90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Power Of The NRA

The political power of the NRA after Newtown. Will a massacre of children break the grip of the NRA?

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. (AP)

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. (AP)

After days of silence on last week’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the National Rifle Association spoke just a little yesterday.  Sort of.  It put out a statement to say it will speak Friday to the media in Washington.  The NRA is prepared, it said, to – quote – “offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

Of course, for years, the NRA has fought, mighty tooth and nail, against practically any gun control.  Fought for guns all over.  Cowed a generation of politicians.  Could there be a change now?  A sea change?  A crack in the power?

This hour, On Point:  the NRA, after Newtown.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Robert Spitzer, professor of political science at the State University of New York, College at Cortland. He’s the author of the Politics of Gun Control.

Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

Gerry Connolly, Democratic congressman from Virginia’s 11th district. The NRA has its headquarters in his district.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “But when she and other Tennessee Republicans decided earlier this year not to move forward with an N.R.A. bill that would have allowed people to keep firearms locked in their cars in parking lots, Ms. Maggart became an object lesson in how the organization deploys its political power.”

Slate “You might think that “spokesman for the National Rifle Association” is the toughest job in PR. You might be wrong. At least once a year, and several times in bad years, reporters reach out to the NRA’s Andrew Arulanandam and ask him whether the gun lobby has anything to say about the latest massacre. Arulanandam says basically the same thing, every time.”

Sunlight Foundation “In the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, one of the emerging debates is whether there will even be a debate. Past mass shootings have come and gone without any action. Many argue that the reason for this inaction is simple:  politicians have been afraid to take on the National Rifle Association, the large and influential pro-gun lobby that spent at least $24.28 million this past election cycle - $16.83 million through its Political Action Committee, plus $7.45 million through its affiliated Institute for Legislative Action.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment