More evil than Big Tobacco by several orders of magnitude.
According to Mother Jones reporter Andy Kroll, the role played by Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law in the shooting of African-American teen Trayvon Martin should be seen as an example of the outsized influence that the National Rifle Association wields in both state and national politics.
“This was an NRA effort from start to finish,” Kroll told Current TV’s The Young Turks. “It was a classic case study in how the NRA gets these bills passed at the state level. … This is an example of just how big and how sophisticated the NRA’s operation really is.”
Kroll noted that when the law was passed in 2005, the NRA, “provided tens of thousands of dollars to the dozens of lawmakers who pushed the bill through and who voted ‘yes’ on the bill.”
He pointed in particular to NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer as having been instrumental “in both drafting Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and then ramming it through the legislature down there.” Hammer was even standing right next to then-Governor Jeb Bush when the bill was signed into law.
Kroll’s article on the issue is here.
Let’s be extremely clear here; the NRA doesn’t exist to protect anyone’s rights, the NRA exists to sell guns. And it does that by grossly inflating fears about crime, creating a seige mentality and an atmosphere of paranoia. Seriously, why do you think that after every mass killing somewhere, there’s always some NRA flack or a Republican toady eager to blame everything on the fact that every last citizen isn’t armed?
As corporate lobbyists go, this is worse than Big Tobacco back in their heyday. Where tobacco company stooges were arguing that smoking wasn’t at all bad for you — while sitting on data that showed it was — Big Arms argues that more guns are a good thing, even when gun violence is the problem. This is akin to the tobacco lobbyist telling everyone to smoke more, because that’s the only thing saving you from cancer.
These are greedy, soulless people.