part of the reason BC has seen so many mudslides in this last go round. 

  14. NPR is running a story about home prices on Martha’s Vineyard . Thought of Ole’  Sea .
    The median home price crossed one million dollar mark.  Hope she owned her home and store.  Another place rich people have driven out the people that make their lives so sweet.  

  15. CBob…  OldSeaHag does own her home.  Her store is actually the garage that she converted into her store.  She has a 5 million dollar view…   she’s over looking Oaks Bluff Harbor.
    Her home is easy to get to.  You can take the Island Queen from Falmouth Harbor… it docks in Oaks Bluff Harbor… and it’s a 5 minute walk to her house.  Rick and I always look forward to visiting her in June.

    and yes… she has complained about how high property taxes have gotten because of those rich people…

  16. U.S. bishops approve Communion guidelines after debate on Biden’s eligibility

    These bastards really piss me off , after all the pedophiles the church shuffled  around to hide their crimes against children. 

  17. Boom Towns –
    My favorite one is the tale of Julesburg , Colorado  .  It grew up when it was the head of track as the Union Pacific pounded West .  The UP put a station there , which is why the town still lives.  But when railroad  got to  Cheyenne , the entire town of saloons , gamblers , whores  , cafes ,  thugs , villains , and swindlers loaded the entire town on to flat cars and rode to the head of track at Cheyenne.
    It was there the myth has it that a railroader said –
    ” Boys here’s Julesburg , Hell on wheels”.

  18. One more Wyoming story –
    Fort Fetterman
    11 miles northwest of present-day Douglas, Wyoming.  I spent a winter there in the ” White Lilly Court ”  , a converted  POW camp for Germans on the North Platte .  Being the history fool I am , i visited the place .  There is not much to see , it was made of wood , and Wyoming eats wooden buildings.  Knowing how important  it was to the history of the West , I rode up to the post cemetery.  The marker said it was mostly full of young men dying from  things we no longer fear.  And only small mounds mark their passing. 
    But there is one grave there  that stands out .  It was marked by an oilfield welder ,  Made of drill pipe painted black.  4 posts with 3 rails , you could not walk on this grave.  At the head rail was cut out of a buffalo , welded below was a tablet written on by  the welder .
    Really good welders can write on steel .
    It said –
    “Here lies John C. Finnix  A real old time cowboy  1850 – 1871”
    It is one of the most lonely spots  in America.  In a cemetery of 100’s of unknowns.
    I knew I was looking at a 21 year old Texan. 
    The romance of this grave has never left me. 
    What a story lies there.   
    It would make a hell of a movie.
    Time has not removed that all that steel.

  19. During my life I have enjoyed the nitnoy work of creating meals from scratch.  Oh the wonderful flavors. At times oh the work.  I must say the work was enjoyable for many decades, only recently falling to the sensation of bad oysters.  I like oysters, so bad ones are bad.  Last night I fell to my lowest level, meatballs and spaghetti in red sauce.  The meatballs were from the frozen section of the grocery store.  The red sauce was from the “Italian” sauce section of the same grocery store.  The pasta was pasta.  Sigh.  Microwave all except the spaghetti which had to be boiled.  By time the pasta was boiled, twelve minutes, the rest was well heated, and reheated.  Yes, it was good, it was not excellent and it tasted quite blah.  The meatballs were good plus, but the red sauce was with out excitement or even something to make me happy. 
    What I learned from the experience is that I am human and understanding what many others have as obstacles to putting a meal on the table.  The American food world is great.  We have amazing products just sitting in the freezers and shelves of our grocery stores.  I grew up with a prejudice against industrialized foods.  Good grief I can make XXX and it tastes better than what you buy in the store.  And that is true.  But, now that I am examining my life and realize that I can move a bit of my priorities from food creation to using those hours to some other creative activity.  What does the Italian red sauce need?  Probably more garlic, spices and a kick of vermouth.  That is easy, the long tedious work is done in some stainless steal vessel.
    But what about someone who cannot afford even the cheap industrial food?  What if their food stamps are taken away?  This is what we need to be talking about.  The gqp wants to take away even basic life from those who are not of their color and “class”.  We need to break away from the milquetoast garbage Dem politicians often find themselves in.  Talk about what even middle class people had endured during 2020.  Driving to food handouts and often getting very little to eat in those.  Yup, add a bit of spice, red pepper flakes and some hot peppers.

  20. Blue –
    This is why  I donated  compost to the “Grub Farm” last spring, along with a lot of my green house stuff. 


  21. Blue –
    This is why I want to grow food in dead malls under LED’s powered by solar panels on the roofs.  But I just grow weed in my mother’s closet . 

  22. Doctoring up processed foods is easy enough, but it’s cheaper to make from scratch. Do you know how much rice, beans, flour and oatmeal you can get with $25?
    Beyond that, another $10 for onions, peppers and celery or carrots, and, another $10 for fruit. A one-time investment in salt/pepper and olive oil every six months or so, and a person can eat OK off of $50/month.
    I do by jarred sauce to go with my spaghetti squash.
    I wish my bell peppers would do more than bloom. I think rabbits must eat the small peppers.
    I bought a Tofurky “ham” and I hope it’s worth it. The Tofurky gravy is good. I can’t figure out how to make decent gravy, so it’s worth the splurge; two containers in the freezer.

    Do they still teach home economics?

Comments are closed.