"Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA" by Tim Mak
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The NRA once compelled respect—even fear—from Republicans and Democrats alike. Once a grassroots club dedicated to gun safety, the NRA ballooned into a powerful lobbyist organization that maintained an iron hold on gun legislation in America. This influential nonprofit raised millions in small fees from members across the country, which funded hidden, lavish lifestyles of designer suits, private jets and yachts, martini lunches and Champagne dinners—while the group manipulated legislators and flirted with a Russian spy.
Yet in 2012, the NRA’s grip on Washington began to loosen in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. Facing nationwide outrage, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre gave a speech claiming the solution was not fewer guns, but more guns, in schools. The group’s rhetoric only escalated from there, a misstep that sparked a backlash and invited the scrutiny of the government.
Unveiled here for the first time ever are surprising, revelatory details spotlighting decades of poor leadership and mismanagement by LaPierre; the NRA’s long association with marketing firm Ackerman-McQueen; NRA executives’ 2015 trip to Moscow, a by-invitation affair packed with meetings with Russian government officials, diplomats, and oligarchs seeking influence in American politics; as well as the power struggle between LaPierre and former NRA president Oliver North that fractured the organization.