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
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 23, 2014
A screenshot from the interactive game, "Depression Quest," the game at the root of the ongoing #GamerGate controversy. (Courtesy  "Depression Quest")

#GamerGate. Sexism, misogyny and rough stuff in a video game world culture clash.

 
Oct 23, 2014
Specialist Ronnie Howard, center, calls out prices as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. (AP)

The global economic wobble. Europe weakness. China fears. Wild markets. We’ll lay out the global economy now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
3 Comments
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment